Boardwalk Beginnings

10.29.10 - Boardwalk Hall (Jon Weber)

Phish kicked off their three-night run in Atlantic City finale with a strong second frame Friday night that set the tone for the rest of the weekend. Showcasing several pieces that stood out throughout fall tour, Phish molded a front-loaded series of grooves in a hearty musical entrée on the Boardwalk of the Jersey Shore. Shaking off a sluggish opening set with the closing combo of “Cities > 46 Days,” these last two songs ignited the band, setting the table for an eventful second act.

After this retro-tour filled with intimate venues and often with immaculate sound, the “legendary” Boardwalk Hall was a bit of a let down in terms of size and sound. A massive room with a huge domed ceiling likening a natatorium, the music lost considerable quality on the floor beyond the soundboard, as it drifted into the rafters above. Hopefully, Phish’s crew will have the room sounding far better for the rest of this special weekend.

10.29.10 (J.Weber)

But let’s get back to the music. Carrying over the adrenalized energy of “46 Days” into the opening “Punch You In the Eye,” Phish lit a fuse to the second half of the show. But Friday night’s fire burned the brightest during the subsequent combination of “Sand” and “Carini” – two songs that have stood as beacons of light all Fall. Morphing the show into a rhythmic odyssey, the band smoothly progressed through an exquisute excursion of “Sand.” Rejuvenated with musical density, “Sand” has emerged as one of the all-stars of tour, and last night Phish provided more evidence to its defense. Transforming into liquid textures, Trey played laid-back leads over a jazzy pocket, allowing plenty of room for Page’s clavinet offerings. Boasting distinct flow and gradually building momentum, this version typifies the evolved version of “Sand” for this era, where the entire band donates to the dense puzzle rather than Trey annihilating solos over a linear beat.

Not only boasting a stupendous peak, “Sand” moved beyond, into an uncharted melodic realm where the entire band helped build the piece away from the song’s foundation into a free form jam. Taking “Sand” where it has never gone before, the band transitioned into a mid-tempo groove where the band moved singlemindedly. Open jamming wthin “Sand” – next generation stuff – who’d have thunk it? This very impressive improvisational sequence concluded with a somewhat abrupt, Trey-led switch into “Carini.” Though anytime “Carini” drops these days, a gorgeous jam is sure to follow. Building off the song’s sizzling arena rock, Phish used their newly revitalized vehicle to explore sparser, bass-led textures. Moving into creative dance patterns and then into an experimental outro, creativity was at a paramount once again as the each band member contributed to a song that was once defined by wailing guitar.

10.29.10 (J.Weber)

Melting into “Prince Caspian,” Phish used a more conventional version of their power-ballad to take a breath after two standout jaunts. Though many recent versions have been underlined by whole-band interplay, this one rode the coattails of Trey’s solo, completing the set’s opening sequence in classic fashion. After a brief pause to communicate, the band dropped into Taj Mahal’s “Corrina” straight out of left field, and the cover brought complete serenity to the show, drenching the audience in soulful melody.

At this natural break, the show could have gone in any number of directions, as a certain jam vehicle loomed around the corner. Selecting another scorching highlight of the fall, Phish began a particularly dense “Piper,” taking the set on a high-speed roller coaster ride. Communicating with incredible proficiency, the band sped into super-glued intergalactic journey, pushing the boundaries of new-school Phish. Navigating their spaceship as if commanded by a single mind, the band careened through a mid-set peak and found their way into “Theme From the Bottom” to resolve the maniacal chase.

10/29 Official Poster (Duval)

After an out of place “Golgi,” the band – again – chose a fall highlight that has stood out since its surreal unveiling in Broomfield, “Slave to the Traffic Light.” Patiently building the spiritual soundtrack, Trey infused this version with that extra zest that separates great versions from the good ones. Fishman was with him from the inception on a meticulous climb to the stars. Boasting supreme phrasing from all members, this version carried certain majesty from beginning to end, bringing the show to a colossal and cathartic peak.

Building off “Slave’s” cleansing conclusion, Phish continued the upbeat vibe with “Fluffhead.” Closing the set with a relatively clean version of the multi-part composition, the show ended in blissful rage as Trey took liberty with his final solo, forming a multi-tiered, anthemic geyser. Giving a nod to last year’s Halloween costume, Phish ended the evening with Exile on Main Street’s “Loving Cup,” but there was nary a hint of what the band might do come tomorrow night’s second set. But that’s a whole ‘nother show away. Tonight is shaping up to be a Saturday night barnburner on the Boardwalk in AC. Often times Phish drops their most significant music of a holiday run before the final night, and with a strong boost from Friday’s second set, Saturday night has plenty of room for a freak scene. Soon we shall see…

10.29.10 (J.Weber)

1st Set Notes: Despite succinct versions of rarities “Light Up or Leave Me Alone” and “Timber Ho!,” the first set never picked up any steam until the band transitioned out of “Moma” into “Cities.” Taking the cover in a diverse direction, the band built away from conventional funk grooves into a soupier, psychedelic ambiance that eventually twisted into “46 Days.” Though ballistically crushing the set closer, the entire frame came across a bit haphazardly. But with the putting the pedal to the medal during the closer, Phish was on their way far more impressive second half.

I: The Star Spangled Banner, My Soul, AC/DC Bag, Ocelot, Sample in a Jar, Light Up Or Leave Me Alone, Sugar Shack, Timber Ho!, Bouncing Around the Room, Axilla, Rift, The Moma Dance > Cities > 46 Days

II: Punch You In the Eye, Sand > Carini > Prince Caspian, Corinna, Piper > Theme From the Bottom, Golgi Apparatus, Slave to the Traffic Light, Fluffhead

E: Loving Cup

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1,459 Responses to “Boardwalk Beginnings”

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  1. parallaxogram Says:

    Thank you Mr. Miner!
    Thank you Taper420!
    Thank you interweb!
    Thank you Phish!

  2. Mr.palmer Says:

    Mr.palmer Says:
    October 30th, 2010 at 5:24 am
    Got my first Light Up. Highlight of set one for me. The jam in Light up was sick, def check that one out. Timber , axilla,moms>cities, 46 days were also great.
    Second set started off like we were gonna go on a deep space exploration. Sand>carini was nasty. Wife was singing Carini for the rest of the night. Could have done without some tunes but have no complaints overall. Was a little bummed when they went into Fluff, but the crushed it. Slave was gorgeous , as was Corrina.
    Nice to run into all the regulars last night. Nice to put a face to screen name on a few . Good to meet Beantown and AW. See you cats later.

  3. st8 of mind Says:

    Nice work Miner. Hope everybody is having a lot of fun!!

  4. Mr.palmer Says:

    We were on Fshmans side in the 100s down low and the sound was great. Was a big room though.

  5. The "L.G" Says:

    – After Midnight
    – Star Spangled Banner “til the dawn’s early light”
    – Corinna
    – Light Up or Leave Me Alone

    Reminds me of Cypress….

    Venue doesn’t have any curfew….

    Could we be getting the band’s long desired “L.G.” (long gig)???

    Just speculating….

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    Derek and the Dominoes?

  7. Gavinsdad Says:

    Lost a massive post so i’ll just echo Palmer and Miner here moma>cities, light up, sand>carini, corina (!)….meh Golgi placement, nice Slave. I needed that show as a “break In” and really look forward to tonite.
    Met and saw a legion of Bb’ers. Really good people. Back of the floor felt like a late 90s throwdown. Sound was definitely not as crispy as I got accustomed to this Summer.

  8. Mr.palmer Says:

    Someone mentioned that yesterday@miner, with Derek Trucks sitting in. Man, that would be sick.

  9. Gavinsdad Says:

    And yeah, Sand really has stepped off the grid into some fine fluid exploration as we’ve been seeing since this Summer. Entirely different beasts than the repetetive heavy groove monsters of yore (Camden 09).

  10. Carl Says:

    Sand>carini was all I needed. I liked fluff as a closer especially after that sick sick slave. Plus fluff was way above average.

    Derek and the Dominoes would be great! Can’t believe I haven’t even thought about that!

  11. Gavinsdad Says:

    Like that Derek and the Dominoes line of thinking…

  12. Matso Says:

    There definitely has been something to Trey’s playing this fall that suggests a more languorous, slide-guitar-esque approach – perhaps that’s from listening to Duane…

  13. Carl Says:

    Little Wing…Trey… PLEASURE OVERLOAD

  14. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    ‘Got a bird,
    gonna’ whistle,
    baby got a bird,
    honey got a bird will sing….’

    Hey all, stop by the WW booth and say hello to ‘Lady Ocelot’, aka Ashley. Fishman side.

    Way to hold it down, crew.

  15. Mitch Says:

    Star spangled banner = jimi

  16. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    Mitch – am I correct that if I bring in an old iPod mini to the store to have it recycled, that I can get a full 10% off a new 160GB classic iPod?

  17. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    Hate to hear that the sound in the room is all that great. There’s nothing worse, since that’s the whole point of being there.

    I really liked the well-executed segue from Moma > Cities. Talk about turning on a freakin’ dime. Makes me feel good knowing they are practicing.

  18. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    “not all that great” – coffee’s still brewing.

  19. JWP Says:

    I have two extras for tonight (10/30), but I can only accept cash and the buyer will have to meet me in PA (~90 miles from AC).

    Anyone interested?

  20. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    currently from the bottom of the LivePhish page:

    Top 5 Downloads: last 30 days

    1. 10/16/10 PHISH: Charleston, SC
    2. 10/15/10 PHISH: Charleston, SC
    3. 10/22/10 PHISH: Providence, RI
    4. 10/26/10 PHISH: Manchester, NH
    5. 10/20/10 PHISH: Utica, NY

    Interesting? I am obviously biased, since I went to the Chucktown shows and did not attend the ones in the NE, but the board’s consensus seems to have been that Utica was #1. Considering the Downloads are free to ticketholders, what do you think the above ranking says about the shows? Can it be used as a fair barometer of which one was best this fall? Obviously Charleston has had more days to be sold, but I think it went straight to the top as soon as it got released (within a few days anyway). I’m not trying to “win” or anything. Just wondering what you guys think. Not really all that important.

  21. Mitch Says:

    Not Tom Marshall, dunno call apple. … Or email me

  22. oldskool Says:

    If that jam out of Sand is any indication of where they are headed Sunday night and beyond, we are in for some serious stuff. That full band interplay with Trey melodic rifting was SICK.

    Miner, I may have you taken care of on the poster. Let me wait for a few others to wake up…

  23. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    no worries – I’ll stop by my local store and ask.

  24. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    all the hicks down south are taking full advantage of the free download.

    Sunday Amherst = top show

  25. Mitch Says:

    I think it has to do with the people who went to chucktown had more time to figure out free stuff. Plus everyone was handing out codes at the beginning where as now people have their system figured out with friends.

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