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. BrandonKayda Says:

    @Ain’tNoTele

    When they reprised I Saw It Again out of Jumpin Jack Flash, everyone around me was like WTF is going on?

    The Ghost->Jumpin’ Jack Flash segue was so good that I didn’t even recognize it until the chorus. Damn what a second set.

    And yeah I danced for two nights straight and am completely exhausted now. What a great weekend.

    Bathtub Gin seemed to have some extra meat on it too – Huge peaks to be found. I thought Trey was going to blow out the speakers during the Antelope peak. Nuts

  2. GhostPhunk Says:

    Well… I haven’t heard this weekend yet due to an extremely busy one myself.. but… damn.

    It sounds from Miners posts this weekend that the band broke out of the cocoon and now we have a beautiful, free, phishy butterfly on our hands in 2010. Thank god I have one more show before the end. See you guys at CMAC.

  3. sandstone Says:

    AintNoTele

    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!”

    Yes; I caught this, too. In fact, there was A LOT of open communication going on last night, especially in that dynamic first set!

    If “Walfredo” sounded rough, it was because they hadn’t played it since Vegas. Not only that, but switching instruments gave them an opening, different perspective that flowed into the raging river of set 1 and the wide open journey of set 2.

    Last night was indeed IT!

    And yes, they were THE best blues band on the planet for as long as that song lasted (and then no more..)

  4. zzyzx Says:

    See, I thought the Mellow Mood was also a train wreck, with Trey being unable to play a basic reggae solo about 10 minutes before he just nails The Divided Sky… I don’t get it.

  5. HarryHood Says:

    @ Kayda

    I only have one thing to say to you……. You fucking lucky SOB!

  6. HarryHood Says:

    @ Ghost

    Completely bummed that I’m not gonna be partying with you guys tomorrow…… There will be a Bowie in my place though. Count on it.

  7. glennw Says:

    Saturday: mojo. Sunday: swagger. The most incredible consecutive music experiences I have ever witnessed. And I’m pretty old…
    And grateful to have had the privilege of throwing down with my adult sons who know now what makes dad weird.

  8. zzyzx Says:

    And yes, they always switch instruments for Walfredo…

  9. Litteringand Says:

    @zzyzx
    Has Spock’s Brain become the new white whale?

  10. zzyzx Says:

    I don’t think anything’s off limits anymore…

    I’m not sure if I should be rooting to see an Alum/Letter or be glad that I didn’t because once I see one, the song chasing game is officially over for me.

  11. KWL Says:

    thanks for all the well wishes yesterday folks

    this ghost is ridiculous. fuck yes!

  12. BrandonKayda Says:

    Did anybody else see the people throwing a blow-up whale around the front row during I think the start of set II? That was funny.

    Glowstick wars were ridiculous during the Piper/Ghost/YEM last night

  13. garretc Says:

    Thanks @ZZYZX, didn’t see that mentioned on phish.net, wanted confirmation

  14. Themanatee Says:

    Ain’t no tele is right about the meatstick – saw it again transition. Trey has it early and it’s gonna be smooth but he jumps the gun . Maybe the enthusiasm of almost nailing it caught him, anyway – that set is off the hook. Trey has caught up to mike in letting it all hang out – the piper is the best thing I have heard all tour, granted I have heard everything from the couch. And the ghost jjf segue is the smoothest one all summer, cause as miner said, they were already playing it and Trey just added the famous riff. Great use of stones metaphor as the band took a Sunday and painted it black. Nice one kid.

  15. sumodie Says:

    anyone confirm jpnese meatstick lyrics?

    someone said yes last nite but….

  16. Lily Says:

    We were second row(lottery score), and no matter where you stood last night was incredible. Miner’s write up is solid, but for those peeps not there, set 1 was pure fire. The divided sky was gorgeous and antelope was raging. The gin jam reached some original places…this first set is worth a listen and left us drenched and smiling.

    Set 2-hot sweaty summer funk. We grooves our butts off and the saw it again teases throughout were greet. 5th row dead center two female fans ha created a huge super professional sign on sticks for saw it again. I think that’s where it came from. Those girls had the show of their lives. I think both tela and meatstick also came from front row posters.

    The piper was my highlight-seriously new territory in that one-all I can say is you need to spin this show if you wanna know where phish 3.0 is headed for 2010.

    Until jones beach for me…Face melted for now…

  17. BrandonKayda Says:

    @Sumodie

    Yeah they did the Japanese Meatstick lyrics before the jam

  18. zzyzx Says:

    Yes, Japanese lyrics.

  19. BrandonKayda Says:

    @lily

    I think my dad and I saw that guy with the “I SAW IT AGAIN” sign coming out of the show, everyone was giving him high-fives/hugs, etc. Pretty funny

  20. themanatee Says:

    inetersting zzxy-
    i thought the mellow mood slayed as mike’s basslines were so , as miner would say, bulbous. i think he had me not caring about trey. reggae to me is 90% about a great bassist and drumer.

  21. whipcity Says:

    I’m busted after two nights of shagging ass. These guys are better than ever and can crush anything they want at anytime. Streaming and downloads are one thing being there is another. I feel like they are in the beginning stages of taking Phish to a whole new level we’ve never seen before.

    That was fun and a four night run for the books. I don’t see anything changing over the next week, they have plenty left in the tank.

  22. Mr.Palmer Says:

    So BK, we know you had a great time, how about Dad? What were his thoughts on the whole “experience”? Does the music interest him or not really his thing. Big props to him for taking you consecutive nights. I’m sure seeing the your face during the shows made it worth it to him.

  23. sumodie Says:

    ^ xcellent

    if yer gonna get meatstick’d, let it be japanese flavored i say

    here’s hoping cmac is the best of the tuesday trilogy!

  24. BrandonKayda Says:

    @Palmer

    He said he enjoyed both shows a whole lot. I’m glad he enjoyed them 🙂

  25. fat bastard Says:

    havent listened but i think their covers of marley are, well, i skip them.

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