Leg Two: First Impressions

The Greek Theatre - 8.5.10 (Wendy Rogell)

A year and a half after hitting the stage at Hampton Coliseum on March 6, 2009, the band we know and love has returned to glory. After a triumphant second leg of summer tour that saw Fishman and Trey fully enter the zone again, Phish is once again firing on all cylinders. No longer is Mike just dropping bombs, or Trey shredding solos – a whole-band ethos has emerged in which the best live moments materialize when no single person is dominating at all. Over two weeks in August, the band displayed a new patient prowess, something we hadn’t seen thus far in this era, allowing jams to organically breathe and collectively build. This type of playing had been foreshadowed at times last year, but with their listening skills and chops fully in tow, Phish 2010 is shining brighter now and ready for the future.

8.7.10 (W.Rogell)

Not only did Phish improvise better than on any other tour since their return, all parts of their game were considerably honed. Compositions popped with accuracy, transitions often happened seamlessly, jams weren’t cut off due to impatience or lack of direction; over Leg II, we undoubtedly witnessed the next step in the re-evolution of Phish. Armed with an aurally-stunning, magic guitar (a topic for another day) and a desire to mesh with the band’s musical fabric, Trey has let his rock-star persona slide in favor of a more intricate and collaborative improvisational style. The wailing solos were not as prevalent as Red darted and dashed around Mike’s lead bass lines, while, simultaneously, toying with Fishman’s rhythms. A selfless jamming emerged from the entire band, and it was this dynamic that formed the countless stellar jams from The Greek to Jones Beach.

8.15.10 (M.Stein)

Jon Fishman had – by far – his best tour since the comeback, adding a whole ‘nother dynamic to Phish’s playing, while lighting a fire under Trey. Adhering far more to to his college philosophy of “never playing the same beat twice in a row,” the diversity and power of Fishman’s rhythmic offerings created a defining element of the band’s newest musical style. Debuted in The Greek’s “Disease” and furthered in the the next night’s “Rock and Roll,” Phish quickly introduced an original type of playing – a faster ambient music – that Fish framed with driving, yet delicate rhythms. Exploring this style throughout the tour, Mike, Trey and Page often collaborated in melodic experiments over his ever-changing beats, bringing a new facet of jamming to their expanding game.

Page’s piano figured predominantly in many maniacal jams, often bringing a retro feel to forward-looking pieces, while his use of the Rhodes was slicker than as ever, comping Trey’s minimalist sections perfectly. Mike Gordon, the man who has been there all along, continued his sonic dominance, leading and co-leading jams with masterfully unorthodox ideas. Throughout the Second Leg,  Gordeaux’s ideas often spawned the most surreal segments of improv, as others were quick to follow his lead. But the most beautiful aspect of August was that all his band members finally caught up to him; most particularly, Big Ern. Learning a more cooperative way to play together, Trey and Mike can now legitimately be called the co-leaders of Phish. And with Trey’s new guitar boasting a much fuller sound, their tones work together like peanut butter and jelly.

The Greek Theatre (Wendy Rogell)

Aside from personal progressions over the past two weeks, Phish was consistently greater than the sum of their parts – as they always have always been during their best eras. By the time Alpine and Jones Beach rolled around, that subconscious flow had returned to the band’s music, jams, sets, and shows. Gelling on another level during Alpine’s opening night, and carrying this momentum through the end of tour, Phish proved they are a “force of nature” once again; a musical tsunami that can crush you at any time. With proficiency no longer a hindrance to creativity, Phish’s unbridled enthusiasm and success over the past two weeks point to another peak era on the horizon. With a rediscovered intent and a will to explore, look out come fall tour and beyond…Phish 2012…I like the sound of that.


Jam of the Day:

Cities > Moma” 8.6.10 I

A monumental exchange of energy between Phish and their crowd, this outlandish groove-fest set the tone for the rest of tour.




8.6.2010 The Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA < Torrent

8.6.2010 The Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA < Megaupload

8.6.10 Pollock

A smoking two-set effort on the second night of tour with tour-highlights in “Cities” and “Simple.” But don’t sleep on “Rock and Roll,” another example of Phish’s newest improvisational style.

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Guyute, Ocelot, It’s Ice, Cities > The Moma Dance, Bathtub Gin, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan

II: Rock and Roll > Ghost > Mike’s Song > Simple > Backwards Down the Number Line, Show of Life, Seven Below > Weekapaug Groove, You Enjoy Myself

E: Good Times Bad Times

Source: Schoeps mk22> KC5> CMC6xt> EAA PSP-2 + Schoeps mk4v> KC5> M222> NT222> Aeta PSP-3> SD 744t (@24bit/48kHz) (Taper – ctaylor)

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729 Responses to “Leg Two: First Impressions”

  1. Robear Says:

    ::robear pictures Biggie and Pac::

    but seriously, it’s about sign and iPhone density when it comes to East vs. West, and all the things that those items imply

  2. SOAM Says:

    That idiot has caused me grief-people are like-“so that what you guys do when yous go to the phish-you get all acided up and think yous can all fly”…

    My mother in law lives down there and read about that moron and was worried for my safety..and thinking to herself -what kind of hobby does my son in law have here…drug arrests by the bundles and dudes jumping off balconies..good vibes Mom huh? and he drags my daughter there!@!!!!!

  3. Robear Says:

    too many ‘Antelope’ jersey’s on the east coast.

  4. fat bastard Says:

    how can they not hit cincy?

  5. SOAM Says:

    my bb is fucked up today,,,maybe it’s my computer

  6. angryjoggerz Says:

    how can they not hit chicago?

  7. Bandito Says:

    how can they not his seattle?

  8. BeantownBoy Says:

    University Lodge in Amherst is sold out.

    Now you know it’s real.

  9. sumodie Says:

    Planning ahead for NYE?

    I booked at the Herald Square Hotel -a low key nice place near MSG. Have stayed here before and it’s not expensive, but it does book fast

    4 nights around NYE, 2 double beds, including tax: $1237


  10. fat bastard Says:

    fav horse ever=seattle slew

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    my aunt, who I had lunch with the day of JB2 and who had never heard of phish before that lunch, has now emailed me every single article written about that jumper. that dude is not helping the case for extended familial acceptance of my obsession.

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “too many ‘Antelope’ jersey’s on the east coast.”

    i know such bandwagon jumpers. i’ve got a ‘light jersey’. and i got it last year when it was still a rookie!

  13. lastwaltzer Says:

    “how can they not hit cincy?”fb

    by takinga detour :cymbal crash followed by dead silence:

  14. tela'smuff Says:

    ordered my Droid X today – i’ve had the same phone since 2002, so you can imagine the upgrade i’m getting. any Driod X users here? Should I be as stoked as i am?

  15. lastwaltzer Says:


    have you stayed there before?

  16. halcyon Says:

    Apparently the Jones Beach jumper is being released from hospital and authorities are pressing charges.

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    DC Roggae is nice, love the last section.

  18. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    how bout page up and dancing during that 46>tube vid from the greek ha.

  19. angryjoggerz Says:

    where does one fly into to go to Amherst?

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    springfield/hartford is the closet “major” airport (and I use that term VERY loosely)

  21. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    I would like to put forth the proposition that we all get Wendy a set of orange shirts, for multiple day runs.

    Across the back it reads “Waiting on the Windowsill”

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    yep @aj, the rolling jam is lovely

    they don’t hit hte final power chords crisply but it’s close

  23. Robear Says:

    that video smokes@ phw. the crowds going berzerk. apparently Trey didn’t sprout horns for a second, like I originally thought. I must have had an obstructed view at the Greek.

  24. dusty Says:

    I am biased and jaded….and originally from philly…so watch out.

    I guess I’m used to a certain level of interest in music shows I see. JB crowds consisted of the most talkers and people on dates that I’ve every seen. I had to use the “phish shutup” line twice each nit on non-crew people trying to converse with me during mid jams. I saw one chick in high heels fist pumping the whole show…made me wonder about how my calves would feel after 4 nits in a row. At least the lack of drunks was nice. Coming from the bay area where shows are like the greek, no fire isle concerns, puffing tough and abundant positive energy, makes it really tough to enjoy that area of the country.

    mind you I was pretty burnt by JB from tour…but west coast has ruined me I think.

    Positive note for jaded me…..I had two first show in uteros this tour Greek III and JB II….one babe in arms at Greek III…one father/son at Greek II that was son’s first show with deadhead dad and berkeley crew…and one unique couple at AV I…she was on 200+ shows mostly 86-96…and he was on his tenth show. So weird to imagine that difference…at least for me.

  25. halcyon Says:


    you can also fly to albany and drive 1.25 hrs to amherst…
    or fly to Boston and drive 1.5hrs
    or hit hartford and drive 1.25 hrs

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