The OPhishal Welcome Back Party

6.6.09 (D.Vann)

6.6.09 (D.Vann)

Phish has finally arrived. If you were to form a setlist of the highlights of summer thus far and put them into one show, they wouldn’t surpass what happened last night at Camden.  Creating the massive show of dance grooves that we have all been waiting for, Phish played a show that was an assertive announcement of their return to prominence on the last night of their east coast run. In one of Trey’s favorite venues, and quasi-“hometown” show, Phish slaughtered two sets like they haven’t done in ages. The band is once again firing on all cylinders for the first time in over a decade, as every single person in the venue left wide-eyed and in awe of what they had just witnessed.  Everyone was tapped in last night, band and audience alike, and we all floated out of the venue after the show.  Phish has IT again; this is when things will start to get serious.

As soon as they took the post-“Fee” jam out into a tightly-woven, blissful excursion right off the bat, everyone knew things were on.  Phish went on to crush the whole set as the entire band continues to connect more and more each night, with each member just as active as every other. With a nasty “Wolfman’s” jam, Phish commenced the groove-based theme of the show that would finish as the antithesis of the night before. Playing the first “Guyute” since last time around, Phish ran through the composition with aggressive confidence and coherency; an incredible performance of the loved anthem.

6.6.09 (D.Vann)

6.6.09 (D.Vann)

Phish continued to bust out songs we haven’t heard this tour throughout the first set, including the subsequent triumvirate of “My Sweet One,” a dirty but tight “46 Days,” and the welcome 3.0 debut of “Lizards.”  While listening to “Lizards,” it felt like we were walking through a corridor, back into a world we once knew, but with five years behind us, that world wasn’t quite the same- it couldn’t be.  But it just might be better.  Everything about last night’s show points to the possibility that the future may yet hold Phish’s brightest days.

6.6.09 (D.Vann)

6.6.09 (D.Vann)

After a blistering version of “The Wedge,” one of the band’s ultimate summer favorites, Phish slowed it down the first “Strange Design” of this latter era.  The ballad felt more poignant during this third chapter of our Phish lives. Closing the set with the ridiculously adrenalizing- and witty- combination of “Tube” and “First Tube,” as Trey commented after “Tube,” “Well, we might as well play this one now.”  The crowd responded in a huge way to the bombastic one-two punch, with the set closer being a real set highlight as the band obliterated the rejuvenated and extended ending.  From the pit to the lawn, the crowd was buzzing at setbreak following one of the most exciting first stanzas of summer. The five hour bus drive down I-95 seemed to rev up the band’s engines as Camden slowly morphed into Phish’s first 3.0 wonderland- with the band swimming and surrounded in IT for the entire show. As the newly shortened set break passed, everyone clearly knew that it was on like Donkey Kong for set two.

6.6 (D.Vann)

6.6 (D.Vann)

We knew that it would be huge and we knew that it would be funky- but what would it be? When the band threw down “Sand” for only the second time since coming back in 2002, it sounded crisp and we knew we were in for a treat, but we didn’t know the half of it.  Over twenty minutes later, after some of the most sublime Phish dance music you’ll ever hear, we were left in awe of the peak Phish experience we had just had. I’m pretty sure- on instinct- that everyone in the venue felt the same way.  We had just lived the hugest dance jam of 3.0- “The Camden “Sand”- a dynamic of exploration of rhythm, and his time melody was part of the mix!  It wasn’t only Trey chopping funk and creating wildly distorted effects- he was also playing incredibly engaging lead lines for much of the jam, adding another element to the already fiery work of Mike, Fish and Page.   With melodic themes lacing the energetic grooves and the band’s creative energy fully back in effect, this jam really turned into something special.

Following the blistering set opener, Phish tore apart another dance jam with the upbeat funk of “Suzy” and then absolutely slaughtered “Limb By Limb” with a stunning “type I” rendition of the jam. A night where everything was a highlight, one of the most interesting was the debut of Mike’s “Sugar Shack.”  Featuring quirky changes and some very smooth grooves, the exciting new installation to Phish’s catalog also sees Trey sprouting composed carnival-esque melodies.  It’s good to see a new Mike song in the mix, and this one is a great one.

6.6.09 (D.Vann)

6.6.09 (D.Vann)

The next part of the evening was the most intriguing.  A disgustingly raging “Character Zero” was putting a cap on the best show since the comeback when upon the ending of the song, Trey ripped into the beginning of “Tweezer?!” “What?!” In the most startling moment of tour thus far, Phish ripped into their improvisational epic deep into set two, weaving one of the night’s huge highlights and placing the song as the second set closer for one of two times in history!  As the band dug into the improv, Trey picked up a lead that he took through the duration of the jam that was infectious as hell as the band created a sublime jam with a rendonkulous peak to put an exclamation point on the northeast leg, and the best show-of this summer by a mile.

Mix-and-matching their setlists, continuing an emerging pattern, Phish is keeping everyone on their toes these days, something exemplified by Camden’s four song encore.  When it felt like a classic “Bouncin,” “Reprise” was coming, the encore blossomed into something much greater.  Including the debut of “Joy,” another great new song, and a surprise “Antelope” into “Reprise,” the band ended the show with the ultimate bang.  While the northeast run had its amazing moments leading up to Camden, last night IT all came together in grand fashion.  Heading south, the warm weather awaits while Phish is, simultaneously, starting to bring some heat of their own.  As we step inside Asheville Civic Center, the sense of anticipation will be heightened, waiting to see what our musical acrobats will do next.  I can’t wait to find out!

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Fee, Wolfman’s Brother, Guyute, My Sweet One, 46 Days, The Lizards, The Wedge, Strange Design, Tube, First Tube

II: Sand, Suzy Greenberg, Limb By Limb, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Sugar Shack*, Character Zero, Tweezer

E: Joy*, Bouncing Around the Room, Run Like An Antelope > Tweezer Reprise

* debut

Tags: ,

313 Responses to “The OPhishal Welcome Back Party”

  1. JOTZEH Says:

    I’m heading out to bonnaroo Wednesday after seeing phish last night in Camden as my first show in 3.0 and I cannot wait to see what will happen with a 100,000 person audience for phish. The only two things I want to put out there are:
    1. Gamehendge @ Bonnaroo
    2. Warren Haynes playing with phish for at least one of the nights (if you don’t believe me notice Government Mule is playing only for 1.5 hours and I think Haynes would only agree to show at Bonnaroo if he was getting more play time).
    Please let me know what you think…

  2. gus Says:

    I’m so lucky to have an older brother who’s into Phish. I saw them at fenway and great woods, and since I’m only thirteen, I can’t go by myself, and I DEFINITELY would not want my parents to come to the show. me and my brother drive in, meet up with some of his friends, and it’s great. definitely try and find someone besides your dad to go with, but then again i don’t know what your dad is like.

  3. JOTZEH Says:

    also if you have not seen it, check out this link as further proof to a Haynes-Phish show:

  4. CosmicCharlie Says:

    I have a ? I just got my knoxville tickets from ebay from a really trusted dealer…they are reserved for the floor but I was wondering are these tickets yellow and have PHISH on both sides in orange with like a prism sort of effect in the center? I was wondering because I want to make sure they are the real deal Im real excited about seeing Phish after listening to this Camden show it has totally blown my mind

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    lol haynes has already jammed with phish at a show

  6. JOTZEH Says:

    in fact he’s played with phish at least on 2 different occasions, but I’m feeling another show on Bonnaroo and I want to know if that’s just crazy or wishful thinking…

  7. Twiggy Says:

    Sorry if this has already been posted, but tickets for Knoxville (pretty good ones) are on sale. Seats better than mine, actually. Row 4, Section 122. Hope it helps someone out! BTW

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    had an all day no spoilers event — and hot damn ! ! sand went places this song has never imagined before and that moment in tweezer where trey is playing a rhythm line down low and trading it back and forth with a high lead at the same time is my favorite phishy moment .. and can’t wait to see what they bring tomorrow. I saw some stage and light trucks down near the civic center this evening, at the same time as a huge thunderstorm was brewing all around the mountains .. get ready kids, it’s on!

  9. Henry Holland Says:

    Creating the massive show of dance grooves that we have all been waiting for

    “We all have”? Speak for yourself Mr. Miner, I couldn’t care less about dance grooves, that usually means 15 minute 2-chord jams, which bore me to tears. Give me prog rock Phish and concise, tight jams any day over white boy funk.

  10. CosmicCharlie Says:


  11. msbjivein Says:

    Tube,1st Tube is totally a Tubular Jam………………..That Lizards is pretty sloppy but I’m sure the energy was off the hook being the 1st time played in 3.0………….Fee IS in the same boat as LizardS IMO.

  12. CosmicCharlie Says:

    FUNK YOU HENRY! Thats what you need a good…just teasing you but seriously love the phunky phish…i want to drown in it

  13. shpongleyez Says:

    hey, msb, sent you a request a couple of days ago….check your junk mail?


  14. Chalkdustin Says:

    @cOwfunk, in case you’re not on here tomorrow, have a great time at the show! Sending good vibes your way- I know you’ve been anticipating this.

  15. msbjivein Says:

    I didn’t see it. But it’s probably because I was sent an invite a long time ago and fucked around and didn’t use it in time. Could I be Banned???

  16. oneshowatatime Says:

    wow, this show is sick. tweezer had me dancing in my desk chair all day.

    on another random and non-phish related note, if you haven’t heard about google wave yet, this is going to change the internet:

  17. Cactus Says:

    Crazy nitrous scene last night, esp. after the show on the river walk. Cats were going AWOL on that shit.

  18. BrandonKayda Says:

    Chi_Town_Shanty – The show I was thinking about trying to get tickets to was the one at the Merriweather Post Pavillion, since I live like 1 1/2 hours from there.

    I don’t know though. I mean, I’ve gone to concerts with my dad before (Weenx2, Metallica, CKY) but they’ve all been inside actual venues/mail order tickets. I just don’t know how he would feel about standing on a lawn (because I doubt people are selling the seated sections face) for 3 1/2 – 4 hours (even more w/ set break) with a bunch of dancing strangers all around him. I’m not trying to make my dad sound like some kind of person who has no interaction with people, because he’s not like that; I just don’t know if he’d be willing to do something like this.

    For people who have been on the lawn at the Merriweather, can you see the stage/how is the sound? Thank you for all your help.


  19. stasbox Says:

    Warren doesn’t belong onstage with Phish- I’d rather see anyone else do a guest spot this tour.

  20. Davey Says:

    Sand is unbelievable.

    Henry Holland spreading his negativity as usual. I’ll take the “white boy funk” anyday. They tore that place a new asshole.

  21. Davey Says:

    Here’s hoping Deer Creek and Alpine get’s some lovin’ like Camden did.

  22. Chalkdustin Says:

    No worries, Davey. I’ve got a good feeling about DC and Alpine. 🙂

  23. c0wfunk Says:

    thanks for the kind words chalkdustin.. still can’t even hardly believe this is happening. It’s surreal to have to get up in the morning, go to work, and then suddenly, I’ll be at a show. Wild. Imagine we’ll see Mike’s & Time Turns Elastic tomorrow night – I can only imagine what else! Glad to see them digging so deep.. zzyzx says 104 songs total, only 18 repeats!

  24. Davey Says:

    Thanks Chalkdustin. Hopefully I’ll see whoever’s going there. I’m still looking for a ride to Alpine after DC.

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    wow thanks for yr positive contribution there harry

Leave a Reply