Thursday, June 30, 2011

Super Ball IX

With the big weekend nearly upon us, several members of the Coventry Crew are en route. You can follow them here:


For those of us who stayed behind, here's a list of stream resources, which include mobile apps and secret agent email. Check back for setlists. Special thanks to Duanebase, he literally did ALL the work gathering these links.

Bunny Radio


Go here and register for free trial...

You can use this service to get a temporary email, if you don't want to use your own...

Once you are signed up you can download the App to use with your mobile device...

Live Phish

Direct link for stream...

TuneIn Online Link

Google Chrome App for LivePhish..just download and drag the CRX file into Chrome

App for Mobile Devices..install and do a search for Phish..looking for Live Phish (AAA)

Other Streaming Options

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Benjo Breakin'

This is (not) our good French friend Benjo and his stellar dance moves.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

As Cool As I Am - A Mix for the Ladies!

WARNING: This mix is LEAKING ESTROGEN and listening to it could cause INTENSE reactions and side effects such as:

Feeling the need to be BOLD and BRAZEN!




NOT beating yourself up for what you ARE!

Embracing your TRUE LIGHT!

Letting your LOVE SHINE!

Choosing to FEEL!

Acknowledging your CRAZINESS!

NOT compromising for ANYONE or ANYTHING!



And……reinforcing that yep, that’s right, WOMEN ARE SMARTER!

Consider yourself WARNED and proceed QUICKLY and throw ALL CAUTION to the WIND!

I hope these songs brighten your day, as I have thoroughly enjoyed sifting through my collection to put this together. Again, I encourage ALL OF YOU to share this with EVERY WOMAN you know! We are one; we are love.

The Reasons We Were Blessed – Xavier Rudd

Woman’s Spirit – Karen Drucker

Irresistible You – Taj Mahal

I Choose – India.Arie

Free To Turn It Around – Amy Steinberg

She Smiles Like A River – Leon Russell

Let It Shine – Karen Drucker

When We Are Queen – Jane Siberry

I Ain’t Movin’ – Des’Ree

Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple

I Am Woman – Helen Reddy

Spectacular Girl – Eels

Beautiful In Me – Amy Steinberg

Feel It – Karen Drucker

As Cool As I Am – Dar Williams

Bitch – Meredith Brooks

All That You Have Is Your Soul – Emmylou Harris

I’m So Special – Amy Steinberg

Don’t Forget – Brett Dennen

Man Smart, Woman Smarter – The Grateful Dead

Monday, June 27, 2011

Divided Sky 10-31-94

Great hair all around. The second set is unbelievable.

From Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, New York.

Special thanks to Silverchair97

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

From A Great Height

This is what the Internet is for, people.

Sometimes it takes a village to rock as hard as Radiohead.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Charlotte > Raleigh

This summer is a light Phish summer for me as I am in a 10 week Chemistry course. I was only able to swing two east coast shows, Charlotte and Raleigh. I left from Raleigh for the 2 ½ hour drive to Charlotte early Friday morning as my car does not have AC and I didn’t want to be in my car after 12. I made it in record time doing 85-90 mph hour most of the way. I hooked up with Devo and Disco Bret at Devo’s apartment in Noda and was tickled to find out that the boys had been drinking at the bar below Devo’s apartment the previous night. (No, they didn’t meet them. Talk about a missed opportunity!) We got some fish tacos at a nearby restaurant and headed towards lot. I was the DD for the night, but that didn’t stop Devo from handing me her Nalgene of lighter fluid tasting vodka to polish off before we made our way in. It was no easy task trying to chug it while Disco Bret put sparkles on Devo’s face. I gave up in the end and tossed the Nalgene back in the car.
On the way into the venue I overheard two kids behind me talking. “I really like you man. We should hangout and do Ketamine.” Security was lax and I was highly entertained by a random warning sign that read, “STROBE LIGHTS WILL BE USED.”

We made our way to our seats in the pavilion right behind the soundboard. I made some nice chit chat with the guy sitting next to us. He gave us a heads up that he danced big and would try not to hit us with his arms, but apologized ahead of time if he did. He wasn’t lying either. That man could get down! The only person dancing bigger than him was Disco Bret who dances like it is Character Zero being played the whole show.

It was H-O-T as balls out there and muggy too. Mikes Song > Hydrogen > Weekapaug opener, while a standard combo, was nice because it gave you a minute to breathe and cool off in the middle. I was even happy to get a Bouncing so I could just stand still and chug some water before getting down to NICU. I don’t know if it was just me, but NICU seemed a little sluggish. I think it had more to do with the heat than anything. Again, I was happy that they went with Sample next so I could stand and chug more water. I thought about my older sister who loves Sample. She gave me my first Phish album when I was 12 and opened my mind to what music could be.

Forbin’s > Mockingbird was a treat. A spun out wook in our section sang every word with eyes closed tight like he was feverishly praying. Another kid who was out of his mind was doing the Weeble-Wobble side shuffle up and down the aisle. Speaks, a friend of Devo and Disco Bret’s, claimed him as his boyfriend. At one point, and I don’t remember when, the Weeble disappeared down the aisle towards the soundboard and tappers. Next thing I knew I was almost knocked down by a pissed off fan pushing the Weeble with all of his might back up the aisle. He then started throwing punches at him and the Weeble tried to punch back. Other fans separated them, and huge hole was left in the aisle next to us. Disco Bret and I immediately darted back out into the aisle and started dancing to help chill everyone out and put out some good vibes. That’s when I noticed someone had a pit bull in the venue. A real dog, with a laminate and everything. What the hell, why not?

Axilla I kick up the crowd’s energy to 11! Everyone was jumping up and down screaming. Wolfman’s had an epic jam. Mule was high-octane shake your ass time and Stealing Time was a much-needed cool down. I never mind hearing it.

We chilled out in our seats during set break and I spent time chatting with people in our row while Devo assembled a sunburst shaped glow stick apparatus.

2nd set started with BDTNL, which is a lot of fun to dance too. During set break a lot more kids got stubbed down and there was very little room to dance. It also made the temperature in the pavilion go up even more. I always love a Velvet Underground cover, and Ghost was a highlight. Free was VERY well placed. Reba came out of nowhere and I almost lost my shit I was so excited to hear it! But between the influx of people and the heat it was just too much. Devo asked me during the jam to go up on the lawn with her. I was happy to oblige. We quickly made our way out, refilled our water, and carved out a nice spot on the lawn just as they started Icculus. Hindsight bias is 20/20, but the shirts Trey and Mike were wearing were a good tip off that we might get an Icculus. I want to thank all my friends who sent me hateful messages via twitter and text message for getting an Icculus. Love you guys too.

Devo spotted some friends on the lawn and joined them for the rest of the show. There was a guy on the lawn to the left of me during Bike dawning a Fishman dress and a popcorn bucket on his head. Imagine Fishman and Buckethead got together and had a love child and you’ll get the picture. He also had some crazy dance moves that made me giggle. There were also a lot of random fireworks going off in the lot during 2nd set.

I herded Devo and Disco Bret out of the venue and back to the car after the show. Charlotte is usually a pretty chill/clean lot so I was surprised to see so many tanks south of the Mason-Dixon line. We went to a great house party after the show and didn’t make it back to the apartment until 5am. I passed out immediately and woke up around 10 to Devo and Disco Bret still wide-eyed. Devo and I went out for some breakfast. I wasn’t ready for the real world yet. I was operating at about 10 mph. and the wait-staff was at 70. Devo and I joked about how I was unable to properly articulate myself to the server and I decided I needed a shirt that said, “Why do you have to make this so awkward?!”

I was back in my car and making my way back to Raleigh by 1. It was 96 out and I drove most of the way in just my bra and shorts. I did a quick stop at my house for food, shower, and a change of clothes before meeting up with G-rob, Otis, and Timmy downtown.

I was DD again that night and was happy G-rob let me drive his fully loaded car to the show. We stopped off just outside of the venue at a gas station for some ice and beer. Otis put in an order for “anything.” Timmy and G-Rob returned with a Blue Raspberry Four Loco for him. Nasty. Some chick was slinging god knows what at the gas station and got busted. We rocked Welcome to the Jungle full blast as we rolled into our unmarked lot. I ran into a good friend from Raleigh on lot and found out that it was his first show since IT and was there alone. We adopted him into our group.

Our group had xtra lawns that I had promised to some friends earlier that day. I hadn’t heard from them by 6:45, so I called and they weren’t even on lot yet. I dropped their tickets off at will call and hopped everything worked out for them. (it did.)

We had seats down in the pavilion again and a storm was blowing in as the show started. Amazingly, we did not get rained on; the temperature dropped about 5 degrees and a nice cool breeze picked up. I stubbed down my friend between Cars Trucks Buses and Peaches En Regalia. I was SUPER excited to hear Peaches En Regalia as I had been listening to Hot Rats a couple of times earlier that week. Going back and listening to it later I realized that it was a bit sloppy, but at the time I was just so excited to hear it. AC/DC Bag was fun. The jam had moments of Plinko-esq playing by Trey before they broke it down into a high-energy jam.

And then it happened. Guyute. I have only been to 29 shows, and have never heard live. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been dying to hear it. I had listened to the two other Guyutes from this tour and know that they have been super tight versions. I was grinning from ear to ear and in near tears as they broke out into the first chords. A mix of emotions swept over me, excitement and apprehension. Could they deliver like they had been earlier? That’s the beauty of Guyute for me. It is such a technical piece that demands constant attention from the band that you never know how it is going to turn out. I should’ve never doubted the boys for a min. It was flawless and beautiful. I loved every single note.

Possum got the venue shaking with energy and Halley’s was a lot of fun. I saw two girls crawl into the open pillars of the venue and dance around in there for a while before getting yelled at. My friend and I talked about how easy it would be to climb the structure, but wondered about the top out of the buildering problem. We couldn’t tell if the top of the problem was made of solid material or shitty Styrofoam plaster that would break away if you tried to mantle up on it.

46 Days was rocking and had the crowd jumping out of their skin by the end that continued into Divided Sky. Nothing like a grand pause in the middle of a song to keep the fans on the edge of their seats and everyone was loving it. Curtis Loeow was awesome and I spotted a guy in a full body skintight zebra suit dancing with another guy in a clown suit in the aisle. A cute older couple slow danced together and made-out at the end of the song. I could feel the love.

(photo courtesy of @twhims)

Set break we all made our way to the lawn to toke up. Time slipped away from us and the band came back on before we had made our way back to our seats. That’s when we realized we had found the glory hole of sound. We all agreed to stay on the cool spacious lawn with the excellent sound. G-Rob made up fake lyrics during twist that had me laughing. Rift was super solid. I know most people can do without Caspian, but I happen to love it based on a memory created by 4 guys on a lawn singing in perfect harmony at the top of their lungs one year at Deer Creek. As the jam faded out I distinctly heard the first “boom-chuck-chuck” organ chords from Page and turned around to G-Rob and whispered “ESTHER!” I thought I was lucky to get a Peaches and my first Guyute. Now they were just pouring it on with my favorites! Some drunk chicks behind us didn’t realize what was being played until the 2nd verse when they started screaming, “OH MY GOD! ESTHER!” over and over running up and down the hill. I was slightly annoyed as they were already way into the song and they wouldn’t stop screaming. Better late than never I guess. I can’t really fault them. I was just as excited to hear it, just not as wasted as them. Eventually they calmed down and I was able to enjoy the tune in semi silence.

Everyone was perplexed about the request from Trey to get “Brian Brown” out on the stage. No one was expecting the Jane’s Addiction cover of Been Caught Stealing with the most ridiculous vocal distortion ever! Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was on their feet shaking it down!

I have to 2nd @yemblog tweet that night of calling for a Facebook page entitled, "people for a slow build piper." My Friend, My Friend is always creepy, which I love. I thought it was interesting that they chose it to play since you could draw a lot parallels musically between it and Guyute. So while it may seem like the 2nd set was all over the place, I thought it tied the 1st set nicely into the 2nd set if you thought about it. Truth be told there was a lot of discussion going on between songs amongst the boys about what they were going to play next. Yes, you could argue that the 2nd set was all over the place and had no cohesion, but that’s the beauty of a Phish show. I don’t want to be able to call every song or hear what’s coming next a mile away. I like it when they live on the unorganized edge and play whatever they feel like playing next, even if it seems to make no sense in the flow of a set.

SOAM was the show stealer. Even me, the sober girl kickin’ it on the lawn was beamed up to the spaceship. If you haven’t downloaded the show, or have and haven’t listened to it yet, do it now!

I have a love/hate relationship with First Tube. I love it because it is so rhythmically interesting, but I hate it because the syncopation is so crazy that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around it. I was highly entertained by Trey during the end of the song when he was strumming the huge cords. He would stand back and then jump forward into a power stance while hitting the cord and then jump back and do two little hops. It was like he was summoning a version of Pete Townsend. Very entertaining and you could tell they were having a lot of fun with the song and the crowd.

I’m very lucky to have seen these two shows with the people I did. I want to thank everyone who helped me get there, put me up for the night, sold me tickets, and love me for who I am, a crazy Phish fan. See everyone in Tahoe! It’s going to be the T-I-T TITS!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Phish Setlist: Portsmouth, VA 6/19/11


The final night of the "tour" hit Virginia before the band takes a week or so off before Superball. Smoke 'em if you got 'em!
The Phish 6/19/11 Portsmouth, VA

Set 1: Harpua, Brother, Down With Disease, Back on the Train, Funky Bitch, Timber, Wedge, MOMA, Thunder Road, Tube, Alaska, David Bowie

Set 2: Crosseyed and Painless, Walls of the Cave, Slave to the Traffic Light, Fluffhead, Sand, Sneaking Sally, Light, Backwards, Suzy

Encore: Julius

Phish Video:Cars Trucks Buses 6/18/11

Another official release...

Phish Video: Ghost 6/17/11

Official video from Charlotte...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Phish Setlist: Raleigh, NC 6/18/11

Poster by Justin Helton at Status Serigraph

The second North Carolina show, as the boys descended upon Raleigh...
The Phish 6/18/11, Raleigh, NC

Set 1: Cars Trucks Buses, Peaches, AC/DC Bag, Guyute, Possum, Halley's Comet, 46 Days, Divided Sky, Curtis Loew, Antelope

Set 2: Twist, Rift, Caspian, Esther, Been Caught Stealing, Piper, My Friend My Friend, Kill Devil Falls, MELT, Golgi, First Tube

Encore: Good Times Bad Times

Friday, June 17, 2011

Phish Setlist: Charlotte 6/17/11

After a soggy last show, the boys hit up Charlotte...
The Phish, 6/17/11 Charlotte, NC

Set 1: Mike's Song > Hydrogen > Weekapaug, Bouncin', NICU, Sample, Forbin's > Mockingbird, Axilla I, Wolfman's, Scent of a Mule, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan

Set 2: Backwards > Rock & Roll > Ghost >Free, Reba,Icculus, HYHU > Bike > HYHU, Chalkdust, YEM

Encore: Wilson, Loving Cup

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Analysis and Food For Thought On Repeats

Editor's Note: Check out this solid analysis that comes to us from deadlax 97...

I've been pulling stats this morning due to everyone bitching about all the repeats on Hoodstream, Phantasy Tour, Reality Tour, etc. - pretty much everywhere I've seen phish discussion.

I started by pulling 3.0 (2009-current) stats. 315 songs have been played. That's more than in both 94-96 and 97-99, although not by much (they were both around 305, but with more shows).

The 3.0 top 10 list
Possum - 39 (34%) - by far the most overplayed song in 3.0, and incredibly overplayed in comparison to past eras (only 18% in both 97-99 and 94-96)
Number Line - 37 (33%) - new song, it is what it is
Disease - 34 (30%) - Played slightly more than 97-99 (24% of shows) but less than 94-96 (31%)
Antelope - 34 (30%) - Played 20% of shows from 97-99 (still a 5 show rotation) but played less than in 94-96 when it was played at 31% of all shows
Hood - 33 (29%) - Played at 1 in 4 shows from 94 through 99, so played slightly more often
Chalk Dust 32 (28%) - The only song on the top 10 list that was played less in 3.0 than 94-99 when it was played at 30% of shows.
Bowie - 32 (28%) - Played in 21% of 97-99 shows, and 29% of 94-96 shows
YEM - 32 (28%) - Played in 25% 97-99 and 30% of 94-96
Mike's Song - 31 (27%) - Played in 19% of 97-99 shows and 21% of 94-96 shows
Tweezer - 31 (27%) - Played in 17% of 97-99 and 23% of 94-96

So that's the top 10. Suzy is just on the cusp and was totally overplayed in comparison to 97-99 but right on par with 94-96. Same with Divided Sky. Zero is being played less than at any time in its history (from every 3.5 shows to every 4). Sample was played at 46% of all shows in 94-96 and is now down to just 24%. Fluffhead is being overplayed in comparison to 97-99, as well as 94-96, but not a whole lot more than in 94-96. Julius is also one that was played a shit ton around the debut of Hoist.

So that brings me to, what were we hearing in those past eras in heavy rotation that we're no longer hearing...

Songs in a 5 show rotation in 97-99
Beauty of my Dreams***
My Soul***
Funky Bitch
Punch You In The Eye
Simple ***

*** - songs being played a lot more in that era than 3.0

Songs in a 5 Show Rotation for 94-96
Random A Cappella song***
Random bluegrass songs***
Poor Heart
Runaway Jim
*** - songs being played a lot more in that era than 3.0

So they've replaced a lot of the "filler" songs with the epics. Only problem is the epics feel a bit more tired than they used to. A lot of the songs that were way overplayed in past eras were new album songs just like Number Line, Light, Ocelot, KDF, Alaska, and Joy which have gotten a high number of plays in 3.0. As those songs decrease, we are seeing a return to some of the older "filler."

Yes, songs have been overplayed. But depending on what tour you are seeing, certain songs have always shown up more often than others.

I suggest It's time to look past the song choice, and to the execution in your issues with 2011 setlists. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Phish Setlist: Alpharetta, GA 6/15/11

The Phish 6/15/11, Alpharetta, GA

Set I: Paul & Silas > BOTT, Foam, Water In the Sky, Jim, Army of 1, Roses > Timber > Mound

Set II: Mound (cont.), Tweezer > Julius > Slave, Bowie, Suzy, Gotta Jibboo > Hood > Character Zero, Birdwatcher, Kung

Encore: Funky Bitch > Tweezer Reprise

Notes: Set 1 cut short due to a monsoon!

Phish Video: Ocelot 6/14/11

Another official release. My favorite faded song...

It's Getting Real In The Whole Foods Parking Lot

This guy reminds me of the Buckweat Groats.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Phish Setlist: Alpharetta, GA 6/14/11

I thought the Alpharetta shows last summer were among the best of that tour. The boys return for another two-night run. Here's what they played...
The Phish, 6/14/11 Alpharetta, GA

Set 1: Dinner and a Movie, MoMA, Possum, Cities, Fluffhead, Ocelot, Ginseng Sullivan, Kill Devil Falls, GIN, Light Up or Leave Me Alone, Cavern

Set 2: Carini > Sand, DWD > Maze, Meatstick, 2001, Bug, Day in the Life, Antelope

Encore: Mighty Quinn

Monday, June 13, 2011

Phish Video: Steam 6/12/11

Another official Phish video. Here's a new song (debuted in Cleveland) which they are only play for the second time Steam...

Phish Video - 6/11/11 Wilson > Sand

Here's another official video...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Phish Setlist: MPP 6/12/11

The boys are finishing up the second of a two-night run in Maryland. Here's the setlist from the Sunday night throw down at MPP...
The Phish 6/12/11 Merriweather Post Pavilion, MD

Set 1: Buried Alive, Lonsesome Cowboy Bill, Ha Ha HA, Sample in a Jar > Divided Sky, Wolfman's -> Boggie On Reagge Woman > Gumbo, Halley's Comet > Gin, Jesus Left Chicago, Zero

Set 2: Party Time, Crosseyed + Painless > Steam > Light > Wedge, Alaska, Halfway to the Moon, Hood > Backwards, Loving Cup

Encore: Sanity > Makisupa > First Tube

Denver B Recap: Phish Merriweather Post Pavilion 6/11/2011

Editor's Note:  We welcome again Colorado resident Denver B. Check out his recap from night #1 at Merriweather.

Waking up in Camden NJ after a phish show is like waking up on a Saturday in college at a cigarette-stank, ratty carpeted apartment that belongs to someone you can't quite remember next to a girl (or guy -- ladies, don't think we guys don't know you do this too) about 15 pounds over your limit. You reach for the glass of (you hope) water next to the bed, think back on the good time you had the night before then wonder how you ended up where you are now, vow to never speak of it again and then quickly get the fuck out of there so you can redeem yourself that night.

I peeled myself out of the sticky sheets of the Comfort Inn and went outside for a joint in the morning, remembered I wasn't home in Colorado and opted instead for taking one hits in the bathroom. No food, so I grabbed a beer for breakfast and sat outside with Wife while everyone else got rousted. I admired and snagged a picture of the vaguely racist mural on the front window of the Persian-decorated Italian-Mexican restaurant attached to our rat nest. The drive down to MD wasn't bad at all. Rocked some Headhunters, puffed bowls between toll stops and stopped in at the NIKE outlet for some new kicks.

We checked into the hotel (a nice one this time), grabbed some booze at the store and headed out to the venue just a few miles away. Max pulled some smooth moves and got us into the handicap lot just outside of the band buses. First thought: holy fuck are there a lot of police in this parking lot. Everywhere you go there's cops on golf carts, bikes and on foot -- not that it stopped people from pre-gaming, but the mood was more reserved than Camden and nowhere near as party-down as it gets in somewhere like Deer Creek. I ended up getting buzz off schwaggy beer and (more) Crown Royal. Everyone in our group was lazy getting their shit together and while we were still dicking around behind the car the band came on and went into the Daniel opener. We scrambled to get our shit and went in the lower Fish-side entrance to the sea of people.

We had lawn seats and also had faked pavilion passes, but for some reason our group thought it would be a good fucking idea to go wading through the ocean of people in the lawn to try and find a spot for 6 in the middle. The lawn crawl took it out of me -- very hot, sweaty and claustrophobic -- so I bee-lined for the top of the venue and drug our group out of the swamp as the band went into AC/DC Bag. Now I'm two songs in, still haven't found a spot and haven't even had a chance to stop and listen to the band. The group made the decision to go into the pavilions and meet up behind the tapers.

I finally got situated during Ocelot near Noah, the guy who is always selling pins. Max knows him, and they caught up for a second. Noah handed Max his hat and told him to have me pick one. I fittingly snagged the Ocelot as Trey pulled out heat. Page teased Wolfman's slightly before the band explored Mike's bluegrass/country side with Access Me. Vultures was sloppy to start, but smoothed out in the middle -- though I ended up leaving for a pee towards the end and making it back just before WILSON.Those of you who know me know my dog, King Wilson. It's hard for me to not imagine anything but a 150 pound Great Pyr dog with a crown on his head. While my dog is named for the song, it's not always one of my top picks.

Trey fucking destroyed Wilson last night, though. Going right back to his metal show guitar work in BBFCFM from Camden, he was fret tapping and slaying his poor 'doc. Pure headbanger steez and one of the more memorable Wilson's I've ever got. Sand was funky and dancy with page laying down funkiness on the clav. Trey played a really cool melody after the second verse of Sand (i think that's when it was) that distracted me from the jam and I spent five minutes trying to figure out what -- if anything -- he had played. Still have no clue, though I haven't heard the recording yet.

By this time, the taper in front of us had begun to sweat, jaw and constantly run his fingers through his hair. Mahl'd out for sure and his friend next to us confirmed it, offered us K (which we politely declined) and suggested his friend might have some to share. He couldn't form a sentence, just hand motions, so we ignored it. Another taper in front of us had a Roses Are Free t-shirt on, and said he's been wearing it to shows for 10 years in hopes of getting this song. Thanks bud! I went out to the lawn to get a second view now that my nerves had been calmed with a few joints and some Crown just as the band went into Reba. Aside from god awful sight lines, MPP is a pretty fucking cool spot. The log cabin-like stage structure and the abundance of trees give a more comfortable feeling than the more soulless steel sheds around the country.

Page went into On Your Way Down and I forgot about everything else going on. What a fucking great tune to showcase The Chairman of the Boards, both vocally and instrumentally. Page howled out the words and destroyed with bluesy B3 and distorted, soulful clav. The last time I heard this live was in 1998 in Houston. Antelope closed out the set, and while it was good it wasn't memorable. In fact, the whole set on paper looks a lot better than it 'felt' at the show. The group consensus in the hotel today was a disjointedness to the song selection and lack of thoughtful and inspired jamming (aside from On Your Way Down and Wilson) didn't do much for anyone. Or, almost anyone... by the time we were being told to RUN LIKE AN ANTELOPE OUT OF CONTROL the mahl'd taper in front of me seemed close to loosing his shit -- sweating like it was a sauna and rubbing his face and head profusely.

Set break was uneventful, save meeting a guy named Chris who was celebrating his 100th show a few rows behind us. Congrats Chris! The only other noteworthy meeting was finding some sketchy flat-brimmed wook chick in a miniskirt and hi-top Nike dunks selling K. That must be really big out here...nasty.

The second set started with Birds of a Feather and the two of us made our way back through the crowd for Tweezer. Got to the seats, boogied and realized i needed to take a leak really bad (stupid cheap beer running through me)....Huge glowstick war going on behind us during Tweezer -- which lumbered around at high speeds for a while but never quite found takeoff.

I'm in line to take a piss during the jam, yelling at people in the porta-potty's about taking too long with the guy in front of me. Just as someone finally opens up the door, the dude ahead of me is about to go in, these two girls come running up.

girl: Oh my gosh, my friend is about to puke can she please go head of you?
dude: (pause). Uh, sure. Go ahead.
[friend runs into bathroom]
me: (to girl) that's fucking brilliant. You guys do that move often? I'm gonna have to tell my wife about that one...
girl: no, seriously, she's really sick.
me: no she's not. you don't have to lie to me, she already is in the bathroom.
girl: no. please, could you be quiet? you're making it worse...
me: fuck no I won't be quiet. YOU ALRIGHT IN THERE SWEET HEART? DID YOU FALL IN?
girl: you're an asshole.
me: I'm not the one who scams my way to the front of a porta-potty line.
[friend comes out of the bathroom just fine, girls walk off]

Made it back for the transition of Horse & Silent, which was fine but didn't really do much to help the flow of the show in my mind. Waves was solid though I couldn't get into it. Rock and Roll started to get me out of that funk when the band went into a very deep and strange noise jam that dissolved out into Albuquerque and completely brightened my mood. Funny how a morose Neil Young song was the one to do it, but I haven't heard this live since Cypress and hearing it instantly took me back to that sleepy, sleepy part of the night in southern Florida. Piper rose from the ending tones and brought the crowd up to a fury before bringing us all right back down with Velvet Sea. This up and down energy really lost me and Wife and I went walking around the venue, slightly bored, until 2001 came on with a THUNDEROUS Mike bomb reminiscent of Rush's Tom Sawyer. In fact, I even turned to Wife and said "holy shit, are they going to play Rush?"

Instead of going into Stealing Time, the band would have done better to have raged the 2001 for 15 minutes. I don't mind Stealing Time and maybe it was just me and my pissy mood, but I was over the set by the time the song had ended. Show of Life continued the tempo-drag theme of the show (again, I love the tune -- but not last night) finally ending with a very, very ripping Tweeprize (albeit it seemed to be cut short by Trey).

We waited a bit to go out, eventually making our way over the blue wall separating the far Fish-side section from the middle of the pavilion seats. Some of the high school seniors they had working security yelled at us to 'get off the wall', so we obliged by getting off on the side convenient to our exit. Max took a wrong turn and nearly ended up being held down by security for attempting to walk down the stairs to the band's buses. We hung out by the car for a few beers (by this time I was d-runk), crammed 6 people in the back seat of a 4-runner and got back to the Courtyard in time for the late night parking lot party. Nothing huge to report -- mostly because I can't remember shit.

We headed to the lot earlier today. should be plenty of fun to be had -- and I'll take better notes.

Quote of the Day:
(waiting in the long line for porta-potty)
Dude next to me: "Who the fuck takes a shit in a porta-potty at a phish show? Come the fuck on!"

Random note:
There was a heart-shaped balloon appropriately floating around during Access Me ("I just want access to the inside of your heart")

Camden Fluffhead, June 10, 2011

Mkdevo delivers. Fluffhead, live at Susquehanna Bank Center.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Phish Setlist: MPP 6/11/11

Poster by Ken Taylor

The boys migrated to Maryland to play at the infamous Merriweather Post Pavilion. Raging to ensue...
The Phish 6/11/11 Merriweather Post Pavilion, MD

Set 1: Daniel, AC/DC Bag, Ocelot, Access Me, Vultures, Wilson, Sand, Roses Are Free > Reba, On Your Way Down, Antelope

Set 2: Birds, Tweezer > Horse > Silent, Waves, Chalkdust, Rock & Roll > Albuquerque, Piper > Velvet Cheese > 2001, Faulty Plan, Suzy

Encore: Show of Life, Tweezer Reprise

Denver B Recap: Phish Camden 6/10/11

Editor's Note: We welcome another guest, Colorado resident Denver B. Check out his recap from last night's show in Camden, NJ.

Struggle, Fight, Joy and a Wook Kid Losses His Shoes
by Denver B

We rolled into the lot and Max and my wife ran off to find him a cheap ticket. They returned about ten minutes later, ticket in hand. Max said some girl offered him $20 off face for a MPP night one ticket if he would show her his cock. The stupid thing is he passed it down. I know he's got a girlfriend, but my wife agreed: if all I had to do is show some trouser snake to get that big of a discount, I'd drop trou in a second.

It was already 7 p.m. by this time, so we hung around the back of the car drinking cheap beer and sneaking one-hits of middies as security buzzed by on their little golf carts. Self-important assholes. I"m not used to having to hide my puffing anymore, and it ads another level of sketchiness to the whole Camden thing. I know we're way progressive about our herb out West, but you east coasters put up with too much fear and paranoia over a simple plant.

Some little teenies were down the row from us, super chatty and passing a few cans of Miller Light between them. Down the row from them was shirtless douchebag liberty spike guy. There's nothing more punk than being the most punk'd out dood at a phish show...

Max had brought a few packs of smokes in Virginia for $3 and was slanging them on lot for $10 each. He made a quick killing on our way into the venue while the rest of our tiny crew followed along behind. Security getting in was a joke, as I doubt the Camden High School freshman patting me down really cared what I had in my pocket. The security was again wonderfully bad at their job of checking tickets to get down into the pavilion, which was a good thing since we were all gambling on using a copy of the same ticket to get everyone down. It worked, and we crammed everyone in towards the back of the Fish-side pavilion.

The seats were solid and we had a pretty good group around us. Behind our group was a dad with his ~10 year old daughter in tow and in front of us were two guys with their little brother, Brandon. Brandon was all G'd up in his black basketball shorts, black socks, black shoes and black wife beater while his brothers or cousins or whatever were straight old school lot-shirt wearing phans. Kid was excited though, and clearly high as a fucking kite. Before the show even started he was shoveling popcorn into his mouth -- finishing off the box by dumping the crumps into his mouth (and subsequently all over his head). He still had a kernel or two up there by second when he passed out in the chair.

Phish came on around 8:15 and teased the theme from Rocky before going into Rocky Top (maybe a nod to Bonnaroo starting that night?). Solid bluegrassy jam with Page taking the lead (at least, to me). Mike's followed with a mediocre movement into Hydrogen that quickly drifted to a slaphappy Weekapaug. The band looked like they were having trouble hearing on stage, with a few missed cues.

Stash was Stash, and I spent a lot of it thinking how much more reserved people on the east coast are about their drug use at concerts. If it were Red Rocks, you'd see people dipping, dabbing and bumping everywhere and with everyone -- friends and strangers. Not in dirty Camden though. Ducking to smoke bowls was constant and there wasn't anybody sharing their party. No big deal for us, as we were staying mostly straight this show and saving our energy for MPP.

Max yelled for and got his TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOB, which was dirty funky and Clavi-Page heavy but very short. Such a shame too, seeing as how fucking nasty Page's House has been. Before the Tube Trey made the pig hand gesture for Guyute so we knew it was coming. I ran out during the Guyute intro to the pisser, which led me to....

The Barefoot in the Bathroom Kid. So, I had been warned about the Camden bathrooms before going. I was told horror stories and warned of pukey toilets, overflowing troughs, pissy floors, sharks, AIDS and even the fucking boogie man. What I saw mid-first set wasn't near that level, but it had approached 7-Eleven-in-the-Ghetto levels -- including one urinal spewing water OUT onto the back corner floor. So while I'm busy trying not to touch anything after taking a leak and leaving one of the stalls, in comes this young wook -- baby faced and freshly tie-died -- slipping and sliding BAREFOOT on the grimy, piss-covered floors.

Me: That's fucking wrong dude. You're nuts.
Wook: nah man, it's RIGHT. It's not that bad....
Me: yeah. It is. Make sure you get a hep shot tomorrow, brah

Made it back for the raging part of Guyute. I love this part and Trey was loving it as well. Guelah Papyrus was great, and the little girl behind us with her dad loved the goofy dancing at the end. Kids at shows near you can be a crap shoot. Sometimes you get the asshole parents who chide you for being drunk or smoking a bowl near their child, others you get the parents who realize what they are bringing their kids into. We luckily ended up with the latter, and watching dad with his daughter dancing and singing together was great to see. My wife gave her a green mini LED flashlight between Guelah and the (rough) Scent of a Mule and the girl played with it the rest of the night.

Mule was choppy and more of the sound issues seemed apparent as Mike and Trey struggled to find each other in the song. It culminated in a very abrupt and unexpected drop out of the band before Page's "Russian" part of the jam. Things seemed to reset after that point for the rest of the song. Cavern was loud and in-your-face and I don't remember any stumbly lyrics. Sloth started out strange as well (more sound issues on stage?) but by the time the band got into the first verse things got back on track. Curtain didn't have any issues and must have been decent, because my notes are pretty blank on that.

At set break Max asked the little girl behind us to draw a picture of the stage. She smiled huge at the opportunity and spent the entire set break doodling all four band members, the speakers, lights and the audience in his set list book. I didn't move around at set break too much due to some back pain that required some self-medicating.

Lights dropped for the massive Down With Disease opener, and my wife pulled out the bottle of Crown Royal we had bootlegged into the show. I walked around during the jam in Disease, getting a good view of Philly, Camden, the venue and the spuntards on the lawn. One little girl no older than 4 was walking her stroller to the top of the concrete path, sitting in it and then shooting down the hill and steering into the grass to stop. Her parents were noodle dancing and passing a joint. I grabbed a slice of shitty pizza during Free and made my way back to the seats for Possum, which was decent but completely overshadowed by the Big Black Furry Creature From Mars. I drank Crown. BBFCFM is one of my wife's top three phish songs, she went into freak-out mode and probably hit the roof she jumped so high. Metal hardcore to the core, Trey fucking SHREDS the wank-rock fretboard tapping and screamingly distorted solos and all. During the second break of the song, Trey jacked his mic stand up to at least 10 feet, staring up at the mic as he played. In contrast, Mike dropped his mic stand, sat down crosslegged and kept up the song. I downed more Crown.

 Photo by Dave Vann © Phish 2011

Contrasting the metal insanity of BBFCFM was the beauty of Swept Away. Billy Breathes as an album was so perfect in part because of this amazing 'middle section'. Live, it becomes a breathing point for the band and audience before going back to the strange tempo and overall weirdness of Steep. On the album the track is all ambient noises and studio tricks -- live last night, it became one of the most beautifully textured, soft-but-dark jams I've heard all tour. I wrote down "Mazzy Starr" in my notes, trying to convey the moody, reverbed 'shoegaze' style of the jam -- but that doesn't really do it justice either. Just download it. What sounded like could become the new track "Steam" just kept drifting until Fish picked up the high hat intro of Bowie. I downed more Crown Royal. A very precise and exact version of the song through the composed part -- solid. The jammy section kept a solid groove, but it didn't ever go anywhere outside of the normal boundaries.

Julius was solid as fuck though. Ripping version of a ripping song -- though earlier in the day I used it as an example of a song that 'dates' phish. to me, the song has this 90s-band-sounding-like-70s-rock band feel at times and I said it sounded 'dated' to me at times, not unlike mid-90s jamband crap like the Spin Doctors or Blues Traveler did. The Phish gods must have been listening to my asinine comments in the lot, because the band delivered a head-ripping rocking version that made me second guess my comments earlier in the day (aboutPphish, that is... i still think the Spin Doctors suck). Similar to Bowie, Golgi was exact and solid, though the highlight for me was out of it into FLUFFHEAD. I can't go to a show or run of shows without seeing this tune anymore, and while it had nowhere near the energy of two years ago, the version from last night was one of my favorites since Hampton. A slower tempo helped un-muddle the sound in the shed that is SB Center and the band was near perfect in the composed middle section. The climax of the song -- all of the energy and emotion -- spewed out in the last section with everyone around us screaming "FLUFFHEAD" along with the band. I sloppily poured Crown Royal down my face.

Joy to close out the set was a bit on the weak side, but the pairing of this song (about losing someone to cancer) with Fluffhead (a song about a guy with cancer) gave me pause. Intentional or not, the combination of the two together tell a story of struggle, fight, joy and loss. The depth was a lot for my drunk ass at the time, and I got misty eyed thinking of how I'd only hope to be able to write something half as deep as Joy if I had lost someone I love. Axis to close the show was insanely good, with page pouring his heart and soul into the lyrics. Passed out Brandon (the kid in front of us) clearly recognized this tune and sprung up from his slumber in the seats to jam out hard on the air guitar. Lights up, high fives all around, see you at MPP tomorrow night....

In the lot afterward my wife and I searched for food, ending up with one of the best chicken ranch burritos I've had in a long time. Suspiciously absent was the raging hiss of nitrous tanks -- disappointing for a Colorado guy who has heard oh so much about the legendary Camden nitrous scene. We shuffled around half-assedly looking for balloons until we got back to the car to meet up with our crew. I sat on the back tailgate and was bitching about not finding gas when some random kid walked past holding six balloons

"I'll buy one of those off you."
"Sure. It probably looks like I got more than I can handle anyway, right?"

So five bucks later I got a nice, shiny red balloon in my hand. I"m sitting down in the passenger seat happy as a kid when a fucking Camden cop rolls through the parking spots right by our car. I freaked out, not knowing how cool they are or are not with gas here, and in trying to hide the balloon popped it. Not caring enough to go searching for another balloon, I cut my losses and we headed out of Camden.

Quote of the night:
(driving out of Camden through the ghetto)

Me: Just look at all these abandonded factories. what the hell do people do here?
Max: I think they manufacture something here....
Me: What the hell would they manufacture here?
Wife: Hookers. They clearly manufacture hookers.

Random point of interest: except for Joy, the setlist could just as easily have been straight out of 1995...

Phish Video: The Curtain With 6/10/11

Another official Phish video, this one is from Camden last night!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Phish Setlist: Camden 6/10/11

Poster by Kevin Tong

The boys headed to the hood to throw down in the shadows of Philly...
The Phish 6/10/11, Camden, NJ

Set 1: Rocky Top, Mike's Song > Hydrogen > Weekapaug, Stash, Tube, Guyute, Guelah Papyrus, Scent of a Mule, Cavern, Sloth, The Curtain With

Set 2: DWD > Free, Possum, BBFCFM, Swept Away > Steep, Bowie, Julius, Golgi, Fluffhead, Joy

E: Bold As Love

Phish Video: What's the Use > Theme 6/8/11

Another official Phish video...

Mr. Palmer's Review 6/8/11 Darien Lake: A Hot Summer Night

Editor's Note: Thanks to Mr. Palmer who shared his review of the Darien Lake show...

Phish 6/8/11: A Hot Summer Night

By Mr. Palmer

My crew and I rolled into the sprawling grassy fields that make up the parking facilities at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center around 6pm after getting a late start due to some work constraints. Pre-gaming festivities were in full swing as the parking attendants ushered us to our spot. The weather could not have been more perfect at that hour in beautiful western New York. The early evening breeze made all the stresses of life kind of just slip away.

The lot at Darien is just fantastic. For those of you who haven’t been in the shadows of “The Silos,” you’re missing out. The security staff is about as laissez-faire as they come. We chilled at the car opting for sandwiches and Heineken’s as none of my group would be partaking in any extra-curricular activities although there were plenty to go around. I was lucky enough to notice a spun out tour chick with life size butterfly wings tattooed on her back. She busted me giggling at her, but someone sitting nearby saved the moment by telling her we were just noticing how pretty her tattoo was. I was just noticing how the colors in her tattoo matched the can of Four Loko she was guzzling. Priceless.

We headed into the show at about 7:30, hit up the bathroom, said hi to a bunch of friends, and were in line getting our drinks when the band hit the stage at about 7:50. A lengthy discussion ensued that also included Trey plucking a "Jennifer Dances" sign from the crowd and showing it to everyone.

Photo by Dave Vann © Phish 2011

I happened to be at the Blue Cross Arena show in Rochester back in 2000 when they debuted, Jennifer Dances. Trey said how much they love playing in Rochester and how much they love our arena, and because of that they were gonna play us a new song. That new song was Jennifer Dances, some show of appreciation!

Nellie Kane ended up kicking things off in a light summery fashion. Phish playing bluegrass music never gets old to me. There’s something about Trey’s tone that just fits with bluegrass. How about a bluegrass set at Super Ball 9! We made our way to our fantastic seats during Mellow Mood. I managed to score 17th row tickets, Page side rage side, on craigslist, for face value!!! We let the music rock us right into an appropriately busted out Buffalo Bill that saw Trey giggling Jimmy Fallon style. Kill Devil Falls ripped as usual. Trey is playing the guitar with renewed vigor these days and last night was no exception. Wolfman’s Brother got funky quick with Page mounting the Clav while Trey jumped right into the staccato style playing that he has been moving towards. I love this type of playing. It invites the rest of the band into the jam and really gets the crowd moving. There was nothing too exploratory about this version, which would remain a theme for most of the night. Rift got the pavilion moving as it always does while Undermind spilled the funk out to the farthest reaches of the lawn. Who can argue now that in retrospect, Undermind as an album was unnecessarily hated back in 2004? This album has spawned some standout songs including the title track which has developed into a crowd favorite. It may have been my youth but it took me a few minutes to figure out they were playing Ride Captain Ride. This tune filled the “first set Page cover song” slot that they have made into a staple so far this summer and this one did not disappoint. Next, the band tackled It’s Ice for the first time this year and it went relatively smooth except for a couple of minor blips on the guitar (he’s human!). Dog Faced Boy was a welcomed tour debut that slowed things down a bit and then ran into Brian and Robert. I had to wait in line at the bathroom at this point in the show if you can believe it. 46 Days, Limb By Limb, and Character Zero closed this marathon first set in glorious fashion. While “Days” and “Zero” blew the tent off the place, “Limb” served as a palette cleanser between the two.

Overall the first set was extremely entertaining but contained nothing mind altering. It seems so far this tour it really depends on Trey’s mood whether you will see a jammy show or a setlist show. The band has proven that they can do what they want, when they want and instead of blowing everyone away night in and night out, the band has been choosing their spots.

Photo by Dave Vann © Phish 2011

We spent the set break chatting with some friends near the pit after a beer, water, and nacho run that went as planned. Everyone had their glow stick’s locked and loaded when the boys hit the stage for the 2nd set. I had my fingers crossed for an epic 25 minute Ghost to open up the frame but when they jumped right into Golden Age I was not disappointed. The TV on the Radio cover is catchy and danceable, and the jam was getting interesting when Trey steered the band toward Mike’s Song. I would’ve liked to have seen them stretch their legs on this one a bit but what are you gonna do? “Mike’s” saw Cactus dropping bass bombs left and right; despite the relatively straightforward jam (can I get a second jam for crying out loud?). Fast Enough For You was a welcoming meat to this Mike’s Groove sandwich that popped into Weekapaug Groove with a shower of glow sticks throughout the venue. The “Golden Groove” contained numerous Golden Age teases starting as early as Gordon’s bass intro. The energy was high throughout this version of “Weekapaug” punctuated by CK5’s amazing light show. Kuroda has added some new gear to his rig that allows him to create breathtaking imagery on the 3 circular backdrops extended above the stage. Check out video if you haven’t already.

Now I am a HUGE fan of What’s The Use? and last night’s version was well played, but this song always packs a more powerful punch when the band lands into the intro in the depths of a psychedelic jaunt from the preceding song. This would’ve also applied last night if, instead of ending “Weekapaug”, they somehow segued into the “Siket Disc” instrumental. I still can’t complain, and this song always blows me away. Theme From The Bottom flowed well with the set and was a chance for all the wooks to take a deep breath after their mind’s were collectively fucked by “What’s The Use?” Backwards Down the Number Line came next and in my opinion, sucked the life right out of the show for a few minutes. Does anyone else think the intro to this song is just terrible? The song as a whole is great, with a catchy chorus, and great guitar solo, but the intro just kills me every time. They managed to salvage the rest of the set with a blistering 2001 that was laced with “Golden Age”, “What’s The Use?”, and “Happy Birthday” teases. They blended the ending of 2001 skillfully into the intro of Harry Hood and this was a great version to close out the night. We were making our way to the car during the encore break in an effort to beat the traffic out of the venue (mission accomplished), so we heard Good Times, Bad Times as we were walking out. Trey always kicks this songs ass, and Phish playing Zeppelin works 99% of the time.

They dropped a rocking encore for a rocking show that saw some fun covers, excellent playing from all 4 band members and skillful teases in the second frame. I’m looking forward to seeing how the band develops over the next few weeks. I’ll see ya’ll at Super Ball IX!!!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

ChinaKatSunflwr's Review: 6/8/11 - Darien Lake, NY

Editor's Note: Let's welcome ChinaKatSunflwr to the mix as a guest poster!

Phish 6/8/11 - Darien Lake, NY

By @ChinaKatSunflwr

With the sun blazing overhead and temperatures in the mid-nineties, Wednesday could not have been a more perfect day to play hooky and go Phishin' at Darien Lake.

Driving out from Rochester, I saw cars bearing slogans such as "Read the Fucking Book" and "SubiGreenberg" heading toward Buffalo as early as 10:30 AM. According to the TicketMaster site, parking lot opened at 10, and the park was supposed to open at 11. My party got on the road some time around 1, and arrived on lot shortly after 2pm. Traffic coming in at this point was minimal and we were parked in the grassy back lot, where a Shakedown had already been established across the field. Parking staff were not very good at spacial relations, eliciting complaints from our neighbors, and by late afternoon several of the cars around us had even relocated.

I met up with a couple of my friends who were opting, like many, for cool brews and the shade of an easy-up. Along the way we passed a bunch of security officers emptying out coolers. Not sure what the scene was there, but it's fair to say security staff was a bit over-zealous in their random enforcements all evening-- they weren't necessarily busting up everyone, but once they had their gaze set, they meant serious business. Saw lots of unders getting their beverages taken, and the presence of golf carts full of large yellow shirts made the environment hostile for those of us wishing to partake in a little clearing of the head. It was so hot it was hazy, and the lot was mellow at this point. Although nitrous made it's way to the party early, not much else seemed to be going on.

We decided to hit the waterslides around 3. Anyone entering the park needed a Phish ticket, and there didn't actually seem to be many floating around for sale, so we hit up the Box office. My boyfriend lucked out when a phan who had purchased a pav at window offered to sell his lawn for $40, meanwhile my girl friend-- who had ordered her ticket for Will Call-- was waiting in a line of increasingly hot and anxious customers. Apparently Will Call was waiting on a ticket delivery, but the locals weren't really interested in excuses, especially from TicketMaster, and they were getting restless. Some of them had been waiting over an hour and, like my lady friend, just wanted to get into the park. Our timing was spot on, though, as a golf cart rolled up not two minutes later with stubs to soothe the near-rioters.

The park itself was, surprisingly, wook-free! I expected to see a lot of spunions, beefed up security, and dready screaming babies, but it was really very low-key. Plenty of smiles, overpriced Dip-n-Dots, and hot girls in tiny bikini tops to keep spirits up. Right away we hit water park to cool off. None of the lines for the watersides were over 10 minutes all day, and there was a strong breeze which kept the heat tolerable.

Overall, the park experience was a bit strange. They seemed to be understaffed, and some rides, such as the Superman, didn't seem to open until 3pm, and then closed sporadically throughout the afternoon. The staff would tell everyone a ride was closing, not let anyone else get in line, and then 30 minutes later it would be hopping again. Unsure what the strategy was, but it kept the heads appropriately confused.

A little after 5, we headed back to the parking lot, which was really in full swing. On a mission for a pre-show quesedilla, I headed toward Shakedown. Headies were in great abundance, one guy even shouting "make me an offer!" Psychedelics were few and far between, molly was present, $100 grams. Heard a few people selling K, and one guy searching for yay, $10 balloons of nitrous were not in short supply. Noteworthy lot food included the mac-n-cheese I also saw in Bethel, the broccoli and cheese quesedilla I inhaled, and a girl selling novelty ice cream bars out of a chest-freezer. Hoops were going for $15, T-shirts $10, heady wrapped crystals negotiable.

Show time was 7pm, so everyone started heading into the venue at this time. Pat-downs and bag checks were lax, but security was everywhere. Arriving during Nellie Kane, I had the guy behind me confirm that it was the (unusual) opener. Mellow Mood was a pleasant surprise and, in my opinion, truly summed up the entire atmosphere at Darien that day. Buffalo Bill was a little nod to the hometown show, which didn't go unappreciated by Western New York phans.

KDF is not one of my favorite tunes, so I decided to take a walk around the venue. Phish was tearing it up, and everyone from the back of the lawn right up the the rail was getting sweaty when Wolfmans brought some much needed funk to the tight, but mostly chill set. Rift provided another tonal switch-up, and Undermind saw the first glowsticks of the evening make their way into the pavilion. Ride Captain Ride had me practically giddy, a definite first, and the whole pavilion went crazy. A tightly-executed Ice was an ironic little addition to the set, and Dog Faced Boy was yet another first for me.

Brian and Robert kept the mellow mood going, and I suspected the band was intentionally preventing the crowd from overheating. Security took advantage of the slower songs to push their way through the isles, rousting those who were getting stoned or rowdy. 46 Days brought the crowd back up like a rollercoaster, and Phish closed a long first set on a high note with a strong Limb by Limb and raging Zero.

We hit the lawn for a little chill time during set break. We overheard one guy, who was laying in the grass shouting on this phone, say what we determined to be the quote of the night: "I'm sweating my balls off and I just puked, where the fuck are you?"

Golden Age opened the second set, much to my delight, and my show-notes at this point just say "FUNK DE FUNK!" By the time Mike's Song started, a serious glowstick war was underway, and it was a full-on dance party in the pav. My boyfriend, who rarely sees Phish these days, really likes their slower songs, and I had joked about the band playing Fast Enough for You earlier in the day; so it was a great surprise to hear a tender-as-all-get-out version tucked between Mikes and Weekapaug. The Weekapaug jam gave way to a tripped out What's the Use, and CK5 took control of the crowd, lighting up Darien's unusually shaped shell with some seriously languid blues and greens as the band transitioned to a nice and concise Theme.

BDTNL is always a potty break for me, so I did some crowd patrol. By this point in the night, there were a number of drunks laid out on the lawn, and a majority of the crowd seemed to be jammed into the pav. I called out a Hood to my boyfriend, but the band ripped into a short and sweet funkified 2001 instead. Hood followed, though, and I cruised the 200 section during the anti-climactic jam, dodging glowsticks and still being halfheartedly accosted by security to find a seat. My friends general consensus was that Trey seemed impatient-- more than once, it sounded like Fishman was struggling to hold him back in a jam. While a part of me appreciates a nice tight version, I could definitely hear a slight rush in songs like Golden Age and 2001.

However, exiting the show after the Good Times Bad Times encore, sunburned phans seemed overwhelmingly satisfied. With more bust-outs than any other show this tour and a slew of crowd-pleasing covers, Phish kept Darien Lake well amused!

You can follow @ChinaKatSunflwr on Twitter. All photos are courtesy of her!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Phish Setlist 6/8/11 Darien Lake

Poster by Todd Slater

The boys return to the upstate/Western NY with a gig at Darien Lake. Here's there story...
The Phish 6/8/11 Darien Lake, NY

Set 1: Nellie Cane, Mellow Mood, Buffalo Bill, Kill Devil Falls, Wolfman's, Rift, Undermind, Ride Captain Ride, ICE, Dog Faced Boy, Brian & Robert, 46 Days, Limb by Limb, ZERO

Set 2: Golden Age, Mike's Song > Fast Enough For You > Weekapaug, What's the Use? > Theme, Backwards > 2001, Hood

Encore: Good Times Bad Times

Phish Video - Divided Sky 6/7/11

Here's another official Phish video from Great Woods...

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Phish Setlist 6/7/11 Great Woods, MA

Poster by Nate Duval

The boys returned to Mansfield, MA to play a show at the venue formerly known as Great Woods...
The Phish 6/7/2011 - Great Woods, Mansfield, MA

Set 1: Llama, MoMA Dance, Possum, Cities, Instant Karma, Bowie, Rhymes **, Divided Sky, Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan

Set 2: Back on the Train, Rock & Roll, Mango Song, Bug, Pebbles & Marbles, Haley's Comet, Meatstick, Antelope

Encore: Suzy Greenberg

** Al Green Cover, Phish Debut

Hula Hoop Extravaganza

Ever wonder what it was like to be a hula hoop? Neither have I. All the same, a very interesting perspective on hula hooping.

Background Beats - June 2011

Background Beats - June 2011
Track List:

01. Holy City - Coda
02. London - The Crystal Method
03. Soft Tempest - Symbion Project
04. Clandestine Operation - Up, Bustle And Out
05. Lullaby - Ralph Myerz and The Jack Herre
06. Where I'm Coming From - Katzuma
07. The Calling - Pressure Drop
08. San Salvador - King Kooba
09. Twist - Underworld
10. Peninsolar - Noetics
11. Le long de la Rivière Tendre - Sébastien Tellier


Monday, June 06, 2011

Phish Video: Mound 6/5/11

Another official Phish video release. This is MOUND from last night's show in Cincy...

Phish Cincy 6/5/11: Jedi Mind Bends

We woke up in a skeevy motel in Cleveland -- cracks in the ceiling and a large black stain in the middle of the room (I hoped it was motor oil and not dried up blood). I slept with my clothes on to thwart a potential bedbug insurgency. GMoney was so scwhilly after the Blossom show, he slept on top of the bed covers and put on his socks so he wouldn't acquire AIDS. I know, I know... it's so absurd writing about our paranoia 25 hours later... but that's the craziness of drug logic because it made sense at the time.

We re-energized at a nearby Greek diner and the waitress was older than my 90+ year old dead granny. Mr. Fabulous was in charge of navigating the van from Cleveland to Cincinnati in his ship -- a van so large it could fit the entire Uruguayan national soccer team. After a quick gas up and a supply run, we were back on the road. As the gang swapped stories from the previous night and jammed out Dead on the stereo, I pecked away on my laptop in the back writing a half-baked recap while fighting against time because my laptop battery was slowly slowly dying. Less than an hour outside of Ciny, the battery was dunzo.

Iggy scored us a hotel across the Ohio River in Convington, KY, mainly because that side of the river had a more of a late night scene. We checked in and heads were crawling around our hotel lobby and milling around the parking lot. We partied it up in our room with a magnificent view of downtown Cincy and waited for our ride. Here's where I gush about the awesomeness of Josh, who drove us from Covington to Riverbend (and back) to see the show. Never underestimate the coolness of designated drivers (or at the least, the one person who hold back on the partying and lets his/her friends rage it up without worries b/c you know you have a safe ride back int he lot when the show is over). Responsible drivers are so clutch on Phish tour -- you really have no idea how vital their existence is until you have to stay sober and cart around your schwasted friends to the show. Kudos to Mr. Fabulous in Cleveland and Josh in Cincy.

The Cincy crew knew a back road to the show and a free place to park near Shakedown. The first thing I spotted as we're pulling in? Whiskey Tango local in her 20s, wearing tight jean shorts and a wife-beater tank top, which exposed a hastily-crafted sleeve tattoo and her swollen belly (she was 5 or 6-months pregnant). WT lot girl was slinging waters and we caught her digging for gold -- her hand dug deep into the crevice of her ass and removed a wedgie as everyone in our vehicle burst out laughing.

"Welcome to Cincinnati, Pauly," Iggy snarked.

Shakedown's main drag was dense and rather impressive as cut across a diagonal across the street from the venue. I had one lawn to sell and I dumped it for $30 -- or a good $10 more than market value -- on a frat boy wearing an Ohio State hat.

We wandered the lot and one of my buddies was shocked because someone offered him ketamine.

"My wife works on a farm. Those horse tranquilizers fuck up horses, I can only imagine what it does to your head."

Wandering the lot can charm or harm the ego. No one wants to look square enough on lot that no one will whisper ____ (insert drug name here) as you walk by. Then again, you want to fit in but not look to sketched out that you're getting offered the hard drugs. My bud was worried he resembled a haggard K-freak, which was understandable considering he was on tour for a third day in a row and started to develop the lot understench (patchouli and sweaty feet) and the zombie-like thirty-yard "lot stare" where you look right through wooks and puppy pullers.

GMoney and I scored Section 500 seats and had no idea they were 15th row center until we walked inside and the ushers pointed out the swank section. The cell reception was spotty which sucked up all of my CrackBerry's juice. I couldn't upload any twit pics and UberTwitter ate half my tweets -- but I didn't allow the tech tilt to bother me because as much as I wanted to keep friends in the loop about the show -- I was at Riverbend to have fun consider this was only going to be the only other show I saw before Superball IX.

Standard AC/DC Bag opener. GMoney called it and I didn't want to bet him because it was an obvious opener choice. PYITE popped up second, much to the delight of the crowd, and myself because PYITE-openers lack the same bite as if they appear second or third in the lineup. I got stuck next to the drunk guy who yelled "Hey!" one second to short. Yep, a premature Hey-yeller. May you never have to deal with one of those out of time drunks at your next show.

One of the guys in our section was flabbergasted by Gin. He could only describe it in one word: nasty. He repeated the word over and over in groups of three or four... "Nasty! Nasty! Nasty!" Gin was a short, tight version compared to some of the monster gins of yesteryear. "Nasty! Nasty! Nasty! Nasty!" I thought it was worthy of 2.5 Nastys on the Nasty Meter.

View from the Riverbend Lawn

A kid walked around in front of us with a sign -- TASTE of Cincinnati -- and sure enough they served up Taste. GMoney approved and was dancing so hard that he began sweating profusely. The Niagara Falls of sweat tumbled off his face and head. Imagine Cookie Monster grooving out at a show and spraying sweat everywhere -- that's GMoney -- and he felt embarrassed when the woman next to him asked to switch places with her boyfriend. GMoney usually finds a spot on the lawn or in a walkway to get down and dirty, but since the seats were so good, he wanted to stay close, but had to give up proper groove space as a sacrifice.

Page's fingers tickled the ivory and I was floored by Page who had more than stepped up his game the last few shows. He had a rigorous challenge -- to outgun Trey. Big Red unleashed superfluous UFO notes in the Taste jam, but Page was one or two moves ahead of him.

Page stepped out from behind the keys to croon the audience (and lawn) with a wet deck inducing Lawn Boy. As per usual, Page was guaranteed to get laid post-show with his Holiday Inn-esque lounge act. The women in the crowd swooned, especially my friend Kentucky Lori, who has been in Love with Page for as long as I've known her.

"I almost died," she texted me moments after Lawn Boy finished.

Mound came out of nowhere, but Digg Dugg hinted it was coming. Cincy is the city of seven hills, just like Rome, so mounds and hills are around every corner. I kept thinking about Digg Dugg's buddy who created the Mound poster "The Last Rewind" specifically for this weekend. Oh, I almost forgot I ran into Digg Dugg and Dirty Hogg before the show. Always good to cross paths with the Kentucky boys at the Phish!

Jibboo had a few savory moments and a couple of juicy licks from Trey with sleeveless Gordo leading the way. It was during Jibboo when I noticed Fishman has been super tight the last few shows and when it's no coincidence that Phish almost always has a killer show when Fishman is on his A+ game.

My favorite moment of the Ohio run occurred during Jibboo. GMoney was smoking and a security guard came up to him and before she opened her mouth he waved her off like a Jedi -- "I'm not the wook you're looking for" -- and she whirled around and walked away. Behold the power of G-Money! With one wave of the hand, she buggered off. He's my hero.

The boys threw us a huge bone with Reba and the crowd reacted like starving pigeons in the park. Anyone who left for a beer run or piss break bolted back to their seats for Reba. The band milked the crowd out of nearly every bit of dancing fuel during the peak Reba jam. Page was en fuego at that point and I kept wondering what the hell was Phish doing in their down time? Because they're jamming in another echelon. I mentioned via Twitter how we need to drug test Page (aka Bro Fro) for steroids because he's playing like he used to in the late 90s. Balco McConnell is on the Clear and Kush.

Fee was another nipple-related song, which made the guy carry the nipple sign very happy. The last bit of Fee jam was super smooth and silky as it quickly made a turn into a set-ending Backwards as the sun ducked behind the rolling hills and made the sun look like a strawberry-orange smoothie.

My favorite pic of the Ohio tour

One of my favorite parts of summer Phish is meeting up with friends at setbreak up on the lawn and burning one down. It's a perfect secondary or backup meeting spot and a chance to discuss the madness of the first set. I got caught up on the lawn when the lights went down and spent half of a hard-rocking Carini grooving up there before I got back to my seat at the end of the song. An invading army of glowsticks infiltrated the pavilion at the start of Tweezer. I need to hear that Tweezer jam again because it had a couple of dark, jagged edges (which I dig, so leave the fluffy happy jamming to Backwards or Light). CK5 unveiled the Mothership "close encounters" lights while spunions scurried around on the ground in the walkway gobbling up fallen glowsticks.

A reeling Free followed up Tweezer to complete the triumvirate of Carini > Tweezer > Free. I scribbled down in my notes: Phish ain't fucking around. So how do you top that smoking start? With Crosseyed and Painless > Light > Boogie On Reggae Woman, of course.

It looked like Trey called an audible and whispered something into Gordo's ear before Gordo rushed over to Fishman's kit and Trey bounced over to Page to let them know it was time for another cover -- Crosseyed and Painless. I still think Charleston's C & P was the best version I heard in 3.0 (at least that I saw live), even though Riverbend's version was much tighter and more powerful. It packed a wallop. The boys took a couple of chances in the Light jam and it personally didn't quite mesh with me but I appreciate they took a chance than playing it safe.

The purple vertical lights went berserk at end of the Light jam and a fatty, juice Gordo bass intro to Boogie On ensured. Sleeveless Gordo flexed his big guns during Boogie jam. Maybe we should piss test him too? Gordo has been juicing since Bethel.

I felt like GMoney during Boogie On because I was sweating like Cookie Monster from dancing furiously to cap off another trifecta of songs.

A pulsating Juilis popped up next instead of killing the intensity with a slow song. The canonfetti unleashed at start of Julius and Trey noodled excessively during a wide mouth drooling jam.

They played the YEM I was waiting for. Judging the reaction of everyone around me -- they were just as floored. An overzealous Trey almost slipped on the tramp, but he recovered and tore the shit out of his solo before one of those quick, but haunting vocal jams that made me wish I was on acid.

My only gripe about the show? I was yearning for a Torn and Frayed encore, but the boys went with the typical Exile on Main Street cover of Loving Cup. Hey, it was Page's night and the band let him top off the show with his own luscious cherry. I almost forgot about Tweeprise for a moment (too distracted by viciously delicious Loving Cup ending) but as soon as the first note was played, I'd be jumping up and down for the next three minutes and hoped I didn't crush the foot of the girl with flipflops next to me.

Taking a bow after Tweeprise

End of set. End of show. End of the Ohio run. My two-show bender was complete. I walked out of the show bummed because I had to go back to work on Monday and couldn't wait for Superball IX.

First rule of show business? Always leave the audience wanting more. Phish is fucking spectacular at that aspect, which is why I often drop everything I'm doing to see as many Phish shows as possible. Yeah, the 3.0 honeymoon has been long over, but now they boys have put all of that begin them and are stepping onstage every night with the sincere expectation that they're gonna smoke the shit out of wherever they are playing. I'm glad I saw these two shows with the Cincy Crew.

See y'all in Watkins Glen.