Susquehanna Bank Center

Review Phish @ Camden – June 10, 2011

Phish @ Susquehanna Bank Center, June 10

Sometimes you know what to expect from a Phish show. Others, you don’t. Last night in Camden, NJ, at the Susquehanna Bank Center was definitely the latter, and a show that displayed some flashes of brilliance, but overall had an odd vibe and flow throughout. Kicking off with the usual encore tune, Rocky Top, and immediately followed by Mike’s Song > I am Hydrogen >Weekapaug Groove, Friday night was surely off to a start that caught many off-guard.The first highlight of the night was definitely this Weekapaug. With Mike Gordon on bass leading the way, this version had the extra spark that many of the previous years have been missing.

In many ways, the first set felt like it was backwards, eventually closing with The Curtain (With). After some ebbs and flows of the set, The Curtain With punctuated a 90-plus minute opening stanza with one of the most impressive, soaring and soulful solos that Trey Anastasio has laid upon us in some time. As this tune was transpiring, I knew it was something magical and definitely my favorite version of the song in recent memory – and maybe ever. (There’s no mistake that the band released the official vibe of this song from last night.

Watch it here:

While the long first set was an interesting affair, set two is one I’m still not sure what to make of – although I enjoyed huge portions of it as it was occurring. Down With Disease > Free was a welcome, but predictable springboard for the final frame – but that’s about the last predictable thing that went down. When everyone hoped that the improvisational doors had been opened for the remainder of the evening, Trey led the band into yet another Possum, a song played all-too-much this tour. Now, this version was very strong, with above average work by Anastasio, but it was the song’s placement that did it wrong. Like PNC the previous week, an early set Possum is just the wrong spot for this tune to be played. Period. Always fun, but oddly placed. In fact, Odd was a common word that kept popping into my head last night. Just like the Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars that followed and saw Gordon sitting on the ground while singing. I told you last night was a bit weird, right?

READ ON for more on last night’s Phish show…

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