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. Robear Says:

    well team, gotta’ get some work done before the big Halloween Festies with the kids.

    been nice poking in the last two days. i’m not staying away b’cuz I don’t love this board and don’t love Phish. It’s because I get sucked in and productivity lags around the house.

    Huge weekend. I took the first steps at resolving a long standing grudge / feud in my little world.

    Also, looks like after being dragged around the country to see Phish, my SLF really got ‘IT’ this weekend. I imagine she’ll be asking me about ‘When the next shows are’, starting soon.

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    well for the record, after 1974 there wasn’t a whole lot of open jamming in the GD outside of Space. 98% was what we refer to as “closed” or “type I” jamming e.g. typical Playin’ jams or even a lot of Dark Stars.

  3. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i thought it was uber cool when the crowd started with the the wilson chants in bowie and then boom they go back into the jam

  4. EL Duderino Says:

    @ willowed

    just remember you have a long, big day ahead of you…

  5. Corey Says:

    Going into have mercy was beautiful. A top highlight for sure. What state are you in that it’s snowing?

  6. Robear Says:

    and agree with El Duder! last nights blow out for our friends, combined with crispy couch tour stream and the mood is uP!

  7. willowed Says:

    KP needs his rest. We partied pretty fucking hard last night.

    Picture this.

    Me and KP groovin in the Ramada parking lot at 2:30 a.m. Doors opened in my car cranking AW’s No Whitey 2 mix.

    It was fucking histerical.

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    yep, what C said re: grateful dead

  9. beantownboy Says:

    Re: NFL watching in AC

    The Trop has a sports bar in the Quarter that has tons of plasmas and the ticket.
    I’ll probably catch a bit of the DC game there later.

    Swing on by.

  10. Mr.palmer Says:

    Sanity opener tonight. Nothing could be more perfect.

  11. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Although I’m admittedly a chaser of huge open improv of the 30+ minute variety, it is undeniable that Phish has been crushing this tour. (See Providence, Augusta, SC2, Utica, last night and especially Manchester).

    Quite honestly, these shows have me rethinking what it REALLY is I love about this band. Short answer: many things. Starting to feel that I’ve been so over-consumed with Phish “getting their sea lags back,” “regaining their comfort level before jumping off the cliff,” etc, etc, etc- all with an eye on the future and the HUGE jams that will ensue…

    It has been nice to appreciate these shows for what they’ve been- some extremely engaging pieces of creativity without having to step outside of the box for 30 minutes. Shit, my most relistened to piece from this tour has easily been Makisupa>Night Nurse>Makisupa. And I don’t even particularly like Makisupa.

    Having said all of that, my favorite moments since the return have been the wide open stuff. Lucky enough to attend AV (Dis>WTU), catch the Greek Light, and 8/7/09. I just think the genuine Type II stuff is gonna be more the exception than the rule. Like Completely said- at least one “big one” per show. Please.

  12. andrewrose Says:

    Last night was the first show I listened to front to back on couch tour. Can’t believe the quality of that taper420 stream last night. (So clear that I almost feel like it’s the band doing some beta-testing for the next step in LivePhish, but I digress…). What a hot show.

    I think the Zeppelin medleys are actually overshadowing the real highlights from last night, though, namely Trey’s incredibly soulful and dexterous playing. This has been an upward trend for some time (the 93/94 style of playing) and I feel like it hit a kind of fever pitch last night. Even Miner seems to have glossed over some of my highlights last night..Big Red took such hot solos in the Walk Away and Good Time Bad Times they almost trumped the hottest jams of the night. This was like a Roxy 93 style show. Really loved that Bowie!

  13. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Palmer

    You staying up late tonight for the stream?

  14. jtran Says:

    Oh yea, and the Tweezer licks trey did play were hot.

    I have no clue what will happen tonight. Thinking i’ll stay off line so I walk in with no clue

  15. Mr.palmer Says:

    Will do my best@ el dude.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    well said vegas wolfman’s. here’s hoping for the atlantic city wolfman’s… oh wait

  17. plord Says:

    @Corey I’m in VT 🙂 Flurries on and off in the last hour.

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @andrew, awesome playing by trey in this ‘standard’ numberline

  19. Mr.palmer Says:

    Oh well. Pulling back into reality ( home). Gonna check out for a while. Catch you kids later on. Enjoy the playbacks.

  20. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Palmer- Have you been phishthoughting while driving? For shame. 8)

  21. Jeffiem Says:

    To people who say they want ‘one big one per show…’ does that mean you want something akin to the greek light every show? Or maybe the Raleigh Light or SC Crosseyed? Or something completely different? Is the goal openness and creativity, or ‘hitting IT’ every night? What constitutes open… is it the quality of the music or the quality of the risk/effort?

  22. Corey Says:

    @plord, just south of you in MA. It’s coming our way. Nice warm week to finish Oct. has been nice though.

  23. Mr.palmer Says:

    Passenger. Are you nuts. I couldn’t drive!!!

  24. BingosBrother Says:

    Halloween Costume Contest In Atlantic City

    The last time there was a costume contest at a Phish Halloween show, the year was 1994. We’re resurrecting the tradition this year, with help from those of you that can’t be here in Atlantic City.

    First off, here’s the prize: The person who dons the best costume (fans will be voting) will win two tickets to each night of Phish’s SOLD OUT Madison Square Garden shows, including New Year’s Eve itself. Two Runner ups will receive a Phish prize package, including the new Coral Sky DVD and a Phish 10/31/10 Halloween Limited Edition Poster.

    To enter the contest, you have to:

    a) dress in costume, obvs. between the time doors open and before the third set.
    b) have your photo taken at one of two Photo Booths adjacent to either of the merchandise stands.

    All photos will be uploaded throughout the night to Phish’s Facebook page, where fans both inside the venue and at home, can vote on the best costume by “liking” the photos. The costume with the most likes wins. We’ll keep voting open until Monday, November 1st at 9PM EST, so that those of you traveling home can still take part.

    If you’re a part of a group costume, you can get your picture taken with the group, but we can only offer one pair of tickets for each of the three Madison Square Garden shows for the entire group.

    Also…all entrants will be able to take home a print out of your photo on the spot, as a memento of your Halloween in Atlantic City.

    Yeah, our band is pretty kewl.

  25. Jeffiem Says:

    Just got to the First big WLL tease in Possum. Took me off guard, even though I knew it was coming. I can only imagine what it was like to be in the building last night.

Leave a Reply