Tahoe Revisited

8.9.11 J.Crouch)

When comparing stands of summer’s second leg, Tahoe hasn’t felt the type of love that the Gorge or UIC has received. And while that analysis is completely justified, and the second night left much to be desired, let’s not sweep Tahoe under the rug just yet. Overshadowed by the bookends of Leg Two, the first night of Tahoe stands humbly in the wings; a dark-horse, two-set effort that can hold its own against the stronger shows of summer. Were it not for the wooked-out cocktail party that was popping off throughout the venue all night long (a result of the casino vibe bleeding right into the show) and an undersized sound system that couldn’t compensate for said wooks, the first night would be getting more props for what it was—another stellar night along summer’s second leg.

8.9.11 J.Crouch)

While some shows over this last run were defined exclusively by their second set theatrics, Tahoe’s opening frame carried some significant weight. “Party Time” provided a surprise opening and the rare combination of “Oh Kee Pah > Bag” got the party started in earnest. “Mellow Mood” in the mountain sunshine matched perfectly, as everyone began feeling the set before the band had dropped into any jams at all. Stretching out the intro to “Punch” into an infectious series of grooves, the momentum of the set began to grow. And following a bust out of the ’98 relic “Meat,” the band got serious with a mid-set “David Bowie.” Quite the odd placement for the jam made it all the more enticing as Phish dipped their ladle into melodic-infused darkness early on in the show. A blistering “46 Days” brought one of August’s better first sets to a close.

But—as usual—very few people would walk out of Harvey’s glorified parking lot buzzing about the first set. Enthusiastic conversations centered on the colossal, bass-led excursion that grew out of “Light,” and how it traveled through intergalactic wormholes dripping with harrowing textures and futuristic, beat-driven soundscapes. The band locked into another forward-looking adventure out West—one of those jams that rendered the rest of the set gravy. But this gravy was was quite good.

As “Light” meandered into nothing—as so many of its outlandish journeys tend to—Trey slowly wound up the into to “Chalk Dust” in a complete juxtaposition of styles. From the outer rings of Saturn to slamming white lights, the band jumped right back into a rock concert with little buffer zone. But as a dynamic “Chalk Dust” flew through multiple teases, the band all of a sudden had the crowd on its knees with a delicate breakdown of the classic rock anthem, efficiently deconstructing the song with a melodic bridge to a mid-set “Slave.” And per usual, when Phish centers “Slave” in the second set, a highlight rendition was sure to follow. Slowly building through blissful textures to match the mountain locale, the band unfurled a cathartic centerpiece that resolved “Light’s” journey into the center of the Earth.

8.9.10 (John Crouch)

A concise but cathartic “Jibboo” had opened the set, and after a seemingly random “Free” came out after “Slave,” the show’s delicate feel continued. Apparently spurred on by a legion of fans in some sort of on-going campaign, Phish broke out Elton John’s “Rocket Man: late in the second set, a cover which Page did far more justice than the thousands of bellowing drunkards ever could. And closing upon a similar note, the band dropped into “Harry Hood.” Though “Hood” was tight, it remained a relatively vanilla version. But Phish had one last gasp left—“Walls of the Cave.” And while I can’t say that the song seemed to fit in the set, I can vouch for the fact that Phish tore it to pieces. Ballooning the end jam into a set-closing exclamation point, the guys punctuated a rather delicate show with a bang.

Returning to the mellower feel for the double encore of “Bug, Squirming Coil,” Phish whispered their goodbyes into the cool mountain evening. And though the debauchery would grow from there, Phish left stage with a very mood-matching performance that greeted their fans to the gorgeous locale of Lake Tahoe. And with all the deserved hoopla over UIC and the Gorge, this gem—with a distinct flow from beginning to end—has gotten lost in the mix. Give it a re-spin, you won’t be disappointed.


Jam of the Day:

Light” 8.9.11 II

One of the standout jams of 2011; a dark trek into progressive bass-led mania.



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1,022 Responses to “Tahoe Revisited”

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  1. butter Says:

    good write up Miner

    Jibboo is hot, getting overshadowed by Tahoe Light

    before you sweep the second night under the rug, spin the JIm>Ghost a couple times

    Tahoe 1 is a great two setter

  2. ihatepockets Says:

    NICE. Post woke me from my Tahoe slumber, and had me reaching for my wook spray. Will spin again.

  3. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Well said Miner. Many treats in this one.

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    CO Harpua. I’m not the best at calling tunes but that’s a lock.

    Thanks for the Tahoe followup Miner.

  5. st8 of mind Says:

    Very nice Miner. Wish you would have dropped a different audio post from this show. I have spun this Light to death. Very good though. Thanks!

  6. frottage Says:

    “Apparently spurned on by a legion”

    *spurred <—ftfy

    you can also try "spurted" but the image is too vile

  7. plord Says:

    Europe ’72 in hand. First show in the CD player now.

    Sound is *crazy clean*, just brilliant work on the remastering here. Big, big ups to Mr. Lemieux and team. and needless to say, I love the pampin’ packaging. Pix of the band playing with Bozo the clown wigs never get old.

    Great comment (paraphrased, can’t find it again) from one of the booklets: “We had been used to hearing Marshall amplification, and the clarity and precision of the Fender rigs were a revelation.”

  8. litteringandd Says:

    Back on 1st shift behind a computer screen again. Can you handle that BB? Can you?

  9. Kaveh Says:

    @plord: SWEET! I haven’t heard anything about my order…needless to say, I’ll be calling today. I can’t wait to get mine.

  10. Kaveh Says:

    @plord: Jeffery Norman did the remastering….he is brilliant. I loved the interview with him during the process. I’ve had the pleasure of talking with him…so find his email and send him a HUGE thank you for his work on this box set!

  11. Mr palmer Says:

    Question for the board.

    When taking a health exam for life insurance policy do they care if you puff, and do they even test for it?

  12. JMelby Says:

    Depending on policy, they might do a mouth swab & they can get a lot of info from that.

  13. bob dylan Says:

    palmer, my policy is to lie about all smoking from now on when it comes to health forms. they will start charging more for it i think.

    if i put i smoke a tobacco pipe occasionally theyd call me a smoker when its not even close to the same thing.

  14. alf Says:

    excellent write up miner. spun this one again last night and love this show.

    agreed butter, the jibboo is definitely a hot version, red just crushes it

    but the light… wow. find something new every time i spin it.

    thought the hood worked well when paired with an earlier slave, and i really dug walls in that spot.

    people were immediately hating on the walls – i guess they would rather see golgi, zero in that spot instead of a surprise/unique closer 🙄

  15. Mr palmer Says:

    Nah, I was told it was questions, bloodwork, and urine sample.

    I have a policy already, but was looking to get the wife some and reduce mine slightly. Think the most they can do is give you smokers rates, which would suck.

  16. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    92 degrees at 630 AM! Denver can’t come soon enough.

  17. butter Says:

    re: insurance

    most likely they wont test for weed Palmer

    that is info they hope to get out of you (from you telling them) and possible give you a “smoker’s rate”

    i would forget to mention that awesome part of your life to them 🙂

  18. bob dylan Says:

    i guess they would rather see golgi, zero in that spot instead of a surprise/unique closer

    ^no. we’d just rather have scents if we’re getting a 2.0 song.

  19. sumodie Says:

    Tahoe’s WOTC is red HOT! From my webcaster’s wook-free comfy couch it was an unquestionable show highlight

    I’ll also second the Jibboo love, a perfect lead-in for that amazing Light

    for me the show had pretty darned good flow -even the Free had some extra juice

  20. tela'smuff Says:

    weather shaping up nicely out here in CO. we await the masses.


    it’s coming.

    had one of those weird Phish dreams where i was sitting in with the band. and hanging out with Mike and Trey. asked both to play Dog Log, and Mike was kinda dicky about it. that can’t be a good sign.

  21. lastwaltzer Says:

    forgive me blackboard for I have sinned……………….I have not heard the tahoe light since the webcast………………………

  22. lastwaltzer Says:

    Can’t speak for the Tahoe Walls but the UIC one was RIPPING.

  23. Kaveh Says:

    @LW: Well, for your sins, you need to listen to the Tahoe Light ten times in a row and say, out loud, “I’m sorry” after each spin. 🙂

  24. SillyWilly Says:

    I’m on hole #5 at Elver Park in Madison.

    I’ve lost 2 of my 3 discs. Think I got some poison ivy. Playing hard though.

    Tahoe Light was great in person.

  25. tela'smuff Says:

    sounds like a fun round to me Silly!!

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