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. Andrew Says:

    Maybe they’ll cover one of the artists mentioned in Maki

  2. Lycanthropist Says:

    wait am i not a fluffer 😉

  3. Tom Says:

    If there isn’t NYE then no more phish for me this year

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    I said during Piper that I figured this set would be light on improv. Must’ve been the Crosseyed opener.

  5. MrCompletely Says:

    your new name is Fluffy McFlufferson

  6. negev79 Says:

    I think I’m giving up for the night. See you all tomorrow!

  7. voopa Says:

    “Masters of the craft.”

    No shit. Viva la Phish!

  8. voopa Says:

    Read tonight that Miami is booked for NYE

  9. butter Says:

    he did WHAT to Ghost

    he Makisupa’ed it


    can he still have fun

  10. Andrew Says:

    That is great news Voopa

  11. voopa Says:

    Funky>Show>Prise…not a bad encore

  12. Tom Says:

    Trey is Wilson

  13. butter Says:

    based on my limited knowledge that there was a hold on AAA, i’m going to go ahead make the call that we get NYE run

  14. Tom Says:

    @ voopa You sure ,or is it just speculation?

  15. sumodie Says:

    I’ve been betting on Miami all along for NYE -it’s like an incredibly well paid family vacation for the boys. Seems like a no-brainer to me

  16. Tom Says:

    Would kill for a Miami nye run. Friend has a place on the water thats a five minute walk to AAA

  17. sumodie Says:

    that’s a wrap, hope all those in attendance had fun tonight >onwards to CO!!!!

  18. butter Says:

    cant get over this Waves from night one holy smokes

    both the 1st jam between versus and outro

    wowser’s Trey

  19. sumodie Says:

    Princess P returns for more face time!!!

    (how come the sound is so good now?)

    more like Princess Molly…

  20. Cable Hogue Says:


    did the setlist and the track times tell the tale on this one? Cuz it looked ridiculously uneventful from those blind criteria.

  21. Mdawg Says:

    You Eye See

  22. sumodie Says:

    off the couch tour cuff highs for me: Piper seems the improv ‘winner’, then CrossEyed>No Quarter, and maybe Antelope

    and for bustouts Sleep>Buffalo Bill

    that’s my guestimation

  23. butter Says:

    and this Undermind is absolute top tier, the real deal holyfield

    i might lock myself in my mancave with Waves > Undermind on repeat in flac hd and my jar of og and see what happens, js

  24. Andrew Says:

    Despite the lack of exploration tonight, the run is a major win in my book. Serious playing with a slew of highlights. Looking forward to digging in quite a bit before new material in CO.

  25. sumodie Says:

    a show like uic1 makes any run a winner

    def looking forward to on the ground reports

Leave a Reply