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. El Duderino Says:

    @ Mikey

    Good view of all the hotties going to the game…

    Ground Zero

  2. negev79 Says:

    @Robear & Nagarjuna – I’m here, but I am only one girl! Lol, there is only so much I can do. You boy nerds are bringing me down with you.

    I have been lurking but not commenting, as I am trying to get my shit together this week to start my new job next week. So I will be around when I can.

    All I have time for is a “play nice now boys.”

    Best I can do!

    🙂 I’ll check back later.

  3. whole tour! Says:

    new video clip!

    8.6 46 days> tube!

  4. lastwaltzer Says:

    I gotta say that was very cool on phish’s part to hire there own camera crew for the greek.


    now release that LIGHT video damn it! 😉

  5. BeantownBoy Says:

    @ Sumodie

    Thanks for the Amherst hotel recs.
    I’ll probably lock up my reservation later today.

    I’ve been dreamin’ about a New England fall run like this since the last one I did in 95 when I was 15. Now being able to do it again at 30 as a prelude to Fist Pump ‘Ween makes me smile from ear to ear.

  6. Guyute711 Says:

    Damn lw, hope you were packing when you saw the bears. I have unfortunately not done anything in the mountains since moving to the south. El Dude, Leo and I were talking about a possible camping trip but we better get it in soon if we want to do it this year.

  7. lastwaltzer Says:


    Surprisingly enough, the bears could have cared less about us. So many people visit the park that they’ve grown used to humans, which actually endangers their survival since some grow dependent on raiding campsites and finding garbage left behind on the trail.

    You should definitely find the time to get up there, well worth the trip.

    What part of the country are you originally from?

  8. whole tour! Says:

    i might be NC bound next month.
    visit my peeps in asheville.
    i’ll be sure to let the charlotte crew know if i’m up that way.

  9. El Duderino Says:

    @ Mikey

    with your new machine on the way any day now and with it’s blu-ray capabilities, I’m making you responsible for getting these BD dvd’s out to the masses…

  10. Nagarjuna Says:

    @negev – of course it can’t fall on your shoulders alone to keep us in line. but any yang to our yin is much appreciated. 🙂

    good luck with your new job!

    Robear – glad to see we’re on the same page…

  11. El Duderino Says:

    @ LW

    I’m pretty sure the camera crew is at every show now.

  12. kenny powers Says:

    i can’t believe i could go to 3 of those fall venues and drive back home under 2 hours.

  13. Guyute711 Says:

    I’m from Upstate NY so I have spent some time in the Adirondacks, Catskills and been in Vermont a few times. I have heard the mountains are better and bigger down here. That’s crazy that they didn’t care about you. I have heard black bears are the ones you have to watch out for.

  14. El Duderino Says:

    i’m watching this 7/02/10 YEM video…

    Once Trey goes in with the whale they flash to Mike…
    You can literally see him cringe…

  15. kenny powers Says:

    El Dude

    I second that motion! I will send B&P! I still plan on getting one of those WD HD media players but it’s always nice to spare the 30 GB of space on the hard drive for a show on disc…

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    “now release that LIGHT video damn it!”

    yeah I downloaded all the Vimeo phish vids and a bunch of the HD stuff and made a trial DVD of it…obv the pro-shot vimeo stuff looks and sounds great…as you would expect the fan-shot stuff is 50/50, and unfortunately none of the Light vids that are up so far have worthy audio quality…

  17. Guyute711 Says:

    El Dude is putting me to work already. I am dying for that thing to arrive. It’s not supposed to ship until next Monday. Now I am going to have to buy a wireless modem.

  18. Guyute711 Says:

    Let us know. My buddy will be here on the 30th and then he will be in J-ville shortly after. He may be getting in touch for a proper bane connection.

  19. Leo Weaver Says:

    @lw…glad to hear you had a good time in the Smokies. I thought about you and J-dawg every time I saw the weather radar covered in green and yellow up that way. It really is beautiful country…a sublime landscape, very different than most mountain ares most folks are familiar with. Funny thing…on the way to DC when we passed the exit for Gatlinburg, I told Dude, Guyute, and Marshall, “Don’t go down that road…it’s the worst America has to offer,” or something like that. It truly is a bad place…redneckness reigns! But the hills beyond, wow!

    @WT…let us know when you’ll be passing through, we’ll grab some beers, etc.

  20. whole tour! Says:

    @mr c – i’d love to get a copy of that dvd.

  21. El Duderino Says:

    You want the Linksys E2000


  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    @wt, the first one I did was a rough, with a bunch of fan shot stuff mixed in as I mentioned, and about half of that fan-shot stuff needs to go. I’ll sub in some of the superb HD Jones Beach vids, I think, remaster it, and burn 4 or 5 copies to send to people…not sure the timeframe…might give them a week or so to come up off some more vids from the tour

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    I have one o them Linksys routers

    it’s decent

  24. Guyute711 Says:

    New Phish video released.
    I was also pimping the show,”It’s always Sunny in Philadelphia”, at DC. Check this out people. The new season premiers Sept 16th on FX at 10PM.

  25. Robear Says:

    we need the Team Hood vids from Leg II.

    was that ’46 days > Tube’ from 8/7 maybe?

    hi negev. make sure your new job allows BB access!

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