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Sunday, July 1

Bobby Martin's Phishing Trips: Blossom Music Center - 6/24/12

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With only a 2 hour drive from Burgettstown to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, things were much easier for our crew. We left after the Burgettstown and got a hotel just outside of the venue which allowed us to sleep in a bit and get to lot around 5 p.m.  This lot was noticeably different with plenty of familiar tour faces and just a general feeling of happiness in the air. I walked around Shakedown Street searching for a ticket for awhile but quickly realized that, like many shows this tour, there really weren't any extras. Fortunately there were plenty at the box office, which is where we ended up as the show was starting.
Blossom started off with Sample in a Jar, a short Tube that didn’t come anywhere close to rivaling the Atlantic City one, and an Axilla played to its normality. The party started up hard with a good Bathtub that involved some patient playing and a nice peak. Roses are Free followed Bathtub and had my fingers crossed for another jammed out version. It never came to fruition, but it had the energy high. The following segment of Limb by Limb, Free and NICU were played well but with no creative jamming, remaining in traditional type one format.  Possum was raging as usual and included a fun intro. But the highlight of the set came with Corinna>Meatstick. Corrina was a major bust out and the first that I had heard since 12/30/09. That show was a true heater and if this was any indication that we were about to experience fire, I was all for it.
The Meatstick was jammed out but the real highlight of it was that Trey invited 10 or so fans on stage to dance the Meatstick. It was hilarious and obvious that many had no idea what they were doing, which may have been Trey’s point all together. Either way it’s great to see that Phish’s wacky antics are back this tour, something that I feel was somewhat lost since their return in ’09.
While the first set was fun, the second set brought the fire I was looking for. This was one of my favorite sets of the summer and one that I’ve been waiting for them to drop in a very long time. From top to bottom, it is vintage Phish with exploratory jamming, teases and on stage fun. It all started with Golden Age, which was jammed for over 11 minutes and really the first jammed out one since Superball.
The ambiance at the end of the jam was surreal and led into Ghost, which again started with a slow bassy intro a la late ‘90s. I was going nuts, dancing my ass off while screaming and howling about how well things were going. The Ghost jam also went for about 11 minutes and featured some classic Phish jamming. Forget Storage jamming and Plinko, if Phish is on they just need to play and play well. This was the case on Sunday night in Blossom.  Ghost bled into Sweet Virginia, taking it down a notch before Phish ripped into Rift which was played flawlessly. Phish was definitely on because they were playing songs like Rift with precision, in the midst of a jammy set. This didn't end, as they blasted into a memorable Tweezer.
As I said, this was the set I had been waiting for them to drop. Tweezer is always a highlight for me during a show, but this may be a highlight for the summer. Looking at the track listing I saw that it didn’t even hit the 12 minute mark. Take a listen, it’s hard to believe since it is filled with teases of Under Pressure, Ice Ice Baby and Horse. Horse may have been Trey trying to get out of the jam and the band playing right through it. Unlike last year, Trey responded and stayed with the jam until they all went into Walk Away. The Tweezer reminded me of 7/15/98 where California Love was teased… this excited me more than words can describe.  And then, low and behold, Trey started up Horse>Silent as he tried to do earlier in the set.
The real fun started back up with Piper>Waste>Antelope. Piper was raging and while it didn’t go into uncharted territory, it made sense in the set. The Antelope continued the set full of jams, with this one going for over 12 minutes. In fact, it was the longest jam of the night. It included ferocious playing by everyone, but notably Trey and Mike. Listen for the teases of Under Pressure and Ice Ice Baby, along with a full fledge Meastick jam thrown in for good measure.
Set two was in the books and I was thoroughly impressed. Waiting for the encore I had a feeling we were going to be hearing a Loving Cup, judging by the classic nature of the show. And boom, there it was. It all just made sense going into Tweezer Reprise. This was one hell of a show.
Blossom was just another show this summer that featured everything I love about Phish: gags, jams and outstanding playing from top to bottom of the show. This show is a must listen for any true Phish fan and if you haven’t gotten off your ass to get to a show yet, I recommend checking your bank account and making it happen.
It starting to seem like these guys called Phish are back and building steam quickly.
Bobby writes for the online site: examiner.com, faithfully known as the Phish Examiner



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