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. Jtran Says:

    I go for a bike ride, come back, and see all this great discussion re: Trey finding IT. Cool to hear everyone’s opinions, all stated in such a even-headed manner. Another reason I love talking Phish here.

    I’m in the camp of him still re-finding himself post-using. Must be pretty difficult, but it’s coming along.

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Trey has the potential to be no different. Thats all I was saying. And it sounds like you agree with that.”

    yes, and the final point I made in one of those posts is that if you learn to do it sober, then you can just DO it, and control it much more than when you’re high. It’s much much harder to hit that same intensity though. The general mindstate is not too hard to replicate. It’s that WHHHAAAAAAHHHHHRRR*boing!!!! schwananananananana energy that’s hardest to reconnect with….

    but that’s what the crowd is for

    And Mike’s apparently a natural flow state guru so that’s got to help

  3. sumodie Says:

    Of those who received only Greek tickets from PTBM, has anyone received the email yet saying they have been sent out? Or actually received tickets?

    No, no email yet. Guess we wait ~2 weeks before the shows

  4. Jtran Says:

    I’m also in the camp of the other three needing to push him for the greatness to come out night in and night out.

    I’m curious about the band dynamic in this regard, and how it’s the same/different now vs. 1.0, 2.0

  5. kayatosh Says:

    re. . vs. -> In 6/29 mike’s>Simple. Mike’s comes to a clear, distinct end and then simple begins. It’s considered a > b/c there is no pause between the wto songs. boom, boom. hence >

    then try 6/27 meatstick->saw it again — more of a blending.

    true, it’s an inexact science, but it serves a purpose.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    can’t overstate the importance of the Mike thing

    not just chops

    home boy is taking it deep these days

    he’s real in tune with the big vibration I think

    comes off even the mp3s in waves

  7. butter Says:

    reading back a bit

    some interesting thoughts

    its funny tho, i was wondering this morning how fucking hard it would be to make creative, fresh, spontaneous live music for 3 hours a night/ 5 nights a week

  8. kayatosh Says:

    “And Mike’s apparently a natural flow state guru so that’s got to help” mr.c

    ^^^^ yes!

  9. lastwaltzer Says:

    Word C.

    On that note I’m kids………..JUST DON’T FORGET:

    You want that natural peanut butter……sure its got all that oil and yeah its a lot of work but I’m telling you its worth IT!


  10. lastwaltzer Says:


  11. kayatosh Says:

    I subsist on nut butters, especially almond.

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    seems like most creative folks who can do it, butter, say it comes from outside them, what ever that means…once the chops are there to support it

    lot to expect that it should be perfect all the time

  13. Jtran Says:

    Speaking of peanut butter…just about to melt some and put it on homemade vanilla ice cream, then watch Live in Vegas.

    Off topic: I’ve got a 30 dollar Barnes and Noble gift card. Planning on buying the Phish Companion with it, but are there any other good Phishy books/other interesting biographical music reads I should look into ~15 dollars?

  14. Corey Says:

    @Mr. Completely, I knew from that Roland Kirk request that you knew a thing or two about baroque music…you know what they say, “If it ain’t baroque….”

    Then again, if you already know what they’re mislabeled as…:-)

  15. Corey Says:

    @butter, the old timers did it for 7 nights and played til the sun came up.

    Oh wait, that was back when an actual music club existed…nevermind.

    Perfection is not the goal. Creative furthering of musical exploration is.

  16. Corey Says:

    ^Sweet, I just pulled off an old school smile…:-)

  17. halcyon Says:

    Interesting discussion…Maybe Trey doesn’t want to take it deep …. yet. Maybe there is still issues that are still in the closet akin to the 03-04 years. As soon as those are worked out, then 93-98 will fall into place. Then again, musical density has been a theme for 3.0. Mike is always taking it deep. Page is always on point. Fishman is back. Trey is awesome, just not taking it deep yet. This is not coming out as clearly as it was in my mind a few minutes ago…oh well.

    Treydhd isn’t a bad thing. This is coming from someone who is a.d.d boy most of the time.

    A friend of mine who is a huge fan just emailed me not too long ago saying even the bad shows are awesome. This is a good.

  18. willowed Says:

    Mike and Page (we know Fishman won’t) need to push jams!! We have spoken a lot about this two headed monster style. The use of the whale has freed up space for Gordo and Page. You have your chance to take the lead……then take it an push it.
    Trza also needs to listen and understand what they are saying thru their playing.
    I really can’t complain…..I know some may disagree but I like this new style. Clean, direct crushing of jams. Find it quick. crush it, move on.
    Don’t get me worng, a 20 minute excursion is nice too but I like this style better.

  19. kayatosh Says:

    and nut milks, mostly almond.

  20. Corey Says:

    Yeah, Page is lacking a little something. Always has, for these ears.
    He needs to find his inner Mehldau or something, and then Trey and he can take it on and up!

  21. halcyon Says:

    I agree. 3.0 is my style. Maybe I have sobered* up, gotten a bit older, mellowed out but 3.0 totally fits my mold these days. That is not to say that I don’t like something that goes deep with intention. I like a Vegas Wolfmans from time to time, a Memphis 2001, or a 95 jones beach tweezer, but I like this musical density they are bringing. Especially when they are healthy and happy playing together.

  22. Corey Says:

    @willowed, Rather than the old days of forcing another jam, now they’re forcing another tune. Definitely different. I enjoy the compact playing too, but would like a few more guitar solos riding the collective wave…and not the whale which (since we’re talking specifics regarding segues) should really be spelled wail. As in: Page is wailing away on that hot pocket.”

    Oh yes, I went there…

  23. ChefBradford Says:

    I think Page is just about always solid, and he’s been shining a lot this summer

  24. voopa Says:


  25. halcyon Says:

    actually I just put on the from the archives that was put out just before leg 1 started, and Trey needs to step it up a bit 😉

    eh whatever…. I am happy.

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