Entering New England

6.15.10 (B.Riley)

In a summer marked with consistency, Phish dropped their first spotty effort of 2010 last night at Hartford’s Comcast Theatre. Though the Northeast’s opening night featured a half-hour of the summer’s best Phish music, the show also saw the band stumble more than a few times in a choppy affair that boasted little to no flow at all. On the brighter side, the band did pull it together in spurts, in both sets, creating some highlights that will definitely be spun all summer long.

6.15.10 (B.Riley)

Beginning with the meat and potatoes, Phish absolutely destroyed “Disease > Sand,” a sequence that stands out among the tightest adventures of tour. Pulling their collective chops together to start the second set, the band followed a “Party Time” opener with a sizzling, multi-faceted highlight reel that could be excerpted as the essential chunk of the evening. Moving out of a passionate foundation of “Disease,” the band entered a series of super-charged percussive grooves that took on a life of their own. The band that bumbled through more than a couple compositions in the first set, all of a sudden, was on fire in a sub-conscious rhythmic crusade. Heavily flirting with “Crosseyed” textures, the band took the express train in forming one of the most powerful pieces of music of 2010. This several-tiered trek provided some of the most impressive work from Trey we’ve seen this tour, not to mention the sublime interplay undertaken by the entire band. Their improv seemed to gain energy with each and every change, as the crowd inhaled the seething vitality. A blistering work of art, “Disease” provided the outright jam of the night, and reaching a point where the band easily could have steered back to the ending, Phish tastefully melted the jam into a haunting segue into “Sand.”

Trey attacked like a piranha throughout “Sand,” pulling out just about every weapon in his arsenal. Moving between dirty, uncompressed notes; subtle, rhythm licks; silky, swanky grooves, and walls of sonic dissonance, the song became a showcase of guitar acrobatics one might expect to see at a Trey show. But Big Ern decided to straight-up let loose, leading an addictive piece of improv that, combined with the band’s foundation of fury, made for a stellar second half of the second-set gem.

6.12.10 (P.Brotherhood)

Then, in a flagrant moment of TreyDHD, The Bad Lieutenant decided “Sand” should immediately cease, proceeding to castrate the addictive groove by relentlessly playing “The Horse” amidst the dinosaur rhythm. In one of the more awkward on-stage moments in memory, this “segue” will forever be remembered as “Forced > Silent.” And, interestingly, once this moment went down, so did the set’s entire momentum. Choosing songs seemingly at random, the band played “Guyute,” and “Farmhouse” before closing the set with a “Weekapaug”-heavy “Mike’s Groove” that paled in comparison to Blossom’s first-set smoker that set the bar for this summer.

The most intriguing segment of the final half of the set, interestingly enough, came in the extended “Farmhouse.” While not moving far from the song, Phish wove a serene soundscape that transcended any normal version, providing the most out-of-the-ordinary take on any song after “Sand.” (Though “Weekapaug” did bring some heat of its own.)

Official Hartford Poster

The opening set’s high point came in a unique “Stash,” where Page led much of the way before Trey crept from behind the scenes to peak the piece in menacing style. Taking this far beyond an average first-set jam for this tour, Phish let things hang out early last night as they went deep on the show’s fourth song. Additionally, as the band came to the end of a standard “Walk Away,” Page upped the musical ante on his organ, coaxing the band to add an extension into the normally short piece. And when Trey got the opportunity, boy did he ever take liberty, massacring a guitar solo as if he were a comic book hero. This segment is truly one for the books; a must-hear-now type situation. But other than a flowing “Ocelot” and a decent “Alaska” (if you like that sort of thing), the set didn’t offer much in terms of precision or excitement. This was the first set of tour that just didn’t really work for me, but throughout a tour, some sets are bound to fall flat.

Though unsteady overall, the few earnest high points of last night were as high as any we’ve seen thus far. But as we move onto Friday night, one would imagine this show will be far in the rear view mirror by Sunday, as an erratic kick-start to the weekend.

I: Punch You In the Eye, Ocelot, Dinner and a Movie, Stash, Esther, Walk Away, The Divided Sky, When the Circus Comes, Sugar Shack, Alaska,Golgi Apparatus

II: Party Time, Down with Disease > Sand > The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Guyute, Farmhouse, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

E: Shine a Light

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1,643 Responses to “Entering New England”

  1. Luther Justice Says:

    @butter
    Show of the tour so far?

  2. c0wfunk Says:

    great to see this place bubbling over with excitement.

    quick recommendation if you need something to cleanse your phish pallatte – our local badass radio station wncw does a fantastic jazz show every saturday until 11am called “jazz and beyond” .. the dj roland spins evreything from old time jazz to stuff from tomorrow and really knows his stuff. http://wncw.org has a stream

    back to your regularly scheduled phish

    also beware if you’re not a bluegrass fan because the station follows it up with nonstop bluegrass for 8 hours.

    got last nights’ show cued up for some drivin around the mountains today for various misc. Very excited to give it a spin! 1 week from today is merriweather, yee haw :) :)

  3. Luther Justice Says:

    Fee is phun

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    if you are a bluegrass fan however, those 8 hours contain a whirlwind of the best bluegrass music in the world.

  5. Luther Justice Says:

    It’s the best music for me to do my mountain tap dancin’

  6. c0wfunk Says:

    you may be kidding but I’ve seen quite a bit of mountain tap dancin since I’ve moved to these here applachas – they call it cloggin son

  7. Luther Justice Says:

    I actually do like watching them. The good ones sound like they add percussion to the song. But if you’ve watched Deliverence, its hard to get that out of your mind.

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    out for saturday adventures everyone enjoy your day

  9. c0wfunk Says:

    I haven’t watched Deliverance and actually will likely never. I actually like the song dueling banjos ;) And walking in the woods around here.. don’t need whatever’s going on in that movie, though I know enough from repeated bad jokes and insinuations.

  10. Luther Justice Says:

    You’re in for treat listening to last night cOw

  11. Luther Justice Says:

    llfa

  12. SillyWilly Says:

    damn. whats up with the tapers? nothing up on bt.etree yet

  13. ThePigSong Says:

    Wait. So they played tweeprise, stopped. then Played tweeprise again?

  14. Moby Dick Says:

    ooh butter I love some sea imagery

    Hood is the sea that I am swimming in.

    Spectacular!

  15. willowed Says:

    Yes Pig..They played it twice!

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    gnu thread btw

  17. Hidden Track » Phish Summer Tour 2010: The First Leg Says:

    [...] Hidden Track Recap, Hidden Track Review, Phish Thoughts, Rolling [...]

  18. christian love Says:

    Hiya, cool site, where did you come up with the info in this brief summary? Im glad I found it though, I will be checking back soon to see what other articles you have.

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