Review by Kevin Hill
COLUMBIA, MD – Saturday night Â the boys from Vermont braved the sweltering heat to kick off their two night stint at Merriweather Post Pavilion with a cool rendition of fan favorite, and tour rarity “Daniel Saw the Stone”. Quite the launching pad, and quite a high bar to set, but over the next couple of hours, the band played with a seemingly limitless amount of energy and didnâ€™t let up for a second.
Powering through two muscular sets, highlighted by a ripping ACDC Bag, a gorgeous Reba and an absolutely mind warping Sand, this newer/stronger/betterÂ Phish (we can rebuild them!) is playing tighter than they have in years. The jams are noticeably shorter this time around but there seems to be more finesse involved. Before, especially in the early 2000’s the band could head off into uncharted musical territory and sometimes just never come back. It still sounded great but it wasn’t as filling as one might have liked. Phish 3.0 on other hand seem to be all meat and no fat. Sure, you can still get lost in the middle of a giant Antelope or an equally monstrous Tweezer, but the band now seems to be just plain better at bringing the audience back down to Earth in time to get ready for their next blastoff into outer space.
This is simply a much smarter Phish weâ€™ve ever seen, and it lights a beacon of hope for what may be coming from them in the future. All in all, the band raged it, and raged it hard Saturday night, and that seems to be the theme of this entire tour so far.
Set 2: BOAFBirds of a Feather, Tweezer > HorseThe Horse > SilentSilent in the Morning > Waves > CDTChalk Dust Torture, R&RRock and Roll -> Albuquerque > Piper > Velvet SeaWading in the Velvet Sea > 2001Also Sprach Zarathustra > STFTFPStealing Time From the Faulty Plan > SuzySuzy Greenberg
 No whistling.
 On Your Way Down teases from Trey.
 BOAF tease.
Notes: Daniel Saw The Stone was played for the first time since August 3, 2003 (137 shows).Â Reba did not contain the whistling ending. Antelope included an On Your Way Down tease from Trey. Chalkdust included a BOAF tease.