, attached to 2011-06-07

Review by funkydanceparty

funkydanceparty Returning to the East Coast, Phish lit up a fire that will extend back down through New York, New Jersey, and Maryland before the final Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia push of the 1st leg. The opener was 'Llama', one of the most common songs not played thus far in 2011 yet its only the 4th show it has made an appearance at in 3.0. Phish showed they were ready for fun, and the last time they opened with 'Llama' a fantastic show ensued (10-26-2010). After staple selections of 'The Moma Dance' and 'Possum', Phish pulled it back to the chuggin' 'Cities' cover originally by the Talking Heads. Then, Phish unleashes a song they had only covered once before - last year at the Blossom Music Center in Ohio - 'Instant Karma!' by The Beatles! 'Instant Karma!' is an uplifting one-timer sung by Page that is a nice deviation from the normal Fab Four tunes our own Phab Phour likes to cover... namely 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'A Day In The Life'. While Page struggled a little bit with the lyrics this time around, the tune still became a refreshing first set selection. Whereas Bethel's Bowie was a pinnacle peaking rocket and Clarkston's a patient experiment, Mansfield received a 'David Bowie' that was also a new creation. Then came a new groovin' cover, 'Rhymes', originally by Al Green. An outstanding 'The Divided Sky' (compared to Holmdel, especially) and satisfactory 'Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan'. rounded off the first set.

'Back on the Train' opened the second set and featured no new explorations.. but the next song, 'Rock and Roll', simply stunned the crowd as it hit over 17 minutes of pure improv-goodness that sounded like a literal and figurative walk in the park for the Vermont quartet. This is the Type-II ambient jam we like to see, a steady and purposeful intersection from four soulful people. A seamless transition in 2011's first 'The Mango Song' wooed the audience into a frenzy after they witnessed a few minutes of glorious improvisational rock. After a brief chill-out 'Bug', which has recently been in the encore slot,and some annoying cheering by annoying Boston fans, we arrived to the wonderful composition that is 'Pebbles and Marbles', making its 4th appearance since Phish's reunion in 2009. I guess Phish assumed we already received a great 'Halley's Comet' this tour with Bethel's 12 minute masterpiece, because after a few short minutes rthe band abruptly launched into the summer's second (and arguably the year's third) 'Meatstick'. The 'Meatstick' theme continuing into some teasing throughout the first couple minutes of the summer's second 'Run Like An Antelope'. Trey yells, "On cymbals, Jon Fishman!" before the final peak of the song. The encore, 'Suzy Greenberg' was a surefire killer, with both Trey and Page teasing 'Meatstick' again and again which made for some good fun. Mike played with some deep distortion effects for this version, possibly making for the best yet this summer (it is the third Suzy so far). After a short second dosage in Massachusetts, the boys finished up and walked off stage to head over to Darien, NY.


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