A Utica Preview

10.20.2010 - Utica (Michael Stein)

On May 24th, on the brink of Summer Tour’s kick-off in Bethel, Phish will drop the DVD/CD Box set “Live in Utica,” commemorating what many fans, including myself, selected as the show of 2010. As the release gets closer, the band will likely release several previews of the DVDs, and the first snippet came today—footage of the show’s first set “David Bowie.” Below is my description of the jam, excerpted from last year and the video clip.


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!



Read the rest of my Utica two-part retrospective…


Jam of the Day:

Run Like an Antelope” 10.20.2010 I

The peak of Utica’s opening set.



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426 Responses to “A Utica Preview”

  1. angryjoggerz Says:

    Oh yeah, that mix is on my mediafire too – Cut Chemist. Shit is fire.

  2. albert walker Says:

    Nice guys Mitch. We have similar Chicago friends. Just not into seeing a show I get depressed at cuz I feel like the old ass man at a kids show.

    only seen em once at the Lincoln Park zoo years ago

  3. BrandonKayda Says:


    Lord, I don’t even remember what I was saying during that show, but I imagine it was hyperbolic as hell. Now don’t get me wrong, if Utica was standard 3.0 Phish I’d be insanely happy. But that show surprised the hell out of me. Hoping we get shows like that this summer. Disjointed sentence.

  4. phoammhead Says:

    BK, you should be proud for representin’ like that . . . you basically nailed IT!

  5. gavinsdad Says:

    “the old ass man at a kids show.”

    ^me this summer at phish shows

  6. Panda Says:

    I tried to look into where it started, I saw that you like TVOR and Janelle, but I was not impressed with the “you suck” comment.
    Sarcasm is not easily perceivable online.

  7. phoammhead Says:


    it started along time ago, but nonetheless, join us . . .

  8. albert walker Says:


    if you dig UM and Moe it’s a pretty safe bet you do suck. FACT.

  9. Fly Says:


  10. phoammhead Says:

    i don’t think that’s quite the case, aw . . . .

  11. phoammhead Says:

    llfa, mcfly!

  12. albert walker Says:

    keep thinking that phoam

  13. gavinsdad Says:

    @panda – hang around. you’ll get the flow. takes more than a few days and pages man. this “unique rapport” we have here is over 2 yrs old (and in the way).

  14. bearito Says:

    @ aw

    That new TV On The Radio is great!

    I’ve been hot & cold with that band even after seeing them live a couple of times. Nine Types of Light is an amazing follow-up to Dear Science. I gave it the headphones treatment yesterday while grocery shopping. Had a blast.

  15. albert walker Says:

    don’t mind me panda. just staring at the clock in need of my first puff of the day

  16. KWL Says:

    feel like i’ve seen panda around before…

    little delroy washington this afternoon. havent given the new tvotr a close listen yet

  17. Mr palmer Says:

    You cats make me laugh. Gettin all bent because aw says a band sucks. Who cares? He’s just messin with you. I dig on some panic. Doesn’t mean I’m not gonna puff a few spliffs with aw in Chicago because he says they suck. Lighten up kids.

  18. Michael Kang Says:

    Glad I was left out of that discussion for once.

  19. fee4zy Says:

    are we back at this again?

  20. Mr palmer Says:

    ^^ now that guy sucks

  21. Chuck D Says:

    always at “IT”

  22. Mr palmer Says:

    Not you fee4zy .. Haha.

  23. phoammhead Says:

    yez, but i see some instagators . . . !

  24. Guyute711 Says:

    You all suck and so does your taste in music!!! 😉

  25. mitch Says:

    But panic does suck. That’s agreed upon.

    And you’re damn right. I feel old at um. Biggest perk is there’s no line for beer. Woohoo! Drawback is the youngins have to pregame so hard they are puking before the show.

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