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.
The pre show buzz was all about the six month break since the New Years Run, how much the band had practiced since then, and what we could expect from a tour opener. I think it’s safe to say that the expectations of most in attendance were completely shattered. The first set featured an extended Page solo in Funky Bitch that let the song breathe a little after the extremely short versions of late. The Possum was extremely unique – Mike’s bass drove the whole song creating a different vibe than we’re used to. Even the Ocelot had an interesting, dark jam towards the end. The Rocky Top closer felt like a fun nod to those of us making the trek to Bonnaroo to catch the boys’ Sunday set.
Yet it was the second set that solidified this show as one of the best of 3.0. Opening with Carini, the jam quickly took a turn into uncharted territory. Trey made some dark trippy noises that sounded like they could have been coming from some sort of alien life form. The song segued nicely into Taste which featured a Norwegian Wood tease and didn’t slow down the set. But the real highlight of the entire show was the 25+ minute Ghost>Boogie On Reggae Woman segment. The Ghost started slow and funky, it seemed like it took a moment for the entire band to get on the same page. Once they did though, we were treated to one of the finest versions of the song in recent memory. The dark jam just kept going and going until Mike’s bass jam morphed into the opening chords of Boogie On. Many thought the segue into ‘If I Could’ would be a downer, but it ended up being a great little jam. Nothing else in the set could match the awesomeness of the Ghost>Boogie On segment, but the Hood was spot on and a brief Buried Alive Reprise was a nice treat.
On paper, this show may look somewhat standard. But upon review, it featured several standout tracks and some very unique takes on some classics. I think it’s safe to say this is not being overhyped by those who were in attendance. It may not be remembered for a 20 minute jam, a crazy bust out, or a million teases, but this is the type of show Phish fans dream of. Solid from cover to cover without ever playing it safe. The band took risks and went out there and it seems they scored on all accounts. It seems like the band rewarded those Boston fans who chose Phish over watching the Celtics game, and I’m sure this served as a suitable distraction from the Celtics loss.
Set 1: Buried Alive > Runaway Jim > Torn and Frayed, Funky Bitch, The Moma Dance > Rift, Nothing, Ocelot, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Possum, Rocky Top
Set 2: Carini -> Taste, Ghost > Boogie On Reggae Woman > If I Could, Quinn the Eskimo > Harry Hood > Cavern > Buried Alive Reprise
Encore: Loving Cup
 Buried Alive tease.
 Beauty of a Broken Heart tease.
 Norwegian Wood tease.
Notes: Runaway Jim included a Buried Alive tease, Possum included a Beauty of a Broken Heart tease and Taste included a Norwegian Wood tease (all from Trey). If I Could was last played on November 21, 2009 (102 shows).