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. Frycanthropist Says:

    sorry guys, can I get a link to that SBD 99 Sand that was being discussed earlier?

  2. Frankie Says:

    No hurry Mitch! Prepare your HD ’cause I think you’ll enjoy a bunch of stuff on there! Later buddy!

  3. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    Yeah, I’m going to see the original Star Wars movie at some point, though not out of any desire to see it. Just for pop culture background and in case I find myself in the middle of a pack of geeks who aren’t at a Phish show.

    I hope there aren’t any silly father-son plot twists or anything like that

  4. Frycanthropist Says:

    nope and no lasers or silly battles of good and evil.

  5. Frycanthropist Says:

    definitely no Wooks.

  6. ChefBradford Says:

    @gavins, ahh, a kindred mind/soul, nice to find. Though they are sometimes cheesy, those softer, as you said it, songs more often feature surprisingly good songwriting. Not as in good Phishy songwriting (its own animal), but good, honest, songwriting, which is too often written off as lame or whatnot. Good call on FEFY, excellent song that I love, that I too often forget about

  7. ChefBradford Says:

    “and in case I find myself in the middle of a pack of geeks who aren’t at a Phish show”

    I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about, brah


  8. Frycanthropist Says:

    love me some FEFY, If I Could, Brian and Robert, Dirt, Summer of 89 (yep i said it), Strange Design

  9. Frankie Says:

    All those new songs are really good and I can’t wait to hear their new record… I really dig Lotus Flower

    No worries GDad… The 94 Bowie is a must hear also and of course the world-famous 12.30.97 Bag…

  10. William H. Bonney Says:

    @ Lycan

    12.13.99 Sand SBD :

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

    Horn is my soft tune

  12. Frycanthropist Says:

    thanks Billy

  13. ChefBradford Says:

    “definitely no wooks”


  14. ChefBradford Says:

    Throw “Lifeboy” into that list

  15. Frankie Says:

    Dog Faced Boy is mine…

    Never thought I would ever see it live but I did… 🙂

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

    Horn & Lizards = Anastasio’s most heart felt & emotional thematic solos
    I guess u can add Billy Breathes in there

  17. Frycanthropist Says:

    down with all those songs.

    even like a little Waste from time to time

  18. William H. Bonney Says:

    billy breathes never did much for me, like the rest of list though…

  19. ChefBradford Says:

    was thrilled to get that Harry>Dog Faced>Harry at my first show

  20. William H. Bonney Says:

    the Harry Dog nice

  21. gavinsdad Says:

    Billy Breathes, Swept, and let’s not forget Army of One. Army of One is a very well written pop song that happens to be performed by the band Phish.

    out of all this stuff i’d like to get a Billy Breathes before the new year. you said it @Chef B…sweet *and* melancholy…that stuff really hits me in the heart.

  22. ChefBradford Says:


    thanks man

  23. William H. Bonney Says:

    quite the laid back sand, you checking it out Fry?

  24. ChefBradford Says:

    @Billy, that ewww thing

    @gavins, yeah, it’s the melancholy stuff that really gets me

    plus, that stuff makes the cathartic jams all the sweeter

  25. Frycanthropist Says:

    as we have said before Chef..

    twas also my first

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