A Sinister Sunday

6.27.10 - Merriweather (Graham Lucas)

Phish concluded their transformative weekend on Sunday night with a dark, thematic set filled with shredding musicianship and exploratory jamming. Punctuating a four-night run that nobody will soon forget, Phish leapt into the fray with an igneous experiment that read “Saw It Again > Piper > Ghost > Jumping Jack Flash > Saw It Again.” Bookended by groove sessions, this psychedelic suite provided the core of the show, careening into uncharted territory with the new and improved Phish from Vermont.

Sparking the eighth set of the weekend with “Wilson,” the band cranked up the heat on an unbearably hot evening at Merriweather Post Pavilion, using Gamehendge as an energetic trampoline into the final frame. Potentially responding to an “up-fronter’s” sign, the band dropped into “Meatstick” out of left field, juicing the millennial anthem’s feel-good funk with emotive guitar leads and an out-of-character jaunt into a series of swamp grooves. As Trey, ripped a single chord, the band left the song’s progression for swanky dance rhythms that stretched seductively until Trey got another idea in his head. Once Red awkwardly ended a growing “Meatsick” with the opening riff of “Saw It Again,” the set flowed impeccably from here on out.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

Staging a sonic assault in “Saw It Again,” the band stretched the piece into thunderous sheets of sound and psychedelia while screaming the lyrics over the top of the evil soundtrack. Morphing into a significant piece of musical dramedy, the band continued shrieking the one-liner as they built a spacey segue into “Piper,” much like SPAC’s “Makisupa > Piper” transition from a week ago. And with “Piper” came the unquestionable creative and innovative highlight of the evening. Take the full-band crushing from “Oswego” ’99’s legendary version, and cross it with “Miami’s” crafty piece of musical density, and you’d come close to approximating the vibe of this stellar summer standout. Bombarding the crowd with a sawed-off shotgun of musical ideas, Phish exploded in an ever-morphing series of mini-jams. Without a tangible linear theme, the band took a jump off the deep end, going for the jugular in an experimental piece of roaring proportions. Transcending the uptempo rage-fest and avoiding generic percussive jamming of ’09, Phish wove through many creative portions of new-era music. This is one that needs to be heard to truly comprehend, as it reaches so many diverse places. In the jam’s denouement, the band broke into a groove that brought rhythmic resolution to the freight-train that had just demolished the venue. Moving the outro into a spacier texture, the band slid from their sprawling epic into the long-awaited second “Ghost” of summer.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

Left untouched since opening night in Chicago, the crowd was more than ready for the seminal late-90’s vehicle. This version shied from straight groove, as Trey began soloing early with notable nimbleness, and he simply never stopped. The whole band toyed with the changes of “I Saw It Again” throughout the “Ghost” jam, thematically uniting the non-stop sequence. Taking center stage, Trey slayed his leads as the band continued a driving groove beneath his display of fireworks. In an aural double-take, virtually nobody in the audience realized that Phish had sculpted “Ghost’s” jam directly into The Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Trey simply stepped up and sung the lyrics over the existing pattern in the smoothest possible segue; the kind you don’t even realize is happening. Blowing out the end of the cover, the band began chanting “I Saw It Again” over an increasingly menacing texture, moving back into the song that started all this madness. In a fifty-minute period of maniacal music, Phish painted Sunday evening black, celebrating their new found confidence with a compelling trek into the underworld.

Official Merriweather Poster

Breaking out “Contact” for a light, late-set interlude, Phish capped the evening with a short but sweet “You Enjoy Myself”, featuring “Jumping Jack Flash” teases at the beginning and end of the jam. The lyrical reprise of “I Saw It Again” that surfaced throughout the set came out most creatively as Trey substituted “Boy,” and portions of the “Wassha Uffizi” lyrics, with “I Saw It Again,” all completely in rhythm and with hilarious intonation.

Last night Phish underlined a set of seething music with their classic sense of comical creativity, illustrating, once again, that the band has arrived. Playing another flowing set flooded with modern ideas, Phish followed up their past two nights with yet another magnificent evening.With three straight nights of next-generation Phish, the band has redefined what it means to be a fan in 2010. Cranking out everything in their repertoire, from exploratory jamming to ornate compositions, and doing it like the maestros that they are, Phish has taken the second half of tour by storm. After this weekend, the south should take heed, as a musical cyclone is about to hit the region. With only a Tuesday stop in Canandaigua separating us from tour’s four-night finale, June will always be remembered as the month when the band began moving forward again. And the future has never looked brighter.

Set I Notes: The first set featured six summer bust outs, most notably, “Walfredo,” “Tela,” and Bob Marley’s “Mellow Mood.” Though everything was played quite well, the set picked up steam, in earnest, with another scorching “Bathtub Gin,” which, in turn, set the table for a closing “Antelope.” Before the two classic vehicles emerged, the set had translated as a somewhat choppy recital; but its ending salvaged the opening frame.

I: Walfredo, Mellow Mood, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, The Divided Sky, Tela, My Soul, Ginseng Sullivan, Sample in a Jar, Bathtub Gin, Brian and Robert, Run Like an Antelope

II: Wilson, Meatstick > Saw It Again > Piper* > Ghost* > Jumpin’ Jack Flash^ > Saw It Again > Contact*, You Enjoy Myself**

E: Fire*

*Saw It Again lyrical quotes
**Saw It Again quotes and Jumpin Jack Flash teases; Saw It Again and Surfin’ Bird quotes in vocal jam.
^ Phish debut

"Tela" - 6.27.10 (Graham Lucas)

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1,083 Responses to “A Sinister Sunday”

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  1. sandstone Says:

    Rarely do I disagree with Miner, but he completely understated (if possible) what we saw and heard last night. That was the best post-reunion show. Period. And for eight minutes during “My Soul,” Phish was the best blues band on the planet. It was a show for the ages and quite possibly the most well-constructed concert Phish has orchestrated in decades.

  2. Al Says:

    ^Wow! Gotta get it…

  3. blankman Says:

    ^I agree 100%. Although, I may be a little biased because Saw it Again was the very first Phish song I loved and one I have been chasing for awhile.

  4. Mr.Palmer Says:

    This weekend, WE saw IT again….

  5. goochy Says:

    We really did. Last night we saw *IT*. They’re mixing every style – shredding, funk, space grooves – all with pin point accuracy. This is a return to ’97/’98 form in my mind, without a doubt.

  6. bouncin fan Says:

    So fun to witness a band on the uptrend

    There just getting going.

    After finally clicking in Miami the progressions this tour have been amazing

    Still have some work to do but by the end of fall watch the fuck out

    Can’t wait for Atlanta

  7. Jared Atwell Says:

    I’ve seen nearly 60 shows since 1997 and I have to say I agree with Sandstone. Best show I’ve seen since Deer Creek “Moby Dick” Show.

  8. Al Says:

    I still think the MSG 09 run was better than Miami. For this summer tour I still have to listen to more….can’t say anything yet.

  9. bouncin fan Says:

    Had fun at msg but I’m not a energy show guy

    Besides light pretty contained jamming

    Miami tweezer ghost bott piper

    Something felt like it clicked down there
    Fish woke up

    Both great runs though.

  10. bouncin fan Says:

    2009 was all fun and games

    2010 is about getting back to business

  11. Paul Says:

    This show was bananas. Even PT has been collectively shitting themselves. I love this band.

  12. ReidIcculus Says:

    What a great flipping weekend, and all I did was watch and listen from afar…

    does this mean I’m gonna have to pay double for tix to atlanta?

  13. Exree Hipp Says:

    Have to agree that Miami was the highlight of last year. Fishman’s work in BOTT, and the Tweezer jam in general were bests of the year for me, excepting perhaps Gorge I’s Light> Taste and Albany II’s epicness.

    But I am loving 2010 with no reservations. Last four shows and 6/20 are going to stay in the rotation for a long long time.

    Drowned from 6/20 is still my favorite jam of the year though I think.

  14. Robear Says:

    Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.

  15. Robear Says:

    miner, not enough hyperbole this morning for some cats.

    i get IT though. nice review.

  16. Owsley_Bear Says:

    Last night was as good as it gets. High energy, great jamming, and down right fun.

    Mike has owned this entire tour, but Big Red stepped up last night and killed. Phish showed last night what is truly possible in 3.0. Best show I’ve seen start to finish since 98.

  17. Luther Justice Says:

    Everything we’ve witnessed since Hampton has brought the band to this point. They’ve been putting the pieces of this together and now they have arrived. I even think Phish 3.0 could bring some of the best music of their career. Aftet the last 4 shows, I’m really starting to believe this to be true. Their creativity is back and its blowing these shows up.

    Congrats to BK on his first two shows. And because he saw two shows of that caliber, I’m afraid our boy will forever be on the chase. It couldn’t have played out more perfect for him.

    The sleeper show’s tomorrow. Watch for it.

  18. willowed Says:

    Wow….Just the other day I was chatting on here with zzxy about Saw It Again and how I would love that jam to return.

    Boy did it return….holy shit!

  19. ReidIcculus Says:

    Shades of Vegas 2000, all over this show…

  20. sumodie Says:

    sounds like some peeps had a lil fun these past 4 days

    maybe the band too

    guess bk got what he deserved

    wonder if bk’s dad found his face?

  21. Litteringand Says:

    “To me it look like a meatstick to me” Anyone seen a meatstick say yaaha!

  22. ReidIcculus Says:

    I’m gonna get a meatstick and uproot this tree…

  23. Mr.Miner Says:

    I even think Phish 3.0 could bring some of the best music of their career.
    ^ have been saying this since pre-comeback…agreed.

  24. willowed Says:

    It’s really funny how this place has done a complete turn around. Remember the vibe on this place after Miner’s Spac 2 write up.
    No jams, scratching head etc…..
    Man how things change.
    Let’s keep this positivity rolling!!
    Life it to short to be all pissy!!

  25. KWL Says:

    very nice

    can’t wait to spin the merriweather shows. really glad bk saw these 2, the kid deserved it.

    was really hoping for that ghost at cmac.

    have a good one y’all

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