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. albert walker Says:

    how good is this Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones

    digging deep in the vinyl crate today

    good follow up to the Mudhoney

  2. lastwaltzer Says:

    GREAT record IMO

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    Trey is playing better than he has, the question lies in his intent, not his chops.

  4. Mr.Miner Says:

    why is he so scared to go deep???

  5. Lycanthropist Says:

    ^agreed

  6. lastwaltzer Says:

    But I’m biased when it comes to Waits. That was a really important record for him though the start of one of his most creative periods. Some would say it just angry pirate music, I say so what.

  7. Lycanthropist Says:

    i dont think its fear Miner

    I think he is wrapped up in song craft at the moment..

    Ya know the whole being taken seriously as a songwriter thing.

    Hopefully just a phase.

    Although, I am liking most of the new batch of songs…

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    when he cuts off those jams, its not about craftmanship 😉

    not saying he’s scared. Maybe he’s just too happy…

  9. kayatosh Says:

    let’s spend the night together quote from page in the 6/29 Connection. that tune is $$.

  10. lastwaltzer Says:

    not $$$? llfa

  11. fat bastard Says:

    maybe he likes the spontinatity (sp?) that they are bringing to the songs within their framework. channeling the energy so to speak.

  12. albert walker Says:

    at times though Miner he hasn’t been listening very well

    I’ve noticed some of him just playing over the band at times and not really playing off of him

    that’s my main complaint. he’s def trying and playing more creatively than 09. Too caught up in the energy or his head or whatever. Not playing close enough attention to some of the ideas Mike or Page are presenting

    not all the time but def a few times I noticed that in the DWD, RnR, Drowned style jams.

    but yeah in the # line, or Chicaghost, or most the Lights, or any tweezer he has been playing much more creative and clean than last year

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    I honestly think he’s doing whatever the fuck he wants with little consideration to the fanbase. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I think he doesnt care what people think right now (other than being happy), and once he walks off stage, he never thinks about the show again.

    that is OBVIOUSLY pure conjecture, but

  14. willowed Says:

    New sign idea for 2010:

    GET ANGRY TREY…..PLEASE

  15. Mr.Miner Says:

    not all the time but def a few times I noticed that in the DWD, RnR, Drowned style jams.

    ^ 100% true, he goes into autopilot mode, which is why these type of jams are stale, unless they absolutely shred a la Hart dwd

  16. fat bastard Says:

    i was listening to some indio this weekend as it seemed to me that the songs sounded emptier compared to the 2010 versions.

  17. Mr.Palmer Says:

    He’s bored. Moves on to the next thing. I think that’s it. clear head, clear thinking. ” ok, what’s next……oh yeah, >horse. lets go…”

  18. willowed Says:

    Followed closely by a beautifully created 9pink and sequenced) WASTE sign

  19. Gavinsdad Says:

    I’ve wondered myself Miner…perhaps a clean, like really clean headspace that Trz is in isn’t allowing him to connect to the beyond/the abyss. Feel like he was so much closer to the abyss late 1.0 and 2.0.

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ right, treydhd

  21. albert walker Says:

    I think Trey went from not giving a shit to the songs to now probably caring to much about the songs and ignoring the jams. the jams are just not the main priority right now.

    but ticket buyers seem to be loving it so who am I to judge.

    like anything I’m sure it will swing back the other way eventually

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    Agreed gdad. also agree about good 2010 being on a higher standard than good 2009, and that is, well, a good thing 😉

  23. kayatosh Says:

    @aw: completely agree with your last post re. trey. he is the linchpin to the whole shebang, the key member that can hold them back or allow them to move forward. He has to remember that he is 1/4 of Phish not 3/4’s.

    lay back, big red, let it come to ya.

  24. albert walker Says:

    If there ever were 5 shows to throw the fuck down these would be them coming up

    should be interesting

    either way I’ll have a fuckin blast

  25. Mr.Miner Says:

    but ticket buyers seem to be loving it so who am I to judge

    ^ this is what is so annoying….everyone loves it and Trey loves it, so who’s the asshole here…I often feel that way….:)

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