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. fee4zy Says:

    I miss what I call “Egg McMao” those carts that sell those egg crepe things with crispy things and scallions. Those carts would be outside of Beida’s gates and we would get those for lunch all the time. Oh how I could go for one of those right now.

  2. angryjoggerz Says:

    Jiang bing. Love those. They sell them in Chinatown in CHicago now, but they are not the same unless they are in a plastic bag on the street. So good.

  3. fee4zy Says:

    Seriously email me and let me know more of what you do. Obviously you know about the Utah connection and how we have the Confucius Grant, but what are you doing in Chicago? I’m going to bed. Thanks for the great China talk. Totally brings be back.

  4. angryjoggerz Says:

    E-mail sent. Very familiar with the Confucius stuff, was the first person in USA to do it. Lets chat. Sorry everyone else for taking up the board. Carry on!

  5. halcyon Says:

    angry J

    I have a few chuang tzu books, by Thomas Merton, and Burton Watson. thay have been collecting dust on my shelves for years, and thinking about jumping into them…have you heard of these before? Any thoughts on which one to start to learn more about chuang tzu?

    One of these days I will read them. Been reading books by Dan Ariely Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, Drive by Daniel Pink, and Oliver Sachs lately

  6. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    This place connects people. In the stragest of places when you look at it right….

    Just finished carmelizing some onions for a family dinner tomorrow where we will present my daughters with their own Telluride w00k badges.

    See name for mediafire to obtain some music you will thanks me for later.

    Giving back when I can, what I can.

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Sorry everyone else for taking up the board.”

    pfffft that was cool as hell

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    I want some of those crepe things! I love street food!

  9. angryjoggerz Says:

    Halcyon, I would say just go for the straight up Chuang Tzu rather than books about it (not familiar with the ones you listed, are they maybe different translations). I find the Chuang Tzu (sorry, Zhuang Zi) very accessible and life-based, more so than the Dao de Jing, but that may be a matter of taste. There are some Zhuang Zi fans on the board, for sure, can I get a hell yeah Dr. P?

  10. Jtran Says:

    Forgot @fee lived in Utah. Lived in Alta last winter, really fun times.

    May be making the move “for good” this fall if job situation doesn’t work out here.

  11. angryjoggerz Says:

    jiang bing guo zi = the best street food ever


  12. halcyon Says:

    Thanks Angry J…..I think I will start with Thomas Merton first…his seems to be a translation of his writings….

    Cool dialog earlier….I will have to reread some of this in the am….

    Peace and Love BB

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    hm that looks amazing but street food is a pretty tough category to rep best ever

    just south from there you got banh mi, khao man gai and pho just for starters…

    damn now I am HUNGRY

  14. Mr.Miner Says:


    agreed, the clifford ball is the mother of all releases…best editing, sound, etc…if they are all gonna be that good (which they traditionally haven’t) bring em!

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    BEST EVER, hahaha.

    G’night all.

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    Halcyon, that translation seems to get good marks. Think of Zhuang Zi as a prankster, because he very much was. Lots of fun to be had in that text, enjoy!

  17. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Don’t forget soylent green, C.

    That is also part of the family dinner tomorrow night as well.

    Street cart food preference is subjective and in most instances directly related to tangible experience.

    I am not an eggs person, mostly. something about the embryo of another species. That said, the crepe in shanghai looked good, but I am like anythign with hot sauce or coconut on it.

    Bedtime for Bonzo

  18. hoedown Says:

    Any recommendations of recent stuff to spin? I’m working a night shift and am bored out of my mind. Only 6 more hours…uh…

  19. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    see my name link for a mediafire folder to some new music

  20. hoedown Says:

    @bezerker, I’m in the field and only have my ipod, so I can’t download anything. Thanks though, I’ll check it out later. Looking for hidden goodies from Leg 2. I’ve covered most of the big jams already.

  21. vtbowie89 Says:

    @hoedown….In addition to just giving leg 2 a solid run thru for yo’ ears, my recommendation is to get ahold of the late nite set from Yonder Mt. @ Allgood this summer. The fact that an “acoustic” band had the place off the hook at 3am speaks volumes.

  22. hoedown Says:

    Cool thanks. I’ll check it out.

  23. vtbowie89 Says:

    and @Miner, can you even IMAGINE the Clifford Ball on Blu-Ray??????? My son mentioned it tonight when he and I watched some of day 1 thru my upconvert dvd on the “too small” lcd hdtv we have in our kitchen while cooking dinner and chilling out before the Red Sox came on….he was like, “Dad, can you do us a favor and just get this thing on Blu-Ray?!? ” Apparently 720p doesnt cut it for my little mini-Trey…still lmfao.

  24. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    any one still up round these parts?

  25. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:


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