The last night of Summer Tour 2011 - still refusing to consider the LDW shows part of ST11 - closed the Chicago chapter of the Second Leg and it was the perfect ending to the best three-show run since Charlotte-Raleigh-Portsmouth, which may have been the best three-show run of ST11...possibly even 3.0. NYE MSG '11, Southern Run '11, and Chicago Run '11 are the obvious candidates. Someone told me it was Freshman "move-in" day at UIC...can you imagine? Only two things come out of that situation: Either the student thinks "fuck, this is my college!" or "holy shit, this is my college!", "fuck" being the negative adjective, "holy shit" being the positive adjective. Regardless, they will both end up being wrong, but it's still hilarious to think about it. And if you're a pothead freshman, it might have been the greatest freshman move-in day in college history.
The most humid of all the days, Wednesday didn't seem like it was going to be any cooler...and it definitely wasn't, although we finally found an AC vent and posted up. Tickets were hard to come by, although we all ended up inside, which made for some hilarious entertainment watching 300 lb. security guards tackle - and in some cases beat down - 125 lb. hippies. The same went for the floor...still can't figure out why so many people cram the rail during indoor shows. In a place like UIC there's about a 10% max on shitty seats, i.e., there aren't many bad seats in the house as far as sound is concerned (although we managed to find the worst sounding- but most roomy and vented). To sum up the show before I even review it I'd say it had ridiculous potential, but then, like so many other times during similar type shows, it took a serious nose dive towards the confused/crammed/custied/choppy/request party/weirdness that has plagued these Second Set Galaxy Tours. You'll see what I mean, but either way it was a rockin' ending to one of the better three-show runs of the year.
Set I: Colonel Forbin's (6:10) > Famous Mockingbird (6:49), Gumbo (4:42) > Possum (9:29), Weigh (5:06) > Divided Sky (17:05), Alaska (8:33), Bathtub Gin (12:27), Maze (10:01), Cavern (4:31) > First Tube (8:31)
Colonel Forbin's > Mockingbird, only the fifth of 3.0, opened a show for the first time since 11/3/89 at the Tree Cafe in Portland, ME. I say Forbin's > Mockingbird because Mockingbird has followed Forbin's all but twice...just a little FYI. Other then the fact we were section 208 near the top - that 10% sound I talked about - it was magical. But it was terribly unfortunate how bad it sounded up there (at first). The always bomb Gumbo followed, which went > 2011 Joke Of The Year Possum (although this one was sick). One of Gordo's finest in Weigh was next and went > the always amazing Divided Sky, which included the sweatiest Silent Jam in recent memory. The band stalled so long after DS that we all thought they were either busting out or playing a new tune...no dice. Alaska. A ridiculous Gin followed, before another long strange pause...was this the bust-out/newb? Nope, it was a fucking bonkers Maze that had me in my best scan dance of 3.0. Cavern followed, which seemed to be the Set One ender, but Mike's bass line was so deep and groovy that it got Trey off and thinking of one of his personal jams. So Trey asked Mike to keep the groove going and blasted into First Tube, which was out of time on several occasions (because of Trey). I actually love those situations. Someone - usually Trey - hears something and requests that sound go to new places, even if that new place is a well-known tune. It's still great to see that chemistry and communication in action. Set One had it all and was one of the best First Sets in a long time.
Set II: Crosseyed and Painless (11:30) > No Quarter (9:26) > Timber (Jerry) (4:49) > Tweezer (8:32) > Caspian (3:36) > Piper (8:41) > Ghost (3:48) > Makisupa (5:43) > Sleep (2:01) > Buffalo Bill (2:17), Golgi Apparatus (4:34) > Character Zero (5:35) > Antelope (9:55)
E: Funky Bitch (5:33), Show of Life (5:08) > TweepriZe (3:50)
I wish I had come up with inter-post titles, like a title for every paragraph. If so, this section would read - Set Two: It Should Have Stopped In Buffalo. Let me explain. The ST11 Second Set Galaxy Tour continued with another bomb C&P opener. It was the seventh such opener of ST11 and the eighth of 2011...and I love it. It also invaded almost every song in the Second Set. By the time the set was over we were still waiting. C&P > the third unbelievable No Quarter of the summer > the Timber we've been waiting on for weeks despite numerous teases > the inescapable Tweezer > a shoot-me-in-the-face Caspian > a sick Type-II-ish Piper > the shortest forced Ghost in history > a Makisupa out of nowhere that included many hilarious pot-induced puns on famous musician's names > the first Sleep in 105 shows (8/7/09 Gorge) and only the third of 3.0 (fourth since 1.0) > an oddly-placed but awesome Buffalo Bill. Then the set fell to shit. It was as if Phish was ending all together and Trey freaked over the fact that some audience cusites weren't getting the Greatest Hits they so desperately came to one show a year to see and would never have the chance to see again. A typical, boring, old, unflattering, hindsightingly predictable, rip-my-heart-out-and-stomp-on-it-like-a-spent-cigarette Golgi > Zero > Antelope ended the Second Set. How terrible. Three overplayed, unnecessary, set ending songs all crammed together to end an otherwise unbelievable show. How gross. Those would be three of the Top 5 "Please Don't End This Epic Show With Any Of These Horrible Boner Beating Songs". Price Caspian had already shit in my ears, so Suzy Greenberg was the only other one left. Now I feared the encore. But the encored kept par with the UIC theme and Phish ended with Funky Bitch, Show Of Life, and TweepriZe. So a three-show run that had "I can die now and be completely satisfied" written all over it turned into a "I have to go to Denver now because three of the last six songs I heard cannot be Golgi, Zero, and Antelope". And don't even give me the "don't go to every show" bullshit. It's what we do. See you in Denver...err, Commerce City.
- Trigger Treinta Uno
Thanks to Phish.net & LivePhish for set list help. Thanks to Phish for providing the music and to all the phans for providing the atmosphere. Another successful Summer Tour in the books! See you next Summer Tour for the 2012 End Of The World Tour.