Dispatches from summer tour

(Cross-posted from The Telescope on Tumblr.)

Still coming down from two FANTASTIC Phish shows this weekend… After a stunning Saturday-Sunday, PennsylvaniaOhio knockout, I’m still kinda reeling from the madness imparted by our dear friends from Vermont.

As with much of the band’s music, these two shows are marinating joyously. I’ve worked my way through Burgettstown’s second set (my call for the highlight of the pairing) several times, but I’m still attempting to comprehend the pure zaniness of Blossom’s two-set affair.

June 23, 2012

Let’s start with the cream of the crop: Saturday night’s Mike’s Song>Simple>Light>Weekapaug Groove>Seven Below, an awe-inspiring run of tunes that Heather Vaselaney quickly saw fit to dub “Mike’s Simple Light Groove.” Needless to say, there wasn’t really anything *simple* about this outing. From the depths of Mike’s Song, the band quickly upped the ante during Simple’s absolutely from-the-recesses-of-outer-space soundscape. Ebbing into the relaxing air of Phish’s well known ambient jam mindset, the second set of Burgettstown gets downright heady.

By the time Simple was wrapping up, Trey started in on the opening chords to Light, which is quickly becoming one of the starts of the era. I’m still uneasy about the “fizzle out and start anew” approach to transitions, but, in retrospect, this move into Light seemed to work quite well. And, as hinted moments ago, anytime Light begins, it’s safe to assume that the crowd is in for a wild ride.

Light, and the positively delicious segue into Weekapaug Groove, offered the high-water mark of the evening (and, quite possibly, the weekend). “Plinko” jams lead into deeper and deeper waters as the boys stretch their legs and open the song into an airy, seemingly ceaseless patterns of sounds.

Seven Below was an absolute surprise and it dished up more than its fair share of wonderfully upbeat jam segments. The set moved onward to a chill-down moment in Bouncing Around The Room. I’ve seen this song placed deep in the second set twice now and, honestly, I dig it. It’s always a delight to hear the drums begins and hearken back to past history. Bouncing is a classic and fans would do well never to forget that fact.

With a heated Julius and a downright emotional Slave To The Traffic Light to cap things off, this set is *must-hear* stuff. Check it out. Now.

And stick around for The Lizards in the encore slot. Yet another surprise that had everyone cheering, going absolutely nuts and smiling from ear to ear. Awesome.

I’ll jot down some thoughts about last night’s Blossom meltdown shortly. Right now, I’ve got that sick-nasty Tweezer humming through my headphones and it’s wonderful.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You’d better hope on tour now. This band is on fire and they’re just not letting up. There are amazing runs all across the country in our future. Jump on board the train and enjoy the ride.

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