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)

Tags: ,

729 Responses to “Leg Two: First Impressions”

  1. whole tour! Says:

    11.02.96 coral sky DVD!
    ( * )( * )’s

    my 1st show. sheds tears of joy.

    always a special night for me.

  2. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    A bitch is a female dog.

  3. whole tour! Says:




  4. lastwaltzer Says:


    CSN is a joke, especially these days. IMO there politics are a bit of a joke as well, seems like more of a marketing gimmick then legitimate anger.

    My friend was playing Ohio on the guitar the other day and when he got to the “four dead in ohio” line I couldn’t stop laughing. I mean how many people innocent people died in Vietnam, Laso and Cambodia and they’re crying about four dead in Ohio. As if its a bigger tragedy because “they were just one of us”. Just seemed ignorant to the bigger picture.

  5. kenny powers Says:

    so psyched about that DVD. the second set SBD (and matrix) has been one of my fave sounding recordings, and now we get the first set in SBD audio and we get to see Perazzo in action!

  6. lastwaltzer Says:

    Haven’t herd that show, looks good. Although I was hoping we were gonna get The Went next.

  7. whole tour! Says:

    i remember trey was very active on mini drums and zyxlaphone with wah wah pedal that night. only time i ever saw him jam the zyxlaphone.

  8. kenny powers Says:

    i’m surprised they haven’t announced the home video release of Phish3D…maybe that means they’re busy with post-production on ALL OF F8 for Blu-Ray!!!

  9. sumodie Says:

    Geez…these rumored New England dates are a locals’ wet dream

    Not to mention it’ll be soooo beautiful around here

    Then a drop down into the urban craziness of AC

    Epic possibilities….

  10. cotuitkid Says:

    @LW I agree. Wasn’t much of a fan, but hard to turn down free tix so close to anything. Might be less of a fan after last night, if that’s possible.

    Just found this on the UIC Pavilion’s event calendar.


    scroll down to November. The 20th lists “concert-TBA”. Do you think they’ll do a Leg 2 in the Midwest, or am I getting my hopes up?

  11. kenny powers Says:

    totally Sumo – the foliage will still be peaking or just after peak during those dates…just adds to the fall spirit!

  12. SOAM Says:

    Fall tour rumors are?

  13. halcyon Says:

    Fall is when I really miss living in the Northeast. Absolutely love fall in the Northeast.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    morning all

    hope the wait for dates hasn’t broken anyone yet

    be sure to check your fall foliage maps daily!

    got a few QU questions for ya. I’ll email you in a bit.

  15. whole tour! Says:

    got my fingers crossed for gainesville tour opener and 2 nights charleston.

  16. Michael Kang Says:

    Politeness tip of the day: Please don’t clip your fingernails in the workplace. That shit is nasty. Thank you.

  17. sumodie Says:

    @kp: the rumors of two Amherst dates is making me uber excited -first time I came to Amherst was to see Phish back in 1995, and now I’ve been around the Happy Valley for over 10 years

    Plus Amherst & Phish go way back in phistory…

  18. voopa Says:

    Whoops, still on my other alias from Friday.

    SOAM, check P1 of the comments.

  19. lastwaltzer Says:


    Don’t get me wrong, they definitely put out quite a few good tunes back in their day, they’ve just gone way beyond being caricatures of their former selves.

    Personally I love all of their old bands (Buffalo Springfield, Byrds, Hollies). Now that was some good shit.

  20. Leo Weaver Says:

    See you in Chucktown @WT!

  21. kayatosh Says:

    nice one today, miner.

    shout out to 8/13 set I. love that curtis loew, first w/ the ocedoc. listen to that magic wood sing.

    the ocedoc also does wonders for ocelot. the version from 8/13 is tops. rivaled only by 8/18

  22. butter Says:

    Phish’s unbridled enthusiasm and success over the past two weeks point to another peak era on the horizon.

    ^how exciting is this

  23. lastwaltzer Says:



    Just re-listened to that last night. Really good first set. Too bad the second set wasn’t up to par with 8/12. Had the sets been switched around that would have been one hell of a show.

  24. whole tour! Says:

    @leo – see you there!

  25. empire01 Says:

    nice find whole tour…love that show,
    phish always brings the heat in Florida!

    I was just listening to the 11.2.96 CnP yesterday on my boat, burning one up and was amazed once again. Good times back then.

Leave a Reply