Phish, The Jammys, 5/7/08. Photo by Kevin Yatarola

The second night of Phish’s two-show stand at Camden, NJ’s Susquehanna Bank Center featured a balance between rarities and extended jams. The show opened with Phish’s first version of the “White Tape” favorite “Alumni Blues” since July 24, 1999 and only the Vermont Quartet’s fourth take on the song since its was retired from rotation in 1991 (though Trey Anastasio played the lost classic with his solo band a few times after getting arrested in 2006). “Alumni Blues” contained another “White Tape” gem, “Letter to Jimmy Page,” which had not been played since 1994. The musicians followed the early Phish songs with Mike Gordon’s seldom played art-metal jam “Big Black Furry Creature From Mars” and a mix of road staples and newer originals. Gordon also led the band through a first time cover of “Free Man in Paris” from Joni Mitchell’s “Court and Spark.”

Like several past shows in Camden, Phish’s second set opened with an extended improvisation. The set began with a dark, 17-minute version of “Chalk Dust Torture” that stretched into the ether before emerging as “Prince Caspian” and later “Heavy Things.” Phish’s second set also showcased a monstrous take on “2001” that was notably longer than recent versions of the instrumental. The members of the group referenced the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death by teasing several of the King of Pop’s songs, most notably “Thriller,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin‘” and “Billie Jean.” A cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Shine a Light” closed the night. Phish will perform in Columbia, MD this evening.

Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ, 6/25

Set 1: Alumni Blues*>Letter To Jimmy Page**>Alumni Blues, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Runaway Jim, Army of One, Free Man In Paris***, Summer Of ’89, Split Open and Melt, The Sloth, Time Turns Elastic, Golgi Apparatus

Set 2: Chalk Dust Torture, Prince Caspian, Heavy Things, Alaska, 2001%, Light, Possum, Character Zero

E: Shine A Light

* last played 7/24/99, ** last played 7/15/94, ***first time played, Joni Mitchell, % with Michael Jackson teases