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:

    no thats what I’m saying BK, I have not read it, I know I need to b/c all the smart kids tell me Calvino is the best on Earth right now, I def will and am excited to, I am just a bit over metafiction right now

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    good intro to systems and emergence

    a better book on some levels but has too much speculation about spiritual matters IMO, still well worth reading, probably the best first book to read on the subject if you either want the spiritual viewpoint, or can overlook it

  3. Mulitbeast Says:

    Thanks BK
    Thanks Snowbank and Mr C for the recs! I plan on being on some ediables and some sorty of fruity adult bevarges, so these look perfect. Other beverage consumption should be going on too.

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    No worries @Lycan. They’re trying to bring it back in the Fall with everyone they can so I will likely be doing it again then, but for now we still have 2 free preview shows tonight and tomorrow night.

    So I get a taste of performing in front of people and then it all ends, so it goes.

    Fight call is at 6pm, and since I stayed up until 7:30 I guess I’m going to go take a nap. Show starts at 7:30 tonight. Psyched. For what it’s worth, I’ve met some great people over the summer.

  5. Mulitbeast Says:

    Thanks to Bingo as well…..

  6. snowbank Says:

    Ha! I had a feeling you would hate it @C. I loved it when I was 20 and didn’t really know any better. Perfect fodder for trippers. I have not picked it up in years cause I am afraid to ruin my fond memories. I doubt you would find his later work very interesting since it is relatively high level.

  7. ThePigSong Says:

    Just added Vol 1 to my library queue C – highest possible recommendation sealed the deal.

  8. Lycanthropist Says:

    Mr. C

    did you pick up Game of Thrones?

  9. Robert Champion Says:

    This is not refined or edited but is the basic him haw

    This is the rough unedited review that I posted last night. It is raw as hell. I posted it in the other thread but figured it applied to this review as well.

    Tahoe night two started out fair enough and the Stash happened. This is the song that gave birth to my poetry series and now Science Friction website and this one delivered. It was stretched out the way I liked it and could not come at a better time to get me more interested in the set. The Sloping Companion. Those three words mean so much to me. Maybe some other time.

    The Funky Bitch is always a phamily pleaser and this one got the job done with no real leap into that place that we still have yet to give a universal name and definition. However, Phish was not running on idle. They were all invested the entire time.

    Instant Karma was fun and notable.

    My stream for night two is cutting out a lot more than night one. Do I blame comcast or do I blame Phish? I blame myself for being so obsessed.

    I write notes about Phish shows while Phish is playing. Why? Because I can. I don’t do it everytime but couch tour makes it easy as pie but not American more like a nice rhubarb.

    Second set of Tahoe night two opened strong with “Disease” Stop Stop Stop…No Phish…Keep on going. It might sound cliche but so far this has been a tour of second sets for me and I don’t say that about every tour. The jam at the end of “Disease” was strong and to the point. Trey’s sustain then broke into a short stated series of 16th notes the was reminscient of machine gun Trey of old but let’s not get bogged down in technicalities. Let’s talk about the feelings that those technicalities create in any number of people with any number of backgrounds….Shit…Machine gun Trey. It’s one of his elder tricks and he has learned apply it tastefully over the tours instead of banging you over the head with it to the brink of almost having an anxiety attack 1.0 style. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy that brink in my youth..Hell…I chased it… but I am in a much more relaxed anti manic stage in my life and have learned to embrace the whole that present day Phish creates and when he brings out the machine gun then I stand ready to be shot by it.

    It’s these same tasteful applications of their entire tool box that has marked the maturity of this band into present day American venue icons and I don’t use the word icon casually. “Disease” went on until it melted into an abrupt rest and then back up again into “Runaway Jim.” Plinko Jam became the theme of this meandering “Runaway” for the intro into the second verse. They have been using that tastefully as well this tour and I actually am embarrassed to even use the term publicly but there you go.

    The second chance for the band to improvise was again straight ahead Phish and created a second story beyond the plinko….beyond the jam….beyond any competition. And then we went there again…Phish took us there again as the song concluded. Where did they take us? They took us to that place that we still haven’t been able to universally define or put our finger on exactly because it keeps wobbling off every time we get closer to the one. However we wobbled for quite some time before they busted out the arguable song of the Summer for me personally. We are truly living in a Golden Age. Sell now!!!

    The impromptu vocal jam out of Sallie made the song unique and obviously had the crowd shaking their collective asses.

    Fuck…Guyute. I have often said that I could hear “Guyute” at every Phish show and never complain. Do I really need to explain why? The short answer is that this song rang through my head almost every time I lined up to the assassination range while I performed in The Dupage Symphony Orchestra. We were playing Brahms or some god awful rehashed Christmas spectacular…but in my head…everytime I picked up a stick or a mallet….I was playing “Guyute.” That’s the short answer. The long answer? Let’s not go there.

    Trey grinning before going into the final verse left me fleeing all cares and worries of the day while we were getting ever closer to that one thing. Mike also was grinning ear to ear during the final musical phrase and it’s always good to see him lose the poker face and smile like he probably smiled when he figured out his first scale.

    WATSIYEM? I had been secretly waiting for this without going gaga about it on any of the boards. It’s one of the songs that unify everyone involved because in this song we see set up after setup after setup after setup and then….the vocal jam. It was my secret wish since The Gorge launched this leg and I was lucky enough to see it in High Definition. How many set up’s are actually in a standard “You Enjoy Myself?” Then again, this is Phish. Is there anything ever standard about a live “You Enjoy Myself?” The trampolines came out and Fishman was clicking away on his hi hat in perfect sequential order and then the debatable hose for a brief moment. Then, back into Fishman’s seqeuncing which turns into the kilter/off kilter accents on the snare then the debateable predetermined hose again as a whole note just sits in your belly then….then….Boy.Man.God.Shit. Then, the lyrical mind fuck that can only come after listing four basic words that are powerful enough on their own but when stated together and in that order….well…What exactly are they saying in this song? It’s something bigger than we could ever know. It’s something bigger than the four guys on the stage for that matter. It’s the gateway to that one thing. It’s the subconscious wobble that makes itself conscious multiple times when everyone is dailed in…The Mike solo that was the punctuation mark on the end of the first part of the song magically propelled Trey to dance like nobody was watching but we were all fucking watching and if you weren’t smiling then you should just give up right now. Then, the vocal jam.

    Phish quickly went into what I call their Nightmare Before Christmas harmony. There were spiders crawling up my keyboard and then onto my hands and into my various orafices to only lay and hatch more eggs inside of me. Then, they started shouting in some sort of other worldy chant…Not to the mothership but to the thing that controls the mothership. Was that thing answering back? Well…we live in a society that refuses to look up so we may never get that answer. One thing is for certain. Things are certainly looking up for the second leg of this tour for sheer historical record.

    “Show of Life” concluded the evening. Lyrically it’s always a powerful message and is one that I am glad to have reiterated by Phish when they choose to share the message. You know some lives were changed forever in Tahoe. Some for the first time…Imagine having that transformation and then rounding it out with the message that “Show of Life” affords?

    Some of us can remember that first moment….right? Isn’t it our responsibility to give that moment to as many people as we know?

    Boy.Man.God.Shit…I’ve learned what it takes to be a man and I don’t have to wish I was at home because I am on couch tour 2011. Boy…God…Shit? The other three? Again, it’s a long story. Let’s not go there. “Good Times Bad Times”. End of story.

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    the topic of “emergence” should properly just be translated as “how shit really works” or “so how do you get the complexity all around us when you start with a bunch of atoms laying around anyway”

    if you’re into slightly steeper but still readable popular science explanations, there’s

    or if you really want to get into it. This one’s quite to the point and can be a bit of work but is the real deal.

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


    1) cue up 2001. (last night’s works well, but any one with some pace to it will be fine)
    2) load up this video, but turn down the sound.
    3) Realize how fucking hilarious this would be to see at a show

    People, someone needs to rock these things to a show. and there needs to be video made and distributed of it. Like stat. Seriously. Make it happen. I believe in you.

  12. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    whoops. you might need the video

  13. MrCompletely Says:

    @bk “So I get a taste of performing in front of people and then it all ends, so it goes.”

    there’s actually life, and performing, after HS there chief

    you’re just about to get to the good part actually!

    “did you pick up Game of Thrones?”

    on hold at the library. looking forward to it. sounds like the kind of thing I’m enjoying these days, straightforward but well done storytelling for grownups.

  14. Robert Champion Says:

    Load up what video? I can do it tonight.

  15. bhizzle Says:

    all this talk about people talking during the shows is making me wonder…I thought talkers were an east coast thang?

  16. ThePigSong Says:

    prefect tiii – 2001 one just started up.

  17. SeaJoe Says:

    Best show of summer tour so far?? what gets the nod?

  18. ThePigSong Says:

    lol wha wha whaaat?

  19. Mulitbeast Says:

    I gotta pick up game of thrones as well.

  20. MrCompletely Says:

    @bhizzle, Bay Area crowds are often so hettier than thou they find themselves more interesting than whatever music they’re at

  21. Robert Champion Says:

    I am listening to set two of Tahoe night one again….I need to hear this “Light” one more time.

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    you see what I mean, pig?

  23. BrandonKayda Says:

    Ha I know that @C, but I was just referring to that show in particular.

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    FWIW this Emergence or “complex adaptive systems” stuff is like 1000x more interesting and relevant to life, IMO, than any of the quantum stuff we talked about a bit ago

  25. BingosBrother Says:

    “emergence” came up in the last chapter I read of Anathem. interesting.

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