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. Corey Says:

    No one responded to my “PHiSH view” question a few pages back. Guess we’re all guilty and don’t want to talk about it or…?

  2. FNDomination Says:

    Toy Story soundtrack. There are going to have a mini camp fire on stage. It will be a soft, touching, and poignant sing along for young and old alike.

  3. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Jeffiem- Great Question. Speaking for myself- one piece where they see the edge of the cliff and actually jump off of it and PATIENTLY explore- for better or worse. As mentioned above, that doesn’t necessarily need to take the form of Greek Light. Plenty of risks taken in Utica Set 1.

  4. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @jeff, think about the top 10 jams in phish history. what they do, where they go, how they get there.

  5. JeffieM Says:

    Word, Vegas.

    Corey, I think your question is an interesting one. It’s really hard to answer because, well, we aren’t the band. Then again, what is the point of internet message boards if it isn’t to speculate on questions that no one know the answer too? 😉

  6. JeffieM Says:

    @DF, I get that openness might be necessary for good, but based on that,, are we expecting them to drop the Providence Bowie a couple of times a tour? or are people asking them to *try* to drop something that could turn into the providence bowie on most nights?

  7. FNDomination Says:

    What is good Phish to me? – An epic love story written by FNDomination.

    Good Phish is bad Phish, mean Phish. Good Phish makes my dong ready for battle. Good Phish is tight like an early 20s lady lover. Good Phish makes me hoot and holler. I have heard good Phish on this tour.

  8. William H. Bonney Says:

    Any ramada westerns still around around, stop by 725 for some 1 0’clock football sessions, phone is down and justing hangin out getting ready for some NFL.

  9. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @jeff. try, for sure

  10. vegas wolfmans Says:

    From now on I will use “Is my dong ready for battle?” as my measuring stick for good Phish. Pun intended.

    Electric Ladyland

    PEACE

  11. nonoyolker Says:

    just popping in – was thinking, Zeppelin show last night could be a kick down because they are choosing a polarizing album choice tonight. just a thought. loaded up the show on my pod and going to give it the headphones test with a stroll around the city. looks like a throwdown

    happy halloween all!

  12. Corey Says:

    ^right. Guess I’m thinking in line with the challenges that the band has met and conquered during the last 10 years.

    I also wince every time the crowd screams “sure got some powerful pills” in Fluffhead (as if I needed to qualify that quote here…).

    Here we are thanking whomever, that PHiSH is back and at the same time cheering one of the very things that derailed the PHiSH train in the first place.
    It’s the old love the band/dislike many in the crowd battle, for me.

  13. vtbowie89 Says:

    WOW. Just finished listening to the zepfest on the ipod speakers sitting at the beach w my son. 🙂 Funny, I did let him stay up last night for set II, and he fell back asleep halfway through sleeping monkey….
    @willowed, my beers are on ice for the Pats game too, as well as for the trick or treat/driveway firepit/front porch couch stream later…. to all of you gearing up for tonight—- BE PREPARED, and have a BLAST!!!!!!

  14. JeffieM Says:

    The band knows what reaction it will get. If they didn’t want anyone to celebrate drugs, they wouldn’t play fluff or makisupa

  15. brother Says:

    whoever thought we’d be saying Carini is the top jam vehicle of the tour (except light)…..all those jams out of that song have been incredible this tour.

  16. Corey Says:

    Don’t think I agree with that, @JeffieM.
    Those tunes tell stories and we, the crowd, have taken the words to mean a literal celebration of drugs. I don’t think that’s what they envisioned. But, their choice of wordage in Makisupa is certainly used to get a reaction. It’s a reaction that’s both funny and sad, to me anyway….

  17. jdub Says:

    @Corey, I relate to your thoughts on drugz at shows these days. For every one of us older folks who have had our share of partying daze and have serious responsibilities there are kids just getting into and having the times of their lives. The band knows this dichotomy and wouldn’t have come back if they didn’t feel they could handle the mega party scene while maintaining balance in their own lives. I assume they’ll stop when they get tired of it cause kids are not gonna stop getting high at shows. Personally, even if I go sober to a show I love the anarchy all around me for one night, part of
    the experience I suppose.

  18. Mike in Austin Says:

    First, the place was whole lotta nuts all night. That was truly a great experience. I’d take that over the 12-31-02 show for sure for pure energy even.

    I expected Manteca too (there was a 10′ sign hung over left edge railing … hopefully tonight)

    There are a whole lotta Zappa fans here. When someone told me they SC’d Whole Lotta Love, I immediately thought of Zappa’s “Duck Duck Goose” (where at the end on Lather Davey Moire says “What?!” and it launches into Whole Lotta Love with Zappa playing another solo.)

    Mike’s bass was reverberating through our chest all night. Thank you. Turn it down just a notch please. We still have to have room to breathe.

    Funny acoustics in the place. I thought Foam collided into itself for a minute, and now listening back on the SBDs, it sounds much much better than I originally thought at the show (Sec 207). That often happens to me in Maze too when I’m off to the side.

    The pause in Guelah was … deafening. Wow. BDTNL is quickly becoming a big “sing along” song. The whole place was really into it.

    Would have loved Misty Mountain Hop vs. Sleeping Monkey, but who is complaining.

    Taper420 must be connected to the band. Good for him. My friend texted me after listening to the show online “Holy crap that was great. There are beer bottle caps and semen all over my couch ….”

  19. Corey Says:

    Yeah, I’m still waiting for the PHiSH scene to take on the etiquette of a jazz gig at the Vanguard. It’ll never happen, but it’d be great to see a crowd in it 100% for the music.

  20. GhostPhunk Says:

    @jdub
    I’m with you there.

    I had a great time last night just watching reds energy alone. The chalkdust > love energy may have been the most bonkers energy I’ve had the chance to be present for.

    party time…

  21. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    @ Gordeaux – the military called and they want their weapon back. You are crazy, sir. Dropping bombs that could shut down pacemakers. You should be ashamed.

  22. neemor Says:

    Funny, catching up this morning.
    Page 3, Mr. C mentions that there aren’t any ‘signiature open jams’ this tour.
    I was about to rebut with Manchester ‘Light’.
    Page 4, Mr. C writes, “Manchester ‘Light’ is a real peak for me.”

    Classic.

    You guys are high on brain waves.

  23. FNDomination Says:

    Alright boys. Which Carini is the *one* from this tour. My cherry is pulsating with anticipated initial burst.

  24. Leo Weaver Says:

    Morning folks.

    That was fun, wasn’t it? Had couch tour party here, cranked it up loud, and listened while the house shook. Really excited for all you crazy fools there, wish I was part of the festivities…just trying to make the most of enjoying it through technology.

    Good post back there @wolfflarr.

  25. FNDomination Says:

    So, I was busy doing homework and stuffs last night while the show was on. Apparently the stream was choice, no? Since there isn’t a Sirius feed like last year, do you guys think the stream tonight will be a golden shower of epic release once again?

    I hope so because I want to hear Toy Story unravel in Real Time.

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