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”

  1. voidboy Says:

    @Mr. C.

    Damn, you can just bring it… I love calling for tunes that either “do not exist” (of which I can play a few…) or songs that no “good soul” should be prepared to play… ever… both options seems totally appropriate (especially at the Greek). Either that, or a billboard or skywriter… whichever seems easiest to pull off with limited time or budget… (personally, the skywriting… ie “Trey, quit loafing…” seems like the way to go though I am not a complainer.)

  2. Lycanthropist Says:

    so far my top tier jams:

    – 6/11: Ghost
    – 6/12: Backwards Down the Numberline
    – 6/17: Down With Disease
    – 6/19: Rock and Roll
    – 6/19: David Bowie
    – 6/20: Drowned > Swept Away > Steep
    – 6/22: Sneaking Sally > Light
    – 6/24: Crosseyed and Painless
    – 6/25: Chalkdust Torture
    – 6/26: Tweezer
    – 6/27: I Saw it Again > Piper
    – 6/29: Simple > I am the Walrus
    – 7/01: Light
    – 7/02: Carini > Fuck Your Face
    – 7/03: Bathtub Gin
    – 7/03: Tweezer

    This isn’t including the MANY MANY second tier jams such as the Chicago Light and the Camden 2001…

  3. kayatosh Says:

    “. . .loaded down with kids with this amazing old dude named jerry who put up with all our BS and shenanigans as we cheered him along and made a general nuisance of ourselves as phish kids are wont to do. Dude just went with it all (and made bank on tips).”

    sounds like you’re talkin bout jerry garcia

  4. Mr.Miner Says:

    And fwiw…obv KItN is an anti-establishment / power structure song, so to sing it on July 4th, the very day we are to celebrate all that our country represents is both tongue and cheek and a political statement commentary without question…

  5. kayatosh Says:

    I went w/ LaStubbe’s dpa’s for 6/17 and 6/18, Ed guidry’s neuman combo for 6/19, zman’s schoeps fob for 6/20, jason sobel’s beyer dynamic for 6/22, padeli mike’s senn for 6/29, mterry’s audix for 7/2, and bporter shoeps for 7/3. have not yet listened to mterry for 7/3.

    i can provide links if needed. most should still be active

  6. voidboy Says:


    Nice list… I will check these out…


  7. kayatosh Says:

    enjoying this 7/4 set II (taylorC FOB — $$) on headphones. great set so far.

    the 7/4 ghost really gets bumpin at the 5 min. mark. funk bump + trey whale = brain party time.

  8. kayatosh Says:

    7/4 ghost – mike flexing the billie jean style bassline.

  9. lastwaltzer Says:

    “And fwiw…obv KItN is an anti-establishment / power structure song, so to sing it on July 4th, the very day we are to celebrate all that our country represents is both tongue and cheek and a political statement commentary without question…”mr. miner

    and by that, do you in turn mean that KITN had nothing to do with all the signs?

  10. kayatosh Says:

    Like aw or poop said earlier: 7/4 set I is $$-$$$ from camel walk on. real nice.

    and this ghost is tasty.

    waste can be a trying tune. and 7/4’s is flubbed. i’ll be erasing that one. people talking over it and singing poorly in the FOB tape. bleh.

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    solid list lycan- but it’s missing the jam of tour…MPP rock and roll…

  12. kayatosh Says:

    also thought the ssb was $$. interesting new nuances in the arrangement.

  13. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Anyone ever have an issue where , all of a sudden, you can’t play any youtube videos? I come home from being away for a few days and no vids play, nada. Tried downloading Adobe flash again, still zippo.

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    and by that, do you in turn mean that KITN had nothing to do with all the signs?

    ^ ?? sings for Rage??

  15. Lycanthropist Says:


    it kills me that there isn’t a Split or a Stash on my list… but I did get to put a Bowie on there..

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    Split from Camden is heady

  17. Mr.Miner Says:


  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ you got the latter

  19. kayatosh Says:

    3 ghosts this leg — 6/11, 6/27, 7/4. Glad to see they’re not burning a hole in it. keep some mystique with a song titled ghost.

    6/11 – still need to seek out a great tape of this show. the taylor FOB is slightly boomy for my taste, but i heard it’s a tough venue for aud. tapes.

  20. Lycanthropist Says:


    I thought about the MPP RnR, but it just comes short of the brilliance of the SPAC RnR. And I only wanted one RnR on the list out of principle 😉

  21. lastwaltzer Says:

    “^ ?? sings for Rage??”miner

    I was just trying to be a smart ass, referring to the comments people made earlier.

  22. Mr. Murph Says:

    Have not gotten the show yet but Caspian>Tweezer from 7/3 is pure phish. Danced my ass off on that steep steep lawn

  23. Lycanthropist Says:

    My second tier jam list is pretty big..

    Camden Split
    MPP RnR
    Atlanta Antelope
    Camden Sand

    etc etc are all on that list.. A great collection of jams for sure.

  24. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ listen again…..simply a different league, and I like the SPAC r and r. but the MPP r and r is on another level…imo

  25. Lycanthropist Says:

    at your request I surely will Miner

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