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

*Debut

Tags: ,

1,342 Responses to “Moments In Mansfield”

  1. Mister Says:

    i have 2 hardcopy thursday camden tix sec 202 for your 2 friday tix. Give me a yell if interested. 

  2. Selector J Says:

    gdad I’ll put Grounation in the mediafire for you.

    Just heard some samples of that Dadawah. Way more composed than Grounation but sounds fantastic. Kinda ashamed I’m just finding out about that one.

  3. flarrdogg Says:

    Slave from last night. An absolute gem.

    I think Waves and ASIHTOS may not be heard from again anytime soon. Bummer. Love those tunes and both are great candidates for blast off.

    Leo- Great minds, baby! Great Minds!

  4. hoedown Says:

    We WILL see Ghost in Camden. Mark it Dude! So many songz I’m hoping for, Ocean Sing and Pebbles would be great. The wife is gunning for some Saw it Again ;)

  5. flarrdogg Says:

    Palmer- re: Light On my relisten, I wished Page would jump in and push it another direction altogether a la Albany seven below when Trey is about to throw in the towel on that jam. There was plenty of space.

  6. hoedown Says:

    Our 1 year wedding anni is on Saturday and we’re shooting down to Merriweather as well. A Access Me would make her night!

  7. BrandonKayda Says:

    I’m just going to plug my ears and pretend that Camden got 4 sets of Jennifer Dances and Nickelback covers (ouch).

    I do realize that both nights Camden will be pure fire, but the last thing i need to be thinking about on the way to MPP is how great Camden was. No need to go in there with any expectations.

    Regardless, all 4 nights are going to be hot, and I am extremely stoked for my first shows. There is plenty of love to go around.

  8. Leo Weaver Says:

    @phoamm…I’ll shoot you an email tomorrow about MPP. Trying to do something Sunday, but I’ll be roaming on Saturday.

  9. neemor Says:

    Weird.
    To me, that Light had run its course and they finished it with an interesting flurry that set up 46 Days…
    I had no problem with it.
    Remember, this is a band doing things on the run.
    Some call it “Improvisational Music” or ‘improv’ for short.
    Sometimes things work perfectly.
    Sometimes, they sound a little force.
    It is part and parcel with walking up to the edge of a cliff.
    They do it on any long jam.
    Composition.
    Set up.
    Groove.
    Explore.
    Tension/release.
    End or segue or slide out ambiently.

    There’s a method to the madness and when you are playing what the vibe hands you, most segues don’t fit together like Pangaea.

    Comes with the territory.

    I happen to enjoy it and it’s why I go night after night…the improv keeps me alive.

  10. angryjoggerz Says:

    yeah man, want to check out that Grounation

  11. flarrdogg Says:

    hoedown- Happy anni. Pebbles would be smooth. I was pleasantly surprised when they dropped that at Gorge last summer- excellent tune IMO.

    Peaches bustout at some point.

    Alright. I need to step away from the computer. G’night all. Little ned, etc…

  12. neemor Says:

    flarr:
    Why do you think no SIHTOS?
    Deer Creek’s last year was sick and placed for the storm.
    If it rains in Camden (or not), we’re bound to see one.

    Now Walls of the Cave…there’s one that I’d like to see throw down again.
    Listen toooooooo…..
    The silent treees……

  13. Mr.Palmer Says:

    @Hoedown- that sounds like a nice 1st Anniversary. My wife would laugh at me if i asked her to see Phish on our anniversary.

    @ BK- Don’t sweat it. No such thing as a “bad ” Phish show( except during the “end”). MPP will slay. Plus you get 2 nights. Seeing consecutive shows is the way to do it if possible. Shit, your gonna see Phish perform approx. 40 songs for you. Think about that.

  14. neemor Says:

    Access Me for hoedown and his little woman.
    stamp’d.
    Congrats!

  15. hoedown Says:

    BK- plenty to go around, yes plenty for sure! Plus the ‘lope has proved it’s all Game…
    Flarr- thanks!

  16. neemor Says:

    Sally drop Greatwoods ’10=Peaches drop MSG ’09

  17. neemor Says:

    Back-to-back Antelopes twice now in my career.
    The power of the jersey.

  18. Leo Weaver Says:

    The >Light was set up perfectly IMO…it was there for the taking…but Trey rushed the opening notes. If he’d stretched those notes out over a couple of measures, it would’ve been flawless…and we’d all be discussing how fucking stellar it was. Sally was great but had run its course.

    The >46 Days was getting there, but could’ve used a little more time. You could hear it coming, but as (I think) butter noted this morning, Trey just slammed into it. It was very abrupt. But still not too far away from working. Then they smoked 46 Days.

    The boys aren’t far off…at all. It’s all gonna blow up at either Camden or MPP, maybe both.

  19. neemor Says:

    Alright, off to get a good night’s sleep.
    Off to Camden in the early afternoon/late morning.
    See y’all @ WWheel pre-mid-show!!!

    How about Bye Bye Foot?
    Final call for Thursday.
    And Timber for Friday.

    neemor stamp’d

  20. hoedown Says:

    Best part is it was HER idea. We hit Hershey, Hartford, and SPAC so I wasn’t thinking Merriweather. So cool to have a wife who gets IT!

  21. Leo Weaver Says:

    Keep wearin’ it neems…just be sure to give it time to wash itself ;-)

    @flarr…gonna get a Georgia Peach in Hotlanta

  22. Selector J Says:

    Grounation’s zipped up and in the mediafire. It’just sitting at the bottom of the list with no folder.

    fyi I took the liberty of fusing two tracks together, 2. Narration and 3. Narration (continued), which are clearly one continuous track but for some reason were split into two. The only reason I mention it is that track 3 will appear missing. It’s not.

  23. ChefBradford Says:

    Peaches seems like an indoor, fall/winter tune for some reason

    Would love to see it though

    I’d make a checklist of all the songs I want to see played next week, but it’d be most of ‘em

  24. KWL Says:

    hey folks

    click my name for hartford 2 and spac 2 pics

    can’t believe i’m missing camden

    see y’all at cmac

  25. hoedown Says:

    And we’re hitting Camden of coarse. Can’t miss the home town gigz. Her 1st show was 2/28/03-she’s my good luck charm :)

Leave a Reply