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. Leo Weaver Says:

    I’ve got to spin set 2 stat…gotta hear these cutoffs for myself.

  2. lastwaltzer Says:

    oh and the chicago Light

  3. HarryHood Says:

    I think I share some of the frustrations that Miner is experiencing….. When you got into a band because they are doing something that you love, it’s hard to accept when they stop doing it in favor of something else.

  4. poop goblin Says:

    Cuz I’m bored, the girls on vacation, could use the vacation, don’t miss any work, have the cash, want to kick it with Robear,and like seeing shows el Dude

    That’s why I’m hitting Atlanta
    As far as the west coast opening up again like last year.
    You’d think it’s just crazy talk.
    But after listening to RR and the Gorge compared to the rest of the tour something tangible seems to be happing out there

  5. Leo Weaver Says:

    Public Service Announcement:

    MPP…if you’re going, sign the meetup sheet. I’m gonna try to send out an email today re: potential meetup on Sunday in the lot.

  6. El Duderino Says:

    @ HH

    Be thankful only your 46 Days is premature!!! 😉

  7. tela'smuff Says:

    “He’s fine, The band is fine, everybody is fine. This is 3.0 get over it. Sounds great to my ears!”

    that’s my point – why do people insist on stifling critique? Dude, i’m happy it’s sounds great to your ears. I’ve stated on many levels it’s good to my ears also, on certain levels. I come to Phish message boards to discuss Phish. Phish from day one has opened itself up to this type of critique. They welcomed it.

  8. Robear Says:

    loves every version of ’46 Days’

    last nights reminds me of last year’s MSG. They get a powerhouse sound going. Cascading sheets of music.

  9. GhostPhunk Says:


    Exactly man.

    To hit on the curfew point, while I believe this is legit, I’m more pissed that the setlist needs to be “finished” as opposed to just letting the magic happen and fitting in what you can. That’s beyond annoying. It honestly somewhat cheapens the deal for me, it’s like compromising an aspect artistical integrity to allow another to see its fruition and unfortunately I’m a fan of the part that’s getting the back seat.

  10. poop goblin Says:

    Count me as another that is quite happy with the 2010 progression

    I still think Toyota was my favorite show outside Miami of 3.0
    Let it breathe

    Trust the artists

  11. kayatosh Says:

    doc. gabel is a cool tune. and slave was tops.

    so from 6/22 i have lit o bit, camel walk, dirt, gabel, sn sally, light, and slave

    did i miss any highlights?

  12. El Duderino Says:

    Cascading sheets of LSD is more my style

  13. jay Says:

    we are not freaking out. We are having a conversation prompted by Miner’s review. He was scratching his head. So am I. I am pretty happy with Phish right now and would seriously have a blast at a show. This is not attending a show. This is a bulletin board where we discuss, and disect, and think aout loud.

    Maybe you need to stop freaking out about these discussions 🙂
    They are very healthy.

  14. poop goblin Says:

    we do welcom open positive discussion and disagreement here

    let’s not dwell on the same things though

    but some cats aren’t feeling it
    nothing wrong with that either

    just be respectful and not beat topics to death

    it’s all good

    sure beats babylon

  15. SillyWilly Says:

    the world cup refs have been killing us

  16. HarryHood Says:

    @ Dude

    I completely agree with you. I’m not arguing that point. I’m just saying that when you are a fan of the dark exploratory jams, this new style leads to intense frustration. I think you are right in that it was used as a crutch and it may bring back bad memories for Trey. Unfortunately there are about 10,000 people in the crowd each night that never went too far off the deep end and like to go back to that place for a while. No, I don’t want Trey going back to his habits and I would trade the dark jams to see him stay healthly. I’m not going to lie though and say that I don’t miss that style of playing in favor of the all night dance party that they throw night after night now. I’m just too old and don’t have the energy that I had when I was 18.

  17. poop goblin Says:

    I am one that doesn’t like one way discussions

    it’s a 2 way street

    everyone’s opinion is valid here

    it’s just how you say it IMO

  18. Mr.Palmer Says:

    So, what do you guys think of the “Whale” 🙂

  19. El Duderino Says:

    See there ya’ go.
    I say something that is so truthful and people pile on with a “what the fuck is your problem Dude?” kinda dealy…

    These convos are getting very redundant. and when you call it out people get pissed.

  20. kayatosh Says:

    I’ve been listening to this tour obsessively and haven’t tired of what i’m hearing yet.

    I’ve been a fan of phish since 92 and have been seeing shows since then. My interest waned in 2003 and fell off in 2004 — i even skipped my hometown show in the summer of 2004.

    Phish in 2010 is about as good as you could ask for. I am very satisfied and entertained.

    Rock on, boys.

  21. HarryHood Says:

    I really wish they would come out with a written first set dance party and throw the setlist away for set II and just see what happens. This would be ideal.

  22. HarryHood Says:

    @ Dude

    I agree with you man. Never said that I didn’t.

  23. zzyzx Says:

    “A huge majority of Phish fans are searching for the jam. ”

    No, a huge majority of the diehard Phish fans might be, but that group makes up a fraction of the people at the show.

    “When you got into a band because they are doing something that you love, it’s hard to accept when they stop doing it in favor of something else.”

    Agreed, that was me in 1998. Fortunately this band is ever evolving. Don’t like where they are now, wait another year or two.

  24. El Duderino Says:

    I miss Jerry!!!

    I said it.
    Pile on.

  25. HarryHood Says:

    llfa, after all the complaints I had about SPAC 2 after going, I’m listening now and really enjoying it…… I can honestly say that I can understand how people sitting at home loved this show. There was just something different about being there I guess.

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