A Bucket Full of Thoughts on Phish’s Summer Tour 2nd Leg

Only three dates remain in ’s reinvented and redefined Summer of twenty-eleven. Before we look forward to the turquoise (okay, maybe they’re closer to purple) mountains of Colorado let’s take a glance back at what served up to the West Coast and Chicago.  Instead of dissecting every nook and cranny, let’s cut out the red tape and hit the high notes.

“Rock and Roll” @ The Gorge

To say topped their 25 minute version from two years earlier at the same gorgeous venue would be an understatement.  They not only topped it, they pretty much made you forget what band you bought a ticket to that night.  Once the foursome departed from the structure and Page’s Theremin decided to knock on our doors, things got weird in all the right ways.  You can call this “Storage”-style jamming, “Pink Floyd-esque psychedelia”, “Theremin jam”, whatever floats your boat.  I’ll just call it one of the finest moments I’ve been lucky enough to witness.  With the sun settled, yet somehow still in view as an orange line dividing the sky in two, it became the perfect setting for this abstract departure from the norm.  Rarely does the performance of one tune carry an entire weekend on it’s back but this version of “Rock and Roll” does just that.  The band could have played anything at this point but instead they carried the energy into “Meatstick” (A surefire nominee for Best Segue of the Year) and then flowed that into “Boogie On.”  I actually have trouble re-telling my friends how great that version of Rock and Roll was… I don’t want them to hate me anymore than they already do.  Instead I just point them to this video, specifically the 4:30 mark where Cactus shakes free whatever brain cells you may have left…