Boy. Man. I Saw It Again.

6.27.2010 - Merrriweather (Graham Lucas)

While Phish put together several flowing second sets during summer’s opening leg, one stood head and shoulders above the rest. In most frames of summer, even the better ones, Phish included slower segments, stops for air, and breaks from jamming. While these aspects don’t necessarily hurt sets, the lack of these factors can surely contribute to a top-notch offering. Concluding their tour’ s peak weekend, Phish stepped on stage at Merriweather for the eighth and final set, and spun the most impressive stanza of of 2010. Including choice bust-outs, exploratory improv, and impeccable craftsmanship, no other set of summer approaches the musical cohesion and flow of Merriweather’s Sunday night delight.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

While other halves may have brought higher peak moments, few maintained a similar molten flow, and none carried the thematic unity, non-stop action and utter Phishiness of the weekend’s closing showcase amidst the woods of Maryland. After playing the two most exciting shows of tour on the previous two-nights, Sunday could have gone either way – a reeled-in breather or a blowout that upstaged every other set of the weekend. And in move that resembled the Phish of lore, the band chose the latter.

As Phish stepped onto Merriweather’s deeply-recessed stage, dropping “Wilson” to spark their Mid-Atlantic finale, the Gamehendge opener didn’t indicate any particular direction, hiding the band’s intentions. But as they slipped into the first “Meatstick” of the year, and only the second of this era, the millennial anthem notably juiced the crowd, as Trey wrung emotion from his solo before leading the band into a murky bog of groove. Thickening by the moment, the rhythms began plotting their own liquid course into night, but Trey had other ideas. Coming in abruptly with the opening riff of “I Saw It Again,” he waved off his band mates who continued the bulbous groove, creating the only awkward moment of the set. Finally giving in to their front man, the band broke stride and began “Saw It Again,” a move that seemed odd at the time, but provided the creative impetus for the rest of the night. The elusive Phish-metal quest  became the dark thread, tying together the musical suite of the summer.

6.27.10 - Merriweather (Graham Lucas)

Digging into the piece’s sharp edge, Phish annihilated the rarity, tacking on a heavy and abstract, post-lyrical segment, where all band members continuously shrieked “I Saw It Again!” over evil textures. Indulging in their sinister brew, the band stretched out the piece, into a harrowing sculpture of dissonant psychedelia. Blending the song’s sonic residue and final screams  into the opening of “Piper,” the band stepped into one of the summer’s defining jams. As Trey sung the song’s initial round, he comically referenced the phrase “I Saw It Again” in rhythm with the climbing lyrics – a theme that would run throughout the set. But when Phish finally let loose, careening into “Piper’s” jam, a stunning piece of creativity was born.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

Connected with crazy glue and firing musical ideas like a sawed-off shotgun, Phish locked into, perhaps, the summer’s most jaw-dropping sequence. Without a clear, linear path, the band collectively navigated this jam like a ship bouncing in the white-waters of the open sea. Combining their dense musical style with an improvisational abandon seldom seen these days, the band took the audience for a maniacal magic carpet ride. Just as one member relented, another would introduce a new idea, furthering the aggressive odyssey without losing any sense of union. All four members connected profoundly in this break-neck chase, confirming their lasting ability to rewrite the cosmos on any given night. The electrifying piece ended naturally, descending into a slow groove drenched in ambient effect and harmonies, that soon morphed into the molasses of the long-awaited, second “Ghost” of tour.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

Within the composed breaks, Trey, congruently and comically, continued the set’s theme, fitting the lyrical quote “I Saw It Again” within the rhythm of other songs. Launching into the jam with multi-note runs over a deep pocket, Trey soon turned to the whale in some incredibly tasteful use of the summer tone. As the band  built a mountain of momentum, Red alternated tones, as the band wound up in shredding peak. With energy sky-high, Trey unleashed passionate leads over the driving foundation, carrying out the musical intensity. And in the surprise of the set, without letting on, Phish had built “Ghost” into The Rolling Stones’ classic “Jumping Jack Flash,” and all Trey did was step to the mic and begin to sing,  in as a segue that was as seamless as possible.

The band’s take on the Stones’ kept the set moving at a relentless pace, while providing a dark cover to go with an already menacing frame of music. Jamming off the song’s ending, Phish entered a distinct groove and began chanting ” I Saw It Again!”, returning to the song that started this tenacious summer marathon. Peaking the suite with a final gasp of guitar fury, the band calmly dripped into”Contact,” a piece inserted perfectly in its traditional post-psychedelia slot in the setlist. Gordon’s metaphorical, auto-comedy  also featured lyrical teases of “Saw It Again,” setting up a set-closer that could only be “You Enjoy Myself.”

"YEM" 6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

Punctuating a night that touched the very essence of Phish, the band’s seminal opus presented the clear choice to end the night. And just as “Contact” ended, Trey counted off into “YEM.” As the band moved through the composed half with pristine playing, by the time “the note” hit, Phish had Merriweather on the verge of explosion. Jumping over the cliff and landing in the awaiting ocean of funk, Trey substituted his scream of “Boy!” with “I Saw It Again!”, threading the comedy through the entire second half. Then, as the band vamped over the “Wassha Uffizi” section, Trey stepped to the mic in one of the frozen, micro-moments of tour and sang, “Boy, man! I saw it agaaain!” Bringing an ear-to-ear grin to himself and every last person in the crowd,Trey’s last lyrical nod pumped  the show full of the type of energy only a set like this can; and the band and the crowd bounced upon the tramps together, preparing for the upcoming incineration. As Trey and Mike hit stage, the band inserted a crafty quote of “Jumping Jack Flash” into the onset of their infectious groove. Capping the night with a celebratory dance session, Phish moved from sparse funk into a rolling musical snowball, gathering force through a succinct, yet powerful, version. And they tactfully closed the jam with the same “Jumping Jack Flash” quote with which they had started, ending an evening that was soaked in spirit of Phish.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

Weaving their clever brand of humor into a non-stop set of scintillating improv, the band threw down their strongest musical statement of the early-summer within the cozy confines of Merriweather Post. Leaving the woods of Columbia that night, five shows remained after Phish had redefined their summer tour over the past four. Interestingly enough, however, the final stretch never reached the level of Merriweather, as the band favored straight-forward, rocking affairs. Highlights certainly bubbled throughout the South, but never a set like the one the band unleashed on the Sunday of tour’s most eventful run. Combining all aspects of the Phish experience into a ceaseless adventure, June 27  – set II stands alone as the shining star of tour.


Jam of the Day:

Piper” 6.27.10 II

The centerpiece of tour’s most exciting set.




6.27.2010 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD < Torrent

6.27. 2010 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD < Megaupload

Official Merriweather Poster

I: Walfredo, Mellow Mood, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, The Divided Sky, Tela, My Soul, Ginseng Sullivan, Sample in a Jar, Bathtub Gin, Brian and Robert, Run Like an Antelope

II: Wilson, Meatstick > Saw It Again > Piper* > Ghost* > Jumpin’ Jack Flash** > Saw It Again > Contact*, You Enjoy Myself*

E: Fire

*w/ “Saw It Again” lyrical teases

**Debut, The Rolling Stones

Source: Schoeps mk4v > KC5 > M222 > NT222 > Aeta PSP-3 > SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)

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759 Responses to “Boy. Man. I Saw It Again.”

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  1. McGGGGG Says:

    First !

  2. Exree Hipp Says:

    McG, thanks for the pointer to the MSG 12/4/09 YEM. It’s a rager for sure. And that led me to reconsider the YEMs since the return. There have indeed been a whole lot of generic ones, but the YEM from Indio, I’d forgotten, is my favorite jam of the whole weekend.

  3. McGGGGG Says:

    No worries, I have a descent commute and try to get to the gym, so I have time throughout my week to listen to lots of music. I listened to 2009 tour quite a bit. I am however behind on down loading and listening to 2010 due to some iPod troubles. I’ve been using my wives iPod for the last few weeks which only has the Island Tour on it….. I am now officially tired of the Island Tour but I think I can claim I am an Island Tour expert!

  4. McGGGGG Says:

    Yes, there are a few good YEMs sprinkled throughout. It’s a shame when they don’t at least go for it. Too many have the bass solo straight to vocal jam, with Trey never really stepping to the plate.

  5. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^Cincy YEM

  6. SillyWilly Says:

    this was my favorite set from the first leg, too.

    i also was getting a decent stream, so it was exciting to almost hear it as it was happening from my couch.

    Oh, and good morning, all!

  7. Selector J Says:

    Morning BB. In 24 hours I’ll be on Folly Beach, SC. Can’t wait to be on that beach chair with some boiled peanuts and a cold one…

  8. SillyWilly Says:


    watched Rockers on Friday.

    See I?

  9. Henry Says:

    I wish I could see it again…

  10. Leo Weaver Says:

    @Selector…enjoy your trip to Folly! I’ve spent many many days on that beach with boiled peanuts and beers. Don’t forget to stop at Melvin’s for some quality SC Q.

    Oh, and great writeup @Miner…still haven’t gone back to listen to that set…but it stands in my mind as best set of the 12 I’ve seen so far this summer.

    You fellas have a good one…

  11. willowed Says:

    Good morning friends!!
    6/18 Reba is very nice!!
    Nice write up Miner. When I saw that set pop up on From The Road…I was like….face melting is happening right now. How lucky those were who were in attendance.

  12. c0wfunk Says:

    great writeup – I think in the moment I enjoyed 7/4II more but on recording this one will get more play in the long run.

    Don’t forget the saw it again teases in the vocal jam of yem, which also has a bit of “the bird is the word” teases iirc.. Very creative vocal jam here, should not be overlooked.

    Oh – also we were talking about misc teases from the tour the other day and there’s another one here – Antelope’s intro has brian and robert teases from Trey throughout.

    I also forgot how much I enjoyed my first Mellow Mood (missed all the 2.0 ones) Great little tune there – the real opener in my book after the silly interlude that is walfredo.

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    mornin’ all

    just wanted to remind everyone that the Chicaghost is the goods and gets better with each subsequent listening. have a great day.

  14. tela'smuff Says:

    “the band collectively navigated this jam like a ship bouncing in the white-waters of the open sea.”

    ^LOVE THIS!!!

    the crowd’s energy reached Type II levels this night. Best set of the tour, maybe 3.0.

  15. Guyute711 Says:

    Nice writeup Miner.

  16. Leo Weaver Says:

    @willowed…right on re: Hartford Reba. Mike did some incredibly sublime things in that one. He had these little slow triplet runs as fills in the jam that were just beautiful.

  17. Bobby Digital Says:

    miner you’re crazy man, you get off tour and start analysis like a football coach trying to rewind the tape and watch which plays worked and which didn’t this past season. much respect to you for your write-ups, peace!

  18. Leo Weaver Says:

    And yes to what T3PO said…

  19. Aquatana Says:

    Hello BB! Its funny that I woke up 4 times in the middle of the night and each time thought about the 6/27 piper?? Caught first four and last five shows and that Piper wrecked my dome more than anything (other than the 6/26 r&r)

    Miner, a daily reader and want to thank you for the incredible write-ups-love the continuous optimism – seriously have no idea how you do it though (When do you sleep on tour??)

  20. Mdawg Says:

    saw IT again!

  21. Robear Says:

    The second set of MPP had the Phlow. Mind off, heart on. Great night that we hope becomes more the norm, and less the exception.

    (thought the 1st set was almost as rough as the second set was smooth)

  22. kayatosh Says:

    Hi, pholks. Took a break yesterday to get some chores done.

    Both MPP’s helped me speed through my chores, especially 6/27. That set II is the flowiest, most cohesive, well-played set of tour.

  23. Matso Says:

    @ willowed and Leo –
    Agreed re: Hartford Reba. Leo and I discussed Mike’s triplets during set break. They had such a bubbly quality to them. I also remember cub’s comment about daytime Reba’s being “just so pretty”. Have a good one guys (I’m on hols in Montreal and its hot as heck up here).

  24. willowed Says:

    Hey Matso,
    I sat back this weekend with some Pimms and Lemonade (which is Sprite in London). Very tasty. Added some fruit per your suggestions.
    Very, very nice.

    Thanks again and cheers!!

  25. B-Rad Says:

    Please Trey, bring back ‘Dogs Stole Things’ because at least it teases ‘Mound’ and let’s me revel in that ‘Rift’ album classique!

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