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. EL Duderino Says:

    it happened leg 1 c0w!

    I agree with your assessment of the other 3 members in relation to Trey’s projects. Not discounting that at all.

  2. c0wfunk Says:

    happy trails mr p.. im late see yas.

  3. Dr Pronoia Says:

    he definitely did not throw up his hands at any point last night.

    just seemed to me like 4 friends having a great time playing with the energy of the room

    just my (completely sober and from the rail) perspective. all others just as valid…

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    ..dude do you know when perchance? Not arguing I’m truly interested. The interband dynamic has always been most entertaining to me.

  5. EL Duderino Says:

    not discounting your assessment either Dr. P
    All points are valid

  6. EL Duderino Says:

    ask one of the experts… can’t remember exactly. It was a topic here for awhile. Don’t think it was any of the Bethel’s

  7. Dr Pronoia Says:

    no worries, dude

    i’m sure my assessment will be an anomaly around here today

    kinda glad I’m going to be traveling from now til 5 or so and will miss the chatter today

    don’t want ghost’s length to end up trumping my own experience – which was absolutely peak – you know?

  8. EL Duderino Says:


  9. phoammhead Says:

    duder, ghost on the studio album is 3:52

  10. Selector J Says:

    It’s that time again… Thursday a.m. reggae:

  11. EL Duderino Says:

    Crazy huh phoamm?

  12. Foul_Domain Says:

    I think most people were looking for something like this…

    No Quarter

    Trim some of the fat, jam out whats left, and you have yourself a pretty sick setlist full of all kinds of potential.

    That being said, I hear you @Dr P, loud and clear. There is no such thing as a bad show if you are at it.

    Sometimes I think Trey just likes to fuck with people and then sit back and laugh at all the fools that have expectations of what the most unpredictable band in the world will do.

  13. phoammhead Says:

    yeah, pretty crazy for sure . . . i probably shouldn’t say too much until i at least listen to the show. i’m sure if i were there i would have had a blast and that’s really most of what it’s about, imho.

    glad to hear drP had a blast!

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    selecta’s talkative this morning

  15. phoammhead Says:

    ^i believe what foul_D is saying there has been a bit of a common theme at the end of second sets . . . jams with potential cut short for multiple set closers.

  16. btb Says:

    3:48 Ghost – I had no idea Trey was a Miami U football booster

    ::waits to see if anyone gets that one::

  17. Aquaman Says:

    Good morning all!

    Taking my mroning joe with a portion of kush and the 8/16 Undermind video.

    Great way to start the day. (That and the kids are gone so it’s quiet.)


  18. halcyon Says:

    Sometimes I think Trey just likes to fuck with people and then sit back and laugh at all the fools that have expectations of what the most unpredictable band in the world will do.

    I was thinking something along these lines listening to the second set last night, especially as they sang “Still Waiting’ at several points throughout the set during various songs. Thought the band was being pranksters.

    That being said, phenomenal playing this run.

  19. JMelby Says:

    Who f’n cares what people wanted them to play? When are ya going to figure it out, Phish plays what they want to play and for how long. Get over it! Even with the signs, they don’t play them all; thank god!

  20. Aquaman Says:

    How do you get prison time for being a booster BTB?

    I mean whole new level.

    Or was the prison time for something else and this just came out in the wash?


  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    dude ran a $970M+ ponzi scheme.

  22. Selector J Says:

    Dude was ponzi scheming on the side @aqua. Real stand up dude.

  23. c0wfunk Says:

    confirmed: band is a group of pranksters. Expect the unexpected. I can tell you 100% no one last week predicted an under 4 minute ghost. Therefore they are being unpredictable.


  24. Mr palmer Says:

    Hey guys! Fun show last night. Good people. Got a little hairy in there for this old man last night. Space cadet city.

    Nice seeing everyone again and meeting some new folks.

  25. Corey Says:

    Yep, 20 years in the slammer, as of June. Figured he might as well dish it all.
    Lovely. Miami is headed south. Oh wait….

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