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:

    Palmer, once again we’re at the same spot.

  2. willowed Says:

    Have fun TIII Born and raised in Bristol, R.I. Newport was my old stomping ground. What a day for it!!

  3. Gavinsdad Says:

    Silly and Jtran – Few of us going to JB also are keepin our eyes out for ya on tix. I need to help my buddy Thomas too ..the rest of my usual crew is now set up. I put out a feeler to a friend who is waiting to hear if he has 4 tix per nite, or 2 tix per nite. If he gets the 4, I get 2 per nite. So I have a longshot in play too. Obviously, I’ll keep you guys posted

  4. weekapaug Says:

    I heard Mike and Jon sat in with 7 Walkers last night!

  5. El Duderino Says:

    We’ve been having these incredible lightning storms here in Charlotte the last 2 nights!
    The SLF has been trying to capture lightning w/the skyline in the foreground on the camera.

  6. Pence Says:

    Helllloooo Cities!

  7. El Duderino Says:

    Cities > Moma

    Now that’s really nice of ’em

  8. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Best Cities of 3.0. is this even a debate? Gooey, thick, and funky.

  9. SillyWilly Says:

    @G-dad

    thanks a lot!

    my email is falkwilt AT gmail if you need to get a hold of me.

  10. Gavinsdad Says:

    I got yr contacts boys

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    i’ll be there Duder. Can’t wait to meet everybody. The last one in Ohio was a blast. Be safe everybody.

  12. El Duderino Says:

    The frequency of Fluffhead is starting to bum me out a little

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    @El Dude

    I am just moving into a new apartment here in Madison.

    Lease runs up Saturday the 14th and I will be at Alpine, so I have to check out before Deer Creek.

    Im considering this part of my touring because it has to happen before I see Phish.

    Not bad packing to last night’s show!

  14. Jtran Says:

    @Gdad

    I got mine yesterday, but I’m still just trying to find 1 more for Silly, but really if anything comes up that I get the chance to buy I’m going to jump on it. Thanks a lot though.

    Yea Palmer that Cities was great.

  15. Jtran Says:

    @weekapaug

    Rumor? Or pretty good source?

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    12th post on here http://phantasytour.com/phish/boards_thread.cgi?threadID=2405947

  17. Gavinsdad Says:

    Willowed – I received your letter today. Such a pretty envelope! Thanks again man.

  18. KWL Says:

    sup folks? looks like a smoker last night… just hitting play on yawningdrone

  19. willowed Says:

    You got it Gdad
    Glad they made it!!

  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    if you want to hear last night’s show, click on that link

  21. kayatosh Says:

    stream last night was money. few drop outs, but then it owuld reset and be good for a song or two. cities was $$$ and easily the highlight of set one. Gin got cool too.

    set II: didn’t hear RnR, ghost went deep and then got circumcised. simple was $$$ and the highlight of the show. a 6/25 Light esque jam toward the end. went to bed after SOL.

    dling taylor C now.

  22. Leo Weaver Says:

    Morning folks! Locked and loaded with yawningdrone and hippiespeedball. Looks like my kinda show last night. Listened to some of the first set on the stream (which by the way, was very good except the whole start/stop thing). Gonna dig out all my gear for Deer Creek today, make sure everything’s in working order.

  23. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    nvmd, it’s gone now

  24. Leo Weaver Says:

    @Dude…wondered if you guys enjoyed any of last night’s light show. Shit was popping everywhere…we couldn’t see it very well due to the trees, etc, but should’ve been great viewing for y’all.

  25. Leo Weaver Says:

    Yawningdrone that site @Df

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