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. ChefBradford Says:

    “I saw his hair for the first time, he had it on sideways”

    classic

  2. GhostPhunk Says:

    @chef

    post is full of lulz

  3. ChefBradford Says:

    gavin’s, I’m driving over solo, but I’ll be at Leo’s for sure. He is kindly arranging a floor or couch for me to rest my head for a couple of nights, and I’m riding with his crew up to Raleigh. REALLY looking forward to everything, it’s been too long. BTB and I are splitting a room in Alpharetta, as well.

    I hit the road in maybe 16 hours at the latest

    boy

    man

    God

    SHIT!!!!!

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    @murph, the only Crazy Fingers on there now is on Song That The Morning Brings, the Hornsby era mix. I am working on versions for future “Almost Ablaze vol 2” and “High Time vol 3” mixes.

    Mix-worthy versions of Crazy Fingers are extremely hard to come by. Many of the ’76 ones are lethargic, and the 80s/90s ones are typically flubbed at one point or another.

    “One From the Vault” has a nice early one.

    6-3-76 has a lovely version.

    my favorite dark-horse Brent era show, Roanoke 7-8-87, has a spectacular Crazy Fingers, with no lyric flubs and great execution throughout, out of space no less – an absolute gem! unfortunately none of the circulating sources are of mix quality. *sigh*

    Kudos on your taste. A magnificent, underrated song, and deeply misunderstood. The lyrics are not merely impressionistic tone poems, as most people seem to think. It’s pretty specifically about something, though what it is can’t really be expressed by any other form than the song itself…kind of like Box of Rain. If you like that song but thought it was just pretty nonsense lyrics, maybe give it another listen sometime. I actually think it’s one of the deepest works in the entire Hunter canon.

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    I actually have the ’76 version picked out for Almost Ablaze #2 but I’m sitting on it for now. I’m weird that way. Before long, tho.

  6. butter Says:

    i hope Phish continues to slay away, for you folks seeing them this week

  7. GhostPhunk Says:

    “Such a long long time to be gone and a short time to be there”….

    Gets me everytime.

  8. BingosBrother Says:

    Still remember listening to Crazy Fingers during my daughters heart surgery. Thats powerful medicine.

  9. GhostPhunk Says:

    @ Mr C

    Those were the last words sung on stage with Jerry present if I’m not mistaken. Even more heavy…

  10. gavinsdad Says:

    word @ chef. travel safe.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    wow @Bingos!

    yeah that song was intricately intertwined in our son’s youngest days…

    the Roanoke Crazy Fingers lives as one of the absolute high points of my life

    we were on the floor dancing and someone cut open several glowsticks – yes I know, toxins etc, we didn’t know that then – and Jackson Pollock splatter-painted the whole area of the floor and all the people…it was utterly psychedelic during space…

    …then Fingers started and we all dipped our hands in the glow stuff and people were all doing this choreographed-seeming slow hesitating dance, dozens of glowing hands moving in this infinitely intricate pattern…

    …and Jerry remembered all of the words to Crazy Fingers, a major miracle….

    it was Just Exactly Perfect. Perfect. They played Comes a Time 2 songs later and even that couldn’t top it.

    Getting spinal rushes just writing about it.

    Sublime.

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    there’s nothing heavier than the Box, @ghost

    everything is in there

  13. GhostPhunk Says:

    Believe it if you need it.

  14. BingosBrother Says:

    I’m gonna have to DL that Roanoke Crazy Fingers MC. Sounds like you guys had a HAND in that perfect version.

    “Life may be sweeter for this, I don’t know,
    See how it feels in the end.”

  15. gavinsdad Says:

    Who can stop what must arrive now?
    Something new is waiting to be born

    Cfingers vs. Terrapin in my fave Gar-man cage match. Eyes as the ring girl. Once a crazyfingers touches you there’s no going back….we all got a sad kick out of Garcia knocking over his mike stand when laryngitis (long nite? long morning?) got his voice at Hartford 88.

    Gone are the days we stopped to decide/Where we should go/We just ride

    that line there was my “get on tour” calling…no argument from me at age 17.

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    reaching for the gold ring
    down inside
    never could reach it
    just slipped away
    but I tried…

    there’s a decent FOB and a poor SBD (early out of phase healey matrix)

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    glad to know some peeps are listening to those words

    talked to too many deadheads whoe never gave them a second thought

    does my heart good

  18. ChefBradford Says:

    thanks, gavin’s, I surely will. I’ve got two days to make a 14 hour trip, so I can take my time, hopefully get into Charlotte early and do some exploring/relaxing.

    Everybody traveling this week, what GD said: travel safe

    I’m looking forward to putting a lot of names to a lot of faces

  19. gavinsdad Says:

    great story C….magic moments…seems to me we all need community.

  20. garretc Says:

    Haha, Mr. C, it’s funny you should mention me spending the rest of my summer in airports (I’m catchingbup on posts still), as I’m currently sitting in the Vegas airport because… (takes deep breath)

    My flight from Baltimor to Vegas was delayed an hour, causing me to miss my connecting flight to SF. The only the flight to SF is delayed until 11:20 tonight, but thankfully I found space on a flight to San Jose, which leaves in a mere hour and a half!

    More airport time!

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    “gone are the broken eyes we saw through in dreams,
    gone, both dream and lie…”

    quite a sad and disillusioned song, but yet still hopeful in the end

    that bittersweet quality that’s unmatched outside the garcia/hunter world

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    I knew you were doomed @garretc

    one you get on the wrong side of the airline gods they don’t let you go too easy!

  23. ChefBradford Says:

    as I’ve stated before, I enjoy the Dead, but am not a huge fan by any stretch, but American Beauty is a fave studio album, Box of Rain included, and Eyes is def a fave song by ANY band

  24. BingosBrother Says:

    You always pay for getting a Crosseyed Garret. But it is well worth it.

  25. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    So funny you guys are talking about this right now. My wife and I just watched Crimson, White and Indigo for the first time, and along with stunning observations like, Jerry has a George Washington style going on right now, Phil looks like Napoleon Dynamite, and whoa, did I just get an upskirt on Bobby’s running shorts, we got to talking about Drums/Space.

    I just never seem to be high enough to appreciate, ever, what’s happening in drums/space and have near-always skipped it when listening. But I was wondering, what did people DO during that time if you weren’t on another psychedelic planet (or glow stick splattering)? Was it a mass exodus for the bathrooms? Did people just catch up with family, smoke massive doobs, whatever? I mean, at a phish show even the slightest wane in energy can deflate the entire venue, and a less than loved song sends the crowd to the beer stand.

    I just had never thought about that… Any of you experienced deadheads care to comment?

    sorry for the utter GD noob question…

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