Creativity At The Creek

Telluride 8.10.10 (Wendy Rogell)

Phish came down from the mountains and into the cornfields of America’s heartland, returning to one of the most well loved venues on summer tour since 1995 – Deer Creek. Departing from their west coast adventure, Phish returned to the Midwestern mecca, stepping onto a conventional stage for the first time this run, but the night was anything but routine. With comfort in toe, the band felt the freedom to take improvisational risks throughout the second set, forming a flowing frame of adventure. In a tale of two sets, the band rectified a sloppy opening frame with exploratory and unique jamming throughout the second half of Deer Creek’s opening night.

8.10.10 (G.Lucas)

Breaking more than a few setlist patterns, Phish centralized several jam vehicles we’ve become used to hearing in the opening halves of shows. Using “Jibboo,” “Bathtub Gin,” and “Split Open and Melt” as significant links in last night’s second-set puzzle, and employing two bust-outs as a mid-set interlude without losing any steam, Phish brought a refreshing feel to their song choices as well as their jamming. Opening the second set with the second leg’s first “Drowned,” Phish guaranteed an exploratory jam right off the bat. Building coherently out of the song’s rock foundation, the band passed through a very brief percussive section on the way to another experiment in the uptempo ambient jamming that Phish has unveiled this tour. The band morphed into a gorgeous four-part conversation that saw Trey move between melodic and dissonant leads while Fishman kept a quick and intricate beat behind the drone landscape. Forging another step into the future, this jam turned into the newest piece of the band’s emerging sonic direction. A totally unique and experimental piece retained a beauty through Trey’s intricate and varying lines and Mike’s co-leadership. This jam likened Phish turning on their headlamps and heading out into the woods to explore the new musical forests of 2010, and coming out with another gem to put alongside the growing pile of stellar Leg II pieces.

8.9.10 (G.Lucas)

As “Drowned” came to a close, Phish resolved the darker psychedelia with a the summer grooves of “Jibboo.” Placing the spinning groove machine in the second set, Trey sat back and painted the rhythms with varying lines, playing few of of his signature licks in a song where they have become second-nature. The divergent angle on “Jibboo” added to the fun of its placement and a cathartic passage of dance music emerged. Following the song’s peak, the band dropped into a mellow groove instead of moving into the song’s ending, taking their time to build a near-seamless, surprise segue into “Bathtub Gin.” Moving as one entity, the band continued the feel-good vibe of “Jibboo” with an upbeat, melodic jam. Mike’s brought unique bass offerings throughout the climbing jam which Trey brought to the top as a rolling melodic geyser. This “Gin” fell in line with the entire opening sequence, lending an unconventional feel to the set, as Phish combined two current first-set anthems in the set’s opening triumvirate.

Continuing the positive setilst anomalies, Phish centered “My Friend” and “Buffalo Bill” as a mid-set interlude to cool down from the frame’s opening 35-minute sequence. Far more entertaining than a played-out ballad, Phish shot some fun into the middle of the set. The final downbeat of “Buffalo Bill” turned into the opening hit of “Twist’s'” first Leg Two appearance, and yet another intriguing jam. Again shying from hackneyed patterns, Trey and Fishman led the band through a delicate rendition that managed to stay relatively close to the “Twist’s” theme. Bringing only more adventure to the set, “Twist” came as a let set surprise, but there was more to come.

8.10.10 (W.Rogell)

Phish ignited the set’s final act got in the grand fashion with the first second-set “Split” since their return. Another truly exploratory piece, clearly Phish came to Deer Creek to get business done. Starting in a distinctly menacing groove, Mike and Fish drove the ship forward as Page crushed his piano, and Trey brought the jam into the abstract with diverse playing, ranging from dissonant wailing to shreddier licks. In the middle of the jam, however, the band lost focus for some moments, almost getting lost. But instead of bailing on the jam, they pushed through the rough patch and arrived in an interesting musical plane. The band used the resulting ambient passage to deconstruct the “Split” jam into nothing, landing in “Dog-Faced Boy.” Another second set bust-out bridged the set into its final punctuation – a second consecutive stunning rendition of “Harry Hood.”

The band’s patience really shone on this nuanced exploration, allowing time to depart from its every day course. Taking the celestial jam into realms uncharted, Mike offered a darker bass line amidst the astral jam that urged the band to follow. Stepping outside the box, this section blossomed into a tangent from the free-flowing piece that put a stamp on an bold and daring frame of music. At the top of the jam, the band splashed into “Golgi” to close the set with one more blast of energy.

8.10.10 (G.Lucas)

While encores are usually an afterthought at Phish shows, last night’s quadruple-encore brought far more fun than usual. Trey stepped on stage with a megaphone, and began to step to the mic for the first megaphoned “Fee” in ages. Teasing the crowd, he then backed away and pretended to put it down a couple times before commencing the song. Extending the Fee’s ending melody, Trey began whipping the megaphone around in circles a la Pete Townshend, creating a feedback loop as Mike stomped his foot bell and began his dental narration of “NO2.” Breaking out connecting elusive pieces, Trey picked up right where Mike left off, beginning the lyrics to “Kung” over the same aural textures. Taking the encore into the absurd, the band recited their nonsensical verse as they built a wall of sound around the poem. Then, busting into Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire,” the band concluded the night by ripping through their final selection.

Deer Creek Official Poster

Phish continued their forward-looking playing last night, crafting a very engaging second set filled with improvisational risks and strewn with rarities. Taking Deer Creek by storm, the band clearly loves the storied venue as much as their fan base, and last night both forces converged in a bold and distinctive experience. As tour moved past its midway point last night, Phish made it quite clear that more experiments lie ahead. And that all starts with one more night in the cornfields.

See you in a few hours…

Set I Notes: Phish opened up their Midwestern run with solid song choices, though struggled through several of them in a fairly flubby first set. Appearing for the first time of this tour were “Runaway Jim,” “Roggae,” “Cars, Trucks and Buses,” and “Sugar Shack.” The sets high points came with the “Jim” opener the mid-set “Cars, Trucks, and Buses,” and and the late-set “Wolfman’s Brother.”

I: Runaway Jim, Punch You In the Eye, Roggae, Cars Trucks Buses, Sample in a Jar, NICU, Horn, Sugar Shack, Wolfman’s Brother, Time Turns Elastic

II: Drowned > Gotta Jibboo > Bathtub Gin, My Friend, My Friend, Buffalo Bill, Twist, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Split Open and Melt* > Dog Faced Boy, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

E: Fee > NO2 > Kung, Fire

* Unfinished

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1,308 Responses to “Creativity At The Creek”

  1. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    gotta say, I really like this second set from last night. I don’t think it needed the Golgi closer, but who am I to complain? 😛

    right! forgot about that banter sign thing. but still, it was way less

    keep wondering. it makes life a lot more fun. 😉

  2. ChefBradford Says:

    ^love that “moment of FAIL”

    picture says it all, really

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    love the megaphone banter complete with siren fills

    “watch out! the cops are comin’!”
    “put it out. put it out”

  4. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    Review of last night from IndyStar reporter:

  5. ColonelJoy Says:

    The first set was flubby but beautiful, too…IMO.

    In fact, the Roggae…to that point…was the best Phish I’ve heard since 99’….that was litterally my thought…

    Note Trey’s solo in CTB….more to follow….many, many thoughts on this one!

  6. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I realized after I commented about Trey’s anniversary yesterday that I was thinking it was already today. Today is their anniversary, so expect that Summer of ’89 tonight.

  7. Cushion Convector Says:

    Thanks @phoam!

    I thought that Greek “Stage Banter” should be considered an honored request, it certainly made me chuckle and it was pretty cool regardless.

    I wonder what the word on the ground is concerning Friday the 13th phisyness my guess would be that phish defies expectations and there won’t be much strangeness/eeriness to speak of. only time will tell

  8. Diron Baker Says:

    Fee with a megaphone.. finally! I haven’t seen that since 96 ish! Good to hear last night’s set 2 was the jam filled exploration that you enjoy (Mr. Minor). It looks great! I’m saddened to have missed Punch, Drowned, My Friend, Melt and Hood… though I have to say- we were calling a Kung encore in Telluride. I would be interested to know other’s opinions of Time turns Elastic? IMHO- thank god they didn’t play that in Telluride!

  9. BTB Says:

    Dog Faced Boy

    ^makes for a happy Neemor

  10. Todd Says:

    So… will last nights Kung open the door to Gamehenge on Friday the 13th???

  11. b-rock Says:

    I’m really excited to hear this Split… I thought that one had gotten a little stale since the return, pretty much all the version follow the same slowed-down super-whale pattern before they pull it back together. Looks like this one went someplace different and interesting.

    @Colonel, what did you think in real-time? Did the Split “work”?

  12. Frycanthropist Says:


    did you ever check out the CF

    prob not considering all the quality Phish being dumped right now

  13. themanatee Says:

    Golgi? Not on SBDs?

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    Good morning BB

    Glad you enjoyed the show Miner – second set was nuts

  15. marcoesq Says:

    morning all! Definitely some fun listening for the ride to work today


  16. zzyzx Says:

    Gotta be honest, I’m up to the Gin, and this set isn’t really doing much for me. It’s a standard 3.0 show, great if you were there, but otherwise… I wouldn’t swap any of the T-rides or Greek 3 for this… Probably not Greek 2 either…

  17. b-rock Says:

    @Fry – I haven’t yet, Phish is part of it plus I’m trying to wrap stuff up and get ready for a short vacation. It’s definitely on my list though — I’ll try to grab some of your stuff next week.

  18. cotuitkid Says:

    someday DC will fall on dates I can actually go. until then, I’ll just rely on Miner to make me feel like I was there.

    Friday the 13th show tonight. Any history of what they’ve done on other Friday the 13th shows?

  19. cotuitkid Says:

    i have to believe phishy things will happen tonight.

  20. Frycanthropist Says:


    that drowned jam didnt move you?
    just finished the Gin myself

    Thought the gin was a step in the right direction for that song

    Follwed by MFMF… pretty awesome

  21. zzyzx Says:

    Rarely much of interest has happened on Friday the 13th shows…

    3/13/92 is a notable exception 🙂

  22. SOAM Says:

    I’m sure the encore was cool..but NO2 AND KUNG-do next to nothing for me..throw bug in between Fee and Fire and now we are talking.

  23. zzyzx Says:

    Drowned was OK. I’m not saying this is BAD Phish. I just didn’t find myself running around the living room jumping up and down or anything.

  24. BrandonKayda Says:


    Golgi is at the end of Hood – I guess LivePhish didn’t split the two tracks accidentally

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I’m interested in hearing el dude’s thoughts on the show. a few in there he has voiced as not exactly being favorites of his (Roggae, TTE, Drowned, etc.)

    you from the cape? I’ll be in mashpee this weekend. love it down there.

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