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. ChrisFromPhilly Says:

    good evening all…just caught up on today’s posts, those few pages of fall dates really got me amped up and ready for the fall (the best season).

    i hope i get to meet and meet up again with many of you…prob only shootin for AC though!

  2. angryjoggerz Says:


    ^ Link to wave one of kids music stuff for those interested

  3. kayatosh Says:

    @vegas wolfman’s: my feelings re. alpine and jb are congruent with yours — blown away by the quantum leap from leg I.

    @chris from philly: good to see you on here. If you’re Gdad’s friend who I met at hershey and maybe camden, peace brother man, and i look fwd. to seeing you again, possibly ac.

  4. Nagarjuna Says:

    @gdad –

    i don’t know ward well but it seems they keep it quite…um…

    real there.

    the whole idea of law enforcement in ward seems rather comical.

  5. Absher Says:

    Ward is still the same town as always. Although w/ all the dispensaries in CO now it’s not the destination it used to be

  6. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    nice dude. some of my fav music ever. we should’ve bought 10 each though eh

  7. Mr.Palmer Says:

    @ AJ that link takes me to the homepage of mediafire. I’d love to check out those tunes for tots

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ::downloads AJ’s mix, stashes it for 20 years::

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    as a drummer, you would dig the motet. Lots of polyrythmic up in there.

    @Mr. C
    Re: Ned
    Was when I lived there but that was upwards of seven years ago now

  10. angryjoggerz Says:

    let me check again

  11. Jtran Says:


    Looks like the link was posted twice. Just copy the first half?

  12. angryjoggerz Says:


    try this

  13. kayatosh Says:

    watched that fetsival express clip. you all know that that train tour through canada was the inspiration for might as well.

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    Sorry about that.

  15. Mr.Palmer Says:

    good eye Jtran! i got it. thanks @ Aj

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i hear phish’s next festi is a train ride through canada

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    So did AW really disappear? too bad, I like that cat.

  18. Mr.Palmer Says:

    He’ll be back. Been known to take a sabbatical from time to time.

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i miss bouncin fan….

  20. butter Says:

    time makes the heart grow fonder

  21. El Duderino Says:


    guaranteed AW, Bouncin’, and poop will be back

  22. butter Says:

    i heard bouncin is on string cheese tour

  23. Jtran Says:

    @Silly, if you’re around


    Madison rumored date. Who knows?

  24. Mr.Palmer Says:

    The Jan. 1 date that keeps popping up is intriguing to say the least.

    AJ- i love it already. I’m sure the little one’s will love it as well. Thanks for sharing.

  25. phoammhead Says:

    the following is old news to us here at the bb . . .


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