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]

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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”

  1. Mr.Palmer Says:

    True Butter.

  2. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Did Peyton Manning retire? Not only is he the best QB in the league, he’s the best football player in the league. That team wins 3 games a year with out him, every single year.

  3. Robear Says:

    That whole thing about ‘the phans should have figured out the album by the style of play the previous month’ = hogwash to me. Just another funny little poke. Going back to our discussions of psychology and how thoughts can be justified? This is a perfect example. We could pick from any number of jams throughout the fall and make valid arguments for any number of bands and albums lending influence.

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    @butter you get the Lions in 2 weeks but otherwise after tonight it’s about to get real for the Bears

    I think they’re fucked

    Green Bay is better as is and if they keep getting healthier they’re much, much better

    ====

    Don’t get me wrong I was blown away by Vick last game and the Vick/Jackson combo is an epic one

    but Rivers is an artist right now, and doing it with very little help

    check him out sometime if you can catch a game on TV, you’ll see what I mean

  5. Mr.Miner Says:

    dwd went from a composed rocker in 94 to a (rare) but wide open jam in 95 (6.26, 12.12) to a shredding rock jam template in 96 to a slowed down massive piece of exploration in 97….I think you got it from there

  6. willowed Says:

    @ AW
    “just read in a Goldman Sachs report that NBC has a new super hero show coming on as a mid season replacement
    The Cape
    no word yet on the shows tempo or if the main character carries a stop watch and notebook”

    Funniest shit I’ve read all day. No joke…almost peed my pants at work. Thanks for the laugh!

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    Manning’s great and no doubt he carries that team on his back

    but I’m a Rivers guy, period, when it comes to QBs right now

    if Vick can maintain that kind of poise against a great defense…we’ll see. I look forward to watching how it plays out. it’s exciting for sure.

  8. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Rivers needs to win a title, plain and simple. I like the guy , don’t get me wrong.

    1. Peyton
    2. Rivers
    3. Rodgers
    4. Big Ben
    5. Eli
    6. Vick ( needs to do it in more than 5 games)

  9. butter Says:

    Rivers, huh?

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    thanks, miner!

  11. Robear Says:

    ::prays that someone as smart as MR. P seems did not list Eli Manning and Big Ben above Tom Brady::

  12. willowed Says:

    Mr Palmer.

    You’re fucking joking right????

  13. Mr.Palmer Says:

    total brain fart on Brady….damn.

  14. willowed Says:

    If that is your list of top QB’s…you need to start watching football. It’s a great game….they play it on Sunday’s….and someitmes on Thursday’s.

  15. Mr.Palmer Says:

    revised list

    1. Peyton
    2. Brady
    3. Rivers
    4. Ben
    5. Rodgers
    6. Eli
    7. Vick

  16. willowed Says:

    OK…I’ll give you a pass. At least you admit your mistakes. Glad I popped on the BB when I did.

  17. butter Says:

    i love that both Manning’s have the same amount of titles

  18. Spasm Waiter Says:

    I am still trying to forget Brady and the ass beating he put on the black and gold last weekend.

  19. Mr.Palmer Says:

    The lame haircut threw me off.

  20. Robear Says:

    mr. p barely dodges the virtual choke hold from willowed.

  21. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Ben just hopscotched Aaron Rodgers on Palmers list. Hanging at #4…

  22. Chuck D Says:

    i hate bom trady.

  23. Mr.Palmer Says:

    spasm- Ben’s got 2 rings.

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    Eli LOL hahahahahahaha

    Brady’s way better than Eli and has proven it more than Rodgers for sure

    Brees is better too, or will be by the time the playoffs roll around

    but I disagree with your premise

    Manning is a first ballot HOF lock QB and still a dominant player no doubt

    But if you were starting a pro team today and could take anyone you wanted, you’d better pick Rivers or Vick (depending on how you feel about Vick)

    check him out @butter

    he’s a fucking artist, or a surgeon maybe

    give him some help and he’ll own the league

  25. Mr.Palmer Says:

    plus, i’m a fan. My list isn’t supposed to be rational. 🙂

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