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”

  1. Jtran Says:

    Love jammed out BOTTs (see Miami 09, Fukuoka 00)

    This is fun

  2. Jon Says:

    Why is this guy still ripping on Raleigh? I talked to so many people at the show last night who were making fun of Minor’s Walnut Creek review.

  3. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    @ jon. – I don’t think he’s “still ripping” it – just using it as reference for his preferred show.

    They were both great shows.

  4. AintNoTele Says:

    Jon: I was at both and Raleigh was good but seemed really choppy or a little scatter-brained, but I enjoyed the hell out of it anyway. last night was a complete 180 in my mind. Totally fluid front to back rager. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say. For my $, I’ll take last night.

    LLamalee called the burried alive taboot

  5. AintNoTele Says:

    Not Marshall: I’ll see you in the nachos line tonight

  6. Jtran Says:

    surprised they’ve never played the Wedge in UT.

  7. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    I didn’t eat anything last night after that amazing feast at Leo’s. Plus, I’ll be with Mrs NTM and she frowns upon my putting such garbage into my body.

    Look for me near the waterwheel booth Instead where I’m going to finally make my local kickdown (you reading this Robear?)

  8. Jon Says:

    I agree Charlotte’s second set was better than anything from Raleigh.

  9. lastwaltzer Says:

    Lookin good!

  10. jdub Says:

    Could Argentina be the second South American powerhouse to go down?

    Good thing I have crazy new phish to drown out those damn horns.

  11. Jtran Says:


    “The reputations of no other liquids are imbued with quite as much legend, mythology, and misinformation as Tequila and its “Mexican Cousin” Mezcal. Most notably, the Blue Agave, unlike Mike Gordon, is not a cactus; it is a species of lily.”

  12. Jtran Says:


    I’m doing the same as you. They’re too skilled not to get one in the next hour of play, but they haven’t looked anything like their first four games so far.

  13. kenny powers Says:

    hot DAMN, looks like a smoker last night! i wanna hear from hometown boy Leo Weaver!

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    mornin’ all

    can’t DL this show fast enough.

    I love the happy-uplifting-dance-until-your-shoes-fall-off normalcy of phish but it is when they get dark and foreboding that I realize just how much these guys amaze me with their ability to play with my aural sense and sonically manipulate my emotions.

  15. jdub Says:

    Should be noted that our Tequilla loving Mexican Cousin showed up at the last major bustout at era defining show, 2/28/03.

  16. chris Says:

    they were amazing last night!! it was my fourth show this tour, and they really tore it down.

  17. Jtran Says:

    I hope for a Manteca sometime. The way things are going I would not be at all surprised if they played it this year.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    phish playing is safe again

    hackneyed Buried Alive opener…Vultures in its usual third-song slot…yet ANOTHER Lizards…and jesus, if they’re not going to open up the jam, why bother playing Fuck Your Face?!?! another template version is the last thing we need…

    guys are obviously really running on creative fumes here

  19. Jtran Says:

    @Mr. C

    Agreed. This Stash song is really getting old, especially with pedestrian versions like this one…

  20. marcoesq Says:

    morning everyone

    last night looks appetizing!

    smells like they’re cooking up a harpua-type weekend

  21. Lycanthropist Says:

    I will say, that although I haven’t heard last night’s Stash, I agree with the consensus that has been forming about that song.

    It is the least improved song since comeback.

  22. Jtran Says:


    LLFA. Read Mr. C’s post then mine. I was totally kidding, great version.

  23. marcoesq Says:

    And jeez, there you go again Miner just assuming things..

    Who says that I wasn’t at the Nectars show in ’87??

    I’m sure the 6yr old marcoesq would’ve picked no other place to be that day!

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    “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. ”

    beautifully stated. Love that.

  25. Lycanthropist Says:

    no doubt jTran

    I sensed your sarcasm 😉

    I was just saying, that in all honesty, there hasn’t been a Stash that has really grabbed me in 3.0 yet… other than the ‘Cuse 09 stash. None in 2010

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