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. Moby Dick Says:



  2. angryjoggerz Says:

    sheees back

  3. Moby Dick Says:


  4. SillyWilly Says:


    I found Laura Pepe.

  5. lastwaltzer 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?” gavinsdad

    too bad that couldn’t have been the last post of the day…needless to say it would have been epic.

  6. Moby Dick Says:

    one mystery solved.

  7. Moby Dick Says:

    there you are LW

    was sad that I ran you off.

  8. angryjoggerz Says:

    I like the lazer beam funk going on in Carini.

  9. angryjoggerz Says:

    And its so heady how the steep is 4minutes and 20 seconds long. Now that takes practice!

  10. bhizzle Says:

    @the light between….there were alot opinions out there today, some not as eloquent as yours, but I must agree on a couple of your points, the repitition of the RnR & Drowned and cutting jams short (my BIGGEST beef). As I’ve said multiple times on here before, I noticed it at Hershey and hated it and hoped it would end there. As for the “whale”, I cannot comment on that becuase I’m a oblivious phool. All i know is when Trey jams I love it.

  11. lastwaltzer Says:


    since your so lost in your personality disorder you may have forgotten there is a world beyond this screen………..although i guess for you its currently being covered by oil

    I ask again DO YOU KNOW YOU

  12. Moby Dick Says:


    it sounds like me and you need to get together so you can get to know me better.

    I am not as annoying once you get to know me.

  13. Moby Dick Says:


    that harpoon actually glanced me this time @LW

    nicely done.

    although I do post often from my phone while I am doing other things.

    nonetheless good shot sir.

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    Just got an email review from a friend who worked for the band for some time and has been on tour since forever, all that. He seemed to love last night and rave about it. Guess it again confirms that different people experience things differently.

    Let’s hear it for diversity of experience!

  15. bhizzle Says:

    when have I made any reference that I found you annoying Moby?

  16. Mitch Says:

    light between,
    dont be a stranger. nice to have more input. thats what this place needs is more opinions. but seriously, i like what you said. speak up more.

  17. SillyWilly Says:

    got a blank space where my mind should be!

  18. lastwaltzer Says:


    like working……….i know who you are……………….

  19. Mitch Says:

    Abrubtly Dropping Horse Down


  20. lastwaltzer Says:

    who the fuck is laura pepe

  21. Moby Dick Says:

    oh you didnt at bhizzle

    just saying a lot of people find me (the whale tone) annoying, and as you said you haven’t been able to recognize the whale tone, I figured we could get some coffee over the end of Chicago Light or the jam of SPAC Roggae and you could judge for yourself.

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    she is the new karissa

  23. SillyWilly Says:


  24. Moby Dick Says:


    the harpoon only glanced me.

    You still are no closer to hookin me.

  25. jdub Says:

    Bingo brothers is the whale. If you get called out reveal thyself and end this charade.

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