Cranking It Up

6.26.10 (Graham Lucas)

In a 180 degree turnaround from Raleigh, Phish played two scintillating sets of music in Charlotte, North Carolina last night, sculpting a show that smoked from start to finish. The night carried a full-on rock and roll vibe from the get go, never relenting as the band combined a standout setlist with playing to match, navigating a show that never slowed down. Illustrating what can happen with two tactfully constructed sets, last night represented one of Phish’s top-notch summer efforts. As the band prepares to ransack Atlanta for July 4th weekend, they did quite a job to Charlotte on the way down.

6.11.10 (M.Pohl)

Kicking off Friday night’s affair with the first “Buried Alive” of this year, the band gave the show a super charge from the beginning, busting out one of the best openers in their repertoire. Dropping into “AC/DC Bag,” Phish got last night’s show on the road as soon as it began. Dusting off “Vultures” for only the second time this era, Charlotte’s rendition sounded far tighter than Albany’s version from last fall. Giving the set a hard edge early on, the rarity also set the improvisational tone for the first set, a frame that would feature five vehicles into structured excursions. A swank and groovealicious”Wolfman’s” brought the set a dose of glossy molasses that outshone most any other version from this tour. The non-stop first set continued with a rollicking version of “Back on the Train” that saw the band stretch out the twangy funk into a set highlight, bringing the show to an early peak. Phish followed up with two more 2010 debuts in “The Wedge,” and the post-hiatus, tongue-in-cheek ballad, “Mexican Cousin.”

But the first half came to its earnest peak with a full-band exploration of “Stash.” Leading out with some tasteful whaling, Trey painted the background as Mike and Page stepped to the forefront. Allowing full participation early on, Trey’s laid back whaling almost always leads to more dynamic, full-band peaks come the end of the song because other band members had more of a stake in getting there. Such was the case with “Stash,” as the entire foursome hopped aboard this sinister ship, braving a stormy sea like the Argonauts. Bringing the piece to a climactic conclusion, Phish capped the set with the old-school combination of “Sparkle,” “Chalk Dust.”

6.25.10 (G. Lucas)

When the first set flows as well as last night’s did, second sets usually follow; and last night’s most certainly did, bursting with energy the entire time. Phish hadn’t touched “Drowned” since SPAC a couple weeks ago, thus when in opened the second set, it felt as fresh as could be. Blowing out the rock peak into a set of slamming percussive rhythms, Phish gradually built the piece from hard groove into a flowing river of beauty without any abrupt changes or “cut and paste” jamming. The piece came to an organic conclusion when Trey came in with the opening lick of “46 Days,” a landing pad that has produced grungy sheets of dissonance and blistering guitar work all summer long. This version absolutely followed suit, injecting pure bombast into the set, leaving the crowd in the palm of Phish’s hand. The song’s new vocal ending provided a creative bridge into “Twenty Years Later,” one of the best surprises of the second half of tour, as the band is finally expanding the end of this piece into an ominous piece of sonic turbulence. The crunchy rhythms and heavily effected guitar leads provide a type of aural trek that Phish all-but avoids these days, making the song a welcome addition to any setlist. Completing the opening triumvirate with seething sounds, the band whispered into the summer’s first “Lizards” with artistic juxtaposition. Providing a mid-set interlude into Gamehendge, the placement of the song worked perfectly as a bridge between the two halves of the set.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

Following its serene midway point, Phish doused the rest of the set in gasoline and lit it on fire. The band crashed open the door to a stunning final sequence with “Carini,” immediately cranking the show’s energy up to eleven. Mike’s basslines led the march into the underworld, while Trey spat licks of fury, and Fish and Page crafted the textures of the piece. Amidst this madness, Trey began a unique lick that the band immediately hopped into, leading a transition into….what?! As soon as Mike began singing the Zappa-eqsue lyrics, it became clear that we were witnessing Phish history with the second-ever performance of “Fuck Your Face!” And this was the only version anyone in the audience ever saw, unless someone was at Nectar’s on April 29, 1987 to see the only known performance of the iconic piece of The White Tape, (and even that date is debatable according to With the “bust-out” to trump all others, “Carini > Fuck Your Face” became an immediate piece of Phish legend; to use an overused term – straight-up epic.

6.12.10 (M.Stein)

Without missing a beat, Phish sustained the end of “Fuck Your Face’s” fury, splashing directly into “2001.” Charging into the fast-paced funk, the band spring-boarded off their Michael Jackson-laced medley with an incendiary set of dance grooves that grew more significant than 3.0 version but Camden’s. Moving with urgency through the futuristic soundtrack, Phish slayed each half of the instrumental, as Page took the lead in a synthesized second verse. Dripping with energy, and moving faster than usual, the band peaked the song, setting the table for perfectly for “You Enjoy Myself.”

Putting a creative exclamation point on the starry evening, Phish moved impeccably through the composed half of the song, plunging into “Boy!” with unreal momentum. The band completely clicked in this version, tackling the jam with notable confidence from start to finish. Beginning in a laid back groove, the band organically built the piece with outstanding phrasing from all four members. Trey even worked in “Fuck Your Face” teases amidst his solo, bringing the show’s gem back into play. Attacking this version with subconscious communication, last night’s “YEM” popped in a way that many others don’t. Juicing the bass solo for all he was worth, Gordeaux pounded away the sets final notes of music before Phish’s voices took over. Using the generally mundane vocal jam into a capella teases of “Proud Mary” and “Get Back,” the band clearly was feeling it, right up to their last beat.

“A Day in A Life” put a dignified conclusion on a classic Phish show that served as part two of a July’s only four course meal. As the community flocks to Atlanta for this weekend’s two-night party, Phish is coming armed and ready to celebrate this holiday weekend. And if memory serves correctly, Phish has demolished the only two patriotic weekends in their history.  Get ready…fireworks expected.

I: Buried Alive > AC/DC Bag, Vultures, Wolfman’s Brother, Back on the Train, The Wedge, Mexican Cousin, Stash, Sparkle, Chalk Dust Torture

II: Drowned > 46 Days > Twenty Years Later, The Lizards, Carini > Fuck Your Face > Also Sprach Zarathustra > You Enjoy Myself*

E: A Day in the Life

* w/ “Proud Mary” and “Get Back” vocal jam

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531 Responses to “Cranking It Up”

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  1. willowed Says:

    #1 #1 #1

  2. willowed Says:

    On paper this looks the goods.
    Phish….Please keep 20 years later in regular rotation!!

  3. willowed Says:

    I just read the review….nice work Miner. happy for you guys down there!!

    That second set are what dreams are made of!!!

  4. hoedown Says:

    Awesome! Great write up Miner… Love what is happening down south.

  5. ohhphee Says:

    Morning boys and girls,

    Haven’t posted in a while, but after seeing this setlist I had to say something.




    @Miner, great review! Made that show seem even tastier than it looks on cyberpaper.

    Of course, the trolls can now go back to their holes. They are sooooo jealous of your words. Well spoken, as usual.

  6. Lily Says:

    Ohmygod I can’t believe I missed this show. Lizards!! That is some serious serious stuff right there. Can’t wait to stream this one.

  7. ohhphee Says:

    The boys are really out to prove something this year. They. Are. Not. Predictable.

    After a long dry spell, the South is getting its just desserts. So glad for the kids down there.

  8. JMelby Says:

    Looks like zzyzx has another song to chase.

  9. ohhphee Says:

    ^Yep. Along with everybody else who missed that show.

  10. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Mrs. Palmer- “what did they play last night?”

    me- “fuck your face!”

    mrs. palmer- “your an asshole”

    have a great weekend.. i’m grounded

  11. ohhphee Says:

    That’s so sweet, @Mr. P! llfa

    Sounds like your wife has been hanging out with Mrs. Willowed.

  12. Foul_Domain Says:

    Lizards, Carini>FYF>2001>YEM

    That is so, so sick

    cant wait to hear this.

    llfa @ Mr.P

  13. Luther Justice Says:

    Listened to the SBD before passing out and all I can say is WOW! Dense jams. Dense jams. BBQ’d, dense jams.

  14. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    Knew Miner wouod give it a glowing reviewe whm they players Wolfmans and Stash.

    Last nights show was great. But Raleigh and Charlotte weren’t 180 degrees from each other. Miner’s giving Mexican Cousin a pass. Also, 20 years later actually was kind of flat last night.

    On the other hand, vultures was performed perfectly and did, as he writes, set the tone. The early first set jam on BOTT was great.

    Carini was outstanding – perfect example of dark, heavy Phish. Played as heavily as they can do it last night.

    The 2001 was energetic but standard length.

    Can’t say enough about witnessing Fuck Your Face. Is only heard the White album’s version, so it was stangely familiar, but not completely so until Mike said the line. It went right over many a dedicated phan’s head last night.

    Really enjoyed the fantastic YEM.

    Again – loved the show last night. It was great. Just not 180 degrees from Raleigh (and this is only because Raleigh was better than Miner gave it credit.

    Leo Weaver put on the best Blackboard meetup this side of gamehendge yesterday. Great garden, great partybus, great host!

    Nice to see G’diddy, BTB, Dude, Llamalee, AintNoTele, Whole Tour, an of course Robear. All super kind people.

    Gonna get out of bed soon and head to Alpharetta for two more nights.

  15. Gavinsdad Says:

    There is a point in certain phish shows where resistance is futile. By the time the band got to Lizards, even the most conservative audience member who was only there “cause my friend brought me” was transformed into a raging maniac. Hard to beat this energy. Set 1 definitely had people craving a knockout 2nd set…..then wham!! The band just punched us all in the face. Hard to describe what happened from Carini on…it was like we were transported to another world.

    100% props to Leo and Mrs Weaver for setting the table for this show by hosting one of the nicest and most mellow get togethers to date. Countless BB’ers hanging for this one. Miner – you have no idea what you’ve created here….really amazing.

    Mr C – sorry bout snagging your vultures.

  16. jdub Says:

    The south is heating up and getting downright dark and menacing.

    We asked for dark Phish during the offseason and they have delivered.

  17. albert walker Says:

    Plane pulling into ATL

    Beautiful morning

    Tweezer > twist tonight

    Last night looks fun

  18. jdub Says:

    Great to hear BBers pre partied in style and got their faces f’d.

    Have fun in Atlanta!

  19. BeantownBoy Says:

    After last night it is confirmed that the band reads the BB and was out to fuck the faces of all the haterz from WC.

    Can’t wait to crank this show as me and the ms. travel up the road to VT for a weekend of debauchery in Burlington and the surrounding waterfalls and Green Mtns.

    Happy 4th Everyone!

  20. c0wfunk Says:

    “There is a point in certain phish shows where resistance is futile. By the time the band got to Lizards, even the most conservative audience member who was only there “cause my friend brought me” was transformed into a raging maniac. ”

    love that image thanks! So happy for all who made it last night. It stings a little- at the risk of redundancy – a show I had planned to be at, but having these atl pavilion and pit tix in hand definitely assuages that a bit.. The fact that raleigh and clt were replaced on my calendar this summer by t-ride also helps a bit. I’ll keep telling myself 😉

    realized reading Miner’s review that I have been at all of phish’s july 3/4 extravaganzas and they have all indeed been amazing. Both ATL 99 and Camden 00 were highlights of their respective tours; add small, cool new venue, sold out show, and get ready! Not much left for bustouts on the bustouts tour.. maybe some random born in the usa type of cover? Or just gooey phish jams? Whatevers on the menu I’m feelin pretty psyched..

    @marshall – definitely noticing a pattern in song choice affecting Miner’s view of the show – as it does for anyone I guess. Thanks for the alternate view

    @mr p LMAO

  21. c0wfunk Says:

    gonna go on a limb and call the sanity opener for tonight.

  22. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    Lots of typos in my post above – made from the iPhone as soon as awoke from the haze of Carolina Phish.

    All during the night last night, I kept telling Leo Weaver that this show would be “Miner approved.” He doesn’t usually give a bad review to a show that has a Wolfmans. See my post late last night on the very last page – my words were “Wolman’s and Stash in a first set – that’s basically Miner’s Wheelhouse.” Same goes for a Drowned opener for second set.

    So, I agree with Miner – Last Night Smoked!!!!

    Still can’t believe I saw FYF.

  23. zzyzx Says:

    We came THIS CLOSE || to a last second Charlotte/Raleigh run… sigh…

  24. joe Says:

    odds of a 4th saturday rock n roll second set opener? I’ll say 3/1. love hearing all the positive things about the bb meetups this tour. still waiting for the live stream. maybe at the next big gathering.

  25. albert walker Says:

    Tonight will be the jammed out blow out

    Atlanta tweezer is on

    Besides stash nothing I wanted came up in Carolina

    Looking like TTE though

    Hope rock n roll 2nd set opener is hot

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