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Phish played Jones Beach, 6/4 (night 2)

June 7, 2009

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(Photo courtesy of OpenEye)

I love Phish.  I mean, I’m not a die-hard fan, but I’ve probably seen them about 20 times.  Before this weekend I hadn’t seen them since 2004.  I headed out to Jones Beach on Thursday with a couple of pals and hit the lots to check out the scene.  The first thing I noticed was how much the crowd had grown up. I was used to the college-age kids, many in patchwork clothes, dreadlocks and hula-hoops, but this crowd was hovering near 30, with shorter hair and nicer clothes.  Someone even asked me for my business card.  After a couple of beers, we headed for the seats.

We were near the top of the amphitheater and the view of the bay and the ocean behind the stage was beautiful despite the overcast skies and light rain that fell.  The band used the surrounding water as a running theme throughout the show, playing songs that referenced it like Squirming Coil, Water in the Sky and Drowned (a cover by The Who). Drowned was the highlight of the night with Mike Gordon handling vocals and looking like a rock star in tight purple jeans and white boots.  A rollicking improv jam ensued which was later dubbed “Jones Beach Jam” by LivePhish.com, but it was all just an extended version of Drowned (download coming soon).

More (including setlist) after the jump…

As the jam wound down, the band tried to segway into Meatstick and failed miserably.  It was a trainwreck but they recovered and sang the chorus in Japanese, a throwback to their Japanese tour in 2000.  An awful new song, “Time Turns Elastic” followed and I was disappointed through the entire, boring 15 minutes.  This one should be retired.  They ended the set strong with a tight “You Enjoy Myself” which featured Trey and Mike on trampolines, a furious bass solo and an outro vocal jam (download coming soon).  The encore was the Velvet Underground’s “Rock ‘n Roll.”  Page handled vocals, the band tipped their cap to New York City and we headed for the train.  Despite my bits of criticism, this show was outstanding and had my highly anticipating coming back the next night for more.

Setlist:

Set I: Grind, The Divided Sky, Ocelot, The Squirming Coil, Punch You in the Eye, Dirt, NICU, Ghost, Run Like An Antelope

 

Set II: Water in the Sky, Birds of a Feather, Drowned> Meatstick, Time Turns Elastic, Waste, You Enjoy Myself

 

Encore: Rock and Roll

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