Bader Field, Night 3: Father’s Day on the Boardwalk

6/17/12 (Dave Vann)

Phish wrapped up their exciting three-night run at Bader Field in Atlantic City with a concert that was packed with fun and well-played songs. The final show packed less of an improvisational and free-flowing punch that Friday and Saturday did though. With solid first-set songs following the now-traditional Father’s Day Brother opener, and a second set with an impressive Reba and 2001, the show will likely get less attention because of the random choice of short songs to fill up the 1.5 hour+ second set.

The entire show was grounded with a nice trio of songs that opened up the second half: Drowned > 2001 > Reba. The Drowned quickly was subdued to give way to what might be the most exciting 2001 of 3.0. The instrumental jam featured stop/starting akin to what they laid down with the Tube just two nights earlier; this time with punctuated Page solos. The gorgeous Reba that followed was a special second-set treat too. The jam reached beautiful heights before it was ended without whistling.

The first set brought the children of the Phish out once again, all in a tub, this time featuring Page’s eight-month old girl. The set featured the second Dogs Stole Things of the era and the first Boogie On since the impressive rendition at the Centrum. This version was short and packed quite the punch of its own, featuring a stop/start with Mike destroying the breaks with his envelope filter.

Trey letting his hair grow out again | 6/17/12 (Dave Vann)

Fans of stage banter will be fond of this first set too; following the Timber Ho!, Trey brings up how Metallica will be playing there soon and questioning if they will be ending any songs a la My Friend My Friend among other things. The Fluff that follows has Trey yelling “Fluffhead!” at the end with what seems to be like MFMF-esque laughter worked in.

The second set is fairly lackluster following the Reba. When Roses followed the set’s opening stanza fans immidiatly looked back to the Woosta version and figured that the song popping up in the middle of a second set meant they were going to try to jam it again. Instead the song quickly led to a horribly placed Chalk Dust with a particularly unique ending that gave way to Prince Caspian. The Caspian segued right into Silent in the Morning which is to finish was the aborted Horse from a day earlier started. Interestingly, Down with Disease was used as the second-set closer. It would be the first time since 12/30/03 in Miami it was used in this position. It’s a short and standard version–with Trey playing hot nonetheless.

They encored with a lumbering Jibboo that turned into a Quinn the Eskimo for an unexpected encore.

While this show wasn’t nearly as memorable as the preceding night’s throwdowns, there is still silver lining to be salvaged: the cool jam in Boogie, the great 2001, and the excellent Reba. It wasn’t a bad show by any means, and sets us up perfectly for the nTelos shows that will be webcast on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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