Saturday Night SPAC Attack

6.17.10 (J.Reiss)

In a show book-ended with two more “Tweezer Reprises,” the band dropped a very Phishy affair in upstate New York last night to opening SPAC’s two-night stand. With a first set of early classics and a diverse second half composed of multiple segments, each carrying distinctly different vibes, Phish patched together an impressive evening of music. Suffering from a tad bit of choppiness, the second stanza did manage to maintain a flow from beginning to end, filled with this summer’s locked and loaded jamming, the band’s most promising debut this year, and one of the more exploratory jams of the summer.

6.18.10 (K.Lindner)

Sparking the show like a Phillies Blunt, Phish came out in comedic and invigorated form with the third version of “Tweezer Reprise” in a row- “Threeprise!” After capping Hartford with the now-legendary double -“Reprise” encore, the band couldn’t get enough blasting into the freezer for a third consecutive time. Surfing a tsunami of energy from Hartford, the band crashed into a second-song “Chalk Dust,” maintaining the initial intensity. The first set quickly adopted an old-school theme with a series of classic early-90s pieces; each musical link in the first set chain carried its own weight, with the improvisational highlight coming in the late-set “Bathtub Gin.” While not in the same league as the Virginia version, this one nonetheless carries thick groove of its own. Additionally, the bust out of “Yamar” brought a quintessential summer vibe to the set, providing the stage for some percussive full-band interplay.

Call it the whale, call it what you will, Trey’s new style and tone – on full display in “Bathtub Gin” – and just about every other jam of the evening, has taken over his playing. And I must say, I am in love with the whale. Offering a new twist on Trey’s ideas, his pitch bending, sustained notes provide a more laid-back feel to his leads, bringing a completely new guitar element to the mixture. Often beginning in the background with gentle whispers, this minimalist approach not only provides the band with a new sound to build around, it allows Mike to step up as the bold, bass-wielding co-leader of every jam. The combination of these two elements have certainly carved out a new summer sound, but more on the 2010 sound come an off-day. Right now, let’s get to the second set.

6.17.10 (J.Reiss)

As Phish continues their re-evolution, the next logical step will be regaining comfort pushing their music into exploratory realms once again. Even in some of the summer’s most eventful sets, Phish has remained anchored to their song structures, sculpting full-on, energetic jams whose creativity come from the band’s natural chops rather than leading their music outwards. With last night’s “Rock and Roll,” Phish took his a step in the right direction. As the band left the song for the “Saratoga Jam,” their music became more open-ended and psychedelic than it has since Hershey’s “Drowned,” and they took this jam even further. With Mike at the center, the band passed through a slower groove of beauty into an exploration of faster textures, pushing their music without falling prey to typical cliches. Providing the most rewarding part of the evening, the second set opener took us for the most adventurous journey of tour. The multi-dimensional piece could have withstood another few minutes of exploration of straight psychedelia, yet still concluded organically.

Ending in a tasteful pass into “Free,” Trey and Mike seemed like they were about to take the song for the elusive ride through a crunchy dungeon that we’ve all been waiting for. Leaving the bass solo behind, they set up a groove before making that damned chord change signifying the ending just as the piece set its course set for darker realms. Following this opening sequence, Phish dropped a meaningless “Number Line” in the middle of the second set with no improvisation. Playing the contained radio single for the Saturday night crowd, Phish deflated the set’s initial peak rather quickly, but when the band started up a slow, unknown groove, things got very interesting.

6.18.10 (K.Lindner)

Only after the show did we learn the title of Page’s “Halfway to the Moon,” but for the time we became engulfed by the sinister molasses of Phish’s most promising new song. With a particularly foreboding groove and tar-thick, “Moma”-esque bass patterns, this piece foreshadowed nothing but greatness in its world premiere. With an evil, yet funky launchpad, look out when this one opens a second set later this summer; the potential seems off the charts.

But when Trey decides things are over, things are over. And such was the case as the band sat on the brink of something greater when he hacked into the growing piece with “Prince Caspian.” For a band that communicates so well while improvising, Trey could alert his band mates to his intentions when he wants to change a song; but in an all-to-characteristic move, Big Red lopped off another exploration without notice. Though Phish played a solid “Caspian,” the sudden change jerked the set’s momentum like a 747 hitting a large pocket of turbulence, and the lull continued through “Joy.” But everything shifted back into high gear for the show’s conclusion.

SPAC Pollock

Getting visibly excited throughout the into to “Bowie,” Trey flashed the double-heavy metal horns before dropping into the most scintillating version we’ve heard since their return. One-upping Chicago’s first-set closer with heavy grooves and series of blissful peaks, this version got the show back to a torrid level of intensity, while reminding is what is possible from a song that lied dormant for quite some time. The phenomenal version presented itself as the set-ender, but Phish went on to punctuate the frame with their newest cathartic closer, “Show of Life.” Infused with an enhanced energy, the anthem’s growing potential for transcendence continued to unfold in the song’s second incarnation.

One had the sense that a final “Reprise” might have been coming as the band remained onstage during Page’s “Coil” solo, and after a boisterous stop in “Character Zero,” that is exactly what went down – the fourth “Tweezer Reprise” in two nights! This final helping of musical gusto carried everyone into a beautiful New York night with nowhere to drive, as Sunday night’s weekend closer loomed large. As the tour approaches its halfway point, things are only getting better. Stay tuned – same bat time, same bat channel.

I: Tweezer Reprise, Chalk Dust Torture, Funky Bitch, Runaway Jim, Ya Mar, Sample in a Jar, Axilla > Fluffhead, Bathtub Gin, Suzy Greenberg

II: Rock and Roll > Free, Backwards Down the Number Line, Halfway to the Moon* > Prince Caspian, Joy, David Bowie, Show of Life

E: The Squirming Coil, Character Zero, Tweezer Reprise


Tags: ,

490 Responses to “Saturday Night SPAC Attack”

  1. BTB Says:

    My buddy’s txt from SPAC “best show I’ve seen out of 5”

  2. poop goblin Says:

    Still don’t get the whale hate

    Hartford light and tweezer had epic whaleage

    Isn’t the first time I’ve disagreed with all the phishies
    What can you do

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    I won’t lie. I was the first out of Alpines lot last Fathers Day.

  4. Guyute711 Says:

    Mr C, Like I said I have seen it a lot. I have actually seen it where I enjoyed it because there were other shenanigans going on mainly. I just wish they would do a little more with it than play it straight up. Just seems like a waste to me.

  5. BTB Says:

    Had you beat Bingo – I left on Saturday 😉

    Missed my Crosseyed…

  6. BingosBrother Says:

    Carini is the sickness, no doubt. Love Heavy Metal Phish.

  7. Corey Says:

    Only Hershey and this night’s show without a “new” tune, eh?

  8. Guyute711 Says:

    Also love Carini

  9. BingosBrother Says:

    Ouch BTB. That hurts. Cops were straight up mofos on Saturday, couldn’t find one on sunday.

  10. Guyute711 Says:

    peace people

  11. YborCity Says:

    @poop – I don’t think I would have noticed/thought anything different about the tone had someone brought up all the whale-biz. I like it too. I think it works with the band’s current style

  12. poop goblin Says:


    Yeah I thought that China news was pretty bullish

    All these strikes in China

    Must be getting pressure by foreign companies to revalue to make up for the pay increases

    Catalyst driven market with technical support

  13. BingosBrother Says:

    Later Guyute. Sometimes you feel like a whale, sometimes you don’t.

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    Wow, second set looks really interesting tonight. Looking forward to hearing this show, looks like a 100% throwdown with no lulls, both sets

  15. kayatosh Says:

    thanks poops. been getting my ass handin to me for 2.5 years trading.

    This china move kills me. i guess i’ll be squeezed out. don’t know how i recover from this blow on top of all the other beatings i’ve taken this yr.

    I shorted after the correction move started to come off, on june 10. I thought there’d be another dip, and there was for about 10 minutes tops at the open on Fri. 6/11 after those shitty retail #’s came out. rut’s been up or flat since then. fuqued.

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    you and miner are in agreement about the whale @poopster

    me too mostly, i think its a bit overused right now but well within the “getting the hang of it” parameters but in general it works for me

  17. Corey Says:

    Now after such a seemingly great two sets of music, how can you go talking about such a terrible scene that is the stock market. Jeez. 🙂

  18. Corey Says:

    In the jazz world, too many bent notes is regarded as cheezy, gimmicky and sophomoric. Just sayin’.

  19. Corey Says:

    I’d put a Z in all those terms, but it only fit with Cheese.

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    true, but how many is too many? and, the jazz world has its head up its ass in a lot of ways

    (says the guy who has been listening to Roland Kirk, Cannonball Adderly and Lester Young all weekend)

  21. kayatosh Says:

    you’re right, corey, the stock mrkt. is a mess, but that’s how i’ve chosen to try and make a living.

    poop is a mrkt. sage and this is the only way i know how to connect with him. he’s been right, i’ve been dead wrong and about to pay dearly for it.

  22. Corey Says:


  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    more seriously, I think he’s overusing it somewhat in the process of figuring it out, both in terms of how he does it and where it works in the current style

    he’ll dial it back at some point

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    4 is how many is too many?

    lol 4 out of what?

    4 ever?


  25. Corey Says:

    ^^I lost count with Trey, at 5.

    @Kaya, poop is a market sage both sounds and looks funny. Then again, what’s worse, taking advice from a piece of shit or losing all of it TO a piece of shit? (Sorry poop, just thought I’d play with your name a bit).

Leave a Reply