Saturday Night Fever

Saturday - 7.3.10 (Wendy Rogell)

Saturday night – there’s no other portion of the week that conjures up such images of spontaneous adventure and good times. And there is no other adventure and good time quite like Phish. Putting these two concepts together, you’ve got “Saturday Night Phish,” a party like none other. In this modern era, Phish has established their own way of musically celebrating their Saturday night shows by opening the second set with Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll.” A trend that began in ’09 has held true for all four Saturday’s of 2010, giving even the most spun tour kid a weekly reference point. A cycle that began as a bit formulaic last year turned comedic this summer with each subsequent weekend . But as one of the band’s preeminent jam vehicles of this eras, “Rock and Roll” delivers eventful excursions more often than not. Once the band climbs out of the song’s rock stylings, anything goes when Phish breaks structure. Looking back on the four Saturday’s of Leg I, here are short capsules of the versions that that kicked off each second half.


6.12 II – Blossom

6.12- Blossom (Peek Photo.)

Phish launched into the first Saturday night of tour with their popular jam vehicle, and as they entered the “Cuyahoga Jam,” the band started to breakdown the piece into percussive grooves, a la 2009. Mike thumped a stop-start bass line that underlined the unique rhythm, while Trey spray-painted the groove with shorter patterns. As Fish held down a sparse breakbeat and Page backed the jam with layers of effect, all in all, the onset of this piece didn’t veer far from the many versions that speckled ’09. But as Trey began to solo out of these tendencies, Mike jumped aboard, beginning to differentiate Blossom’ s outing. At this juncture the jam grew far more abstract, as the band molded a segment of musical silk before morphing into a collective wall of sound. Trey reprised his solo melody over this drone canvas, providing closure to the jam before rolling into “Harry Hood.”



6.19 II –  SPAC

SPAC (H.Radar)

Instead of dropping into a series of hackneyed rhythmic grooves, Phish built out of SPAC’s “Rock and Roll” into a bass-led psychedelia. The band latched onto Mike’s lines, as Trey mixed in a repetitive lick that led the band deep into the forest right away. Wasting little post-rock time, Phish quickly swam into a sparkling steam of melody, infusing the jam with an early dose of aural beauty. The piece increased in tempo as Mike drove the troops’ wild ride into darkness. Trey continued to offer cyclical, multi-note cries, in melodic support of a staggering soundscape created by Mike, Fish and Page. Towards the latter part of the jam, the band alternated between louder and softer as if someone was turning up and down the volume knob of the jam. Trey continued his role as supporting actor in this escapade, adding his piece to a more complex overall puzzle. The band descended into an abstract pond before splashing into “Free.”



6.26 II – Merriweather Post

6.26.10 - Merriweather (Graham .Lucas)

While Merriweather’s second night presented the tightest set of Leg I, on Saturday night in Columbia, Maryland, Phish served up a jam that, arguably, surpassed anything from the weekend. In this set-opening “Rock and Roll,” Phish dove off a cliff, floating into the sky in a floral-ambient groove of bliss. Knitting some of the most transcendental music of summer, Trey and Mike spun their ideas together with sublime cooperation. As this segment progressed, Trey soloed as if he was emotively narrating a story to an innocent child. The band provided a magical, amoeba-like backdrop to this musical fable, morphing the jam into a soulful piece of spirituality. Concluding his tale, Trey came growling out of this hovering abstraction with leads that implored his bandmates to follow. Together they built dramatic whole-band tension throughout the latter half of the piece. Trey eventually layed down a slick “Moby-Disk-esque” line, and the band fell into a sinister groove session to bring their mission back to earth. Coming to an organic end, Phish bled into a brief, bass-led ambiance that hinted at “2001” before revving  up the beginning of “Free.” Out of the four “Rock and Rolls” this summer, no other version even comes close; and this Merriweather rendition must be thrown in the ring for any discussion about the jam of Leg I.



7.3 II- Alpharetta

7.3.10 (W.Rogell)

After dropping two stellar jams over the past two weekends out of the Velvet Underground cover, when Phish charged up the anthem to open up Saturday, July 3, it wasn’t far fetched to expect something big for the song’s tour finale. Though once the band got going, they simply rode the song’s theme, juicing it for all it was worth. Phish never even veered far enough from the original for LivePhish to label an “Alpharetta Jam,” something done to avoid paying royalties on original  improvisation. With expressive rock soloing, Trey barreled through the straight forward jam that only broke form for a moment before moving into a pre-mature “Prince Caspian.”



Jam of the Day:

Reba” 6.11 I

A gorgeous rendition from summer’s opening set.




7.1.2010 Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh, NC < Torrent

7.1.2010 Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh, NC < Megaupload

Official Raleigh Poster

Raleigh featured a bumpy setlist that featured some big-time bust-outs and one of the deepest dives of summer in the centerpiece version of “Light.”

I: Llama, Roses Are Free, Kill Devil Falls, Time Loves a Hero, Alaska, Water in the Sky, Runaway Jim, The Moma Dance, Divided Sky, Cavern

II: Backwards Down the Number Line, Halley’s Comet > Light, Fluffhead, Have Mercy, Light Up Or Leave Me Alone > Free, Wading in the Velvet Sea, The Squirming Coil, Suzy Greenberg

E: Boogie On Reggae Woman

Source: Schoeps mk41> KC5> M222> NT222> EAA PSP-2> SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)

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837 Responses to “Saturday Night Fever”

  1. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    agreed, gdad. I’m curious about their ipa and other “normal ABV beers though.

    That End of History one is insane. 55% ABV?!? That’s the same proof as the green chartreuse, which has been known to have unusual effects on the imbiber (I say this from experience). I saw that they only made 12 bottles and sold it for like $750 a bottle. Of course, you do get to keep the squirrel or stoat…

  2. Matso Says:

    So I guess SPAC 6/20 gets Miner’s vote for weakest show of the tour seeing as it’s going to be the last download of the day after today’s Raleigh… (unless some other shows hasn’t been posted yet but I think we’ve seen them all now). No surprise, I suppose, even though I still vehemently disagree 😉

  3. nonoyolker Says:

    Anyone know if HH had his baby (i mean his wife, otherwise…). If so, BIG congrats!

    I’ve got a dose of adulthood today as well – Signing on my first home today! Nothing like a 30yr mortgage and endless compounded debt to slap you in the face with adulthood. I am even wearing khakis today. Pray for me…

  4. Litteringand Says:

    Yes I’m back from Uganda and S.Africa. I know it is a bit cliche but I really was a eye opening/ life changing experience. I hope to meet some of you at Creek and I can rap about my company and others we work with who are making a big impact in those regions.

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    Oh, shit, litteringand

    what’s your email?

    we have a bit of a meet-up in the works for Friday at Deer Creek.

    we’ll add you to the list!

    my email is falkwilt AT gmail

    email me and Ill add your email to the list.

  6. sumodie Says:

    @T3: Morning!

    I sent some xtra good vibes your way last night -should have arrived your way around 6:32:49 am if my calculations are correct 😀

  7. SillyWilly Says:


    Yeah, I know it was after Leg 2 because I never took my laptop into the law school, so for like three weeks straight after every class I was checking on a community computer in the law school’s atrium.

    when the dates came up, I started cheering and people stared.

  8. kenny powers Says:


    that shit is crazy. American craft brewers are getting waaay carried away IMO with these crazy ABV levels. I feel even the ones in the 10-12% range, the alcohol overpowers any subtle flavor notes that may be lurking beneath somewhere.

    I like to try to stay under 8% when possible, although i have recently tried a pretty tasty imperial IPA (Speakeasy Double Daddy). I guess I prefer my ales to be 5-6% and my IPAs 6-7%.

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I got em, sumo.
    Thanks, I appreciate it!

  10. kenny powers Says:

    mean to say that Speakeasy one is 9.5

  11. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “Anybody know if Trey is allowed to cross the border into Canada?”

    no 🙁

  12. Litteringandd Says:

    creek creek

  13. SillyWilly Says:


    I agree with your ABV preferences there.

    I always think that the Rogue Dead Guy Ale – which is supposed to be like a German mid-style type ale. (Not an IPA.) – at 6.6% is too much for an ale, and almost too much even for an IPA.

  14. ColonelJoy Says:

    Looking forward to my Saturday Alpine!

  15. SillyWilly Says:


    smuggle Trey back with you.

    well, let him play Jones Beach, then smuggle him back with you.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    are you hitting alpine colonel??

  17. ColonelJoy Says:

    I pretty much stick to the new hyper powered malt beverages like Joos…

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    haha silly, there is a spot for trey in the trunk. they generally don’t check cars on the way back into canada so we should be good

  19. ColonelJoy Says:

    I live in Milwaukee Dancing….

  20. ColonelJoy Says:

    Alpine is hometown show!

  21. Gavinsdad Says:

    Still diggin:

    oskar blues Gordon
    Russian river pliny the elder
    troegs nugget nectar

    Otherwise I’m exactly like KP. My everyday brew is Yards Philly Pale Ale which is a whopping 4.6%. Tasty as heck and not strong. It’s like my personal Miller Lite.

  22. zzyzx Says:

    My theory is simply that Capshaw overestimates the fanbase in the northeast and underestimates the fanbase in the west coast. However, if they keep playing these games out west, it’ll become a self fulfilling prophecy and westerners just give up on the band. I’m about as loyal as it gets and I’m having a difficult time maintaining my interest in the wake of only seeing them 1 time in an 8 month period… and I still don’t have any of my leg 2 tickets in my hand so I’m not banking those shows yet.

  23. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @colonel, i have no idea where alpine is, but i do know that i will be there

  24. Litteringandd Says:

    I have done it! Hooray

  25. Gavinsdad Says:

    I missed a leg 1 Theme and request one for waterfront JB. I’ll also take a limb…have a soft spot for these from memorable shows at PNC. And I like Billy Breathes.

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