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. BingosBrother Says:

    Not last night, but have seen it. Rowdy Roddy Piper? Yes please. 17 days til season premiere. I have pics of me as Green Man last Halloween that are pretty epic, I was a neighborhood celebrity.

  2. SillyWilly Says:

    I remember being at a Notre Dame football game on Halloween in 2008 just a few weeks after that episode and there were like 30 Green Men in the student section.

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    Green Man is just ridiculously awesome. Saw him at Alpine 2009, major highlight. Saw Dale Murphy at Alpine 2010 with batting helmet taboot. Crazy kidz.

  4. lastwaltzer Says:

    Damn, SW your jiving with my day plan, I was supposed to email you later to make sure your alive. Now I’m gonna just feel unproductive.

    Don’t know if you got your wheels but if you do, you should think about coming down and hitting jazz fest this weekend, tons of great music.

  5. Guyute711 Says:

    I was thinking of doing that for Halloween last night. I love when he’s tripping out at the Eagles tryouts with the McPoyles.

  6. Guyute711 Says:

    I looked up those green man suits yesterday and they are like $60

  7. KWL Says:

    running through some highlights today, old and new

    currently spinning: msg light

    still nasty

    camden chalkdust, jb # line, and chicaghost on deck

    soaking up all the jammy goodness of 3.0 this week. phish is good.

  8. BingosBrother Says:

    Season Premier Halloween episode preview.

  9. Robear Says:

    ‘Reba’, ‘Alaska’, ‘Bott’, ‘Taste’, ‘Antelope’ from above:

    Some of the best playing we’ve heard from the band since the return.

  10. lastwaltzer Says:

    And while I got jazz fest on my mind.. CHICAGOIANS! WE GOT THE HOT HOT HOT MUSIC THE HOT MUSIC. Here are some recommendations for jazz fest:

    Thursday: Ahmad Jamal with CJO at Jay Prtizker Pavilion 7 PM

    Friday: 1:45 – 2:45 AACM Experimental Ensemble – Claudia Cassidy Theatre (inside the cultural center)

    7:10 – 8:10 Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Orchestra- Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

    Sunday: 1:10 – 2:05 Nicole Mitchell‘s Black Earth Ensemble- Jackson Ave- grant park

    3:30 – 4:30 Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band – jackson ave. grant park

    5:00 – 6:00 Brad Mehldau Trio – Petrillo Band Shell- Grant Park

    8:30 – 9:30 Kurt Elling Quintet with special guest Ernie Watts- Petrillo Band Shell Grant Park

  11. lastwaltzer Says:

    oh and its all free 🙂

  12. fat bastard Says:

    lw nice call…thurs night im there at JPP.

  13. El Duderino Says:

    One of the best shows I’ve ever seen in Grant Park was Wayne Shorter @ the Jazz Fest in ’02 I believe

  14. SillyWilly Says:


    got the wheels! My pops is gone soft in his old age.

    Actually, he just realized that I wouldn’t be able to come home without the car.

    BUT, I am going to South Bend this weekend with my dad to see Notre Dame play Purdue.

    It’ll be a big bonding weekend with my dad, and Im glad we are doing it.

  15. lastwaltzer Says:


  16. lastwaltzer Says:

    So what are you thinking about these fall dates?

  17. Robear Says:

    Hey this bears repeating:

    You cats need to check out ‘The Cove’, a documentary running on Planet Green.

    Illustrates the insanity of humanity in glaring color.

  18. fat bastard Says:

    what channel robear?

  19. BingosBrother Says:

    I saw Kyle Orton just destroy ND at home a few years back. Such a fulfilling day, can’t wait til ND plays Miami at Soldier Field in 2012. Been waiting for that day since about 1988.

  20. Guyute711 Says:

    Wait a minute, Kyle Orton has destroyed somebody?

  21. KWL Says:

    ::searches demon for ‘the cove’::

  22. Robear Says:

    @ FB, it’s on channel 286 ‘Planet Green’ on DirecTv.

  23. Robear Says:

    right up your alley @ KWL.

    anyone have a suggestion / recipe for ‘Top Sirloin’?

  24. Guyute711 Says:

    Grill it Robear. Sirloin only needs some salt and pepper.

  25. SOAM Says:

    Define “MILIEU”?

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