Backwards To The Future

10.20.10 - Utica (Michael Stein)

A wide-eyed portly fellow burst out of a stall in the sweltering men’s bathroom at setbreak proclaiming, “Guyutica!” Smothering the already-suffocating room in laughter as he pushed through the crowd, the term struck everyone as clever, spontaneous wordplay to describe the wild set we just witnessed. Little did we know that a masked-man in the front section carried a sign boldly sporting the term that sparked, perhaps, the set of the tour thus far. And the lights hadn’t even dropped for the second set. Phish had just stepped offstage in a cloud of smoke after a snaking opening frame in a tiny room; and electricity filled the air. As if shot back to the mid-’90s, the band had just slammed the door of the first set with an “Antelope” that churned with sonic white-water of yesteryear. Fans were left removing musical shrapnel from their blown minds as the house lights brightened the humid climate of the dated AHL arena. Centered around the tour’s only “Guyute” – a tightly-wound and thrilling rendition – Phish built the first of two masterful sets that placed the past and the present on a collision course on a Wednesday night in central New York.

10.20.10 (J.Reed)

A two-song blues-rock warm up brought Phish to the brink of no return. Once they dove into “Vultures” with a tenacity of the bird, itself, Phish stepped into a show that fused the musical playfulness of old-school Phish with the on-point musicianship of the current band. And the results left the scene in a daze for a day and a half before Providence began. Moving from blues-rock into creative funk sculptures, the band followed up “Vultures” with a unique version of “Wolfman’s” that morphed through a spontaneous vocal jam into a series of creative rhythms anchored by Fishman’s divergent beats. Taking the piece on a varying course for the first time in ages, Phish set the musical tone of the show early. Infused with extra gusto, even towards the beginning of Utica it felt like something different had taken hold of the band. Smoothly hitting some rhythm licks and taking the band into “Cities,” Trey moved in concert with the rest of the band from the show’s onset of this show, rather than moving to the beat of his own drummer. But with the unveiling of “Guyute” that carried the tension and drama of old, the retro contour of the set began to take form.

10.20.10 Utica (Michael Stein)

While Fishman’s cymbals danced into the intro to “Bowie,” Trey continued to play “Guyute’s” triumphant lick with increasingly distorted phrasing, a seemingly innocent move at the time. But these teases sparked a theme for the rest of the set – self-referential integration of one song into another in with the spontaneity of lore. As “Bowie’s” jam dropped, Trey used the same “Guyute” line, phrased differently, to initiate the improvisation. Almost immediately, the band landed in the opening hits of “Wilson” and the crowd caught on just as quickly. In a call and response exercise, the crowd chanted “Wilson” to which Trey answered in Guyute-speak, “He’s bouncing like a new born elf.” Instead of dropping into “Wilson,” in earnest, the band made the far shrewder call of melting back into a delicate, full-on “Bowie” jam. Page’s piano leads wove with Trey’s melodies, pushing the piece in an ominous direction. Mike supported with harmonizing rhythm offerings that catalyzed a darker feel, and the band took off running in a powerful version of their revitalized classic. Passing through an additional “Wilson” tease on the way to a smashing final section, Phish had dropped a twisting tour highlight smack dab in the middle of the first set. And that wouldn’t even be their most impressive excursion of the half!

"Guyutica" (D. Vann via Phish)

The band immediately jumped on their own joke, dropping a “Guyute”- laced “Wilson” as soon as “Bowie” ended. Fully fusing the songs together, Trey jammed on “Guyute’s” lead melody throughout “Wilson’s” brief hard rock vamp. The band hadn’t dropped such tightly-wound musical humor in ages, and both their ability and willingness to do so spoke volumes on their current state of mind. Having as much fun crafting a set like this as the audience had eating it up, Phish took their old-school spirit – last year expressed through bust-outs and on-stage narratives – directly into musical pranks. As a nod to the retro-nature of the set, the band played the Gamehendge-related “McGrupp.” A far cleaner rendition than its counterparts of this era, the composition sparkled with the purity of Phish’s energy, a hallmark of their recent tour. Revving up “I Saw it Again,”the band took another elusive piece off the shelf in this now all-star frame. In another segment of musical gamesmanship, the band built the heavy textures of the song’s ending into a “Guyute”- laced ambient bridge into the set’s most dramatic piece – “Run Like An Antelope.”

In nothing short of a revelation, Phish dropped a version of “Antelope” that represented a improvisational microcosm this show – the fury and creativity of old fused with the mature approach and polished chops of the present day. Taking the usually one-dimensional piece on its most dynamic venture in memory, Phish decorated the jam with several nuanced psychedelic tangents, redefining the possibilities of modern “Antelopes,” let alone what is once again possible from the Vermont quartet entirely. Finishing with multiple teases of “Guyute” in “Antelope’s” final section, Phish proudly signed their collective John Hancock on the bottom line of this set.

As fans foraged through dense fog of the magical musical forest that had sprouted since the show began, the building took on a whole new feel. With the particle board peeling off the floor in a building of another era, Phish had brought us into a separate reality for the night – far from familiar, yet feeling just like home. Though it seemed like the show had peaked, setbreak had only just begun.

To be continued…

10.20.10 - Utica (Michael Stein)


Jam of the Day:

Run Like An Antelope” 10.20.10 II

A defining piece of Fall 2010 from Utica, New York.




10.15.2010 North Charleston Coliseum, N. Charleston, SC

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

Charleston Poster

Here is the final download from Fall 2010, Charleston’s song-based opening show. Highlights came in the first set versions of “Bathtub Gin” and “Stash,” while a lite second set’s shining moment came in its opening “Disease.”

I: Punch You In the Eye, Possum, Bathtub Gin, Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home?*, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Destiny Unbound, Backwards Down the Number Line, Bouncing Around the Room, Stash, Joy, Buffalo Bill, Dog Faced Boy, Run Like an Antelope

II: Down with Disease > Prince Caspian > Twist, Roses Are Free, My Friend, My Friend, My Problem Right There, Tube, Mike’s Song > The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Mexican Cousin, Weekapaug Groove, Suzy Greenberg, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Character Zero

* w/ Dr. Jack McConnell

Source: Schoeps mk41> KC5> M222> NT222> Aeta PSP-3> SD 744t (Taper – taylorc)

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628 Responses to “Backwards To The Future”

  1. ThePigSong Says:

    Howdy BB, long time no post/lurk.

    I too, have been wondering if the Guyutica dude was a plant. Seems very likely. I keep meaning to go over and ask on the greenboard.

    I’ve been spinning Manchester set II this morning and… HOLY SHIT

    Have a good day all!

  2. Selector J Says:

    I think this pretty much provesGuyutica Merit Badge rumor to be plausible, Robear.
    (Notice the sale dates, too.)

  3. garretc Says:


    Bottom o’ page response to ya sir

  4. Mike D Says:

    As its been discussed before, don’t miss page’s solo in mcgrupp, instead of piano he hops on the rhoades? or is it a e piano? was an amazing show…just so cool to see them in such a small venue …hope they keep up putting some of these types of venues (broome county next year?) mixed in with the typical places…i’ll admit, I left during guyute to go grab a brew (or two) as I got sick of hearing it a lot during 00 or so whenever they were playing it tons and b/c they haven’t been playing it much since they came back, most versions were sloppy…this one was pretty on point..mid set bowie was when we knew this was one of those special shows…antelope blew it out of the orbit

  5. Robear Says:

    Good find, Selector!

    Another fine inspiration by a phan, along the lines of the ‘Saw It Again’ from MPP, as Miner points out. Time for more input from the band on setlists, if you ask me. IMHO, many of the lackluster shows in 3.0 have been influenced by poor song choice. Several top shows seem directly inspired by outside inspiration. Look at all the ‘first time played on tour’ songs from Manchester. You can feel the energy come off the recordings that was missing in Amherst.

    FTR, I’m not bitching either. We know what Phish are capable of. We don’t want to accept less.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    interesting game huh @kaya? Vick impressed me 100x more last night than against that pathetic, overmatched Redskins D. The Giants played him pretty well though, and if Eli hadn’t turned back into Eli there a few times I think New York would have won that game…very fun second half though

    hopefully this adds a little realism flavor to the Vick kool-aid everyone is drinking…against a good defense he is “merely” an excellent NFL quarterback, not the Football Messiah…at least not right now…if you force him away from his strengths he looks much more mortal

    don’t get it twisted though I am rooting for the guy and think he’s playing great

    just thought the reaction to the game last week was a little unrealistic at times in terms of crowning him as the Best Player Ever

  7. Robear Says:

    and speaking of Giants fans, have you heard about the new TV series?

    ‘Grace Under Fire, part deux’, starring Squirrely Manning as the clutz.

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    that’s the Rhodes @mikeD, which is technically an electric piano, so you are right twice

    I love the little turn he takes on that before switching to the grand

    very slick

  9. Robear Says:

    i have all the fall FLAC’s, except for Utica. grrrrrrrrr

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    agree @robear

    questionable, clumsy or simply uninspired setlists are clearly still a pitfall on occasion

  11. kayatosh Says:

    love page’s rhodes solo in mcgrupp. $$$

    and C, you’re right on about vick. he’s not the football messiah that he looked like aginats the skins, but he has me excited about the eagles agian, which i have not felt since the randall cunningham days.

  12. EL Duderino Says:

    @ robear

    I think of it like spinning the roulette wheel in Vegas…

    You win some, you loose some.
    I mean its not really a loss (you were at a Phish show), but sometimes you hit the big number.

    For the most part I’ve been pretty lucky… I bet you have been too.

  13. Robear Says:

    questionable, clumsy or simply uninspired setlists are clearly still a pitfall on occasion

    ^all i’ve been trying to say, ever. thx C.

    Basically, if the band is on fire, they can melt faces with the ‘Brady Bunch’ theme. If they are struggling to get in the groove, a groovey song helps.

  14. kayatosh Says:

    his arm looked strong, but he didn’t look as fast on the ground and his accuracy was slightly below the level he displayed against the skins (probably b/c the giants were blitzing relentlessly). Vick took a couple of mean hits as well.

  15. EL Duderino Says:

    Vick is R. Cunningham ++

  16. Mitch Says:

    Pardon my spunion first post. Went to furthur again last night and had some more fun.

    Custy report – I’d been seeing the guyutica lot patch on sale over at for weeks leading up to the show. That dude posts on that board and it was pretty cool after the fact that he’d been saying that for so long and it happened.

  17. kayatosh Says:

    game won’t have been as close had the eagles scored a few more td’s in the first half instead of FG’s (one blocked). two dropped balls in the endzone. The one by Avant was painful, but Avant played well the rest of the game. solid player.

  18. Robear Says:

    good analogy duder, one i’ve used myself. even though i don’t think it’s very accurate.

    and yeah, my ratio is pretty good. Maybe been less than satisfied in a small handful of shows out of 90. Better than my Lions fanhood, fo sho!

  19. Mitch Says:

    ^didnt see the ebeans post up top.

  20. Mitch Says:

    I got your alac robear. You should come to new years. The guyutica burned to disc should be worth the trip. Amiright or amiright. I mean, what else are ya doing?

  21. Robear Says:

    @ mango;

    sit at home with my son. praying for a good stream. wondering how i end up missing the new year’s run.

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    agreed there were a couple key drops. also some good D by the Giants. In any case a close, hard fought game and pretty well played by both sides. IMO the game came down to 2 plays where the Giants lost containment on the backfield and gave up big plays…

    The Giants provided the model for teams to defend Vick the rest of the season – keep contain and steady pressure, hit him a lot, force him to break right and make intermediate throws in traffic. However, huge credit to the Eagles O-line. They played GREAT against an excellent defense that had the right game plan in place…

    If I was giving out the game ball the Eagles O-line would get it, no question

    Cowboys get to play the spoiler from here on out. wouldn’t surprise me if they end up determining who wins the division by beating one of the front runners in the next few weeks here


    Healthy, the Colts beat the Pats in that game. No question in my mind about that. Pats still look good, but if they think they can just blow past the Jets they might be in for a surprise in a couple weeks. That game should be awesome.

    Anyone getting back on the Saints bandwagon yet?

  23. adamwest Says:

    Hey guys…
    long time lurker first time poster.

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    also, if there are any Bears fans out there who think their team is seriously as good as Green Bay, please speak up…I might have to violate my no NFL betting pledge if you are willing to go straight up on the division title

  25. Calpain Says:

    @jdub- liked your comparisons of MPPII and Utica Signs and audience interaction. The energy was there and a spark ignited the fire!

    Mr. Miner, the syntax took me for a nice ride, can’t wait for part II.

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