Review: A Different Phish in Camden
Phish’s 10th show at Camden, NJ’s Susquehanna Bank Center was a different outing than any we’ve seen from the band in recent memory. For one, the group leaned heavily into its early repertoire throughout the evening. The songs were mostly well played—especially complex composed sections—and it was clear Trey was taking risks with setlist choices.
Opening with “Rocky Top,” the second bluegrass cover opener in as many shows, Phish brought a different energy from the first note. The group then moved into a charging “Mike’s Groove,” again the second in as many shows, that featured one of the strongest “Weekapaugs” in 3.0. “Stash” went places, moving through dark modal sections with patient, atypical jamming. The highlight of the first set came during a soul stirring version of “The Curtain (With)” that featured a passionate, soaring solo from Trey.
The second set started off with a strong, albeit brief, ”Down with Disease.” While the jam did last, Phish took little time to reach some magical moments. It then segued seamlessly into “Free,” but from this point on the band seemed to lose its footing and the flow went with it. The combination of ”Possum,” “Big Black Furry Creature from Mars,” “Swept Away” > “Steep,” simply did not flow. While the songs were all well played, the energy failed to carry from one to the next and the magic just wasn’t there. It didn’t help that “Fluffhead” into “Joy” closed the show.
But what was different between this set and others that have fallen flat, was the playing. Trey didn’t hijack this show (or at least he didn’t seem to)—instead it seemed more like a full band effort. It was strange to see this following the energy from the first, and surely different from any Phish experience I have known.