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. lastwaltzer Says:

    @Haryy and dude

    in combo you guys nailed it, they needed to redeem IT. They did, I’m sure we’ll see it pop up again. Now if they’d only rest some of the other heavy hitters for a tour or two…..

  2. El Duderino Says:

    I wonder if this Drowned, Rock & Roll jam vehicle will continue with the frequency in leg 2?

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    One thing I haven’t seen noted…

    Before the show one of the crew guys came down to the pit and handed out GIANT panties for girls to throw at page during lawnboy. Peeps were writing messages etc on them. Watching his face as he came out, tried to ignore the first few, and then trey laughing and page laughing as they realized… Absolutely priceless.

    Ill have to hear it back but to me killing in the name of was just about perfect.. That was always one of my driving around the mtns pissed at my job tunes.. Absolutely love that album, takes me back to the angsty 90s hs days.

    Also – during ghost at one point mike kicked into this candy groove that was virtually identical to the fantastic space he found in bathtub saturday. Will have to check for timings etc but it was there I’m pretty sure.

    Atl definitely removed the sting of missing ral and clt. Amazing weekend.

    Also — ending the “all request band tour” with f u I won’t do what u tell me is sheer phishy brilliance.

    New phish!!

  4. halcyon Says:

    To take LW’s post further, here is another suggestion.

    Lies My Teacher Told Me by James M. Loewen

    In our great and misguided history, this book reveals some truths often ignored and glossed over. From the back cover: Woodrow Wilson was a white supremacist who personally vetoed a clause on racial equality in the Covenant of League of Nations, First colony to legalize slavery was not Virgina but Massachusetts, US dropped 3x as many explosives in Vietnam as it dropped in WWII, etc etc.

    That being said, In spite of all of our faults, I still love our country.

    Downloading the show right now, looking forward to working down the #line listening to Leg 1.

  5. albert walker Says:

    A few smooth segues this weekend

    Tweezer > slave
    Mikes > tela

    I’m not a huge harpua fan but this could be the best I’ve caught

    Make up for the bad spac version it sounded like it was practiced. Very tight version

    Piper ghost jibboo tweezer gin hot jams

  6. Robear Says:

    cow, that’s hilarious, re: panties.

    it’s been a fun tour backstage, as well, according to all accounts. lots of gags, pranks and running jokes.

    did you see the blow-up shark with the monkey on his back make it on stage the first night?

    that came from backstage as well.

  7. jj walker Says:

    also to note boys are def playing signs or using them as inspiration , they didnt play mine but keep it going on leg 2

    lets kick to old covers and get under some new ones

    mgmt electric feel
    pixies – where is my mind

  8. lastwaltzer Says:

    “US dropped 3x as many explosives in Vietnam as it dropped in WWII”halycon

    this has always boggled my mind.

  9. Was That Panic? Says:


    About the bus ride with the lady friends… I just wanted to say again that the Bus, BBQ, and Great People really made a for a great first show for my fiance. It’s no surprise that she is excited to see Phish again. I just wanted to thank everyone for being so much fun and I hope that I can catch up with some of you in the future.

  10. Robear Says:

    That being said, In spite of all of our faults, I still love our country.


    i got that underlying message from the band, too. well put, Halcy!

  11. c0wfunk Says:

    Signs were a bit out of hand last night – a girl actually had written out a whole setlist she held up during ssb.. Page at least definitely saw and rolled his eyes a bit.

    I too ran into a few new kidz who were having a blast. Also met an old deadhead who had finally given up his grudge and was at his first show. Besides pissing off his gf by getting wildly drunk and dancing on people he had great time 😉

  12. Mr.palmer Says:

    Phish getting political…..hmmm. not sure how i feel about it. haven’t listened to it, so hard to tell. One of the things that i love about Phish is that they don’t get political. HArd to tell from Miner’s account if it was joking or serious.

  13. Robear Says:

    i think half the staff at the southern venues are now fans. peeps were straight boogeying in Charlotte.

    I had this young girl that was working the smoothie booth across from WW. Her and the other lass were kicking us free smoothie’s all weekend. They LOVED the first show. And even more so, the second night. One comes up to me:

    “I really like these guys, what album should i get?”

    I was a bit out of my mind, and i’m trying to explain how to go download an Island Tour show from livephish. Not sure if much was coming out of my mouth, but i had it working in my head.

    AW steps up, and says “Joy is a good album”. good save!

  14. c0wfunk Says:

    Definitely told in a phishy joking way. Wasn’t taken politically at all in the moment…

    I see the mountains, almost home! We actually got up at 7 so we could spring the dogs from the kennel before noon when the meter turns over

  15. Robear Says:

    mr. P, this fan has never been more proud to be.

  16. jj walker Says:

    yeah the south looked like a wwe/ wwf match , its all good for first 2 mins ,then put em down i know the band had some good laughs reading them
    and nothing against 1 st tube , i think they should have not encored at all the leg 1 and that show was plenty

  17. sumodie Says:

    @Miner: You’ve earned a day of rest. At least one. Enjoy 😉

    …and thank you!

  18. Robear Says:

    Definitely told in a phishy joking way. Wasn’t taken politically at all in the moment…

    ^ cow, i disagree almost entirely. i think it was more to do with history than people requesting songs with signs. but maybe trey’s whole narration during Harpua was a red herring?????

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Morning all!
    Glad to see phish left us with another fun one to discuss as well as some beadier things to consider as well.

    re: nam bombs 3x thing
    keep in mind the technology of explosives (partially due to rocketry and the space program) had advanced considerably in the intervening years making it such that there was an increased reliance on bombing rather than large scale infantry attacks and such. Not defending anything here just putting the increased use of ordinance in perspective. War sucks no matter how it is done.

  20. Mr.palmer Says:

    Glad to hear Cow and rob. Like i said, hard to tell from reading the review. Phish is a sanctuary away from all that bullshit, for me. Glad to hear my fears are nothing to worry about.

    You know what i mean? If i want to get preached to, i’ll go see Pearl Jam or Bruce.

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    (Not beadier…)

  22. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “Then last year it gets played a couple of times at really unexpected times”

    playing the curtain at red rocks and miami was unexpected?

  23. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    wow, thanks Phish.

    video of Phish playing ‘Killing in the Name Of’, out of tune, for the people with signs up front.

  24. joe Says:

    also, what was the duration of each war? can I get a bombs per year stat z? actually, Mike dropped 3x more bombs in summer 2010 than in 1994. That’s pretty much the only explosive technology I can speak about.

    re: Harpua. I took it in the comedy/jokey manner but that’s the beauty of phish. different things to different people. The overall statement of playing Rage on the 4th of July is pretty good however you take it. for the record, trey also said the books telling about the lies were also lies.

    random: just love Forbin’s so much

    re: Miner. rest only for Today. I want the best of the tour mix by the end of the week 🙂

  25. Robear Says:

    on another hand, ya’ll. Phish the organization is serious about social and environmental activism. They support various groups throughout the country through Waterwheel, they support children’s music programs through Mockingbird Foundation, and support Lake Champlain with B&J’s.

    they may have been biting their tongues re: politics for one too many years. I don’t see those messages becoming a regular part of their cannon. That said, last nights statement could not have been more real to me.

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