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. BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah and the Slave encore sounded like it had an extra something to it for sure

  2. Uncle Ebeneezer Says:

    felt like fluff after the mango was a statement from trey, on point and with purpose…Julius rocked but I used the time to beat the lines before encore…came back and said how cool it’d be to get contact after that fluff, and sure enough the high fives ensued. nice subliminal message from the band to remind up that we’re just slaves to the road so buckle up and be safe with those things on your car that make contact with the road

  3. BrandonKayda Says:

    Well I’m glad you had a great time man. Have a good one

  4. angryjoggerz Says:

    Off to Alpine in a few hours, grocery stop for ice and beers and such. Cloudy and hot, but gonna clear up. Those who are on their way, remember to bring some bug spray, apparently the mosquitos are the size of private jets and they are hungry for wook blood.

  5. ThePigSong Says:

    I hope the drive isn’t to brutal for the kids making the trek today.

    Always remeber: Drive fast & take chances.

  6. albert walker Says:

    last night kinda looks like a clunker on paper.

    worked through all of 8/7 last night. fuckin great set. probably my favorite I’ve caught in 30 3.0 shows.

    nothing sloppy and every jam gets the creative treatment other than Wilson.

    Almost feels like chasing Light is over now. Hard to see a better version. The whole thing is just so tight and everyone is on the same page throughout. several distinct sections each cohesive with the prior but very interesting on their own.

    Hood is just gorgeous. love Trey playing around with looping the feeback while playing runs. several very cool full band jamming moments.

    theme could be my new favorite jam sticking to the original chord structure. Trey just rips one of his cleanest solos of 3.0.

    2001 is perfect. not too long, not too short but funky as fuck.

    Slave again is about as great a 3.0 version as it gets.

    straight $$$$$$

    off to Alpine
    be safe kids


  7. frottage Says:

    amazing meatstick > mango last night. damn.

    it was 3 against 1 for a full minute and a half. page held on to that synth nastiness long after everyone else had committed to mango.


    serious grownup shit in the cornfields

  8. Gavinsdad Says:

    Tour continues. Inspired by all u guys. My good old phish traveling buddy is a high up at a private school in Wisco. We haven’t seen him in years and he’s had some tryingtimes with his 2 children. I’m wishing him some uplifting times when he hits Alpine. Our first show together was that dec 95 Albany with the “powerdank” yem.

    Enjoy yourselves kids.

  9. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Gaviins- I know I am late on this but I have been searching for a single JB! for a while. Would love to scoop it. lionthefly at optonline dot net

  10. Spasm Waiter Says:


  11. joe Says:

    will we get new confirmed dates next week? just looked on their site, still nothing except trey cd release announcement. see that he’s using the new guitar in the TAB logo already.

  12. ThePigSong Says:

    a goodfriens of mine informed me last month that in certain circles a mango is slang for a piece of female anatomy.

    So last night the guys smoothly….ahhh nvm

  13. BrandonKayda Says:

    Good morning BB

  14. Spasm Waiter Says:

    BK- Sounds like I missed a good party on the BB last night. Waiting for spoiler or Yawning Drone to come up so I can take it in while wahing the boat. Makes a beat task pretty fun w Phresh Phish.

  15. Spasm Waiter Says:


  16. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Trye Wahs the boat. I wash it…

  17. ThePigSong Says:

    I’m seeing umphreys tonight outdoors. It’s definitely no Phish, but not a bad consolation prize.

  18. Gavinsdad Says:

    I don’t think that anyone is gonna be mad if I ask the band to hold off on playing Dirt until JB, right?

  19. Gavinsdad Says:

    Spasm – can u drop me an email? Edlooram at yahoo dot com.

    Tix went in a flurry last nite but I still may be able to sort u out.

  20. Robear Says:

    top of the mornin’ all!

    Great de-lurkings yesterday people! Welcome to the coolest Phish discussion on the intrawebs.

    Great ‘Pinot Posts’ by @ Willowed last night too!

    Looks like a great show last night. The ‘Halleys’ blue balls continue….

    Had an awesome day on the river with the lady and the kids. Life’s good!

  21. BrandonKayda Says:

    Wow this Light jam is gorgeous

  22. thedayman Says:

    show was pretty cool last night imo… lotta darker jams at the end of tracks, see 46 days, light, the segue between meatstick and mango was nuts, no one knew what the hell was going on.. light was crazy too, bringing back the original theme and then jumping back into the abyss.. contact slave encore was jammed and sweet.. all in all i thought a pretty good show

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    nice I was just about to ask what the instant reaction to last nights show was and there you go

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    fucking Mango fucking Mitch though man

    that’s some shit right there

    I been goin to shows for comin up on 25 years now and I’ve never seen a guy who could pull an uncommon song like that

    that’s the sweet one right there though, looks like, segue’d in a second set

    kudos Mitch

    you got something goin for you buddy

  25. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Gavin- You got mail. THX

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