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. PanicChop Says:

    Ghost > Spooky

  2. ThePigSong Says:

    ^ I wish I didn’t just pop in here and find that out about UM

  3. Jtran Says:

    The one Umphrey’s show I’ve seen was last year in SLC. Got bored half way through.

  4. SillyWilly Says:


    I definitely feel cheated by a conductor. Or, more precisely, while I like composed music. I like spontaneous creativity more. The more spontaneous the better.

    Im not saying UM is bad. They’re good. Better than 90% of acts out there. But they leave me wanting a little more.

    and that little more is not using microphones.

    We definitely differ in our views on this. But its cool because it brings extra perspectives.

  5. ThePigSong Says:

    I’m with silly on this one.

    I just don’t see how it could ever be as magical of an experience as it was when I thought they were all just that connected.

  6. cal Says:

    There’s a lot more to UM than dueling guitars. I agree they overdo it with that aspect sometimes, though. Just sayin’, between last year and this year, I saw a handful of UM jams that moved beyond whatever they had pre-orchestrated into a sublime realm of group intuition that very few bands–maybe three or four contemporary groups I can think of offhand–could match. As in, if Phish is the holy grail, UM is the next tier below.

  7. lastwaltzer Says:

    Can’t stand Umphrees, they’re not bad musicians by any means but their tones and prog/metal influences drive me up the wall. Not to mention the vocals……yikes.

  8. SillyWilly Says:


    You said what I was trying to say.

    It’s like that first time you hear that Shakespeare probably copped some plots from other sources.

    He’s still a genius, but, man, it was cooler when I thought it all came from that dude’s head.

  9. SillyWilly Says:


    You’re right, then.

    I should see them more.

    Im willing to see a few shows to get that 10 minutes of sublime improv.

    Im definitely not trying to take away from anyone else’s enjoyment.

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I will refrain from further UM comment due to my having attended college with some of them

    sorry if I pulled back The Curtain on them for a few of you. better to know than not know though, you know?

  11. voopa Says:

    How the sausage jam is made.

  12. SillyWilly Says:

    Yeah, TypeIII, I knew you knew them personally.

    So, I apologize if my words came out bad.

    Im not hating.

    Just trying to explain why Im not hopping on UM tour.

    There’s definitely a small group of kids my age who are on UM tour.

    reminds me of another band, around, say, 1992.

  13. cal Says:

    Well, right: it CAN’T be AS magical as being that connected. But occasionally, and increasingly over the years, UM builds off of the precisely directed musical movements INTO that sort of unique connectedness. Maybe not at the show you saw, but it happens.

    But I still think you’re letting an intellectual hangup rob you of musical joy. Over the years, Phish has used all kinds of musical and visual cues to prompt each other to venture into other places; it’s not ALL psychic powers, and the conceptual communication doesn’t undermine the magical moments.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    definitely didn’t take it that way at all, silly. no apologies needed!

    I personally think the vocal communication they use works well for them due to the complex, proggy, fast-paced nature of their playing style so it doesn’t bother me one bit (actually makes me realize how good they are in some ways) but I totally get where you are coming from.

  15. uberchef Says:

    Made this (mock) Doniac up for the big weekend festivities and was handing them out prior to the 10/31 gig…you may have heard me hawking the Schvice in front of the venue pre-game…didn’t have too many copies printed out though, and they went fast, so I figured to share it this way to supplement distribution!

    Hope everyone absolutely enjoyed the shows as much as I did…wowie…some amazing work from the boys, once again.

    See you NYE!

  16. ThePigSong Says:

    yes, TIII – better to know, thanks

    and with that said, I’m definitely there the next time they come to town.

    An UM show is fun.

    I won’t be as floored as shows past – but I will be gettin’ my boogie on!

  17. Jtran Says:

    Ghost -> Spooky $$$

  18. thedayman Says:

    I agree that there’s more than dueling guitars for sure, and they can hit some cool musical planes, I dunno, I just kinda end up comparing them to q phish show and leave wanting more. That one song tho sappy sprayberry should be covered by phish, man can you get down with that slick funky groove

  19. cal Says:

    …And lw is right, there’s not a decent singer in Umphrey’s. But that’s jambands for ya. And I’ve been looking for a band that can fuse metal and real group improv all my life, so I was predisposed to like this band.

  20. thedayman Says:

    Wappy sprayberry my bad sorry

  21. Karaoke Activity Partner Says:

    “After playing, arguably, their most impressive Halloween set to date…”

    I totally agree! While, this was my first Halloween show – I have listened with intensity to the other musical costumes. I have to say, note for note, Phish not only played Little Feat nearly flawless, but it also was a choice much more in line with Phish offers musically.

    Amazing show!

  22. SillyWilly Says:

    I am, Cal.

    that is something that I struggle with, as you well know.

    completely a personal issue.

    In another direction, Im listening to the HD-Flacs from this weekend.

    First time, I’ve bought the HD-Flacs.

    Holy shit, these sound amazing.

  23. PanicChop Says:

    RE: GHOST > Spooky

    OOPS! lol! I meant to post this as the link:

    The link above are the pics of my dad and I at the Grand Canyon. Pretty boring stuff

  24. cal Says:

    I think we all agree that nobody compares favorably to Phish on a good night.

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    Haha, definitely, Cal!

    except for James Brown on a bad night!

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