Skyballs and Saxscrapers

8.5.06 - The Greek Theatre (Wendy Rogell)

The first jam of tour that lifted the entire audience into a galaxy far, far away sprouted from the unlikeliest of places. Kick-starting The Greek’s second night’s second set, Phish strung together three heavy-hitting jam vehicles – “Rock and Roll,” “Ghost,” and “Mike’s Song.” Building a legitimate tour highlight in “Rock and Roll” and a solid version of “Ghost,” one figured when the band doused the fire of “Mike’s,” a mellow interlude was inevitable. Sidestepping “Hydrogen” for “Simple” for only the second time this year, Gordon’s anthem seemed quite appropriate for the summer night. “Simple’s” only previous appearance within a “Mike’s Groove” this summer came on June 29 in Canandaigua, New York, was a version that brought creativity back to the often one-dimensional piece, featuring a shimmering ambient jam that landed in “I Am the Walrus.”

8.6.10 Pollock

Phish moved through the Greek’s mid-set rendition with a notably relaxed energy that characterized much of their playing out west. Fluidly migrating out of the lyrics, Trey and Mike took co-solos, cooperatively sculpting a double helix of melody that pointed in a singular musical direction. A dynamic opening carried an idyllic pace, allowing individual phrases to breathe while complementing each other perfectly. And just when it sounded like “Simple” was winding down and heading for another song, Phish dipped into their satchel of wizardry and pulled out a hypnotic spell.

Page took initiative with delicate piano leads, coaxing his band mates to keep their heads in the game rather than bailing for another song. The jam took a distinct turn for the mellow as Page led a gradual descent onto a gentle musical pillow. Once arriving there, Trey, Mike and Page immediately circulated in a three-piece melodic pattern while Fishman framed the abstraction with dainty cymbal work.

Page began to alter this musical orb with effected notes as Trey flicked astral pennies into the ether, blending their aural trajectories perfectly with the band’s floating experiment. As Page pushed the piece into a quasi-digital realm, Mike held down the lead with rolling bass notes. Entering an elevated state of blissful reverie, this futuristic groove took on a life of its own, moving mechanically within a sparse, psychedelic tapestry.

8.5.10 (W.Rogell)

Deep into the jam, Trey added a rhythmic delay to his notes, pushing Fishman into a more earnest groove. Together, they lured Mike and Page into this spontaneous build. Laced with a bit of attitude, Trey added distorted layers atop the musical play-land and Mike hopped freely in this rhythmic romper room. This final segment brought the once placid jam into an intricate excursion in ambient-groove. Locked into a musical sequence that burst with nuanced tonal color, Phish crafted a bumping, space-aged dreamscape that piqued the interest of fans young and old.  Providing the post-show buzz of The Greek’s second night, this “Simple” jam awakened all to Phish’s renewed improvisational capabilities as the band embarked on their second leg of summer tour.



Jam of the Day:

Split > Dog-Faced Boy, Hood” 8.12.10 II

Phish broke down this unorthodox “Split” into “Dog-Faced Boy” before capping the sequence with a magnificent “Hood” that has unduly lived in the shadows of The Greek and Jones Beach’s versions.




8.17.2010 Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY < New torrent w/ Encore

8.17.2010 Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY < Megaupload w/ Encore

Official Jones Beach Poster

A two-set, start-to finish barnburner, this show stands among the strongest of tour. Trey’s Alpine annihilation carried over to Jones Beach’s opener – another night where his torrid playing stood out. “Reba,” “Wolfman’s,” and “Possum” brighten the opening frame, while the second set is comprised of non-stop, highlight-quality improvisation.

I: Fluffhead, Kill Devil Falls > Cities, Funky Bitch, Wilson, Reba, Walk Away, Wolfman’s Brother, Possum

II: Lengthwise > Maze, Halley’s Comet > Mike’s Song > Simple > Backwards Down the Number Line > Prince Caspian > Rock and Roll > Weekapaug Groove, Loving Cup

E: Show of Life, Golgi Apparatus

Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S(din)> Lunatec V2> Benchmark AD2K>  Sound Devices 722 (24/48)

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965 Responses to “Skyballs and Saxscrapers”

  1. Lycanthropist Says:

    thanks vw

  2. vegas wolfmans Says:

    clifford mikes might require the elusive 4th dollar sign.


  3. halcyon Says:

    that show finds its way into rotation often. each I hear it, it sounds fresh to my ears.

    clifford ball is money all around.

  4. joe Says:

    hey voopa (if you are still reading). thanks for the offer but no worries. I’m a torrent noob and the show wasn’t that great for the effort I don’t think. just was thinking about the simple and where I could grab it easily for instant gratification. I’ll probably forget that I wanted to spin it by tomorrow.

  5. kenny powers Says:


    it’s on the remasters tab of The Spreadsheet

    mp3 only

  6. oldskool Says:

    “During Phish’s first hiatus I got deeply into psytrance and downtemp psytance….there is some music made around 2000-2002 internationally that I think you’d be hard pressed to say sucks.”

    @Miner, you got any recommendations? I would be curious what you are talking about? Is it stuff like Nightmares on Wax, Zero 7, Prefuse 73 type stuff? or am I way off base?

  7. oldskool Says:

    is every post of waiting moderation or just the last one?

  8. Lycanthropist Says:

    where is everybody?

  9. joe Says:

    nothing wrong with a well placed and well played bluegrass tune in my opinion. Listening to sirius and they are playing a show from deer creek in 96 (probably a live phish thing since that’s mostly what they play)…anyway, on Old Home Place right now and it’s pretty sweet in the flow. With the new, improved louder band leading Mike, I day bring some of it back.

  10. voopa Says:

    no worries joe. get on the torrent train!

  11. sumodie Says:

    “Since its June 11 kick-off in Chicago, Phish has played a total of 29 performances during the Summer Tour. With total grosses surpassing $22.2 million, the band currently ranks among the 15 top-grossing tours of the year.”

  12. joe Says:

    did they play Glide this year? to me listening to them try to get that one down was the saddest part of Coventry. (it’s on the broadcast right now)

  13. plord Says:

    I can’t watch the “are you going to Burning Man” video on my phone but I can probably guess the general theme 🙂

    I went 1995 – 2000 inclusive and one last time in 2002. Had a great time every year, built some good art, fed 500 people falafel out of a giant Anglerfish tent in 1998 and that was probably the peak of my participation.

    Also heard some *insane* psytrancein the desert during a time when I had access to the largest amount of the cleanest liquid in my life.

    I need to set up a mediafire account, my Goa/Psy/Psy-downtempo collection is nearly reference quality and I’ve got some sick shit I can upload that is long out of print.

  14. joe Says:

    how much of that does Fishman get after taxes?

  15. plord Says:

    Miner: I’m pretty sure C doesn’t hate all Electronic music but Sturgeon’s law definitively.

  16. jdub Says:

    Slow hour on the BB

    just put in for PTBM. Ouch, a lot of money right there. But fortunately they are all going somewhere.

    A question for the BB. If you had to pick one with all things considered what would you do Providence>Amherst run with no hotel cost or the Halloween run? Doing both gets me a divorce, the local shows are gonna be hot, but I’ve never done Halloween. I know, I should be so lucky to have a choice but just curious what others would do.

  17. plord Says:

    er, definitively applies.

  18. jdub Says:

    Would love to hear your psytrance collection Plord. Like Miner said earlier, a lot of crap out there but also some amazing music.

  19. joe Says:

    I think I’m skipping Amherst, even though that’s my old stomping grounds and where I first saw phish. and doing ac instead jdub, but with Manchester and Providence.

  20. yematt Says:

    hey guys, hope all is well on the bb today. Miner, incredible write up today, really this one stands out amongst the others, and that is saying a lot! You have been on point!

    so as i’m browsing my ipod i see that i am somewhat lacking in my 96 shows and would love to hear any recs out there. i have the following:
    The Ball

    any orther gem shows I should download? or does that pretty much cover my bases

  21. jdub Says:

    Joe, I thought about doing Augusta, Providence, AC1+2. Leaving Halloween for the kid. Might be the way to go.

  22. sumodie Says:

    @plord: that BM youtube spoof is worth a look when you can -a short animated clip

    I went in 2006 and have been yearning to return ever since. One of my Telluride Phish buddies is there right now for his 3rd Burn. Stupid Phish tour killed it for me this year

  23. yematt Says:

    @jdub I would have to pick the Amherst>Prov run simply due to no hotel cost. thats when things really start to add up. hween of course will be nuts but there will always be the tapes.

  24. Mr.Miner Says:

    I’ll post some psy recs in a bit….busy right now.

  25. yematt Says:

    er, prov>amherst

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