Standard Fare

Official SPAC 6/20 Pollock

After setting the table for a huge Sunday night closer at SPAC, Phish went the other way, playing a song-based show that contained barely any creativity. After an exciting opening frame with several summer bust-outs, one wasn’t wrong to think the band might come back with one of their most engaging frames of tour. But Phish pulled out of upstate New York after a choppy second set that contained their least engaging playing of tour. While maintaining their energy and tightness, Phish took no risks in a energetic show that was heavy on the setlist, but, at times in the second set, straight up boring.

Opening the weekend’s final stanza with “Carini,” the band seemed to be on the brink of launching into an evil exploration, only to pull up well short, wrapping up the jam at its deepest point for “Mango Song.” A pairing that worked like oil and water, the band aborted a psychedelic mission for some light summer music, and the pairing carried no cohesion whatsoever. And after “Mango Song,” the band sent a signal loud and clear with “Wilson,” that this set would be about fun songs and not about interesting improvisation.

6.12.10 (L.Neuhaus)

The only significant jam in the entire show came in “Drowned,” a song that Phish has beaten to death since their comeback. Here we are in Summer 2010, and the big jams of the last two nights have been “Rock and Roll” and “Drowned.” Wasn’t that last year? Containing jams so similar in contour, why would Phish choose to feature “Drowned” to the exact same audience who watched them shred apart a much more impressive “Rock and Roll” the night before? As the band launched into “Saratoga Jam #2” they entered hackneyed musical territory, revving up a set of generic percussive grooves that paled in comparison to several segments just like it over the past three nights. When Phish actually tried pushing themselves outside their comfort zone, the last few minutes of “Drowned” became magical; but magic would hardly be the theme of the night.

6.11.10 (S.LaBrasca)

The band did moved gracefully from “Drowned” into “Swept > Steep,” playing the same composed jam that was debuted in Miami, before paying homage to the veritable police-state that overtook SPAC this weekend with “Makisupa.” Making lyrical references to the venue within the song, the band magnified the silly spirit of the set. Unfortunately, while the band was busy making jokes amidst uneventful reggae, precious time clicked off their show. When “Makisupa” ended, it was clear that set’s next segment would be its last, and I, for one, expected at least one interesting jam. But instead, Phish spun their greatest-hit singles of “Piper > 2001 > YEM,” all of which were extremely pedestrian versions. While “2001” held up to its current, five-minute standard, and the versions of “Piper” and “YEM” were generic as they come. Maybe this glossy, jam-less set worked for the masses, but not for me. At times I found myself completely bored, wondering when they were gonna’ play “Ghost” again. But hey, you can’t win ’em all, and with the family atmosphere for Father’s Day, the vibe was one of enjoyment, not of musical seriousness. Take it for what it is, I suppose.

6.18.10 (K.Lindner)

The first set provided more earnest excitement than the second, as its outstanding playing seemed to foreshadow something huge. Bust outs of “Brother,” “Back on the Train,” “Undermind,” “Cities,” “Roggae,” and “Sleep Again” speckled the opening stanza with excitement. The highlights of these summer debuts came in the searing “Undermind” jam and the stunning rendition of “Roggae.” A standard “Antelope” capped the set, setting the plate for the big second half that never happened. In one other first set note, Trey invited long-time friend, TAB bassist, and local, Tony Markelis, to the stage to sit-in for “Jibboo,” a song he co-wrote. With Mike on rhythm guitar, this guest spot resulted as most do – decent. Unable to replicate their normal dynamic, the usually high peak of the song fell a bit flat.

All in all, SPAC’s conclusion didn’t hold up to the other shows of tour. Trumped by the jamming in the weekend’s three previous second sets, last night’s final frame served as the Northeast denouement rather than its peak. Sure the band played some big songs, but they did little to nothing with any of them. Let’s stash this one away and move on to Great Woods.

I: Brother*, AC/DC Bag, Back on the Train, Undermind, Cities, Gotta Jibboo**, Roggae, Sleep Again, Lawn Boy, Run Like an Antelope

II: Carini > The Mango Song, Wilson, Drowned > Swept Away > Steep > Makisupa Policeman, Piper > 2001 > You Enjoy Myself

E: Frankenstein

*Band members’ children in a tub on stage. Happy Father’s Day!
**Tony Markellis on bass and Mike on a second guitar

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1,335 Responses to “Standard Fare”

  1. c0wfunk Says:

    ah I mean some of this stuff is so rough around the edges that 2010 phish sounds polished like a golden bowl

  2. Mitch Says:

    forgot to tell you that i saw ms pepe but didnt have a camera.

    best gyro ever? cal obviously lives in the midwest. (i’m from there too, not hating) come visit me in astoria (new greece) and i’ll show you a gyro.

    i’m just trash talking, i saw the guy making them and they looked bomb. esp for lot food.

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    but maybe I see that you’re saying in general – that you think phish is playing just fine, you’re just not a huge fan of how what and why they’re playing

  4. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    i see, but phish 2010 sounds pretty tight to me, just not holding my interest…

  5. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:


  6. bhizzle Says:

    Oh…how I despise Lady Gaga….nothing but an attention hungry strumpet. Every time that hussie goes out in public wearing nothing but a bra and panties she should be arrested. Now that will give her her beloved attention and keep my lil girl from wanting to be a classless whore….now if that bitch did that prior to the arrival of my lil girl that’d be a different story…wink

  7. c0wfunk Says:

    and yet

    you can’t stop listening. That’s quite a quandary isn’t it?

  8. Gavinsdad Says:

    I still maintain that moby is flarr

  9. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    i wonder how the sci will sound…
    maybe kang is gonna cut all jams short, bring back rollover and RTW back to
    under 8 minutes…lol….lol

  10. SillyWilly Says:


    dude, I believe you about the gyros and Ill have to take you up on the offer one day. Maybe in the touring days ahead…

    I love Greek food.

    I went to high school in SLC where there’s a surprisingly large Greek population because of the mining industry, and those kids showed me some gyros.

    also, is El Pepe as hot as she appeared in the newspaper??

  11. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    exactly @ c0w

  12. c0wfunk Says:

    @stup watch out that’s a lot of sci knowledge you droppin there. I’m quite looking forward to hearin some gritty ditties at the old hampton at halloween as odd as that whole event seems.

  13. Moby Dick Says:

    a poem:

    I am the whale
    If you don’t like it
    Cry in this pail
    I don’t mean to assail
    Your senses
    Or cause there to be fences
    I just let my blowhole
    Go when I want
    Its not my goal
    To sound like an out of tune haunt.

    So if you don’t like me
    Tough. I come from the sea
    Where Octopimps rule
    And seahorses drool.
    And Ned is stuck with wookies.

    I will spermwhale all night long
    With my dork that you call a dong
    Hope you liked this silly song
    I now return to the throng.

  14. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    the cheese will try to sound more like the did in 96 brah… 🙄

  15. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    c0w u know i know my cheese pre 02

  16. c0wfunk Says:

    yeah I know your dirty little secret 😉

  17. c0wfunk Says:

    god I love a good fiddle solo

  18. angryjoggerz Says:

    Ok, maybe next time.

    BK, do have a great time at your first show. I would def talk to your dad about what he may encounter and let him know that you are going to these shows cus you love the music, not because you are interested in drugs. As a dad, I know that would freak me out, so being proactive and letting him know you have thought about the issue and weighed it in your head will go a long way. Have a blast!

  19. c0wfunk Says:

    alright now I’m just being obnoxious, even I can see that

    I’ll be back later kids

  20. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    i really liked railroad earth a lot for a bit, never really kept up with them…

  21. Moby Dick Says:

    obviously we don’t know much about meter in the ocean.

  22. c0wfunk Says:

    @aj missed that at the bottom of last post —

    depending on the dad that could go either way. no way my dad would even make it inside, regardless of the speech I gave. But the fact htat he’s going at all says maybe he knows a little about what may happen? Anyway try to avoid the nitrous mafia, watch the doses your first times through, make sure you drink way more water than you think and dance your ass off. Smile smile smile of course

  23. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    4 sho’ BK good advice AJ
    will def eliminate the probability wanting to get out of there before show is over…

  24. angryjoggerz Says:

    And stop at the Waterwheel table to see another side of Phish, meet some nice people and to kick something down. Don’t be embarassed to buy a tshirt or whatever you want, cool is as cool does. Say hi to your neighbor, dowt be shy to dance and be as enthusiastic as you want.

  25. Gavinsdad Says:

    Wow…were left with cheese talk and a person posting as a fictional whale. What have I been doing for the past year of my life?

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