Riding Out the Ripples

8.16.11 (M.Stein)

With two sets of power-packed playing centered around an massive exploration of “Down With Disease,” Phish put on an upbeat and feel-good rock show for the middle night of their trifecta at UIC Pavilion. With authoritative playing all night long, the band dispersed improvisational highlights throughout two largely song-based sets, making for a choppy, though often impressive, night of music.

Within a colossal “Disease,” Phish’s passed through several naturally connected segments of dark, bass-anchored psych-rock. Using one idea from the jam to organically spawn the next, Phish crafted an exploratory odyssey that remained, simultaneously, coherent. Steering their way through an array of driving textures and pulsating rhythms, the band unleashed a herculean effort while navigating an intricate piece of original sounding music. Not resembling the contour of so many Phish jams we’ve become accustomed to over the years, we are now discovering what they would sound like with a lead bass player. Following Gordon’s lead for most of the piece, the band took an engaging jaunt through a new-school, beat-backed passage that sounded different from any jam we heard on night one.

Unofficial UIC (Ortiz)

Deep into the “Disease,” Trey began a familiar-sounding melody that set the stage for the most heart-tugging music of the night, but in an ever-protean jam, the band was consistently on the move and some ideas didn’t get a chance to fully develop. Sounding as if he was urging the band towards “Piper” with guitar chops, when his mates didn’t follow him, Trey turned his offerings into increasingly darker places that Mike supported with a thunderous bass lines. Revving back into a segment of high-speed psych rock, the band darted their lines around each others’ with precision. Building through an increasingly dark sequence, the band eventually blended into a cerebral spaced-out out finale. Phish sculpted this last segment into a gradual and very quiet segue with “Twist.”

8.16.11 (M.Stein)

Though still adhering to “Twist’s” theme, the band got more creative last night within a notably laid back and groovy version that fit quite well in context. Serving as a smooth landing point for “Disease’s” full-throttled adventure, the slinky, funked out textures slid people’s mind back from the ether and into a song-driven rest of the show. Crushing a mid-set “Theme” to smithereens and briefly jamming through a spacescape out of “Golden Age” into “A Day in A Life,” the band then put a cap on the set with a series of filthy, bass-led funk grooves in a version of “You Enjoy Myself” that quickly built into a guitar showcase.

The first set got off to a super-charged beginning with “Dinner and a Movie” and Ha Ha Ha” followed by a heat-seeking, “Bowie-esque” take on “Chalk Dust,” one of the most impressive jams of the entire night. A mid-set “Walls of the Cave” gave way to the old-school one-two punch of “Runaway Jim,” Foam”—all played with rock solid precision and tons of energy. A late-set “Limb by Limb” picked the set back up from a slight lull with an original jam that dipped into “plinko” land as Trey stabbed out a solo atop his looped patterns. Building into a more abstract and percussive territory before landing back in the song’s theme, “Limb” provided the set’s other improvisational gem. But the band still had a surprise up their sleeve in a gorgeous “Let It Loose” set closer—the song’s first appearance since Indio when the band covered The Rolling Stone’s “Exile on Main Street” in full.

8.16.11 (M.Stein)

Continuing to push the envelope with bass-led jamming, Mike and Fish sculpted a certain rhythmic intensity in “Disease” that has come to define many new Phish jams. Last night’s cosmic chase that will not soon fade from memory held down most of the improvisational meat of a show packed with Phish songs, providing a considerably softer feel than night one. Sometimes, however, when the band drops a monster jam you just have to ride out the ripples. And as the band continues to forge new pathways in their improv, sometimes huge jams are coupled with lots of songs, and last night was one of those nights. Tuesday was not a show that will be remembered for flow or its overall contour, rather, UIC’s second night will be remembered for its “Down With Disease.” And sometimes that is enough.

I: Dinner and a Movie, Ha Ha Ha > Chalk Dust Torture, Mexican Cousin, Walls of the Cave, Runaway Jim, Foam, I Didn’t Know, Ocelot, Ginseng Sullivan, The Wedge, Limb By Limb, Let It Loose

II: Down with Disease -> Twist,  Backwards Down the Number Line,  Theme From the Bottom > Golden Age -> A Day in the Life, You Enjoy Myself

E: Heavy Things, Slave to the Traffic Light, Rocky Top

Tags: ,

1,484 Responses to “Riding Out the Ripples”

  1. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Luther

    I haven’t worn jeans since like April.

  2. marcoesq Says:

    What was up with the Walk This Way tease from YEM last night?

    Full on band tease or just a little riff?

  3. Luther T. Justice Says:

    Except for your Daisy Dukes?

  4. brinkMANGINA Says:

    Where can I get that Ortiz poster????

  5. willowed Says:

    35 – 40 years old. High elevation….we’re fucked!

  6. multibeast Says:

    Onu 2 YEMs this tour I believe.

  7. albert walker Says:

    all is good until the electricity wears off

    then I feel old

  8. multibeast Says:


  9. Luther T. Justice Says:

    You’ll have to pace yourself @willowed. We want you guys to make it out alive.

  10. EL Duderino Says:

    Yeah, Daisy Dukes!
    With my greying pubes hangin’ out (in my Stewie Griffin voice)

  11. multibeast Says:

    I really like the Ortiz poster posted with the article. Check him out and his crew , Like Minded Productions, at the Mock Show if you can.

  12. marcoesq Says:

    yeah, when they say “mile high” it’s most definitely no joke

    I remember having a brief layover in Denver years back and having to run to my connecting gate and being full-on out of breath for a good 20min

  13. Luther T. Justice Says:

    ^heh heh

  14. Mr palmer Says:

    Fun show last night. Miners done a great job with the highlights, no reason to keep repeating them.

    I def felt a lack of flow at times but the band is tight as ever and shredding everything.

    Great crew last night, had a blast. Put a lot of faces to names ( gravatars).
    One more to go.

  15. halcyon Says:

    35 – 40 years old. High elevation….we’re fucked!

    Flatlanders 😕 😉

  16. Mr palmer Says:

    Chicago is a great city to see phish.

  17. EL Duderino Says:

    i’ll be in town on Wednesday afternoon so i have a chance for my body to adjust to the altitude.
    Maybe a lot of pass-outs @ Dick’s???

  18. albert walker Says:

    if you are feeling the elevation in denver you need some exercise kids

    it’s not leadville

  19. EL Duderino Says:

    Chicago is a GREAT city!

  20. Luther T. Justice Says:

    Chicago is a great city period.

  21. albert walker Says:

    it’s fairly unnoticeable to most in Denver

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    miracles, people. miracles.

    The Drug Bridge is for drugs. It does not really exist to support the Gathering’s titty commerce—although close to midnight, a girl begins renting out her cleavage as a surface for cocaine. But the same basic rules apply: The goods come in every form imaginable, and the quality seems to matter less than the fact that it is available at all. The only difference between the titty trade and the drug trade at the Gathering Of The Juggalos is that the drug supply is apparently limitless.

    some serious reporting going on.

  23. marcoesq Says:

    Hidden Track’s Review:

    “Wardrobe: Forthcoming”

    Can’t wait!

  24. albert walker Says:

    Not to pimp my home town but this is by far the most reactive and on point crowd I’ve seen in 3.0 except maybe Hampton.

    Real old crowd. Mostly fat and bald dudes. I’d say at least a quarter of the building was there 94 and 98. plus all the hard cores that flew on knowing this was the run to see

    Just everytime they pick it up the crowd just explodes. Everyone puffing tough. Just a great vibe.

    having cats paying $100-$150

  25. albert walker Says:

    to get in helps the energy too. no free tix. everyone getting excited to get in.

Leave a Reply