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”

  1. Mr palmer Says:

    Thanks guys.

  2. sumodie Says:

    any word if the CO webcasts will include an access code in order to stream them on demand at a later date?

    would kinda be ‘unfair’ if there’s no on-demand option as technically the shows are starting at the same time as Tahoe

    (Tahoe is pacific time but show time was 6:30 whereas Denver is mountain time but show time is 7:30)

    Send Red Light an email if you feel like the shows will start too late for you to watch them live -apparently that helped us Tahoe webcasters get those oh-so-wonderful on-demand access codes

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    mornin’ party people

    been a wee bit since I’ve had some time to get on here…

    butter, congrats on the little one! hope your wife is recovering nicely

    palmer, you can get tested and it will kick in the smoker’s rates. depends on the insurance carrier though. some do, others don’t.

    silly, the trick is to not close your eyes when you release the disc.

    and tomorrow begins anew the college football season. praise COTG.

  4. SillyWilly Says:


    Beautiful park here. Like Tahoe without the mountains. Trees, hills, and prairies. Muvh better than I anticipated.


    Or find out where the basket is before you throw the wrong way into the state protected prairie restoration lands…


  5. lastwaltzer Says:

    Ex-Bush Official Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: “I am Willing to Testify” If Dick Cheney is Put on Trial


  6. voopa Says:

    Walls did disrupt the flow a bit, but it was a fitting closer. And it fuckin’ SMOKED!

    How cool was it that Phish played in Tahoe?

  7. butter Says:

    really cool

  8. sumodie Says:

    can’t wait to spin this one:

    Medeski Martin & Wood
    w/special guests DJ Logic and Cyro Baptista
    The Whitney Museum, New York, NY


  9. sumodie Says:

    butter! congrats on the birth of your son -very glad to hear that all’s well with your family

  10. voopa Says:

    First to email me gets a Tahoe 1 code vooopa at gmail (3 o’s)

    When I find my Tahoe 2 stub, the code goes to Mitch, even if he’s already bought the show.

  11. lastwaltzer Says:

    thanks for the link sumo i’d bet thats real hot.

  12. butter Says:

    3 walls in my last 9 shows, but who’s counting

    i mean really, who would count such a thing?

    about to go home from hospital and start our life with another family member

    i’ll give the salisbury steak here a 6/10. no, but really, Kaiser was amazing. our Dr. who delivered the baby just gave us her cell phone #.

    she was the one that recc. we do Tahoe

  13. butter Says:

    thanks t3 and sumodie !!

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    heads are everywhere

    (+12 through 11. not very long off the tee, but I get creative in the short game.lots of bogeys here)

  15. butter Says:

    all three WOTC – wasnt stoked when it started up….but they crushed all 3

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    heads on a disc golf course?!? no way. I don’t believe it.

    there’s a course here in MA where there is a bong, lighter, and often supplies stashed in a watertight container just off trail between two holes.

    good thing to know about.

  17. SillyWilly Says:

    I meant the doctor who told Butter and his wife to hit Tahoe. Haha.

    But that’s pretty sweet about the stash on the course.

    No one out here right now. I keep expecting to run into a band of gypsies or something

  18. lastwaltzer Says:


    hippies and gypsies wait until at least 10 o’clock to get up.

  19. SillyWilly Says:

    Gotta wake up.

    There’s dancing bears to train.

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    Mike is always dickish in dreams.

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    I think he’s kind of a dick in reality…always leading those bass jihads and dropping bass bombs

    I know he tried to kill me at UIC.

  22. bob dylan Says:

    “can’t wait to spin this one:”

    ^me too. wtf was i doing instead of seeing that show???

  23. BingosBrother Says:

    Bastard came damn close to killing us all. I saw a concession worker crying and telling her boss they had to get out of there. Ice-9’d.

  24. Robear Says:

    T3, thanks for the tips and video link re: backpacking. Just did an over nighter with the girls up Clear Creek. Siskiyou Wilderness. Awesome time. I should have asked about starting my Whisperlite stove. Haven’t used it in over 10 years. After singeing most of the hair off one arm, and nearly setting a table on fire, I figured it out.

  25. bob dylan Says:

    butter, i’ve seen walls 9 times. i share your “meh” when it starts.

    gonna respin today to see what all the talk is aboot.

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