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.

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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.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/ph2010-08-06t05.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/ph2010-08-06t06.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

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. kenny powers Says:

    @ T3 – thanks for the link, i love that shit!

    @ sumo – tell me about, only time i’ve been to that venue was my second Phish show, 11/3/94

  2. kayatosh Says:

    @LW: tough for most sets to hang with 8/12 set II.

  3. whole tour! Says:

    good times indeed. had some bane called ”goofy grape” at that coral sky show. never seen anything like it since fall 96. it was out of this world.

  4. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    phish if you don’t release the dates today i’m not going.

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “Bitches Brew is about the all time best kid’s music CD”

    i second this

  6. lastwaltzer Says:

    fucking Canadians, all impatient and shit.

  7. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    yessir

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i’ll be fine if they would just put up the DWD>WTU video already

    seems they’re too busy trying to market this TAB thing. more ’99 and ’00 and ’97 and ’98 SBD PLEASE

  9. cotuitkid Says:

    @waltz

    agreed. after the show, hopped in the car and on the radio is Carrie-Anne. too funny.

  10. lastwaltzer Says:

    “seems they’re too busy trying to market this TAB thing. more ’93 and ’94 and ’95 and ’97 SBD PLEASE”DF

    Fixed for you, free of charge. Now go eat some poutine.

  11. lastwaltzer Says:

    @couit,

    how is ravinia? I have lived here for almost seven years and have never ventured out there.

  12. kayatosh Says:

    call me the 8/13 pimp, but set II through meatstick is $$$.

  13. Guyute711 Says:

    How were the Smokies lw?

  14. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    no way LW, ’93 and ’94 SBDs are everywhere. ’99 and ’00 we basically only have the ones they released officially, which is like 4 of them

  15. El Duderino Says:

    i love how one of the youngest on the board tells others what’s up…

    Priceless!

  16. Guyute711 Says:

    Duderino, good view for the game Saturday?

  17. KWL Says:

    wake & bake at 1130 am. down time is freaking great

    well done today Miner

  18. kayatosh Says:

    embarrassed with failure I try to reverse the course that my tread has already traversed.

    brilliant.

  19. KWL Says:

    harpuafsb’s vids of the JBs are quite choice

  20. lastwaltzer Says:

    @guyute,

    Incredible. If you get the chance I can’t recommend it enough. When you get up on top of those mountains it is like nothing I’ve seen, simply breathtaking to see six to seven separate mountain ridges, top it off with that fog rolling over the summits. UNREAL. Also got up close and personal with three black bears (two full grown and one cub).

    That being said the town of Gatlinburg (right outside the park) is a place I recommend no human ever set foot in. Scary shit, corn dogs, arcades, wax museums and taffy as far as the eye can see. The only upside was that I got to watch some Amish on Rumspringa play Mortal Kombat.

  21. kayatosh Says:

    gotta run. kid duty.

    peace.

  22. Robear Says:

    top of the mornin’ all.

    Read back yesterday.

    “reading back over the day….think we might need some more females speaking up on this board to keep us from going all lord of the flies
    over a nerd band
    just a thought
    not that i don’t love the passion here”

    All I can say is, Nagarjuna FTW!

  23. KWL Says:

    so will aw be back today or tomorrow?

    have a feeling zz is gone for good, or at least a few months

  24. cotuitkid Says:

    @ waltz

    Ravinia is actually pretty cool. My in-laws are platinum members or something like that so they get a lot of good tix (that’s how i got CSN). The pavilion is nice, although a bit stodgy. the acts usually aren’t that great though.

    the lawn is pretty nice. i like going up when the symphony is playing, laying out a big blanket, and just relaxing with my wife and two-year old. not a bad way to spend a summer evening. getting in and out can be a bit of hassle sometimes.

  25. lastwaltzer Says:

    Yesterday was a shit show on here for sure.

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