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.

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Jam of the Day:

Piper” 6.27.10 II

The centerpiece of tour’s most exciting set.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/ph2010-06-27t16.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

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.”

  1. gratefulcub Says:

    Daytime Rebas are so pretty 😉 Nothing kicks off a summer show like first set Reba or Gin.

  2. Matso Says:

    Hey willowed
    Glad the Pimms hit the spot – i like it a lot on a hot day. Unfortunately I forgot to bring a bottle on this trip so I’ve been having to make do with cold beer instead – it’s been a tough few days 😉

  3. nonoyolker Says:

    re: Hartford Reba – beautiful moment. I distinctly remember closing my eyes, feeling all of the glowing beauty of the jam in a bright, warm spot of my forehead. One of those moments that is hard to describe and likely impossible to duplicate. Reba jam is one of my favorite moments of Phish and this one clicked for me. Good shit, right Miroki?

    Great write up as per usual Miner. This one brought some serious jealousy from couch tour…

  4. lastwaltzer Says:

    So outisde of MPP2 what do you guys think were the best flowing second sets?

    For me: Hershey Funk Fest, Charllotes Darkness, Cameden2’s Pop Exploration

  5. lastwaltzer Says:

    Nothing better then a mid first set reba where the sun starts going down right as they kick into the jam.

  6. gratefulcub Says:

    For the record, and this will be the last thing I say about this for 4 years, promise:

    That’s what all Finals look like. They are always the worst game aesthetically because no one wants to make ‘THE’ mistake that costs their country a trophy.

    But especially when one team figures out in the 10th minute that they aren’t good enough and go to plan B, which was “Kick the shit out of the Spanish guys and destroy all the flow. Turn this game into a Sand>Horse, not the Saw It Again that Spain is capable of stringing together.”

    Seriously, Van Bommel could have been gone several times, and a flying karate kick to Xabi’s chest…..the Dutch should have been playing with 9 men for the last 50 minutes of the game, but what referee wants to send people off in a Final?

    And Arjen Robben, instead of run to the ref to complain as the final whistle blows…..finish your one v one chance.

    Good day, celebrated Spain all day with a Spanish Wine and Paella, and then consoled the Dutch as soon as the kids when home/to bed.

    Sorry for the hijack, and for 3 years and 11 months, Go Phish!

  7. CMwhyK Says:

    Brilliant write up and completely on-point. I loved every minute of this set, as it reminded me why I’ve been chasing those guys around the country for what seems like forever. Also thought I’d share a quick pic of the crew responsible for getting that Saw It Again sign up front for the Camden to Merriweather run. Keep up magic Miner, and we’ll keep reading!

    http://bit.ly/dwhDIk

  8. gratefulcub Says:

    LW, I am in a very small minority who puts Charlotte Set 2 at the top. Followed closely by Saw It Again.

  9. nonoyolker Says:

    “Turn this game into a Sand>Horse, not the Saw It Again that Spain is capable of stringing together”

    ^ hillarious.

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    right on, cub. now we can turn ourselves to important sporting stuff like, um, mid-season baseball? damn. summer sports suuuuuuck. when does college football start??

  11. lastwaltzer Says:

    @cub,

    Word, I have a hard time deciding which I liked best. I’m just glad we have a few great sets to revisit, where as last year all I feel the need to check out are the jams or odd bust outs.

    PHISH ALWAYS WINS

  12. gratefulcub Says:

    Wrong T3, this is the perfect time to be a Cubs fan.

    Cubs fan in July = no tension and no commitments. As in, I no longer make a point to watch, and I don’t care what happens if I do.

    I’m ready for Phish v. Cornfield Strip Malls in August, morning line has Phish giving 7 1/2. I think I am going to give the points.

  13. gratefulcub Says:

    ^And by “Wrong”, I meant a tongue in cheek “Exactly”

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    @LW

    saw your email.

    I’ve gotta write a report for work this morning (procrastination/masturbation), but Ill write you my thoughts this afternoon for sure.

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    Hey all!

    Great week for music in Chicago if you are around. Caribou and Budos Band at Mil Park tonight for free, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou with La 33 on Thursday at Mil Park for free, then the mighty Pitchfork Festival on Fri-Sunday, sold out, but tix go on sale again on Friday and always easy to get in.

    God I love summer in the city.

  16. phoammhead Says:

    I’m going to give MPP2 a serious listen soon . . . meanwhile, I re-listened to MPP1 Set 2 and it is a mindblower – that Tweezer is ridiculous and drops into a crazy dark, haunting moment! My personal favs of the 7 shows I went to are ATL2, CLT and then MPP1, but I loved all the shows I went to including also CHI, BLO, RAL and ATL1 – gotta love it!!! 🙂

  17. lastwaltzer Says:

    @silly,

    word, look forward to hearing them.

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    TypeIII,

    college football is less than 8 weeks out!

    Dark Horse prediction for the fall: Armando Allen runs for 1200, and 11 TDs.

    Floyd will get his, Rudolph will be productive.

    The keys this year are another receiver to add 500-700 to Floyd’s numbers, Allen to have a bustout year, and as always…..

    the front 7 must come to play. We need a pass rush and we need to stop the run.

    I think we’ll know after Michigan what kind of team we’ve got. Not because Michigan is all that good, but because that spread option offense is a good measuring stick for defenses. Especially with games against always physical Pitt, spread offense Utah, and of course the one we finally HAVE to get against SC.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @silly
    it all starts under center. that’s the biggest question I have going in…

  20. lastwaltzer Says:

    @aj ,

    do you know how much the one day passes for? I really wanna go sunday to see pavement/st. vincent/beach house, just don’t know if i should throw the money down since I’m kinda broke.

    Also, the orchestra is doing two Tchaikovsky pieces on Wednesday and STRAVINKSY’s Pertuska! Pumped for the stravinsky.

  21. gratefulcub Says:

    Is this ND you guys are talking about?

  22. sumodie Says:

    MPP’s YEM immediately grabbed my ears’ attention upon first pod play

    Each musical segment has a fresh energy to it – the I Saw It Again and Jumpin Jack Flash fill ins are brilliant

    Easily one of the most inspired 3.0 versions I’ve heard on replay

  23. gratefulcub Says:

    Are the conferences keeping their names? Are we really going to have:

    Big Ten: 12 teams
    Big XII: 10 teams
    Pac 10: 11 teams

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @cub
    yup. shared misery is a tradition for us.

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    Yeah, thats what I mean about Allen @TypeIII.

    If they can run the ball, then Crist won’t have to be Quinn or Clausen.

    He can be Rick Mirer.

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