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. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    this tour*

  2. Robear Says:

    the segue from ‘DWD > WTU’ could not have been more buttery smooth. I found the actual version of ‘WTU’ from Miami to be more engaging / intense, but what placement and timing at the Alpine.

    duder, I think MOST of the dvd errors were on my end, but yeah.

  3. snowbank Says:

    Good morning BB.

    Not sure if anyone has seen this:

  4. KWL Says:

    sure this has been discussed already

    but end of 12-31-95 mike’s (delay loop jam, appears in other places 94-5)

    end of JB light mimics this jam

    with trey playing the notes rather than producing them digitally through a pedal

    pretty slick stuff

  5. El Duderino Says:

    @ robear

    I’m just teasing you brah

  6. lastwaltzer Says:


    Pigeon Forge is a beast unlike no other. In short its Gatlinburg without a sidewalk. SCARY SHIT. Saw a replica of the Titanic which left me wondering: WHO THINKS OF THIS SHIT! I mean how many hypnosis/rock n’ roll revival shows can you fit on one street?!?!?!?!

    Although we didn’t see Dollywood, her bright smiling botoxed face was featured prominently on our room key!

  7. gavinsdad Says:


    thanks gang.

  8. Robear Says:

    Leg Two: Robear’s Impressions-

    Wendy’s pictures ROCK!

    The BB crew ROLLS!

  9. El Duderino Says:

    anyone going to do PTBM this time around???

  10. She Divides Says:

    Hey all –

    Girl #3 checking in for the day…

    I’m pretty darn excited about the circulating fall tour dates. My husband and I will be at a wedding at Red Rocks on 10/8 so it’s thrilling to think we’ll be able to catch at least 2 shows while in the Denver area!

    we are also planning on AC, and I am pushing for NYE!

    My catch up on Leg 2 continues. I’ve gone through alpine and JB – wow! Still need to go back to Greek -Telly – DC. It’s an embarrassment of riches to have this much “new” phish to listen to!

  11. Guyute711 Says:

    @El Dude,
    If they do Charleston I will definitely be doing PTBM.

  12. KWL Says:

    thanks GD

  13. KWL Says:

    i will be doing ptbm for broomfield no doubt, and likely halloween

  14. El Duderino Says:

    For summer tour PTBM was kinda a bust for most of us…
    I’m wonderin’ if it’s smart to go the regular route for fall tour?

  15. Summer98 Says:

    Pacific Northwest after Thanksgiving?

    Some desperation here.

  16. fromthetub Says:

    Robear – will you be heading back east for any fall shows? AC for us for sure. I might also head to SC if that one holds up.

    Wendy’s mom: why do you only come to visit when there’s a Phish concert involved?

    Wendy: oh… um… because it makes the visit that much more fun?

  17. halcyon Says:

    PTBM for broomfield although I am scheduled to work those days 🙁

    If I can’t get off, I will try to score tix for friends, and for the BB

    Put in time to go to NY in Dec. Definitely will try for 1-2 of those nights at MSG. Can’t do NYE, that is reserved for the slf.

  18. lastwaltzer Says:


    I think if your worried about getting in its worth it to do PTBM. That being said I think its a sure fire way to be sitting the 300 level behind the band.

  19. El Duderino Says:

    “That being said I think its a sure fire way to be sitting the 300 level behind the band.”


  20. halcyon Says:

    Those that go to Broomfield….BB meet up at Southern Sun or Mtn Sun for lunch before the drive to Broomfield.

  21. lastwaltzer Says:

    “Wendy’s mom: why do you only come to visit when there’s a Phish concert involved?”fromthe

    My folks do the same thing. I can deal with them, when the grandparents pull that card though…….ouch!

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    I will try PTBM probably for Colorado, and if I get them, I will go. This was my Greek strategy as well, and it worked out for me, but I know it is really hit or miss. It was my first time to try PTBM and i got all Greeks, Alpine, Toyota and Atlanta, so no complaints. That having been said, I will now get pooped on.

    Will these tour dates include leg 2/turkey/nye?

  23. El Duderino Says:

    Mountain Sun Brewery has been a favorite of mine since ’94

  24. Mr.Miner Says:

    just got word that these rumored dates are, in fact, legit…we shall see tomorrow.

  25. angryjoggerz Says:

    Can the midwesterners now start to complain that we are getting nothing?

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