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. BrandonKayda Says:

    How Phish went from that 1993.08.14 Have Mercy jam back into Antelope…the world may never know

  2. halcyon Says:

    Verizon is introducing high speed FIOS @ 150/35 Mbps FiOS starting at $194.99 a month.

    That is some speed and coinage to pay for that speed.

  3. albert walker Says:

    yeah BK

    that’s a case of not really understanding how hot a show I was seeing till many years later

    sometimes you just don’t get how hot some of your early shows were

  4. Foul_Domain Says:

    ’93 had some killer Antelopes. They were played with ferocity in the early 90’s

    They consistently brought a ‘shred’ factor back then.

  5. Foul_Domain Says:

    ^moreso than in 3.0, I mean.

    All Antelopes have a certain degree of shreddiness

  6. Foul_Domain Says:

    ^ good good whole-wheat shreddiness, that is.

  7. halcyon Says:

    1gb shows can be downloaded in a minute or two with those speeds.

    yeah 1993 was a scorcher. Just downloaded a Darien Lake 1993 show this weekend from etree. Hot show.

  8. Mr.Palmer Says:

    lot of ’93 been going up on etree lately i noticed. Gotta grab some myself. Seriously lacking in that dept.

  9. Mr.Palmer Says:

    that 8.14.93 is the LivePhish release right? Sick show.

    Daniel Saw the Stone. Opener 12/30/10 Heard it here first.

  10. jdub Says:

    Hard not to get pumped for an Antelope.

    A thought occured to me lately. Phish has relied heavily on the classic material in 3.0. Lots of Antelopes, Slaves, Fluffs, Divided Sky, Mikes Grooves, Gins, YEMs, and Rebas. Just as much early ’90s with Tweezer and DWD. But the rarity of late ’90s and 2.0 tunes leaves me wondering how delibrate their rebuilding is. Are We gonna see the early stuff get the backseat while they focus on Ghost, Undermind, and Round Room material over the next year mixed in with a new batch of tunes? We shall see.

  11. halcyon Says:

    This one Mr. P.

    Saturday, 08/07/1993
    Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Center, NY

    Set 1: Llama, Bouncing Around the Room > Poor Heart > Stash -> Makisupa Policeman, Reba[1] > Maze[2], Colonel Forbin’s Ascent[3] > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Cavern

    Set 2: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Mike’s Song > Kung -> Mike’s Song[4], The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Sloth, Sparkle, My Friend, My Friend[5] > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters -> Purple Rain > Hold Your Head Up, Run Like an Antelope

    Encore: Carolina, La Grange

    [1] Without whistling.
    [2] Some whistling during the Maze opening. Stairway to Heaven tease.
    [3] Narration dealt with the “Roller Coaster of the Mind.”
    [4] Aw Fuck! signal and an Oom Pa Pa signal.
    [5] Beginning featured Trey on acoustic guitar.

    Notes: Reba was performed without the whistling ending. To compensate, there was some whistling during the Maze opening. Maze contained a tease of Stairway to Heaven. The narration in Forbin’s dealt with the “Roller Coaster of the Mind.” Mike’s Song contained an Aw Fuck! signal and an Oom Pa Pa signal. The beginning of My Friend featured Trey on acoustic guitar.

  12. jdub Says:

    And I don’t know too many fans that fully got it at the beginning. It takes a while I suppose. Unless you’re BK, he seemed to get it pretty quickly.

  13. halcyon Says:

    This one was up over the weekend too. Haven’t listened to this yet. Will be listening to this one tomorrow.

    Monday, 08/09/1993
    Concert Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Set 1: Chalk Dust Torture -> Who Knows Jam -> Chalk Dust Torture, Mound, Fee[1] > Split Open and Melt -> Glide[2], Nellie Kane > The Divided Sky[3], Memories, The Squirming Coil

    Set 2: Dinner and a Movie > Tweezer > Tela[4] > My Friend, My Friend[5], My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, You Enjoy Myself[6] -> Contact, Crimes of the Mind[7]

    Encore: Rocky Top

    [1] Trey sang verses through megaphone.
    [2] Simpsons, All Fall Down, and Random Note signals.
    [3] Nellie Kane tease.
    [4] Ending featured Trey on acoustic guitar.
    [5] Beginning featured Trey on acoustic guitar.
    [6] Nellie Kane teases from Mike; Smoke on the Water teases and “Here comes Speed Racer” quote from Trey in the jam segment; Psycho Killer verses in the vocal jam.
    [7] Dude of Life on vocals.

    Notes: Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone. Glide included Simpsons, All Fall Down, and Random Note signals. The ending of Tela and the beginning of My Friend featured Trey on acoustic guitar. Nellie Kane was teased in Divided Sky and also in YEM from Mike. YEM’s jam segment included Smoke on the Water teases with Trey quoting “Here comes Speed Racer” during one of them and the vocal jam contained verses from Psycho Killer. Contact subsequently started as part of the vocal jam. Crimes of the Mind (with the Dude of Life on vocals) was played for the first time since November 8, 1991 (234 shows).

  14. Mr.Palmer Says:

    “Aw Fuck! signal ”

    ^ what’s that? 🙂

  15. jdub Says:

    So they have teased Stairway in the past. Time to listen to some August ’93 Phish for this kid

  16. neemor Says:

    I did say that the Utica Antelope was unique.
    That’s not the point.
    Unique does not an Antelope make.

    To me, both the Portland and MSG ‘lopes run roughshod over the Utica jam.
    The N. Charleston Antelope from 10.15 was another fine rendition that I’d listen to before Utica.
    Same goes for Jones Beach or Alpine from late Summer ’10.
    I have not heard the 7.3.10 Antelope out of Sanity or the Telluride version.
    Shit, even the Greatwoods one from the first leg raged…even as the tail end of a back-to-back (I did not hear SPAC.)

    ’09, well…they clearly practiced Antelope before ’09.
    Every version clicked and clicked well.

    That’s why I said that, “It’s not a top 5’er in 3.0 is saying a lot.”

    There are so many versions that rage with the technical nature that makes an Antelope THE Phish jam for me (evergy-wise) that a shortened version with fewer gears and a missed slam into Rye Rye Rocco (like Utica’s) makes it a version that I will not seek out for further listening.

    It is a part of the whole, though, so when I listen to Utica in its entirety, which will be often, I won’t skip the Antelope.

  17. garretc Says:

    I want an “Aw Fuck” signal over the holiday run!

    But first I gotta learn what it sounds like…

  18. Mr.Palmer Says:

    ^ make a sign?

  19. neemor Says:

    And no, jdub, there is not a “bad” Antelope, I agree.
    Actually, I take that back…
    There probably is…they can always have an ‘off’ night, I just haven’t gone so far as to try to find it and check it out.

  20. garretc Says:


    I’m not gonna want to deal with a sign man! If it doesn’t all fit in one pocket, it’s not coming to the show with me.

    And I’m not gonna be close enough for them to see a pocket sized sign…

  21. albert walker Says:

    I was just bustin your balls Neemor

    but it is my fav of 3.0

    Trey’s lead is just so on point. the jam flows so seamlessly

    I don’t really listen to the intro, the vocal, or the drop or whatever so it is probably subjective

    I love the antelope though. one of 3.0’s most important jams IMO

  22. Jtran Says:


    That’s a fun show. CDT, Split > Glide, Tweezer the highlights for me.

  23. neemor Says:

    I want lots of Secret Language, but fear that ship has sailed.
    Last I saw was “all Fall Down” in Camden ’00….

    Interesting thought above, jdub…it must be very hard for them (Trey) to make a setlist that will please everyone based on such a huge body of material.

    Makes me wonder if their immense catalogue is a result of their embarrasment early on as a band when they played that show and had to repeat songs due to lack of material.
    Like they’re over compensating now as a result….
    Trey wakes up in cold sweats at night dreaming about playing the same song over and over and over at Deer Creek!

  24. jdub Says:

    You know your Lopes @Neemor that’s for sure. Utica Lope for me was all about the early build. The intensity seemed so on point. And I can’t help but have a biased opion when listening to as part of the madness that had just went down in that set.

  25. neemor Says:

    aw, I’ll say this…certain songs during 3.0 are some of the most intricate playing I’ve heard from Trey in ages….since well before ’00.
    It was evident in the Bowie and 2001 in AC.
    Utica’s…well….most of the show.
    Often this tour I found myself (especially upon re-listening) hearing Trey do some beautiful, intricate playing.

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