A Wondrous Glow

8.7.2010 - The Greek (Wendy Rogell)

If Leg One of Summer was defined by bust-outs and covers, Phish got back to business during Leg Two by underlining their shows with quintessential exploration. Jumping outside the box right away, Phish returned the focus of their shows to improvisational exploits, laced with new-school twists. For the first off-season since the comeback, we now have plenty of next-level musical excursions to relive and dissect: refined and focused jams that stand up to standards of old on re-listen. This tour, all band members caught up to each other, and when that happened, Phish’s exploratory spirit took over and became a driving facet of their playing throughout August.

8.7.10 (W.Rogell)

In three shows at The Greek, Phish blew open multiple jams, setting a clear precedent for the rest of the tour. Beginning with “Disease” and “Tweezer” and continuing with “Cities,” “Rock and Roll” and “Simple” during the sequel, the band grew more connected each night. Peaking in full bloom during The Greek’s final set – one of summer’s finest – Phish navigated an odyssey through “Light,” producing one of tour’s  improvisational high points. Playing a Berkeley run during “Jerry Week,” there was a palpable buzz of a possible Dead cover, but Phish couldn’t have given a greater tribute to Garcia than this cerebral and intricate masterpiece that became the defining open jam of summer.

When Phish revved their cosmic launchpad as the second song in the second set, an impending sense of greatness hung in the crisp California air. Growing progressively larger throughout June, “Light” had left off in Raleigh with the tour’s best rendition. But when the band unveiled their current centerpiece in Berkeley’s mythical amphitheatre, it became quickly apparent that Phish would delve deeper than usual – and that they did. Steering a multi-dimensional journey through tapestries of sound, the band merged virtuosic ideas into cohesive musical themes, resonating universal frequencies in their stone surroundings. The pristine sound enhanced the quality of the ethereal experience, as the band set sail on a voyage into the heart of the unknown.

8.7.10 (Wendy Rogell)

Phish burst out of the gates with a unique and scintillating composed jam in which Trey wove a beautifully atonal solo. But as opposed to June, he ran up and down the fretboard, accurately hitting every note of his melodies rather than altering his pitch with his whammy pedal. An increasingly twisting trail led the band through a darker passage that settled onto a fresh musical plateau. As if composed, Page began a melody that Trey immediately latched onto, shooting everyone directly into the spiritual realm without warning. As Mike backed their ideas with a low-as-possible bass pattern, Trey and Page wove a stunning tale of beauty with which Gordon quickly harmonized. Morphing into a soul-melting passage of sublime Phish, the band members tossed musical ideas around like a magical hot potato, subconsciously building off each other and stretching the music into the stratosphere. Losing all sense of time and place, the entire band rode a wave of blissful momentum, caring not where they might end up, but knowing that each and every moment along the way felt exactly right.

8.6.10 (W.Rogell)

Showcasing their one-minded jamming, Phish took a swan dive into the void, coming up with their most profound musical statements in quite some time. Feeling no hindrance and pushing further into uncharted realms, the band narrated a sonic fantasy that enraptured the psychonaut in everyone. Darkening the jam with intertwining leads, Trey and Mike organically brought the piece into a section of underworld grooves, where the entire band adapted like chameleons to their changing musical surroundings, never missing a beat while continuing their path of wonder. Flowing into more abstract and tribal rhythms, Fishman urged the band into increasingly dramatic territory, and Mike and Trey responded with furious leads, bringing the jam to a head.

8.7.10 (W.Rogell)

A monstrous piece defined by its non-linear, yet totally cohesive, journey, The Greek “Light” moved through four distinct sections without ever losing a micro-particle of momentum or flow. With all four members playing masterfully and connecting entirely, the result became an other-worldly piece of Phish music, regardless of era. As the band pushed their newest sound this summer, their most impressive jams stood up to any age in their past, a sure sign that the future is glowing. “Light’s” ornate excursion provided the first peak of tour, while Phish would hit a second high point a week later in Alpine Valley with “Disease > What’s the Use?.” And there were a plethora of surreal jams that surrounded these two behemoths. This week, we’ll look at the most significant musical moments that made Leg Two of Summer 2010 – The Tour We Made Contact.

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Jam of the Day:

Harry Hood” 8.7.10 II

Here’s The Greek’s regal version of Phish’s classic amidst a summer that completely revitalized the song. The band’s playing on this rendition set a modern precedent for “Hood” jams, furthering the elegant vibe of the final set in California.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

8.13.2010 Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN < Torrent

8.13.2010 Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN < Megaupload

Deer Creek Official Poster

Deer Creek’s finale provided two more balanced sets than the opener, with the second divided into dark and light. The more sinister segment read “Light > 46 Days > Maze” and the lighter half was delivered “Meatstick > Mango,” “Fluffhead,” “Julius,” forming a yin and a yang to a well-played set. The modern era debut of “Walls of the Cave” and a serious “Stash” highlighted a solid opening stanza.

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Guelah Papyrus, My Sweet One, Axilla, I Didn’t Know, Walls of the Cave, Stash, Train Song, Backwards Down the Number Line, Ocelot, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, Wilson, Possum

II: Halley’s Comet > Light > 46 Days > Maze, Meatstick > The Mango Song, Fluffhead, Julius

E: Contact, Slave to the Traffic Light

Source: Schoeps mk4v> CMR> Naiant PFA> Sonosax SX-M2> SD 722

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719 Responses to “A Wondrous Glow”

  1. ChefBradford Says:

    Ramblin, do it

  2. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    you gonna be there, Chef?

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    yeah http://tinyurl.com/BornDownInTheSouthland for the direct bluegrass mix link

    it’s broken into many zip files to fit under the 100MB limit, not because I like short playlists…it’s all one big playlist…

    bluegrass is too big a genre for me to do justice to it and I don’t claim to. That mix is just what I like

    starts with Mr. Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys for me. I know he had peers and co-creators in the day and I listen to some of that but of the oldschool stuff, the Big Mon is where it’s at – the tightness and virtuosity of the best of it is pretty boggling.

    the largest proportion of the mix is ‘newgrass’ in terms of sub-genre…my favorite artists are Tony Rice and Peter Rowan, probably…

    most recent bluegrass I’ve really loved is probably from the mid-90s though that is largely due to my…well I have to admit its straight up southern bluegrass snobbery…I think the modern west coast bluegrass scene is mostly pretty amateurish and cheesy, so I have been pretty disconnected from the current scene for awhile. I know there is some great modern grass, I have seen some of it live, but I haven’t had the energy to dig through the material to find it on album. The time will come. The beauty of being 5-10 years behind the times is that it gives the crap a chance to settle to the bottom a little. Though Yonder is still floating, right? Go figure.

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    I really do need to do another huge bluegrass phase at some point. My collection has grown a bit stale. I need to fill in a bunch of missing pieces, and then branch out some more. I did that with jazz most recently and it was very gratifying.

  5. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    Fuck off, man.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    If Bill Walton started going to shows in about ’76, he’d have needed to average 33 shows a year to hit 660. Dunno.

  7. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    Ill take Railroad Earth over Yonder anyday

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    I did.

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’d take a nap over either one.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    No, just kidding, I don’t really know what RRE sounds like exactly.

  11. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    Pretty good overall, a bit sappy but good sound. more of a fusion of americana
    mountain music than straight up picking….. they got a drummer…

  12. ChefBradford Says:

    @Ramblin, no, I won’t be there, and if I’m able to hit any of these fall dates, it’ll be Charleston, but I don’t think I’ll be able to do those eaither

    But if you’re four hours, and you can swing it financially, do it, bud! That’s all I was recommending

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ oldskool

    But I will say I am pretty confident that be the person to see the most Phish shows would be a lot bigger deal to him than it is to me ;)
    ^ unquestionably…But if you have seen more than him, I need to know. He is a buddy of mine, and not nearly the douche he was in the day, though throw that guy in a Phish show and who knows what willl come out :) He hit 555 in Miami….obv seen everything since…are you ahead?

    Please – for the love of god and shit talking all fall – tell me you are! Lie to me if you have to ;)

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    What was you first show? How did you first hear about Phish?

    ^ later in the game than you might imagine…i was a jock in high school and opted out of many several early era Phish shows in New Haven for getting drunk et al…but hey, if I had gone then, who knows if i’d be here now….

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    no drummers at all, period, in my grass. I’ve had to make a couple exceptions in the mix to get in some particular songs but that’s a red line for me. I don’t argue the “authenticity” of it or anything, I just say it sounds wrong to me. A big part of the point of the bluegrass sound is the whole-band syncopated rhythmic interplay, which is just annihilated by almost any amount of drumming

    fwiw I’m well aware of the possibility that there’s just no room left for much original music in the styles I really like…I think Tony, Bela and the Strength in Numbers guys took virtuosity as far as it can go, and the only thing that’s left instrumentally is blending genres, which doesn’t do it for me…well, there’s always room for good songwriting, I guess.

  16. madmax76 Says:

    I saw Bill at a Dylan Show in 1995.

  17. madmax76 Says:

    If the played a bluegrass album, what would it be?

  18. madmax76 Says:

    who…PHISH

  19. Themanatee Says:

    Miner was a jock !

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