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. kayatosh Says:

    listened to 8/12 set II last night and encore this morn. solid. twist and split through golgi. stood out for me — $$. The encore as a whole — $$. megaphone fee works. no2 and kung are just funny jaunts. fire is jagged, but still great, $$. trey tries to get gordo to take a bass solo where a rippin git solo should be and it doesn’t quite work. all held together by fishman and redeemed in the end.

    from what i heard on the stream, highlight of 8/13 was meatstick>mango.

    halley’s through maze — $$. initial impressions mind you. need much more 8/13 listening and some more 8/12 listening.

    guelah was a nice mini bustout. great tune. and a $$ version here. appreciated walls for its freshness; will have to relisten.

  2. gavinsdad Says:

    plus, and i mentioned it last nite, Mitch was looking for that Guelah since the start of leg 1. BAM….the Fly and the Mango. dude is ridiculous.

  3. phoammhead Says:

    yes, last night = good times around here 🙂

  4. kayatosh Says:

    There have been so many great slaves recently. do I need last night’s? pretty satisfied w/ 8/7 slave.

    good to keep the setlists fresh. part of the excitement of seeing phish. nice hearing some fresher tunes: guelah, axilla, walls, train song, meatstick, mango, contact

  5. phoammhead Says:

    this is hilarious!

    gotta watch this . . . 😀

  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah I don’t know how Mitch does that – but it’s really really cool.

  7. angryjoggerz Says:

    hey meeteruppers,

    I am in a black Numero Group t-shirt (has a N on the front, says Numero Group on back), tall guy, shaggy hair and beard, haha. Not sure if that helps at all. May or may not have black hat with ghost on it, depends on levels of overheatedness.

    Gonna head out in a bit, anyone who wants to come party a bit at the lodge afterwards let me know. Not sure how fast they chase people out of the lot and such.

  8. angryjoggerz Says:

    Is Mitch coming to Alpine? I hope so.

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    FWIW people were talking about Frankenstein last night I see

    has everyone seen this?

    Edgar Winter Group Frankenstein – from the Old Grey Whistle Test

    Nine minutes of mindbending awesomeness. It’s the Three Wolf Moon of rock song performances.

    “A piano, guitar, sax, and drum solo, drum battle, a what ever that machine was, and a drummer that looks like he is having a orgasm; this song has everything!”

    “When I was about 7 or 8, all I listened to was rap. I wore south pole shirts, tipped my hat sideways, all of that shit. I found this song, and then it straightened me out. Thanks, Edgar.”

  10. BrandonKayda Says:

    That video is hilarious

    “Tour? I’m not on tour. I’m just at home on my computer looking at setlists on line”

    *perplexed face*

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    amazing video @phoam

  12. angryjoggerz Says:

    Sneakin Sally tonight, mark it. Gonna be a dance party.

  13. angryjoggerz Says:

    Leo is making that Hammond his bitch!

  14. Robear Says:

    great post by @ AW last page, re: Greek 3

    had a buddy stop by and we popped on ’46 Days’ for the first time since the show. It’s a bit scary, intense and sublime, how good that little jam sounds. I wasn’t imagining things that night…..Listened to ‘Light’ with Miner and Berkeley and was blow away. Will listen again at home. Not sure what else I can add though.

    sorry this is so late to the game. heck, the crew is heading to alpine and i’m still digesting the Greek!

    you cats rule

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    Robear, beam your self to Alpine, we need you!

  16. bingosBrother Says:

    Team Mango FTMFW! Mitch was so pissed at Hampton when he went outside to look for his girl and missed Guelah. Big win with that and Mango. uncanny.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    I finally did Greek 3 front to back yesterday

    crackling sharp energy in that thing

    I loved that @aw post a few pgs back too

    he’s a lot more critical and grounded on this stuff than I am so it’s cool to hear it from him as well

  18. Robear Says:

    If I Could, I Would,

    But my kids would miss me

    hold it down AJ. I’ll bust some moves in the living room if they drop ‘Sally’. The last song by Phish I have yet to catch (that I care about)

  19. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Willow seemed to be En Fuego last night. I DO agree with his sentiments. and yeah, powders are beat. Trees rule. Wish I didn’t know that oh so well.

  20. kayatosh Says:

    8/7 is gush worthy — $$$. mainly for set II and encore (lizards>first tube is a little slice of $$$ phish).

  21. kayatosh Says:

    nice call on the sneakin, aj.

  22. Robear Says:

    spasm, good luck out on the water today. may the fish be bitin’

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    just don’t forget it once you learn it @spasm

    that shit’s for kids, straight up

  24. BrandonKayda Says:

    Wow – very surprised at the darkness in this Post-46 Days jam on 8/7. Cool stuff

  25. halcyon Says:

    Morning Everyone…

    Making it through DC1, nice show so far. Set 1 Light, Set 2 Dark….they definitely tightened things up set 2.

    3.0 is steadily building

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