The Top Ten of 2010: Part II

Picking up right where we left off yesterday, here are my top five shows of the year.


5. 10.31.2010 Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey

10.31.2010 (Graham Lucas)

Phish’s second Halloween cover set since they’ve comeback turned into one of their best. Transforming Atlantic City’s historic Boardwalk Hall into a retro-’70s dance party, Phish nailed Little Feat’s Waiting For Columbus, in a selection that few saw coming. For the first time ever, Phish interpreted a live album, a choice that provided a more upbeat and engaging feel to the Halloween set than some of the former studio albums. With a guest horn section and virtuoso percussionist, Giovanni Hidalgo, Phish recreated the music of a Little Feat, one of the band’s primary influences with blues-based funk grooves and quick-witted musical exchanges. One of the experiential highlights of 2010 for almost all who were there, this set could land this show on this list by itself, but there was more! The most impressive “Stash” of 2010 and a holiday-themed combo of “Ghost > Spooky” highlighted the first set, while a celebratory third frame centered on a smoking “Jibboo” that segued into “Camel Walk,” and included several Phish anthems. All in all, this three-set fall finale delivered in full.

I: Frankenstein, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Ghost > Spooky, The Divided Sky, Roses Are Free, Funky Bitch, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Stash, Character Zero

II: Fat Man in the Bathtub, All That You Dream, Oh Atlanta, Old Folks Boogie, Time Loves a Hero > Day or Night, Mercenary Territory, Spanish Moon, Dixie Chicken > Tripe Face Boogie, Rocket in My Pocket, Willin’, Don’t Bogart That Joint, A Apolitical Blues, Sailin’ Shoes, Feats Don’t Fail Me Now

III: Down with Disease > Back on the Train, Gotta Jibboo > Camel Walk, Suzy Greenberg, Wilson > Harry Hood, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, You Enjoy Myself

E: Julius


4. 8.14.2010 Alpine Valley, East Troy, Wisconsin

Alpine 2010 (J.Longstreet)

This flowing two-setter featured sharp whole band jamming, blistering work by Trey, and one of the jams of the year in “Disease > What’s The Use?” In this show that never stopped, Phish brought huge doses of fire-laced playing, particularly in the second set, while also including a swank mid-“Mike’s Groove” stop in “Sneakin’ Sally.” The entire band clicked from the get go on this night, and never stumbled en route a classic Alpine show that brought summer tour to a final peak. “Tube” opened up and strong versions of “Reba”‘ and “Antelope” popped within a first frame with no real lulls. Transformed to DVD in record time, Phish, themselves, have already given a nod to this night as one of their favorites.

I: Tube, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Funky Bitch, Reba >Fuck Your Face, Alaska, Back on the Train, Taste, When the Circus Comes, Lawn Boy, Sparkle, Gumbo, Run Like an Antelope

II: The Sloth, Down with Disease > What’s the Use?,  Scent of a Mule, Mike’s Song > Dirt, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley, Weekapaug Groove, Bug

E: Quinn the Eskimo


3. 8.7.2010 The Greek Theatre, Berkeley, California

8.7.10 (Wendy Rogell)

If the Alpine’s summer showcase represented a top-shelf Phish rock concert, The Greek’s third night was akin to a symphony. Peaking their three-show stand with delicate and inspired creativity, Phish capped the run with, in my opinion, the best set of summer. Kicking off with “Wilson” and fusing into my pick for jam of the summer–an exploratory “Light” that found pure gold—the band then came back from the stratosphere via “Twenty Years Later.” Phish showcased an impeccable mid-set “Harry Hood” and closed the show with the combination of “2001,” a rendition of “Suzy” that actually packed a punch with a smoking reprise jam, and a patiently sculpted “Slave” that fit congruently with its surroundings. Playing more fluidly than they had all summer, this show was underlined by the band’s ego-less interplay. Daytime high-points came in soaring versions of “Jibboo” and “Reba,” and a “46 Days > Tube” combo that lit up the end of the first set.

I: AC/DC Bag, Foam, Gotta Jibboo, Reba > Sleep Again, Army of One, Poor Heart, 46 Days > Tube, Character Zero

II: Wilson > Light > Twenty Years Later, Harry Hood, Theme From the Bottom, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Suzy Greenberg*,  Slave to the Traffic Light

E: The Lizards, First Tube     (*w/ reprise jam)


2. 10.26.2010 Verizon Wireless, Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester Poster (K.Taylor)

Right before Phish’s three-night Halloween weekend in Atlantic City, they dropped a mid-week bomb in New Hampshire that trumped any one of them. Comprising the first set entirely of songs unplayed on fall tour (other than “Curtain (With)” and “It’s Ice”), Phish brought out “After Midnight” for the first time since Big Cypress, “Alumni Blues,” “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing,” and “Walls of the Cave,” among others. And after setbreak, the band played one of their most impressive top-to-bottom stanzas of the year. After a bizarrely-placed “Possum” opened up, Phish dove into one of the elite “Lights” of fall. Illustrating the late-year, groove-based direction of the song, this tightly-woven excursion found its way back through “Alumni’s” funk patterns en route to one of fall’s brightest highlights. And as soon as “Light’s” psychedelic roller coaster ended, perhaps, the “Mike’s Groove” of the year began. With the reggae stylings of “Makisupa > Night Nurse > Makisupa” sliding out of “Simple,” and the best “Ghost” of fall dripping artistically into “Mango Song,” this musical sequence had a little bit of everything. Bringing the set to a head in a wild “Weekapaug” that included a staple jam on The Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin,” Trey lyrically reprised several of the set’s songs over the break-neck music. Almost bursting at the seams, Phish flew from “Weekapaug” into a “Llama Reprise” to end the set in shredding and energetic fashion.

I: After Midnight, The Sloth, Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, Mellow Mood, Access Me, Llama, All of These Dreams, The Curtain (With), Scent of a Mule, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, It’s Ice, Walls of the Cave

II: Possum, Light, Mike’s Song > Simple > Makisupa Policeman > Night Nurse* > Makisupa Policeman, The Wedge, Ghost > The Mango Song, Weekapaug Groove > Llama Reprise

E: Show of Life    (*debut, Gregory Isaacs)


1. 10.20.2010 Memorial Auditorium, Utica, New York

10.20.10 (Casey Boire)

On October 20, in Utica, New York, Phish played their best two set show of this era—plain and simple. In recent times, a show with one outstanding set can be a tour highlight, and Phish’s mid-week stop in Utica featured two jaw-dropping halves of music. Fusing their improvisational playfulness of old with their musicianship of now, Phish twisted and turned through two frames of musical adventure. After taking part in a rite firmly planted in the moment, while looking towards both the past and the future, when the lights came on after this one, everyone stood wide-eyed and disoriented as if waking from a dream. You could tell from the looks on people’s faces that Phish had just played the show of the year.

As soon as the band tore apart a third-song “Vultures,” the dial was set for eleven and was never turned down. “Wolfman’s > Cities,” “David Bowie,” “McGrupp,” “Saw It Again,” and the best “Anetlope” in eons—all laced with the theme of “Guyute”—quickly turned into a face-melting first set. The energy in the building was abuzz, and everyone seemed to be aware that we sat amidst a retro-throw down like none other. Everything the band touched turned to gold on this night, and the second set peaked with one of the most sublime sequences of 2010—”Split > Have Mercy > Piper > Split—with a “Birds” reprise in “Piper.” Flowing organically and with top-shelf communication, Phish darted and dashed their way around a show laced with their signature wizardry. Throw in one of the most blissful open jams of the year out of “Have Mercy” and you’ve got the recipe for the best Phish show of 2010.

I: My Soul, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Vultures, Wolfman’s Brother > Cities, Guyute, David Bowie, Wilson, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Saw It Again > Run Like an Antelope

II: Drowned > Sand > Theme From the Bottom, Axilla, Birds of a Feather, Tela, Split Open and Melt > Have Mercy > Piper > Split Open and Melt, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Good Times Bad Times


Honorable Mention (in no particular order):

10.19, Augusta, ME: Though boasting two of fall tour’s top-tier jams in “Light” and an off-the-charts “Reba” for the ages, the entire show didn’t have enough consistency or flow to make the top ten.

8.6, The Greek: Though each set featured two outstanding in jams (“Bathtub Gin” / “Cities” and “Rock and Roll” / “Simple”) the band had yet to put it all together like the did the following night.

10.22, Providence, RI: A strong second set kicked off with one of fall’s best jam sequences in “Rock and Roll > Carini,” but there wasn’t much to speak of in the first.

6.25, Camden, NJ: A legitimate June contender for the number ten position, the second set alone brings the heat with “Chalkdust > Caspian” and the Michael Jackson-inspired “2001 > Light.”

10.30 Atlantic City, NJ: I’m only putting this here because I’ll get too much flak if I don’t. “Tweezer > Led Zeppelin > Whatever.” But “2001 > Bowie” contains some of the most scintillating playing of the season. Tack on a strong first set and a fun-filled rock show emerges.


Jam of the Day:

“Jibboo” 7.4.10 II

A taste of the just-released Kevorkian remasters courtesy of Live Phish.



DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY: Will be back tomorrow!


681 Responses to “The Top Ten of 2010: Part II”

  1. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    you need to clear your cache. ctrl-f5 on a pc. takes about 10-15 minutes to show up here taboot taboot.

  2. neemor Says:

    I think those who were in sttendance for Manchester knew it then and agree with Miner.
    Great show.
    Thie Jibboo remaster sounds stelllar.

    Would like Miner to do all the dirty work for me and just post (just like this Jibboo)the best jams that are being remastered.
    That would be nice.

    Also, 1.1.11 should have a place on this list, but Miner forgot it because it was on the next page of the

  3. burblelover415 Says:

    T3: Thy shall be done…

    In regards to the honorable mentions, I thought Hatfud 2 this summer was a phenomenal show. You don’t throw down a Monkey>Reprise>Reprise after a big ballad night

  4. MisterChristian Says:

    Gotta say I’m surprised to see no mention of 2nd night woosta after the pages and pages of praise over its Hood. Glad to see Providence got a nod. I really gotta give some of these other shows a listen soon!

  5. kayatosh Says:

    nice job, miner. tough to argue with those top 5.

    spinning 10.26 top to bottom now. gonna follow it up with 10.20. yeehah!

  6. Kaveh Says:

    @Miner: Thanks for a great top ten list. Good work!

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    that tweezer was a funky dance party for sure and the Theme and Light were keepers, but the first set was kinda just there imo. that encore is pure phishiness.

  8. MGW Says:

    Good calls, Miner. Although:

    -What about 2nd night at the Greek? Best “Cities” of the year, R&R>Ghost>Mike’s>SIMPLE (the best one this year)>Number Line etc.

    -Hartord 6/18? Super minimalist funk all show, capping in an amazing 2nd set flow of Light>Breathes>Tweezer>Theme>Hood. And the DOUBLE TWEEZER REPRISE?! Perhaps the most insane moment of the year. I mean Trey was yelling, running, jumping, shredding on his knees! And the Tweezer is perhaps one of the underrated jams of the year–16 minutes of pure groove!

    Just a thought.

  9. kayatosh Says:

    10.26 is hot right out of the gate – After Midnight, The Sloth, Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, Mellow Mood, Access Me.

    10.20 takes two tunes to warm up.

  10. kenny powers Says:

    Utica is shaping up to be my #2 biggest Phish regret, behind Cypress.

    a friend of mine chatted me around 4:00pm that day and said “let’s go to Utica now, we can maybe catch opener if we leave now”.

    Would have been a 4-5 hour drive. She didn’t have a car and lived in the opposite direction. I couldn’t get out of work early enough to go get her.

    Epic fail.

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    for as much guff as the song takes, the last two shows My Soul has opened have been big time heaters: Utica and 1.1.11

  12. P.S.H.S. Says:

    nice to see manchvegas at number 2. its comforting to know that even though i only caught 4 shows this year, you can see them on any night and get your face melted.

    i think that at one point in the 1111 sally vocal jam i can hear the nard dog gettin’ his groove on.

  13. Kaveh Says:

    @Miner: IF you included 01.01.11 in your results; where would have you put it? I would say, slot 2 or 3.

  14. P.S.H.S. Says:

    my soul is the new litmus test for a barn burner
    “ok our instruments work, lets do this”

  15. lastwaltzer Says:


    thats cause my soul is alright. I don’t know why people hate it so, its a fucking classic!

    Clifton Chenier- My Soul

    Maybe its because they didn’t use to play the blues that well.

    Two words in regards to my soul: GREAT WENT

    Seriously listen to it and tell me thats not $$$

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    and the last show it opened prior to those? I got four words for ya: Radio City muthafunking Ghost

  17. Robear Says:

    top of the mornin’ all!

    I had to share this. This year we will have 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11. To make this an even stranger year, try this out! Take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year and it WILL EQUAL …. 111

    unless you have kids’ born in the ’00’s. then it will = 11.

    top to bottom of Utica today? mehbeso

  18. kayatosh Says:

    wassup, robear. thanks for the numerology.

    spin it, but you may want to start with 10.26 manchestah. loving every tune in this first frame so far. now on curtain. such a clear top 2 show.

  19. Lumpyhead Says:

    Really T3? That’s titillating

  20. kayatosh Says:

    re. my soul. used to be a hater. but the last couple my souls have been blues showcases, especiallyy 1.1. it’s growin on me. blues is their baseline, their foundation.

  21. Lumpyhead Says:

    I’ve never understood the beef with that song…

  22. kayatosh Says:

    10.26 curtain (with) — a $$$ With. manchester is red hot. NH about as close to vermont as you can get when you’re talkin states. any wonder they threw down a gem? nope.

  23. kayatosh Says:

    re. my soul i dig the beginning. the chorus used to grate. and trey tended to go ballz to the wall w/ the soloing and it didn’t seem to work in that tune. i like the slinky blues. and they’re playin my soul more slinky these days.

  24. EL Duderino Says:

    I am all over this Europe ’72 release like white on rice!

    This is a collectors dream come true, and if they do the complete Fall ’73? I might just blow my top. 🙂

    The holy grail.

  25. Aquaman Says:

    @Neemor and Manchester proponents….

    I will give it a listen today, that I promise. I have to see about the #2 rating.

    But on it’s face, Set I Manchester got Muled. Total personal preference I get that, but there are more than few of who believe that Phish’s playing never gets bad, but sometimes sets can get Muled.


Leave a Reply