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. butter Says:

    Miner re-lacing his shoes as the next generation walks by freshly baptized

  2. Mr. Murph Says:

    anyone think tomorrows show is a sleeper because its completely out of the way?

  3. BrandonKayda Says:

    @Murph

    Thanks man – Got your email. I’ll be sending out your GD stuff soon.

    @Miner

    Yeah I’m pretty sure I remember a yellow shirt walking out as I ran into you guys. Did you see the guy with the big “I SAW IT AGAIN” sign? Or could that have been one of your friends?

  4. butter Says:

    no, total skip show

    unless you want “Liquid Time”

  5. butter Says:

    Ghost has always sounded like JJF anyway

  6. Mr. Murph Says:

    Look for the big WEIGH sign in the pit on the 4th. Im in the process of making it and I must surely hear it. Hopefully it doesn’t get played tomorrow night. Ill have to wait a while for it again.

    Mr Miner, was there a song you had to “chase” to get?

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    ha, nice, a missed contact

    I’m still up briefly if you check back @tzaras, maybe another hour

  8. butter Says:

    about to give Tweezer from sat night its proper spin

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    they haven’t really burned down one of the tuesday “sleepers” yet so far

    could see a spacy, zoned kind of show

    or it could be Sanity and Dave’s Energy Guide

    who the fuck knows anymore

  10. butter Says:

    i’m feelin a Sanity on leg 1

  11. butter Says:

    or Greek opener Sanity

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    FWIW re: “out of the way”

    I know more than a few peeps coming out of the woodwork for this show only

    it’s more that most of the tour clusters in a few small areas

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    bring it the fuck on

    opener is good, mid second set landing pad after psycho jam better

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    20 minute Whipping Post

    I’m joking, but there aren’t all that many cards truly not in play at this point

  15. butter Says:

    will be in pdx, fri thru sun for a wedding on sat , C

    trying to hit trombone shorty on friday, not sure where they are playing but my buddy got us tix

  16. butter Says:

    love the little jam at the end of contact

    its usually all gravy by that point

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    nice, Butter!

    Waterfront Blues Festival, downtown. Trombone Shorty is mainstage Friday at 7, the little I’ve heard from him seems great.

    OVerall the lineup is the usual kind of mix, some interesting stuff, a bunch that’s not so much

    we have somewhat vague plans to head down there at some point but nothing specific yet. doubt I can come out Friday that early but it’s not impossible.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    as the name implies, right in waterfront park on the willamette

    pretty nice scene, chill in the day, drunken foolishness at night

  19. butter Says:

    my plane doesn’t land until 8

    will probably be there for a bit at least fri night

    i’ll email you my #

  20. butter Says:

    shorty is kind of a mash-up of everything good about New Orleans

    good young kid..hustlin with his trombone

  21. butter Says:

    Tweezer for sat night is my fav jam of summer for now

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    100% with you on the tweezer

    liquid fire

    shorty does seem cool yeah

    see how the weekend goes but we’re around as far as I know

  23. butter Says:

    Hartford Tweezer = exploring the groove

    MPP Tweezer = exploring outer space

  24. butter Says:

    probably stating the obvious, but

    Slave from saturday night is really sweet

  25. butter Says:

    with that , i’m out

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