Saturday, June 5, 2010 Phish "Junta" Review

I always enjoy reading peoples first impressions of Phish

If all of the tracks on 'Junta' measured up to the success and quality of 'You Enjoy Myself' or 'The Divided Sky,' I would not be surprised if this became one of my favourite albums. However, there is a bit too much here that ranges from being boring or silly to plainly unlistenable. The first disc is actually quite solid, and has all of 'Junta's high points. It's the second disc however, that really drags the album down. With the possible exception of 'Fluff's Travels' and even fleeting moments of the twenty three minute improvised jam 'Union Federal,' disc two works out to be a maladjusted mess. The troubles start coming into full view with 'Contact,' a song which explains to the uneducated listener, the definition of 'tires' and what they can be used for. Don't get me wrong, I understand fully that these guys are trying to be funny, but it gets a bit ridiculous when that's the only sort of lyric you opt to write. The worst part is saved for the very last, where they take an excerpt from a particularly dazed live performance and tack in on. While the sound quality is understandably poor, the music and performance is practically unlistenable. Going from being virtuoso jazz-influenced musicians on tracks like 'You Enjoy Myself' to incessantly snickering in between verses and screaming incomprehensibly into the microphone leads me to the conclusion that they were under the influence of narcotics while performing. They must have also been under the influence when they decided to include those on their studio debut as well.

I can draw alot of comparisons between this and Porcupine Tree's debut, which came out around the same time. There are flashes of brilliance, but they are bogged down by alot of tracks that don't need to be listened to more than once to realize they aren't worth the time. However, despite my harsh criticisms, this debut has in fact suceeded in the sense that I am now intrigued by this band and their vast potential for making great music. As a result, I will be keeping a look out for other albums in their discography.


Setlist: Umphrey's McGee 6.04.2010 Mulberry River Mountain Ranch ~ Ozark, AR

           photo courtesy of umphrey's mcgee

One Set: 1348, 2x2, Mantis Ghetts > Hurt Bird Bath > Uncle Wally, Divisions > Dr. Feelgood > Divisions > Blue Echo > Divisions, Der Bluten Kat > Time > Der Bluten Kat, Booth Love, Andy's Last Beer

Encore: Jajunk*

*performed in the dark due to power outage

Setlist source:

Umphrey's McGee
6/4/10 Wakarusa, Ozark, AR

Click below to preview tracks from this show

DOWNLOAD THIS SHOW Umphrey's to Headline Inaugural North Coast Festival

Each summer, Chicago festivals offer iconic settings, and undeniable mainstream, alternative, and indie acts. But Midwest’s most fervent and insatiable music fans beg for a blend of the flavors offered at these fests, and at gatherings from Indio, California to Brooklyn, New York.

Enter "Summers Last Stand," the inaugural North Coast Music Festival, descending upon Union Park this Labor Day Weekend.

From September 3rd-5th, Chicago’s favorite independent producers and worthwhile charities welcome the world’s electronic, house, jamband, indie, and hip-hop communities to Union Park for a lineup that continues to grow. Three Days, 35+ bands, all for $35.00 a day. A portion of all ticket sales will go to support Urban Initiatives, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that runs a health and education soccer program in fourteen Chicago Public Schools and continues to grow.

Grab your tickets at, and check our inaugural lineup below!

Chemical Brothers (Live) | Nas & Damian Marley | Umphrey’s McGee
Disco Biscuits | Moby (DJ Set) | Pretty Lights | Benny Benassi | Paul Van Dyk
Cold War Kids | De La Soul | Mayer Hawthorne & the County | Jay Electronica
Boys Noize | Flying Lotus | Benga | Jakob Dylan & Three Legs | Laidback Luke
Future Rock | Dirty Dozen Brass Band | Green Velvet (Live) | Phantogram
Van Ghost | Two Fresh | Paul Kalkbrenner | Orchard Lounge | The Uglysuit | Loyal Divide
. . . plus more to be added!

Union Park, Chicago, Illinois 60607

Friday September 3rd 5:00pm-10:00pm | Saturday September 4th (1:00pm-10:00pm) | Sunday, September 5th (1:00pm-10:00pm)
Admission: $35.00 for Single-Day Passes, $65.00 to TBD for Three-Day Passes


Video: Phish "Down with Disease" 6.5.09 Jones Beach Amphitheatre, Wantagh, NY


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