, attached to 2010-06-25

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks Damn fine show, foreshadowing the towering second Merriweather gig a couple days later. Set One highlights include the evolving TTE jam (no seriously) (no SERIOUSLY!), the well-chosen Joni Mitchell cover, and Split.

Of course Set Two is the big money: Chalkdust bounces patiently along but never blows up, Caspian functions as a 2/26/03-style landing pad and transitional tune - check out Trey's detailed trip-o-let work in the Caspian jam - and Heavy Things flows in organically. Hell, even Alaska is good here! This is a spectacular start to the set.

Then we're into the second half, which is the headline material. The 2001 is good, certainly a lot of fun, but not great - it's an old-fashioned throwback to the teasing allusions that characterized the nerd-savant Phish shows of the early 90's. Despite its length it's not a particularly 'complex' version. This is OK! I'll take an 11-minute monkeyparty 2001 over any other brief, clanky post-Coventry version. But let's be frank: this is a messy Billie Jean 'jam' mostly characterized by Trey singing the melody wrong, Mike playing the bassline wrong(!!!!!!!!!), and Page presumably wondering why he's the only one actually performing the song they're nominally jamming on.

Aww, Page. You half-bald geek. :)

What follows is one of my favourite versions of Light yet played, and a climactic Possum - complete with Bowie-style trill madness from Trey, blues-leavened - to blast your brain clean out of your skull.

The 6/27/10 Maryland show is the highlight of the tour so far, I think, but this one's nearly on its level - a triumph of its own sort. None of my criticisms matter when you're laughing and pumping your fists at the rock'n'roll magic rainbowing out of your stereo. Go do that then!


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