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. Lycanthropist Says:

    great show this morning Selector..

    off to the TT

  2. Lycanthropist Says:

    i guess i just wasnt in the right head space last night..

    Gorge 2 >>>>>> Tahoe 2 IMO..

    I get what they were trying to do, but to me the crack grooves just didnt quite crack.

  3. DryIceFactory Says:

    Then again, I know nothing of musical analysis other than what my ears deliver to my brain. And I’m the most musically inclined individual on the planet. I thought Mango Song was note-perfect at Mansfield until I heard the tape the day after.

  4. sumodie Says:

    Puffin down on couch tour for a webcast seems to make me more of a fluffer than actually being spun at a show

    (maybe that’s why I stopped puffin at shows -cause I’d fluff everything, lol)

  5. kayatosh Says:

    excellent aud. source for 8.8.2011 is up on bt.etree.org. second one posted (studio projects mic). taylorc source captures too much chat.

  6. Robear Says:

    Crazy talk left and right.

    Great show last night.

    Picking ‘Guyute’ instead of ‘Tahoe Jam’ after ‘Sally’ was an all-time “WTF?!” moment, but I had to piss like a race horse and Trey must have known it.

    Still waiting for them to blow up a first set, any first set, on the tour.

    The stellar inter play was on display all second set.

  7. DryIceFactory Says:

    So we all agree Bethel2 is still the best set 1 of tour?

  8. Mulitbeast Says:

    Robear
    How do you comapre Tahoe Nite 2 vs Gorge Nite 2?

  9. butter Says:

    RE: set 1’s agree Robear, and i agree with what R. Champion said last night about this being a set 2 tour

  10. DryIceFactory Says:

    *Not best, our favorite.

  11. sumodie Says:

    Last night’s Jim featured the same “xylophone-sounding plinking” as the one from Bethel. Not sure if this sound (made by Page?) has been a Jim staple for awhile, but it was less effective in Tahoe (whereas on replay the Bethel version still sends me over the edge every time)

  12. butter Says:

    feeling the mellow west coast vibes ala GD with the mellow first sets

    cant lie

  13. bhizzle Says:

    Just finished set 1…found it pleasent. I still LIKE Alaska. Prolly even more now honestly.

  14. dorn76 Says:

    Wish I had seen Mike rolling his eyes re: Trey.

    Love the dynamic on stage that you can pick up watching the webcast, Trey waving to friends in the crowd, Page just soaking it up, Fish moving his mouth and bopping to the beat, Mike looking well, like Mike..

  15. DryIceFactory Says:

    Yea sumodie that Bethel version smokes. I mentioned yesterday or the day before I thought it was one of the sleeper songs/jams of 2011. I find myself flashing back to “oh man, this is it. Phish is going to BRING IT this summer.” everytime I listen to Cities->Halleys->Jim. It was the moment I knew it was all going to come together for a smoking summer.

  16. butter Says:

    fluff away sumodie, hot set 2 imho

  17. Lycanthropist Says:

    i dig Alaska, and it was in good placement.

    Don’t get me wrong i dont think the show sucked… but it was not on the all systems go level as the last few nights IMO

  18. Jtran Says:

    @sumo

    I think all the Jims since summer began have the plinko jam early. Bethel to my ears had the best plinko jam, Tahoe the best Jim jam.

    IMO

  19. Jtran Says:

    *my favorite (as it is just an opinion)

  20. butter Says:

    going to spin Jim and jump in the hot tub, before my housemates awake

    get to sleep in own bed tonite before Sf

    never happens on tour for me

  21. lawrencewelk Says:

    gorge one had a solid first set, granted nothing like we saw at bethel but still got a solid Gin, Roagge

  22. butter Says:

    love PHish so effin much

    and really have been feeling the love back this year

  23. dorn76 Says:

    the term “the best” should forthwith be translated to “my favorite”..

    will save alot of hot air around here!

  24. Robear Says:

    Multi, similar but different.

    Also, I now fully realize that the pinner sound system is what underwhelmed me at Bollywood. No bass, depth, piano or separation. Kick ass looking venue though. I’m guessing the boards will sound good.

    Band much tighter last two nights than Bollywood.

  25. butter Says:

    they started to bring some first sets last Fall

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