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. sumodie Says:

    ^ Yup. As usual MrC is able to lay it all out nice n right. (Just don’t let my praise go to your head 8)

  2. ChefBradford Says:

    Sumodie, re: instant access, etc, I agree completely. Shows are up on LP at most an hour after they’re played, tapers not that much later, and then there’s the whole live stream thing. The ability to hear these shows virtually instantly definitely has an impact on our expectations, and on how we listen in general

  3. jdub Says:

    @Corey, the early evening daylight set break at CMAC worked well for the bathroomless venue. Atleast I wasn’t pissing in the dark. Which reminds me of a situation at festival when I was spun, in a dark port a jon, and standing in overflowing stuff: or so it seeemed.

  4. jdub Says:

    @Sumo and Chef, yeah the digital age brings a whole new element to the table. Most definetly affects the perception of what just happened. And so it is our responsibility to utilize the instant info in a good way and not use it as a tool to support negativity.

  5. BrandonKayda Says:

    Hey night time BB crew

    How goes it?

  6. butter Says:

    i like seeing a work in progress which is all this is

    there is no end state they’re working towards, no perfection to achieve

    just rock and roll music, and a little dionysian ritual to shake your bones

    ^^i really like this simplified view

  7. kayatosh Says:

    “The Dead had a lot of weight being the first to tread such waters ”

    Tread? try freestyle.

  8. Corey Says:

    @sumodie, Was loosely referring to that, in my mention of labeling tapes. I miss the chase. Now, it’s all there with a push of a button.

    @jdub, the GD weren’t in a position nor really had the desire to make new records….So Many Roads took so long, you know? I agree, having PHiSH having the desire to grow, mature, create…it’s wunderbar.

    @halcyon, thanks for the laugh…and laughing.

    @Mr. C, Trey has indeed seemed to rise above the tradition. That can’t be said for very many. And, as you said, he’s rising above his own initial rise. He said that the cop saved his life that day. He was probably right in many, many ways.

  9. butter Says:

    its kinda surreal that i just chased this band around the east coast

    and now they are coming to me, after a nice one month break

  10. Corey Says:

    @jdub, True. Sorry to hear of your potty horrors. But, that hill was tricky. Watching that gent with the crutches struggle up it made it clear that those port o pots were in bad form both in location and execution.

    @Brandon, Good! We were just chatting about how jealous we are of you catching that second set night two at Merriweather (no we weren’t).

  11. Chuck Says:

    Check out my HD front and center pit shot of Killing in the name! craziest phish pit i’ve seen!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9W3lAdUJ-M

  12. Corey Says:

    @butter, Yeah, for me too, except that now I’m driving across the country for the second time to catch the CA tour opener in as many years. I haven’t done this much PHiSH driving since summer 97, and that was without a decent job. Feels good to have them play in your backyard, doesn’t it? –zzyzx, throwing stuff at the screen in 3..2..1..;-)

  13. Corey Says:

    Guess everyone’s in the pit at the moment…

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    Today was pretty good – hung out with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time – we ended up jamming around the theme of Backdoor Man by The Doors – which was just a fun blues jam. Neither of us could hear each other for shit, but it sounded pretty good on my half (organ).

    Going to check out that KITNO vid in 3…2…1…NOW!

  15. jdub Says:

    The Dead did a double twist headfirst dive into those uncharted waters. All the rest tipped toed down the hill and jumped off the low lying outcrops like everyone else. The Dead went for the 60 foot plunge with eyes wide open and head first.

    The Greek will be monumental, we got quantity the west will get dank density.

  16. Jamie Sweet Says:

    I am currently listening to this show for the first time. Some of my favorite songs are the more metal and/or punk songs they play. Sometimes you can’t always break it up with bluegrass, some times you need to scream and pogo.

  17. jdub Says:

    @Chuck, saw your video the other day. Fucking nuts. As a sixteen year old I remember crowd surfing at a Spin Doctors concert at Riverside Amusement park. Witnessing KITNO would have brought me full circle.

  18. Corey Says:

    My west coast run is an interesting one:

    Greek5/6->vacation trying not to think of what’s goin down in CO->vacation trying not to think of what’s goin on over in Deer Creek->Alpine Valley->celebrating a monumental excursion with my wife.

    And yes, those are segues of travel, extending a blissful journey to another blissful journey, using only hyphons and sideways carrots.

  19. Corey Says:

    ^I once came home with a blur tshirt from a Spin Doctors show at UMCP.
    Discuss…

  20. Corey Says:

    ^^hyphens, sorry. The “e” phell oph the (hy)phence.

  21. jdub Says:

    @Corey, that sounds like an excellent summer break. Something tells me that leg 1 was a warmup like last years leg 1.

  22. Stupendous Says:

    Howdy folks!
    Been a while…
    Relocated my self to boulder from
    Florida! What a change for the best…
    Ready to heal my soul.
    Havnt heard the last 4 shows yet
    due to my cross country trip!
    Can’t wait to finally settle and relax.
    What’s been going on?
    Anyone in the boulder Denver area?

  23. Corey Says:

    @jdub, I think so too. Regardless, we’re gonna have a blast. PHiSH will be the icing on the cake for us. We caught the two Hartford shows together and then she split for SF the next day. Bachelor life is great when you’re actually a bachelor. When you’re married, mmm, not so much. If they keep getting stronger as a band, obviously as human beings, and stronger as family…it will only get better. Could be the best 5 years of PHiSH 09-14. Six years ago, wasn’t even sure we’d see a show let alone a tour or two (or three or four or…). Are you hitting many shows this next leg?

  24. Corey Says:

    Hey Stupendous, good to see you up and about. New gig for you? Isn’t Robear haunting those parts? Did you take any “special” roads to CO?

    I’m heading out west in two weeks for my wife, PHiSH and some great travellin’. I’m sick of Route 90 though and have 9 days to get there. Definitely gonna hit some backroads.

    Note: if you want a tiny town in the middle of nowhere CO, try Guffey. Tiny and lost amongst the mountains…Had a blast back there in the day wit hthe locals. I also remember a strange gig in an onion shed in Fort Collins. Ahh, good times…

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Jamie, I agree. I heart bluegrass too but sometimes you need to stomp and rage

    bluegrass pickers are a dime a dozen these days, really

    serious ragers are hard to come by

    @chuck, great vid

    @sumodie, effects of digital media on our perception of the unfolding tours is a large topic for another day…for hardcore fans it is perhaps a matter of degree rather than a change in kind since many of us have always tracked down every recording we can get as fast as possible…but it’s both immediate and ubiquitous now…we are all having this conversation assuming that everyone reading this board has heard all or almost all of the recent tour, just a week later…

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