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. willowed Says:

    Take a look:

  2. Lycanthropist Says:


    most all of the good imports are above 6%

  3. Robear Says:

    come on, my face got melted duder!

    or maybe it was the fun guys i was hanging out with…..

  4. willowed Says:

    The turbines are pretty trippy.

  5. zzyzx Says:

    Since there were people who really liked the song.

  6. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    thanks lycan. yeah most of our stuff so far has a really indie feel to it (haven’t worked any of my songs in yet). we haven’t been playing much this summer (just the one show) because two of the guys live in ottawa and the rest of us are in TO but we all go to school together so hopefully come september we will be recording/writing/playing a hell of a lot more

    and yeah i’m the lead guitar on the far left

  7. Lycanthropist Says:

    well keep it up.

    you would be blowing up here.

    Hattiesburg can’t seem to get enough of the indie stuff.

    And the Hippor (which is where you’d play) is an awesome venue.

  8. Lycanthropist Says:


    not Hippor.

  9. willowed Says:

    Ok I am done selfishly promoting my university.
    Enjoy the day people!!
    One more wish for leg 2.

  10. Lycanthropist Says:


    thanks much for the props!

    glad you enjoyed it.

    It was definitely a night devoted to jamming for better or worse.

  11. halcyon Says:


    I was looking at furthuring my education recently and noticed on your site that Greg Mortensen was honored at your school. Did you see him speak? He is building thousands of schools to help woman and children and promote peace in Pakistan, and Afghanistan is an incredible feat. I have seen him speak, and am in awe of his accomplishments.

    Three Cups of Tea, and Stones into Schools are his books.

  12. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    good books about a motivated and inspirational dude. wish I had half the gumption Greg Mortensen has.

  13. Leo Weaver Says:

    @fOol…most any of the IPAs I consume regularly. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and Terrapin Hopsecutioner are my current favorites. And they’re not forcing me to raise my hand, I’m raising it proudly 😉

    @dude…gotta say, I do love me some Roggae. The ’99 Oak Mtn version was perfect IMO…it’s just so light and airy in a dark psychedelic way.

  14. El Duderino Says:

    Gotta rib ya’ every once in awhile Robear!!!

    You can take it. You gotta a quick wit and a sharp tongue.

    But seriously folks, “face melter” in my mind is not what Roggae is.

    12/01/95 Mike’s > Weekapaug is a “face melter”.

    Plus, remember ’99 – ’00 when it was played all the time?

    Piss break tune

  15. Leo Weaver Says:

    It was one of those I didnt’ catch much in 99-00

  16. nonoyolker Says:

    Bless summer hrs…

    Let this kick start your weekend right in the neck:

    Have a good one all!

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    are we really still talking about Roggae?

    It’s great, but not in a face melting way.

    psychedelic Friday: 360 degree Escher thing,0.00,15.0

  18. El Duderino Says:

    @ Leo

    to me Roggae does not have that dark element to it. More like cotton candy, pin wheels, and very: Ages 3 and Up kinda feel.

    Just my opinion folks not a Phish hater but some songs can be crap to a long time fan.

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    cool lycan. though i have no idea where hattiesberg is lol

    toronto has a pretty big indie scene too, or at least a lot of great bands from around here, eg. broken social scene, caribou… lots of good ones from quebec too

    just bought an mbox which is gonna be great for some recording

  20. El Duderino Says:

    @ Mr. C.

    Robear brought it up. I had to chime in couldn’t resist

  21. Robear Says:

    that’s the last show i went on an extra curricular ride for, duder. great night at the Centrum. ready to give away worldy possessions type trip. though i didn’t have much back then…

  22. Leo Weaver Says:

    Great link C…thanks.

    @dude…in my head, the dark element of Roggae is just below the candied surface.

  23. El Duderino Says:


    Roggae is Robear’s “Vegetable Man”…

  24. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ps that show i have on the youtube, we hadn’t practiced together in over 2 months, other than for under an hour before the show. and that hey jude at the end was worked out right before the show ala phish

  25. El Duderino Says:

    @ Leo

    I guess this where that light or dark with Phish -vs- Light and Dark at the same time like the GD convo from last week I started comes back into play.

    for me Roggae is just that candied merry go round light dealy

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