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. kayatosh Says:

    pre-story harpua was solid. post rage harpua, slightly flubbed but they bring it home strong. rage tune well played.

  2. albert walker Says:

    Compared to spac harpua shit was drum tight

    Def not perfect

    Def flubs all weekend but never got in the way and energy was always up

  3. voidboy Says:

    I must say, overall, the playing has been top notch… especially given the number of “bust outs” and “billboard” requests as mentioned earlier. The fact that these guys are playing so many tunes, so well, is eerie.

  4. BingosBrother Says:

    Think I heard Gordon miss one note in the 6/29 Hood and it shocked the hell outta me. Dude is that good right now. Probably a CPU glitch. Mike is bionic.

  5. Prince Nabby Says:

    Hey All: Just got home from ATL this afternoon. I managed 9 shows this leg, and there were just so many highlights that it’s hard to determine what was the best of this or that category. That’s the sort of dilemma I like!

    I’m sure it’s been said already, but there was something for everyone this leg, and yet almost all of the shows remained cohesive and dynamic. The one show that just did not work for me on any level whatsoever (musically, sonically, interpersonally, or chemically) was Raleigh, but even that had its moments.

    Anyhow, fwiw, Hershey was just a non-stop dance party, and I toward the end I was simply begging the band to please stop, because I couldn’t not dance, but I just couldn’t dance anymore. MPP2 and CLT both blew my mind. And ATL 2 was huge, bombastic fun with enough bust outs and rarities to please any list-ticker. Alas, I have only the Deer Creeks left to look forward to.

    I can’t wait to see Miner’s synoptic take on the first leg!

  6. albert walker Says:

    Please phish

    Learn rift or stop playing it

    Same with forbins mock

  7. joe Says:

    Sunday night at SPAC was a good first set too. – haterade reprise about the review? 🙂

    unreal tour from you too mr. miner. great dedication to your site here by keeping all of us living vicariously through your words updated so quickly every morning.

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    it seems like rift runs off the tracks routinely

  9. BingosBrother Says:

    Thought the same thing Void. They’re so tight they are ready for anything and everything the fans throw at them. Camel Walk, FYF, difficult covers with strange lyrics, new tunes..It is insane.

  10. Mr.Miner Says:

    Thanks Joe…SPAC 2 set I is money also

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    Gonna have to put together a Best of Miner list soon too. Kids been killin it all tour long.

  12. sumodie Says:

    though mpp2 has the thematic unity, mpp1 r and r and tweeze are hotter than anything the next night…

    Always curious what balance/ratio fans look for between overall thematic unity and individual hot jams when judging one set/show better than another?

    Though I doubt anyone has it quantified 8)

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ cheers Bingo…lol

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    @Sumodie…well there is one mathematic formula…jk

  15. Mr.Palmer Says:

    7/3 antelope smokes

  16. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    Can someone help me out – during one of the last two nights in Atlanta, during one song, Trey had his guitar up to the microphone out in front of him, neck straight up in the air, literally channeling demons. Might have been My Friend, but my memory is real shady from the last four nights. they had it up on the screens. Kuroda didn’t have a spot on him, so it was all shadowy.

  17. voopa Says:


    Def flubs all weekend but never got in the way and energy was always up

    This! Wish I had been there.

  18. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    ^ or maybe it was Antelope. I’ll stop guessing.

  19. kayatosh Says:

    I heard a few isolated flubs in atlanta (rift, mockingbird come to mind), but like you say, they seem to recover quickly. loved a lot from hotlanta —

    destiny, mcgrupp, gin, mist, sanity, lope, caspian, tweez, salve, hood, cup, ssb, camel walk, ocelot, heavy things, mfmf, bowie jibboo, dwd, piper, ghost, mike’s, week, and first tube

  20. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Trey on 7/3 ” see you in a couple of minutes”……llfa

  21. poop goblin Says:

    that slave was beautiful

    Trey hit that sustained feedback note for about 30 seconds (much better feedback tone control lately)

    and when he let go some rolling chick in our row goes down like Frazier

    fished her ass out
    great shit

  22. poop goblin Says:

    gonna go spin 7/4 now getting ready for work tomorrow

    coming in and out of my nap that tweezer > slave floored me

    see yall soon

  23. Prince Nabby Says:

    Without wishing to harp on an overdiscussed topic, I think that Trey’s problem with the solo in Rift stems from the fact that it was conceived as being almost entirely a series of extremely fast hammer-ons and pull-offs of the shreddy kind that he has been steering clear of since the Fall tour. His inclination these days is to substitute use of the whammy pedal for extended machine-gun riffs. What seems to happen in Rift (and in Maze, too, imho), is that at the point Trey is meant to jump in with these blistering arpeggios and rat-a-tat-tat riffs, he tries to use the Whammy, realizes it won’t work, backs off, and then just vamps a little until the section is over. My sense is not that he can’t play those sections or that he hasn’t rehearsed, but that he doesn’t want to play them the way he used to and hasn’t yet figured out an alternative vibe, based on the whale call, that actually works on the fly. Personally, I think that these songs, like Llama, were actually conceived as vehicles for shreddiness and do not work as vehicles for other genres. (And in the case of Llama, this is a documented fact, being an attempt by Phish to out-Herring Herring when they toured with WSP). Just my two cents’ worth. Peace, y’all 🙂

  24. sanchothehutt Says:

    “^^ do some of you cats skip miner’s post just to say stuff in the comments section? apparently, the real meaning of the song went right over me, miner, and all my friends in attendance’ heads. thanks for clearing it up that it was a joke meant for the kids holding signs. for a minute, i was having a life evolving experience.”

    @Robear, yeah…you need to chill out. I always read Miner’s reviews. How ridiculous are you to suggest that I just jump on the board to flame people. I’ve been on here too long, have enjoyed too many couch tour nights, and have participated in far too many good conversations for you to dismiss my opinion like that.

    ANyone who went to college knows that our history books are filled with misinformation. Every country’s books are filled with misinformation…if this was a “life evolving experience” for you, you need to lay off the Robane and do a little more reading. ANd BTW, I never said it had anything to do with sign holders.

    Sorry to bring this back up, but I’m not letting somebody get away with insulting my intelligence.

  25. sanchothehutt Says:

    I’ll now return to my regularly scheduled positivity. Forgive my pride, BB.

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