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. butter Says:

    Robear – u were so there in spirit, spent the Hood, Julius with your lovely lady

    Hood was so gentle and lovely, with an extra shot of bliss

  2. Oldskool Says:

    I am just trying trying to get him to post something, I was only joking

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    oh nice @nagarjuna

    apoptosis is a fascinating phenomenon…could it be halted? what would the implications be? mindbending.


    yes, to my mind it is one of the most beautiful ideas there is – fully reconciling a seeming paradox between permanence and impermanence…

    combine that idea with the (perhaps cliched but true) fact that the hydrogen atoms in the water have all (or almost all) existed unchanged since shortly after the big bang, and the heavier atoms were all created in supernova explosions from two prior generations of stars before our own was born…

    imagine how many ‘objects’ any given atom has been a part of in that 13 billion years…

  4. willowed Says:

    I just threw on this Spanish Moon. First time hearing it other than live.

    i just got chills up my spine!!

    What a jam!

  5. negev79 Says:

    What a weekend! Currently in PHL headed home minus many many brain cells and surrounded by the walking wounded. Incredible time – wish I could have hooked up with more BB’ers. I always have such good intentions about that, but when meeting up with friends from all over the country that I haven’t seen (some in 7 years, some in 22), it’s hard to tear myself away.

    I LOVED the Little Feat set. I can’t wait to listen to it over and over. I wasn’t familiar with all of it, but man, it sounded fantastic.

    Damn I wish I was going to NYE.

  6. lumpyhead Says:

  7. butter Says:

    Oldskool – will u drop me an email

    Ebutter1 at mac dot com

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    if you think about those two ideas at the same time it’s hard to take the existence of objects as being anything other than a hallucination on our parts…

    but yet if you drop the brick on your foot it hurts

    funny old thing, life


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

    I think that’s technically called “flailing in panic”

    I actually think it’s more understandable than the Zen calm in Dallas, as if everything were perfectly in harmony

  9. kayatosh Says:

    re. heine. ya, silly. Thatw as light up tallboy. when you don’t drink, that first brew gets you mighty high. I remember holding the can high and giving you my best heavy metalish face. Later during Sugar Shack, I was dancin with that tallboy like it was my girl.

    random weekend moment from 10.30: standing near the aisle in sec. 119 in a row with one chair (my kinda row; feel trapped otherwise. i’m an antsy feller), right in front of an older dude, probably in his late 50’s early 60’s, roughly 115 lbs, short hair, smallish head. i didn’t take him for a phish fan. seemed like a local who got handed a free ticket or somehow won it playing back alley craps or something.

    Dude was swillin a tall boy and acting pretty tame. Then walkway hit and he starts whoopin it up. He was feelin it. He’s probably an ole James Gang head. Later came the Zep, and that got him really pumped. I believe said dude is now a phan for life.

  10. Calpain Says:

    Wow, just got off the phone with friends who were in AC and read back on the posts, looks like an epic weekend!!

    I freakin’ love apoptosis. A quick google search of my handle will make my statement evident.

    Just started spinning 10/29 top to bottom, I can’t wait to hear 10/31.

  11. lumpyhead Says:

    Mr. C,


  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    Wade Phillips is either a secret Zen master or a recent, unannounced lobotomy patient…what started off as calm in the face of disaster is starting to look more like catatonia…

    I totally get exactly why Jones hasn’t fired him, if you’re wondering: because neither Gruden or Cowher can or will take the job mid-season and he doesn’t want to do the interim thing.

  13. Oldskool Says:

    @Butter, email sent

  14. Oldskool Says:

    Clearly we know Jason Garrett is not the guy in Dallas or Jones could have done that mid-season.

  15. gratefulcub Says:

    Just started the Phish portion of last night. I must be in for a treat if since no one has even gotten around to mentioning the stellar (but short) screaming guitar of Back on the Train.

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    they’re some kind of semi-universal cell process catalyst right @cal? I vaguely recognize the term but am terrible at intermediate metabolism details.

  17. gratefulcub Says:

    To fire someone that you hired is to admit that you were wrong. That isn’t Jer’s style, which is why he maintained the “I have complete confidence in Wade” schtick.

    But, when the team so obviously quits that the opposing quarterback says in post game interviews, “they just didn’t seem to be motivated and into the game the way an NFL defense should be”……..well, then you almost have to do something. Even he knows that everyone realizes he was wrong and no facade can hide it.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    the word is that Garret “isn’t ready to be head coach” whatever that means

    I’m not sure he’s ready to be offensive coordinator for that matter

    I really think Jones wants to land a big name in the offseason. They say he’s ready to cede the control that a Gruden or (especially) Cowher would require. We’ll see about that! sounds unlike him to say the least

  19. Oldskool Says:

    I doubt either Gruden or Cowher leave the cushy confines of the broadcasting chair for that job, but we will see what happens.

    I think Garret’s play calling is pretty terrible. Felix Jones could be utilized much more int he way the Saints utilize Bush and really open up the field for Barber and the passing game.

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    my opinion of the Vikings is totally colored by the fact that their head coach looks like a plumber.

    no offense to plumbers or anything but something about that guy just doesn’t seem right.

  21. gratefulcub Says:

    This Jiboo is a different monster all together than 09/10 versions. I have referred to some as “pretty”, which isn’t a very Jiboo-esque term historically. This one has a bit more ferocity, I likey.

  22. Oldskool Says:

    also looks like he could be long last brothers with Tony Kornheiser 😉

  23. themanatee Says:

    the spanish moon was massivo

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    ha to me it sounds like Gruden is politicking for a job with every game he calls actually

    supposedly he wanted to take the offensive coordinator job at Oregon to learn the blur spread offense from Chip Kelly!!! Gruden said his wife vetoed it but he was ready to pack his bags. Given how he hypes everything, who knows, but it’s a funny story.

    most NFL writers seems convinced that they’ll both be back soon. Miami is often mentioned as the destination for Cowher, with talk that PArcells basically left to make room for a different alpha-male ego at the top. Who knows.

    I do get the vibe from Gruden he wants another shot. Too much talk for his comfort that he won his super bowl with Dungy’s players (which is true, but then, those same players didn’t win one under Dungy)

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    but yeah whether any elite coach would work for Jerry Jones is very much an open question to say the least!

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