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. jdub Says:

    I bet a lot of his apprehension has to do with being sober for the first time in a long time. Who knows if he still puffs, but he is going through a major transition in his life and is still feeling out how to translate that to a live Phish show. I say give him time and space. Let him get comfortable in his new skin and he will push limits consistantly again. It is curious to me that Gordon is king right now, he hasn’t battled the demons Trey has. He has just worked on his craft and is nearing perfection of it. Maybe the far out jams are a trigger for Trey. I don’t want to even speculate though, just want to let the man do his thing. He/they will call it quits if stops working but it seems they are working toward some great things.

  2. kayatosh Says:

    this one
    “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”

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    i obviously love it, but the band (read: Trey) needs to let loose a bit imo

  4. albert walker Says:

    yeah we just have to wait for our 1 or 2 kick down shows to appease us kids

    too bad for me I’m not there

    safe to say a few will come out west

    if you don’t have a love/hate relationship with Trey you aren’t seeing enough shows

    fun stuff

  5. Mr.Miner Says:

    exactly aw….i wont even repeat some of the nicknames we had for him this tour in the sense of good tatse.

  6. lastwaltzer 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.” AW

    I think there is a lot of truth in this. Although I’d say one positive thing is that when they haven taken the time to really jam and develop a jam the results have been pretty good. Perhaps they are just making sure they can really bring it before they completely let go.

  7. Mr.Miner Says:

    nicknames for his “jam-cutting” persona that is….

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    someone must have slipped Trey something i Albany last year 😉

  9. Mr.Palmer Says:

    “I honestly think he’s doing whatever the fuck he wants with little consideration to the fanbase. ”

    Do you really feel that way? I agree that he’s doing whatever he wants, but i’m fairly certain the fan base is a pretty prime concern of his/theirs. Certain segments of the fan base may not be getting what they like all the time.

    Worrying about making everyone else happy was one of Trey’s biggest faults back in the day and helped lead to many problems, professionally and personally.

  10. albert walker Says:

    yeah waltzer

    I love this Waits

    the stranger the better

    laterz kids

  11. willowed Says:

    Trey just need to be pushed. In order to be pushed he needs to listen a bit more.
    But when he listens…it’s all good.
    I think we also overlook the fact that the three other members may need to push him a bit more as well. They take responsibility too. Somtimes when trey wants to shut it down…they need to say…not so fast big red.
    See 7 below from Albany last year.
    Trey was clearly ready to close that down and Page said….Nope…we are going for a ride.

  12. willowed Says:

    I swear I did not read your Albany post before I wrote that Miner.

  13. Corey Says:

    Good evening gents…nice survey Snowbank. First survey i’v surveyed in a long long time.

    Re Trey: ^albert walker is correct. It’s in the songs, man, and when the improv manifests in the truest sense it does generate the groove.

    Personally, the selective nature of the “best” PHiSH is enticing, teasing us to go out and see more gigs. I suppose Albany’s Seven Ghosts and all those times I Saw It (again) at Merriweather could manifest EVERY night. Would it lose its luster, grandeur? Purpose? I don’t know. But I enjoy the quest to hear/see the best…every tour they come out…

    That said, I will concede to Miner and the rest, that the second set of
    6.27 is pretty cool. There will be others that I go to much more often, but it is exactly what most on this board want to hear; Heartfelt, freewheeling, curious, unknowing, surprising, hilarious PHiSH.

  14. Gavinsdad Says:

    AW – if you check in again, look at the ATP lineup this Sept. Jim jarmusch curated a hell of a lineup. mudhoney is playing and they’re playing “superfuzz bigmuff” in it’s entirety. I’d love to see that.

  15. Mr.Palmer Says:

    The Connection is a cool opener IMO. I used to hate on this tune. Not anymore.

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    Would it lose its luster, grandeur? Purpose? I don’t know.
    ^ no. reference the past

  17. kayatosh Says:

    6/29 Reba — open and airy, $$

  18. fat bastard Says:

    maybe they reserve those types of shows for their biggies. new years, halloween, telluride, cincy. prob at least sample the psychs once a year i bet

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    the relationship between sobriety, lack of the same, and inspiration can be a tricky one to discuss honestly, especially in a context where lack of sobriety could spell swift disaster.

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    that being said, the use of drugs as a crutch or “training wheels” to achieve creative flow-states, often by silencing negative inner voices, is no secret; nor the corollary, that learning to reach those same states when sober can be a difficult task, tho it is certainly doable; and the second-order corollary, which is that when you’ve learned to do it without drugs it stops being a “state” and starts being a “trait” i.e. something stable and indeed permanent (in the sense of being accessible nearly on-demand, given the right context)

    all of which to say a certain learning curve vis-a-vis the Void is to be expected

  21. Corey Says:

    @Mr. Miner, the past has tours of trying too hard, not having the gas…and also too much gas, having too much chops, etc. August 93 isn’t coming back. Summer 97 isn’t making a return. And I believe the sloppiness that was rampant in the 00s won’t ever come back.

    Not doing a 30 minute Gin makes it extra special when they do…Gamehe…etc. The group dynamic is much different these days, no?

    I don’t think it’ll lose it’s luster etc, to me, but I may harken back to the past for my favorite PHiSH notes.

    @Mr. Palmer, the Connection is such a nice tune. It’s just nice. Feels right, like a good beer or a comfy hat.

  22. Corey Says:

    @kaya, every song in that show seemed to fit the shed and its surroundings perfectly…except for the lack of real bathrooms. PHiSH, like the rest of us avoided that…

  23. Gavinsdad Says:

    True C. Was thinking that just like Trey had a gateway to the other side in the past (and many many forms of it) he is still in the process of building that gateway since Hampton 09 completely clearheaded. I think it’ll take a good while, and he’s getting some tastes of what’s on the other side, but I can’t wait to see “pure” Trey break on thru.

  24. kayatosh Says:

    true segues from leg one (albeit, some of them rough).

    6/11 Light -> Maze, Ghost -> Limb By Limb

    6/13 Tweezer -> Twist

    6/15 Simple -> Joy

    6/17 DWD-> Sand -> The Horse

    6/18 Light -> Billy Breathes

    6/19 Rock and Roll -> Free

    6/22 Sneakin’ Sally -> Light -> 46 Days

    6/24 DWD -> Crosseyed and Painless

    6/25 Alaska -> Also Sprach Zarathustra>Light->Possum

    6/27 Meatstick-> Saw It Again -> Piper> Ghost-> Jumpin’ Jack Flash-> Saw It Again

    7/1 Halley’s Comet -> Light . . . Light Up Or Leave Me Alone -> Free

    7/3 Tweezer -> Slave to the Traffic Light

    6/25 alaska->ASZ and 6/27 meatstick->saw it again->piper stand out in my mind. will have to relisten to the others.

  25. lastwaltzer Says:

    I think you guys are undercutting the mans talent and giving substance way to much credit. The experience may be a little different but the skill set is the same.

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