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.)

***

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]

***

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]

=====

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]

=====

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)

Tags: , ,

604 Responses to “Features of Fall”

  1. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    utica show is pure little feat 😉

  2. lastwaltzer Says:

    I heard more blues playing from Trey last year. This year his playing has definitely been more melodically driven.

    “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.”dbone

    Now that I do hear. For example the new Wolfmans just reeks of that NOLA styled funk.

  3. guitarpicker420! Says:

    @dancing fool – should have qualified that, with easy links to best audience sources from fall tour, and they’re all free!

  4. albert walker Says:

    That I can buy LW

    I’d also say the return of Sand with the melodic based leads would probably be the best give away besides the funkier vocal jam based Wolfman’s from Utica and AC

    also the Jibboo from AC

    I always thought of Little Feat as more of a groove based band than a blues band even though they have obvious blues influences
    SKin It Back style

  5. Dbone Says:

    so in this respect it is interesting to see essentially two levels of LF influence. the musical influence characterized by the style of blues/funk/NOLA jamming (whatever you want to call it) and maybe the musical approach that AW mentions in reference to the trey quote – the more melodic playing may have been an effort to make each note more intentional. So not necessarily a direct influence on what trey is playing but on how he plays. Alright, i’m getting too analytical about this for my taste, i’m gonna just listen to some music now.

  6. KWL Says:

    praise jah

  7. lastwaltzer Says:

    Kwl what the shit?

    I was tottaly waiting for you to come in here celebrating the vindication of your baby, that Colorado ghost.

  8. KWL Says:

    praise jah and the brim ghost

  9. c0wfunk Says:

    yeah thinking back a bit more the blues / rock / big peak thing probably was more inspired by the stones last year, and developed over the summer, where the newer, LF inspired sound is more delta / new orleans style blues than rock blues. Page’s vocals to me were the big tip though, he’s added a growl and then has been throwing in those adlibs a lot more lately.

  10. Chuck D Says:

    the biggest clue listening back for me is the improved vocals, particularly in the multi-part harmonies.

  11. c0wfunk Says:

    LF to me has always come off as southern rock / delta blues, particularly the guitar player. I realize there’s a lot more in there than I gave it credit for but a lot of it is very blues / boogie woogie oriented, including the piano stylings and the horn arrangements.

  12. EL Duderino Says:

    11/18/72 Danny Whitten of Crazy Horse dies of heroin overdose @ 29…

  13. EL Duderino Says:

    the 3 great players in LF are LG, BP, & PB IMO

  14. c0wfunk Says:

    but somehow taking that funk / groove influence and that progressive rock / composed influence and making it sound bluesy and southern. That’s my take anyway ymmv.

  15. EL Duderino Says:

    Little Feat Tour Dates:

    http://www.littlefeat.net/index.php?page=tourdates

  16. Chuck D Says:

    LF in jamaica would be… almost as cool as phish in jamaica

  17. c0wfunk Says:

    wow 5th annual skynard simple man cruise. I’d like to be as far away from that as I possibly can.

  18. EL Duderino Says:

    a lot of “Gold Tooth Women” on that cruise ship

  19. lastwaltzer Says:

    I heard they are planning on doing a Waiting For Columbus tour………….wonder if a certain band from vermont influenced that call.

  20. butter Says:

    that Lynrd Skynrd cruise would be somethin

  21. EL Duderino Says:

    I haven’t found who they replaced Richie Hayward with on drumzz

  22. butter Says:

    probably some women on that cruise that would eat the little phishies alive

  23. albert walker Says:

    new GM pops 7% on the IPO this morning. way over subscribed.

    say what you want about TARP. it saved GM.

  24. fat bastard Says:

    just not their stockholders

  25. sumodie Says:

    @miner: thnx for giving the amherst stash the kudos it deserves

    as for ac’s tweezer to heaven, it still gives me the biggest ‘roid rush w/ no release -leaves me wantin to bust shit up, flip a car or two,, and other un-sumo-like shenannigans

    me thinks i need to insert a nasty 90s tweezer jam afterthe Stairway segment, thatll set me right before the 2001 drop (ive already erased that halleys from memory)

Leave a Reply