June 11, 2010
It’s official: Phish is back, in all of their grandness, for another delightful run. If the opening gig at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois is any indicator of what the remainder of Phish in 2010 will look and sound like, then the treat will surely be ours this summer.
On the heels of the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win, the Chicago area was already ablaze, and Trey Anastasio gave due congratulations to Chicagoans to resounding acceptance and mild mockery that was all in good fun towards Mr. Anastasio’s Philadelphia Flyers.
Musically, the show qualified as more than just a continuation of Phish 3.0. While it is undoubtedly too early to crown a new era, there were definitely differences in this show when compared to those that closed out 2009.
There were typical opening night blunders, exemplified by a seeming falling out of time to start “Prince Caspian.” But, this was literally the only example, as the band seems as tight as they have ever been, and is apparently having as much fun as they did before the newness wore off back in the early portion of the decade.
With Mike Gordon sitting in the pocket and plucking his way into a progressive forefront, he definitely qualifies for this year’s out of the gate Most Valuable Player.
But the interesting thing is how absolutely cohesive this outfit is again. They constantly remind their audience that the interplay between the four is something that literally only they can do.
From the explosive "Down with Disease" opener to an “Antelope” for the ages that introduced Jon Fishman in lieu of Marco Esquandolas, to the hearty and spine quiver-inducing “Show of Life” wherein Trey once again made his Languedoc weep as Page played a jazzy backdrop, Phish is once again taking its patrons to that place.