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:

    oh I will @jdub

    I will.

    So far no winners.

  2. bhizzle Says:

    moby…i prefer not being in the know…if i haven’t noticed it yet I must enjoy it….just don’t like the abrupt ending to the jams

  3. Mitch Says:

    lastwaltzer click here. everyone else can too if they are feeling lazy

  4. Moby Dick Says:

    well the abrubt endings have nothing to do with me.

    although the seahorses did mention something about Trey’s premature spermwhaling.

  5. BrandonKayda Says:

    I’m loving this mystery of figuring out who Moby Dick is…

    Unfortunately I cannot participate in the solving of the mystery…

  6. YborCity Says:

    Lauren Pepe is my girlfriend.

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    no she’s not Ybor

  8. angryjoggerz Says:

    BK, we have a little pre show advice for you a few pages back if you are interested. Have a great first show, my friend!

  9. bhizzle Says:

    in bittersweet trey did mention something about “spermwhaling” when the band got everything perfect in the interview over there in europe

    mitch ….crazy trick with the link…

  10. lastwaltzer Says:

    mitch, I have nothing witty to say to that…………………

  11. jdub Says:

    That Laura pepe story is hilarious, although I’m sure her parents weren’t amused.

  12. angryjoggerz Says:

    Did she go to the show and just say fuck it and left with some wooks on tour? If so, she is having a much more fun summer than i am. I bet she is on the Yoshua bus.

  13. Mitch Says:


  14. SillyWilly Says:

    Right, jdub.

    She goes missing, everyone freaks, and turns out she said, ‘Fuck it! Im going on tour!”

    seems like something we’d dream of doing.

  15. Moby Dick Says:

    So my real name identi>HORSE!

    out to go get mexican

  16. Mitch Says:

    thats what i thought too. big brown double decker cult bus came to mind. fuck it tho if you get to go on tour and dont have to drink the kool aid that kills you. the ones with acid are ok tho.

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    Oh, to add BK. If you see a big red school bus with a cross on the front, dont go on it with your dad. Thanks.

  18. bhizzle Says:

    isn’t she 26 or something like that? her ass should be on her own anyway…time for the lil birdie to take her first flight attempt from the nest…she shoul;d be able to find a suga daddy easy

  19. c0wfunk Says:

    @mitch that’s absolutely fantastic lmao nice nice I’m going to have to use that

  20. c0wfunk Says:

    mediagenic blonde girl disappears and the world goes nuts. Media’s favorite story.

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    I just think thats hilarious. Fuck you, friends. Fuck you, parents. Im going on tour!

    this is wayyyyy better than dave matthews!

  22. The Light Between Says:

    Oh one other thing, Makisupa: not my favorite song, and usually kind of a show-stopper for me momentum wise, but I always have a soft spot for it because it was such a key part of two of my first favorite shows to listen to, back in the days of Maxell. Sugarbush ’95 and Bomb Factory ’94

  23. c0wfunk Says:

    I’m curious about this “makisupa as show killer” thought – anyone else? I’ve always thought of maki as a sweet little treat that punctuates many of my favorite treats. And you get dub beats from fish and you get reggae grooves from mike. Big fan of the tune. I’ve always thought it worked better in the second set than the first in fact.

  24. bhizzle Says:

    this is wayyyyy better than dave matthews!…..word blondie

  25. c0wfunk Says:

    shoudl have been “many of my favorite sets”

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