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. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i actually feel so cool holding this mic outside my window (too lazy to go outside)

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    and typing at the same time?

    well done, indeed!

  3. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    phantom power ON

  4. Bandito Says:

    I’ve been lazier and have been using pre-recorded loops on Cakewalk. Not even a mic required…

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    I love that recording term, “phantom power”

    always makes tapers sound kind of super-hero-y

    although perhaps in a Space Ghost kind of way

  6. SillyWilly Says:

    @Mr. C, DF, and BK

    I meant to make that clearer. I can dig some ambient music sometimes. There is some good stuff to it.

    and I get it about being more than an academic exercise (though, you guys know me by now, and I sometimes like the purely academic exercise out pure nerdiness).

    I didn’t mean to communicate anything other than I think I understand some of its purpose and I understand that usefulness.

    I get what your saying about being calming, Mr. C. I like to meditate to the sound of an Air conditioner or a lawn mower or something like that

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    shoot.

    ive gotta take off to work out.

    im sure im missing another great BB educational convo.

    gotta get that lift in.

    later kids.

  8. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    Dear Piper from MPP,

    Here is your cake;
    take it.

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    yeah I’m searching for a new background soundscape for meditating myself these days

    Lemonwheel ambient jam was it for a long time

    then DAFOS for a bit, too loud at the end though, too specific

    been through a couple other things

    don’t really just want to white noise it, but need something

    too many neighborhood sounds

  10. bouncin fan Says:

    Now my life in the bush with ghosts

    I’d much rather listen to that on loop at the airport

    Album is funky
    All time fave

  11. Bandito Says:

    Mr. C – have you tried whale calls?

  12. tela'smuff Says:

    i have no idea what the context of the ambient music discussion is, but Ambient/Electronic is one of my favorite genres. I use this music to get from 8AM to 11AM in my suffocating cube.

    here are some suggestions. theses vary in levels of chillness, but all are excellent artists to start with.

    The Sight Below
    White Rainbow
    Tim Hecker
    Mountains
    Seven Fields of Aphelion
    Pete Namlook (w/ Bill Laswell, and w/ Klaus Schulze)
    Grouper
    The Dead Texan
    Bill Laswell – check Imaginary Cuba and Dreams Of Freedom:Ambient Translations of Bob Marley

    hope someone checks this stuff out. let me know if you do.

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    no Bandito

    but I speak whale so it’s too linear for me

    or do you mean the Summer ’10 whales?

  14. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    clearly, i need a wind sock

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @muff, the context was me trying to create some

  16. Bandito Says:

    Mr. C, yes, I was trying to be funny with the whole ’10 whale thing…

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    I got it at the last second.

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @completely, have you heard the flaming lips album zaireeka??!! perfect for that stuff, if you play it right

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i have given up on the wind for now. i will now edit a bunch of dark stars together instead and collect my profit

  20. Bandito Says:

    @DF – what are you using to record with?

  21. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @bandito. Mbox 2 and a cardioid condenser mic

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    “if you play it right”

    I don’t have 4 turntables.

    I don’t have 1 turntable.

  23. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    what’s a turntable lol

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    oh wait it’s a CD right.

  25. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    yeah 4 CDs

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