The Comeback Has Ended

10.19.10 - Augusta (Ryan Gilbertie)

Following a year and a half of re-building and re-learning, Phish has finally taken things to the next level. Leaving a vapor trail in their path, the band careened into the future during their three-week fall tour. Standing on a solid foundation, Phish was back up to snuff, doing what they want when they want with unparalleled fluidity. After springing a leak this summer, the flood gates of creativity burst open during October, carrying the band through – easily – their best tour since returning to the stage. Phish’s so-called “comeback” that began in Hampton last year has concluded, and during this fall the band took the first bold step into the next era of their career.

10.30.10 - Atlantic City (D.Lavery)

Beginning in Broomfield, and building throughout tour, Phish showcased a new-found urgency and intent behind their playing that merged with far more fluid communication than we had seen from the band this era. Segues slid seamlessly, jams took no time to build and rarely ended awkwardly, and Phish built music with the single-minded purpose of old. With proficiency no longer a hindrance, the band members held meticulous musical conversations every night that pushed their music in new and spontaneous directions. Wasting no time vamping over funk chords or meandering through minutes of ambient swamps, Phish cannonballed into each and every jam, getting right to business with furious musical density. The band warped time each night, making twelve minutes feel like twenty, as ideas flew off the stage from every angle at a numbing pace. Beginning in Broomfield, Phish seemed to get build upon each and every show, a characteristic of their glory days, with any slow nights due to song choice and not sloppy playing. Once again – in Fall 2010-  Phish proved they are masters of their domain.

South Carolina LE Magnet

Spring-boarding off a tight, song-based show in South Carolina, Phish caught fire on their second night in North Charleston and never looked back, setting the table for a game-changing week in the Northeast. Augusta, Utica, Providence, and Manchester – four shows that redefined modern era Phish. Strewn with scorching jams, slick segues, and self-referential musical play, the twists and turns of old re-emerged within a wholly new and futuristic context. And despite a two-night dip in excitement at UMass, the band was right back atop their game for the final four nights of tour. Highlights are too many to list in one piece, as almost every jam garnered the complete focus and full treatment from the band. For example, amidst Utica’s two-set frenzy, one of the most impressive “Vultures” ever-played dropped early in the opening frame. Do I have the time to mention that?

Needless to say, there is no shortage of listening material from this tour that stands up to any era of Phish. Augusta’s exploratory “Reba” encore immediately danced amongst the all-timers; each version of “Light” took a divergent and unknown path into new-school psychedelia; Utica’s start to finish opus compares to top-notch shows of lore; and Providence’s “Rock and Roll > Carini” may be my favorite musical segment of the tour. The highlights never stopped coming in diverse fashion, each night bringing different adventures into the unknown – and that’s what Phish tour is all about.

10.19.10 - Augusta (Ryan Gilbertie)

Reinventing “Sand” and “Carini,” while awakening a former giant in “David Bowie” and greatly varying their setlists, Phish brought a fresh energy to each piece they touched, crafting many golden jams and sets along the road of fall. “Light” broke new ground with each incarnation, evolving from its melodic, abstract, and ambient summer roots into a vehicle for uptempo, next-generation grooves. Forging unique paths nightly, every time “Light” started, a show highlight was guaranteed. Dashing and darting and turning on a dime, Phish killed every single version, cementing its place as their current cosmic trampoline. When Phish got rolling this fall, however, it mattered little what songs they played, as engaging jams blossomed in the energetic interplay of any piece. See Utica and Manchester for prime illustrations.

But since tour ended, the set I have been addicted to has been Halloween’s Waiting For Columbus. A surprise selection that ran away with Atlantic City’s extravaganza,  Phish’s Halloween performance immediately jumped into any conversation about the band’s greatest musical costumes. With Phish grooves lurking around every corner, Little Feat’s live album transformed Boardwalk Hall into a retro-dance party and a collaborative triumph for the ages. Providing an over-all experience like never before, Phish’s take on the Little Feat’s classic recordings focused on rhythmic interplay and improvisation that invited the audience into a time and place, instead of simply playing an album of songs. Capping the tour with one of the their defining Halloween performances, Fall 2010 couldn’t have ended on a higher note.

10.31.10 - Boardwalk Hall (Graham Lucas)

With almost two months off before an unprecedented five-night New Year’s Run, we have plenty of time to dig into the depths of the most satisfying and eventful tour since Phish’s return. With their comeback now fully in the rear view mirror, things are just getting started. Welcome to the future – it’s gonna’ be a wild ride.


Jam of the Day:

Spanish Moon” 10.31.10 II

This infectious track took center stage on during Halloween’s second set. One of many Halloween highlights, Phish’s “Spanish Moon” turned out to be twice as long as Little Feat’s version on Waiting For Columbus. Let’s keep this one in rotation please.




10.31.10 Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey

FLAC torrent via etree, 320 Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

10/31 Poster (Duval)

A Halloween night to rival any in history featured a stunning “Stash” and a silky smooth “Ghost > Spooky” in set one, while dark-horse selections, “Jibboo” and “Wilson” stood out in a celebratory third frame. But this night was all about Waiting For Columbus, perhaps Phish’s best musical costume ever.

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*: Fat Man in the Bathtub, All That You Dream, Oh Atlanta, Old Folks Boogie, Time Loves a Hero > Day or Night, Mercenary Territory, Spanish Moon, Dixie Chicken > Tripe Face Boogie, Rocket in My Pocket, Willin’, Don’t Bogart That Joint, A Apolitical Blues, Sailin’ Shoes, Feats Don’t Fail Me Now

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 horn section and Giovanni Hidalgo on percussion

Source: Schoeps mk41> KC5> M222> NT222> EAA PSP-2> SD 744t (@24bit/96kHz) (Taper – Taylorc)

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689 Responses to “The Comeback Has Ended”

  1. bouncin fan Says:

    That was a taxi driver stalker style post

    Watch out for that one

  2. Mr.Palmer Says:

    What was your take on that show @ PB?

  3. sumodie Says:

    You only think Umass was below par…

    @myfellowp: there’s nothing wrong with liking the UMass shows, I liked the shows too -lots of sharp, on point playing

    I just happened to like them the least of what I saw this fall

    Everyone is entitled to love every show they want to…or not

    So what did you like about UMass?

  4. sumodie Says:

    There was no shed, or seats, or venue. It was a field and a stage

    I wish more shows were like this…

  5. butter Says:

    if this guy responds it should be good

  6. voopa Says:

    FWIW, that cat has posted at least once before. Don’t remember such vitriol tho.

  7. bouncin fan Says:

    Starting first full spin of little phish 10.31 II

    Had to let that set sit in first

    Live it felt like 15 min

  8. sumodie Says:

    I’ve been slacking….still have a 3-pack of AC bar codes I could send to folks in need

    would prefer to send each one to a different person, but if no one else asks before I check back…

    leave email if you want one

  9. Mr.Palmer Says:

    I’m gonna guess that Prisoners is from Mass, and only other show he’s seen was Fenway. So in that context, maybe he is right…….:)

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    well, that was quick. had an hr phone screening interview at 1pm my time today. they had told me they would want to take about a week finishing up interviewing other people before I’d hear anything back. five hours later and they want to set up an interview with the hiring vp. i am so awesome.

  11. Robear Says:

    I stayed for the ‘Vultures’.

  12. sumodie Says:

    @AW: I’m blaring LF’s WFC -can’t stop spinning it since AC

    though the phish cover holds up awesomely on replay

  13. JeffieM Says:

    sumo, I have soundboards for all but 29, and will accept your charity.
    mj lahaye at vt dot edu

  14. Chuck D Says:

    posterkid is mike
    prisoner is john mccain

  15. DukeOfLizards Says:


    itbofthement AT gmail DOT com

  16. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Palmer, I don’t have bad phish shows. I liked it because of the Carini Vultures, Split, Willit go round in Circles and REba Axis encore.

    I brought a great friend of mine from grad school to that show for his first. A friend from the valley aka phs area had rolled down with a barrel of fat tire and we ended up one row two cars over. The next day at the office was tough as I partied too much.

    Shedless-Sheds Tour Spring 2011!!

    KP remastered and AUd and it is on his site

  17. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Can “BBers” be replaced by “fLEGIONNAIRES”? Please?

  18. sneven Says:

    so I’m sitting here alone in a hotel room (again.) My work weeks have grown stale, and I don’t have sufficiant cash to go out to do something fun.

    I looked for the TV remote, and it’s alllllll the wayyyy across the room, on the opposite nightstand from the little desk-thingy.

    So, being lazy… I tried that Jedi thing Luke did for the first time in the ice cave, where he closed his eyes, cleared his thoughts, then stretched out his hand and concentrated like a motherfucker.

    All I got was a loud fart. Oh, and I should go look in a mirror, b/c I think I popped a capillary in my left eye.

    ::: sigh :::

  19. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Follow-up – either 10/30 or 10/31 would be fantastic.

  20. sumodie Says:

    i am so awesome

    not a bad attitude to adopt when looking for a new job, @T3

    we’re rootin for ya, even if you’ve got some gnarly facial hair


    The kitchen beckons, and WFC needs to be turned up louder

  21. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Nice work T3 – congrats

    PB- thanks for the heads up re: KP remaster of 9.21.99

  22. Admiral Ackbar Says:


    The Force is real. Keep trying.

  23. butterflyeffect Says:


    can i haz 10/30, and Lizards 10/31?

    thank you!

    yetanotherfakeemail420 at gmail

  24. sneven Says:

    Ackbar – but I’m all alone, and if I shit my pants… well I’ll have to go buy new pants.

  25. verno329 Says:

    Way to be, T3!

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