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

Tags: ,

1,459 Responses to “Boardwalk Beginnings”

  1. phoammhead Says:

    Also KP

  2. phoammhead Says:

    Peace. I’m out.

  3. BrandonKayda Says:

    Is Page teasing something near the end of his Squirming Coil solo? It sounds like something he doesn’t usually play in those solos

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    This entire Fall tour has been pretty fucking great – set a whole new baseline for the band IMO

    Miner is going to have to put together a LONG highlight reel for this tour, because literally every single show had a highlight in it, if not 2-4. Then other shows just blow up (Utica/SC2/Manchester/AC2) – wild tour folks

  5. willowed Says:

    It’s 3:00 a.m I’m in my hotel room at the ramada.

    I am going to say this one time.

    This ain’t my first rodeo but that was the best set of phish I have ever seen.

    No joke

    good night….i love you guys

  6. neemor Says:

    I tried that today, making a “Best Of” list from this tour.
    Being very selective, I still had about 40 songs.
    Many were songs and their >’s due to the slickness of the segues, but still…and that’s really only from the shows I attended.
    Not even Utica or SC2!
    Crazy good tour.

  7. willowed Says:

    ps…. I am so spun my eyes are about to fall out

  8. willowed Says:


    It’s 3:00 a.m I’m in my hotel room at the ramada.

    I am going to say this one time.

    This ain’t my first rodeo but that was the best set of phish I have ever seen.

    No joke

    good night….i love you guys

  9. Hoedown Says:

    BK and all you guys listen to Willowed. Just got back to room, this whole fucking town just melted. INSANE show! Believe it.

  10. BrandonKayda Says:

    So happy to hear the post-show glow from you guys. Love this shit.

    Watch out for tomorrow night. It’s all for Phish

  11. sumodie Says:

    first set was the bomb

    2nd set seemed to get swallowed by the tweezep prank and not quite recover, IMO -kinda odd for me

    Tweezprise was sick

    Love this VENUE

    freakin tired of AC….

    late nite thoughts before sleep, who can say, eh?

  12. KWL Says:

    what just happened?

    sick, sick first set. 2nd set zep fest fun but not my thing. bound to be polarizing no doubt. a few gems in set 2.

  13. sumodie Says:

    After the Stairway tease Trey seemed uncertain and then ka-chunk, insert Halley’s which wasn’t even well played it seemed -very odd

    Up till then the whole show flowed fire and then it seemed fractured -curious to see what others say in the morn

  14. sumodie Says:

    and Mitch made it inside!!!

  15. BrandonKayda Says:


    Yeah that’s what I thought from the stream re: TweeZeppelin – kind of slowed down the momentum a bit.

  16. voopa Says:

    So what happened tonight?


  17. neemor Says:

    sumo, KWL had my take on things…
    Glad the board made a strong showing and you guys have each other to pal around with.
    WTF am I saying?
    It’s 4am.
    I’m going to bed.
    Glad you guys are all safe.

  18. albert walker Says:

    this was a smoking Phish show

    from Chalkdust on it was on

    couldn’t not seeing loving this whole 2nd set

    but what do I know I don’t even like Zep

    hot and dirty on that floor

    can’t wait for tomorrow
    laterz kids

  19. Myhkel Says:

    @neemor from “11:22” re:Ozrics

    If that were true my mind…my mind might cream a thousand dreams.

    Into them and seeing them since 93′ Belgium. God

    of course the likeliness…..HaHaHa

  20. ThePigSong Says:

    ’bout to fly up to philly- does phish nation know the album yet?

  21. m00nshake Says:

    Well stuck at a layover in Charlotte on the way to AC, first connection was canceled. Hope all goes well. My friend thinks it’s definitely Springsteen tonight. We’ll see… and *hopefully* I’ll see all of you there

  22. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    Woke up this morning …

    played Mike’s Bass Bomb from Tweeprise to start my day

    Note: after many LivePhish downloads recently, I’m going to have to find a super AUD for last night – the LivePhish board doesn’t convey how big that bass bomb was. I’d like Taper420’s recording if I can find it.

    El Duderino – gonna expect good things from you today on recommending the best one out there.

    See you all on the new post once it’s up.

  23. Diron Baker Says:

    What an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience last night musta been. A REAL TREAT… Like the night of the Elvis’s in Vegas, or the Pranksters, or Kid Rock. Say what you want about the music, but I’m so incredibly upset i missed it…. that i missed seeing it with my brother, a huge Zeppelin fan. I think i’m in the darkest places of dissapointment right now…
    I’ll leave it at that.
    Can’t wait for tonight. Selfishly, Im hoping its something not as good, some kinda junk… something like Springsteen …hahaha wouldn that be a trick!

  24. jdub Says:

    @Marshall, Did the same thing this morning. Need to get taper420 auds cause LP just doesn’t cut it.

    Super charged show last night, curious to hear what peeps think about the Leded Tweezer. I would’ve loved it, haven’t listened to zep in years so I’m due for getting some Led out. That 2001>Bowie sounded delightful on an awesome stream.

    Zappa seems like the obvious pick right, and I would guess Hot Rats. Any darkhorses? Lark’s Tongue, Graceland, waiting for colombus, Derek and the dominos or cream

    and then there is the wild card factor.

  25. m00nshake Says:

    Boarding flight to Philly then renting a car to AC from there. Last night looked great, I wish I had been able to take the time off work to see it. I’m excited about tonight, though. So you guys think it’s gonna be Bruce tonight?

Leave a Reply