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”

  1. dusty Says:

    sick weener show last night. They really pulled off the album in classic style. I’m still trying to stop my head from spinning and wrap it around my thoughts for the whole run…but I’m so glad the boys are back..and quite happy I am too.

    I agree that Julius had the whole flavor of the night wrapped up in it. Couldn’t help thinking about nye ’96 with the boston choir when they started it.

  2. BrandonKayda Says:
    Phish – Waiting For Columbus – Halloween 2010 – Intro & Join The Band/Fat Man In The Bathtub

  3. She Divides Says:

    I remember taking notice of how good the julius at Broomfield 1 was, but the horns last night took it to a whole other level for me. Interesting that the last two halloween costumes have both had horns….don’t mind that one bit!

  4. Snigglebeach Says:

    Vikings must have heard Moss last night, gone on to his Facebook page and realized he was still in love with Brady… ahhhh. kicked to the curb. Tough to carry an old flame into a new relationship…

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    @silly “I was thinking about the scene is all of us and none of us at the same time.”


    like your body – not a single atom in your body today was in your body when you were a kid – but you are still the same person – aren’t you….?

    waves of people, they come and they go

    /philosophical BS

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    lol @adjective choice on ESPN headline “Vikings waive outspoken receiver Moss”

    ‘hey Jimmy, find me a polite synonym for “smack-talking egotistical head case” in the thesaurus, will ya…?”

    btw, what’s another word for ‘thesaurus’ ?

  7. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Wait… Is that true re: the atoms? Is there any real way to prove that?

    (The overarching point is not lost on me – just a subquestion)

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    BTW I continue to harbor doubts about how much of a championship contender they really are, but kudos to the Patriots for continuing to take care of business and make the most of the opportunities they’re getting to build a great record. Great discipline on that team. they get 1 more they should win, then 2 tough ones in a row. We’ll know exactly where they stand after getting the Steelers and Colts back to back.

  9. BrandonKayda Says:

    @Mr C

    Yeah I just learned in Chemistry recently that the atoms in your body constantly change and the atoms you had in you when you were a kid are no longer there….that’s interesting as shit

  10. stitchstash Says:

    I can’t wait to look back and read the experiences from those who were there this weekend. I made it home from work just in time to catch the 3rd set of couch tour. That Jibboo sounded so amazing! I hope everyone has/had safe travels home.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    @duke, sure it’s true, unless one cycles back into your system after being released from a cell that has died, and does that many times without leaving.

    Generally speaking, all the cells in your body are replaced on some sort of regular schedule ranging from a few days to many years. There are a couple of possible but not certain exceptions when you really get into the technical details. Some kinds of neurons and corneal cells may never be replaced, and could be the same as they were when you were an infant; but they may not.

    And even outside of cell death there’s a lot of turnover at the atomic level…

    FWIW the old story about the “Seven year cell replacement cycle” is such an oversimplification that it’s not really accurate in any meaningful way.

  12. Magilla Says:

    I just saw swedish house mafia in vegas. if you’re into candyflippin, worth checking out.

  13. lumpyhead Says:

    that david bowie…

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    it’s the same concept as a river the ocean though, to simplify the metaphor considerably

    “you never step in the same river twice” – on one level true – the water molecules around your foot now are different from those around your foot one second ago – and equally important, all the details of the turbulence and splashing and the little currents and eddies change from moment to moment and are always unique if you look closely enough.

    but one another level it’s false – the river is always the same river regardless of the details

    it just depends on which level you focus on.

    same with our scene.

    (which has continuity going back before Phish, back before the Dead, back before the hippies and the consciousness movement, before the Beats, all the way back into history – there have always been people who live like we live and find freedom the way we do, though in many times and places they were forced to do so in secrecy and danger – the connection between those generations of free souls through the ages has been referred to as the ‘unbroken chain’ which I think is a very beautiful image)

    we’re not the first and we won’t be the last

    but now is our moment…

  15. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Word. Yeah I was going to say, I thought parts of the nervous system were never replaced.

    Now if I can just avoid thinking about the implications of this whole atom-replacement phenomenon while I need to get work done…

    Come on…


  16. BrandonKayda Says:

    That’s beautiful, Mr C.

  17. Guyute711 Says:

    What the hell are the Vikings doing, how do you trade for Moss then release him?

  18. nagarjuna Says:

    speaking of the utterly profound posts above, a great all time face melting documentary is Death by Design.

    technically about “programmed cell death” but actually about Everything. check it out sometime.

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    Yeah Duke that’s just come into question recently due to some evidence of replacement of neurons they’ve found just in the last couple years. Research looking for stem cell therapy targets, I think.

    It could be that some neurons are in fact longer lived than the maximum current lifespan of the human organism, as long thought true…it’s just no longer certain…an open research topic right now

  20. verno329 Says:

    As a Packers fan for more than 25 years I must say I’m delighted at the Vikings stupidity. This even beats when they had two teams pick before them in the draft because they were too stupid to make a pick. And almost as good as Nathan Poole knocking them out of the playoffs with the Cardinals.

  21. Robear Says:

    almost done dwnlding last night. will make the drive back into the hills quite enjoyable.

    blessings ya’ll.

  22. mrfergie Says:

    Way to drop the Heraclitus quote Mr C

  23. butter Says:

    Goin deep, love this place is the best

    Aw says to me during Julius, ” they should just play sets like this”

    When they did the lil drum sect in Julius (which was sick, the congas just sang in that room) Trey started to improv off of the drummers

    One of many moments of improv rag tag rock, so fresh

  24. Oldskool Says:

    Miner, HATED the show

  25. verno329 Says:

    Still one of my favorite radio calls ever. The Tecmo Bowl thing is just the cherry on the top

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