Crushing Camden

6.24.10 - Camden (Graham Lucas)

Phish has owned Camden – year in and year out – for their entire career, regardless of what the venue has been called. Having never played anything but smoking shows within the confines of the former “Tweeter Center,” Phish’s streak in Southern Jersey continued last night with a power-packed performance from beginning to end. Putting together an impeccable first set that, arguably, trumps any of tour, and a second filled with non-stop action, Phish crafted one of their strongest overall evenings of the summer last night, just across the river from Philadelphia.

6.24.10 (G.Lucas)

When the band opened the show with a densely wound “David Bowie,” everyone could feel the energy in the air, immediately sensing a special night. As Phish continues to play more contained jams within many of their songs, their creativity-within-structure is beginning to take off. The originality on display in many first (and second) set jams last never truly broke form illustrates this developing, retro-trend; and none better than the long awaited bust-out of “Timber Ho!” Dropping into the murky abyss, Trey combined short, rhythmic notes with his bending whale tones, as Mike and Fish held down a rolling pocket of thunder. One of the most creative pieces of the entire evening never left the form of the song, a clear sign of improvisational innovation combined with musical density. Together, the band built a sinister excursion, wowing the audience late in the first set. But there was plenty of meat that came first.

Following “Bowie” with a spirited version of “Faulty Plan,” the band eased into a mid-set “Ocelot” that brought yet another strong version of the quickly-expanding song. Again illustrating their imaginative ideas within a given context, Phish crafted another highlight of the first set with their playful blues-rock. This pattern held true throughout the opening frame as Phish blew up structured versions of “Boogie On,” “Birds of a Feather,” and “Reba.” Within the set Trey released the whale early and often, tactfully using the tone to enhance jams while lending a definitively new element to Phish’s sonic brew. Phish rounded out their standout first set with two covers – a shredding version of the rare and technically difficult, “Uncle Pen,” and the debut of Led Zeppelin’s “The Rover.” The latter translated perfectly as a rocking set closer, but the question that now looms over all these new covers – “Are they one and done?” If they aren’t, their newest choice off Physical Graffiti will make a phenomenal addition to their repertoire.

6.24.10 (G.Lucas)

Phish threw down a raging opening half, then came right back out and did it again. Led by Mike and Trey’s interplay all night long, the band darted and dove through a flowing set of high-octane Phish with but one small speed bump. A frame split into three distinct sections carried a certain flow that has been absent from the past two evenings, while the band’s on-stage communication remained incredibly efficient. “Down With Disease” bust open the dam for a flood of energy that continued until the band stepped off stage at the end of the show. Annihilating the composed jam in “Disease,” the band slowed into a segment that momentarily sounded like the second “Ghost” of summer lurked just around the bend. But the band had barely entered this sequence when they of transitioned into “Crosseyed and Painless.” Setting up this segue more carefully than others in the past few shows, Phish actually blended two songs together, and while it may not have been as seamless as 7.31.09, Phish nonetheless, proficiently flipped songs.

Carrying ferocious momentum into the jam, the band exploded in creativity, blasting ideas throughout a structured “Crosseyed” jam that would have made David Byrne proud. Riding a galloping groove, Trey precisely assassinated his leads as the piece remained anchored to the song. But as soon as the band did break form, they entered a swampy texture that began to expand quickly. Amidst a thick rhythm, on the brink of a “Camden Jam,” Trey ran like a puppy from the dark psychedelia into the welcoming arms of “Nothing,” the light, dreamy track off Undermind. Though the transition brought the welcome return of “Nothing,” Trey’s deliberate change of song was, once again, quite forced. Regardless, “Nothing’s” summertime melodies provided resolution to the non-stop dynamite that preceded, and did so tastefully. The gentle jam sounded more coherent than ever, complete with vocal harmonies layered over the ending. And thus ended Act I of Set II.

6.24.10 (G.Lucas)

The standalone placement of “Twenty Years Later” initially felt odd, as the song has almost exclusively been used as a landing for deep improvisation. However, last night “Twenty Years Later” made the transition from landing pad into launching pad, as Phish built an abstract jam out of the song’s dark ending that has begged for attention since its debut a year ago. With heavily effected sheets of sound, the band created an intense sound sculpture that uncovered a new root for evil improv. Morphing the jam into a beat-less ambient ending, Fishman slyly rolled right into “Harry Hood.” The band used their age-old classic to resolve an exploration through one of their newest pieces, staging a zealous rendition of the life-affirming anthem. Led by Mike and Trey’s two-pronged attack, Phish wove a breathtaking version that showcased intertwined leads from the two guitarists, a musical double-helix. A stellar version that holds up to any this summer, this “Hood,” punctuated Act II of the set.

6.24.10 - Camden (G.Lucas)

Standing on the mountain top, overlooking the valley beneath “Hood’s peak,” the band decided to follow their opus with another feel good classic – “Fluffhead.” Bringing the upbeat vibe to the end of the set, the blazing composition set the crowd afire for “Act III: The Greatest Hits.” Following one tremendous peak with another, Phish flooded the building with musical serotonin, blissing the audience out with a one-two punch. A rollicking romp through “Julius” appeared to be the set closer, but when the band didn’t leave stage, one could feel a “YEM” coming, and before long, Trey counted off their seminal work. Infusing the song with filthy inspiration, the band littered the Camden metro area with an array of dirty grooves to end the evening. Camden’s “YEM” provided a final section of slammin’ jamming, creating a perfect cap for Act III, and the ideal dance-party closer for a set filled with joyful Phish.

As the band turned the corner to the second half of tour, they opened up with a blistering show that simply never let up from the start. Playing with great creativity and musical tension Phish kicked off this weekend with a full-on performance that set the bar quite high for tomorrow night. Leave it to South Jersey to bring out the best in the band. It always has, so why stop now?

I: David Bowie, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Water in the Sky, Ocelot, Uncle Pen, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Gumbo, Timber (Jerry),  I Didn’t Know, Birds of a Feather, Bouncing Around the Room, Reba, The Rover*

II: Down with Disease > Crosseyed and Painless > Nothing, Twenty Years Later > Harry Hood, Fluffhead, Julius, You Enjoy Myself

E: Bug

* Phish debut

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1,836 Responses to “Crushing Camden”

  1. El Duderino Says:


    After reading the set list this morning…

    I feel really bad for garretc!!!! ;(

  2. Mr.Palmer Says:

    He made the second set @ El Dude….

  3. alumni blues Says:

    I think 20 yrs. later has a lot of potential, and is definitely growing on me. The segue into this @ Cuyahoga out of #line was beautiful.

  4. BingosBrother Says:

    Yeah, he sure did Palmer. He, unlike Palmer, is not still waiting.

  5. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Ouch Bingos…ouch….

  6. El Duderino Says:

    Thank God for that then…

    Poor kid!

    Better late than never.
    That first set looks great to these cataract eyes of an old man.

  7. Mr.Palmer Says:

    1st time on yawningdrone. Very nice. Sounds great…sbds i’m assuming?

  8. BingosBrother Says:

    Yeah. Best new site. Whoever it is deserves a great big thanks.

    Don’t worry Palmer, it will be that much sweeter when it happens. Unless it doesn’t, which seems likely. 😉

  9. tela'smuff Says:

    how about that Greatwoods Dirt? that was real nice work between Mike and Trey on that. Pretty unique version.

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    what’s yawningdrone?

  11. GhostPhunk Says:

    Nicely done Miner. Pretty pumped to check this one out. Off to yawningdrone I go.

  12. BeantownBoy Says:

    the drone is a website that always streams the sbds following a show.
    It used to work perfectly on my work computer until this tour (SOB!).

    However, it isn’t that kosher in regards to Phish’s pay for SBDs approach so we try to minimize its publicity on this site.

  13. Litteringand Says:

    For Shits and giggles the boys should play a show that doesn’t have any songs that didn’t till after say Round Room. That would lite a fire over on PT

  14. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    what litter? english please

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    thanks beany

  16. Litteringand Says:

    ^come till after. I post like a five year old

  17. Mr.Palmer Says:

    If i’m not mistaken the YD stream can’t be downloaded. In that case, i’m not sure there is too much of an issue. Who knows, i could be wrong.

  18. Litteringand Says:

    My posts look like Courtney Love’s twitter page, sorry dudes

  19. tela'smuff Says:

    I have yet to hear a SBD for this tour. Just laziness really. BUT, I gotta say the AUD’s this tour have been fantastic! Thanks to the tapers!

  20. GhostPhunk Says:


    The SBD’s have been solid for the most part. Mike is like preggo baby.

  21. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Timber is a bad ass 7 1/2 minutes.

  22. KWL Says:

    was just about to comment on the timber mr p….. damn

  23. willowed Says:

    Morning boys and girls……last night looks hot. Wish I weas there!!

    Hope you all had fun!!

  24. Lycanthropist Says:

    Looks like a stellar show last night!

    Wonder what night two holds?

    Can’t wait to peep this one out later.

    Sorry BK!

  25. gavinsdad Says:

    ok so the BB’ers that I saw all wore black armbands for Palmer missing his C&P but I know he’ll get another fun one tonite..i’m gonna let some others review this one….my review would be full of gushing hyperbole. Bowie opener said it all…i wanna give Nothing some props too…Trey at his Garcia-like finest…felt like the BB seriously channeled some of those songs into being last nite (timber, gumbo) and I can’t wait to see what they pull outta the bag tonite.

    In GarretC news, he is sleeping like a baby in my basement, and got into the show “20 seconds before crosseyed” last nite…hopefully he’ll get reinvigorated on burgers and dogs at my house before taking on a show from the first note.

    In Neemor news…I hung with dude thru tail end of set 1…and we haven’t seen him since…he has my address…plug it in the Garmin bro and get here.

    seriously….extremely fun show last nite…great crowd, very good energy…danced with alot of people who just seemed to be putting all their worries behind them for this show.

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