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. gavinsdad Says:

    Softly sing sweet songs
    Softly sing sweet songs
    Softly sing sweet songs

    is kinda what i’m getting at…i’m at my fluffiest here but i think it’s a nice side of phish…the other side of the bombast coin.

  2. ChefBradford Says:

    I know, understand, and fully agree with everything you’re saying, Gavins

  3. Frycanthropist Says:

    gonna save it for when the bane gets here.

  4. Frankie Says:

    Have you heard those new songs dog mouse bird and present tense? I don’t know if they’ll ever end up on the record but if they are I think we are in for another great one!

  5. ChefBradford Says:

    Frycan, I was almost positive, but didn’t want to say so without being 100%

  6. Frycanthropist Says:


    score for you! have not heard those.
    bout to check em now.

  7. William H. Bonney Says:

    good choice, picking up speed 8+ in…..very cool groove, trey really laid back and let this sucker open up…classic stuff

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

    The softer side of the Phish vol 1

    -Billy Breathes
    -If I could
    -Dog Faced Boy
    -Strange Design
    -Brian & Robert
    -Summer of 89
    -Army of One
    -Swept Away
    -Train Song
    -Let Me Lie

  9. Frankie Says:

    Great melodies! I think they are a work in a progress that may or may not get worked on but still cool… for a fan… 🙂

  10. gavinsdad Says:

    @WHB – i’m on the aud over here and i love hearing the shrieking people in the audience getting picked up by the mics

  11. Frankie Says:

    Lifeboy is one I was really looking forward to this summer…

    17 min. Ghost>Lifeboy in particular… 🙂

  12. Jtran Says:

    Everning everybody

    Finally caught up, phew.

    @GD – tried dling the Spaceman3 stuff from your media fire, having some troubles with about half the tracks..any way you could look into that when you get a chance? Like what I heard in the first two songs so far.


    Listening to the 2000/01 Radiohead live stuff you put up now..Pyramid Song live is great.


    @Chef asked earlier but I don’t know if you saw it..any new DJ mixes coming soon? Been listening to your Halloween one and Ambient mix a lot recently, would love another.

  13. Jtran Says:

    And I was extremely happy to get a DogFaced Boy at DC1, especially coming out of that Split.

  14. Frycanthropist Says:

    yeh glad you are diggin it my man!

  15. William H. Bonney Says:

    @GD face melting jam….

  16. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Beasel- Good list. I recently put together a similar looking playlist. Don’t forget Mountains or Anything But Me.

    Frankie- me too re: Lifeboy

  17. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Providence Sand kills. Thanks for the sbd link. Didn’t realize that was in circulation. Very thick. ‘Sand’ was to 1999/2000 what ‘Light’ is to 2009/2010.

    blackboard- win.

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

    ahhh how could I
    thunderhead is also one of my favs

  19. Mitch Says:

    i wish i were hip enough to pick up on the MLB jam while in telly. something that seemed like they got hooked in a good area turned out to be an obvious reference. and after all that time i put into figuring out what MLB was all about sometime last year.

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

    The Softer Side of The Phish (updated)
    -Billy Breathes
    -If I could
    -Dog Faced Boy
    -Anything But Me
    -Mountains in the Mist
    -Strange Design
    -Brian & Robert
    -Summer of 89
    -Army of One
    -Swept Away
    -Train Song
    -Let Me Lie
    -Secret Smile

  21. Runaway Jim Says:

    Velvet Sea

  22. Mitch Says:

    dont forget roggae on that list.

    you get my hdd rec?

    do yourselves a favor and listen to the “mud love buddy” jam on dozin at the knick. so sweet. i could listen to this on repeat the entire night.

  23. Frankie Says:

    That Woodford Reserve is some great stuff! About to have one glass in your honor… Cheers brother!

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

    I go to bed with disc 2 of Dozin alomst every night
    if im having trouble sleeping by the MLB jam im gone
    and if i somehow manage to stay awake throught it
    then you got the most awesome and peaceful drums coming

  25. Mitch Says:

    cheers to you brotha! grateful cub is coming by tomorrow to partake in some bourbon. might have a glass myself while im listening to dozin disc 2.

    awesome dude! glad im tuning into this.

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