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. themanatee Says:

    you can stream grateful dawg on netflix pretty sure

  2. El Duderino Says:

    My childhood music…

    Now take in mind that @ 10 I hitchhiked from Chicago to Monterey CA and back and @ 12 I hitchhiked from Chicago to Key West, FL with my dad.

    Jackson Brown – Late For the Sky – Running On Empty
    Joni Mitchell – Blue
    David Crosby – If I Only Could Remember My Name
    Neil Young – After The Gold Rush
    Allman Brothers Band – Fillmore East – Eat A Peach
    Grateful Dead – Grateful Dead (’71 live release)
    Humble Pie – Rockin’ The Fillmore

  3. El Duderino Says:

    Blonde On Blonde – Highway 61
    Were huge in my Pop’s house

  4. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    @El Dude,

    How old are you? Like 70? 😉

  5. El Duderino Says:

    Moody Blues – Question Of Balance – Every Good Boy Deserves Favor

  6. El Duderino Says:

    Turned 40 in February

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    El dude is so old, his childhood music was the Pappy O’Daniel Flour Hour, replete with old time-y music.

  8. El Duderino Says:

    Sgt Peppers was also big in Pop’s house.

    weird thinking about this. Music was huge in my Dad’s house. He didn’t own a TV from 1974 to 1990

  9. Bandito Says:

    @El Dude – your childhood sounds like it was pretty exciting!

  10. mr. murph Says:

    @el dude

    Now that we have a pretty good glimpse at tour dates, what are you thinking about hitting. there’s a good selection of southern dates being current carolinians and all.

  11. El Duderino Says:

    Fuckin’ A T3PO!

    I love me some Old Timey Music.

  12. kenny powers Says:

    “Now take in mind that @ 10 I hitchhiked from Chicago to Monterey CA and back and @ 12 I hitchhiked from Chicago to Key West, FL with my dad.”

    Holy shit. We lived diametrically opposed childhoods…i was watching TV, playing sports in the yard and playing video games…my Dad never really liked leaving the smallest state let alone hitchhike anywhere!

    that’s pretty neat.

  13. El Duderino Says:

    The whle Charlotte contingent + wives and SLF’s will be attending Charleston, SC. for sure.

    The Asheville/Greensboro is something I’ll be discussing with Leo W. this evening.

    Asheville will work better… We could drop off the women in Charlotte on our way to Asheville

  14. El Duderino Says:

    This was wile getting into the Speed Skating thing too. I started when I was 10 @ that as well.

    I had a very unique childhood witha very loving, cool, extreme hippie Dad

  15. El Duderino Says:

    It did have it’s negative effects too though…

    Nothings perfect

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    @el dude and I come from generally backgrounds are are right around the same age

    my folks hit both sides of the 60’s revolutionary spectrum as defined by the paths they took after 1970, when all the shit came down

    my mom stopped doing dope and got heavily into politics – the radical activist/intellectual/back to the land side of things, her friends were union organizers, early organic farmers and environmental scientists…

    my dad stopped doing politics and got heavily into the dope side…his friends were all outlaws…not the charming/exciting kind, but the actual kind…

  17. makisupaMan Says:

    Thanks Mr. Miner. Well articulated piece here. Unbridled enthusiasm indeed.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    generally similar* backgrounds

  19. mr. murph Says:

    Those shows do look tasty. Cville again would be sweet but I have class

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    sounds like El Dude’s dad took the middle path

    those were always the hippies I liked best, honestly

    My mom’s friends were kind of boring in a they-used-to-be-cool way (though most of them still smoked weed) and my dad and his friends were all crazy as hell

    split the difference and you’ve got something good

  21. El Duderino Says:

    My mother kinda freaked and by ’75 my folks were divorced.
    My mother wanting the sub-urb life with the white picket fence and all.

    My father wanted to get into lsd, rock and roll, screwing young chicks, and getting involved with his Union Local for Cement Mason’s…

    He picked me up every Friday and dropped me off every sunday…
    He Was always there… I’m grateful for that

  22. El Duderino Says:

    Hippie with a Harley Mr. C

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    yeah man that’s cool

    my dad went 100% off the deep end

    mom kicked him out when he wouldn’t stop doing heavy criminal stuff after I was born, like running huge deals out of the house

    I hardly saw him at all til I was grown, then I moved closer to try to get to know him and learned exactly how far down that path he’d gone…not good…though I learned a lot of things that were professionally useful to me at the time.

    it’s all good now though. everyone’s all on the right path and has been for many moons.

  24. mr. murph Says:

    Growing up in the 90s seems lame compared to the 60s and 70s. Though I did get a small taste of phish when I was little and I didn’t even know. I had been quoting tweezer all my life until I finally saw them and realized. What a mind fuck.

  25. kenny powers Says:

    brand new Jason Sobel transfers of the Hampton ’03 run just popped up on Etree. Neumann u89i. some rough moments in those shows but hey, always good to check out new sources.

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