if i wrote my tour in setlist-speak, it would look something like this (actual shows in bold):
I: new york>buffalo, delaware park, albright-knox museum, niagara falls, ft. niagara state park, darien lake>syracuse
III: albany>saratoga, boat on the lake, house party, saratoga racetrack, SPAC
E: 5 am wake-up, amtrak to new york
darien: lovely day. great venue. weird crowd. allow me to explain. first of all, i had a great spot surrounded by some great people, including a group i had spotted at niagara falls earlier in the day. that was typical phish: random interactions with random people that somehow work out. but the other people...the rest of the crowd was so weird. no one could stay in their place. the ENTIRE show people were walking back and forth through my spot. never before in my show going life have i EVER experienced anything like this before. normally after two or three songs people will settle down into their spot and their will be minimal movement, but that was not the case in darien. totally weird. the show itself was good. my first dinner & movie. the gin was kind of a wasted gin (tough to say, i know)....it didn't really go anywhere. "how high the moon" was a very nice tribute to les paul. the second set rift was spot-on. good show.
hartford: musically, i think this was the best of the bunch i saw. had AMAZING seats dead center in the second to last row of the shed. plenty of room to dance, great neighbors, and met up with a great group of old-school friends. first set was great, of course highlighted by my first forbin>mockingbird (was slightly upset about no narration, but beggars can't be choosers!). the musical highlight for me, aside from the aforementioned forbin>mockingbird, was the DWD>reba jam. just sublime. a mid-set slave is always a good time and rare treat. and, of course the closing ghost>psycho killer (is this the first time that a song played on the pre-show PA has been played during the same show?)>catapult>icculus>YEM was AWESOME. this was classic phish at its best. the 4 guys on stage having a great time, not taking themselves too seriously, and playing some killer music. the entire show felt like a 2009 version of a 8/93 show. the stash in the first set was monumental and the ensuing craziness was quintessential phish.
SPAC: another great show, right up there with hartford. probably the most smoking CTB i have ever heard. and, again, the second set was outstanding. my first FULL harpua! the "i kissed a girl" was another moment of crazy, wacky, zany phish. it was one of those "champagne supernova/gettin' jiggy with it/shine" moments. just perfect. the new songs were excellent and highway to hell was a great way to close it out.
one more thought about the tour. this is the first time that i have ever thought phish sounded like the grateful dead. i heard a little of it during the june shows, but this leg really cemented it for me. there is just something more jerry-like about trey's playing, not in his tone per se, but in his phrasing and in some of the setlist construction. gordo also sounded a lot like phil this tour, with his bass really cutting through the mix. excellent sounds. the repeats were also a little odd, but you will never see me complain about 2 bowies, antelopes, and possums in 3 shows. i guess in their attempt to be unpredictable, they have decided to play songs in back-to-back shows or closer together than ever before.
fantastic weekend. boating on the lake and going to the racetrack were also great. great weekend, great weekend, great weekend.