Patience Is a Virtue

8.10.11 - Lake Tahoe (Eric Batuello)

After four consecutive shows that flowed naturally with jams routinely seen to fruition, Phish closed out their stand in Tahoe with a herky-jerky performance that had flashes of brilliance, but little cohesion. Ironically, the band played quite well and continued to present original ideas throughout the second set, but instead of allowing any of these jams to fully develop, Trey showed his first signs of impatience during leg two as he continued to push the setlist forward while cutting of several jams that had loads of potential. In a second-set filled with improvisational vehicles, the possibilities were endless. When all was said and done, however, the “mini-jams” strewn throughout the main event—some charted for the stars—were never realized and Phish left the Sierras with a high-energy set that possessed little continuity.

"Disease" - 8.10.11 (E.Battuello)

When the band opened the second half with “Disease,” one had to think they were taking one of their favorite recent jams into the deep end. But when they had broken structure and engaged in serious improv, Trey decided to bring “Runaway Jim” to life at the cost of the “Disease” jam.” But when the guys opened up “Jim” for the first time in ages, it seemed like that decision would soon be forgotten. Coming out of a segment of growling psychedelia, Phish made a change and sounded like they might debut a new song. But when they took this idea and transformed the music into a sublime groove, it seemed like the band was on the brink of transcendence. But just as they hit full stride, Trey, inexplicably, bailed on the idea in favor of “Ghost” (a song he had already pushed earlier in the “Jim”.) At this juncture, Phish had embarked on two legitimate jams during the first two selections of the second set only to have them aborted by the big guy.

Though the “Ghost” jam, itself, was a straightforward rocker, once the band hit the peak, they dripped into an ambient excursion. As the guys added layers of abstract effect and melody to this burgeoning sound sculpture, the moments within were the most spiritual of the night. But once the band had locked themselves in the storage shed, Trey got claustrophobic and escaped this developing beast with the eject button in the form of “Golden Age.” Not to be repetitive here, but as soon as “Golden Age” got out its structure and into a palpable groove, Trey urged the band into an ambient fade out and “2001.” Letting loose a bit in the super-charged space funk, Phish crafted a sweltering late-set dance session, a vibe that would be furthered by a jamless “Sneakin’ Sally” and a wholly standard “YEM.”

8.10.11 (E.Battuello)

The meat of the second set would have to be considered the sequence from “Runaway Jim” through “2001,” but with little cohesion, the presentation of this music suffered. The set could have been huge. If Trey allowed one or two jams to grow—specifically, “Jim” and/or “Ghost”—the show’s eye-popping setlist would have sprung to life. But as it stood, though “Disease,” “Jim,” and “Ghost” all had moments of sheer genius, Trey’s continuous impatience didn’t allow the band to reach any musical breakthroughs. For the first time this tour, Phish didn’t drop a timeless, improvisational gem, but, instead, powered past a few passages of huge promise en route to their most discombobulated effort of August.

Unofficial Tahoe (Masthay)

Oddly, as tour has seemingly just started, it is now on the brink of conclusion. With one show at Outside Lands and three in Chicago, Phish will bid us adieu until Colorado—three shows that will likely be their swan song of 2011. And over these next four shows, I’m sure we will hear quite a bit more mind-bending music. Every tour has a speed bump, and last night certainly felt like the off night of this run—not such a big deal considering the goings on in the Phish universe over the past week. On to San Francisco. Next stop—Golden Gate Park!

1st Set Notes: The band played the first set straight as an arrow, favoring well-played songs though stringing together a lot of flat setlist choices. The show’s first signs of life came via a late-set “Stash” whose spiraling jam provided the first improvisational licks of the evening. The band built a little end-of-set momentum with “Funky Bitch,” and “Antelope,” but when the lights came on for setbreak, there wasn’t much music to discuss. The most notable talking point was the bustout of “Dogs Stole Things” to open the show, one of the last songs to appear in this era.

I: Dogs Stole Things, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Poor Heart, Alaska, Halley’s Comet > It’s Ice, When the Circus Comes, Ya Mar, Stash, Funky Bitch, Instant Karma!, Run Like an Antelope

II: Down with Disease > Runaway Jim > Ghost > Golden Age > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley, Guyute, Wading in the Velvet Sea, You Enjoy Myself

E: Show of Life, Good Times Bad Times

"2001" - 8.10.11 (Eric Batuello)

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1,321 Responses to “Patience Is a Virtue”

  1. TheSloth Says:

    i couldn’t agree more with miner; patience, especially from trey, is the key to the direction of a song… the pine knob dwd is a perfect example of a patient trey and teh possibilities of where the jam leads.

  2. voopa Says:

    I was expecting No Quarter all set long after that DWD jam, teas’d.

    Agree more w/ DIF than Miner about this one. When I saw them at Shoreline in ’09, Trey made a point of peaking out every solo in every song. Now it seems like he’s saving those moments for certain parts of the show. But at the expense of no jam at all in Sally, or treating Hood like a ballad? Hmm. Then again, at one point last night, I forget which song, Trey started peaking out after the return to thr vocals, almost as if he meant to do that during the solo, forgot, and tried to make up for it. So maybe there’s some of that happening. Or maybe he was too concerned about Mike and his off night (see set 1).

    But again, relatively minor quibbles. Had a ton of fun both night, great area, good friends, and the best band in the land. Time to pack up camp and head down the hill, one night in my own bed then Cu$tyFest, bitches!

  3. voopa Says:

    Oh, sorry for the random ramblings. Just woke up, not my semi-coherent self yet.

  4. lawrencewelk Says:

    I’ve only seen/heard the first sets from the last two nights and will say this:

    They are tight as shit. Nothing mind blowing but really tight rock and roll, I really think they will make a lot of these “rock” bands at OL look laughable. If they play a good set I think they’re gonna turn a lot of heads who thought they only do noodley forty minute jams. They have no problem laying down a rock/funk set that is easy to grab onto. Throw in a psychedelic adventure or two and you’ve got an awesome introduction to phish.

    I really dug the Stash last night and the It’s Ice was awesome. Night one’s Bowie had some nice space in the jam segment.

    Looking forward to hearing this Light tonight.

  5. thedayman Says:

    i really enjoyed that jim despite the early move into ghost, def could have gone huge tho. real swanky little jam there after some ambient space. very cool.

  6. ae Says:

    loving selector thursday. 🙂

  7. lawrencewelk Says:

    a few months ago someone posted a site that had a directory in which you could look up hip hop tracks to find the samples used. Anyone know what that site was?

  8. Selector J Says:

    @ae cheers!
    @larry dubs –

  9. WanderMuch Says:

    @LW: ?

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @mr. champagne music
    I know of two. the first is easier to navigate and I find it easier to use overall.

    there are probably even more out there

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    so I guess that makes three with wander’s rec

  12. Wilson123 Says:

    That Jim was destined for greatness. FOR SHAME 🙂

  13. kayatosh Says:

    Jim got ghosted. and disease got jimmed. perplexing.

    skip guyute and maybe even velvet sea and stretch out those two and you have a $$$ set II.

    watching and listening to DWD I was giddy that they were seemingly dropping into IT right off the bat. but the promise never fully materialized.

  14. kayatosh Says:

    that said, i still loved what I heard last night.

  15. butter Says:

    dont agree with Miner on this one

    loved all the mini jams, and was happy to move from song to song in the second set, in the favor of a dance party

    loved all the song choices and thought everything up to Guyute flowed beautifully, with Sally being sort of a denouncement of the set

    Jim was a beast with a jam during and after, just a wildly creative Jim

    i really felt what Trey was doing with that second set, purposely moving the energy along, while still realizing these minijams within the songs

    Ghost>Golden Age>2001 was fun as hell. really dug the > 2001. industrial space funk. the 2001 was oozing with fresh energy

    agree it was a stock YEM, but i had to laugh how much fun a stock YEM is, when its rare 🙂

  16. willowed Says:

    In this Jim it is so clear that Trey wants to jump off and the others are like….no way big guy. You’re not getting away with it this time.

  17. butter Says:

    1st set was a bit boring/slow until Stash, which featured a patient jam

    bitch, Antelope sent us with to setbreak with some energy, tho

    bad ass machine gun if full control during Bitch

  18. Mike in Austin Says:

    Give them another half hour past this curfew and I think they were ready to get out there. If you only see two shows a year though, would you rather hear a DwD (unjammed) so you can slide a Sneaking in there? I think Trey thought the kids would.

    Jamming nine (fun) songs into a second set makes for a lot of great short songs. I agree with miner’s opinion that they kept turning it off way to early, but I know a lot of new kids thought these were normal length jams.

    I’m missing the jams but the playing is really really good.

    And I love this sound system.

    Liked the fireworks during Sally. I wonder if the planned that?

  19. lawrencewelk Says:

    Thanks kidz

  20. phausen Says:

    Good morning. In watching the show last night, I got the feeling that it wasn’t Trey who was bailing on songs/jams, but it was the pocket areound him that was bailing-out. When Trey changed directions, the pocket would change around his simple meddling instead of holding strong. I often sense that Trey wants the pocket to remain, while he teases a lick from the next song or a new direction within the pocket, allowing it develop and morph. But often when Trey makes any reference to something, the band is too quick to follow, instead of letting it develop naturally. Jim > Ghost and Ghost > Golden Age are a good example of this.

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    i wonder what crystal wulf will fit in with this theme today…

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    soundsystem does sound awesome, super clean

  23. butter Says:

    i never felt like they turned a jam “off” last night

    but i feel what your saying MIA

  24. Mike in Austin Says:

    Yeah butter, I should have said “extended” or something. Not quite with it this morning yet. I really liked what I heard. Potent.

  25. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Word, @butter. After the first set, I wondered if they could shut people up. Well, they did it in spades with a rocking set. The only jam that felt a little shorted to me was the Jim, but it was into Ghost.

    Our little custy crib crew had a great time, and the majority of people seemed to like this set better than Tahoe 1. A lot of people there seemed bored during the Light, sadly,, so Phish was just playing to the crowd I guess. And nailing it in that sense. Until Guyute=screeching halt.

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