A First Course of Fall

10.8.10 - Austin, TX - (Graham Lucas)

Phish stepped off the grand stage of Texas and into the cozy confines of the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colorado last night, kicking off their undersized Fall Tour of 2010. Coming out of the gates with a solid effort featuring a lengthy setlist and a couple stellar moments, the band opened tour with a show that will likely be long forgotten by the end of this three-night run. Punctuating the night with a knee-buckling “Slave to the Traffic Light,” the band’s finale brought their most cohesive and triumphant playing of an evening that often seemed like was about to take that next step, but never did. Also blossoming during “Ghost,” Phish wound their way through several diverse feels en route to a space-aged oasis that bridged the gap to “Weekapaug, completing another highlight “Mike’s Sandwich.” The remainder of the set suffered a bit from a lack of flow, though the band did squeeze in a clever debut in the roots, Americana piece – “My Problem Right There.” All in all, the first night of Broomfield provided a solid opening act for a three-night circus that is bound to get far crazier.

10.8.10 - (G.Lucas)

After a sluggish opening frame, Phish lit up the start of the second half with the fiery flames of “Mike’s Song.” Jumping into the heavy and ominous fray, when the band segued into “Simple,” rushes of summer memories returned and it seemed that the “Mike’s Groove” interlude would transform into a show highlight. But just as the band began to get slightly ambient, they passed into “Ghost.”

Coming at a time in  when the show desperately needed a shot in the arm, the audience noticeably reacted when Phish slid into “Ghost.” Starting in a laid-back soundscape that had the makings of a stellar piece of organic improv, Trey used minimalist offerings to color the natural groove. Passing through a segment of gorgeous collaboration moving naturally at this slower pace, Trey gradually infused more forceful guitar leads into the mix, slowly pushing the band towards a peak but costing them some cohesion along the way. After playing with one wheel loose for a part of the jam, the band reconvened in the post-peak section for a more earnest experiment. Entering effect laden sequence of percussive sound, the band pieced together a psychedelic portal into a creative “Weekapaug” that favored more delicate contributions rather than its cliched, all-out, rock and roll sprint.

10.8.10 (G.Lucas)

But when “Weekapaug” ended, so did the flow to the set. While “Fee” presented the distinct possibility of psychedelic drama with its trails of musical ambrosia, the band ixnayed any of extended mid-set revelries with a turn into “Makisupa Policeman.” For the first time in ages, Trey actually made a weed reference in the song, as he passed comically passed the officer “the dank” and proceeded to crack up along the way. Abruptly ending the reggae rhythms soon after, Trey informed the crowd of a new song they had that was also about a police man, introducing the band’s newest piece, “My Problem Right There.” A humorous, lyrically-driven nod to everything that matters, Trey pokes fun his overactive mind, suggesting that we, ourselves, are are our only obstacle to our own happiness. While not necessarily jiving in in the middle of a second set, its message was delivered with a tongue-in cheek honesty that speaks to all of our paths on earth.

10.8.08 (G.Lucas)

Briefly stopping back in “Makisupa,” the band gradually built into a show-stopping “Slave” that peaked so profoundly that its notes seemed to jump from the animated pages of a Phish comic book. Setting a melodic theme early on, Trey carried his thoughts to the mountaintop in a glorious exclamation that led one of the most poignant versions in recent memory. Providing the only “no-brainer” take away from the opener, “Slave” was the brightest star in last night’s sky, standing head and shoulders above anything else played. Phish closed the set with a denouement of “Strange” Design” and “Julius” before finalizing the first night of tour with “Loving Cup.”

Starting with a show that carried less weight than previous tour openers of 2010, Phish will surely be back in hours to obliterate night one, turning the show into distant memory by this time tomorrow. That much is money in the bank. And when all three nights of Colorado conclude, “Slave” will remain the lone pillar from a fun opening night of fall.

First Set Notes: A late-set “Stash” provided the improvisational highlight of a slow-moving opening frame that read like a script of a generic first set of tour.

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Ocelot, It’s Ice, Bouncing Around the Room, Funky Bitch, AC/DC Bag, NICU, The Moma Dance, Horn, Stash, Golgi Apparatus

II: Mike’s Song > Simple > Ghost > Weekapaug Groove, Fee > Makisupa Policeman, My Problem Right There* > Makisupa Policeman > Slave to the Traffic Light, Strange Design, Julius

E: Loving Cup


881 Responses to “A First Course of Fall”

  1. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Looked good on paper. Guess they chose to play it pretty close to the vest. Little disappointing because of the excellence of summer opener in Chicago. Nice use of the word “ixnayed”. (sp?)

  2. whole tour! Says:

    testing testing
    comments not showing up?

  3. BTB Says:

    That ICP article blew my mind.

  4. whole tour! Says:

    there we go! 🙂

    4th time the charm:

    ChUcKtOwN ThRoWdOwN!

    monday > tuesday > wed > thurs > FACE > MELTED > sunday!

  5. lastwaltzer Says:

    “and ending with a misunderstanding that Alannis Morrisette is still relevant.”gcub

    thi^^ hahaha

  6. whole tour! Says:


    ICP is playing here on 10/18
    such garbage. such garbage.

  7. lastwaltzer Says:

    Crystal Wolf>ICP

  8. sneven Says:

    That ICP article gives me great hope…

    Hope that kids will stay in school and not eat paint.

  9. whole tour! Says:

    magnets are miracles yo!

  10. sneven Says:

    What would it be like if Trey and Mike came out and told us that their music was secretly shaping our thoughts and driving us to be obsessive…

    Oh wait…

  11. Mitch Says:

    the first time it works out for me to do no spoilers cause the show is out west and i avoided my phone all night and come to find out it wont be up til noonish mtn time which is 2 here. dag. dont wanna avoid the board all day and not hear the show just to do no spoilers. i’ll just find a megaupload and listen now. gotta have it now cause thats the american way.

  12. whole tour! Says:

    @ mitch

    hoodstream is streaming 10/10/10 all day and night!

  13. SOAM Says:

    this show would have been absolutely fine for a tour opener-great songs-a couple change ups-i sense that miner might becoming-dare I say-a little too demanding….I HOPE THAT HE ISN’T LOOKING FOR SOMETHNG THAT ONLY SHOWS UP A COUPLE TIMES A TOUR….

  14. jdub Says:

    I thought that ICP article was a joke the entire time. It seemed too outageously wack.

    Great kickoff to tour. The venue is tiny and hazy. What a difference being indoors with Kuroda’s rig engulfing one end of the venue. I got hosed during that Slave bigtime. I liked the first set, Ocelot, Funky B, Moma, and the fantastic Stash. Mike’s Groove was dominant again! So glad to get a Ghost off the bat that pushed some limits.

  15. SillyWilly Says:

    So, El Dude convinced me last night that Genesis will be the Halloween cover.

    I am debating whether I think it will be Foxtrot or Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.

    Foxtrot seems to be El Dude’s pick.

    Genesis played a legendary LLDOB in Atlantic City and Brian Eno helped with a lot of the ambient stuff.

    but that’s my call….for now.

  16. albert walker Says:

    in general agree with miner 100%

    band sounds great. very clean and polished for early in the tour. 1st set was played pretty close to the vest though creatively. tight pretty standard Bag, Ocelot and Dust, with another high energy Funky Bitch were the only real pieces of improv in the 1st set pre Stash. just made the set feel like it was lacking one more big jam. well played set but fairly uneventful.

    Stash was short but sweet. I really like the jam on this one after a couple recent lackluster performances. def give this one several themes. several cool musical density themes before returning to the Stash theme. the strange Golgi closer made me wishful they would end with another jam but closed it out with Golgi

    2nd set post Groove was def pretty choppy and had lack of flow. Why Slave was quite nice set had lost my attention by then.

    for me the real highlight is the Mike’s groove. very crispy crunchy high energy Mike’s with a nice little Simple.

    Ghost I need to relisten to but Miner seems to be cutting it a little short. another song like Stash whose jams have suffered lately I think this one has several very cool themes that may not be extremely cohesive but had some very hip moments. I loved this Ghost live and can’t wait to hear it.

    pretty standard fair with some nice moments in Stash and the Groove. band sounds very clean and confident. good things to come with this one.

    have a good one .

    laterz kids.

  17. nonoyolker Says:

    That article was PRICELESS…

    “Gravity’s cool,” Violent J says, “but not as cool as magnets.”


  18. Guyute711 Says:

    If they play Genesis I will be pissed. That’s what I wanted last year and will not be attending this year.

  19. mrfergie Says:

    nonoyolker – i second the live phish ap for the same reason…

  20. BTB Says:

    If Trey turns into a religious freak on us…shame on us for not seeing the warning signs in ‘Secret Smile’

  21. Henrythetoad Says:

    I need 2 tickets for 12/30. Anyone know where I can get some?

  22. seif Says:

    i have never used flickr before so hopefully this works, but i have put up some pics from my backstage adventure at ACL:


  23. SillyWilly Says:

    If Trey’s religious, he’s a pantheist.

    He’ll go back to his ancient Greek roots, and tell us to pray to Zeus and Athena for all out needs.

  24. Nagarjuna Says:

    that new tune last night reminded me of post-90 GD new tunes. i’m thinking liberty perhaps but can’t quite put my finger on it. didn’t sound too bad as new phish songs go but feels more like a first setter unless they intend to open up its groove, which has some potential

  25. Monsterpus Says:

    There was a good article about ICP and jugaloos in the Village Voice recently. I’ve never heard their music, and they’re definately easy targets, but it made me at least sympathetic to them. The jugaloos find the same sense of community and escape from the world that we might find in Phish. The outside world doesn’t get them, much like most people and Phish, too. Anyway, not a jugaloo, but thought it was interesting, and in a strange way could relate

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