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. DukeOfLizards Says:

    So could one say that the discussion of zzyzx’s article is a tempo-rary thing on the BB?

  2. Mr.Palmer Says:

    As far as east coast venues. This place they should try and book next summer. Bag Jones Beach. Its new, gorgeous views, rolling hills. On the land of the original Woodstock. Bethel Woods

  3. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ok someone please link me to this Z article now

  4. lastwaltzer Says:


    i would but it might offset the tempo of this conversation, can’t be that guy.

  5. Mr.Palmer Says:

    its on jambands df.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    @gdad, Telluride is more beautifuller than RR or the Gorge IMO, so that was your shot I think 😮

    Butter posted some hallucination about Aspen earlier fwiw, a nice little driveby

  7. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Could someone maybe just post a quick, ex-tempo-raneous summary of the piece?

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ew jam bands

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    IMO, no venue matches the beauty of The Gorge.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    @duke: little feat songs are all the same tempo, except a bunch of them that aren’t. And they’re all about dope and/or fucking, except of course the ones that aren’t.

    I had a little trouble following it.

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    google is your friend Duke 😉

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    is it that article from a week or 2 ago??

  13. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    anyone know where zzyzx lives? theres a relix/jambands/headcount etc office xmas party in a couple weeks and im wondering if steinberg as a jambands employee/friend will be there…
    probably wouldnt talk to him anyway. dont even think im gonna go, its on my 21st birthday

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    FWIW I like dope, fucking, and that Little Feat groove regardless of tempo

    but that’s just me

  15. DukeOfLizards Says:


    I read it – I just don’t want this to turn into a tempo-stuous bashing session.

  16. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    @Miner – but didnt they cover up the back of the stage this summer so you cant see through anymore?

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    probly b/c that tempo is excellent for fucking while high

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    dammit, I got sucked into it

    signing off from discussion of other people’s opinions…NOW


  19. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    or was that red rocks?

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    no it was the gorge. didn’t really bother me

    RR stage is right in front of one of hte big rocks, no need for windscreen or whatever

  21. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    @Miner –

  22. bouncin fan Says:

    Arguing against dope and fucking


    2 of my favs

    The tempo took some getting used to but once I opened my mind to it I dug it.

  23. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    i havent been there. i just heard that a lot of ppl were pissed because the whole point was seeing through the back. but even in the pictures with the backdrop it looks beautiful so… w.e

  24. Gavinsdad Says:

    Telly and Greek were huge misses for various reasons. I’m still alive tho. Heh. bethel is so so nice, great call @Palmer…doesn’t hold a candle to those other beauties tho…caught GRAB show there…the one that Joan trainwrecked the china doll! Oof.

  25. Mr.Palmer Says:

    …”doesn’t hold a candle to those other beauties tho”

    no doubt. not bad for an east coast shed though.

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