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


1,385 Responses to “The Age of Miracles”

  1. MrCompletely Says:

    welcome to cu$tyburger, may i take your order please

  2. plord Says:

    Did Not Want.

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    At least G-Diddy got his Swept Away Steep.

  4. halcyon Says:

    Bold as love

  5. GhostPhunk Says:

    I’ll take a custy burger supreme with all the fixens and some extra they don’t want to jam, two side orders of “they better step it up fast” and an extra large “no centerpiece jam 2 nights in a row”.

  6. Hoedown Says:

    Disappointed with tonight. That’s hard to say but true.

  7. BrandonKayda Says:

    I recommend Candide by Voltaire if you’re into satire though, forreals.

    I feel like I should be sleeping, but Fear of Music is keeping me up. Great album.

  8. GhostPhunk Says:

    Man, it saddens me to realize this but from the looks of popular social media sites we are in the minority of people who want them to let it all hang out and hit another 25 minute piece.

    KWL and I realized how tame our section got the other night for Undermind and It’s Ice, meanwhile he and I are lighting up the aisle. Sad realization for me.

  9. Kevin Says:

    As someone whose only show of the tour is tomorrow night, I couldn’t be happier with tonight. Redemption tomorrow!

  10. GhostPhunk Says:

    it’s like winning the lottery eh?

  11. halcyon Says:

    Tomorrow Goes Big

  12. BingosBrother Says:

    “we are in the minority of people who want them to let it all hang out and hit another 25 minute piece. ”

    Don’t look around during a Sample or Bouncin if you don’t want to know the truth about why most of the fans are there. We are the 1%ers.

  13. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Inexplicably good first quarter of the show.

    Inexplicably horrible last 2/4.

    File this one away. See you kidds at MPP.

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    Sorry you guys didn’t like the show. But I mean, it doesn’t seem all that bad from the setlist, aside from some odd flow in set II. Set one and Steep jam from set II seem promising. But I could see how you might be disappointed if this was your only show of tour…which doesn’t make sense because none of us are at the show if we’re typing on here…hmm.

    But it’s hardly an end of the world thing, you know? Normal to have a “breather” type show in the middle of a tour; and besides, it definitely looks like they tried to give it their all with that first set, maybe things just didn’t work out as well in the second. But that’s the part where it gets shady, because we don’t want to project what we think the band is doing/thinking, because that may not be true.

    Anyhow, I imagine there will be plenty of posts like this tomorrow. In before the storm…

  15. punkmug Says:

    1%ers!??!!! No freaking way! We are at least the 2.4%ers! Don’t undersell us Bingos!

  16. BrandonKayda Says:

    @Duke –

    We should meet up sometime tomorrow. Email me.

  17. halcyon Says:

    Peace BB

    Tomorrow will rip

    MPP will be a blast

    BK gets Face Melted

  18. BrandonKayda Says:

    lol @punkmug

    I am definitely with you guys on deep improvisation being my favorite part of this band. But I understand it can’t happen every night, ya know? That’s what sucks about only seeing one or two a tour I guess.

  19. BrandonKayda Says:

    And honestly, the last thing I want to do the night before a show is get into super critical analysis mode, because that’s no fun. I’m going to head out for the night folks, see you in the morning.

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    Ha ha, I wish punkmug. Look around the crowd a couple minutes into a deep jam. Then look during Golgi. not hating, just saying.

  21. GhostPhunk Says:

    I’m going to wait until I hear this show to make any kind of critique, I’m just expecting the craxyn3$$ to at peak level after this.

    While I get deep improvisational pieces aren’t nightly, they also don’t need to be almost two years apart.

    While Darien didn’t feature any standout jam, it was a rocker that holds up on tape for me. Tons of great stuff in that first set that would most likely go unnoticed on couch tour with a not so hot stream.

  22. punkmug Says:

    BK, assuming you are going to both MPP shows, you will get at least 1-2 super thick cuts and another 4-5 slightly fatty but still nice chunky cuts. Throw in a little bit of Philler and you have yourself a nice playlist after the fact if nothing else.

  23. BingosBrother Says:

    Night BK. Wish upon a star for that song you been waitin for. Have fun.

  24. punkmug Says:

    Bingos. No, I feel you. I looked around during Sample last week in Pine Know and the crowd was really into it. It all worked out, because I was into them being into it for some reason.

    Its kind of like we are the “indie music listeners” of the Phish scene or something. 😉

  25. punkmug Says:

    Pine Know = Pine Knob

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