Combing Through Camden

6.10.11 - Camden Graham Lucas)

Phish’s Camden performance boasted little flow, several obvious flubs and wound up as one of the lower tier shows of summer’s opening leg. But during June 2011, even the band’s lesser engaging nights still carried strokes of brilliance. When at a show, its whole contour often strikes one more than its individual parts, but when listening back with the ability to focus in on one particular jam at a time, a recording can offer snapshots of greatness. Though its two-set dynamic never quite elevated, Camden’s show did offer some great musical nuggets. Despite strong first-set versions of “Weekapaug” and “Stash,” the following three jams represent, in my opinion, the most transcendent moments of a relatively underwhelming show.


The Curtain With

6.10.11 G.Lucas)

In the highlight of the first half, and arguably the show, Phish threw down a majestic, set-closing version of their seminal classic, “The Curtain With.” A fluttering beat from Fishman framed a passionate, three-part dance between Mike, Page, and Trey. The phrasing of all members took an emotional and virtuosic turn as their lines seemed played from the comb of a music box—intertwining with mind-boggling perfection. The band immersed themselves in a sacred exchange as their interplay dripped with a collective catharsis that you don’t hear every day. Camden represented the first time in the band’s career that they used “The Curtain With” to end a set; but after this rendition, there was simply nothing left to say.



Down with Disease

6.10.11 (G.Lucas)

Though June featured many a standout “Disease,” Camden’s second-set opener is right up there with the best of them. Sprinting through high-speed rock textures, the band boasted the improvisational tightness we heard during “Curtain (With),” and as they veered off course, it was clear an adventure was ahead. Settling into a sparser canvas, the band’s offerings seemed to chase each other in a game of musical tag. Trey’s lines slowly grew more abstract, while Page and Mike went along this spiritual climb with him. Fish’s driving break-beats gave way to more delicate rhythms, and quickly, the band was amidst stunning original interplay. As the music developed out of this mellifluous realm and into more psychedelic waters, Mike and Page lead the jam as much as Trey. Then after stepping back, Red emerged with an uncompressed growl over an increasingly dynamic groove—and within this section lies some of June’s more impressive jamming that has largely been lost in the fray. Ending naturally in “Free,” this “Disease” is pure exploratory fire. Though the rest of the set didn’t exactly blow the roof off Camden’s Susquehanna Bank Center, this “Disease” most certainly did.




6.10.11 (G.Lucas)

Any way you cut it, “Possum,” “Big Black Furry Creatures,” Swept > Steep” is a whole lot of nothing as “meat” of the second set. Nonetheless, following the full-on adventure of “Disease > Free,” it was this exact run of songs that totally derailed the show. But as Phish reached “Steep” and its modern-era composed jam, they decided to take the song for the first ride of its career. Not only expanding on the emotive ending that was debuted on New Year’s ’09 in Miami, Phish took the jam straight into uncharted territory. Entering a down-tempo, four-minded psychedelia, the band took “Steep” into a dark-then-ambient plane, seamlessly fusing with a solid, mid-set “David Bowie.” (“Steep’s” surrounding tracks are included in the clip below for context.)



Jam of the Day:

Stash” 6.10.11 I

While we are revisting Camden, here is the “Stash” that followed the show’s opening “Mike’s Groove,” a dark slice of  jamming at the beginning of the night .

[audio:] Tags: , ,

437 Responses to “Combing Through Camden”

  1. Aquaman Says:

    I wondered from Gathering of the vibes this weekend, drunk and dosed, over to 1020 Post for some Fried Oysters, White Burgundy and Mussels in saffron cream.

    I’d say that was some pretty good drunk food.

    (Live simply my ass!)


  2. joe Says:

    how was the music aqua? It was a little too hot, a little too far and a little bit too much of a time crunch around work for me to go, but it looked like it had potential.

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    I’ll try that sometime but no way in hell that holds a candle to poutine if for no other reason than that it lacks gravy

    homefries are a good addition though

  4. MrCompletely Says:

    mmmm homefries

    haven’t done a batch in too long, the high-maintenance, labor intensive, perfected version…next time I get a cool-ish weekend morning, it’s on

  5. Guyute711 Says:

    When the Originator of the Garbage Plate did them right they would deep fry them first then throw them on the flat top. That was excellent.

  6. Jtran Says:

    Anyone ever have any experience day checking your bags at an Amtrak station? Don’t plan on taking the train, but I’ve read online that this could be an option(I think)

  7. MrCompletely Says:

    double or triple cooking is the basis of all good homefries. non negotiable. you can do it with a 5′ boil followed by a single fry if you’re careful to turn the pieces regularly. some swear you have to go triple but I get killer results from the boil-cool-carefully fry each side method using a mix of reds and yukon golds

  8. Aquaman Says:

    @joe and Mr. C.

    I only went on Sunday and my highlight was Dr. John. an he is good live. I had never seen him before.

    Sorry for the Rhythm Devil lovers out there, but Reed Mathis was the only thing worth a damn in that set, “Love is the ocean time is the tide.” Thanks, Keller. (BARF!!)

    The surprise of the whole enchilada was a Brooklyn band called Rubblebucket. Very fond of their energy. Kind of like, Sugar Cubes meets Shockra meets The New Deal. Fun band.

    Now – Mr. C, the gravy you speak of is the saffron cream that had little smoked ham hock bits in it with caramelized onions. I cut up the tale end of my buddies strip steak order another bottle of red and one more order of garlic bread and and kept smothering that beefy hammy goodness on that toast, while slurping Viader like a heathen. Game of thrones style.


  9. MrCompletely Says:

    mix of butter and oil in the frypan

    not too heavy on the seasoning. moderate amounts of onion mixed in, chopped small but not diced

    don’t overboil the taters

    fry each side of each piece 3-5 mins. labor intensive and totally worth it.

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    sounds killer @aqua

  11. Jtran Says:


    Glad you dug Rubblebucket. The only band I’ve ever pimped on here. The main trumpet player and the girl went to UVM and started the band there.

  12. EL Duderino Says:

    Not sure if this has been mentioned already but…

    Brent Mydland died 21 years ago today.

    RIP Brent.

    Went to the 3 night run @ Tinley Park.
    Weird scene

  13. MrCompletely Says:

    dammit I had managed to forget that. a terrible day.

  14. Guyute711 Says:

    Damn let the dead rest already Duder.

  15. MrCompletely Says:

    ah it’s good to remember. I had just kind of blanked it out.

    Jerry Week coming up…from birthday 8/1 to the day we lost him 8/9

  16. Guyute711 Says:

    I’m just busting Duder Downer’s chops.

  17. Mr palmer Says:

    Damn! 21 years.
    Something about that guy always got me. Tortured soul. That picture of him sitting at the piano with his daughter looking into his eyes… Such a shame.

  18. EL Duderino Says:

    I loved the Brent era!
    when they kept flashing him up on the big screen for 3 days, shit freaked everyone out.

  19. Guyute711 Says:

    Man, Mike’s song from 8-7-93 is so f’n awesome. I should already know this as it is my first show.

  20. Dr Pronoia Says:

    anyone know marcoesq’s email?

  21. butter Says:

    love the Brent era

    for me its what i can relate too, touring, tripping, parking lot vending and raging,

    even tho, i hopped on in the early 90’s, i really have always appreciated all that was built up in the 80’s that i benefitted from. basically my elders that schooled me up were all 80’s heads

  22. butter Says:

    off to spin the crimson, white and indigo dvd on that note

    love that “Standing on the Moon”

  23. MrCompletely Says:

    for me the brent era was home and brent dying was the end of my love affair with touring.

    after that it was just All Too Much. did a couple partial tours in 91 and just couldn’t feel it anymore. individual moments still were great but it was like something key was just gone.

    not really brent per se…more something internal to me, an effect it had on me

    really was a pivotal moment for me. staggering. hard to think about clearly even after all this time

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    ah the first great Standin’…

    but for an incredible Brent moment go to the NFA from Truckin’ Up to Buffalo

    watch Brent’s interplay with Jerry, trading phrases

    pure joy there

  25. EL Duderino Says:

    That’s how 2.0 was for me Mr. C
    I know the feeling

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