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. Leo Weaver Says:


  2. willowed Says:

    I usually use a Mach 3 razor guy and this morning I switched to a Schick Quatro.

    I am pretty impressed.

  3. Lycanthropist Says:

    what what!!??

    SC baby!

  4. Oldskool Says:

    any chance Golden Age is a tip to TV on the Radio for Halloween???

  5. Lycanthropist Says:

    oh and

    HA HA Brett Favre!!!

  6. neemor Says:

    For some hilarity with Fish’s trombone, check out 10.22.89 when you get a chance.
    Just found the tape (that’s right-TAPE) in my car the other day and threw it in…
    Great banter, Ninja sighting, just a great shot of a young band in it’s early prime, surrounded by a good young fan base.
    And a glimpse into Fish’s antics with the trombone…not something to ever be taken seriously.

  7. Leo Weaver Says:

    Spun most of Sunday’s show yesterday at the office. Agree that Statsh is easily a top 3.0 version. Ghost was pretty nice but was a little choppy.

    Last night must’ve been pretty good…Miner’s a little more delayed than normal getting his writeup posted.

  8. lastwaltzer Says:

    They Hate Us For Our Occupations: Glenn Greenwald

  9. Leo Weaver Says:

    @lycan…sent you a FB message, don’t miss it.

    @willowed…I got all lathered up this morning, ready to shave, and…no Mach 3 blades in the house. I’m not impressed. Itchy neck today.

  10. Nagarjuna Says:

    Last night was fun. The venue and vibe were great again. 

    I thought the first set was far above average with some surprising song placements and quality playing overall. Reba and tweezer stand out for me.  Not sure if they are must hear (might be) but certainly good stuff. 

    Seems like i might have a minority view on this but I thought second set lacked flow in a big way and the jamming was pretty conservative type one stuff for the most part. It’s just personal taste of course but any second set with a short piper, camel walk, and Alaska right in its core will have a hard time going beyond good to get it to great for me. Just too straight. I thought jibbo might open things up a bit but not so much. Not that the playing wasn’t nice – it just wasn’t a face melting set overall. It was one of those sets where i thought Trey could have benefited from letting the music breathe a bit more. Felt like a first set to me. Perhaps miner’s review will make me realize I totally missed the boat!

    But hey, don’t get me wrong, it was a great time and there was no place I’d rather have been. It still feels like the band can crush at will, just depends on when they choose to. 

    Psyched for tonight!

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    mike says no. 😉

    lovin’ this Golden Age>Piper. definitely a new school cover I am totally on board with!

  12. Hoedown Says:

    Last night I was thinking about possible Halloween albums and re-visited Trey’s R&R induction speech for Genesis. He is gushing in that speech. Seems odd they didn’t cover any Genesis this summer. Coupled with the identical artwork on AC tickets as that Genesis show poster, I now feel a Genesis cover is what we will be getting. Re-watch the speech and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  13. EL Duderino Says:


    That’s why I’ve sported the “Spotty” since ’98…

    Very little shaving.

  14. EL Duderino Says:

    Fox Trot…

  15. EL Duderino Says:

    I haven’t heard note one as of yet…

    Spent the last 2 days working on my i-pod

    Now I’m putting the lossless files of the Phresh on the SLF’s i-pod for the weekend…

  16. BTB Says:

    It’s Lionel Richie month on my blog – just remember, no matter what PH does on fall tour, October belongs to Lionel!!


  17. Jeffiem Says:

    Interesting Antelope last night. Loose, powerful playing from Trey after the Marco/Polo, but it really never gets “out of control” after the peak. I like the style of playing, but I’m not sure it fits the song. Doesn’t yield to the intentional chaos of a great Antelope. Still, it’s different and fun. Good to see them experimenting, even if it doesn’t always quite work. Like I said, interesting.

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    chalk up another couple of songs last night not on that list seif photoed in austin

  19. lastwaltzer Says:



  20. Lumpyhead Says:

    Genesis or Floyd’s animals seem to make the most sense.

    They could do interesting things with both of those so I’m sure it’ll be awesome; however, as of right now I wouldn’t be too sad about missing genesis halloween.

  21. Leo Weaver Says:

    So is there anywhere I can stream last night’s show? Yawningdrone back up and functional?

  22. Leo Weaver Says:

    @duder…I guess you and the slf are now fully recovered from Sunday?!?

  23. EL Duderino Says:


    Not much movement yesterday…

  24. Guyute711 Says:

    Speaking of Lionel Richie, why can’t I walk on the ceiling? It’s 2010 and Lionel was dancing on the ceiling in the eighties.

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    hey, guys! we’re on the next post now.

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