Summer Memories

“Steam” 8.15.11 – UIC Pavilion

This version of “Steam” came at the tail end of the “Elements Set” on the first night of UIC. Serving as a landing point for the other-worldly excursion of “Waves -> Undermind,” Phish didn’t let up as they tore through a growling, indoor version. The song choice, while fitting in with the theme of the set, also fit in with the theme of the show—sweltering heat and humidity due to air conditioner malfunctions. This was the final piece of Phish before a quick cover of “Fire” capped one of the sets of the summer. (by The Qunnski)

“Carini” 9.14.11 – Essex Junction, VT

This officially-released clip of “Carini” highlights the unquestionable highlight of the Vermont benefit in Essex Junction. After a transformation into a jam vehicle last fall, “Carini” took a back seat to several other centerpiece jams this summer, but when they kicked off the final set of summer with the crowd favorite, they crafted a seasonal highlight. Moving through heavy darkness into spiritual, guitar-led transcendence, and then onto a whole-band melodic mind meld, this piece (combined with “Disease” and “Slave”) provided the final top-shelf jam sequence of the summer.

“Disease jam -> Twist” 8.15.11 – UIC Pavilion

This clip picks up the band as they are in the final stages of an uber-exploratory “Down with Disease,” kicking off the fourth set at UIC. The band is still hitting at full throttle at the beginning of this video, and gradually slow down into ambient pastures, eventually crafting a mellow, but artistic, segue into “Twist.” A lively conversation in this “Twist” jam sees the entire band cooperate by leaving plenty of space for each other to respond. Each band member shines at different points in this thematic jam that punctuated the opening segment of the set.

“Drowned” 5.31.11 – PNC

This is a throwback to the first week of summer, and PNC’s first show after Bethel’s three-night blowout. In this dark-horse summer highlight, the band moves far beyond the traditional rock textures of “Drowned” into a deranged and ambient spacescape—a brick in the musical path that led the band into the late-night storage shed experiment at Super Ball. Drifting into more abstract realms, first harnessed by melody and then totally devoid of it, Phish dipped deep into the cosmic sea of sound on this night in Holmdel. Launching into the spiritual stratosphere with the only “Drowned” of summer, this version is a psychedelic diamond in the rough.

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