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. BingosBrother Says:

    Does A. Kelly have facial scarring? Is that why he is never photographed from the front? Is that also why he refuses to sing? What are THE SECRETS? Good stuff Lycan. Congrats.

  2. Lycanthropist Says:


    got your package.

    Thank you so much!

  3. Lycanthropist Says:

    Akelly is def my nickname
    but just because my full name is Adam Kelly.

    The humor of the nick name is all in the intonation.

    and i have actually never smoked banana peels..

    and i don’t sing because I am absolutely terrible at it.


  4. Leo Weaver Says:

    Bustouts don’t necessarily make a good show, sure. But for someone who enjoys bustouts from time to time (and has missed them by *this much* over the years), they can be quite enjoyable and take the show up a notch or two. Now if they could’ve done something about that Fluffhead…that one just didn’t do it for me, placement or playing-wise. I still think if the order of the songs had been different for the Raleigh show (same songs), it might have been much better received. But again, YMMV…

  5. tela'smuff Says:

    jumping in some of the beer talk. i have been buying cans of Breckenridge Brew’s Avalanche Ale at my local specialty beer & wine shop. Love this stuff. They have drastically improved the quality of premium beer in a can. can’t wait to pick up a case of Moose Drool in CO for the T-Ride shows.

  6. Leo Weaver Says:

    Daktaris – Soul Explosion

    Any of you guys know anything about this one? It just popped up on my Pandora station.

  7. Lycanthropist Says:

    fuckin MS has us beer drinkers all tied up.

    We aren’t allowed to get anything over 6% in the state.

    Fuckin sucks.

    There is a pretty big lobby group called “Raise Your Pints” trying to change these asinine laws.

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    who drinks beer with more than 6% alcohol?

  9. Robear Says:

    East coaster’s = taxed at the greek

    LRG sporter’s = taxed at the greek

    bring yer wallets, kiddies.

  10. albert walker Says:

    Daktaris is the original album made by the cats that would form Antibalas

    when the album first came out peeps thought it was a vintage afrobeat record cuz of the cover and roots sounds

    great new school afrobeat

    def a hot spin

  11. albert walker Says:

    I only have one pair of shorts Robear and they are LRG

    I’ll make sure to bring some extra tax $$ with

  12. kenny powers Says:

    yes halcyon

    Lagunitas IPA is spectacular

  13. BrandonKayda Says:


    I did check out that 7/19/10 show last night – really good jams in there. The opening jam (25mins!) had a really funky, “Cosmic Dirigible” feel to the jam. Nice improv to open up the night. Disease Control/Celia was cool too. The Camba and Helter Skelter->Frying Pan combo to close set one was nice as well.

    But the second set was where everything really clicked. The nearly hour long segment of Tax Dollars->Old Town Manitoba (thanks!)->War A Piece, Sophis was extremely intense, with the OTM clocking in close to 19mins and exploring many different sections (including a really nice funk->ambient drone thing) before rolling into War A Piece. The Sophia was the same – goes from guitar shred to dissonance to (surprisingly) a heavy dose of clav funk. Fantastic rendition of probably my favorite CF “jam” song (don’t take that the wrong way). Easily best Sophia and OTM of 2010.

    The Losing The Duel/Alabaster Shavings closer was awesome too, with the Alabaster containing a little delay/loop jam to close the set. Great show, packed with plenty of large improvisation. Basically the tightness of 2010 mixed with the jams of 2005 IMO. Well done. I’d definitely recommend it to BB as well, if y’all are interested. Heavy improv tonight.

    The Greek is creeping up on us fast people – I’m psyched, to say the least!!!! Let’s hope they get some big jams 🙂

  14. Robear Says:

    we’ve got a signed saturday poster with your name on it, dub step!

  15. Leo Weaver Says:

    @Lycan…we’ll send you back to the Mississ with some good beer. I had the same problem in Ga…coupled with the no beer sales on Sunday thing. Was HAPPY to move to NC where neither of those is an issue.

  16. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    bk, we can only hope they’ll jam as much as ‘Chance Fischer’

  17. negev79 Says:


    I was generally ambivalent about RnR, until the Gorge last year. Now, if they play it when I’m at a show, I’ll look forward to the jam to see where it will go. But I skip over RnR on the ol’ Ipod.

  18. Leo Weaver Says:

    My hand is raised @ fOol…

    @Adub…thanks for the info. The track I heard was pretty damn slick…may have to pick that one up.

  19. willowed Says:

    Hey Guys,
    Just checking in. Kind of crazy today. It’s freakin’ go time in Graduate Admissions right now.
    That reminds me, anyone interested in pursuing their Master’s Degree? Drop me a line.

    Make it a great one people!

  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    what is this beer that is forcing you to raise your hand @leo?

  21. willowed Says:

    More BOAF set 2 openers in 2010

  22. Robear Says:

    do you have a ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ Master’s Degree?

  23. Lycanthropist Says:


    hell yeah! we need it for sure.


    checked out your band.. definitely has a cool Strokes (but less poppy) sound to it. You said you were the lead guitar player over there in the corner right?

    You guys still playing a lot?

  24. willowed Says:

    Not right now but I hear in 2013 one is coming. I think 70% of the schools energy comes from these wind tpwers they built a few years back. We are doing our part!
    Trying to anyway.

  25. El Duderino Says:

    “11/29/98 ‘Roggae’ = face melter”

    I can’t help but laugh when I see comments like this!


    When did Roggae become such a sought after tune or when they started calling them face melter’s?

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