Features of Fall

Fall tour contained more musical highlights than I can discuss in one post, but we’ve got plenty of time. Every week before the Holiday Run, I will spotlight a couple standout pieces from tour that haven’t been discussed in other articles. Today, we start with three. (Click the song title to download each selection.)

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Ghost” – 10.10 II Broomfield, CO

10.10.10 - Broomfield (Chris Klein)

This exploratory entree of Colorado’s tour opener was delivered amidst the first “Mike’s Groove” of fall. Despite a solid first-set “Stash,” this “Ghost” brought Phish’s first real improvisational odyssey of the season. Progressing through several distinct sections of jamming, this multi-dimensional version started with Mike taking both the rhythmic and melodic leads, as Trey wove his minimalism around Gordon’s foundation. Emerging slowly within a melodic and groovy jam, Trey eventually wound up at the front of the pack, bushwhacking musical territory side by side with Mike. Offering abstract leads over a rolling beat that continued to gather momentum, Trey merged with both Mike and Page in a soaring tri-colored peak segment. On came Mike’s envelope filter, upping the overall juice, as Trey reached for the top in a dramatic climb. But after the band arrived at the climax, they didn’t bail for the next song. Instead, Phish rode a familiar-sounding, descending pattern down the back side of the mountain, landing in a sparse and fully connected whole-band groove. Getting into the funkiest section of this “Ghost,” Page offered a organ solo that led the music into a series of staccato hits that were soon encompassed by the ambient jaws of the Phish. This final shift transformed the piece into an awesome space-aged experiment.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/phish2010-10-10.d2t04.mp3]

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TweeZeppelin” – 10.30 II Atlantic City, NJ

10.30.10 - Atlantic City, NJ D.Lavery)

After Phish played a verse of “Whole Lotta Love” within “Chalk Dust” in the 30th’s first set, the ploy could have gone either way. Perhaps the band was hinting at their chosen album, but more likely than not, they were poking fun at the hype around Led Zeppelin. But the band answered that question loud and clear in the second set when they got their Led out amidst the a twisting and turning last “Tweezer” of fall. Dropping into the jam, Phish immediately broke into a hard-nosed tease of “Whole Lotta Love.” But as Trey tore into his “Tweezer” solo, drenched with a hardcore vibe, it seemed Phish would launch into a super-charged jam. But their prank had hardly begun. Within no time, Trey brought the band into another Zeppelin anthem, “Heartbreaker,” fully crooning the first verse over the band’s interpretation. Dropping back into “Tweezer” for its most extensive mini-segment, the band had just entered a beautiful melodic framework when they dissolved into “Ramble On.” With each Zeppelin song came tidal waves of energy seething through Boardwalk Hall – easily the biggest surges of the weekend. Blasting the old-school structure with classic rock and roll, Phish had the crowd eating out of their hand like a puppy. Instead of Page, who killed the song back in ’98 at Vernon Downs, Trey sang “Ramble On,” not quite doing the piece justice. But this “Tweezer to Heaven” wasn’t about sharp musicianship, it was about energy, adrenaline, and unadulterated fun. Before stepping into the transcendent guitar solo of “Ramble On,” Page exchanged a joking look with Trey while he played the beginning of Zeppelin’s ballad, “Thank You;” and the band moved from one melodic song to another. Dropping back into “Tweezer” for only a moment, before anyone knew what had hit them, Phish was in the iconic final verse of “Stairway to Heaven.” One couldn’t help but laugh along with their musical gamesmanship as the Phish toyed with the audience while creating a spirited medley of Zeppelin classics; quite an enjoyable trick on the eve of the treat. And as we walked out of the venue that night, the 24-hour guessing guessing game commenced with Led Zeppelin crossed off the list.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/ph2010-10-30t16.mp3]

***

Stash” – 10.24 I Amherst, MA

10.23.10 - Amherst (Matt Wagner)

With much-deserved praise going to the interstellar “Stash” from Halloween, the precursor to the holiday version came a week before in Amherst. And if Atlantic City’s version never happened, we’d all be talking how the Mullins “Stash” was the best of this era. Engaging in a dueling leadership from note one, Mike and Trey commanded the onset of this voyage as Fishman’s beats morphed into the effervescent percussion of lore. Trey’s leads began to encompass a melodic theme, pushing Page to join step up his piano work – a defining facet of this excursion. The band shifted into a major key, and the vicious textures transformed into rolling pastures as Trey’s melodic run never relented for a millisecond in some of his most impressive work of tour. While Trey signed his name backwards and forwards on this piece with numbing, non-stop leads, the rest of the band fully engaged in a crushing musical passage of the highest degree. Pushing and pulling the tension beneath Trey’s wizardry, the whole band played in sync, crafting a new-school, top-shelf version. Page’s piano work emerged as a highlight of this “Stash,” providing a retro feel in the retro venue. Reentry into “Stash’s” final build happened seamlessly and with roaring whole-band passion. Without a thought of hesitation, Phish narrated a cooperative tale of super-glued psychedelia.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/ph2010-10-24t06.mp3]

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Jam of the Day:

Vultures” 10.20.10 I

This third-song appearance of “Vultures” was the first signpost along the road at Utica that pointed to special night. A smoking rendition, rarely do bust-outs come off the shelf with such zest.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Phish-Disc01Track04.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.10.10 1st Bank Arena, Broomfield, Colorado

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

Official Broomfield Poster

Fall tour’s opener contained the typical event-less warm-up set before the band put together a somewhat choppy second half that had some serious highlights. “Ghost” brought exploratory jamming while a top-shelf “Slave” made an powerful mid-set exclamation. Solid versions of “Mike’s” and “Weekapaug,” and a seemingly out-of-place debut of “My Problem Right There,” filled out the moments of note.

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Ocelot, It’s Ice, Bouncing Around the Room, Funky Bitch, AC/DC Bag, NICU, The Moma Dance, Horn, Stash, Golgi Apparatus

II: Mike’s Song > Simple > Ghost > Weekapaug Groove, Fee, Makisupa Policeman, My Problem Right There*> Makisupa Policeman, Slave to the Traffic Light, Strange Design, Julius

E: Loving Cup

*debut

Source: Schoeps mk4v’s(DINa)> kc5> m222> nt222> 744t (Taper – gotfob)

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604 Responses to “Features of Fall”

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  1. Myers Says:

    The Utica Vultures !!!

  2. jose Says:

    did trey tease dave’s energy guide briefly in the mullins center stash?

  3. Dbone Says:

    what makes listening back to the fall highlights is that most of the really great jams get so much into little feat territory that it does make you feel kind of stupid for not realizing it at the time. The end of the ghost jam (around 12 – 14 minute mark) is a case in point.

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    I believe I called little feat a couple days, maybe a week before based on these styles of jams and the change in Page’s vocals

    just sayin

    😉

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    I certainly wasn’t the first tho..

  6. Al Says:

    cOwfunk – I think you were first, actually

  7. Al Says:

    I watched the vimeo DWD-Whats the use release Video footage on phish.com

    When you watch that you really notice the swapping of ideas, the “shit I ran out of ideas”, the “this solo-wanking starts to bore me to death Mike look” and so much more. You are sooo close to it that the jamming really takes on a new perspektive. It’s really a sort of inside-view. Interesting.

  8. st8 of mind Says:

    This Vultures sent shivers down my spine when I first heard it. This was quite the statement.

  9. Dbone Says:

    i know that some people were calling it (not me cause I was never as big a fan of little feat) but my point is that in retrospect it seems so obvious – most things do.

  10. st8 of mind Says:

    Keep up the good work, and thank you Miner!

  11. c0wfunk Says:

    yeah man – trey’s guitar playing took on a decidedly more bluesy tone this fall and Page added all kinds of blues riffing into his vocals.

    I’ve been thinking that the phenomenon of slamming 2 songs together (halley’s > light) in the manner that they’ve been doing lately may be WFC inspired too

  12. c0wfunk Says:

    I wonder how long it is they’d been practicing the album – do ya’ll think they decided after summer tour or they’ve been planning it for 6+ months?

  13. Al Says:

    Dbone – I think we are all just having fun “calling” something. Who really cares who is first? Probably only the caller. I wouldn’t have ever guessed it cause I didn’t know anything about Little Feat.
    I called Pat Metheny as a Halloween treat…..well.

  14. Selector J Says:

    My reggae show is happening right now…
    listen w/ 1 click

  15. c0wfunk Says:

    I don’t care at all for sure – I was just messin round. I remember there was a lot of conventional wisdom about some challenging guitar thing because of Trey’s comments in that interview, but I just kept hearing blues blues blues. I’m pretty clueless re:LF too but the signs were unmistakable. It’s not like I was sure by any means though. As you say dbone in hindsight it was 100% obvious.

  16. BTB Says:

    Download a jam; download the pictures; read the review; download a show; and download a jam of the day.

    pretty sweet blahg brah!

    Keep the fall reviews coming. thanks!

  17. albert walker Says:

    I’m a huge little feat fan I still don’t hear shit going back.

    Page has been a little hotter on the grand. maybe that could be a give away.

    Everyone kept hearing Trey’s more melodic playing actually during fall not blues. Jams like Sand, Carini, and LIght had very fluid melodic phrasings from Trey.

    When reading the playbill Trey talks about how every note Lowell played was so thought out, and he was always playing with such a melodic direction.

    yeah looking back I can hear what he was saying but if you told me melodic guitar stylings Lowell wouldn’t have even been in the top 20 names that came to mind.

    I’ve been throwing out LF Halloween as a dream set since 94 but I still can’t hear shit from the shows lately that would point me in that direction when making my pre Halloween picks.

    such a great album by one of the top American bands of all time.

  18. Dbone Says:

    @ Al – i wonder that too. yesterday’s discussion about what happened between leg I and II of summer tour made me think about when they made the decision. I don’t necessarily know if the bluesy stuff is as apparent in the summer but the full band, self-referential jamming with seemless segues that characterized fall certainly began to become more apparent leg II of summer. damn, now I gotta go back and re-listen to that too.

  19. albert walker Says:

    Keep hearing great things about this Amherst Stash. Spun the AC monster several times last night.

    gonna have to check this Amherst today.

    laterz kids
    have fun
    grab those shares of the GM

  20. neemor Says:

    Morning, all…

    Need a Vultures any night except NYE.
    That is all.

  21. lastwatzer Says:

    I heard more blues last year compared to this year.

    Definitely and upswing of melodic playing.

  22. Dbone Says:

    @AW – hmm. i don’t necessarily hear it in trey’s specific playing, more of some of the full band blues/funk rhythm breakdowns that some of the fall jams would get into. take a listen around the 12 minute mark of the ghost miner posted today. It’s not long but to my ear’s there’s some LF-esque influence there. I’m not a musician or expert on these matters though.

  23. lastwatzer Says:

    “more of some of the full band blues/funk rhythm breakdowns that some of the fall jams would get into”dbone

    That I hear, like the new jam on Wolfman totally has the funky NOLA feel.

  24. guitarpicker420! Says:

    I finally have my tour review posted. Check it out. Easy links to the best source from every show of fall tour.

    phishlisteningroom.blogspot.com

  25. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Easy links to the best source from every show of fall tour.

    livephish.com?

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