Atlanta’s Opening Act

7.3.10 - Atlanta (Wendy Rogell)

Opening the holiday weekend with another two-set showcase, Phish bombarded Atlanta’s northern suburbs with a multi-faceted gala on the penultimate night of a triumphant opening leg of summer. With well-placed bust-outs, first set jams, and a tour-defining moment in the second set’s “Tweezer > Slave,” Alpharetta’s opening night hit all the right spots, setting up a sure-fire July 4th blowout.

7.3.10 (W.Rogell)

Sculpting an uber-engaging first set, the band lit the weekend’s fuse with the first-ever “Character Zero” opener, as the set immediately reached out and grabbed the audience. The smooth and dancy bust-out of “Destiny Unbound” kept the energy elevated as the band revved up “Rift.” Though stumbling through the mid-90s anthem, Trey continued his summer trend of interaction, taking a “McGrupp” sign onstage and playing the request. The summer debut of the song brought a refreshing feel to the setlist with the second Gamehendge-based song in as many nights.

7.3.10 (W.Rogell)

The improvisational highlight of the first set came next, as Phish capped off a summer of standout “Bathtub Gins” with a culminating version that, arguably, topped them all. Between bass-led candy grooves and an all-out guitar assault, this ride on the purple humpback whale showcased the band’s current prowess and connection. A melodic and ever-changing rhythmic pocket anchored the song for Page and Trey to paint the jam’s outer layer with inter-woven leads. Coming down from the mid-set jam, the band took “Mountains in the Mist” off the shelf, giving the song the gentle treatment of a summer breeze. Trey’s introspective ballad provided a mid-set moment of reflection before the old-school threesome of “NICU,” “Gumbo,” and “My Sweet One,” continued the first half avalanche.

“Stealing Time” seemed it would end the set, but Phish was hardly done in marathon stanza. “Strange Design” set the table for the set closing combo of “Sanity,” “Antelope,” completing one of the strongest opening frames of tour, and two eventful halves of Phish show are so much better than one. Locking in on the final version of a tour filled with Pronghorn, Phish grew last night’s “Antelope” into, perhaps, the most engaging of tour. Carrying cascading momentum, the band began in a laid back whale-groove as they patiently built the jam instead of pushing it too fast. With dynamic drum work from Johnny B. Fishman, this explosive “Antelope” blew the roof off the over-crowded GA pavilion, placing an exclamation mark at the end of Alpharetta’s first paragraph.

7.3.10 (Wendy Rogell)

Regardless of what was played before or after, last night’s unquestionable centerpiece came via the crunching turned majestic journey of “Tweezer > Slave.” Beginning with a captivating “Caspian” outro that resembled some amalgam of a digital delay jam and “Dave’s Energy Guide,” the speckled and sparse groove provided a dainty place mat for a filthy “Tweezer” to overtake Atlanta like General Sherman in the Civil War. Jumping off a cosmic trampoline, the band cranked out some of the most infectious dance music of the summer. Trey settled into a signature pattern that took the band out into a belligerent musical trek, diving head first into addictive Phish crack. Spelunking through caverns of groove, the band emerged in a soul-cleansing, guitar-led build that turned blissfully melodic at the top of the mountain. Expounding on these ideas, the band sustained the peak before descending into a mellower rhythmic palette that patiently transformed into “Slave,” immediately evoking memories of Atlanta’s monumental July 4th transition of ’99.

7.3.10 (W.Rogell)

Though seemingly incomprehensible, this represented the first-ever outright combination of “Tweezer” and “Slave,” despite the fact that some “Tweezers” have contained “Slave” jams (such a s 12.9.94 and 12.16.99.) And this “Slave” was simply magnificent. Featuring an extended section of serenity before the any beat truly began, when the band finally set sail into calm waters, Trey hit a note and held it….and continued to hold it. The band progressed like magic beneath him, as Page’s piano filled in the lead melody in a frozen moment of euphoria. Trey came off his sustain with a spine-tingling lick, and the entire band listened to each other impeccably, knitting an exalting quilt of majesty. This sequence represented a quintessential Phish odyssey, moving from dark groove to a spiritual peak, and anything the band chose to play afterwards was mere gravy.

7.3.10 (W.Rogell)

The three-song run of “Bouncin,” Possum,” and “Number Line” combined some old Phish anthems with a new one, as the band chose, once again, to leave their modern jam vehicle at bay. Inexplicably playing their second, second-set “Number Line” of the weekend, and doing little creative with either, Phish seems to have backed off the song’s potential after Blossom’s best-ever version. The upbeat vibe of the second half of the set continued with leg one’s final rendition of “Hood” in a month that has contained more than a few outstanding versions. Led by Mike and Trey’s cohesive guitar interplay, and accented by Page’s piano lines, the band moved through a mellower, more noodly build before Trey peaked the song relatively quickly after shifting tones. Another solid outing capped a month that rejuvenated the band’s classic piece. As Page carried out his piano lines through “Hood’s” peak, a “Loving Cup” encore became imminent. Closing the show with a shot of high-energy that now brings sunny memories of Festival 8 each time out, Phish played to the Saturday night crowd with a feel-good recital in the second half of the set.

7.3.10 (W.Rogell)

In a move that is now like clockwork, Phish opened their Saturday night second set with “Rock and Roll” for the fourth consecutive time this tour. Only breaking form momentarily, there was no “Alpharetta Jam,” as the band awkwardly cut the song for an out-of-place “Prince Caspian.” Without any real improv to lead into the fictitious anthem, “Caspian,” though played quite-well, felt completely premature in a set that had yet to go anywhere. But when the band took up its aforementioned outro, the story of the second set really got started.

With only one stone left unturned in the path of summer’s opening road, everyone can wholeheartedly agree that the band is eons ahead of where they were just one year ago. As we embark on the band’s third-ever July 4th party, and the first in ten years, there is so much to celebrate in present state of Phish. And as the band prepares to combine a tour-closer with a holiday show, tonight is shaping up to be another in the long line of iconic Phish shows.

Happy 4th of July to all!

I: Character Zero, Destiny Unbound, Rift, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, Bathtub Gin, Mountains in the Mist, NICU, Gumbo, My Sweet One, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Strange Design, Sanity, Run Like an Antelope

II: Rock and Roll > Prince Caspian, Tweezer > Slave to the Traffic Light, Bouncing Around the Room, Possum, Backwards Down the Number Line, Harry Hood > Loving Cup

E: Sleeping Monkey, Tweezer Reprise

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441 Responses to “Atlanta’s Opening Act”

  1. lot rat Says:

    im gonna flip my fuckin skull during the Icculus>Julius>Gumbo opener on 8/5.

    Tick tock tick tock….

  2. lot rat Says:

    show playing on hoodstream….sounds tight.

    Dont be the only one left on the block

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    harpua story was about how the history of the us is a lie. And every phish song is an encoded version of teh true history of america. So jimmy was listening to this other band that also tells the truth.

    Killling in the name of

    Full version fishman sang nailed note for note.

    Phish moshpit like you’ve never never seen.

    we were 3rd row in front of mike all night long.

    got my camel walk

    on the bus on the way back this poor clueless kid yelled out “I can’t believe I missed character 0 last night” funniest moment in a long time.

    Absolutely stunning what just happened. I am fairly certain I will wake up in 5 hours and it will all have been a dream.

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    That sounds like an intense Harpua story, kind of surprised in fact, but very very cool. Can’t wait to hear it!

  5. Robear Says:

    whoa, computer snafu.

    ‘killing in the name of” was done in it’s entirety. fish behind the kit, full band metal shredfest,

  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    That’s cool, will be firing up this show as soon as I finish up the first set from last night. 7/3 II is fantastic

  7. ChefBradford Says:

    So, first post since before the run, probably the only one until I get back to the Pelican State tomorrow night.

    Went in to every show with basically zero expectations. Had an amazing, freeing, swinging, raging, blissful weekend.

    Met some, no, a LOT, of really great people, including a lot of BBers, and they all made me feel at home, even when I was the quiet/awkward dude

    this place is amazing, I literally wouldn’t or couldn’t have done this run without the people here. More thank yous next time I post

    thank you Mr Miner

    and remember, Phish ALWAYS WINS!!!!!

  8. BrandonKayda Says:

    Last night’s Antelope is so nice – I love how original/creative Trey is here using the whale to create subtle dissonance and change the jam around a bit. Really, really dig this new sound (2010 as a whole)

  9. themanatee Says:

    trey UNLEASHES the uncompressed tone in the disease, just filthy filthy stuf and mike’s slapping reply and page’s staccato notes drive the jam into crazy territory before Trey just starts playing Piper for absolutely no reason!

  10. butter Says:

    wow ….wow ….wow

    Phish has an uncanny ability to out do themselves

    Greatness rules

  11. (looks too much like)Dave Says:

    PHISH FOR THE WIN!!!!! WOWEE WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. butter Says:

    Rage against the machine …just stop it


    who thinks of this shit

  13. BrandonKayda Says:

    Listening to the Harpua->Killing In The Name->Harpua – this is pretty sweet.

    “Jimmy is listening to one of the other bands other than Phish who won’t bullshit you” 😉

  14. Corey Says:

    ^They were on the Halloween list, afterall.
    Radiohead covers in August.
    Greek Theater is going to be PHiSH Theater.

    Great “random” list of other musicians touched this tour. As if Exile wasn’t enough, right?

    Joni Mitchell
    Tom Waits
    Rage Against The Machine
    The Band
    Neutral Milk Hotel (who!!?)
    Rita Clarke (what!?!)
    “new” Beatles, Stones and Zeppelin
    “teases” ranging from Michael Jackson to Judas Priest to kids tunes…

    Go on mass public, you can have all the pop crap you want.
    We’ve got PHiSH over here and they’re picking up where they left off…

    They are the best rock and roll band in the land. I’ve tried to like others.

    The. Others. Don’t. Compare.

    Going to sleep. See ya in the morn, bbers.

  15. Corey Says:

    Guess that should actually read:

    Neutral Milk Hotel – what!??!
    Rita Clarke – who?!!?


  16. Mr. Murph Says:

    I don’t even know what to think anymore guys. Those last 4 shows were amazing. They hosed me!!!!!!

  17. fromthetub Says:

    Just need to add that I’m still shaking. Unbelievable.

  18. Robear Says:

    ^and smiling, I reckon @fromthetub

  19. butter Says:

    Robear, when u back in Humboldt?

  20. goat Says:

    best weekapaug yet, smokin energy and good interplay throughout, MOTHERFUCKER!

  21. oneshowatatime Says:

    wow. just logged on. set looks amazing.

  22. guyute711 Says:

    guyute laying outside of hotel. we were evicted!

  23. Robear Says:

    dang guyute! show makes it worth, i imagine 🙂

    2 morrow @ butter.

  24. guyute711 Says:

    it was all worth it robear, travel safe.

  25. Frankie Says:

    PHISH 2010!!!!

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