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”

  1. bouncin fan Says:

    With the boys catching their stride and me catching 11 shows in a row starting in Atlanta summer vacation starting to look pretty epic

  2. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    Hey guys. At a wedding all weekend, barely had time to catch the setlists. Really excited to ‘drone these shows!

  3. kayatosh Says:

    mellow mood gets the thumbs up. some nice trey work and vocals sound good.

  4. garretc Says:

    Also:
    Gavinsdad and jtran served as the best hosts anyone could ask for! So hats off to you folks!

  5. BeantownBoy Says:

    Yeah, garret.

    Glad to see you finally got your first taste of live phish and what a first taste it was leaving you wanting more.

    Soon you’ll be rearranging your life and justifying 10-hour car trips.

  6. bouncin fan Says:

    Have mercy this summer

    Can feel it

  7. Guyute711 Says:

    Sounds like they may need to practice Tela a little bit. They should practice in the south this week.

  8. garretc Says:

    @Beantown
    I definitely spent more than a few minutes this trip considering hitting Canandaigua, just moving my flight to a different airport on a different day, find someone to work for me… Alas, don’t have the money…

    West coast fall tour however…

  9. AintNoTele Says:

    Whats up crew? I just got back in charleston after driving straight here after the show with llamalee. We made it in one piece! Show was awesome last night no doubt. Great review miner.

    Check out the brian and robert tease in antelope as well. Trey toys with it a bit a la boogielope. I was front row infront of mike and was yelling for more footbell and got a “ting” for the BB during divided sky of all places!

    I also tracked down BK and his padre and he seemed super psyched to be there and had some great seats taboot.

    How can i put some pictures up from last night?

  10. jdub Says:

    Not sure if diving into Meatstick> I Saw it Again>Piper was a good idea first thing Monday morning but damn that was intense. Piper is a straight up high wire act with the band changing lanes at 90 mph. Good thing Ghost settled me down a bit cause that Piper scrambled my head.

    Could be stretching but it sounded like the last couple minute shred fest of Piper had a raging crosseyed feel, with a slight Page reference to still waiting. Is phish causing me to hear things?

  11. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Haha- Walfredo is a trainwreck. The Mellow Mood is sweetness though.

    Note to self- Hit the shows that GarretC hits. Good to hear you made it through in one piece. safe travels back home. Nice meeting you. till next time……

  12. AintNoTele Says:

    I noticed something really awesome as well during the transition from meatstick>Saw it again. Trey had the transition nailed but jumped it a little too early and during the little wobble he looks to page and mike and says “sorry” real quick then picks right back up. I think that this gesture can put a lot of people at ease knowing that 1) Trey isnt just aborting jams and is really trying to nail these segues and 2) even when there is a stuble there is no thunder lost. He just picks back up and shreds harder!

  13. tela'smuff Says:

    @punk – that was me. All 3 of those bands are very good, with Singers & Players being one of favorites.

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    @Ain’tNoTele

    It was real nice meeting you last night, hope you had an incredible time. Last night was mind-blowing.

    And you were the one who provoked the footbell during that Divided Sky huh? Nice work man. 🙂 Trey seemed extra thrilled from Div. Sky on (the song after it was TELA, come on)

    Second set was extremely psychedelic, loved it. Piper was a rager, got into some real nice dance grooves before changing shape a few times. Whole show was pure fire.

  15. phlyPhisher Says:

    phish has revived my interest in their music after these last few shows. im getting true exploration that i hadn’t heard much all spring, and most of 09.

    this is great.

  16. garretc Says:

    Yeah Mr. P, it was good to put yet another face to its respective BB name! And I certainly wouldn’t mind becoming a good luck charm for shows…

  17. jdub Says:

    @BK, so happy you got the shows you did. And got to share it with your dad taboot.

  18. AintNoTele Says:

    BK: I had an absolute blast! I built up some serious dancin legs between these two nights. Anyone that says white boys cant dance has, well…probably seen me dance this weekend.

    intense was my codeword for the trip. I thought I was going to have a heart attack at the end of Saw it Again, talk about sensory overload.

  19. jdub Says:

    @GarretC, and your trip ended much better than it started I assume.

  20. Guyute711 Says:

    BK, would your Dad want to go back and see them again?

  21. garretc Says:

    Yeah Ain’tNoTele, I noticed that too! I thought “oh no, here it comes again!!” And then “ahhh, nice. Keep the jam going!”

    Felt that Ghost coming all night long, raged when they dropped it!

    And I got my Contact too, no less! My first favorite Phish song

    Sorry I couldn’t meet up with anybody, I wasn’t particularly contactable (no pun intended) once jtran and I hit the road from Jersey…

  22. HarryHood Says:

    This Hood from Camden 1 goes really nicely with my morning coffee. Wow what a great version!

  23. HarryHood Says:

    BK find his face yet?

  24. garretc Says:

    @jdub

    Well, it’s not over quite yet, I still have 6 hours of waiting in the Baltimore airport before takeoff, so there’s plenty of time for me to screw something up…

    But yes, it was all uphill from Denver, metaphorically speaking!

  25. garretc Says:

    I’m afraid this will expose my ignorance, but is it worth noting that the boys all switched instruments for Walfredo? Or is that just something they always do?

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