, attached to 2011-06-03

Review by funkydanceparty

funkydanceparty Phish came onstage for their second Friday night show of 2011 with furious swank that will be looked back on as containing one of the greatest second sets of Phish 3.0. The first set constructed a nice tone for Gordon's birthday, and the Detroit area venue got down with 'Wolfman's Brother' and 'Funky Bitch', two songs that really allows Phish's bassist to get funkadelic. A little more than halfway through Wolfman's Brother, Trey flirts with that "Plinko" style picking that we have seen during the past year (See Dog One Blog's 'Plinko 101'). After 'Sample in a Jar' and 'NICU', Trey noodled the Happy Birthday tune to his fellow bandmate. As if that was some kind of cue, the band broke it down into 'Mike's Song' and flowed on into 'I am Hydrogen' and completing the trilogy with 'Weekapaug Groove'. This Groove, the tour's second, got its rightful treatment unlike Bethel's short and lackluster version. Following the summer's first 'Tela', a choppy yet rising 'Chalk Dust Torture' ventured into its own jam realm, but really culminated in a massive peak for Trey. If you listen closely, he teases Fluff after 5 minute, an omen for what is to come in the second set. The setbreak began after an awkward 'The Wedge'... but it meant the 'Cavern' wasn't far behind (these two are often paired together).

'Down With Disease' ignited the lead off slot of the second set for the second time this summer, and this time rose to new places and officially became the longest jam of Phish 3.0. We thought we had seen what Phish's new style of the ambient wall of sound was like with the 'Down with Disease' from the Alpine Valley 2010 DVD, but this version simply soars into a multi-segmented monster. Maybe Trey felt bad for taking a lot of the spotlight the past few days in New Jersey, or maybe the nearly 25 minute 'Down With Disease' was his magical birthday gift to Mike. Nine minutes in the space begins, but instead of completely laying back Big Red repeats some swanky strokes to keep a blues style momentum flowing. Gordon is definitely all over the fretboard and the band comes together in a loopy frenzy. Twelve and a half minutes in the song morphs again and Gordon opens another door into a Plinko madhouse before settling into a calming and oddly Australian rhythm. Trey layers a fleeting and delicate riff over this and embarks onto the new Phish sound of 3.0. Some call it a "Wall of Sound", to me it sounds like an electric firestorm, but whatever you name it there is no doubt that Trey is loving the use of it. On the official Live Phish release it begins around 15 minutes in and continues to build for a minute and a half before turning into a series of hammer-ons akin to the New Year's Eve 'Ghost'. Instead of progressing systematically higher on the fret board, Trey plays erratically like Thom Yorke and unleashes the beast within. After a minute of and a half of this glorious fury, Trey disappears back into a subtle electric storm, once again creating an ambient soundscape. John Coltrane's 'A love Supreme' is teased once the band floats away from the harsh, jagged, yet amazing feeling the past few minutes subjected us to. Interestingly enough, for those setlist nerds out there, the following night Chicago rockers Umphrey's McGee teased the song in their rendition of "Jimmy Stewart" at the Mountain Jam in Hunter, NY. Finally, after a series of arpeggios, the Trey seamlessly leads the rest of the band into 'Fluffhead', proving once again that he has it in him to make some seriously good moves if he doesn't let his TreyDHD get the best of him. Instead of bolting into Fluff, he slowly melds the notes into the final glimpses of Disease and makes the song come to him, and not the other way around. The summer's second 'David Bowie', also a 16 minute monster, was nothing to laugh about either. Until this show I thought May 31st held the best jam segments worthy of a DVD, but this time around it may be clear - until tomorrow - what is the best. Although who wants another Disease monster? Everyone. The fast paced '2001' brought the stunned crowd back to the feet after a short and much needed 'Waste' break ('Down With Disease' > 'Fluffhead' > 'David Bowie' clocks in at about an hour for the three of them!). After a very appropriate and lively 'Cavern', the lights went down and the crowd waited for the first encore of Phish's Midwest journey. 'Good Times, Bad Times', a song many thought would make an appearance in Holmdel on June 1st, slid its way once again into the setlist, usually nothing short of disappointing.



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