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. mitch Says:

    Oh shit. My bad. I knew who you were but lastw and lycan are the same length.

    The difference with women is that the more often you do it your body gets used to it and prob doesn’t itch.

  2. voopa Says:

    Yeah, I’m surprised my progressive wife insists on shaving her pits and legs, it wouldn’t bother me if she didn’t, but I’m kinda glad she does, honestly…

  3. mitch Says:

    i don’t believe any dude that says they wouldn’t prefer shaved legs rubbing against theirs. just cause you are “ok with a girl not shaving” doesn’t meant soft legs don’t feel better. FACT.

  4. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    I grow a pretty hetty beard during the grape harvest season, it gets pretty gnarly. Then after that I trim it down nice, and when Mrs Tzara’s says it goes, it goes. Anywhere from March to Memorial day. Works great.

  5. sumodie Says:

    Tough call between responding about shaving and Tinariwen…

    Tinariwen from a few weeks ago.

    Nice sounding recording. Thanks Bingo’s for the find.

    click my name to dl this show in ALAC (4 zip files)

  6. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    @mitch, just got back from having a beer with summer98. We were hatching a plan for a BB meetup on Thursday. Thinking this great place that has the best Belgian beer selection I’ve seen, and good NW brew too. Should be fun, we’re looking forward to it. Hope you’re still in.

  7. sumodie Says:

    leg2 PTBMs in hand! (CO will be mailed separately I suppose)

  8. plord Says:

    I’m in MO with my buddy. Lengthy snapshot of how my day went on LJ ( and FB (Paul Lord). Gonna try to sleep now. Hard.

  9. MrCompletely Says:

    thx for the update @plord


  10. MrCompletely Says:

    “The move places the Seahawks in pole position for the ‘Suck for Luck’ campaign during the upcoming NFL season”

    oh well played sirrah!

    “ladies not liking beards? wtf.”

    my understanding is that it’s about 50/50 on the beard thing for ladies. here’s the thing though. serious facial hair is for average looking dudes trying to be handsome, or ugly dudes trying for passable. handsome dudes should never grow a beard. you look like douches when you do it so cut it out. no exceptions since the end of the Sean Connery era.

    think about Brad Pitt, that shit says it all. dude grows a beard and instantly looks like he could be sorting a bindle of recyclables in the Safeway parking lot

  11. MrCompletely Says:

    tarvaris. motherfucking. jackson.

    cracka, please

    that shit is high-larious

  12. butter Says:

    C your on fire today

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