Sun has risen on day two of Superball, and day one was divine. To be back on the grounds of the Phish festival with the band at the top of its came felt like the days of lore. The sky was a bit bluer as the clouds floated above and the music was a bit slowed down as it blanketed the intimate concert ground. From note one Phish dropped a power-packed and poignant opening night of a festival that people will be talking about for time to come—the time when a full-powered band and their grand summer tradition came back together in the new era.
As it stands, I have little Internet access on site as I chase down friends with Droids to use their phones as a wifi hotspot. Combined with this spotty web access and the 24 hour nature of the festival, I’ll speak to you on the other side. Or when I catch up with a Droid again…
I: Possum, Peaches en Regalia, The Moma Dance, Torn and Frayed, NICU, Bathtub Gin, Life on Mars?, My Friend, My Friend, Wolfman’s Brother, Roses Are Free, Funky Bitch, Quinn the Eskimo
II: Jam > Crosseyed and Painless -> Chalk Dust Torture, Sand, The Wedge, Mike’s Song > Simple > Bug, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Weekapaug Groove, Joy, Character Zero
E: Show of Life
A bit more…Without having listened back, the band anchored the first set with huge versions of their classic pieces—“Moma Dance,” “Wolfman’s,” and “Bathtub Gin”—while pulling out several rarities, taboot. A scorching and cleaned-up “Peaches” came at the beginning of the set, while an out-of-the-blue “Life On Mars?” was delivered in the middle, before a jammed-out and exclamatory “Quinn the Eskimo” sent things to setbreak in high style.
The second set featured more exploratory playing from the band—peaking in a utterly sublime “Simple”—channeling the mysteries of the universe through the speaker towers of Watkins Glen. After a shredding “Crosseyed” jam, the band dropped onto an ambient path that wound a slow and enchanting route into “Chalk Dust.” This juxtaposition of styles, from shredding to abstract to shredding, kept things interesting before a way laid-back “Sand” provided a shining mid-set highlight filled with festival-sized dance grooves. A monster “Mike’s Groove”— centered around “Simple’s” cosmic trek—dominated the second half of the set, and just when it felt like “YEM” might close the set, out popped out a crunching “Character Zero.” An enthralling version of “Show of Life—and perhaps the most extensive to date—provided an indelible stamp of catharsis to a very poignant night of Phish.
The festival is back and better than ever. Love every minute of IT, folks! See you at 3pm!Tags: Festivals, Summer 2011