The Jungles In My Mind

8.14.2010 - Alpine Valley (Michael Stein)

One week after peaking The Greek stand with a finale built upon a monumental “Light,” Phish found themselves in Alpine Valley, ready to build off two-solid efforts in Deer Creek. After imploding Berkeley with jams of all shapes and sizes, the band’s innovation continued through Telluride’s “Piper” and “Carini” and several pieces, specifically “Drowned” and “Light,” in the cornfields of Noblesville. But as Phish prepared to step onto their biggest stage of summer, the second improvisational peak of Leg Two lurked right around the corner. A blistering opening half set the table for a break-neck psychedelic roller coaster ride of “Down With Disease > What’s The Use?” An illustration of Phish’s willingness to push forth to find that magic moment, this jam awakened the band’s musical patience and brilliance while careening into the future.

8.14.10 (M.Stein)

When Phish pulled into their classic Wisconsin shed, Trey had grown fully accustomed to his new Ocedoc and unleashed it ferociously. Completely in the zone for the entire evening, Alpine’s opener brought one of Trey’s most dazzling evenings of the entire summer. Coupled with morphing bass-leads from Gordon and a whole-band precision, Phish had primed Alpine Valley for a mind-melting escapade. Uncharacteristically dropping “The Sloth” to open set two, a dark vibe immediately encompassed the show. And when the beginning rumblings of “Disease” started, one knew things were about to get bonkers in dairy land.

Tearing into the song’s composed jam, Trey sped off like a hyena on tornado juice, shredding leads from the get-go in a spectacle of six-string acrobatics. Playing powerful and flowing lead melodies, Trey caught fire at the onset of this piece and his playing flew off the charts throughout this futuristic excursion. The entire band annihilated the straight-forward “Disease” textures at a torrid pace. Showcasing the Ocedoc’s unmatchable tone, Trey darted through creative patterns with mind-numbing speed and dexterity. Through this entire opening segment, Mike sat in the background as part of the three-way support for Red’s scorching solo, but it was when Gordon emerged from this role, weaving his lines around Trey’s offerings and bringing original ideas into the mix, that the jam really gained liftoff.

8.14.10 (M.Stein)

Following the blistering opening, the band took a musical step sideways into a rock pattern that retained roots in “Disease,” but simultaneously drifted from the song’s structure. Mike comped Trey’s lines with eclectic rhythms as Page infused the music with dirty clav hits. After Trey peaked his high-octane shred-fest, Phish began to darken the piece without losing their fire hose intensity. Trey began slicing the air with snarling rhythm licks while Mike’s creativity blossomed into the foreground. This is the first of several junctures that Mike pushes this “Disease” jam further into the unknown, eventually resulting in an effortless and filthy segue into “What’s The Use?” In each instance, the entire band hopped on Mike’s new direction, this time molding their musical play-doh into spacier realms.

The band momentarily deconstructed the piece before Trey built it back up with quick rhythm chops, bringing the band into a less ordinary percussive sequence. Mike delivered a slower bass line amidst this ridiculously tight section, again subtly prodding the band into riskier territory. Fishman gradually merged with Mike’s concept, slowing the rhythmic pace while never losing his sense of urgency. As the tempo waned, the resulting music grew quite abstract as all four members poured their phrases into an inter-stellar sonic brew. Trey and Mike continued pushing the music outward while the jam retained its whole-band cohesion. Entering a section of harrowing psychedelia, Trey shone brightly while sprouting cosmic melodies amidst this sinister milieu.

8.14.10 (M.Stein)

Mike made another noticeable change, offering a distorted pattern that would slowly lead the band towards a fluid groove, and eventually into their to-die-for transition. As Phish built a menacing wall of sound and effect, Trey speckled the landscape with heart-tugging leads while the band settled into a transcendent passage of ambient groove. Stretching this portion of sorcery, the band drifted into one of the most indelible and emotional sequences of the summer. Realizing where their music had reached, Trey magnificently wove a lick of “What’s The Use?” into the jam and the entire band was already there. Without any change of beat or musical alteration, Phish achieved the most marvelous musical arrival of tour, leaving the audience in total awe.

8.14.10 (M.Stein)

Flowing naturally and sculpting a larger-than-life soundscape, Phish brought a cathartic resolution to their extraordinary journey. “What’s the Use?” dripped, note by note, over the massive audience: a seething, psychedelic fable. Stemming from one of the band’s hallowed vehicles, this jam immediately sat side by side The Greek’s multi-thematic “Light” as the improvisational zeniths of tour. And the most fascinating part about these two jams is their vastly divergent paths, illustrating Phish’s ability to crush many types of music once again. No longer a one-trick pony that galloped from rock to percussive grooves to ambient outros a la ’09, Phish took the the standout jams of Leg Two in totally unique directions, foreshadowing a thrilling fall tour.


Jam of the Day:

Disease > What’s The Use?” 8.14.10 II

You’ve read about it; now you can listen one of Phish’s peak moments of August.



Thank You, Readers!

Yesterday Hidden Track posted detailed survey results of all things related to Phish’s Summer Tour, and Phish Thoughts was voted the “Must Read Tour Blog!” I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every reader that tunes in while on tour and/or off tour, contributes to the ongoing conversation in the comments section, or simply grabs a download. Phish Thoughts has transformed into a vibrant community that far exceeds anything I ever imagined. So, “Cheers!” This place is as much about you folks as anyone, and here’s to a ridiculous fall. See you on the road!

(Chart excerpted from Hidden Track)



8.14.2010 Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI < Torrent

8.14.2010 Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI < Megaupload

Official Alpine Valley Poster

Here is Alpine Valley’s phenomenal two-set showcase from the stand’s opening night. Phish opened the second set with one of their defining open jams of summer in “Disease > What’s The Use?,” and followed up a mid-set “Mule” with a ferocious “Mike’s Dirty Sally Groove.” A relentless first set is highlighted by a gorgeous “Reba,” a semi-rare “Taste,” and the fiercest “Antelope” of Summer 2010.

I: Tube, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Funky Bitch, Reba, Fuck Your Face, Alaska, Back on the Train, Taste, When the Circus Comes, Lawn Boy, Sparkle, Gumbo, Run Like an Antelope

II: The Sloth, Down with Disease > What’s the Use? >   Scent of a Mule, Mike’s Song > Dirt > Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley > Weekapaug Groove, Bug

E: Quinn the Eskimo

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

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1,028 Responses to “The Jungles In My Mind”

  1. Kurt Says:

    @telasmuff, i mean

  2. jdub Says:

    Congrats Miner on getting some well deserved recognition. And a super charged write up as well.

    Even after listening to this jam a number of times WTU sneaks up on me, what a beautiful segment of music.

    Just curious if regulars voted in that Hidden Tracks survey? I wonder how many unique hits he gets during tour, seems like we who hang out in the shadows of his webpage are a small percentage of fans reading his posts.

  3. AintNoTele Says:!

    Check it out folks, star wars dubbed with snatch (the movie)…match made in heaven

  4. Ziggymon Says:

    Congrat to Miner and all of you who contribute to this site. I have been a faithful follower for two years. First thing I do in the morning and I lurk until I go to sleep at night. Miner is the vehicle and the catalyst for this community but each and everyone one of you bring something. Keep it coming. Can’t wait for Fall Tour!

  5. Mitch Says:

    Listened to that jam on the way in this morn. That transition is so silky smooth it make it feel planned. Trey plays the whats the use line only once and they are there! Damn thats sick-tastic. I’d have been screaming if I were there.

    Couple things tho. Are you all listening to auds to pick up on Mike’s leads? I’m listening to the sbds and they sound better than ever but I cant make out these changes Miner’s talking about. I guess I’m getting lost in the jams.

    2nd thing, if you listen around the 12:30 mark on disease, I heard the Pink Floyd noises we heard from Blossom # Line by Page. Good stuff right there.

  6. Mitch Says:

    P.S. Big ups to Miner and our community. I guess you could say “its kind of a big deal, people know it”

  7. Seif Says:

    Phish Jumper arraigned

    (sorry if this has been covered already)

  8. willowed Says:

    Miner’s a big deal…no doubt:

  9. KWL Says:

    i, too, have many leather bound books

  10. Guyute711 Says:

    Ha ha Mitch. I have many leather bound books.

  11. willowed Says:

    I didn’t mean to do that Mitch.

    As soon as I saw your post that popped into my head. I should have clicked on your link first.

    Great minds think a like!!

  12. lastwaltzer Says:

    The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a federal lawsuit Monday challenging the U.S. government’s authority to target and kill U.S. citizens outside of war zones when they are suspected of involvement in terrorism.


    Oh and good morning 😉

  13. lastwaltzer Says:

    My link has nothing to do with will ferral 🙂

  14. tela'smuff Says:

    @Kurt – sounds like a plan. just keep me informed. we need to get a midwest caravan for that SC trip.

    Luther T? You in?

  15. SillyWilly Says:

    Good morning, kids.

    Been a few days since I stopped by.

    Was a crazy week with moving in, then I made a quick run over to Cleveland with my girl.

    Just settling in before the frenzy of school starts again.

    Really proud to be a part of this community and congratulations to Miner for becoming the most read blog. He works pretty hard for this thing, and we all really appreciate it

  16. b-rock Says:

    @Silly, I second the appreciation bit, it’s great to have a place to come to chat with like-minded people.

    It’s just like that line from that song from that band – “Where do you go when the lights go out?” wait, that’s not it…. crap…

    anyway, THANK YOU MR. MINER!

  17. Robear Says:

    Gave set 1 from AV 1 the proper re-listen yesterday; from the beginning.

    Absolutely scorching set. Def. a step above the rest of summer, on the same shelf with Greek 3. Pretty startled to get two nights, THAT locked in. AW describes perfectly on page 1.

    Also realizing how awesome Halloween could be. Three nights, set up shop in the same place. A couple days off before, plenty of time to adjust to surroundings. Tour closing three-setter. 😛

    Looks like Fall tour, leg 1 is out for me. Between the fall work and the impending move, I’ll be relying on Miner’s commentary, the BB’er inside posts, and the downloads.

    C’est la vie!

    Anyone watch the documentary ‘The Cove’? Yeah, watch it.

  18. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Morning Folks. Much deserved Kudos Miner. Your astute observations and ability to put them into words are a formidable skill. I am glad to hear others are taking as much enjoyment from your write ups as I do. PayPal coming at ya. Thanks again.

  19. BingosBrother Says:

    Wow, congrats Miner! How flippin cool is that? Plus, as far as I know, that poll or vote was never even mentioned in any of our comments leading up to it. Wassup lurkers!

    Couldn’t make it to Alpine I cuz it was my daughters b-day, but checked it out on the drone in the morning before I left. No doubt I was a little jealous. Tube opener,Reba, FYF!, Antelope. Whole 2nd set is $$$ + a Quinn encore. Nice MLB tease by Mike at 13:20 for a while.

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    Nice MLB tease by Mike at 13:20 for a while.

    *During Disease jam

  21. Guyute711 Says:

    Bingos I see you have the green man pic. Did you see Birds of War last night?

  22. SillyWilly Says:


    my roommates already decided they’re going as Birds of War for Halloween.

  23. BingosBrother Says:

    Yo Silly what are you and Laura Pepe doin in Cleveland?

  24. Robear Says:

    spasm, when i make simple hot sauce, i don’t cook it. i refrigerate a bunch, and freeze the rest. figure nothing’s going to survive the peppers and vinegar, but don’t quote me on it.

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    LLFA, Bingos.

    My real girlfriend probably wouldn’t appreciate it if I met up with Laura Pepe in Cleveland.

    My girl’s family lives in Cleveland.

    I might need a new avatar now, too.

    Hope you’ve been doing well, Bingos!

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