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. SillyWilly Says:

    Im with you, bouncin’

    Favorite first set is Chicago. I think 6/24 takes second for me if not 6/25. Im a sucker for the Alumni Blues>BBFCFM

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    hey thanks @you09

    as you have prob picked up on I don’t get out as much as I used to, but every dog has his day

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    and isn’t it great to be able to have these two conversations:

    “favorite first set”

    “favorite second set jam or sequence”

    and have multiple legitimate contenders for each? without stretching or getting purely “I was there, so…” subjective about it?

    progress.

    I have no answers to either question. Tweezer is my favorite single jam so far but some of the sequences equal it in totality.

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    Every dog has his fruit salad jar

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    another thing that feels great

    last year was the comeback, and Phish deserved some latitude from the fans; they got it, for the most part, and – it has to be said – they sometimes needed it.

    many of us came into this year thinking of it as “no excuses” time, no more latitude. Either they’d be back, or we’d know what the new ceiling is.

    They don’t need us to be nice. No more grading on the curve!

  6. Gavinsdad Says:

    Frito bandito!!

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    Well put, Mr. C.

    It is great to say an average jam from this year would be an 09 highlight.

    my favorite part of all this is Phish is proving they can be Phish without their personal dark side. its awesome.

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    I think this sums it up best.

    I can imagine a 75 year old Trey.

    I don’t know how many people, if they were being honest with themselves, could say the same thing about Jerry.

  9. BrandonKayda Says:

    The dark explorations are back as well!

    I love Phish 3.0 – what a great time to join the community of fans and see this this band in their live glory.

    I’m still thrilled about this weekend. Unreal

  10. phoammhead Says:

    @Silly

    Jerry had a lot of soul. So, even at a ripe old age he would have been awesome. Fact is, these boyz dexterity is going to fade eventually. I’m glad to be here for Big Red’s rippin’ these dayz. Trey’s got several years left, but eventually . . . .

  11. poop goblin Says:

    Mike slappin it up on the Meatstick jam

  12. poop goblin Says:

    with healthy life style and some practicing shouldn’t lose much for a while

    John McGlauphlin still shreds fuckin shit and he’s almost 70

    he is an extremely dedicated musician though

  13. phoammhead Says:

    Case in point . . . i went to a Buddy Guy show many years ago, probably about 15 years ago and he a step in young guitarist rippin’ his leads and he at one point just look at his hands and said to the crowd, these hands can’t do it like they use to.

  14. Lycanthropist Says:

    havent had time to keep up today.
    doing losts of house work.

    i gotta say that MPP Tweezer is still crowning as my favorite jam of tour. There may be better ones but what i am looking for in deep phish that tweezer delivers. solid dark psychedelia without the pointless meandering. every bit of it is tight and with direction yet attacking the psyche with every note.

    that piper is a close second. Kind of tied with spac rnr > free

  15. Spacephunk Says:

    Haven’t seen a show live in 2010 but do agree that they have found that elusive sound and creativity that takes time to get back..that being said I caught shoreline, gorge, and Indio in 2009 after not seeing a show since shoreline 2000 and just from a straight enjoy listening to perspective the gorge holds up in my rotation and in no way to I see those shows as phish getting their wings back…they were soaring in da gorge for sure

  16. kayatosh Says:

    the interesting thing about the 6/25 2001 is that trey never really pins down the billie jean lick. he tries it a couple times, but misses the mark. kinda rough but saved by gordo/fish. there is also a vague attempt at singing by trey, somewhat unsure, “I am the one.” hilarious. He then proceeds to nail the Thriller lick. stunning. the jam gels from that point on.

  17. kayatosh Says:

    6/25 light – a jam highlight. gordo shines.

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    @BK

    sorry, what I meant is the heavy drugs and dark side of their personal life. I totally agree with you the dark music is still there.

    @phoammhead

    what I meant is…and I wasn’t old enough to really know…but it seems like disaster was pending in Jerry’s life. Like he never quite got control of it.

    Trey seems to be in control.

  19. Mr.Palmer Says:

    @ Kaya- what were those headphones you said you were gonna buy? I need a pair myself. You talked me out of Bose.

  20. kayatosh Says:

    hooking myself up with some 6/18 tweezer.

  21. kayatosh Says:

    palms: I went with the sony MDR7506. supposedly an industry standard an relatively affordable. people on amazon seem pretty pleased w/ them. buying heapdhones is no joke., spent 3 hours reading.

    I knew i was not about to buy a third pair of bose noise canceling cans. I haven’t flown in years and they are super pricey. cheap construction. fall apart easily, which is surprising given the price.

  22. phoammhead Says:

    @Silly

    Yeah, I know what you mean . . . sure do miss Jerry, though. I’m glad and thankful for Trey to be carrying the torch. 🙂

  23. Halden Says:

    If any BBers will be at CMAC tomorrow I will be in a green Paddy’s Pub shirt and grey shorts. I still have an extra Lawn if anyone wants it.

  24. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Thanks Kaya, i’ll check them out. So many out there. Dr. Dre even has his own brand!

    Stupid Summer of ’89, can’t get it out of my head…this is serious..

  25. kayatosh Says:

    10 mins. into 6/18 tweezer and remembering now why i made a mental note to come back to this one. choice.

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