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. Kaveh Says:

    Thanks @El Dude….I must have missed that somewhere in the reading.

  2. Kaveh Says:

    Three good remaster choices for everyone to compare to the originals:

  3. Chuck SWE Says:

    I: Walfredo, Llama, Reba, Cities > Tube > Moma Dance, Gumbo, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing > It’s Ice, Antelope

    II: Meatstick > Lengthwise > Tweezer > Foam, Harry Hood, Ghost > Saw It Again > Light > Contact > YEM

    E: Show of Life

  4. Lumpyhead Says:

    Yeah seriously kfl, ^NO festi in your homestate!?

  5. jdub Says:

    1/1/11 Tube packs some condensed punch. About a minute of twisted funk. Decided to play the best show of this year. Utica on deck for late night excursion.

  6. kayatosh Says:

    mythical show from miner’s top ten of 2010:

    set I: Jibboo (8.7) Wolfmans’ (8.17) Gin (6.27) Jesus Left Chicago (6.11) Curtain w/ (10.26) McGrupp (10.20) Stash (10.31) Sand (10.16) Tube (8.14) Rock n Roll (12.31)

    set II: Tweezer (10.16) Spanish Moon (10.31) DWD (8.14) # line (8.17) Piper (6.27) Ghost (6.11) Light (10.26) Have Mercy (10.20) Suzy G (8.7) YEM (12.31)

    E: Julius (10.31)

  7. jdub Says:

    Who’s gonna put together a top 10 mythical shows list from Miner’s top 10 from ’10?

    Well done people.

  8. Mr. Palmer Says:

    thanks for the link earlier Kaveh. Although the remasters do sound quite nice and even I can hear the difference, i still won’t pay for it.

    As some dude on Johnny Dangerously once said: I’ll pay for your music once……once

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ^^or was that butter yesterday?

  10. kayatosh Says:

    gp420: one song from each set of each show was the rules. you have 2 from 10.31 and 12.31

    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)

  11. Lumpyhead Says:

    Wolfmans, stash, fuck your face, rock n roll > sand > antelope

    Set 2: light> cross-eyed > Spanish moon, ghost > dwd > split open and melt

    E. I been around, first tube

  12. Chuck SWE Says:

    i may or may not have violated the rules too… please dont punish me t3p0.

  13. jdub Says:

    Wife and kids out for the evening + neemsbane = some reality escaping time. Go Phish.

  14. Kaveh Says:

    Here is my entry

    (I used some songs from the same show in the same set, but there is still only one from each set. Meaning I have two from 10.31 in set II, but one is from set II and one from set III. Thus I think I’m alright.)

    I: Rock and Roll (12.31), Wolfman’s Brother (06.11), Guyute, (10.20), Reba (08.14), Gotta Jibboo (08.07), The Curtain (With) (10.16), Stash (10.31)

    II: Down with Disease (10.31) > What’s the Use? (08.14), Limb By Limb (06.11), Sand (10.20) > Ghost (12.31) > Time Loves a Hero > (10.31) > Light (08.07) > Night Nurse (10.26) > Piper (06.27) > Weekapaug Groove (08.17), Also Sprach Zarathustra (10.16) > Slave to the Traffic Light (12.31)

    E: Fire (06.27), The Lizards (08.07) > Tweezer Reprise (10.16)

  15. guitarpicker420! Says:

    I thought you could take a song from Set III of 12-31 and 10-31 and add it to your second set?

  16. Kaveh Says:

    I re-worked mine to have only ten song in each set, using the two set II and set III shows as only one choice for set II and not two choices).

    I: Rock and Roll (12.31), Mellow Mood (10.26), Wolfman’s Brother (06.11), Guyute (10.20), Reba (08.14), Gotta Jibboo (08.07), Fluffhead (08.17), The Curtain (With) (10.16), Bathtub Gin (06.27), Stash (10.31)

    II: Down with Disease (10.31) > What’s the Use? (08.14), Limb By Limb (06.11), Sand (10.20) > Ghost (12.31) > Light (08.07) > Night Nurse (10.26) > Piper (06.27) > Weekapaug Groove (08.17), Also Sprach Zarathustra (10.16)

    E: Fire (06.27), The Lizards (08.07) > Tweezer Reprise (10.16)

  17. Robear Says:

    jdub, may i suggest you try the Greek ‘Simple’ out for size?

  18. highhighhand Says:

    Set 1 100 Mins.
    The Curtain With (10/26), Wolfman’s Brother (6/11), Weigh (12/31), Stash (!0/31), Sand (10/16), Fuck Your Face (8/14)->46 Days (8/7)->Possum( 8/17/10, Run Like An Antelope (10/20)
    Set 2 126 mins.
    Crosseyed and Painless (10/16)->What’s the Use (8/14)->Light (8/7), The Wedge (10/26), Spanish Moon (10/31), Piper (6/27)->Backwards Down the Number Line(8/17)->
    Have Mercy (10/20)->You Enjoy Myself (!2/31)

    Encore 17 mins.
    Reba (10/19)

    a nice long hampton 2009 length show. 243 minutes of Fire.
    Ghost (6/11), Piper (6/27), Backwards Down the Number Line (8/17), You Enjoy Myself (12/31), Crosseyed and Painless (10/16), Spanish Moon (10/31), What’s the Use (8/14), Light (8/7), The Wedge (10/26, Have Mercy (10/20

  19. butter Says:

    late to the GD Mega box set party

    wow….that is one hell of a project, and a pretty damn kick ass sounding product

  20. sumodie Says:

    Amazon sells the new Phish remasters too, not just iTunes

  21. jdub Says:

    Ya know Robear, it’s been a while since I tasted the Greek Simple. Some good set break music is in order.

    Walk Away has got to get the 6th man award for ’10 First rate shredding all year long while sliding in under the radar in the occasional 1st set.

  22. sumodie Says:

    I’m getting grandiose visions of that hefty Euro ’72 set, yikes, money better spent on future phish if not food & other basic necessities. I’d better sign off and start meditating on Hampton>Watkins ’11 instead….

  23. sumodie Says:

    phew….there’s no longer a weblink to preorder Europe ’72….the first 3000 already sold?

  24. EL Duderino Says:

    No Sumodie…

    They’ve suspended it because there are so many trying to order, it keeps crashing their site

  25. sumodie Says:

    now back to free music:

    **Phish’s summer 2000 Japan tour**

    I recently tracked down all 7 shows from this tour– the following links, spread over 3 posts, are active torrent links on etree (these are NOT new sources):

    6.09.2000 On Air East – Tokyo, Japan

    06.10.2000 Zepp – Tokyo, Japan
    (torrent stops at 99.9% but music files complete)


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