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. MrCompletely Says:

    I have strong powers of persuasion but some hills are not meant to be climbed.

  2. Robear Says:

    They sound checked ‘Guy Forget’ with a sublime jazzy little jam. They are clearly choosing jam, dance, or rawking party, in the moment and on the fly. Notice Trey checking out his song lists quite a bit these shows.

    That said:

    WAY TOO MANY REPEATS in my opinion. Short tour, large catalog, why so many of the same songs?

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    Saving songs for UIC Rob. They want you to meet me.

    Don’t know if there is a meetup at UIC scheduled, so wanted to see what everyones thoughts are about this. starting at 10PM on Monday a couple chill saxophonists(keefe jackson and tim haldeman) will be playing at the Skylark. Great bar w/ cheap beer and the best tots ever that is not far from the venue. Thoughts?

  4. Robear Says:

    FTR, IMO, the reviews are a bit too high on Bollywood, and too low on last night.

    The ‘jams’ weren’t cut off by anyone last night, they just took the potential out of potential jam numbers:
    Halleys, DWD, Golden Age, Sally

  5. Mulitbeast Says:

    Interesting observation on set I from Hidden Track:
    “Dogs Stole is the biggest bust out of the leg thus far. A theme of stealing emerged to start the show with Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan and Poor Heart coming next. Even Alaska, which followed the opening trifecta, has a line about theft keeping the theme going.”

  6. dorn76 Says:

    mind fucking dance party YES

  7. MrCompletely Says:

    “FTR, IMO, the reviews are a bit too high on Bollywood, and too low on last night. ”

    based purely on playback/not being at either one I agree @robear

  8. Mulitbeast Says:

    My lady and I were discussing that, yes…way too many repeats on this tour. If I had continued on after the Gorge, that would have been a bit annoying to me to hear songs I had just hear a show or two before.

  9. nonoyolker Says:

    I’m a bit behind with my listening and have not been around here – up to Hollyhood now. WTF happened to end that Piper?? I had to go back and relisten to make sure my recording didn’t cut off. Was getting really gooey up til then.

    Gorge Twee > Caspian > Sand > zer has been getting a ton of play in my house, especially the Sand. That version is pampin’ on all cylinders. Thought the Antelope was supremely encouraging as well. Way to tie the whole set together with some tasteful teases! Remember Miami ’09 when Trey clumsily played the Boogie lick during Antelope and almost all of us lost our shit?? This is where the band is now – best believe.

  10. Lycanthropist Says:

    yeh definitely no horsing last night..

    just no locking in as a unit in the open improv territory..

    in and out time of night.

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    mike almost drives the jim jam into gypsy queen territory around the 6:45 mark or so

  12. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    and I def. hear the theme dubber mentioned after the 8:00 mark… but I can’t place it either

  13. snowbank Says:

    Tahoe2 will always suffer in my mind from what ‘could have been’ even though it was great. Especially with the tastes of deep jams. I’m not sure that means the reviews are low. I think it is just easy to think that when people feel like it could have been more. Does that make sense?

  14. snowbank Says:

    On the other hand, maybe I’ve just set my expectations for stuff like a disease supreme and there is no reason to think there is anything else that could have been?
    I’m beginning to feel like I am in some sort of Zen Buddhist Koan!!!!!

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i thought the ending of ghost was some of the most beautiful playing ever. was really high and haven’t listened back yet though. also thought the whole second set flowed great.

  16. MrCompletely Says:

    sure @snowbank

    IOW exactly as I feel about Gorge 2

    Dance party shows will always be that way for jam fiends since many of the boogie down tunes are also potential jam vehicles

  17. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ‘FTR, IMO, the reviews are a bit too high on Bollywood, and too low on last night.”

    i agree

  18. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah @df same wavelength bud

  19. Mulitbeast Says:

    If I was not listening along to the second set, the set list alone would have made me psyched to hear it. I think they rocked every song out and I am sure I would have been dancing my ass off at the show. But I do agree with Snowbank’s observation that thoughts of ‘what could have been’ can affect how you view a show.

  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i had a feeling they were finally gonna go to 2001 after golden age finally

  21. butter Says:

    more photos from last night

  22. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    and from watching the body language of the band, seemed like the stream was not on their minds the last 2 nights. def didn’t see anyone showing off for the cameras.

  23. MrCompletely Says:

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah two observations from that YEM

    – the peak of it had what I think is the fastest and most intricate barrage of pure shredding from Trey I have heard in 3.0. It was really really fast and had a lot of detail and was quite clean.

    – Trey dances like a Phish fan.

  25. Lycanthropist Says:

    its weird because I was ready for a dance party last night.

    Kind of figured that would be the route they went…

    But.. I guess I was too tired to play, but it didn’t really feel like that much of a dance party to me…

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