The Age of Miracles

Great Woods - 6.7.11 (Rob Sadowski)

In their first visit back to the amusement park environs of Darien Lake since 2009, Phish dropped a spectacular second set filled with a rhythmic focus and monster grooves, providing their western New York audience with plenty of music to dance to on Wednesday night. Focusing their pristine playing of summer on anthemic groove-based improvisation, the band crafted a fun-filled second set that featured a continuous flow throughout. Lacing the opening frame with a series of summer debuts and rarities while providing the knockout blow the second, Phish played a complete show that set up a weekend blowout at Camden and Merriweather Post.

Darien Official Print (Slater)

Beginning the show with a string of three bustouts—”Nellie Kane,” “Mellow Mood,” and “Buffalo Bill”—the band set an exciting mood early on and balanced this song-based excitement with high-quality, rhymically-focused escapades in “Wolfman’s” and “Undermind.” Trey jumped into his refined stacatto playing early in the night during “Wolfman’s,” and he’d continue along this path through many jams of the show. As the set rolled on, the summer debuts continued to roll out—”Ride Captain Ride,” “It’s Ice,” “Dog Faced Boy” and “Brian and Robert.” And the final improvisational highlight of the set came sandwiched between scorching doses of arena rock (“46 Days” and “Character Zero”) in a “Limb by Limb” that Trey attacked out of the gate with cathartic lead melodies. Though totaling 15 songs, the first set didn’t ever drag as the band wove together songs and jams in a combination that kept things moving right along. But when the band came out after setbreak, Phish carried a different kind of motion.

Kicking off a set-long dance-party with the third-ever cover of TV on the Radio’s “Golden Age,” the band unveiled their most developed version to date. Moving from the song’s fusion of uplifting melody and driving groove, the band added an infectious funk exchange once the song reached its usual climax. Setting the tone for the second set with high-octane dance music, the band continued down this path with a passionate roar through “Mike’s Song” that passed through the always-welcome “Fast Enough For You,” en route to one of the standout highlights of the show—”Weekapaug.”

PNC (C.LaJaunie)

Transcending the”Groove’s” fun-filled, thematic jam, the band dove into a far more intricate exercise in groove. Trey leapt into the fray with a high-speed tease of “Golden Age,” and the entire band hopped on for a reprise of the jam (that was teased throughout) as “Weekapaug” set sail into collaborative textures. Amidst a quick-witted interplay, the band dropped into their new-school staccato jamming-style, shredding the piece to bits with “plinko funk” improvisation. Smoothly remerging with the song’s theme, the band likened a locomotive as they collectively took the jam to its peak as Trey played with sublime phrasing—a trend of his leads throughout the night. And as the band hit the last note of “Weekapaug,” they let it drip out into a brief ambient note (in which Trey dropped another “Golden Age” tease) which quickly morphed into the post-apoalyotic soundscapes of “What’s the Use?” Phish took their patience with the surreal mid-set interlude, treating the piece with immaculate delicacy. And as the final layers resonated over the audience, Trey picked out the beginning of “Theme.”

Flowing quite well, as the band emerged out of the dark instrumental with a high-powered version of “Theme” that continued the groove-based ethos of the set. Though “Number Line” never seems to fit naturally into any slot of any show, once its jam got going everything changed. Trey immediately ripped off lightening-quick, multi-note runs that encouraged the entire band into faster and creative interplay. This dynamic piece set up a monumental exclamation point of the set in “2001 > Harry Hood.”

6.7.11 (R.Sadowski)

Drenching their laid-back space-funk escapade with full-band teases of “Golden Age” throughout much of the jam, and then crafting a ridiculous mashup with “What’s the Use?” in the piece’s final segment, Phish threw down a definitive version of “2001” that showcased their glue-tight playing and musical playfulness at this stage of the game. A full-scale throwdown of the likes we haven’t seen from the song this summer, the band used the swarthy dance excursion to tie the set together. And then Phish put their signature on the night in the form of an outstanding “Harry Hood.” Continuing their liquid phrasing of the show, both Mike and Trey stood out amidst this jam. But it was when Fishman switched from a fluttering beat into a subtle groove, taking the whole band with him, that this version really jumped off the stage. Crafting an original take on their spiritual opus, the band finalized an outstanding set with a triumphant musical conversation that shot an arrow through the heart of the audience. Trey led the way with gorgeous leads that—in the moment—brought memories of Darien ’97’s top-shelf rendition under the very same circus tents. Capping the night of fire-filled grooves with a sublime and

Weaving a non-stop second set to compliment their song-heavy opening frame, Phish played to all facets of their audience within one show last night. And as without touching any of their more exploratory jam vehicles, this weekend is looking as promising as ever…

I: Nellie Kane, Mellow Mood, Buffalo Bill, Kill Devil Falls, Wolfman’s Brother, Rift, Undermind, Ride Captain Ride, It’s Ice, Dog Faced Boy, Brian and Robert, 46 Days, Limb By Limb, Character Zero

II: Golden Age, Mike’s Song > Fast Enough for You > Weekapaug Groove, What’s the Use? > Theme From the Bottom, Backwards Down the Number Line > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Harry Hood

E: Good Times Bad Times

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1,385 Responses to “The Age of Miracles”

  1. Lycanthropist Says:

    speaking of the Horse.

    not one Horse > Silent yet eh?

  2. BingosBrother Says:

    Paug is disgustingly great. That new Mike Moog can split atoms. So glad G7 got fired. Wrestlers bring the heat.

    Plinko, plinko, its fun for a girl and a boy.

  3. DukeOfLizards Says:

    “Whadda they look like, Jimmy?”

    “Dorks! They look like a couple of dorks!”

  4. Kaveh Says:

    #sitenotgonetoshit

    ^ Nice @Robear.

    @Miner: I really like this show too. Thanks for the review! Can’t wait to read about the three-peat smokers that are coming East Coast’s way this weekend. Have a great time everyone!

  5. kenny powers Says:

    looks like a rediculously fun show last night.

  6. Lycanthropist Says:

    last nights show seems to be a mushroom trip rather than an L trip 😉

  7. Lycanthropist Says:

    we need another STASH!

  8. Lycanthropist Says:

    whoa the Hood is stellar… finally some fast phrases by big Red in the peak.

    We are one or two away from a full blown Hood peak guys

  9. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    I’m excited for BK for this weekend at MMP. Really hope he has some great shows…

  10. Kaveh Says:

    Gorge or Tahoe just might be the monster Hood…maybe a “lights out” Hood.

  11. Luther T. Justice Says:

    I hope BK’s dad gets some good shows too. God bless him.

  12. c0wfunk Says:

    Repost as promised early this morning ->

    Mr. Michael Gordon has added a moog Taurus bass pedal to his rig this summer! There’s a very informative thread on the topic on the green board(search “mike adds bass pedals to his rig”)

    You can hear this pedal in full effect at 8:20 of this video (mansfield jam out of rnr)

    It’s actually a pedal you can play with your feet but it looks like he’s just passing through it using it as an effect. John paul jones usta use one, probably most famously.

    You guys might remember I’m a Moog aficionado so this is really huge exciting news for me.

    also noticed in the mound video Page has replaced the Little Phatty that was on top of his organ with a Dave Smith Prophet synth and that’s where the Steam effect is coming from (6:15 or so)

  13. MrCompletely Says:

    I hope BKs dad gets a transcendent jammy show, not a weirdo phishy show like last time

    time for a beastly second-set opener or cernterpiece, jammed the fuck out Stash is what its time for

  14. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    ^ word

  15. DukeOfLizards Says:

    we need another STASH!

    YES. Fun fact: we are in the midst of the longest Stash drought of 3.0.

    Big, nasty one at MPP this weekend. Mark’d.

  16. c0wfunk Says:

    Repost as promised early this morning (links removed to get through moderation)->

    Mr. Michael Gordon has added a moog Taurus bass pedal to his rig this summer! There’s a very informative thread on the topic on the green board (search “mike adds bass pedals to his rig”)

    You can hear this pedal in full effect at 8:20 of the Mansfield Rnr

    It’s actually a pedal you can play with your feet but it looks like he’s just passing through it using it as an effect. John paul jones usta use one, probably most famously.

    You guys might remember I’m a Moog aficionado so this is really huge exciting news for me.

    also noticed in the mound video Page has replaced the Little Phatty that was on top of his organ with a Dave Smith Prophet synth and that’s where the Steam effect is coming from (6:15 or so)

  17. voopa Says:

    Page’s comping behind Trey during this Golden Age solo almost sounds like another guitar.

    …and then he switches to piano. Nice.

  18. bouncin fan Says:

    I found the full band jam of the Bethel Hood to be absolutely brilliant. Majority of it didn’t even contain any true trey leads but full band playing. Great version.

    Interested to hear where this one goes.

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    the fact that the bethel hood is basically a sleeper from that weekend shows how good the weekend was. sick version

  20. bouncin fan Says:

    Lycan

    You check out Page’s hip piano work that rolls into some sick Rhodes work and melts into some dirty clav playin on that Cinci tweez

    Some very impressive grooving goin on in Page’s house.

  21. c0wfunk Says:

    Nice review, Mr. Miner.. a review such as this without any real big standout jams definitely conveys the high level we are dealing w/ right now 🙂

    Really really liked the 2001 wtu jamming, nicely done.

  22. lastwaltzer Says:

    so is this golden age tighter then the colorado one? I love the tune but thought the last outing was alittle sloppy

  23. BingosBrother Says:

    Not Fade Away | Florence + The Machine

    Pretty hip version. Girl is a force.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlE1C8_DtSo

  24. c0wfunk Says:

    thought golden age sounded tighter this time.. all of the bustouts were remarkably crisp to my ear. Nice to hear Rift mostly holding together too. (mostly)

  25. tela'smuff Says:

    miner – that is an excellent recap from my perspective on couch tour last night. thought the first set was really fun. i like a mixture of songs like that, and i thought it worked, even if he was pulling songs from signs. thought the Mike’s was blazing and commented last night i thought the Paug was maybe the best 3.0 version i’d heard. liked that move from WTU>Theme and thought the 2001 sounded fun.

    trey should just take all the signs at the onset of the show, or setbreak. saw bruce springsteen do this. just collects them all, plays a couple, and then moves on. all the signs are then out of peeps way. maybe not. just an idea to deal with signage. three nellie kane signs?

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