A Phishy 4th Finale

"Ghost" - July 4, 2010 - Atlanta (Wendy Rogell)

Phish wrapped up summer’s first leg of tour with an explosive holiday affair that glimmered with setlist glory and was underlined by the band’s tongue in cheek humor, “honoring” America’s birthday. Playing a second set, split into two halves, Phish displayed their improvisational acumen throughout the first, while flexing their comic muscle, poking fun at American history in a classic Independence Day cover. Unveiling two sets of entertaining songs, the improvisational centerpiece of July 4th emerged at the start of the second set in “Disease > Piper > Ghost.”

7.4.10 (W.Rogell)

Opening patriotically, Phish stepped on stage and sang “The Star Spangled Banner” before earnestly kicking off the evening with the “Punch You In the Eye.” “The Landlady” posed some technical issues for Trey, but the urgency the band displayed illustrated that their intent was clearly for our delight on this holiday occasion. Dropping right into “Colonel Forbins’s > Mockingbird,” the band continued their Southern jaunts into Gamehendge, albeit without a narration. The band’s classic compositions brought a special feeling to the holiday evening right as the show began, a thread that would run throughout the show.

Continuing the retro-vibe with the tour’s second “Camel Walk,” the band rolled out their third consecutive animal-themed song with the modern-era “Ocelot.” Loafing along with long sustained whale calls, the band lifted a creeping, bluesy excursion as the show’s initial jam. “My Friend, My Friend” brought a menacing interlude before the set picked up with the closing combination of “Bowie,” “Jibboo.” Undulating through a bass-crafty “Bowie,” Trey played along with flowing, yet intricate, lead melodies. A dynamic version capped a month that saw the resurrection of “Bowie,” a song that had grown routine since the the turn of the millennium. Balancing the audience’s darkened head space with the glorious guitar acrobatics act of “Jibboo” Phish left the audience on the highest peak of the set as they hit the break.

7.4.10 (W.Rogell)

While the first set was song-based, the second set was backed by concept – first musically celebrating the holiday, then performing a Phishy skit within “Harpua” in recognition of the America’s skewed history. The opening sequence of the set started with the holiday “Disease” that almost everyone knew was coming. Only breaking form for a few minutes, the band delved into a groove as Trey began speaking in his gritty, uncompressed tone. Phish began to build outwards, momentarily, before Trey aborted the jam in favor of keeping the show moving along, pushing forward into the stellar second-set highlight, “Piper.” While not as exploratory as Merriweather’s sprawling epic, this version grew more cohesive, while still packing an improvisational wallop. Sculpting a dramatic piece of densely packed music, Phish squeezed quite a few ideas into the post-rock section of the song. Migrating through a musical forest, dropping bass notes as breadcrumbs, Mike led the band’s path into the woods, as members sculpted their offerings around his core. Notably shying from extended improv, Phish wrapped up a succinct”Piper,” slipping into the third and final “Ghost” of tour.

7.4.10 (W.Rogell)

The beginning of this version became a synergy of whale rock and groove as Mike and Trey anchored the jam with their interwoven thoughts. Growing in momentum like a downhill snowball, this rendition vaulted into a high-speed shred-fest. Shying from thick groove all summer, last night’s “Ghost” followed suit, capping the night’s central highlight in tightly locked and climactic fashion. Each segment of this three-piece sequence holds individual merit, but the “Piper > Ghost” is truly where it’s at for the show’s center cut of jamming.

After this flowing opening half of the set, the band juxtaposed a benign musical buffer of “Waste” and “Julius” before dropping into “Mike’s Song.” A particularly short rendition dropped off into “Tela,” the once elusive bust-out that has now been played three times in the past 20 shows. Again referencing Gamehendge, this time within “Mike’s Groove,” little did we know how Phishy things would soon become.

7.4.10 (W.Rogell)

With the opening “Oom Pah Pahs” of “Harpua,” the saga of Jimmy continued for only the second time this go-round. Getting analytical in his narration, Trey began discussing the lies of American History that are taught in schools, and how the real truth of the nation’s history is secretly woven into the lyrics of all Phish songs. The story soon turned to Jimmy’s ancestor who traversed the Atlantic, becoming the first settler of our great land. As the pilgrims soon came over to the New World, and “civilization” began to destroy the pristine landscape, Jimmy’s old relative sat in his house listening to his favorite music from “the only band other than Phish that won’t bullshit you,” imploding the venue with Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing In the Name.” A clear musical jibe at the glorification of our country’s murderous and bloody foundation, Phish chose a perfectly symbolic cover for a nation whose history is mired in hypocrisy; who throughout their past has said “Fuck You, I Won’t Do What You Tell Me” to just about every country and international force in the world. And they also nailed it. In a summer of one-time covers, this ’90s anthem of angst vaulted to the top-shelf as Fishman carried the vocals while the band perfectly mimicked the intense, punk-rock stylings of Zack de la Rocha’s outfit. Coming back around to “Harpua” and closing with break-neck”Weekapaug,” the band wrapped up a classic set that will go down in July 4th legend.

While carried by songs, Phish still carved a chunk time in their holiday show for jamming, ending tour with a crowd-pleasing evening that put a premium on fun to close out a significant month of music. Providing show highlights with multiple dips into the Gamehendge mythology, bust-outs, jamming, and comedy, the band put on a show that left everyone glowing for their post-tour holiday parties. With a month off before the Greek, there are many moons to break down the incredible month that was; but for now it’s high time for some rest.

Miner – over and out.

I: The Star Spangled Banner, Punch You In the Eye, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Famous Mockingbird, Camel Walk, Ocelot, Heavy Things, My Friend, My Friend, Lawn Boy, David Bowie, Gotta Jibboo

II: Down with Disease > Piper > Ghost, Waste, Julius, Mike’s Song > Tela, Harpua > Killing in the Name* > Harpua, Weekapaug Groove

E: First Tube

*Debut, Rage Against the Machine

7.4.10 - Atlanta (Wendy Rogell)

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484 Responses to “A Phishy 4th Finale”

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  1. El Duderino Says:

    Mornin’ Folks

    Looks like a burner! 🙂

  2. DaWedge Says:

    “Nailed it”??? I’ve never heard a Rage song played so out of tune. Besides that, not a bad show. Wish the Disease>Piper>Ghost was more. So much potential there to make some magic.

  3. joe Says:

    Get some well deserved rest Mr. Miner. Safe travels.
    awesome pictures once again too.

  4. Dyda Says:

    Only one moon til more new phish really…

    Going on full tour was a good time for many reasons.

    Now it is time to drive back north. Peace.

  5. Will Says:

    Love me some Harpua. I had a feeling they might bust it out last night. Looking forward to hearing it.

  6. Robear Says:

    wow, just, wow.

    floored that phish played ‘Killing in the Name of’ on 4th of July.

    mind, body and soul = split open and melt

  7. nonoyolker Says:

    Great reporting miner, as usual. Get some much deserved rest. Peace

  8. Bodi Says:

    Thanks mr. Miner for your superhuman consistency and dedication, you have proven to be a literary force once again! And thanks to phish for taking their craft seriously once again. They brought their ever improving chops and cohesion back with force and genuine passion, as well as the a renewed phishiness factor, all roads to Phan bliss lead from here. That combo of unpredictability and skill that drew me into this band in 94 is back in convincing fashion. Ever since late 90s, despite scattered moments of brilliance, I had a vague sense the edge had been worn off, the x-factor to borrow from Dead metaphysics, is pushing back up through the soil to haunt and delight us. I’m so happy I can say, “I saw it again!”

  9. jj walker Says:

    santana oy ye como va teases and ending to ghost no??????

  10. jdub Says:

    My attempt at doing a No spoilers for the second set was foiled when I looked at my phone and glimpsed a text from my brother with Set 2 listed. Oh well.

    Looks like an instant classic.

    Thanks for all that you do Miner, it is so appreciated.

    Great photos Wendy

    What an interesting tour, so many different types of Phish came out to play.

    Enjoy the extended weekend and get some rest if you’ve been touring.

  11. lastwaltzer Says:

    THANK YOU MR. MINER! Its been a fun tour, thanks for keeping us in the know!

  12. Eric Says:

    “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me!”

    what else needs to be said? They blew the roof off that place

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i heart miner

  14. bodi Says:

    2010: Return of the X-Phaktor


    2010: The Year We Reestablished Contact

  15. Dr. B Says:

    The deep knowledge and deep experience that is Phish and phandom is reflected and refracted well in Miner’s unerring dedication. Kudos to both these acts for presenting us with such riveting narratives. Ive been teaching 35 young and eager college students here in Peru, for a summer study aborad program. All the while with a bad internet connection. But, I have felt absolutely tied in to what’s been going down over there. And I like what I hear/sense. I like it a lot.

    (Listening to Camden’s first night set II on my ‘phones while riding on top of our boat’s cabin, after having spent the night on an island in the middle of Lake Titicaca, was quite an experience, btw.)

    Nights 1 and 2 at The Greek can’t come soon enough for me.

    But, in the meantime, here’s to well deserved r+r for those who deserve it…

  16. Robear Says:

    some of them who run forces, are they same who burn crosses.

    anyone’s life change when they started to realize all the lies that have been told through schools and the media?

    heading home to nor Cal. One of the last ‘hold-outs’ of indigenous society in this country, until the gold rush in the 1850’s.

    I’m heading back home today. I live near the convergence of two of Nor Cal’s largest native tribes, The Karuk and Yurok.

    I came to these shows with anticipation and excitement. I’m leaving a smarter, better, and happier man.

    what a band.

    Phish plays elation.

  17. Robear Says:

    my friend Nina hit show 250 last night. Another cat I met, ‘Boombox Johnny’ hit 248. Pretty impressive, till my bro told me he was in his 520’s for shows.

    WTF?? what have i been doing wrong??

    jk. lots of new converts this weekend. tons of kids seeing their first shows. LOts of guys that have been on the bus bringing their ladies for the first time. The south is an incredible place to see the Phish, especially with the weather we just had.

  18. Robear Says:

    YEaH! WEndY.

    ‘was right behind her crew for beg. of second set.

  19. HarryHood Says:

    No Curtain all summer……. Interesting.

  20. lastwaltzer Says:

    “anyone’s life change when they started to realize all the lies that have been told through schools and the media?”robear

    Without doubt. This book:http://www.amazon.com/Peoples-History-United-States-1492-Present/dp/0060528370

    A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn truly changed how I viewed the world. Check out this awesome short film written by Zinn “What The Classroom Didn’t Teach Me About The American Empire” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Arn3lF5XSUg

    Haven’t had a chance to listen to the Harpua yet but am really proud that Phish were willing to speak their minds in age filled with false hope and poorly placed pride.

  21. lastwaltzer Says:


    Curtain opener at the greek MARK 8

  22. Robear Says:

    wuz up fella’s? i’m still the early riser in the crew.

    completely surprised, but not shocked at no ‘curtain’ this tour.

  23. joe Says:

    ” lots of new converts this weekend. tons of kids seeing their first shows.”

    pretty sure that if you went to any show this tour for your first time and were on the fence about Phish, you are on the train now. If you were already converted and saw your first show this tour (looking at you Brandon) you probably are ready to drop everything and tour fulltime. I love the new blood. gives me someone to show off my ancient dance moves to.

  24. El Duderino Says:

    Curtain With was part of the ’09 theme IMO. doesn’t mean it won’t happen once or twice in leg 2 but for me it’s one of the themes of what was ’09

  25. HarryHood Says:

    @ LW

    The Curtain is such a strange song in the Phish catalog. At Coventry, Trey mentions what a meaningful song it is to the band, thus saving it for there “last” song ever. Then they botch it, which probably leads to them feeling the need to redeem themselves (just an assumption) at some point. Then last year it gets played a couple of times at really unexpected times and this year it gets shelved all together. Really strange.

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