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.


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 .



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.”



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.”



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.”



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.



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.”  Nonetheless, Hartford’s “Tweezer” presents the Yin to Merriweather’s Yang.




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”

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  1. BrandonKayda Says:


    Light->Waves at The Greek!

  2. Mr. Murph Says:

    More Guelahs please

  3. Mitch Says:

    Almost home. Was listening to light on the last plane and was thinking about what we needed was a good writeup on the song. Synchronicity.

    Thank you mr miner.

  4. Foul_Domain Says:

    Great comparisons, Miner.

    @BK – how about SASS->Light->Waves ?

    That would be soooooo nice!

    @abe – I would wager that youre a part of a VERY small minority on that one.

  5. willowed Says:

    Great read Miner. I was lucky enough to see the first Light ever played (Trey and Tab) on 10/17/2008 Wallingford, CT. They opened the second frame with it. I never heard anything like it. It had a really slow ambient intro. (unlike the Phish version where they crash full energy right into the jam.)
    Back to the story.
    I remember looking at my buddy and saying, Phish would destroy this jam. I am extremely happy it’s made its way over. It reflects the new style of clean, fresh, high energy, straight forward jamming of 2010.
    I love it!!
    If you guys can, check out that 10/17/08 Tab show. It’s a keeper!

  6. willowed Says:

    Just to be clear after I reread my post……

    When I say straight forward…..I mean – they maintain a level of high energy fast pace to the jam.
    Straight forward does not mean this song has lacked creativity.
    I think I should have chosen different words.

  7. jdub Says:

    Great way to kick off the week Miner!

    Nothing gets the juices flowing at a show more quickly these days than hearing the opening notes to Light, atleast for me. S&SS>Light>Waves would be so sweet. Bring it on.

    On a side note: I learned this morning that the Mansfield Nitrous dealer who was stuck in a sewer drain lives down the street from a friend, they all thought he was arrested. My buddy was laughing his but off as I talked to him, of course the guy is quite the ass clown. Hopefully this teaches him a lesson or two.

  8. kenny powers Says:

    so glad Miner elaborated on the Raleigh Light – I was so pysched upon listening to it that they came back to the chorus at the end. They don’t do that much anymore, which is fine, but it is nice when they take a jam pretty far out and bring it back in at the end.

  9. lastwaltzer Says:

    Just a heads up for the Chicagoians:

    Konono No.1 will be at millennium park tonight at 6:30 should be a good one.

  10. SillyWilly Says:

    First of all, Abe, Light is an awesome song.

    Evidence of what 3.0 Phish can bring.


    I was listening to the Merriweather Wolfman’s and Trey missed the Phone ring part, then he played a line or two later.

    I can’t remember ever hearing a Wolfman’s where Trey forgot the phone ring!

  11. jdub Says:

    Abe is a troll, better left under the rocks were he comes from. Clearly not much Light comes his way.

  12. Foul_Domain Says:

    Funny you mention that @Silly

    I was just listening to that Wolfman’s last night and noticed the same thing

  13. RFWoodstock Says:

    Great live recordings from top festivals, concerts and in-studio performances…Phish, The Dead, Allman Brothers, Widespread, Dave Matthews and many more from Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, Woodstock, Telluride…Long jams, complete sets…24/7 Internet radio channel Radio Woodstock LIVE…available at Peace, love, music…Life is a festival.

  14. jdub Says:

    @Shamelss Advertising Man, if you are going to continually post the same advert here atleast join in the convo.

  15. one-armed steve Says:

    lw…what is konono1?

  16. Gavinsdad Says:

    Love single song comparison studies Miner. Thank you. Will dig into these Lights when I get back from the beach.

    Would really like to see a Theme taken out there…a la a 2000 version

    have I missed it or has nobody been looking for a Shafty? I rather like that tune as a mellow interlude

  17. SillyWilly Says:

    @foul domain

    the Wolfman’s “phone ring” is one of my favorite little Phishy “extras”.

    You know those little things they add to a song that make it that much better.

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    I want a Shafty, G-dizzle!

  19. lastwaltzer Says:

    how bout that Fikus

  20. nonoyolker Says:

    I still dig the short intro Light has on the album version. Anyone know where that came from? Sounds like a sick excerpt from a jam session. If thats the case, i want to get my hands on that.

    Light is quickly becoming a track like Tweezer or Ghost, where you can pretty much bank on getting the exploratory goods. Not many tracks have that in this day and age. I look forward to seeing this song bring the business in the 2nd leg.

    Gorge ’09 is still tops all time for me. Calyspo boogie is one of the most creative things thus far in 3.0

    Yeah, what is with the advertising?? That shit is uncalled for in a comments forum.

  21. BTB Says:

    I love when Miner links to his other phish thoughts

    Phish thought…within a phish thought….

    ::sips whiskey spiked coffee::

  22. SillyWilly Says:

    First Set (coming to a venue near you (if you live in Nor. Cal, Colorado, Indiana, Wisconsin, or NYC)):

    My Soul>BBFCM>Ocelot, Shafty, ASIHTOS, SASS>Waves>Billy Breathes, Fikus, Liquid Time.

  23. BTB Says:

    What can’t be said about Miner’s PH thoughts that can’t be said about MacGyver?

    “His mind is the ultimate weapon. For him, saving the day is all in a day’s work. The right man when things go wrong. He acts fast and thinks faster.
    Braver than most. Smarter than the rest. Part boy-scout. Part genius. All hero. Always prepared for adventure.”

    Have a good day ya’ll – I’m sure I’ll be busy as hell and wont be able to post much. Happy PH thoughting!

  24. SillyWilly Says:

    Have a good day, BTB!

    thanks for that post. pretty funny, man.

  25. willowed Says:

    I would say he is more like Jack Bauer than MacGyver. Remember, Bauer likes to party. I recall that season in which he was hooked on the junk. Granted, he was on the junk due to captivity in China….but he likes to party none the less.

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