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. EL Duderino Says:

    again… i bet they have 3,000 orders by 10:00pm est

  2. EL Duderino Says:

    Fly Jefferson Airplane…
    Get’s You There On Time

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    nah el dude

    the main reason I have good connections is that I never ever abuse them

    my friends know I’d want it. If one is available for free (basically impossible) or discounted (possible) they will tell me proactively.

    no stress or worries. if nothing else I’ll end up with my favorite shows from the tour when they come out individually.

    Rotterdam Dark Star bitches!!!

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    peace out again. meetings and whatnot. blech

  5. kayatosh Says:

    I’ll take a 16 track europe 72 darkstar> collection. that’s gotta be at least 3 CDs right there. yes, please.

    perhaps a jam song compilation. or even better all the jam songs from europe 72. playin dark star caution>who do you love>caution

  6. voopa Says:

    Trying to get a refi done while at work and recovering from a stomach virus/food poisoning/some shit is not fun yo

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    ok, class. your homework for this evening:

    Take Miner’s Top Ten shows of 2010 and construct a mythical show comprised only of versions of the songs from these ten shows.

    –you can only choose one song from each set from each show.
    –songs need to be part of the set from which they came (i.e. if it happened in a first set it is only available for the mythical first set). This applies for songs played during the encore as well.
    –For third set songs from 10.31 and 12.31, add your choices to the second set of your mythical show.
    –you can be as creative as you want with openers, closers, segues, and whatnot. we’re not communists here.

    aaaaaannndd… GO!

  8. Kaveh Says:

    @T3: Nice…I like this.

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I’ll get my mytho-show up later tonight. I think there can be some pretty good sets put together here.

  10. KfL Says:

    i was sort of hoping there would be other bands at this watkins glen deal so i could feel ok about skipping it

    but fuck. now i have no choice but to be there.

    might have to make it my first RV experience

  11. KfL Says:

    fly into syracuse and take an rv down with yours truly

  12. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    “i was sort of hoping there would be other bands at this watkins glen deal so i could feel ok about skipping it

    but fuck. now i have no choice but to be there.”

    only in the phish world does this make sense hah

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Interesting football fact of the day:

    If the Jets beat the Steelers on Sunday, QB Mark Sanchez will have more road playoff wins than any QB in NFL history with 5…..

  14. EL Duderino Says:

    59 degrees in Charlotte today…

  15. Chuck SWE Says:

    “we’re not communists here.”

    speak for yourself.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    fuck i’m debating if i should drop the cash on this one

  17. EL Duderino Says:

    @ DF

    Get it if you can. Might as well try for the “special” release.

    we’ll see if you can get through to order

  18. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Assuming 2 gm haighths on furthur tour it’ll only take a couple of shows to get there at $60/haighth on $300 z at wholesale.

    w00k down!

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ye if i get it i want the first 3000

  20. Lumpyhead Says:

    I’m almost done with the myth T3

  21. jdub Says:

    Nice game there T3. Some fantastic playlists will come of this. Or you could just play Utica.

    @KfL, there are many a west coasters who would have you beheaded for even considering not going to a Phestie in your home state.

    I love these rumors, Hampton to the Glen tour just sounds perfect for this summer.

  22. guitarpicker420! Says:

    Here’s a preliminary shot at it T3:

    Set 1: PYITE (12-31), 46 Days (8-7), Curtain With (10-16), Stash (10-31), Jesus Left Chicago (6-11), Reba (8-14), Wolfman’s Brother (10-20), Divided Sky (6-27), A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing (10-26), Fluffhead (8-17)

    Set 2: Cross-eyed and Painless (10-16), Down with Disease (8-14), Light (8-7), Ghost (12-31), Maze (6-11), You Enjoy Myself (6-27), Split Open and Melt (sandwich, 10-20), Rock and Roll (8-17), Dixie Chicken (10-31), Gotta Jiboo (10-31), Makisupa Sandwich (10-26), Slave To The Traffic Light (12-31)

    Encore: Shine a Light (not listed, I just love this song as an encore)

  23. Robear Says:

    save two seats @ KfLizzle!

  24. Kaveh Says:

    Did some comparing to the Bathtub remaster and the original LP release. And Mike is much more in the remaster mix; much “higher” in the mix. All band members are on the same plane; so you don’t have to dig to find them. Very nice. I would love to buy the CD’s; but haven’t seen anything yet besides the iTunes downloads. Anyone seen them anywhere?

  25. EL Duderino Says:

    Feb 1st @Kaveh

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