The Rebirth Of Carini

10.31.10 (Graham Lucas)

Every tour brings twists and developments to Phish’s catalog, often infusing new tunes into the mix and sometimes revamping old ones. But over the golden road of Fall 2010, no song went through a more holistic transformation than “Carini,” as Phish breathed new life into the crowd favorite.

2.17.97 - Amsterdam

Debuted in Europe ’97 as part of their winter progression towards groove, “Carini” rarely transformed into anything with improvisational significance over the years with a few notable exceptions. The song’s premiere in Amsterdam blossomed from slowed darkness into a sped up melodically-anchored experiment that eventually led into “Taste,” but after its European debut and a funked-out surprise encore at Madison Square Garden on 12.30.97, the song stayed firmly within its cage until December 28,1998. To jump start the New Year’s Run, Phish knocked down the doors of the second set with a menacing excursion that morphed into the song’s most significant exploration to date. Scouring the dark corners of the universe, Phish tore the roof off the elusive piece, combining it with “Wolfman’s” in a defining slice of MSG history. But ever since this ferocious plunge, “Carini” stagnated over the years. Always good for a crunching hard rock interlude, the band never built anything of note with the crowd favorite, giving it a simplistic role in setlists.

This pattern continued through the late ’90s, the post-hiatus years, and the beginning of this era (with Telluride’s extra-terrestrial ending as the sole aberration.) But when Phish broke out “Carini” in Broomfield – and then again in Providence and Atlantic City – the song’s paradigm changed forever.

10.31.10 (Graham Lucas)

In a complete 180 degree turn, Phish chose not to use “Carini” as path into darkness, instead transforming the song into a piece of sublime improvisation. No longer growling through evil jams, Trey elevated them with gorgeous leads that cut through heavy and unique full-band interplay. This uplifting direction, debuted in Broomfield, was expounded upon in Providence’s top-shelf version, and then abstracted upon in Atlantic City. All of fall’s “Carinis” deviated far from the song’s structure, transforming a one-dimensional piece into a full-blown portal to the divine. Within three unique and experimental excursions, Phish completely changed face of the game. “Carini” has now become an exploratory vehicle of the highest degree, and this has to be considered the single, most significant song evolution of Fall Tour.

Check out all three “Carinis” from fall with some context and a description of each.


10.12.10 II Broomfield, Colorado

10.12.10 - Broomfield (S.Short)

This three-night run set the tone for fall as each night built upon the last. As Phish came to their final set in Colorado, they broke out “Carini” to open things up. Trey comically changed the lyrics to “Carini had bubonic plague!” referencing the reported cases among Broomfield’s prairie dog population. But there was no comedy once the lyrics ended. Initially riding the traditional “Carini” jam, as the band settled into a more mellow groove, Trey spontaneously unleashed a sublime solo over the heavy backdrop. Reaching for spiritual heights, Trey took a melodic sprint over the full-band groove that evolved out of “Carini’s” foundation. Fish and Mike hooked up behind Trey’s lead as Page built a wall of sound to color the conversation. Throughout this segment, Trey continued his cathartic playing, fitting right into the rhythmic pocket. The band eventually slowed into an ambient curtain of sound which descended over the arena as if preparing for an alien arrival. And Phish smoothly slid into “Bowie.”



10.22.10 II Providence, Rhode Island

10.22.10 - Providence (J.Rizzo)

With tour in full swing, Phish hit The Dunk on a Friday night coming off their two-set escapade in Utica, New York. After a solid opening frame, Phish opened the second with, in my opinion, the jam sequence of tour -“Rock and Roll > Carini.” Fall’s second version of the morphing song came out of, perhaps, the tour’s most innovative psychedelic trek in “Rock and Roll.” And as the band segued into “Carini,” they carried big-time energy and momentum, and were primed to explode. Once the lyrics ended, Fishman immediately launched into a hard-edged beat while Trey spit guitar fury. Very quickly, however, Mike and Page made a harmonic shift beneath the two devilish players, coaxing Trey to join in with transcendent guitar work. Beginning with beautiful leads, a switch to a soulful rhythm pattern brought the band into a four-piece experiment. Before long, Phish reached one of the most uplifting segments of music of the entire tour, as the whole band collectively crushed a jam that took on a soul-tugging life of its own. Perhaps my favorite segment of music from Fall, this piece reached a far more emotive plane than Broomfield’s introduction. Migrating to a sparser realm that had nothing at all to do with the song, the entire band continued their locked and original patterns while Trey flowed in a melodic river of dreams. Page brought some slick compliments to the mix which moved the band into a rhythmic texture that served as an infectious come down from the mountaintop. Meanwhile Trey continued to play to the heavens over this groovy canvas in a sequence of to-die-for Phish.



10.29.10  II Atlantic City, New Jersey

10.31.10 - Atlantic City (G.Lucas)

Phish pulled into AC for their three-night Fall finale as fans nationwide descended onto the Jersey Shore. After a mellow opening frame, Phish dropped bombs at the beginning of the second, combining two fall-standouts – “Sand” and “Carini” – into a single highlight reel. Phish took “Sand” on its most fluid and adventurous course of the tour as they entered a post-peak, mid-tempo, ensemble groove that had Little Featprints all over it. Thus when the band hit “Carini,” they, again, carried a colossal head of steam. Trey worked in the “Carini” line to the collective groove, signaling the change into another Fall Tour All-Star. Boardwalk Hall exploded with the opening chords of “Carini” and the band carried that energy through the composed section of the song, screaming the lyrics as they drifted into the jam. Trey’s guitar picked up where their voices left off, wailing over a nasty groove. Red began a lead with distinct attitude over the  bass-led patterns, while the band crushed “Carini.” But once the guitar solo ended, everyone settled into a equitable plane. As this segment began, Trey almost went berserk with crack-like rhythm licks, seeming for a moment that shit was about to fly off the meat rack. But he pulled back into an equally creative solo that infused the still-heavy piece with supporting melodies. But the band shifted back into a funky canvas as Mike dropped one unique idea after another. The band’s rhythmic talk soon drifted far from the song and into a four-piece ambient collaboration. The future-sounding segment melted into “Prince Caspian,” thus ending the final “Carini”of fall.



Jam of the Day:

Sand” 10.20.10 II

A scorching second-set rendition with a mini bonus jam on the way to “Theme.” A middle-man between South Carolina’s initial version and Atlantic City’s blowout.




10.20.10 Memorial Auditorium, Utica, New York

FLAC Torrent (etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

Official Utica Poster

The virtual consensus “best show of tour.” Phish put together two twisting and turning old-school sets in a tiny venue, oozing energy of the past combined with music of the future. A standout Phish show for any era, the band was locked from moment one in this musical and experiential highlight of Fall.

I: My Soul, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Vultures, Wolfman’s Brother > Cities, Guyute, David Bowie*^, Wilson*, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, Saw It Again* > Run Like an Antelope*

II: Drowned > Sand > Theme From the Bottom, Axilla, Birds of a Feather, Tela,  Split Open and Melt > Have Mercy > Piper** > Split Open and Melt, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Good Times Bad Times

* w/ Guyute Teases, ^ w/ Wilson Teases, **w/ Birds Reprise

Source: Edirol UA-5>Edirol R-09 HR>Nakamichi 300 Mics W/CP4 Shotguns (Taper  – D.Boedicker)

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468 Responses to “The Rebirth Of Carini”

  1. Selector J Says:

    Yea, it’s hard to see what’s going on in the line when the angle puts them all in front of each other. Watching the DE vs Tackle on the near end is the only battle where you can really make out what’s clearly happening.

    The behind-the-QB angle is where it’s at. I love when they show the replays from that angle. You can see the holes in the running game and the downfield match ups in the passing game. The entire blocking scheme is apparent and you can clearly see when the DTs stunt and how the D is exploiting gaps for blitzes.

    If there’s even one advantage to the traditional angle, I can’t think of it.

  2. Mr.Miner Says:

    agreed AW…AC 2001 = $$$$

    Someone could tell me its a ’98 version, and I would be racking my brain trying to place it. The real deal…Trey’s work is rediculous

  3. albert walker Says:

    yeah the 2001 HD Flacs have gotten some spins the last few nights

    the huge ambient feedback intro. hip minimal spacey Page work with Trey not even playing anything but filling space with feedback and stuff

    then after comping it up for a few measures Trey just starts spitting the sickest machine gun jazz lines I’ve heard in ages

    another song that’s slowly been clicking the last couple tours

  4. ThePigSong Says:

    more Vultures please and thank you.

  5. Mdawg Says:

    Further!!! (good old UIC Pavilion!)

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    @aw I love how even in the midst of all that intricate shit he does between the choruses in that version, at one point he makes room for Mike to bust a move, just briefly, then takes back over with the struttin’ leads

  7. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    In other news the AZ ballot initiative for medical mota is now only 700 votes behind and on track to win.

    It’s about compassion, people. 8)

  8. BingosBrother Says:

    Trey in a cape.

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    my only nitpick of the AC Bowie is the sudden leap into the trills. really a fine version of that song

  10. Lycanthropist Says:

    10-31-98 Antelope is the sickness.

  11. Lycanthropist Says:

    i love the little tractor beams after the drop into the rye rye rocco part.. a little extra jam..

  12. JeffieM Says:


    Gotta be shopped, but still, that’s hilarious.

  13. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Tractor beams!?!?!?!

    IT’S A TRAP!!!

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    yes @lycan

    that song + set 2 = one of my absolute go-tos as a single CD of killer Phish

    also: Freebird!

    plus a classic setlist-nerd refutation set as well

    “I have a show here with a prominently placed mid second set NICU and Caspian and a show ending Golgi”



  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    I mean, imagine the reaction on Couch Tour to a setlist like that as it came across the wire


  16. willowed Says:

    Selector J posted this earlier

    There’s a great Scratch Perry quote from an old reggae documentary where he is asked about what makes reggae music different and he says the bass is the brain and the drum is the heart.

    and people ask why i love the 97 open funk

    Great post Selector

    Hope everyone is having a great night tonight. spining the AC 2001. The hose is on. Viva la Trza

  17. Lycanthropist Says:

    llfa @ Mr. C

    im jumpin all over today

    hittin up AC Jibboo

  18. willowed Says:

    and jdub and selector….i know what it means to come home to a crazy house. My friends dub my house “The Circus”

    I just got home with a little buz on…had a few Grey Goose and 7’s after work.

    it’s like getting smacked in the face with a dirty sock when i walk into the house. Kids screaming toys everywhere…volume to the max.

    I love it though. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

  19. willowed Says:

    AC Jibboo

    I posted this on my FB page

    Minute 2:51 Like an arrow thru the heart. Heaven!!!

    I heart Trey loops

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    funny, 10/30/10 has a setlist like that too actually

    seemingly frontloaded, and if you just read the setlist you’d think the back half of the frame was a beater, but when you spin it with open ears it pretty much rips all the way down the line


    ….well, yeah, probably

  21. Mr.Palmer Says:

    “it’s like getting smacked in the face with a dirty sock when i walk into the house.”

    this just occurred to me. i need to puff quickly.

  22. willowed Says:

    yes you do!

  23. albert walker Says:

    I hear you on that Bowie C

    the jam doesn’t come back into the Bowie lead very smoothly

    more straight up rockin versions like Brim and SC are cleaner

    that’s why I like the AC version. It has that loose cuz we are trying to find some shit vibe you like to hear when they are pushing shit out.

    some very cool Fish cymbal and Trey interplay like a good Bowie should.

    real inventive Trey leads on it also. agreed it could have been a little smoother coming back in to the outro solo.

  24. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @lycan, it’s 10/30/98, not halloween that antelope

  25. Mr.Palmer Says:

    went back and spun that 12/28.98 Carini> Wolfman’s…my lord! Nearly 40 minutes of total late 90’s Phish sickness.

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