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:

    I don’t believe I have heard Crazy Fingers enough to have the song really resonate with me – I need to give it another listen soon.

    I absolutely LOVE Box Of Rain though – beautiful song, which is very well-known already.

  2. butter Says:

    jumpin on here after dinner

    i guess i gotta go spin a sick Crazy Fingers right now

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    time to go to CLT. Night, night.

  4. garretc Says:

    At least the Phish only demanded my time and frustration in exchange for a weekend of bad ass shows!

    Coulda been my soul…

  5. butter Says:

    BK – glad u got utterly baptized in Phish this weekend

  6. gavinsdad Says:

    um, smoke doobs for $1000 Alex.

    @dr pro…back then if i was lysergic i kinda just crawled inside that section of set 2. many people out in the halls back then could really bring out some interpretive dance. i’d watch them alot too. but most of the time i burned some herb. since the bulk of my time was in the hallways back then i always assumed that those in the seats just went deep into it if they were tripping, and if they weren’t it was bathroom or beer break or…smoke doobs.

    what’s funny is that the last time “the dead” toured a year or so back (before this Furthur incarnation) the drums/space section i saw at all the shows i caught was absolutely amazing…really focused, really virile….which would have been a blasphemous thing for me to say back then….i wasn’t really into D/S back then…or minglewood 😛

  7. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    thanks GD. That’s what I figured. In the DVDs I’ve seen it’s always dark by then so I can’t even catch a glimpse of what the crowd’s doing…

  8. Mr. Murph Says:

    Mr. C, could you give me a link to your website. This time ill bookmark it.

    Crazy Fingers is probably my favorite song by the dead. Blues for Allah was the first album I got and its my favorite. The songs speaks to me deeply. The lyrics are absolutely amazing. “Life may be sweeter for this, I don’t know. See how it feels in the end”. I have never heard a live version and am looking forward to giving it a spin.

  9. Mr. Murph Says:

    Scratch that Mr. C, i found the link in my history. Ill let you know how It feels at the end.

  10. GhostPhunk Says:

    goodnight bb’rs hopefully run into some of you tomorrow

  11. Mr. Murph Says:

    Damnit, scratch that again. this link is for something else. Could you link your site, please.

  12. voopa Says:

    Whoa. Just listened to Saw it Again again (after passing out during Meatstick last night)…that’s one heavy jam right there.

    On to Piper!

  13. Mr. Murph Says:

    Wow, this is ridiculous, but I have found it. Downloading your recommendation now!

  14. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Puff and people watch were my most common activities during space. Sometimes when I was on the right plane, I would “get” it. More often than not I would try to pick up on a theme that the band may or may not have been trying to hit upon. I love towards the end of space when you can hear them starting to pull out of the chaos, but before an actual song has been realized. $$.

    I thought Space in CW&I was pretty tame-the pickup into The Other One is fantastic IMO.

  15. butter Says:

    spun 91 Boston Garden Crazy Fingers,

    didn’t do a lot for me …

    the Playin afterwards tho is pretty sweet

  16. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Sorry I missed the GD talk with GD. I love hearing it from him and Completely. Those dudes got mad wisdom.

  17. Ghostface Says:

    CMAC-ers. Can anyone fill us/me in on the lot scene at CMAC? ie. is it a SPAC/Merriweather situation or a chill great vibe like most northeast lots?
    Wondering where to pre-game. Suggestions appreciated. Also, what should be expected from this venue? Good security? Bad security? Lemme know. Thx! Here’s to hoping they keep it going tomorrow night!!!
    Long drive from Maryland for this one. Then back to NC!!! Giddy-up, I freakin love this band. Can’t get enough of them.

  18. garretc Says:

    Was walking through the airport with my newly purchased slice o’ pizza when I saw a burrito place and thought “damn! Shoulda got a burrito!” immediately followed by “eh, that’ll be my midnight smack after my inevitable flight delay…” they’re wearing me down!

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    @voopa: yeah man. you’re in the heavy shit right now.

    @dr. P – as you surmise, reactions to drums and space were all over the map. One thing to keep in mind is that the Dead’s PA was at least as superior to everything else at the time as Phish’s is now, if not more so. So when drums and space are EXTREMELY LOUD AND CLEAR it’s just a lot fucking cooler.

    It’s not really music; it’s sonic sculpture, an audio landscape, and on a normal home stereo (even a good one) it just really makes no sense a lot of the time.

    A lot of people went to the bathroom or got a beer. A lot would chit chat with the fam. Some would puff and chill and kind of soak it in, and maybe if it got real weird, kinda get into it. Some were totally absorbed by it, and not only the most spun.

    In my relatively few later shows, 92 and after, drums and space were typically my favorite parts of the show by a pretty long way. During my personal revival in 89-91 it really depended on my headspace and the quality of the performance; I might be into it utterly, or not at all. Before that, it was usually more of a breather for me. Not always though.

    One thing that always got my attention was Mickey’s Beam tone. The Beam, when it’s loud and really working and you are properly dosed and in the middle of the sonic sweet spot, is nothing less than the greatest sound in the history of sounds. It’s like every awesome vibration you have ever heard or felt all happening inside your spine all at the very same time. It’s like giant Tibetan robot monks having a tantric orgasm. I fucking love the fucking Beam when he really gets it going. Never could get enough of that thing.

    There’s a staggeringly great audiophile recording of it on the album Dafos. If you have a great stereo, check it out. If you don’t, don’t bother. It will just blow your woofers if you turn it up (seriously). Other than that it doesn’t really hold up well on tape…or, it can sound pretty cool, but…

    so, yeah. all over the map on drums and space.

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    @butter, that DP one is flat

    that’s a poor Pick IMO, one of few I dislike

    better one from the same era here:
    http://tinyurl.com/SongThatTheMorningBrings

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    cool @Murph

    for the record, for anyone following at home:
    http://tinyurl.com/completely-dead

    all my GD mixes, each one is by era, starting in 1968, then one for every 1-3 year block that works well as a unit: 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73-74, 76-78. Then a couple covering the Brent era of 79-90 and one for the Bruce tours of ’91. Vince fans, you’re on your own.

    http://tinyurl.com/jgbshows

    a little JGB stuff. a couple must-have 70s shows and a comp of the 87-94 era band with Melvin Seals. Unfortunately not zipfiled yet, sorry.

  22. garretc Says:

    I actually almost always listen to drums > space, unless I’m listening with other people who wouldn’t want to listen to it…

    Could be cause I’m a neurotic completist about my music listening, or it could be cause I actually mildly like drum solos and really like weird spacey distortion jams?

    Or it could be all if the above…

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    the other stuff, I don’t think any of these links have been posted recently, 2 links at a time seems to be what the software allows

    http://tinyurl.com/What-It-Is-Mix
    70s funk and soul

    http://tinyurl.com/BornDownInTheSouthland
    bluegrass, newgrass, whatever – as long as it’s grass!

  24. ChefBradford Says:

    ^C’s funk mix is $^2

  25. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Thanks Mr. C- It was fantastic to listen to that Legion birthday show (5/21/75) on my birthday this year and actually hear what was going down. I love that show. So hot. MUCH appreciated.

    ::bookmarking links::

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