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. Mr. Completely Says:

    see, I knew it

    I’ll reburn that DVD once the releases taper off

    direct vimeo linkage: http://vimeo.com/14353370

  2. El Duderino Says:

    We need bug free teamhood leg 2 videos 😉

  3. voopa Says:

    My 5 year old Belkin Wireless G is showing its age…time for it to go. And/or time to replace my Comcast modem. And/or replace Comcast. Sucky.

  4. Guyute711 Says:

    Time Warner was recoomending this router.

  5. sumodie Says:

    Concert jumping spreads to Europe; total stands at 3 within a week

    “Singer Dies After Jump at Belgian Pop Festival”


  6. tela'smuff Says:


    i think this has the Big Cypress traffic jam beat.

  7. Mr. Murph Says:

    I saw that too a couple days ago on the news. Why do people do the things they do?

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    Pretty sure Greek Light vid is on the way from inside sources… also, I would count 100% on those dates being accurate (though I’ve made some cancelable reservations around them)

  9. Mr. Murph Says:

    @Miner, you think they would release 2 videos from the same show?

  10. tela'smuff Says:

    @miner – have you heard anything about a winter tour before New Years? Or is this little Oct run it, with a Gordon tour in Nov?

  11. Summer98 Says:

    Will they ever play near Seattle again?

  12. fromthetub Says:

    What’s up bb? I’m usually around too… another girl.

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    i have heard a two legged fall with this one leg and then a post thanksgiving run

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    make sure your new job allows BB access!

    “…and here’s your compensation package, which we feel is very competitive.”
    “Is there a problem?”
    “No, it’s just that…”
    “What is it? We really want you to join our team so let us know what is missing here and we’ll see what we can do.”
    “Well, the financial side looks great and I love the amount of vacation and other personal time that you allow for but…”
    “Yes, what is it? Do you want more stock options?”
    “We can talk about that later but there is one big non-starter in here for me.”
    “I need you to write in a specific rider guaranteeing unfettered access to a certain spot on the internet. Don’t worry, it’s not porn or anything lascivious like that.”
    “Um, okay… this seems like a very odd request… what’s the site?”
    “Please realize that this is non-negotiable for me. Either I get this or pursue other opportunities.”
    “Right. Well, let’s see what you are asking for and take it from there.”
    “the site is http://www.phishthoughts.com
    “phishthoughts? as in the band phish? wait a sec. you didn’t tell us you were some crunchy granola eater. I mean, we can only go so far here!”
    “It is a communal resource that provides me with a lot of the work/life balance crap your brochures speak of. you want me? then I get this. don’t question whether I’ll walk. I’m serious here.”

  15. tela'smuff Says:

    nice. thx man. so there is hope for Cincy yet.

  16. bigjig Says:

    Good morning all. @rob, yeah yesterday got a little tense up in here but no blood lost (just zzyk). Funny though Butter and I were explaining to a friend about PT and how it was actually one of the only positive boards I read and he just happens to lurk in over the weekend. Great timing.
    @sumodie-^ craziness huh? Lets hope this is not the new trend, brings a whole new side to our improvisation conversation!

  17. lastwaltzer Says:


    ” “Don’t go down that road…it’s the worst America has to offer,”

    Truer words have never been spoken :). All weekend we were trying to decide what was worse: Gatlinburg or Hollywood. Ultimately we sided with Gatlinburg only because you’d have to see it to believe were as L.A. is easily conceivable.

    That rain wasn’t all that bad though, we had one day were we weren’t able to do any hiking but the rest of the weekend we manged to dodge it. We were on the AT and luckily hit a shelter during the worst of the rain, worked out nicely, met some really friendly folks.

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    since I don’t really want to dig through the whole thread from the weekend, where did this vitriol occur (pagination appreciated)?

  19. El Duderino Says:

    @ Mikey

    The one I recommended is 4g not 2.4g plus we got one from Target for 99.99$

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    Tela’s, having been on that highway in Beijing many many times I can tell you it gets nutso. Not only is the traffic bad, the pollution settles in and basically makes you feel like you are choking.

    That having been said, I fucking love Beijing. Great city. It is the size of Belgium!

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I’m a little dissappointed that your Smokies recap didn’t include your review of Dollywood or the “As Seen on TV” store. Both are just up the road in Pigeon Forge!

  22. kenny powers Says:

    llfa @ T3

  23. El Duderino Says:

    Can’t we just Let this Lie

  24. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    @miner – an interesting article may be in all the one-timer new originals from this leg. idea? halfway to the moon? what happened to that stuff? some of those were cool songs

  25. sumodie Says:

    @bigjig: Show jumping improv, type I = you live; type II = you die

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