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. Calpain Says:

    Deep thoughts Mr. C, and yes they play a role in neuronal apoptosis/necrosis, but are also found in muscle tissue. Much is still unknown.
    They are a physiological example of the “use it or lose it” mantra.

    I only speak of this since it is a large research interest I hope to one day pursue. And if you don’t use it, you shall lose it.

    I know nothing about football, but it seems the NFL is in a tizzy, no?

    Is the Tweezer from 10/30 as energy-packed as what I am hearing through the grape-vine?

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    I just don’t get what Jason Garrett’s strategic concept or unifying vision is supposed to be, or how it relates to the strengths and weaknesses of his players and the opposition.

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    I just like juxtaposing football talk with philosophy and biochemistry @cal

  4. Mr.palmer Says:

    Nothing makes me happier than Cowboy misery ( football wide) . Not sure Cowher would work for JJ. He’s obviously waiting for the perfect fit. Gruden seems logical for that gig.

    Nice to see Rex Ryan get a tall glass of shut the fuck up yesterday.

  5. gratefulcub Says:

    So, maybe Gruden did win a Super Bowl with Dungy’s players, but the team he beat got to the Super Bowl with Gruden’s players. Seems like that would complete the resume as Super Bowl winning coach. In fact, he’s so good that he took two teams to the Super Bowl in one season.

  6. albert walker Says:

    back in Chicago. feeling good.

    had a blast this weekend. words can’t express the time being had down on the floor in AC.

    if you had any complaints about the run, the kinds of kids at the run, how people were are, or how hot it was this band isn’t for you.

    it is what it is and it was great

    it’s how shows should be and the band answered the challenge.

    maybe have a few thoughts after the respins but for know it is just one big blur of amazing Phish.

    see all you kids at MSG
    the boys are killing it


  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Nice to see Rex Ryan get a tall glass of shut the fuck up yesterday.”


    “In fact, he’s so good that he took two teams to the Super Bowl in one season.”

    you just blew my fucking MIND

  8. Mr.palmer Says:

    Sorry for typos..stupid phone

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    word @AW good to hear from you

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    the river is always the same river regardless of the details

    well… yes, and no.

    on a certain level, the river will always be the same river, but taken in another context (and one of the reasons I love that Heraclitus quote so much) not only is the river different due to the movement of the river itself (and thus the particles making up the river – as described earlier) but it is also a different river because you have also changed when experiencing the river again. that is, you have more experience making up who and what you are and thus your ability to understand the river changes just as the river is changing too. the river itself is different because you are different.

    this is a huge conversation, in all honesty, that I don’t really have time for right now, but I like the sense in which silly brought it towards the phishitariat.

    there is only one constant and that is change.

  11. Mr.palmer Says:

    Awesome gcub!

  12. BrandonKayda Says:

    Great post @TypeIII.

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    sure @T3 heraclitus was getting at subjectivity but my point is that even before you get to the observer at all there is a sense it is true…

    the point there really being to overthrow the subjective view completely, as a sort of judo move. after all, neither view – that the river is always the same, or that it is always different – can be completely true, since the other view is valid as well; therefore the distinction between the concepts and the notion that they are exclusive – indeed, the notion of “change” itself – all of that is purely a construction of the subjective viewpoint and not really inherent in the actual river at all.

    paradox is how unified, nondualistic reality looks from the outside. a seeming paradox like that is usually a strong clue that there’s a hidden unity being cloaked by the projections of subjective mentality.

    which is to say, in some sense the river changes because you have changed; in some sense it changes because it actually changes; in some sense it never changes despite your perception that it does, due to your own internal changes; and in some sense, you never really DO change at all and any apparent change is just a misunderstanding or surface phenomenon…

    and in some sense all of those things are true, including the contradictory ones.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    thanks for flushing out what I didn’t have time for, mRc 😉

    we are seeing the same thing here. I just wanted to point out the subjectivity of both sides since that hadn’t been said yet. and you then filled in the holes.

    replace “river” with “music” and silly’s original use works fantastically in the context of our phishy heroes

  15. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Great accoutrements on the last few pages

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    indeed sir

    yes you have a 4 level room of mirrors when the whole idea is set up – micro vs. macro and subjective perception vs. objective being

  17. locust the lurker Says:

    Sorry to interrupt the esoterica here but I have a more mundane question.

    I’m a Mac guy but have some friends with PCs who need to open and are having trouble opening .rar and .zip files. Is there a good and free PC program to do this?


  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    so in phish terms –

    the band is different now than they were, but they’re the same band

    the people making up the crowd are different, but the overall crowd is the same

    the music is different now, but in some ways the same

    we’re all different than we were when we first heard them, but we’re still the same people

    it doesn’t explain anything per se, but maybe it makes it a little easier to see how people’s perceptions of the scene and music could be so wildly different….

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    locust, I use 7zip

    free and works great

    A+ free app imo

  20. locust the lurker Says:

    Thanks, C! Much appreciated.

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    exactly. the whole thing keeps changing but staying the same in certain ways throughout. and the phish thing is even more subjective than the river.

    7Zip works really well, as does winrar

    both are free and easy

  22. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    Hey I feel like a break from reading about crazy. Can anyone recommend a good book on becoming a father? Fiction, non-fiction, whatever.

    Yes, I know you can’t learn anything important from a book, but my wife always has her face in the What to Expect book and I’m sure one of you has found something good…

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    the idea that the pattern is more real than (and can outlast) the constituents that make it up is a deep one indeed

  24. pbs Says:

    Holy G. Lowell tone replication on the opening of Dixie Chicken, Batman!

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


    this reminded me of the sun dog we all saw prior to the TAB show in Oakdale. good times…

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