An Ethereal Encore

10.19.10 - Augusta (Ryan Gilbertie)

A spirited run through “Weekapaug” concluded the meat of the Augusta’s second set, punctuating a “Mike’s Groove” that included a devastating northern “Light.” But aside from “Harry Hood,” the rest of the frame fizzled into a series of standard rotation songs. Front loading the set with plenty of music to carry the second half , perhaps the second-set imbalance contributed to what happened next. Returning to the stage for the encore – all but a formality on almost every evening – Phish had something else in mind.

Just before an overnight haul to Utica, the band unveiled an encore for the pages of history. Expecting nothing at all, when the opening notes of “Reba” bounced from the stage, looks of disbelief shot around the arena. For only the third time in its 21 year history, Phish employed their classic piece as an encore (most recently in Tucson, Arizona on 9.21.99 and before that in Berkeley, California on 3.31.91.) Given the band’s stellar playing in Augusta, this one had the feeling of something special from note one, and blossomed into something greater than anyone could have imagined. Navigating the multi-part composition with a precision and momentum rarely seen this era, all the pieces in fell into place as Phish set sail on an ocean of divine groove.

10.22.10 (J. Rizzo)

Splashing into the crystal waters, the band’s lush offerings began to sculpt a sonic oasis. Fishman played a slower tempo, creating a groovier pocket and leaving copious musical space for his mates to run free. Trey took the lead, initiating a golden thread of melody he would weave through the entire piece. After setting the rhythmic pace, Mike stepped up and engaged Trey in co-leadership of the fluid vessel. Weaving his own lines in between Trey’s never-ending song, the two guitar players achieved a symbiotic cohesion. And with Trey’s cash-money phrasing, this jam began to elevate – all within the context of a superior “Reba” jam. But with a delicate rhythmic breakdown by Fishman, the musical course veered into the uncharted.

10.20.10 (M.Stein)

Hopping on the abstract idea right away, all band members formed a levitating ball of exploratory sound. As Trey bent a single note amidst this atypical canvas, it signaled the onset of a whole-band exploration. Rarely does “Reba” depart from its blissful groove, but when they have, stunning highlights result (8.16.93 and 10.29.98 come to mind.) In Augusta, the band briefly returned to the theme en route to a tranquil and divergent rhythmic pool. Trey and Fish lured Mike and Page into floating moments of abstraction that bridged a filthy and aggressive whole-band groove. Carving a funky, hard-edged path, the entire band churned out atypical music that had nothing to do with its soaring foundation. Before long, they slammed into a bumping rhythm, sounding like they would flow right into “Manteca.” Based in the rhythmic template, these weren’t debatable Trey teases, but a solid foundation of the Dizzy Gillespie cover. Instead of taking Fish’s bait and diving into the cover, the band forged on in their experimental encore while Fishman coyly teased the song’s repetitive lyric over the sinful groove. Behind this vocal-play, Trey melted like butter back into “Reba’s” theme – a perfectly executed re-entry without hesitation.

10.20.10 (M.Stein)

Fully re-engaging “Reba’s” classic build, Phish sidestepped any shortcuts while pushing the piece to glorious heights. Trey led the troops to a monstrous peak, leaving all jaws hanging on the carpeted floor as Fish’s drum roll ended the jam. If there was ever a time to end “Reba” with its classic whistle and final verse, this was it. But in a move that made little sense, the band, instead, dropped into an awkwardly-placed “Number Line” to follow-up “Reba’s” spiritual quest that immediately jumped into any conversation about top-shelf versions – and I’m not talking about “in the modern era.” With a peak rendition for the ages, Phish left Augusta at the tip-top of their game with Utica less than 24 hours away. As we jumped into the mini-van with that internal fire burning and little care about how many miles lied ahead, Phish tour felt like Phish tour once again.



Jam of the Day:

Wolfman’s > Cities” 10.20.10 I

Funked-out, first set fire from Utica.




10.22.2010 Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island

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

10/22 Poster (Spusta)

Coming off Utica, Phish took one set to exhale before sparking a top-notch second half that was served in three courses. First came “Rock and Roll > Carini > My Problem Right There” and second came “Mike’s > Sanity > Groove.” Before the third course, Phish served an intermezzo of  “Suzy” and another standout “Light,” before finishing with with the dessert course – “Character Zero > 2001 > Loving Cup.” Straight fire through and through, Providence’s second set seemed to set the table for a Mullins Center detonation that never fully materialized.

I: Down with Disease, Funky Bitch, Fluffhead, Roses Are Free, Rift, The Moma Dance, Ocelot, NICU, Sample in a Jar, Julius

II: Rock and Roll > Carini > My Problem Right There, Mike’s Song > Sanity > Weekapaug Groove, Suzy Greenberg, Light, Character Zero > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Loving Cup

E: First Tube

Source: Schoeps mk5> kc5> m222> nt222> lunatec v3 > SD 744t (Taper – taylorc)

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532 Responses to “An Ethereal Encore”

  1. Mr.Miner Says:

    the set HAD great tempo, if nothing else.

  2. Hoedown Says:

    “I couldn’t believe how each concert was better than the last concert since the last concert was the most amazing concert I had been to. Atlantic City had that feel to it.”

    ^ and this.

  3. gavinsdad Says:

    @splitopenandmelt dropping the open-mindedness and gratitude. refreshing. good to hear from you man.

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Tempo works in golf, not improvisational music.

  5. gavinsdad Says:

    tempo of the dog.

  6. bouncin fan Says:

    URBN had a nice little pop out of the quarter GD

    I’m not sure about owning retail into the holidays but the markets seem to like the numbers they put up

  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Tempo of doom

  8. bouncin fan Says:

    Tempo of the Fat Man in Cape

  9. gavinsdad Says:

    are we allowed to perpetuate 2 nites in Amsterdam rumors yet? my wife would be down for those for sure.

  10. gavinsdad Says:

    (here’s what you don’t know @bouncin….we did ok to LY in Q3, but on the homefront we missed plan.) shouldn’t affect the street whatsoever

    indiana bros and the tempo of doom

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’ve been searching for an opening to make a “tempura” joke all afternoon without success

  12. Mr.Miner Says:

    2 nights in the dam? u being serious?

  13. bouncin fan Says:

    yeah. street liked the positive tone on the call. this quarter wasn’t great but they did beat. basically trading this is as bad as it gets and hopefully improves from here.

    worries are sales are still coming in but analysts feel this is as low as sales will get and looks good the next couple months.

    also inventory had a slight build.

    there are some weird fashion trends changing right now retailers are having trouble getting grasps of outside the bad macro environment

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    yes because sending Trey to Amsterdam is such a brilliant fucking idea


    maybe we can get them to tour the Golden Triangle while they’re at it

  15. Gavinsdad Says:

    No Miner. That is pure fantasy. I have been dreaming it since Hampton 09. Think kiddies and fam are keeping these guys stateside (along with that parole thing) but that’s also pure speculation on my part. All I’m saying is that I wouldn’t miss those shows. No possible way.

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    lets give big red another few years of sobriety before we throw him in the lions den there 😮

  17. Gavinsdad Says:

    Lol for real @C. Then the Colombia>Mexico city coke and tar tour Fall ’11. The band wives would love the shopping!

  18. Gavinsdad Says:

    Well then someone ante up a stateside venue that is more blissful then Red Rocks or the Gorge cause I do need another road trip with natures accoutrements in my future.

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    I dunno about awesomer than those places but given the recent venue sizes, this rumor-mill favorite from summers past should be a legit choice now

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    also whats wrong with the Gorge yo

    give me 3 days there in late may, early june, or early september of next year…

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    also: “shopping” LOL!

  22. Mr.Miner Says:


  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    I still dream of someone bringing concerts back to the original High Sierra location in Bear Valley

    those townies that got all snooty in ’97 or whenever it was that the WSP kids tore shit up have got to be all broke as fuck now

    what a place that was

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    OK I’ve never actually dreamed about that.

    But it’s a cool place.

  25. Gavinsdad Says:

    Shit man Id be back at the Gorge in a flash…I’d just like to be exposed to another natural type venue that’s at that level of epic.

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