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. Mr. Completely Says:

    damn do I love Time Loves a Hero – and I like Day or Night even more than that, such an incredible lyric on that one

    “Oh the city she makes
    Sometimes your soul to feel floating just like a leaf in the wind
    Street is stream so it carries you past your present schemes ’til there is no end…”

    ^^^ just that line is so badass

    “Left right in the alley
    No one catches you but the gentle wind
    There ain’t no Jane, no Jill, no Sally to see you through
    There ain’t no Jane, no Jill, no Sally to see you through

    So you do what you want
    And pretend again that it’s time to roam ’cause you can’t go home
    Maybe you’ll find your way today,
    But while you’re at it you’ll have some fun
    And through tears of laughter
    You know it’s nothing until you find someone
    You wouldn’t miss it
    You don’t care if it’s day or night”

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    no one catches you but the gentle wind

    I remember so clearly what it was like to feel that way….

  3. Mdawg Says:

    PHISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. KWL Says:

    i’m starting to realize that i don’t care about song length–not a trivial realization.

    i may have said i didn’t care about it before, but that would have been a lie. this run was a game changer.

    it is a liberating feeling. to fully and truly let go of expectations or desires about playing ‘long jams’…. i was just as lost in the beauty of the moment during the wilson outro as i was last fall for albany 7>ghost…

    just a great feeling, not really sure how to describe it

    as silly put it, i’m high on phish.

  5. butter Says:

    cool Palmer, i’ll get it too ya at NYE

    i’m glad you didn’t wait too long, cuz i don’t really know what was going on at set breaks

  6. willowed Says:

    Phish gave us a lesson in “Getting Down” last night.

    They graded my paper….I received an A+

  7. butter Says:

    Feats Don’t fail me now was sooooooooo effing sick

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    you didn’t cheat did you willowed?!?!?!?

  9. lastwaltzer Says:

    I’m sorry willowed but you got an F, my expectations were not met. I was waiting to hear that you left the wife and kids, bought a dog and hopped on tour.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    I don’t even really like “Mercenary Territory” but this is great

    more of that super sharp snickasnacka snickasnacka business from Fish

  11. willowed Says:

    If taking a lot of uppers is cheating…then hell to the fucking yes I cheated.

  12. willowed Says:

    I just gave Sailing Shoes a re-listen. Cash fucking money!!

  13. BrandonKayda Says:

    I can’t stop listening to Spanish Moon.

  14. lastwaltzer Says:

    @butter,kwl or anyone else who was there

    was it loud in the room during the feat set? Sounded like lots of talking from the stream.

  15. butter Says:

    last night was a hell of a dance party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i hear new year’s run is gonna have some jams 🙂

  17. willowed Says:

    I think it was loud LW. This album was an open airy groove session so the there is a lot of open space.

    Sound was good!

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    yeah outside Trey’s little vocal prematurity, Spanish Moon is the absolute bomb and if you add the fact that Trey calls it “one of our favorites” I think we have an obvious leading contender for addition to the rotation…

    listening to it again right now

  19. willowed Says:

    I love that new sounding board Page was playing. I wanted that to be a louder but that is all.

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    Mr. C – this Halloween was made for you, no? I think you are the only of my friends who actually was pumped for Little Feat, probably because you are the only one who was actually very familiar with them. Very cool, hope you enjoyed.

  21. lastwaltzer Says:

    Conga player fuckin killed it.

  22. KWL Says:

    not many talkers anywhere near me… whole place was flat out gettin down like i have never seen before

    dance vibe continued into set 3

  23. albert walker Says:

    in 200 or something shows this run is at the top for vibe, energy, band having fun, dance party

    I needed a taste of this to remind me why I keep coming

    you start doubting it and then you just get run over by Phish

    I really couldn’t imagine having more fun than at last night’s show

    the energy on the floor was insane

    I need some food and some sleep
    one for the ages we caught right there
    and not just the cover the creativity and new angles of the Phish jams were out of this world

    laterz kids

  24. willowed Says:

    All That You Dream is a hot little number!

    Fuck it…they were all good.

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    @aj, there were actually a fair number of us that knew the material and were stoked for it, including AW and Oldskool, etc – I was just vocal about it in the week before the show, though in honesty I was just trying to con people into listening to an album I like 😮

    I thought the set was great, and it obviously seems to have sparked at least a few people’s interest in Lowell George and 70s Feat so I consider that a big win.

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