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.”

  1. Lycanthropist Says:

    and FWIW

    Chance Fisher has been working very hard on making our segues smooth. Its a major focus of our jamming at the moment.

    See Sun Guy > Rattlesnake > Medicine Daughter…

  2. lastwaltzer Says:

    speechless to be without speech

  3. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Did they actually cap this oil leak?

  4. Lycanthropist Says:

    we will know in 4 days palmer

  5. albert walker Says:

    2010 is like early 90s dead

    Def ain’t what they used to be but once or twice a show shit clicks and you get a taste of the former glory

    7/4 was fun and worked. I’m not a fan of phishy sets but still enjoyed it

    Too much crammed in. Great on paper but everything got chopped.

    Bowie jibboo to close was real fun

  6. phoammhead Says:

    YEM from MPP2 II is the heat, period! I love this vocal jam better than CLT because I like “I saw it again” much better than Proud Mary/Get Back.

  7. Lycanthropist Says:


    while you are probably right, and I have had similar thoughts, I don’t want them to be in that phase yet.

    I am still holding out that they are escalating toward another major peak.

    This Tweezer > Slave is providing a lot of optimism and hope.

  8. Lycanthropist Says:

    not sure what the big fuss about Proud Mary in a vocal jam is all about..

    saw em do it in Greensboro.

    I mean its fun I suppose, but its still a YEM vocal jam, which is hit or miss to me anyway.

    I like it when the blend the jam into the vocal jam ala Cincy 09

  9. albert walker Says:

    Trey doesn’t give a fuck

    I’m gonna bring a smoother segues ADHD boy sign to Greek

    Tweezer > slave was almost smooth

    Great fuckin. Tweezer

  10. lastwaltzer Says:

    “2010 is like early 90s dead”Albert Walker

    Just one mans opinion but I don’t know if were quite there yet. In my opinion they crashed and burned a while ago, it seems as though things are getting consistently better. If they’re still playing like this by nye (wasn’t that your own prediction) I’ll be saying the same thing. Time will tell.

  11. Lycanthropist Says:

    I think Trey is too worried about making sure he gets his little guitar intros into the songs.

    With the Tweezer > Slave (which is awesome anyway) they were already there.. Fishman, during Tweezer, was doing those little drum fills that come before the pauses with the harmonics. They coulda just gone from there into the song, but nooooo… Trey wanted to get his little chordal intro on his own in their 😉

  12. phoammhead Says:

    Fire closer on 6/27 is on fire! I liked CLT’s A Day In . . and 7/4’s First Tube as well . .

  13. lastwaltzer Says:

    “I’m gonna bring a smoother segues ADHD boy sign to Greek”albert walker


  14. jdub Says:

    I can understand that ’90s Dead 10 Phish comparison but there is a big difference me thinks. Trey is apparantly healthy, sober and content. And they are still the 4 original members playing cohesively. Seems more potential for Phish to reach consistent highs than ’90s Dead. We will see.

  15. albert walker Says:

    Haven’t lost faith yet

    See what the better coast brings out in em

  16. Mr.Palmer Says:

    I haven’t been excited about a YEM yet in 2010. Cincy and MSG were good ones last year. I’ll give Charlotte and MPP another whirl ..

  17. Robear Says:

    oh albert. how about some love for the ‘Waste’ sans lyrics?

  18. Robear Says:

    howz about Hershey ‘YeM’ @ Palmer…

  19. fat bastard Says:

    what up –
    so i’ve been trying to download today’s 6-27-10 link and it keeps getting stuck at 3 %. stopped and started 3x now and same thing…anyone else have any problems downloading?

  20. Robear Says:

    getting hung up on a fat meatstick @ fB.

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    just because the two phases may be parallel now doesn’t mean the futures have to unfold the same from here

    for one thing, the revival of the Dead in 89 and afterwards was, sadly, partly triggered by an explosion of creative energy from Jerry, which seems to have come from when he started using again. So of course it was not sustainable…even if Brent had lived longer I still think the overall course would have been not too different…

    their histories are just too distinct…for instance it is easy to draw parallels like 1977 Dead = 1993/94 Phish (super tight energetic shows with very clean execution and rare exploits of true open jamming) or 1973/74 Dead = 1997-99 Phish (not as tight as the years immediately prior, but much greater emphasis on open jamming)

    however note those similar phases, which are obviously very different in many other respects, are in fact in reverse order between the two bands…(dead went jammy > tight, phish the reverse) and there is no parallel for 1995 Phish…and etc etc etc

    but in limited contexts, the analogies can be fairly strong…

    What I mean is, I think @aw’s analogy is apt, but that doesn’t imply anything about the course of the next few years

    I’d say the pattern from Phish 2009 to Phish 2010 is more relevant (and encouraging)

  22. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Robear- i’ll put it on the list. Report forthcoming.

    ” Haven’t lost faith yet
    See what the better coast brings out in em” aw

    Are you back on the fence again? You seemed pretty fired up leading to Atlanta. Personally, i think ’10 has been everything one could have expected coming into the year, and a little more.

  23. fat bastard Says:

    robear your a sick dude

  24. willowed Says:

    I pick up what you’re laying down Mr. C.

  25. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    He’s always on the fence 🙂

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