The Light Is Growing Brighter Now

7.4.10 - Atlanta (Wendy Rogell)

Viewing Phish tour as a quest for the transcendental unknown through improvisational portals, “Light” emerged as the unquestionable centerpiece of summer’s opening leg. The only song that routinely pushed the band into unique, uncharted realms, with each summer version came another risk into lush, textured psychedelia. During a month that didn’t focus on musical abstraction, “Light” routinely provided an experimental lens through which Phish explored the newest frontiers of their sound. On the heels of a stellar fall tour for the song, Phish’s philosophical anthem quickly became the springboard for the most profound jamming of summer. Each excursion surfed an emotional wave into an ever-darkening mystery, but what took place once the band got there depended on the evening.

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6.11 II – Toyota Park, Chicago, IL

7.4.10 (W.Rogell)

Making no bones about their where their focus lay, Phish opened up the summer’s initial second set with an expansive and abstract version of “Light.” Showcasing a fluid style of experimentation, Phish introduced their new sound of 2010. As Trey faded from soloing into his whammy-induced whale tone, the music transformed into an impressionistic canvas, and Phish became a musical Monet. As Mike and Fish locked into a groove, Trey abandoned his lead to become a part of this textured painting. He and Page continued to push the jam outwards, and soon Phish sat amidst a full-band exploration of the deepest variety. Moving into experimental waters to kick-start the tour, this version reached the essence of the “Light,” which, ironically, is quite dark. Chicago’s version passed through several gorgeous segments on the way to a summer-opening mind-fuck .

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6.18 II – Comcast Theatre, Hartford, CT

7.4.10 (W.Rogell)

This version, springing from a set-opening “Halley’s Comet,” remained a bit more contained than most “Lights” of summer. Page began to bring the composed jam outwards by alternating his piano leads with growling synthesizers. Trey kept this one anchored to structure with his insistent leads, before finally breaking form to join the band’s already developing patterns. Over a sustained effect by Page, Phish swam into a forward-looking milieu. Trey soon exchanged searing leads for choppier rhythm licks, while Mike and Fish formed an eclectic pocket. With Trey’s shorter offerings, the band briefly locked into a unique groove before pushing into an effect-laden outro and gently sliding into “Billy Breathes.”

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6.22.II – Great Woods, Mansfield, MA

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

The third “Light” of summer came on a Tuesday night at Great Woods, and reached some serious full-band theatrics before Trey pulled the plug for “46 Days.” Coming out of “Sneaking Sally” via an abrupt segue, Phish launched into the jam with fury. Carrying a slightly faster pace than usual, Trey led the band’s composed jam with notably impassioned soloing. The band exited the shreddy section together, somersaulting into a “Timber-esque” palette. Page hopped on his Rhodes and Mike turned on his envelope filter, while Fishman’s beat became sparse and percussive. Trey began accenting the music from behind the scenes, and in front of our eyes, the band splashed into a completely new-sounding pond. Page took the melodic lead, as this version became subtly demonic, reaching more exploratory places by the minute. When the band settled in a mellow psychedelia, a point where they could have taken the jam to the next level, Trey disengaged, awkwardly cutting off the captivating excursion with “46 Days.”

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6.25 II – Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ

6.25.10 (G.Lucas)

Carrying colossal momentum from Camden’s Jackson-laced “2001,” the band launched into one of the more exploratory “Lights” of summer. A gorgeous composed jam, with notably less in-your-face guitar, descended into a secondary section of improv without compromising fluidity. Trey took his solo into calmer waters while the band molded a percussive backdrop. The music turned more abstract as Trey relinquished the lead and Mike stepped up to direct traffic. Turning in some slick leads over this increasingly ambient texture, Trey then began playing staccato, “Pong-esque” notes (reference 8.14.09), as he, Page, and Fishman locked into a rhythmic interchange. Over this texture, Mike unleashed resounding bass leads, spicing the groove with spontaneous dashes of melody. This version reached a deeper-than-usual psychedelia before releasing into “Possum.”

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7.1. II – Walnut Creek, Raleigh, NC

7.4.10 (W.Rogell)

In Raleigh, Phish unveiled “Light’s” defining performance of summer, weaving an intricate tale that flowed naturally from beginning to end. As the band entered the final four nights of tour, their finest musical trek of the south would transpire in their opening show. Whereas Trey had a propensity to layer his opening solos of “Light” atop the band’s groove, in this version he played very much within the music, giving the composed jam an enhanced feel of beauty. Fusing impressive lines into the musical fabric, Trey’s melodies carried more tasteful and creative phrasing, differentiating the onset of this rendition. As Trey began stretching his notes into sheets of sound – signifying a break from structure – the band was fully locked and moved together into the abyss. Page’s piano lines led a march into a mysterious, blackening brew, as Trey turned from Jedi to Sith, intertwining sinister sounds in this devilish trek. A stunning example of what Phish can accomplish with patience, this version represents the most cohesive jamming to stem from “Light” this year and certainly deserves consideration among the top jams of tour. Within this darkening context, Trey initiated a composed-sounding solo over a complex, thickening pocket, entering the most engaging musical plane of night – and, arguably, the most exquisite place reached by “Light” all summer. Trey’s soulful notes continued amidst an emerging ambience from the rest of the band. Finally, as his solo bled into the ominous soundscape, Trey brought back the song’s theme, coming full-circle in a mind-melting epic.

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Jam of the Day:

Tweezer > Theme” 6.18 II

This clinic in groove has been unduly overshadowed by Merriweather’s diabolical depths and the holiday version’s sublime partnership with “Slave.”┬á Nonetheless, Hartford’s “Tweezer” presents the Yin to Merriweather’s Yang.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

6.22.2010 Great Woods, Mansfield MA < Torrent

6.22.2010 Great Woods, Mansfield MA < Megaupload

Official Great Woods Poster

Following the theme of Weekend Nuggets, here is the third Tuesday show from tour. “Sneakin’ Sally > Light” highlighted a second set that was book-ended by Phish classics, “Mike’s Groove” and “Slave.” The first set contained one of summer’s stronger versions of “Kill Devil Falls as well as the debuts of Rita Clarke’s “Lit O Bit” and the now-infamous “Dr. Gabel.” Enjoy looking back, because in a couple weeks we’ll be looking forward again.

I: Lit O Bit*, Camel Walk, Possum, The Divided Sky, Dirt, Sample in a Jar, Kill Devil Falls, Dr. Gabel**, Run Like an Antelope

II: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > Light > 46 Days, Limb By Limb, Golgi Apparatus, Slave to the Traffic Light, Loving Cup

E: First Tube

*debut, Rita Clarke, **debut

Source: Schoeps MK41>KC5>CMC6>Sonosax SX-M2>Apogee Mini-me (aes out@24 bit/96khz)>COAX>Edirol R-44

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649 Responses to “The Light Is Growing Brighter Now”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:

    i swear, @z, the similarity between this and the ’89 shows is crazy

    still 2 weeks out and it’s building to a crazy pitch

  2. Robear Says:

    if i had tickets i’d just give them to you guys.

    my excitement level for the shows is dropping instead of rising.

    silly me, caring about my fellow phans.

    this is the opposite of where things should be headed, IMO.

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    hmmmm

    i dunno bout that

    this is an unfortunate part of it but there have always been tough-ticket shows

  4. Robear Says:

    true, but why now? a show in or around LA, Portland, Seattle or Gorge could have taken some of the pressure off.

    i.e., even if you couldn’t get greeks, you could certainly get to one of the other shows w/o the time and expense of flying all the way across country.

  5. Robear Says:

    this is an unfortunate part of it but there have always been tough-ticket shows

    ^when the band was popular

    this is a direct result of scheduling only 3 shows for the entire western us of a in a tiny, 8500 seat venue.

    at least that’s what i think.

  6. Robear Says:

    Orange County Craigslist:

    can’t verify authenticity from here, but seeing tickets for $125 each on there.

    friends paid that for ATL…..

  7. Robear Says:

    three strikes, and i’m out.

    who knows, they might be fakes on that craigslist. checked a bunch of different cities, and couldn’t find any except offers for trades. Then the OC site has a bunch.

    i’ll keep looking for voopa, ybor, eb et al.

    something’s got to give

  8. YborCity Says:

    This is a note I sent to the band… I really need them to know about this issue for some reason. It’s the only thing I can think about right now:

    “Betty Frost,

    I’m going to try to keep this brief, though I know that will be real hard to pull off. I have some thoughts I figured someone involved with the band should know about — I tried venting on a message board, but sympathy from wooks only gets you so far.

    First off, I’m 20 years old, I was too young to see the band before they ‘broke up’ and became obsessed with their music knowing full well that I’d never get to see them in person. And despite being called a ‘hippie’, a ‘stoner’ and a ‘hippie-stoner-douche’ as an awkward, pubescent, chubby, sensitive 14 year old, I pressed on; that which doesn’t kill you… fulfills stereotypes, I guess. I didn’t matter, this music meant that much to me for reasons my parents struggle to understand everyday.

    Now, I’m a sophomore in college with an internship in San Francisco, CA for the summer. When I heard that Phish was going to be playing in Berkeley this year I almost lost it. If I could have been more excited to see the band while I was out here, my friends and family would be very surprised. You should have seen me when the band announced they were getting back together two years ago.

    But there was a problem: The Greek Theater shows are the only West Coast shows of the summer, and the Greek Theater has a capacity of less than 10,000 people. Now add the fact that it’s the fucking Greek Theater – home to countless historical Grateful Dead shows, and the revered August 1993 run caping one of Phish’s most hallowed months – and you’ve got some serious demand for a small supply.

    Long story short: I didn’t get tickets in the lottery, or from Ticketmaster when they went onsale to the public. A friend of mine, who had the means to figure out a ticket trade, was going to come out the San Francisco to see the band with me, but that plan fell through yesterday due to lack of funds; two weeks before the shows. Thank you recession. Stubhub is my last options, and they’re selling tickets for $315 a night and now I’m facing a lack of funds.

    I feel like I’m delivering a SOB story to you but that’s not what this is, nor is that what I’m intending to do. I just wanted someone with the band to know what their fanbase is going through right now. My story is not unique.

    I’m not going to stop listening to the band, or quit participating in devotion exercises (re: message board reference above), or not try to get to the next possible show I can get to, because (as is stated above) this music is that important to me.

    If you made it this far, Betty, thanks for listening. I appreciate it more than my dry sense of humor probably lets on.

    Best,

    Connor”

    Hopefully they know about this problem already.

  9. ae Says:

    nice post ybor. i think i wrote a letter, dear jerry, bobby, phil, mickey and billy (and keyboard player? i’m thinking this would have been vince, i wasn’t as devoted when brent was around), about getting rejected from GDTBM but finding out only after the public on-sale date. good luck and keep the faith. maybe something will break for you.

  10. vegas wolfmans Says:

    I am ready to go Greek.

    Great write up Miner. Just hopping online for the first time today. You called it. Said Light would be the next big jam vehicle immediately after they played it at Fenway. Miner:1 Nonlighters:0

  11. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Saying Colorado is a ‘west coast show’ is the same as calling Austin an ‘east coast show’ or Atlanta a ‘northeast show’.

    sorry- just reading back.

  12. zzyzx Says:

    “true, but why now? a show in or around LA, Portland, Seattle or Gorge could have taken some of the pressure off.”

    That’s the question. Remember when I first started posting here around the time of this rumor and everyone told me to not be so cranky… It’s because this was a pretty logical conclusion.

    I’m watching friendships almost break up, people making deals and then retracting them, people get incredibly hurt, and it all could have been so easily resolved. And instead of an announcement of a Vegas run or something that would calm this down, the “ACL will be just about it this fall due to slow ticket sales” rumor is coming back.

    While I’m reasonably bright, I’m not an expert. If I saw this coming before the dates were announced, if I was able to predict non-sold out east coast dates and frustrated west coasters, why the hell can’t Capshaw?

  13. YborCity Says:

    @Z because Capshaw doesn’t give a shit. He hasn’t for years.

  14. vegas wolfmans Says:

    I feel your pain zz. Got lucky on Greek lotto and am catching a direct from Bellingham. Why no Gorge this year? Calendar for the venue is wide open.

  15. albert walker Says:

    This pre Greek energy is some shit huh?

    Fun stuff

  16. zzyzx Says:

    It wasn’t from the Gorge’s end. From what I’ve heard, they all but flew out to Charlottesville and begged for a booking…

  17. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Everyone knows they’re gonna to blow the Greek up. Forgone conclusion. I might give a testicle for T-ride tickets. They’ll certainly let it all hang out there too. Leg 2 is primed to be epic. They’re all warmed up…

  18. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Weird. I thought they loved playing there. In fact I remember Trey saying: “We love playing here.”

  19. voopa Says:

    “sorry @ybor and @voopa”

    Thank you so much C, Robear, gdad, and all of the other concerned folks who have tried to help us other random internet people get tix…although your efforts have thus far been fruitless, let it be known that your thoughtfulness has been remarkable. While I doubt that any extras will show up at this point, nor might I get an inheritance or win some random bet or lottery so I can buy some overpriced BS tix, your efforts will always be remembered.

  20. zzyzx Says:

    I wish I could get everyone in… I really do. I’ve been doing little but getting people into shows lately and I still need a pair for each night of the Greek for shut out Californians.

    Everyone has just given up on Telluride by now so I’m not even looking anymore…

  21. YborCity Says:

    Thanks for the support tonight, guys. I’m out.

    Talk to you tomorrow

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    just to be clear, of course there should be more west coast shows. however there would still be crazy energy around these shows if they were playing the gorge or wherever. it’s the greek, come on. yes it wold be fractionally less but this would still be a hype event regardless and once it starts feeding on itself…

    of course i feel terrible for everyone who’s not getting in.

    but i love the hype and energy too.

  23. butter Says:

    what’s kinda funny and ironic is i know more than a few casual fans, here

    in the bay area, who haven’t seen Phish since 1.0

    The Greek peaked their interest finally, and they are saying “i’d go see Phish at the Greek”

    but there are no tickets

  24. voidboy Says:

    “i can no longer speak english´╗┐”… my God, I have lived this line…

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