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


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490 Responses to “Saturday Night SPAC Attack”

  1. kayatosh Says:

    well put, butter. The most pronounced difference i hear in Phish’s 3.0 sound is how up front, big and ballsy mike is in the mix. and he belongs there. truly a singular force on bass and spearheading the band.

  2. ma Says:

    am switching off with a buddy doing the no spoils soundboards…it’s so fun to do it this way….highly recommend trying it…requires a little patience and abstinence from here, but worth it.

  3. butter Says:

    and now that Fish has stepped up… out

    last night Fish and Mike were locked on some earth shattering rhythms

  4. butter Says:

    going to revisit the Rock and Roll (Saratoga Jam) as soon as i get on this plane

    Trey was using some Steve Kimock type circular licks were he explores the groove/jam as if it were a turning wheel

    just beautiful, not dominating or shreddy , just gorgeous

  5. kayatosh Says:

    i’ll be lookin for that R&R, butter. thank you for the heads up.

  6. phlyPhisher Says:

    The last part of the Rock and Roll jam opened a door into the world of which I long for. The way the music rose and fell from the depths is a sound Ive never heard before. If only they stayed there. This is what Phish is all about for me. I wouldn’t care if they stayed in this realm for the whole show. It was a moment of pure joy for me. Hoping for more ambient experimental Phish!

  7. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “Trey was using some Steve Kimock type circular licks were he explores the groove/jam as if it were a turning wheel”

    nice butter. i like this description better than just saying pulloffs

  8. Mr palmer Says:

    Happy fathers day all. Had a blast last night. Looking forward to the crosseyed tonight. Nice

  9. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    diggin this new page song! havent listened to anything else yet, just got the download. i think last night was the song show and tonights the jam show… im assuming. sunday night, less people in attendance, still ahvent seen that Ghost we’ve all been waiting for.

  10. jdub Says:

    happy fathers day everyone, I’m on a bit of a cloud right now. Blown away by the whole band groove they’ve got going on. Mike is taking his role as commander of the bass lead jihad very serious.

    Things are going real well for this band and the entire community right now.

    I had a blast with KWL and Hood first set. Tweeprise opener set quite a frenzy off. Rocking first set. My favorite of the last three. Fluffhead is alive and well. Best Gin I have seen in a while.

    Back of the lawn had a crazy set 2 dance party going down. People are getting off to phish in a big way right now.

    That Bowie went places, perfect spot and just what everyone needed. H2 set was more my style but excellent music nonetheless.

    After witnessing 3 reprises in a row it seems plausible to think gamehendge is coming tonight or at Great Woods. I don’t want to sound like a loon but…
    A full night of music once again.

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    Happy Fathers Day Miner and BB! Got Crimson, white and Indigo from the kids and put it on. 30 seconds later…

    Kid : “Who’s that guitarist in the middle Dad?

    Me : That’s Bob Weir.

    Kid : Why is he wearing such short shorts?

    Me : Bwahahaha!

    Have a good one y’all. Off to the 2nd Round of the 8,9,10 year old Softball Playoffs. We won 7-5 yesterday and face the always feared Georgia Tech today. Go Illini!

  12. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    holy shit, the end of this page song sounds like it could be a fuckin tweezer jam. hopefully they launch this thing somewhere cool.

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    Happy Father’s Day, everyone!

    BTB’s post earlier was truly humbling.

    Not a father, but if I ever am I know I will remember many of the valuable lessons I have taken from reading what many of you post about being fathers.

    Who knows maybe in 8 or 10 years the BB will still exist and Ill be asking advice from the fathers on the board.

  14. jdub Says:

    @BTB, just read your beautiful father’s day post. Well said. I want to go give my kids a big ole hug.

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    now the band owes us two tweezers

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    brother tonight, feel it

  17. halden Says:

    What do posters sell for at shows and what is the best way to keep
    them intact

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:



    a ripoff imho

    but everything is a ripoff at concerts these days

  19. Lycanthropist Says:

    thank you BTB

    it really is a truly special thing to be a father or a father-figure.

    This weekend has been a real pleasure with my daughter. Its always tough when it comes time to take her home.

  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @lycan, what’s the link for your new shows?

  21. halden Says:

    50USD is more than I was expecting, thanks fool. Looking forward to a nice drive from Ottawa to Canandaigua and the gas will cost enough that 50 $ when I get there is probably out of the question…

  22. jay Says:

    “Kid : Why is he wearing such short shorts?”

    We’ve all wondered that at some point, said my GF.

  23. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ottawa to canandaigua eh?! i’m hopefully making the drive there from toronto

  24. ThePigSong Says:

    Tweezer Reprise-Reprise-Reprise [FILLER] REPRISE!

  25. ThePigSong Says:

    where’s my comment?

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