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.Miner Says:

    15 shows in 3 weeks…lotsa days off if this is true…

  2. kenny powers Says:

    PTBM – never again, was scarred for life after the last few tours. you can almost always score great seats close to the date of show via TM or LN if you’re persistent.

  3. sumodie Says:

    PTBM for summer sheds with lawns is a little different from indoor arenas, especially the smaller arenas rumored for this fall

    I’ll most likely put in for all fall shows I’m attending

  4. El Duderino Says:

    ‘cuz ya’ know when they announce these dates tomorrow mail-order will begin as well

  5. Guyute711 Says:

    My Mother said she is going to start a band so she can see me more often.

  6. snowbank Says:

    Finally found a broomfield venue map: http://www.concertticketsplus.com/ResultsTicket.aspx?evtid=1390221&event=The+Judds

    I think I will put in for mail order since there is no 300 section! There ain’t even no 200 section!

    PS – I am hoping to rally someone to hit these shows with me.

  7. Robear Says:

    wendy, really not sure re: fall.

    October is as busy as I get up here. Halloween will depend on the kids and the ex.

    AJ, no you can’t complain in the midwest. You can jump a southwest flight for peanuts to the east coast. Only me, zzyzx, and the other westerners can complain. And after the Greek Blow-Out, I’m trying not to be that guy.

  8. lastwaltzer Says:

    “My Mother said she is going to start a band so she can see me more often.”guyute

    AWESOME llfa

  9. DaNcInG fOoL 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…”

    at what time????

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    he just got a whiff of Fishman is all

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    closest drive for me will be 10hrs to SC. wife wants baby #2. i’m screwed.

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

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

    are these the dates you posted on page one of yesterday’s thread????

  13. El Duderino Says:

    @ tela’s

    You could always tell her that y’all can’t afford another baby right now and a few fall shows is a lot less expensive than another baby…

  14. snowbank Says:

    @DF – and reposted on page one of today’s thread..

  15. Bandito Says:

    Happy Monday BB! Having been on a multi-week Phish binge, I felt the need to listen to something different last night and spun GD 12/31/78 III last night. My brain is still scrambled this morning…Carry on.

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


    my “reliable” source indicates a stop this Fall at the 1st Mariner Center. perhaps a turkey run option? whatever. no sense in speculation if they are impending. no hurry up already! I got camping trips to Utah to plan here!

  17. sumodie Says:

    BB women ROCK!

    …and I haven’t even met any of you 8)

  18. fromthetub Says:

    LLFA @ Guyute

    – My mom thinks that the band knows me by now because I’ve seen them so much over the years. When I explained that the venues are really large these days and there’s no way they know who I am, she suggested that I always wear an orange shirt with my name on it so they can pick me out. Not kidding.

    – My mom also checks out Phishthoughts when I’m at shows to see if Miner posted any of my photos (ie. I made it home from the show OK).

    Actual email from my mom: “I see you made it to Atlanta.. I checked Phish Thoughts today and saw your pictures. Thank goodness for Phish Thoughts so I can see where my daughter and her husband are!! Have a good time.”

  19. Bandito Says:

    @fromthetub – are you Wendy the photographer? If so, your work is amazing. I’m always impressed.

  20. Chuck D Says:

    llfa fromthetub. you know your mom loves you!

  21. El Duderino Says:

    @ fromthetub

    Are you getting any press-passes from the band?
    Just wonderin’ what kinda camera you’re able to bring in…

  22. tela'smuff Says:

    @Dude – i like your thinking.

    i’m just going to start eating lots of marijuana seeds.

  23. fromthetub Says:

    Bandito, yes and thanks! Glad I can help Miner and this site any way I can. Such a fantastic community!

  24. Chuck D Says:

    i have not been in inside the first bank center, but from driving by it 100 times… its tiny. I think the only “bad” seats would be behind the stage or behind the mix.

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    Wendy is a very great photographer, no doubt about that

    Also has great energy in person with infectious enthusiasm for the show

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