Getting The Led Out

10.30.10 - Atlantic City, NJ (Dave Lavery)

Phish primed their Halloween audience on Saturday night with a fun and raucous rock show laced with Led Zeppelin history, crossing the strongest rumor off the never-ending list musical costume possibilities. Filling two sets with ballistic playing, Phish granted the Atlantic City audience an explosive and special show that will go down in the band’s rich Halloween lore.

On the eve of their three-set exclamation holiday show, the band crushed from beginning to end, with much of their impressive improvisation coming before setbreak. Popping through a set-opening trio of “Kill Devil Falls,” “Cavern” and “Foam,” the band clearly carried an extra something with them from the get go on Saturday night. But when the band ripped into what seemed like another innocuous first set “Chalk Dust,” the evening was just getting started. Phish transformed a furiously creative jam into a full-blown stop in Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” before dive-bombing for the ending of “Chalkdust.” At this point, the Zeppelin reference could have been a Halloween preview, or a tease altogether. But when Phish followed up the smoking segment with “Ha Ha Ha,” the joke was clearly on us, and we didn’t even know the half of it.

10/30 Official Poster

“Chalk Dust” began a scintillating first set run that continued with a sticky and percussive “Wolfman’s Brother” that continued to push the envelope of fall versions. Moving out of the composition into a vocal scat over a pulsing groove, the bands musical exploits never stopped while they simultaneously added a fifth vocal layer. Passing into a sparse rhythmic plane, Trey darted through the intricate beats with staccato melodies that Gordon answered with strong counter-leads of his own. Soon enough the band was neck-deep in a pit of percussive quicksand that continued to draw the band down the rabbit hole. Hinting at “Manteca” (as most funk jams this tour have at one point or another) all four members kicked in equitable antes in this rhythmic canvas. A strained, but well intended, transition brought the band from “Wolfman’s” into Fall’s first “Undermind.”

Continuing their rhythm-based jamming, Phish flowed into a standout version of “Undermind” that was delivered with enhanced precision and tightness that has characterized this tour. Trey and Mike entered a dynamic conversation while Fishman held the court for such a discussion to take place. Page comped this scene with organ swells that provided a backdrop for the three-piece summit. Look for some furious work from Red throughout this, potentially, best-ever version.

10.29.10 (J.Weber)

Following the post-hiatus song with two oldies, Phish closed the set with a massive “Bathtub Gin” and “Squirming Coil.” Highlighted by guitar acrobatics – an emerging theme of the show – Phish led “Bathtub Gin” down decidedly dancy road. Oozing right into the thick of things, it took Phish no time to lock into an initial groove that spiraled into a tornado of nasty guitar licks, ballooning bass lines, and collective melodic sensibility. This “Gin” built into a cathartic first set standout that brought one of the legitimate high points of the entire show. Flowing and connected with unparalleled urgency, Phish carried a Mack truck’s worth of momentum through this mind-numbing first half gem.

But after setbreak, Phish built a retro-adventure centered on a “Tweezer” that wove in and out of four Led Zeppelin songs, climaxing with the iconic final verse of “Stairway to Heaven.” As soon as the “Tweezer” jam dropped, Phish went right into tease of “Heartbreaker” before changing back into to “Tweezer” for a stellar couple of minutes that too quickly found their way “Ramble On.” Passing through mere portions of each Zeppelin song, Phish built a classic rock jigsaw puzzle that likened a joyride down high school’s memory lane. After passing through the gorgeous “Thank You,” Phish briefly returned to “Tweezer’s” theme before merging into “Stairway to Heaven.” Turning “Tweezer” into a straight up medley, Phish musically chuckled at any fans that had believed the hype, while creating a wildly entertaining sequence of music along the way.

10.30.10 (Dave Lavery)

Although a smashing and significant “Tube” opened the set followed by a “Possum” that stuck out like a sore thumb, what this show now needed was some pure Phish fire. All teases and jams aside, there was little meat in the second set until the final third. But any concerns were put to rest with an ornate sequence of “2001 > Bowie” that doused the end of the show with some serious improvisation.

Building on the revitalized versions of Fall, Phish absolutely went to town on “2001,” tearing apart the space-funk with a flying passion. Turning Boardwalk Hall upside down and spinning it around, the band really gave this version the full treatment, extending its second half into a clinic of groove. One of those versions where the mind shuts off and the body just moves, this one had the venue bumping as one in the middle of the second set. Flying off the chain with furious runs of notes, it had been ages since Trey had been so active and out front in the space-aged realm – and it was straight up glorious.

10.29.10 (J.Weber)

Dropping into “Bowie’s” intro at “2001’s” peak, the band unveiled another resuscitated piece of their catalog that has shined throughout Fall. A dialed-in rendition littered with nuances and intricacies, Mike, Trey and Page played a game of musical tag, chasing each other through a labyrinth of psychedelia. A perfect example of the new and improved Phish, the amount of ideas conveyed within this compact musical cannonball was stunning, as the band never let up from the moment the jam began. Unquestionably the musical highlight of the show, you can take “2001> Bowie” to the bank – top-notch stuff.

“Show of Life” set up a set closer from which the band could have selected a number of successful songs, but “Number Line” wasn’t one of them. Using this enigma of a song as a contained set closer contains very little power, and honestly, leaves the show wanting more. And luckily, last night, Phish had a little more in them, capping the set with a filthy and fitting encore of “Good Times, Bad Times.” Finalizing the evening with a last tease of “Whole Lotta Love” after “Reprise,” suffice it to say that Phish got their Led out on Saturday night, treating the South Jersey audience to a full-on experience. But now that Zeppelin is out, what will the costume be? Nobody knows a thing and the witching hour is quickly approaching! Your guess is as good as mine, but if one thing is for sure, the last night of Fall tour will be one for the books.

I: Kill Devil Falls, Cavern, Foam, Guelah Papyrus, Chalk Dust Torture > Whole Lotta Love > Chalk Dust Torture, Ha Ha Ha, Walk Away, Wolfman’s Brother > Undermind, Bathtub Gin*, The Squirming Coil

II: Tube, Possum*, Tweezer* > Heartbreaker^ > Ramble On^> Thank You^ > Tweezer > Stairway to Heaven^, Halley’s Comet > Also Sprach Zarathustra > David Bowie, Show of Life, Backwards Down the Number Line, Good Times Bad Times

E: Sleeping Monkey, Tweezer Reprise*

* w/ “Whole Lotta Love” teases, ^ incomplete

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2,844 Responses to “Getting The Led Out”

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  1. Corey Says:

    Crazy stuff.

  2. Corey Says:

    first and second, but that pales in comparison to being there last night…which I wasn’t.

  3. Diron Baker Says:

    unffrickinbelievable! speechless. dumbfounded.
    @Minor- how do you always end up with tickets? all the shows all the time?
    Enjoy tonight!
    Happy Halloween all!
    -d-

  4. Matso Says:

    Can’t wait to hear that Bathtub.

    Fingers crossed that the first words out of Trey (or Page’s mouth) during set II tonight are “The Mississippi Delta was shining like a National guitar”.

  5. Laurville Says:

    This was by far the best show I have seen in my 11 years of seeing Phish live. The jamming in the 1st set was tremendous and the 2nd set just speaks for itself.

    The place nearly left the ground during 2001. All aboard the Mothership!

  6. Looking For Owls? Says:

    Happy Halloween Everybody

  7. Jimmy Says:

    Zappa tonight.

  8. jdub Says:

    Another exciting review Miner, one more to go.

    @Matso, Graceland would come across like a dream after last nights raucous rock concert. We shall see….

  9. willowed Says:

    That Wolfman’s from last night is no joke. Spin it ASAP

  10. Prince Nabby Says:

    I was there, and the energy level was unreal. Trey has more chops than a Kung Fu class right now. This is shaping up to be a seriously impressive tour. See you all tonight!

  11. Mr.palmer Says:

    Crazy stuff.mind melted.

    AC was an insane asylum last night. Sketch city.

    Miner nailed it . 2001>Bowie. Wow!

  12. Corey Says:

    Steely Dan – Royal Scam or Aja.
    Allman Bros. – Eat a Peach or Live at the Fillmore.
    Hendrix – Electric Ladyland

    Of course, all those guesses will probably be proved wrong this evening.

    Anyone think they’d do an instrumental record? Their vocals, when not doing improv or an acapella tune, are not the cleanest…

  13. KWL Says:

    wolfmans>undermind, gin

    2001>bowie

    awesome shit

    not a zep guy but it was fun and off the charts energy, as others have said

  14. jdub Says:

    (jazz+classic rock rock+funk+elctro ambience+prog rock+theatrical antics)*snarling pyschedelia = phish fall tour. Seems to be pointing to a Zappa cover

  15. karaoke activity partner Says:

    Last night’s show was the best I’ve ever seen in my 12 years seeing shows!!! It was MY show with the Tweezer and Zeppelin mixer!!! I’m so grateful to.have been there. And to boot – I have Mono, so it was tough even to dance, but the boys brought it. Thank you Phish!

    Can’t wait for tonight!!! I captured a great vid of end of Wolfman’s > Undermind. Will post on my website soon.

    Happy Halloween!!!

  16. Dillsnik Says:

    Am i the only one that thought all the zep teases last night were just a buildup for physical graffiti tonight? notice none of those songs last night are on PG

    i clearly thought that was them telling us what the costume is…but seems like i’m the only one who read it as that

  17. KWL Says:

    the bar below us has 24 hour food & drinks. omelet & a guinness is tempting right now. how else should you start a sunday?

  18. Mr.palmer Says:

    On my home to the see the kids. Sad to leave phish and friends, happy to get out of AC. Completely electrified last night. Scene reminded me of what it was like 10 years ago. Lots of kids way too high ( me included).

    This show won’t soon be forgotten. I thought theTube had some extra spice last night. Danced my balls off

    Hope all you cats get a great one tonight. Wish I could be there.

  19. Corey Says:

    So many Zappa records, so little time. I would think that the tight ship that is the Zappa empire would prevent them from playing it. Only Zappa can play Zappa.

    ^but I like your equation, jdub.

  20. jdub Says:

    2001>Bowie has coach tour buzzing as well.

    For those in attendance, was Mike’s Teewprise bomb atomic or what? It blew up many a streamers speakers and throttled my brain through headphones.

  21. willowed Says:

    7th grade – Senior year in high school I pretty much stayed in my room, smoked the bane and spun Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti all day and night.

    Needless to say…I was happy with Zep set!

  22. willowed Says:

    It was a very dark bass bomb. Dirty bomb for a dirty city.

    Plus CK5 added this menacing red light effect with it.

  23. jdub Says:

    Tell me Whole lotta Love isn’t one of those tunes imprinted on your brain from day one. One of the catchiest rock riffs of all time. Must of been a blast for all the zep fans. I would’ve loved witnessing that zep fest.

  24. Prince Nabby Says:

    @jdub – that bass bomb in the ‘prise made my face vibrate (literally)

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    I called Miner’s title for this article before going to bed last night. what do I win?

    great looking show. Sorry I missed couch tour, I was busy watching the ducks with my lady and then…uh victory celebration.

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