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. sumodie Says:

    emails sent to Jeffie, DukeofL, and butterflyeffect

    Let me know via email if they work


  2. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    We refer to that as “Sithing yourself.” It’s not called the dark side for nothin’.

    All part of the learning process.

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    Trouble is the force doesn’t work for things like tv remotes … there must be a true need.. a la luke on both..

    Boarded on a plane back to avl had a weekend w fam fam. Caught the umph fri.. missed set 1 due to line snafu plus across the st reggae band plus random dude buying drinks but set 2 was great complete with an Mj thriller anddont stop jam and stones can’t you hear me knocking closer. A lot less dueling guitars than id expected and a bit more grooving though I have no clue what was song and what was jam. Pretty much the perfect amt of untz …

    Great crowd.. young for sure but respectful attentive and dancing … phone off nowfor takeoff or id throw in some phish content

  4. sneven Says:

    for the 1st annual BB awards, I nominate Admiral Ackbar in the “Funniest New Personality” category. Also in the running:
    Bouncin’ Fan
    Moby Dick

    Who’s hosting this year??

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    Luke on hoth .. dang autospell.. phone off now

  6. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I always go into interviews with the attitude that the worst thing that can happen is they offer me the job and I have to decide whether I want to take it or not. seems to have worked well up to this point.

  7. DukeOfLizards Says:


    You’ve got electrons. Thank you sir.

  8. phoammhead Says:

    okay if you are making a cd of the halloween show for a friend, where do you make the break between the sets

    set I fits on a 700MB 80 Min CD

    sets II and III do not fit

    where to make the breaks to fit it on 4 CDs

    oh, the challenges in today’s time – damn why didn’t they play out those sets II and III to each fit on a CD, dammit! 😉

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Chucktown 2001 has some stank on it

  10. sneven Says:

    @phoamm… check to see how the LP does their breaks. It usually makes pretty good sense.

  11. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Cut disc 2 off after Don’t Bogart That Joint, cut disc 3 off after Hood?

    I can think of no better way to kick off a disc than the almighty Horse.

  12. KWL Says:

    what up my fellow fLEGIONAIRES?

  13. Mitch Says:

    @all, What page do I need to visit to get why a flegionnaire is?

    @mr c, Wish I had the problem where I couldn’t make it to the store without getting a blowie. Haven’t met butterflyeffect before but ya know what they say “a mouth is a mouth when your eyes are closed”

  14. sneven Says:

    @all, What page do I need to visit to get why a flegionnaire is?

    Mithc – page 22 – funny stuff abounds…

    :: proud fLEGIONAAIRE ::

  15. sneven Says:

    ^^^ dammit – I meant Mitch

  16. KWL Says:

    brim 2 tonight plus a little hockey. some nice trey work in this bott.

  17. sneven Says:

    dying for some hockey… will have a Wings game tomorrow night when I get home.

    putting my Yzerman sweater on before bed.

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    Evening, kids.

    Interview went well. The lady who interviewed me is best friends with my boss and my boss and I get along very well. We ended up talking about our favorite Shakespeare plays which was awesome for me.

    I definitely over dressed which was good because I felt confident.

    I should know by early December where Ill be working.

    Thanks for all the support.

  19. phoammhead Says:

    @sneven and dukes

    very helpful – thanks!

    live phish says to cut off disc 2 after don’t bogart and disc 3 after camel walk

    ^i’m going with it – sounds good

  20. phoammhead Says:

    very cool @Silly – you are the man – you’ll get it!

  21. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Watching some Rangers/ Caps here. Deciding what to spin. Someone give me a suggestion?

  22. phoammhead Says:

    ^AC Gotta Jibboo

  23. Mr.Palmer Says:

    ” I definitely over dressed which was good because I felt confident.”

    .. your learning kid. Well done. I’m sure you’ll get what you want.

  24. KWL Says:

    well done silly & t3

    brim 2 great first set, excellent reba

  25. phoammhead Says:


    “definitely over dressed”?

    i doubt it – you were probably right on the money

    you can under dress, but can you really over dress – well, i guess you can, but i doubt you did, just sayin’

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