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

Tags: , , ,

2,844 Responses to “Getting The Led Out”

  1. lastwaltzer Says:

    The guys from Antibalis killed it as well. Was kinda hoping they might do a fela tune in the encore (antibalis is the house band in the “fela” musical on broadway).

    Would have loved to have been there.

  2. albert walker Says:

    praise jah it wasn’t Graceland either

    I would have kicked my ticket down to my mom

    she digs that crap
    I realized I hate Paul Simon just as much as the doors and that rumor was killing me

    saved by the Little Feat

    on that last note
    laterz

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    LOL @aw you and the guys from Los Lobos, huh?

  4. lastwaltzer Says:

    ” seems to have sparked at least a few people’s interest in Lowell George and 70s Feat so I consider that a big win.”mr.c

    BIG BIG WIN. Lowell doesn’t get enough credit. Definitely one of the originals.

  5. KWL Says:

    preshow music included fela

  6. lastwaltzer Says:

    “I realized I hate Paul Simon just as much as the doors “aw

    OUCH. Comparing anyone to the doors is one of the biggest insults anyone can swing and of course AW went there. 😉

  7. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ::rolls eyes at paul simon hate::

  8. butter Says:

    a) i refused to be around talkers

    b) i was usually in a some sort of dance pit, of at least 10 people shaking there shit like they were on soul train

    c) yes it was loud with the sounds of little feat hot pocketing the room

    maybe there were talkers by the stream mic

    * i saw groups of people standing during the cover, and heard the hallways were full of people partying, so i can’t speak for the room, but all the kids i hung with, i believe had a similar experience as me

    last 2 nights of Phish are some of my favorite concerts i’ve ever attended

  9. dusty Says:

    preshow fela, 69 LA sessions, seems to be a good indicator of heat. Alpine1 this summer had it too.

  10. butter Says:

    ^^@lastwaltzer

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    how odd, I just switched to listening to that early Fela stuff about 2 minutes ago

    WTF

  12. joechip Says:

    Just got back from an absolutely perfect weekend of Phish music. They played that Hall as if IT was the largest pipe organ in the world. Awesome synthesis of crowd, band and hall.

    Wanted to publicly thank Mr. C for pimping the Feat album and putting it up on his mediafire. I was able to spin it in the hotel room on sunday for my crew who weren’t as familiar with it, and get a bit fired up. Spanish Moon killed. So did Rocket in my Pocket.

    I thought the album went over like gangbusters in there, considering it was an unexpected and unfamiliar choice for so many. Everyone in my area was locked in for the whole set.

  13. BrandonKayda Says:

    “Don’t Bogart That Joint” – hilarious

  14. albert walker Says:

    through 1st half of set 1 night 1

    that Light up is a scorcher

    tons of the little feat energy in there

    nobody sleep on that jam

    the early Ocelot has a really cool hard Trey peak on it as well

  15. lastwaltzer Says:

    @butter

    looks like your the guy to be chilling with. I don’t stand for talkers either. My que to find a new groove spot.

    Can’t believe people were chilling in the hallway, some kidz just don’t get it.

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    there’s always some loser who wants to be too cool for the moment

    in 10 years those kids will all be bragging about how they were there when it all went down

    whatever

  17. butter Says:

    AW and I had very parallel experiences

    probably speaks for most, if not all of our crew

    can’t wait for Miner’s review…..this is going to be a doozy 😉

  18. Hoedown Says:

    This weekend was much to amazing to try a describe. AC welcomed us with open arms and got the Frock Down! Huge props to the boyz for helping us party down. Sorry to all the BBer’s who I missed meeting at the meet-ups. Just way to much going on for me to get to any. The Tropicana on saturday night was the craziest scene I have ever seen. True Halloween madness! Good work to all my phellow phans! Back to reality.

  19. willowed Says:

    As soon as that Stash jam dropped…..I was thinking Miner = happy!

  20. BrandonKayda Says:

    Wait…people were standing in the halls during Little Feat’s cover set last night?

    Lame…

  21. lastwaltzer Says:

    I think its so funny how this scene has a reputation of having “open minded listeners”, obviously this place is the exception but most phans seem to want only what they know and love, wanting the band to stick the script.

    Little Feat were one of the originators of this type of music, it boggles my mind how someone could be into phish and not be grabbed by those tunes on first listen (especially when THEIR band is nailing them).

  22. oldskool Says:

    @Mr. C, I will check out Ian B’s works. Thanks for the rec.

    You ever read any China Mievelle??

  23. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Miner’s review will end with

    “Set II Notes: An excellent, but contained, excursion out of Spanish Moon highlighted the tightly played, but song-based, second frame.”

    Mark it.

  24. BrandonKayda Says:

    I think I remember Mr C saying something about a lot of Little Feat albums having a lot of jazzy songs or something like that – I definitely want to check this out 😀

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    cool @oldskool, it’s just very thoughtful, well constructed, hard bitten modern space opera done as well as it’s currently being done by anyone, complete with mind boggling ideas, dense plots and laughable expository dialogue…

    more story oriented than (for instance) Kim Stanely Robinson style “literature of ideas” science fiction, but all cracking good reads – purely escapist SF at its smartest

    The Algebraist and Feersum Endjinn are two non-Culture SF books by Iain B. I really liked as well.

Leave a Reply