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. bouncin fan Says:

    I did the 94 95 96 09 runs

    A bunch of hot phish

  2. vegas wolfmans Says:

    I’m in the “most” catergory for ’03. Love 12/29. I agree that 12/28 is tops in ’98. Didn’t make Miami this NY, but agree that 12/29>12/30 by a hair- although I freaking love the BOTT jam from 12/30.

    Where was that Atlanta ’97 Ghost sbd leaked? I have it saved in itunes, but will poke around and try to uncover. I’ll hit ya up if I can find it, pigster. Probably floating around on this site somewhere.

  3. vegas wolfmans Says:

    pig- motherload email on the way.

  4. Michael Kang Says:


  5. Michael Kang Says:

    Miner hook me up!

  6. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Miner is willowed.

  7. zzyzx Says:

    89- 12/30
    90 – 12/29
    91 – errr has to be 12/31
    92 – 12/29 and 12/30 have some interesting moments but 12/31
    93 – 12/30
    94 – 12/29
    95 – 12/31
    96 – 12/29
    97 – 12/30
    98 – I don’t know if one of them jumps out at me… I kind of like all 4, don’t LOVE any one
    99 – 12/31
    02/3 – 12/31 I guess
    03 – 12/30
    09 – 12/30

  8. bouncin fan Says:

    Kang of SCI
    Most annoying musician of all time?

  9. ThePigSong Says:

    Word- thanks wolfmans!

  10. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    so basically never miss a nye show, huh @zzyzx?

  11. zzyzx Says:

    Rambling – went to 89 as a joke, went to 90 and 91 because I went to 89, and by 92 it became what I did on NYE. Mel wouldn’t let me NOT go last year even though we were broke because it was “Phish Law” that I had to go.

  12. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    oh, nevermind. didn’t see miner post his new years favorites. i thought you were saying those were your favorite shows of each year

    ::bane fail::

  13. Jtran Says:

    Some great show knowledge being thrown around here tonight.

    Thanks Miner and zz

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    Hey late night BB

    What’s up?

  15. zzyzx Says:

    Trying to decide if I should go see the Young Fresh Fellows or be more responsible with my money.

  16. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    for me new years ’98 comes down to the first two nights and whether you prefer Carini > Wolfman’s from night 1 or 2001 > Boogie On, YEM from night 2

  17. bouncin fan Says:

    Cashing out 2nd bottle of red and watching Swordfish waiting for halley berrys titties

    Fun night huh?

  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    me love carini > wolfmans a ton and a half. one of the all time faves…

  19. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    get your pause and rewind buttons ready, @bouncin

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    halley Berrys titties are worth the wait.

    Just finished watching “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” Pretty good flick, very disturbing at times, and a lot of reading subtitles.

  21. zzyzx Says:

    Also I’m working on my column.

  22. bouncin fan Says:

    Shit is epic yo

    And I’m generally more id an ass guy

  23. BrandonKayda Says:

    I just starting reading Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins tonight – great read so far.

    12/28/98 Carini->Wolfman’s scared me when i first heard it – no joke. Evil, evil Phish jamming.

  24. BingosBrother Says:

    if you wanna see her ass, you gotta watch Monsters Ball. pretty big turn off watchin Billy Bob give it to her though. Watchin Kang tear it up on violin right now. EPIC;)

  25. BingosBrother Says:

    Funny BK. My brother just called to say he finished Half Asleep in Frogs Pajamas. Tom Robbins drops serious knowledge.

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