It’s Only Getting Better

8.10.10 -Telluride (Wendy Rogell)

In a start-to-finish massacre, Phish took New York by storm last night, dropping a two-set showcase that oozed creativity all night long. Opening with “Fluffhead” for the first time since Hampton, last night in Jones Beach had a special feel early on. And once they started, they simply never stopped, playing a show with no lulls whatsoever, and some of the most impressive full-band improv we’ve heard this tour. Over this summer, the entire band has gelled as a whole in large part due to the re-evolution of Trey Anastasio. During last night’s second set, our front man never fell back on cliched phrasings or licks, pushing himself by playing intricate leads woven into the fabric of the jams instead of wailing away on top of them. Illustrated throughout the second set, Big Red is back an ready for business, and as Trey goes, so does Phish – a sign of positive things to come. After listening back to this second set after the show, it became quickly apparent that the band has only brighter days ahead. That full-on sense of balls-to-the-wall Phish creativity overtook the metro area last night it hadn’t in a long time.

Official Jones Beach Poster

The first set brought as much heat as any, featuring non-stop action and several, smoking structured jams. While the band struggled through more than a few parts of “Fluffhead,” the shock-value opener had everyone flying high from the get go, and as the band tackled “Kill Devil Falls,” they had hit the ground running. After a slower take on their new-school track, the set took a decided turn for the old-school in a devastating run of songs that speaks for itself. “Cities,” “Funky Bitch,” “Wilson,” Reba,” “Walk Away,” “Wolfman’s,” “Possum.” And that was the entire set. With tightly-wound and full-on playing throughout each and every song, the band clearly clicked from moment one and their connection carried throughout the night. Though non-stop action ran through the entire frame, and Trey had some fun with a toy guitar during “Wilson,” the indelible moments of groove came in “Cities,” “Reba,” and “Wolfman’s.” While “Cities” didn’t approach Greek status, it did bring liquid textures to the opening frame and provided an idyllic lead-in for a stellar “Reba.” Within the context of this one jam, it is hard to say who stood out the most, a tell-tale sign of an awesome effort by the Phish. Trey’s intricate ideas, Mike and Fishman’s delicate pocket, and Page’s rolling pastures of piano rolled into blissful magic carpet ride over Long Island Sound. Topping the set with a fierce triumvirate of “Walk Away” – with the new end groove, a swank “Wolfman’s” and blistering “Possum,” the band blazed a first set trail of fire that would only grow hotter come the second half.

8.10.10 (W.Rogell)

Building on the retro-vibe that permeated the opening stanza, Phish stepped onstage and opened the second set with “Lengthwise > Maze.” Placing “Lengthwise” in a significant slot for the first time in ages, this version was more than novelty as Fishman coaxed the song into “Maze,” evoking the psychedelia of the early ’90s. Another obliterating version of the renewed song kicked of the second set, giving an nod to the two other scintillating “Mazes” from August. Using “Halley’s” as a launchpad into an overstuffed “Mike’s Groove,” Phish sandwiched four creative jams within their musical suite, and one became an instant classic that sits along the many top-shelf offerings from August 2010.

While Phish tore apart a succinct “Mike’s,” once they segued into “Simple” the musical adventure truly began. Taking the second consecutive “Simple” jam down an original path, Phish broke through into quasi-digital territory as the entire band came together with notes that wrapped around each other in an ethereal, cyclical pattern. Fishman’s outstanding progress throughout this summer was evidenced in the morphing, delicate backdrops provided for this excursion, not to mention his work on every jam in the show. Pushing themselves out of the box, Phish seemed primed to explore new places last night as they moved into the usually-benign “Backwards Down the Number Line.” But last night was a different story all together.

8.7.10 (W.Rogell)

In the song’s short history, Phish has now blown out the song exactly four times. But differing from ’09’s versions in Chicago and SPAC, and Blossom’s secret mission in June, last night’s summer highlight actually built out of the “Number Line” jam, itself, as opposed to dropping into a completely separate realm to explore. Taking the song’s actual theme on a ride like never before, all four members of the band played as fluidly and creatively as they have all summer in crafting an immediate epic. Riding through a multi-faceted odyssey, the band once again crafted an forward looking piece of collective patience and acumen. As the jam organically progressed through many blossoms of beauty, the band subtly teased “Maze” more than a few times, en route to a spectacular second set centerpiece. Once again, all members shone amidst this jam, crawling through creative wormholes like all major Phish jams should. Fishman’s break-neck and ever-changing beats on this piece reminded us of a troll of old; one who has crawled out from under the bridge and began using his kit like a rhythmic romper room once again. This jam is a true benchmark of Phish’s progress this summer; get in on your headphones now.

8.13.10 (M.Stein)

Coming down beautifully into “Caspian,” Trey took a minimalist perspective on this joint, knitting a jam with low key licks instead of wailing in traditional fashion. The band followed his lead and laid back in a divergent and refreshing take on the second-set anthem. Likening his playing throughout the set, Trey wove creative lead melodies into the fabric of the music in an ego-less display of axemanship. Instead of finishing the song, the band’s creativity led them outwards into a musical doily that brought memories of Phil and Friend’s version at the Warfield of April ’99. Transforming the open jam into “Rock and Roll,” Phish finally used the eternal set-opener in a far more spontaneous placement. Riding the jam into a legitimate shred session, the band took the cover on an adrenalized mid-set jaunt. After an extended period of psychedelia, “Rock and Roll” gave the show a shot of energy in the form of a searing throw down. And lest anything be standard last night, the band took their cover for a rollicking ride before coming back to the refrain that soon morphed into a vocal-ambient bridge into “Weekapaug.”

8.10.10 (G.Lucas)

Capping the “Mike’s Sandwich” with a totally original “Weekapaug,” Phish proved again that they are looking for new ways to go about things. Much like “Caspian,” Trey left his signature solos behind in favor of more intricate, yet shredding, leads that kept the show pumping with new ideas. This type of playing facilitates more full band interplay, as Trey, himself, brings far more original ideas to the table. Getting straight percussive on the jam, this “Weekapaug” entered a furious territory that we haven’t seen from the song, despite its summer revival. Often putting a lens of their most successful pieces of the summer, one couldn’t help think about the new life that has been breathed into the “Weekapaug” while listening to, perhaps, the greatest version of the season. Punctuating the frame with a “Loving Cup” that simply slayed, Phish had just finished quite the set of music.

Hitting on all cylinders from Alpine, and moving full-speed into Jones Beach, Phish are certainly hitting a new stride as this tour comes to an end – a beautiful omen for fall. With only one show left on their summer slate all signs point to a mid-week blowout tonight at Jones Beach for the tour finale. With a clean slate and their only east coast audience of the month, anything is possible. And based on how Phish played last night, the possibilities are endless. If we are looking at concerts at games, last night was a huge win for the Phish, and tomorrow they look to sweep their twin bill in the Big Apple. Be there…

I: Fluffhead, Kill Devil Falls, Cities, Funky Bitch, Wilson*, Reba, Walk Away, Wolfman’s Brother, Possum

II: Lengthwise > Maze, Halley’s Comet > Mike’s Song > Simple > Backwards Down the Number Line > Prince Caspian > Rock and Roll > Weekapaug Groove, Loving Cup

E: Show of Life, Golgi Apparatus

* w/ toy guitar

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1,354 Responses to “It’s Only Getting Better”

  1. angryjoggerz Says:

    So, I hear these good streams are actually coming from tapers, can anyone confirm this? I mean, it makes sense that a taper could just do live broadcast, though I do not think that the band would be too down. I guess they could just eliminate the problem by doing their own stream from the soundboard, though that raises questions about if tapers can or cannot still do it. Discuss.

  2. halcyon Says:


    I had to tell my parents something similar, and while it wasn’t an incident with the law (though it did make High Times 🙂 ) It was a sobering experience.

    Thoughts are with you. Keep your chin up. Brighter days will be ahead.

  3. halcyon Says:


    ZMan streamed last night for sure. At the end of the show you can hear him rattling off the tech specs of his rigs.

  4. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    mornin’ all

    shitty luck, Willy. ::good vibes headed your way:: you’ll get this sorted out and then use it to help change the laws later on. I can feel it.


    fun as shit show last night from the get go. as mentioned above, lots of NY shout outs in the song choices. no breathers, no ballads, no bathroom break songs. just a total full band throwdown.

    and if anyone thinks the toy guitar thing was stupid or just silly phish antics, check out trey’s playing in the final build after he returns to the ‘doc. he plays the exact same chords that the toy guitar was playing. pretty shreddy for a little piece of plastic!

    Number Line and simple jams pwned. RnR was a great rocking romp. miner’s post hits the nail on pretty much everything here. let’s go big and dirty again tonight!

    BBers on lot. I took the wife out for anniversary dinner last night and rolled in kind of late. we made a few laps of the lot but I never found you all. some guy offered to trade me a football for my series one phish thoughts t-shirt though. to bad it wasn’t a footbell. that I would’ve traded for

  5. Nagarjuna Says:

    So happy about this band and show. So sad about Silly being messed with by our country’s willingness to deny the most basic rights to farm and control our own bodies/minds.

    Total injustice. Let my people go.

    Hang in there man.

  6. fat bastard Says:

    halycon where do i go for that money stream?

  7. Little Buddy Says:


    I just sent you an email. You will be okay. We can get into more details later over email. I have some experience with PA. Fuckers.

  8. halcyon Says:


    Hoodstream and listened to taper420’s stream. It was spot on about 85 – 90% of the whole show

  9. fat bastard Says:


  10. Nagarjuna Says:

    Want to send a thank you gift to taper420. Precious.

  11. Luther T. Justice Says:

    I thought your incident was in that great f’in state. I’m sure SW will appreciate your insight.

  12. punkmug Says:

    Hoodstream is reporting that Taper420 needs a ticket tonight. If anyone has a connection we need to get him in there contact HS if you have a lead for him. Couch tour needs his stream was that some serious quality streaming audio last night.

  13. angryjoggerz Says:

    Hoodstream on FB just said that Taper420 is looking for a ticket for tonight, and is looking for a taper ticket, so I guess that answers that.

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    haha, at punkmug

  15. SillyWilly Says:



    i don’t think it’s got to me yet though.

    falkwilt AT gmail

  16. InAMinute Says:

    Make sure to give the Walk Away a listen – truly increidble. Show was absolutely a scorcher. Cover city, though – Cities, Funky Bitch, Walk Away, Rock and Roll, Loving Cup. The creativity in the second set was just as good as the creativity in the first set – and that’s saying something. Really fun stuff – and a perfect day to boot.

  17. Litteringandd Says:

    Fall Dates? give me rumors if need be

  18. jdub Says:

    Not to speak for him but Sumo had an extra as of last night. Really great to hear that you guys got a nice stream last night. The evolution of the audience stream is here.

  19. fat bastard Says:

    my one complaint so far about 2010…no corina? that miami version is unbelievable! lose sample and give me corina

  20. alumni blues Says:

    Silly, we’ve all been there before trust me.
    All will be well. It will be a hassle for sure, but life goes on…and before you know it, this will be all behind you.

  21. El Duderino Says:

    @ silly

    If you’re gonna bane this will happen. It sucks but it’s life unfortunately.
    You’ll be fine. It’s just gonna sting for a while.

  22. shpongleyez Says:

    Wow, Harry. Goosebumps. I love those driving and Phish moments. Awesome!

  23. Little Buddy Says:


    I had your email address wrong, but got it right now. I will send another one with my phone number bc it might be easier to talk about this on the phone.

  24. El Duderino Says:

    @ silly

    So I’m thinking a glass pipe and a quarter? Right?

    If so this is no big deal. They’re gonna be dicks. Your a great kid. Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.


  25. KWL Says:

    Special night last night

    Have gone into day 2 of both my runs this leg completely satisfied and feeling that the rest was all just a bonus, cherry on top if you will

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