The Greek Mythology

The Greek Theatre - 8.5.10 (Wendy Rogell)

Phish stepped to the west coast in laid-back style, playing to their Berkeley surroundings with their second stellar tour-opener in as many months. Using the second set to showcase the real goods, Phish still came correct with a two-set flow that sparked the first west coast Phish of the year. And though The Greek was as crowded as one could imagine, everyone disappeared into thin air as the band dove into two of their defining jams of 2010 in the second set. Like mythological silhouettes against a medieval backdrop, Phish unsheathed two of their most classic vehicles to electrify the intimate audience, commencing a very special week in the Phish community. Taking both “Disease” and “Tweezer” on Odyssian-treks, Phish sculpted two instant classics of the modern era as Act I of The Greek.

8.5.06 (W.Rogell)

Any worries of cold or inclement weather were immediately answered by a sunny afternoon atop the hill at University of California, as the crowd of 8,500 slowly trickled in following a line that snaked down several blocks. But when everyone got settled into the The Greek, it became immediately apparent that we were, indeed, about to witness the freshest of Phish amidst a live-music mecca. The band wasn’t joking about their early start time, coming on stage around 6:45, using a combination of “Possum and “Wolfman’s” to get the party started. Taking “Wolfman’s” for an impressive first-set spin, this one stood out as a strong summer version. Sometimes when Phish plays “Divided Sky” it feels contrived and sometimes it just feels right. Standing amidst the late afternoon in the Berkeley hills, yesterday was one of the latter, greeting early-evening with grandeur. The opening string of first-set action continued with a rousing “Funky Bitch,” and an impressive jam out of “Kill Devil Falls,” before taking a few-song breather. Punctuating the opening frame with the set’s most intense passage, Phish played one of their finest “Antelopes” of the summer, announcing loud and clear that warms ups were over, and set two would be starting soon.

The Greek - 8.5.06 (Wendy Rogell)

But if set one looked and sounded a bit familiar, Phish used their improvisational prowess to make the second half highlights the stuff of dreams. Wasting no time in crafting a forward-looking epoch, Phish soared into brand new musical territory, breaking through an already scintillating “Disease” with uber-creative playing. Building boldly from a dynamic foundation, the band shut off their musical compasses, playing wherever the moment brought them. Traveling through unique percussive rhythms, Trey sat back, slicing and dicing with an ear on the band’s emerging experiment. The band traveled organically outward as Phish’s bass-centric style of 2010 adopted to faster, then ambient, territories. In the most unique moments of the show, Mike’s leadership allowed Trey and Page to enhance the final segment of “Disease” without taking over, as Fishman backed it all with a delicate, yet urgent beat. Phish tread on new ground in the last section of the jam, allowing the band to coalesce around Mike’s ideas while still offering individual phrases that only furthered the minimalist cause. Trey descended through a drone pattern as the band brought the piece to a natural end, splash landing in a nasty “Free” that brought more excitement than most any modern-era versions. Allowing time for brief, structured interplay between Mike and Trey, the band played allowed this version to momentarily marinate before coming out of the ocean.

8.5.06 (W.Rogell)

The second set lost some of it’s cosmic steam with mid-set stops in “Alaska” and “Back on the Train,” killing any chance of a free-flowing set. These songs provided an unnecessary buffer before the band got back go business by annihilating a retro-style “Maze” that had me thinking back to their tour-closer in ’93 on the same stage. Embodying the instinct for the jugular that created the mid-nineties monster, Phish placed the second “Maze” of the year in its respective tour opener. Hopping the express train, “Maze” returned the second set to where it needed to be. And after a idyllic mid-set “Joy,” the thunderclouds rolled in overhead, and Zeus shot down his lightening bolts in the form of “Tweezer.”

If last August I spoke of mainlining the Red Rocks “Tweezer” in an attempt to constantly access the addictive cure-all, we’re gonna have to think of a bit more direct route for this west coast bomb. A version so smooth, yet so powerful, one needs to stop reading this article now and go find a version to listen to… Back? Well, suffice it to say that most all of us can agree on that one! Fusing the laid-back love of California into rhythms of the soul, Phish unveiled a mythical excursion that will be getting non-stop play for the foreseeable future. Using musical space every bit effectively as sound, Phish demolished grooves that shook Mount Olympus to its foundation. An immortal sculpture whose stature will never truly translate to tape, this version funneled directly from the heavens into the inner respites of the human spirit – ambrosia of the gods.

The Greek - 8.5.10 (Wendy Rogell)

Phish peaked this new-school crack with a purpose, and descended into a series of calmed-down grooves. In celebration, Trey somewhat abruptly switched into Fluffhead,” but on this night, the less-than-ideal segue became a mere footnote to the unquestionable centerpiece of the show. To see the band tackle their intricate classic in such gorgeous visual and aural surroundings was a sight to behold. Nailing “Fluffhead,” virtually note-for-note, the band used their college-era piece to close the set on the highest of notes. “The Arrival” of “Fluffhead” also represented the arrival of Summer Tour – The Sequel, and we are just getting started.

Before the encore, Trey closed the night in emotional fashion by honoring guitar craftsman, and former front of house sound man, Paul Languedoc. Trey told a story that bears repetition:

…He [Paul] told me about nine months ago, that he had put aside this magic piece of wood to build one last, really special guitar. And he gave it to me about a week ago, and this is it – [presenting guitar to the crowd.] And I’ve just to to say that I’ve just been freaking out all night about how good this guitar is – it’s the magic guitar…

The story held a certain poignancy as our life adventure with Phish evolves into this next era, and as Trey moves onto his sixth and final Languedoc. We are blessed to be a part of this Golden Age where magic and time are once again partners in crime. And this time we’re playing for keeps.

The only thing I could think as I left the venue was, I’m ready for tomorrow night….you?

See you in a couple of hours…

I: Possum, Wolfman’s Brother, The Divided Sky, Funky Bitch, Kill Devil Falls, Halley’s Comet > Sample in a Jar, NICU, Bouncing Around the Room, Run Like an Antelope

II: Down with Disease > Free, Alaska, Back on the Train, Maze, Joy, Tweezer > Fluffhead

E: Loving Cup, Tweezer Reprise

The Greek Theatre - 8.5.10 (Wendy Rogell)

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Update: No Spoilers and More

I forgot to mention yesterday that No Spoilers is locked and loaded for Leg II. So continue to enjoy the downloads with a similar eta as last month. Also, as we move through this memorable week, some of my posts may be taking a west coast vibe due to spending time with great friends in great places. So if any of my next few pieces are a bit shorter – and the way things are going we all know they likely won’t be – thanks for understanding!

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1,268 Responses to “The Greek Mythology”

  1. Jtran Says:

    Fluffhead was a man

  2. Spasm Waiter Says:

    SOAM- Well said.

  3. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Jtran- we are at the same point. 1:50 into Fluff here

  4. goochy Says:

    Kenny that’s a link to the email login page.

  5. Jtran Says:

    2 minutes in now

  6. Jtran Says:

    Gonna go back to that Tweezer again after Fluff..then DWD if I have the time. Seriuosly dug that DWD a lot

  7. albert walker Says:

    I’m with miner on this one completely.

    Such a laid back great show. Perfect laid back west coast show. Crowd was packed but friendly accommodating and iri

    Antelope was top tier 3.0. Real clean with some interesting more led space before ripping back to treys outro solo

    Wolfs was patient slow sticky and funky trey really letting the full band jam breathe behind him

    Funky bitch continues to improve and this one was hot and funky

    Kdf jam hit some cool creative spots in the jam

    Maze is back. Building on the Toyota version this song is becoming must hear 3.0 phish. A song being saved by the new tighter playin

    Late set tweezer surprised me in its placement. Page with some real slick Rhodes work this thing is tasty. Love me some tweezer

    Dwd in the second jam was beautiful and creative. Must hear also.

    Patient. Very clean well played show with several jam highlights. Seemed to be jamming free and creatively at will. Trey sounded great

    Night 2 awaits

  8. Jtran Says:

    Saw on zzyzx’s FB stats that last night ended the longest gap in Maze history.

  9. angryjoggerz Says:

    Somethin special coming tonight. AW, sorry I missed you, catch you cats tonight. Numero shirt.

  10. goochy Says:

    This Tweezer from last night has a real nice light touch. I dig it.

  11. angryjoggerz Says:

    Patient is a good word, really feeling this style. Bass bomb in tweeprize was good stuff too, foreshadowing for tonight.

  12. albert walker Says:

    Yeah AJ

    Last night was hectic. Got in late. More time to chill tonight.

  13. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Last Maze was ?

  14. Spasm Waiter Says:

    meeting Uncle Ebaneazer now… Ahhhh.

  15. Kenny Powers Says:

    oops sorry try this

    http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B1q1jGH3ydipYjg4M2RmNGQtZmQ4My00NmQ5LTgyM2MtMDkyN2E1NmJjZGZh&hl=en

  16. halcyon Says:

    I was wondering why people were being so critical last night listening to a stream!!!

    Glad everybody had a great night. Writeup and field reports confirming.

    Glad to hear that Ybor got in.

    AW

    How did you and C’s sign come out? 8)

  17. halcyon Says:

    Btw

    For those that didn’t know, or were in the show, there was a Robear sighting on last nights stream.

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @KP

    (FAIL)^2

    😉

  19. Jtran Says:

    6/11/10 @Spasm

  20. Lily Says:

    So. Jealous.

  21. albert walker Says:

    Our bust outs suck sign sucked worked great

    Thanks Hal

  22. Kenny Powers Says:

    fuck

    oogle.com/leaf?id=0B1q1jGH3ydipYjg4M2RmNGQtZmQ4My00NmQ5LTgyM2MtMDkyN2E1NmJjZGZh&sort=name&layout=list&num=50

  23. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Happens every couch tour. People make absurd, critical comments based on a stream and setlist. I wasn’t around last night and didn’t read back but i can imagine what took place. Take a deep breath people, listen to the music, then form an informed opinion before jumping to conclusions.

    Now, Onto set # 1.

  24. Kenny Powers Says:

    AAAATGHHH!!!

    http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B1q1jGH3ydipYjg4M2RmNGQtZmQ4My00NmQ5LTgyM2MtMDkyN2E1NmJjZGZh&sort=name&layout=list&num=50

  25. Kenny Powers Says:

    if you click on it it expands to a bigger view

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