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. Mr. Completely Says:

    that was the original meaning of “bag it, tag it”

    I guarantee he knows how to get to CLT

  2. Bandito Says:

    He’s been wading in the wizard sleeves?

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    (been publishing a bunch of work across several servers, I have nothing to do but watch scripts run and make smartass comments)

  4. sumodie Says:

    The boyz sound checked Liquid Time before the Saturday nite show . . . they essentially played it three times by starting and stopping it three times. The lucky show to get Liquid Time is coming soon!

    thank you thank you thank you

    Maybe Liquid Time Tuesday?

    Maybe?

    Just back from D.C. area. No, no MPP face meltage for me.

    However, serious consolation prize was face meltage courtesy of the National Gallery of Art. Wowza!

    Ready to get CMAC’d 8)

  5. zzyzx Says:

    Someone was asking about my Portsmouth review… It’s up… I’ll repost tomorrow.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    my wife was just at the National Gallery mid last week, @sumo. She loved it too.

  7. William H. Bonney Says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703615104575328981319857618.html

  8. bouncin fan Says:

    Love the Rhodes work on the last couple lights

    That light > waves will be epic

  9. kayatosh Says:

    listened to last night’s show a couple times.

    enjoyed the mellow mood, ginseng, Gin, and the B&R flavored Lope from set I.

    6/27 set II — just awesome. by the time i was into saw it again, i was thinking set of the year. Meatstick was incredible, especially the non-chorus parts. page sounding like mydland. trey whipping off seemingly effortless licks. japanese lyrics. wow. and then a sweet 2 min. slow down transition into saw it again. best m-stick ever.

    saw it again w/ vocal jam — tasty, edgy rock, pure freak-out at 5:30 mark
    piper — a multi-themed, fluid beast galloping at high speed. brief cross eyed reference at 8 min. mark. a masterpiece piper never gets stale.
    ghost — nonchalantly floats out of piper. good version, well-played. features trey going off. no chicaghost.
    jj flash — a little rough but cool nonetheless in that it emerged seamlessly from ghost and was a true curveball. a lyrically dark stones tune.
    contact — perfect, happy landing pad. page gets dirty funky at 3:30-4 min.
    YEM — another excellent, no flubs rendition. tight. starting to notice some recurring riffs. this one was reminiscent of 6/24 YEM.

    6/27 highlights: gin and set II.

    These set II’s from 6/24 on have been cohesive and extremely engaging. On 6/25, the open ended jamming clicked, and that set II and the following set II’s have been deliciously bonkers.

    I’m still not sold on wedging horse>SITM into set II’s, but they seem committed to it.

    6/27 my fav. set II of tour. piper – fav. jam of the year. gotta love the saw it again theme woven throughout. at close of show trey says slyly, “Hopefully, we’ll see you again.” ha.

    6/25 2001->billie jean->2001 favorite seamless segue (->) of the year. and most energized dance segment of the year.

    6/22: sn. sally — sleeper jam of tour.

    6/12: fav. new covers of tour 6/12 lookout cleveland and 6/25 free man in paris

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    how can they NOT do light > waves ?

    it’s un-possible!

  11. Bandito Says:

    I dig Page on the rhodes and wish he’d use it more often.

  12. sumodie Says:

    @mrC: My first time there. Was esp. impressed with the building’s architecture and integration with the art.

    Also saw amazing exhibit at Corcoran Museum on photographer Edward Muybridge from the mid-late 19th century. What a genius.

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    big fan of the sally > light

    that transition is fine I think

    not sure the light > 46 days is actually “chopped” by Trey, it sounds to me like he gives fair warning they just all rushed it a little

    the light jam itself was basically complete I think

    add a searing 46 days and it’s a pretty great trifecta with minor deductions for the bobbled second dismount.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    interesting, my wife also spoke very highly of the architecture and the exhibit design

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    seems like he’s using the Rhodes more often recently than I recall previously.

  16. Bandito Says:

    Agreed. I’ve been noticing more clav, too.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    ok epic publish sequence done

    I’m out, laters

  18. kayatosh Says:

    yep, C. I am very high on that 6/22 sn. sally->Light->46 days. no complaints.

  19. bouncin fan Says:

    We need a blown up yem with a real distinctive full band whaled out funk jam

  20. kayatosh Says:

    that 6/25 2001 really hits the spot for me. just perfect. even setting aside the brilliant mj aspect of it, that 2001 is a champ on its own merit.

  21. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Agreed Bouncin….add to that the evil, dark Stash that should arrive this week.

  22. bouncin fan Says:

    I haven’t really decided if I have a 2nd set I dig the most

    There are probably 5 shows whose sets I really dig but one doesn’t stand above the rest

    Toyota is def favorite 1st set

  23. butter Says:

    concur on Sally>light

    first spin today ….

    didn’t make it thru the end of light to the 46 days

    Great woods with my daughter was a really fun end to my tour

  24. youenjoy09 Says:

    @ Mr. C

    you are a phenomenal person/writer with amazing creativity and use of imagery. I often times scroll through the pages just to read your posts alone. I think we agree on pretty much everything and just wanted to give a shout out to let you know I am a big fan of yours. Keep up the good work! I would love to buy you a beer at a show sometime, as I also live in pdx.

  25. kayatosh Says:

    6/24 set II doesn’t have the jamming gems like the 6/25 chalkdust, 6/26 RnR, or 6/27 piper, but is a well played, gripping set.

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