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

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1,484 Responses to “Riding Out the Ripples”

  1. ThePigSong Says:

    Just from the look of tweets I didn’t miss a whole lot on couch tour for set II.

    Saw a tweet about Terrapin Landing and through on the Phish version just now. I can’t even comprehend what happened when folks realized what was happening.

  2. JerBear Says:

    Say whatever you want, fellas. But i, personally did not need or want a repeat of Monday night. I wanted to rock out, dance my ass off, and leave it all on the floor. That’s exactly what Phish allowed us to do tonight. Hail to the kings.

  3. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Crushed it.

  4. sumodie Says:

    jerbear, thats awesome! couch tour pales compared with gettin down & dirty live

  5. BigDeezy Says:

    I’m with JerBear. No literally at Ethyl’s across from the venue eating nachos. That show just downright rocked. Loved every fun and amazing minute of it. Hope they turn this run into a concert movie.

  6. Snowbank Says:

    Shows up on LP. Streaming gin…

  7. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Huge bb crew on the floor tonight. Greets time, rocked it hard to wrap it up. Phish loves Chicago.

  8. Snowbank Says:

    Thank you phish.

  9. Dr Pronoia Says:

    on the rail for the first time ever for the second set


    100% contented after those three shows. they destroyed UIC

    long travels home tomorrow. thanks chicago and all the BBers who made this an awesome experience

  10. Andrew Says:

    Surely some of you have qualms with the Ghost? Or did being there basking in the glow overlook the absence of any nod to the vibe of the song?

  11. ThePigSong Says:

    Hard to believe leg two is over already! Time to drop serious hints about my desire for the slf and I to head to CO. I did buy us a hotel package in Vegas, that should count for a few extra points.

  12. ThePigSong Says:

    awesome to see such glowing post show reviews! Was it aw that called the gin/tweez/ghost trifecta earlier?

    I doubt he anticipated Tweezer+Ghost track times to = a fairly standard (just going off of YEMblog) Gin.

  13. Wilson8or Says:

    Great times with the wife and with Dr. P riding the rail! Great, all around show. No jams, but happy Phish, really relishing what they were doing. NO complaints here. We had a wonderful run!

  14. Robear Says:

    The Ghost wasn’t 3 minutes long?!

    Who wins the bet?

  15. Robear Says:

    Lololol at Big Deezy! Way to rep the Spartan Alumni blues!

  16. Corey Says:

    Eleven encore tunes in three days…well done, PHiSH, well done.

  17. Mike in Austin Says:

    What happened to MiA? Let me tell you the story… It’s was thick soup on the floor. BB’ers were thick in it holding strong. Had to get out to breathe before set two was on us. It was crazy. Got out with my life. I knew what was coming was going to be like in “Full Metal Jacket” … the shit.

    I hired a Sherpa, and at base camp we breathed in some O2 (it was like rarer than getting air in a summit of Everest) and came together. Got water

    In reality…

    Ran into some really cool poster guys from the mock show. We knew some of the same Austin graph artists. Really awesome.

    Gotta pull my head together but thank Bb’ers and AW.

    Still waiting

  18. Mike in Austin Says:

    So this is orange sunshine? Love it. Kitchen clean.

  19. Robear Says:

    MiA for the win!

  20. Mike in Austin Says:

    Robear, you’ve got mail

  21. ThePigSong Says:

    For the Bay Area folks.

  22. Snowbank Says:

    Yeah Mia. Get that shiz to sparkling clean.
    Night all.

  23. locust the lurker Says:

    anyone holding a spare ticket code for tonight or last night? I could really use them and would be eternally grateful. bisonwild [at] g mail.

  24. Mdawg Says:

    Dance Party! Still Waiting!

  25. BrandonKayda Says:

    3min Ghost is just extreme musical density you guys. They packed so much music into 3mins there is hardly any jam at all.

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