After the fire crews put out the fires that burned Bethel Woods to the ground Saturday night, the band returned for one last go in historic Bethel, NY before moving on to Holmdel, NJ. Although Sunday night didn’t measure up to Saturday’s fiasco, the show still rocked, the scene simmered in the 90+ degree heat, and the band closed out one of the best weekends in recent memory.
AC/DC (7:43) blew the doors open Set One Sunday night, but was followed by relatively standard versions of Sample (5:00), Rift (6:40), Ocelot (9:25), and Ya Mar (7:31). The band finally launched into something non-standard with a deep, dark version of Timber (Jerry) (6:47) > Ok Kee Pah (1:44) > Suzy (6:24) > 46 Days (8:08) > 20 Years Later (7:56). 31 minutes in the sauna. You loved it. A horrifically short, in my opinion, Curtis Loew (4:54) was followed by a ten-and-a-half-minute Antelope that included enough Curtis teases to satisfy those displeased with Loew’s length. Got to love the teases.
A much expected Mike’s Groove opened the Second Set as Mike’s (9:41) > Simple (10:57) > Weekapaug (5:20). The Simple was epic and Weekapaug included a muffled Fishman intro beat that started as the boys finished jamming Simple and led right into Weekapaug. We’ve heard much better ‘Grooves, but the Simple was sick. A Meatstick (Japanese) (6:39) fooled a few phans, as some expected bigger things after Trey’s guitar tech came on stage for some business. Either way, Meatstick > Fluffhead (14:32) > Joy (5:38) was good enough. So in typical fashion, just when some diehards started to think “after what we got last night, these standards don’t surprise me” the band blasts off into a 2001 (7:16) > Light (9:26) > Slave (12:03) that delivered just what most of wouldn’t have expected to end a standard Sunday night show. EPIC. Although 2001 was on the short side, and perhaps forced (???), the 9+ minute Light, the latest launching pad, into a 12+ minute Slave pulled everyone right back in. How dare these guys get everyone filthy fucking sweaty again after everyone had just dried off? Well, next time don’t dry up you pussy. If you’ve learned one thing since 1983 it should be that these guys are unpredictable. And the last 30 minutes of Set Two proved that…once again. These guys are the shit. THE FUCKING SHIT.
I’m somewhat surprised that Phish didn’t close the show with a Hendrix tune (despite a previously-played Bold As Love), the same way Woodstock closed 43 years ago, but 1) that would be perhaps too predictable, and 2) it wasn’t Woodstock. But still, in an opportunity often saved for Zeppelin, The Beatles, and Hendrix, I was surprised they didn’t choose Hendrix. Instead they chose the ‘Stones and ripped through a five-and-a-half-minute Loving Cup that > into TweepriZe (4:06), the perfect closing moment to a weekend that started with Tweezer. Local Masshole acquaintance “Giant Fishman” (as we’ll call him to conceal his identity…unless he wants to be named ???) jumped on stage an ran across untested all Fishman-dress-wearing-80’s-Pro-wrestler-physique of him. Security even let him stay for the rest of the show (DISCLAIMER: I’m not suggesting it’s OK to storm Phish’s stage, nor am I condoning it, nor am I claiming any other venue would allow this…IN OTHER WORDS, DON’T TRY THIS AT YOUR HOME). Either way, it was supposedly funny as hell and he’s a great kid who obsesses about the boys just like the rest of us. Right on “Giant Fishman”!
So the boys closed out Bethel in the same way the opened it – en fuego. The buzz is building to threshold-breaking limits as the band rolls into Trey’s home state for the first mid-week run in Holmdel. I sit on a (delayed) 100+ degree plane waiting for this over-priced, snotty-crew-controlled US Airways flight to bring me to Philadelphia, where we will begin our Holmdel invasion plans, and despite the incredibly annoying, hot, miserable situation we’re in now on this stationary plane, we couldn’t be happier. Enough vicarious reviews, it’s time to get dirty.
The captain just came on the loudspeaker: “We’re ready for take-off, we’ll be in Philly in 45 minutes”…that’s my queue, because I’m ready for liftoff, too. I’ll see you pholks in Holmdel. Have my drink ready.
- Trigger Treinta Uno
Thanks once again to Miguel Cocisneros for help with last night’s review and Phish.net & LivePhish.com for set list help.