Disclaimer: I go to shows to have fun. I don’t take notes. I dance, I drink, and I’m probably writing this hungover. I don’t use a thesaurus, I call em’ like I see em’. This is what I thought.
After a mad dash for tickets that left many fans in the parking lot with the fingers raised, Phish proved to their fans that night one was not a fluke – this band is ready to jam. On paper, the show is very similar to the previous nights – solid song selection without anything that really jumps out. But the band seemed to be willing to change it up a bit and take songs to relatively new places. The Roses Are Free in the first set went into an extremely interesting jam. The Bathtub Gin had a unique theme based jam – it seemed like Trey briefly vocally jammed a riff and the entire band picked up on it, making it the focal point of the jam.
But just like last night, it was a one two punch in the second set that stole the show. This time, it was a set opening Down With Disease>Sand. The Disease started in typical fashion slowly adding guitar licks until it became a top notch jam. This version holds up to last year’s stand outs in Michigan and Colorado. It segued perfectly into Sand which seemed to quiet anyone upset about the abrupt end to an epic Disease. The Mikes’ sequence with a fun Makisupa Policeman in the middle was above average – in both the Mikes’ and the Weekapaug the band did not hold back from going full force – but the Wading In The Velvet Sea seemed to suck some of the energy out of the room. Making right up for it, the band ended on a high notes with high energy versions of 2001, Character Zero, and Suzy Greenberg.
The band just seems to have a renewed sense of energy. Page’s work on the keys is top notch, the band is willing to take risks, and Trey seems to be having a blast. This is one of the best two night runs I can remember and the band doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The Bonnaroo set will be a true test as the general consensus is that when Phish plays someone else’s festival, they play a standard set. If they pull out something special yet again, it’s going to be an interesting summer.