Deer Creek – XX

8.7.10 (Wendy Rogell)

Phish stepped into Deer Creek last night for their 20th show in the cornfields on the 14-year anniversary of 8.13.96 – their first massive freak scene in the storied venue – and one night after playing one of their strongest second sets of tour. The likelihood of of a colossal show last night was all but a given. But instead of delving deep on this special date, Phish balanced out the exploration of Deer Creek’s opener with a tight, song-based show that never quite elevated, and featured scarce open improvisation. Holding back on most of their central jam vehicles throughout Deer Creek’s shows, Phish has set up a two-night blowout in Alpine Valley.

8.7.10 (W.Rogell)

The first set featured a slew of old school songs, including “Guelah Papyrus” for the first time this year, and “Axilla,” “I Didn’t Know” and “Curtis Loew” for the first time on this run. But the most notable song choice was the 3.0 debut of “Walls of the Cave,” a song synonymous with the post-hiatus era. The piece sounded clean, slower than remembered and quite polished, as Phish switched up the old-school vibe with this mid-set treat. The band moved through the composed half of “Walls” with notable patience, allowing the intricate piece to breathe. Moving the “Silent Trees” section with some creative, breakneck playing, Phish locked in before dropping into one of the set’s improvisational highlights in “Stash.” Containing astute, full-band interplay, Phish pushed the piece through a melodic interlude amidst the sinister build. Some fierce work from Big Ern brought this one to the top, punctuating a succinct, yet powerful version. The other pieces of structured first set improv came in a standout “Ocelot” and a blistering “Possum” that closed the first half. These two pieces provided opposite feels, as the band wove a delicate blues-rock canvas in “Ocelot” and powered through a “Possum” like a locomotive. All told, the first set provided an entertaining string of well-played songs with several high points, but unfortunately, the same vibe permeated the second set.

8.7.10 (W.Rogell)

The band delivered the second stanza in two distinct sections – first, the dark and improvisational, and second, the light and fluffy. Front-loading the set with a promising sequence of “Light > 46 Days > Maze,” the band had the show in the palm of their hand. But instead of furthering the set by taking another launch pad off the shelf, the rest of the set fizzled into a summertime sing-along with “Meatstick > Mango,” “Fluffhead,” and Julius.” Kicking off the set with “Halley’s Comet” on Deer Creek’s second night, one felt that maybe this would be the time for an outright explosion of the crowd favorite. But in typical fashion, they segued into “Light” out the shortened song for the third time this summer. Following The Greek’s best-ever version of their newest vehicle what lied behind door number two was anyone’s guess.

Opening with a spirited composed jam, the band broke “Light’s” structure and entered a rolling, bass-led segment that brought the band out into earnest experimentation. Trey and Mike hooked up immediately, providing the foundation of the piece, offering symbiotic leads. As this section of another multi-tiered “Light” came to an organic end, the band downshifted into a spacey-ambient plane and slowly climbed out of the placid textures in a sparkling cooperative conversation that highlighted the version. But as the jam began to get truly gripping, Trey took a left turn for the end of the song, bringing back its lyrical reprise. Stretching “Light’s” ending into a drone outro, the band created a sonic bridge into “46 Days.”

8.7.10 (Wendy Rogell)

Though “46 Days” has showed up in a few second sets this summer, it has rarely spurned anything beyond bombastic guitar energy. When placed in this central spot, however, one wouldn’t have been crazy to think Phish would weave an improvisational tale. But again the band sat into an energy-based version of the heavy rocker. Instead of bringing the song to a concluding vocal round like previous summer renditions Phish drifted into another section of abstract ambiance that seamlessly bled into “Maze.” This initial sequence illustrated legitimate attempts to make smoother transitions between songs, albeit via ambient passages, but that intention, alone, is a positive sign in the band’s progression. Centering “Maze” in the second set for the second time this tour, the band again tore apart another scorching version showcasing stellar solos from Page and Trey while Mike backed the music with creative bass lines, enhancing the jam’s appeal.

8.7.10 (W.Rogell)

After bringing “Maze’s” mania to a head, closing the set’s opening sequence it certainly felt like time for some gooier dance music. Taking the road less traveled, a common theme of these Deer Creek shows the band unveiled the second “Meatstick” of 2010, signaling a stylistic turn in the direction of the set. While Merriweather’s version took off into a funk excursion, this rendition never left the song’s structure, but rather oozed into a slick DJ-style segue with “Mango Song.” Layering the two summer anthems over each other, Phish took their time to craft a smooth segue once again. The rest of the set followed a similar jam-less route, pairing “Fluffhead” and “Julius” in an underwhelming ending to the show. But when the band stepped back for a double encore, they capped the night with a magnificent “Slave” in which Trey shone from the first note to last.

Deer Creek’s second night, while entertaining, never gained that undeniable momentum of memorable second sets. By assembling two creative setlists in Indiana, Phish sent their Midwestern circus up to Alpine Valley for two nights with many of their largest musical springboards ready to explode. It’s time to get dirty in dairy land…

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Guelah Papyrus, My Sweet One, Axilla, I Didn’t Know, Walls of the Cave, Stash, Train Song, Backwards Down the Number Line, Ocelot, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, Wilson, Possum

II: Halley’s Comet > Light > 46 Days > Maze, Meatstick > The Mango Song, Fluffhead, Julius

E: Contact, Slave to the Traffic Light

8.7.10 (Wendy Rogell)

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648 Responses to “Deer Creek – XX”

  1. neemor Says:

    It doesn’t matter.

  2. sumodie Says:

    we only feel bad for those who miss 1 out of 100 shows

    to think otherwise is illogical 8)

  3. neemor Says:

    I miss sumodie
    Just sayin’

  4. oneshowatatime Says:

    no, but don’t feel too sorry for me 🙂

  5. Henry Says:

    Yeah what a weekend. Just curious, what were your thoughts on lawn vs. pav?

    My friends and I had a better time and better sound night 1 on the lawn…

  6. oneshowatatime Says:

    i only got to go to 3 shows this summer but they were all at the Greek, so i’m sittin’ pretty pretty prettttty nice!

  7. sumodie Says:

    i miss neemor too

    is he jb bound perhaps?

  8. BrandonKayda Says:

    You know I thought the sound was equal on lawn and pav – a little louder down in the middle of the pavillion, but quality was about the same

  9. jdub Says:

    I don’t feel bad for Miner. The man figures out a way to see every show. He’ll get over it.

  10. Henry Says:

    Oh, see we were way out in the back left. I thought it was muffled and at some points it was hard hearing Trey.

    For instance, we barely heard the Gin peaks at all, and it was a shame cause upon relisten we learned how sick it was.

  11. oneshowatatime Says:

    hey, not to change the conversation, but going back to my question on page 2 this morning, does anyone know if wendy rogell has a website with more photos or if she sells any of these? The greek photos Miner posted today are redonkulous.

  12. Mitch Says:

    dirt AND bug in the same set. jerks. count me in the group of thumbs up for bug and dirt.

  13. Mitch Says:

    “and i srsly dislike the fact that its an involuntary reaction on my part
    thats not the way i like to roll at a show”

    ^agreed sumo. when we get a nice 2nd jam i bet we shut up. 😉

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    Oh that sucks Henry. That Gin was my *big* highlight of set I – I never thought it was going to end. That shit ripped, plain and simple. Still my favorite Gin of 2010. Total $$$. Probably danced hardest during that point.

    Well, now that I think of it, the quality was probably better second night – but that might be that Kuroda added plenty to the experience, but still

    Was I the only one who freaked out when they were on each others instruments at the start of the show? I had never heard Walfredo until then. In fact, the set didn’t really “start” for me until Stealing Time, partly because I didn’t know the first two songs they played (somebody standing next to me told me them).

    Then second set was…well, you know what happened. Detonation

  15. Gavinsdad Says:

    Wife relents. Understands the “importance” of phish in this young mans life.

  16. Gavinsdad Says:

    So yeah, JBs are ON. Heh

  17. Henry Says:

    Yeah, I had heard Walfredo and freaked when I saw it was coming.

    Mellow Mood is a favorite of mine so I was really pumped about that too.

    Highlight for me was Ghost -> JJF. Piper was awesome, but I am a diabetic and my blood sugar started to drop from dancing so much and I had to go get a gatorade right as the jam got deep in that one so I was kinda out of it at the beginning and missed the real meat.

    So for me saturday night was an overall better time.

  18. BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah the Saw It Again was deeply psychedelic, channeling the Tweezer jam from Saturday night – then that huge Piper was a total dance party. Meatstick had a nice funk jam too

    The Ghost->JJF segue floored me – the band dropped into this real nice
    groove and then Trey stepped up and started singing. My dad turned to me and said they were playing the Rolling Stones and that’s when it hit me. Huge moment energy-wise at the show. Then right back into I Saw It Again! (which they were playing with all second set) – incredible.

    You got your YEM! 😀 What’d your friends think of the show? The coolest part of that YEM was in the vocal jam when the front row started chanting “I SAW IT AGAIN” in rhythm which the band caught onto. Also the Jumpin Jack Flash teases in the jam.

    What a fucking night

  19. Robear Says:

    according to bouncin’ fan, epic ‘DWD’ with a slick segue into ‘WTU’

    band on fire.

  20. Henry Says:

    Oh they loved it. YEM was great, ending set 2 on a sunday night with YEM is the best possible way IMO

  21. Mitch Says:

    was there ever a doubt? mrs gdad seems to know whats up. she lets w00ks crash in your basement for cryin’ out loud. 😉

  22. BrandonKayda Says:

    Awesome Robear – if AW uses the word “epic”, then you know it’s hot

    Three cheers for BingosBrother getting in!!! Thanks again to UncleEbeneezer for the hookup. Great stuff. Hope he enjoyed himself

  23. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    @BK – wasn’t it Prince Nabby?

  24. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    Or maybe they’re the same person and it’s a big scam

  25. BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah it was totally PrinceNabby – my bad

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