Moments In Mansfield

Official Mansfield Poster

I left Great Woods scratching my head last night with a question that has grown significant in the flow of recent Phish sets – “Why does Trey keep cutting off jams?” In a very good show at Great Woods that could have been great, Phish got into two sections of improvisation, out of “Sneakin’ Sally” and “Light” that reached points of greatness when Trey singularly decided to lop them off before they came to an organic endings. The flow of a potentially awesome second set became compromised, and we were left with some stellar, relatively disconnected, moments of Phish.

Within each individual jam, Phish is clearly listening to each other very proficiently, jamming as a unit quite well. But any time a piece seems to be progressing into something bigger, the band continues to push ahead in the musical concept, while Trey simply starts a new song. For examples, look no further than the two most significant pieces of last night’s show – “Sneaking Sally” and, more particularly, “Light.” Each jam brought original ideas to the table, connected in cohesive improvisation. But in both cases, (much more flagrantly in “Light”) Trey ended the piece awkwardly, suddenly starting the next song while the rest of the band was clearly still engaged. Food for thought.

6.12.10 (PEEK)

Nonetheless, the highest points in the evening came in “Sally > Light,” and a phenomenal “Slave” that deserved a more complete set to punctuate. “Sally” brought a bulbous funk excursion that had the amphitheatre bumpin’ like a pinball machine. Trey, with short, high-pitched licks and searing leads, and Mike, with thumping bass lines, engaged in creative interplay, leading the band through dance realms without ever falling prey to cliche grooves. Trey briefly previewed the upcoming “Light” by changing tones within the “Sally” jam, but then prematurely chopped in with the song’s initial chords. The band adjusted quickly, resulting in only a slightly rocky transition, but why isn’t Trey allowing jams to reach their natural conclusions?

“Light” entered sublime territory, leaving the song’s build for a darker exploratory realm. Page and Mike stepped up to co-lead this forward-looking experiment while Trey accented the jam from the behind the scenes. This section was amazing, but this section lasted only two and half minutes. As the band jammed on, Trey decided it was time for “Forcety-Six Days,” inexplicably starting the blues-rock number amidst a serious groove. Once the band had left the build of “Light,” they arrived at a plane that seemed destined for greatness along the lines of Blossom’s “Number Line,” but it wasn’t given the chance to grow.

6.15.10 (B.Riley)

Though “46 Days” didn’t go too far, it did include an clever improvised vocal ending before the band played standard versions of “Limb” and “Golgi.” When this dip in the road ended, Phish came back with a gorgeous version of “Slave.” Incredibly patient throughout, the jam featured a quiet initial section without a beat, as the band combined gentle offerings. Listening and responding to each other meticulously, the band built a summer highlight with the apparent set closer. Then throwing the audience a bone, the band tacked on “Loving Cup” to end the summer night.

There were encouraging sections in last night’s second set, but when the dust settled, the whole wasn’t necessarily greater than the sum of its parts. The opening “Mike’s Groove” contained high energy, but straight-forward playing in both halves, as the band has yet to match the creativity of Blossom’s “Groove.” An encore of “First Tube” closed the night on a high note just before the rains came.

At this point, Camden is set up to be a complete blowout with all sorts of big guns due up in the rotation. And Phish destroys Camden as a matter of fact throughout their career. Every.Single.Year. There’s no place like Southern Jersey to get the second-half of tour underway! See you there.

6.18.10 (K.Lindner)

First Set Notes: The jam of the first set came via “Kill Devil Falls.” A stretched out rock improvisation smoked anything in the frame with one of its best outings yet (though not in the same league as Bonnaroos’s versions from last June.) Shredding versions of “Divided Sky” and “Antelope” also dotted an opening frame that saw the debut of another original, “Dr. Gable.” This piece carries a distinctly non-Phishy sound, presenting the potential for something original to grow. Now that Phish has debuted so many new songs, the question remains – why aren’t they playing them? In the past, the band frequently repeated new material to improve it, but this summer we’ve heard a bunch of new pieces only once. Hopefully, along the second half of tour will see the development of  the new side of Phish alongside their classic jams. The band opened with a song called “Lit O Bit,” but as of right now, I do not know if its a Phish song or cover.

I: Lit O Bit*, Camel Walk, Possum, The Divided Sky, Dirt, Sample in a Jar, Kill Devil Falls, Dr. Gabel*, Run Like an Antelope

II: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley > Light > 46 Days, Limb By Limb, Golgi Apparatus, Slave to the Traffic Light, Loving Cup

E: First Tube


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1,342 Responses to “Moments In Mansfield”

  1. Moby Dick Says:

    Mike’s standard

    Weekapaug short but blistering

  2. fat bastard Says:

    for me those 3 songs are the standard. thats the groove for this guy

  3. Moby Dick Says:

    fair enough ^

  4. zzyzx Says:

    The Antelope repeat caught me by surprise too… Kind of weird… There are no rules…

  5. Mr.Palmer Says:

    rule #1- it begins…that is all.

  6. jdub Says:

    Were you swimming around at the show last night Moby?

    I tend to agree that this is a warm up run right now. The band played a fantastic show last night. Yeah Light was cut off but everything seem to have a little extra groove to it. From KDF to the end of the show they brought lots of energy, tight playing, some creative jamming, and lots of dance grooves.

    The end of this run and leg 2 will shred, just be patient and enjoy the warm up.

  7. Mitch Says:

    yeah, she and i took turns so there are a couple parts where it shakes a bit

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    word, jdub!

  9. tela'smuff Says:

    miner – agree 100%

    The transition from Sally>Light actually wasn’t bad at all from what I heard. The Light>46 Days was on par with the Sand>Horse. I have shared my ideas on why Trey does what he does already, and I think it’s somewhat obvious, although I’d love to talk with him about it.

    Last nights Sally>Light is the reason you can’t help but keep going to the next show. Brilliant.

    lastly, I’m getting kinda tired of the “just be happy they’re back”, “along for the ride”, “start your own band” comments because Miner, or others are looking for more jamming. No shit. I don’t need sage advice on how to appreciate the band. I love Phish, always have fun at shows. As long as I troll a Phish message board, I’ll offer critique when I deem the music worthy of it. I’m actually kind of taken aback by how many people seemingly don’t seem to mind that they aren’t really jamming. I started seeing the band in ’94 and maybe leading up through ’96 Phish wasn’t all about the jam, but the moments that stand out in lore are the times they did. The tour of tours was built around the jam in ’97. What many consider to be the top of the top shows at the Island Run, was because of the jam. Big Cypress was about the jams. The thing that MADE Phish was the jam (regardless of what zzyzx thinks). Otherwise they would just be like a Ween (who by the way jams equally to Phish now) or a They Might Be Giants or some equally quirkey band. They set themselves apart from all others by improve in a live setting, otherwise known as a JAM.

    with that being said, I still think Blossom #Line is easily the best jam of the tour. Listened to it on JamOn this morning. It’s one of the better moments of complete band itnerplay that I’ve heard in a very long time.

  10. carleethian Says:

    Have you guys seen this, and can someone confirm if this is this legit?

  11. lastwaltzer Says:

    If i read what miner is saying correctly his complete has nothing to do with the “length of jams” or how “psychedelic” they get. Its all about trey just chopping the jams by playing louder then everyone else, which leads me to believe trey just doesn’t care as much as he used too. I haven’t listened to last night yet but based on similar complaints that I’ve made (ex. #line>carini chicago 09) this is just ridiculous that a musician as well versed as Trey would keep doing this, unless he didn’t care. Shit just doesn’t compute.

    If he doesn’t want long jams fine, but find a means to an end naturally. I’d rather hear a song come to a slow stop and a new one start fresh then hear trey turn his guitar volume up and start chopping in a different key then the rest of the band hoping they’ll catch up. If this is all Trey I would imagine it is pissing of page, mike and fish because it makes them sound like shit which I would hope they’re not into.

  12. Brimley Says:

    Snap Tela, I agree with you… Miner takes it to the next level but he also goes to about every show so I believe that he can…I go to 2-3 shows a year if i’m lucky (work/non-phan wife) and that’s why I can tolerate a more “jamless” show…

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    anyone having trouble with their gmail this morning?

    I can’t get in.

    I don’t think its on my end because my connection is find everywhere else. I’m here on the BB with no problems.

  14. BeantownBoy Says:

    @ Silly

    Logged into the Google world without any problems.

    Now who has a good link for the past few shows as YawningDrone hates my work computer?

  15. poop goblin Says:

    Agree with you 100% Tela

    Except the part about the jam starting post 97

    As a kid that got off in summer 97 to me summer 95 will always be the most epic of all jamming tours

    I didn’t tour in the 97-2004 era but was somehow hooked as a jam fan earlier

    If they weren’t jamming earlier I don’t know how I got so damn addicted to em

  16. BingosBrother Says:

    @Tela’s : I’m sure your critique comes out of love, but unless we are there or at least have the chance to listen to the show from a good source instead of a shitty stream then I think we should all hold off a bit. Trey isn’t the only one who needs a little patience. Just a little patience, yeeeaaahhhh. I been walkin the streets tonight….etc.

  17. GhostPhunk Says:

    Sample seems a bit soon and out of place on a tuesday. Antelope repeat makes me think Red wasn’t happy with SPAC’s lope. I’m obviously grabbing this show but the Sally is reason enough to check it out I think.

    Miner, nice write up, love this part
    “Mike, with thumping bass lines, engaged in creative interplay, leading the band through dance realms without ever falling prey to cliche grooves.”

    Mike has been en fuego for sure.

  18. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Very good post Tela’s. The magic will be there on certain nights for sure. I just think to hold the band to the same standards re: jamming that they had 10-15 years ago is asking a bit much. I think to listen to set II last night and to only come away with, ” they botched the transition into 46 Days” is unfortunate. ( Not saying this is you BTW).

    I think your analysis is good and well thought out, keep it coming.

  19. BingosBrother Says:

    @Lando : that is beautiful.

  20. poop goblin Says:

    I also feel 2nd set on paper looks like a blast

  21. kayatosh Says:

    listening to lit o bit right now. bouncy. very much like party time.

    So the band’s primed to unleash killer shows @ camden. sounds good, since i’ll be at both.

    tomorrow, baby! strut your stuff..

  22. poop goblin Says:

    I still feel things will play out like this

    Step 1. remember and play the songs. 09 was all about just getting reacquainted with the material.

    Step 2. tighten up the material. With Fish and Mike more in the pocket
    and the overall number of trainwreck flubs down
    dramatically so far 2010 has def achieved this to my ears

    Step 3. build off the tighter grooves and minimized mistakes to get creative and turn on the hose

    I really think this is just a natural progression of them coming back and building this shit back up from the ground up.
    Could be totally wrong though.

    I don’t think Trey wants to turn this shit into DMB.
    I hope.

  23. Mr.Palmer Says:

    On a positive note. I think the last 5 shows have been the best 5 consecutive shows since they’ve returned in ’09. Just one man’s opinion.

  24. kayatosh Says:

    yo, poop. sure does look good on paper.

    got out of half my short position yesterday on the sell-off. have the other half to dump today. looks like i’ll open in the black. Question is how long can i hang on today after being deeply in the red on this position for a week and two days. i don’t feel like going back there. would be nice to wrap things up before i descend on camden.

  25. Chris Says:

    I’m a fair person, and this is one area where I’m in agreement w/ Miner. I don’t think Trey lacks confidence. I think the people who make that argument are pissed at Trey’s playing and think he *must* lack confidence . . . but that’s not it.

    I don’t know if it’s sobriety, or all the years off, or the dr00gs, or what. But Trey just doesn’t seem comfortable operating as a bandmember these days.

    What we’re left with is one part Phish (the material) and one part “best TAB lineup evar!!1!”

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