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. lastwaltzer Says:

    “when I want potato I’ll cook some of my “greatest home fries in the known universe”” Mr. C

    how did you get a hold of MY recipe?

  2. Luther Justice Says:

    DEG would have been crazy talk before this tour. Nice to know all things are now possible nowadays.

  3. Andrew Says:

    My buddy scored both nights Atlanta for face value on the walk back to his car last night, girl was completely exhausted and didn’t have it in her tank to make the trek, offered them up to the one lucky soul in the right place at the right time. Even better, she waited at his car for him to run to the ATM…not sure how the talk with wife went when he got home last night but such is life with this band.

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    @lw – I once again deny all the spurious rumors concerning telepathic espionage.

    that’s just silly talk.

    great post @robear!

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I *heart* ze Germans.

    “Hazard yet Forward” is the family motto of my German ancestors and it is very apt for this team. they are dominating teams right now in a way that doesn’t happen at this level.

    Gefahr dennoch schicken nach!

  6. lastwaltzer Says:

    @Mr.C, I’ll only believe it when I’ve seen your potatoes. Until then stop telling people you’ve got MY recipe. Your giving my potatoes a bad name. 🙂

  7. El Duderino Says:

    @ LW

    I thought of you after the Raleigh show and the “Will the south be…el dude eat his words…”

    I’m very pleased and extremely satisfied with what I witnessed. I was tryin’ to play it down bein’ a pessimist. Prepare for the worst and get pleasantly surprised if things work out.

    I feel like I truly hit the “Phish Mega Lotto” these past 2 days. I got lucky in my book. But what do I know? These were 119/120 since 8/01/92.

  8. Robear Says:

    picked up Poo G, Bouncin and AW at the train depot.

    we’re gonna’ channel the vibe through couch tour.

    Liquid Time

  9. jdub Says:

    @robear, and I bet your last two will follow that trend and give you a 2010 6 pack sampler of vermont’s finest.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    донь фуцк витх мы потатоес, мотхерфуцкер!

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    wait. are we talking about razor recipes again? phish must not be touring or has become a nostalgia act or something…

    @el dude
    I think you have me by one right now. my current count* has me sitting at 119 heading into JB1&2

    *totally think I am missing a couple due to swiss cheese brain syndrome

  12. flarrdogg Says:

    You silly fellas and your DEG, Lushington, and Prep School Hippie call outs. What’s next, Fuck Yo Face?!?! Oh wait….

  13. Robear Says:

    agreed dubstar. and posting from the macbook pro.

    finally, another bb’er that can keep pace with the bane….

  14. El Duderino Says:

    I’ve been having a hard time finding what I consider great home fries/hash browns down here in the south. They use this seasoning on every kinda potato it seems, and it’s orange in color. Just awful.

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    llfa @mr. c 😆

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    well, paprika and red pepper are both correct on home fries, but yeah, there are some shitty fries in the south for sure


  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    why I chose russian I have no idea

    love google translate tho

  18. jdub Says:

    Robear and AW up in smoke. Have a blast guys.

    Off to mini golf with my son. Tiger training has commenced.

  19. Born Under Punches Says:

    @T3 Die Deutschen sind unhaltbar!

  20. El Duderino Says:

    @ Mr C.

    Up north where I’m from, they don’t use that stuff on the “home fries”, just salt and pepper.

  21. Litteringand Says:

    Based off what setlists look like this tour, i feel like I can make a Spock’s Brain call for Creek and it not be a complete joke.

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    ausrichten Sie das, Durchschläge!

    I’m a babelfish guy myself.

  23. Leo Weaver Says:

    Morning guys. What a couple of days!?! I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything. Enjoyed meeting a lot more BBers…great people, great times. And a couple of great shows taboot taboot.

    Thinking back on these two, my mind wants to lump them together as one long extended show…Raleigh was set 1 with tons of bustouts, Charlotte was the funky ride into the dark depths many of us look for in a big set 2. The boys are playing with fire and enthusiasm nailing almost everything…don’t miss ’em!

    Charlotte was more “my kind of setlist/show”…took me back to the 12.28.98 Set 2. But Raleigh was stellar IMO. It was a one-of-a-kind and I’ll be surprised to see another one like it (with all the rare covers) any time soon. I feel honored to have participated in both shows.

    Last thing before I move on to my Bojangles breakfast…thanks to all the great people here who joined us for the NC Phish experience. The meetup was great, but couldn’t have gone off without all the support of all the fine folks we hosted. Nothing quite like meeting some new old friends then taking in a couple of days of phish with them. First MSG, then Hartford, now Charlotte…it’s nice walking into a venue knowing you’re sharing it with some of the best peeps in the world…our little BB community is a helluva group of friends. Can’t wait to meet more of you!

    Time for coffe, bane, and bojangles…mmmm.

  24. halcyon Says:

    I had Argentina winning it… Germans look unstoppable. Like a well oiled machine. Tight, energetic, efficient, locked in playing. Am I talking about Germany or Phish. Or Both 😉

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    um, the reverse translation of what I just posted was not what I wrote initially. babelfish FAIL was closer…

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