The Rest of Halloween

10.31.10 (Graham Lucas)

While Phish’s take on Little Feat’s “Waiting For Columbus” was the clear centerpiece of an amazing evening, Phish played two other sets as well. The first frame, filled with Halloween-themed selections featured one of the jams of the tour in “Stash,” and a dancy early sequence of “Ghost > Spooky.” During the third set – practically an afterthought following such a masterful Halloween cover – Phish marched out a sequence of high-energy anthems to close the show, weekend, and tour. Without getting into any serious jams other than a smoking “Jibboo,” Phish used a fun finale to celebrate the achievements of the season. And after a transformative few weeks, that felt just fine.

"Frankenstein" (G.Lucas)

Phish crafted a Halloween-laced opening set with the heavier rock of “Frankenstein” and “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars,” before catching everyone off guard with an early “Ghost.” Playing with a collective direction and relaxing feel, the entire band toyed within the song structure while building closely off each others’ offerings. Trey stepped out front with an enthusiastic solo while Fishman kept a cymbal heavy beat. Continuing the holiday theme, Page seamlessly came in with piano chords that smoothly transformed the jam into the late-’60s cover, “Spooky.” One couldn’t tell where “Ghost” ended and “Spooky” began in a particularly seamless segue. Though Trey has often teased the guitar lick from this piece (a la 12/31/95’s “Weekapaug”), the song hadn’t been performed since April ’93, making it the largest bust-out in Atlantic City.

Phish passionately nailed “Divided Sky” as a mid-set interlude and continued the holiday cheer with “Roses Are Free,” but the improvisational peak of the Phish-only section of the show came in a staggering “Stash.” The band dove headfirst into this top-notch highlight; a jam that illustrates the band’s current no-nonsense style as well as any. Within a minute of exiting the lyrics, Phish fully locked into a synched pattern that began to build away from the song. As Mike and Page joined Trey in a major key, the band transformed the usually evil opus into a blissful magic-carpet ride into the sunset of Fall Tour. Fishman remained loosely-anchored in “Stash’s” rhythms, while the other three band members took off into an alternate reality. Forging a pristine path through this musical wormhole, the band subconsciously slid right back into the key of “Stash,” picking up the snarling journey at the end of the sonic rainbow. A crunchy “Character Zero” punctuated a highly-engaging opening frame, bringing the evening to into its first setbreak.

10.31.10 Graham Lucas)

After playing, arguably, their most impressive Halloween set to date, Phish came out for a third set with all sorts of possibilities. Some darker selections that seemed like a given – “Mike’s Groove” and “Light”- never showed up, and the band favored an upbeat, high-energy affair to close out their tour. A scalding “Disease” ripped the frame wide open, roaring out of the composed rock into a snapping section of percussive grooves. Locked and loaded, the band seemed to be on the brink of something significant as Trey wove guitar effects into the increasingly abstract piece. Slowing into a series of collective hits, the band landed in a murky psychedelia; Phish was set for liftoff. But in an inexplicable move, Trey called for an abrupt change into “Back On the Train” as “Disease” reached its deepest point. This move signified the type of set that would roll out – a fun, song-based third frame rather than a Vegas ’98er.

10/31 Official Poster (Duval)

The centerpiece of this high-octane conclusion came in a fiercely-active “Jibboo.” Trey’s non-stop solo formed the scintillating icing on a musical cake which showcased more full-band interplay than usual. Trey even drew the band into his melodic template towards the end of the excursion. But when the dust settles, “Jibboo” is a vehicle for mind-numbing guitar work, and that is exactly what underlined is what this third-set standout. Building to a white-hot peak, Phish settled the audience with the slowed-funk of “Camel Walk,” a clear nod to Little Feat’s musical influence.

The set got a bit choppy in the middle, as “Suzy” and “Wilson” seemed completely out of place; but the band decided to jam out of “Wilson” for one few times in their career. Beginning with a guitar lick that sounded like the precursor to another Led Zeppelin tease, the band stayed on their own turf this time, crafting a thrashing heavy metal-turned-ambient passage that showcased far more creativity than they have infused into the song in eons. As Phish drew out the cosmic sludge into a drone landscape, Trey subtly teased the original lick that got this shindig started before he dropped out for the opening drum roll of “Harry Hood.” A delicate and mellow version of the usually high-spirited jam reached the ending chorus with no real build up to it, leaving the last “Hood” of fall a bit short of spectacular. But this entire set was gravy after such a stunning and satisfying Halloween performance.

"YEM" - 10.31.10 (B.Lovelace)

As soon as Trey started “The Horse,” everyone in the venue knew where we were headed – “Horse > Silent,” YEM.” And so it was. A largely guitar-based “YEM” jam put the final stamp on an unforgettable evening of music on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Finalizing things with a set of joyful Phish songs, everyone drifted into November 1st with the energy and inspiration that only Phish can provide. Bringing all their guests back for a “Julius” encore, the show ended with the band of the hour – Little Phish – on stage for one last time. Closing tour with a special encore, the band took a bow to a notably enthusiastic ovation. Putting down their instruments for the last time of tour, Phish had arrived. Sometime during the magical fall of 2010, their comeback came to a close, and Phish took the first bold step into in the next golden era of their career.

I: Frankenstein, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Ghost > Spooky, The Divided Sky, Roses Are Free, Funky Bitch, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Stash, Character Zero

II: Little Feat – Waiting For Columbus

III. Down with Disease > Back on the Train, Gotta Jibboo, Camel Walk, Suzy Greenberg, Wilson > Harry Hood, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, You Enjoy Myself

E: Julius*

* with Giovanni Hidalgo and horn section

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981 Responses to “The Rest of Halloween”

  1. GhostPhunk Says:

    Pretty sweet Neemor. Hampton 09 with the stubs is nice.

  2. GhostPhunk Says:

    Light Up is as powerful as I thought after a respin. Flipped me inside out at the time.

  3. sumodie Says:

    @neemor: nice poster framing, wowza! Now I just need more wall space…

  4. neemor Says:

    sumo, you might be able to keep the guy afloat for a while!
    Between you and Mango, I’ve never seen so many.
    Anyone have any idea how much I regret selling the Kabuki last summer?

    ^ a

  5. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Quiestion – am I the only one who is just now noticing that Mike & Fish switch to a little shuffle beat momentarily during the “love to take a bath” part of Gin?

  6. neemor Says:

    Never noticed, Duke.
    But yes.

  7. BrandonKayda Says:

    There ain’t no Jane no Jill no Sally to see you through…

  8. neemor Says:

    So when were you guys going to let me know that the drone was back up and running?

  9. neemor Says:

    Also, anyone else notice how “1999” 2010 was?
    Last ‘Ride Captain Ride’ (12.10.99), Reba encore (Tucson ’99), After Midnight (Cypress), Meatstick?
    I kept thinking it.
    Then, my mind wondered thusly:
    Did I just hear ‘Guy Forget’ quotes in the UMass Piper?
    Heard it at the show so clearly, started the vocals lightly myself…
    Come to find out, it was quoted in the YEM in Charleston.
    It’s not long until that uber-rarity hops out.
    Then Leprechaun.
    I should sleep.

  10. butter Says:

    Some of the ambient work reminded me of 99, too

    We are starting to see some of their best qualities from the different eras

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    re: framing article

    I’m not a fan of these busy mattes with the artistic motif carried beyond the print. I think, while looking cool on one level, look very cheesy on another and take away from the focus of each print considerably. In this case, less is more…

  12. Robear Says:

    bk, ur a smart kid.

    butter, this AC ‘Jibboo’ is officially na$ty!!

  13. Mdawg Says:

    Gotta love the Alaska and Dixie Chicken riff!

  14. ChefBradford Says:

    Leprechaun? Yes, please!

    Now if I could only get that elusive, once-played, beautiful Glide II

    something smokin>Glide II>something smokin (or anything, really)

    I just want some “flip flip flip flip”

  15. drivebyposter Says:

    Yes robear . You are correct. Fusion of 93/99 was deliberate. Ongoing time elasticicity theme. Trapped in time…..Im at that moment ….. and the moment ends.

  16. butter Says:

    Robear, that Jibboo did elevate

  17. butter Says:

    i was kinda wondering what gave that framer the right to re do, or expand on the artwork

    could work with certain prints, cool concept, outside the box

    not very pure

  18. whole tour! Says:

    felt the 93/99/03 fusion in 2010.
    like good sushi.

  19. ChefBradford Says:

    Idunno about you guys, but the 10/31 Stash makes me weak in the f-ing kneeeees

    In a good way.

  20. ChefBradford Says:

    As in, raise a banner over an aircraft carrier

    instead of “Mission Accomplished”,

    it’s “Toes Curled”

  21. whole tour! Says:

    that stash is bliss
    no doubt

  22. butter Says:

    sometimes you just need a good sonic rainbow with your stash

  23. ChefBradford Says:

    I’ll happily take a sonic-rainbow Stash any day/night of the week

    Glorious, simmering HEAT

  24. butter Says:

    Spanish Moon gets better with every spin

    sooooo many layers of jamming to sort thru

  25. butter Says:

    we were puffing a j, in perfect comical sync, with “don’t bogart that joint”

    felt like they were speaking directly to us

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