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. Nagarjuna Says:

    GBOTT is my go to track to get junior grooving. then lizards to take him to the next level once he’s in the zone, with much discussion to follow (“dad, why was wilson so evil?”).

    Dan Zanes is good people too. used to take my boy to his shows in my days in the 718.

    hot buttered rum plays kid friendly but legitimately good music and smokin shows that “the whole family can enjoy”

  2. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    @Robear should be pretty psyched about the 46 Days > Tube video release. The Greek 46 Days is the one he’s been pimping for a while now, right?

  3. El Duderino Says:

    Glad to hear that Mr. C

    I’m sure your very close with your Mom?

    I on the other hand am not at all. Have not spoken for 7 years…

  4. El Duderino Says:

    One of the best one chord tunes eva’ man

  5. Nagarjuna Says:

    good to hear your tales El D and C. sounds like fertile soil.

  6. Undermind Says:


    “Shawn Williams, aka “whyweigh” or “liquidgoggles” is a friend of the Phish community who was injured in a car accident on his way to Telluride, Colorado on August 8, 2010. These auctions are listed in his behalf. For more information please check the Public Service Announcements forum @ http://www.week4paug.net.”

  7. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    @Nagarjuna – show your kid the Scooby Doo with GBOTT and his mind will be blown

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @C, RE: my reason for lack of SBDs. basically what the dead are doing now

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    I have a friendly and loving but not particularly close relationship with both my folks. My dad and I basically reached peace and we are both fine with that. My mom and I are both very…well, neither one of us is the call up and chat for an hour just to catch up type. So we see each other once or twice a year, she gets all the grandkid videos, that kind of thing.

    But I am OK with being all the way across the country.

    Considering all those bridges had to be rebuilt after very thorough burnings, we’re in pretty good shape, yeah.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    well @DF

    the Dead are screwed by how thoroughly their former employees leaked the contents of the Vault into circulation. Between Betty, Healy and Dick, about 95% of what’s worth hearing is in free high quality circulation….

    so they have to be much, MUCH more careful about how they ration out the releases. You can sell upgrades of already in circ stuff if it’s s smokin’ show that needs the upgrade (e.g. 5-15-70) but there are only so many candidates in that category….

    I do know that the Phish guys, starting with Kevin, are well aware of the Dead family situation and are determined not to end up in that situation. So kudos to Kevin for being a professional and keeping a lid on the leaks. In the long run that will make all the difference.

  11. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    yep @C, the whole i remember the whole drama when the boards all got pulled from the archive, for download anyway, though it wasn’t very long ago of course. yet the dead still are coming out with more official releases than phish right now, albeit phish is now making new music yadda yadda

    though i wouldn’t blame those guys for all the boards that leaked, it was more jerry and his philosophy that the music should be free. hell if phil had his way the boards would still be on the archive

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ps. complete fillmore west box set. $1000. any takers?

  13. angryjoggerz Says:


    As promised, above is the link to my mediafire where I am putting kids music stuff together for my friends who are (mostly new) parents. If your kids hates kids music or is too cool for it, skip it. If not, help yourself. I have a 10 month old and we play everything for her, but honestly, she likes a lot of kids stuff that is fun and that has “clap your hands” and stuff in it, so we go with it. The Putumayo stuff just sounds like stuff we might be listening to anyway, so it is all good. Will keep adding stuff as I find it or upload it from cd. Enjoy, and have fun dancing with your little ones.

  14. Nagarjuna Says:

    @ramblin –

    Is GBOTT/Scooby for real? saw some sort of scooby/scrappy debate recently but didn’t have a chance to catch the details. sounds like a mindbender…

  15. whole tour! Says:

    Sorry to hear about Shawn William’s accident. I know i’ve seen his concert photography before. My condolances to his family and i hope he gets well soon.

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    Oh, and Yo Gabba Gabba is just plain good. The tour is coming to CHicago with Biz Markie, but our little one is too small. Would it be wrong to go without her?

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    @DF: with all love and respect

    “though i wouldn’t blame those guys for all the boards that leaked, it was more jerry and his philosophy that the music should be free. hell if phil had his way the boards would still be on the archive”

    neither of those statements is really true at all. Phil may be playing a double game now, talking about giving things away, but in reality he’s been a policy driver all along since becoming active again in ’99. And as for the boards that leaked, the free music philosophy was about the AUD recordings. The SBDs were supposed to be strictly proprietary, period, all the way down the line.

    I don’t blame the employees; I blame the vampires who preyed on their human weaknesses, and are now covered in glory by the Deadhead community for putting what should have been the band’s legacy into public circulation.

    And yes, I love getting all the free soundboards too.

    “Can’t talk to you without talking to me,
    we’re guilty of the same old thing”

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    …and unfortunately that’s as far as I can go in a public forum

    but I know all the brutal details of those “leak” transactions

    ugly stuff top to bottom

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    hmm i thought the SBDs on the archive were approved by the band and just the official releases weren’t allowed? and didn’t phil release a statement after they were all removed from the archive that he felt the music should be free?

  20. Undermind Says:

    Here is some of Shawn’s recent photography


  21. Josephish Says:

    finally moved into school getting super pumped for fall. any word for fall tour?

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    well yes they went back and forth on the Archive, and that was a huge PR blunder

    they should never have approved it (speaking from the bands perspective) but once they did, pulling it back started the shitstorm that dogs them to this day

    As for Phil: giving him the benefit of the doubt, which he has earned, I will assume he has changed his mind a couple of times over the years.

    Certainly at one point he was opposed to a terrible deal that the band was considering entering into…

    For the record, I don’t understand why Deadheads think they’re entitled to those SBDs. Now that it’s a fait accompli, I enjoy them, but the idea that they belong to us and not the band is just insane.

  23. Josephish Says:

    ^sorry completely off subject

  24. Josephish Says:

    reffering to my post

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’m really handcuffed discussing this here @DF. Can we table it for an in person convo sometime?

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