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. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Nice Willowed!

    I may lift that plan.

  2. sumodie Says:

    on the ground at dick’s rockin’ out with my c…..ar, rental car that is, spinnin aj’s dj junior d mix (thnx for the mix, aj)

    temp is only 98f -face, skull, whole body already melted

    and dick’s is huge!!!!

    (hey it’s all about proper use of that apostrophe)

  3. Mike in Austin Says:

    Let me know Robear.

  4. Chuck sweD Says:

    “travel jar” of peanut butter…

    i had no idea food came in travel sizes. crazy ‘mericans will buy anything.

  5. voopa Says:


  6. kenny powers Says:

    damn Sumo that’s hot. good thing it’s forecast to drop a bunch for the weekend! high 70s Sat and Sun, low 50s….yes please.

  7. yematt Says:

    looking like i’m going to pull a last minute trip to CO tmw. just gotta clear it with work and i’ll pull the trigger. $214 round trip from VA is too good too pass up.

  8. kenny powers Says:

    man, Bethel on Memorial Day weekend, then CO on Labor Day weekend….what a way to bookend a summer.

  9. Mike in Austin Says:

    Yep KP.

  10. willowed Says:

    I am starting to get very excited.

  11. joe Says:

    reading back a few pages:

    Kenny – do you mind leaving me the key to your place under the welcome mat so I can test drive your system for the webcast to make sure it works ok? a packed bong and fridge of cold beer would be great too. thanks

    all those en route – have a great time as I know you will. safe travels. don’t let the man get you before you get to dick’s (random side note: everytime I read dick’s I think of the Sir Mixalot song My Posse’s on Broadway. “Go back the other way, we’ll stop and eat at Dick’s”–
    Dick’s is the place where the crew hang out–
    the SWASS like to play, and the rich flaunt clout–“)

  12. willowed Says:

    Hey KP. Don’t knock the Comfort Inn. That place will be a palace compared to the shit hole we stayed in at Boston for the Trey HOB show.

    Remember when fFy busted out th Mandarin (sp?) at the chineese restaurant?

    That shit was crazy!

  13. garretc Says:

    Ay BB, huuuuuuge favor to ask of y’all:

    If any of you cats can hook it up with a cheap floor to sleep on and/or a ride from the airport tomorrow afternoon (probably right to the show I would guess…) by 3 (Pacific time) this afternoon, then I’m pulling the trigger on CO this weekend…

    Let me know: garretconour at gmail

    And if anyone has the hook on bane or other accoutrements, ideally of the low ph variety, I’d be glad to hear of it as well…

  14. Kaveh Says:

    @KP…what is your address again? I better come over and make sure, with @joe, that your system is fully operational. @joe; I’ll bring the glow sticks. HA!

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    Butterly’s Chinese is pretty outstanding, really proper.

  16. sumodie Says:

    airport to dick’s is no more than 15 min tops

    super easy to find

  17. Mike in Austin Says:

    It’s easy to find dicks in Colorado.

  18. yematt Says:

    @garretc – if i can get off work this weekend and make this trip happen, my buddy and I will most likely be getting a hotel nearby (since camping is now sold out). if you wanna crash with us and reduce costs that would be something we might be able to work out. i’ll know in a few hours if i’ll be going. this is all very last minute for us so we’re kind of making plans by the hour here. yematt at gmail

  19. BingosBrother Says:

    To all you Dickheads.


  20. phoammhead Says:

    looks like glow sticks are allowed in the stadium . . . be sure to load up before you head into the venue, folks! 😉

  21. kenny powers Says:

    lol @ joe and kaveh!

    yes willowed, that shit was wacky. nothing like dine-in Chinese, cocktails at 3:00pm, and a fellow BBer suddenly busting out fluent Mandarin with the waitstaff.

    that hotel was a total shithole! only because i knew i would be completely fucked up late night did i not mind staying there. when Phish played Fenway the bar in that place’s basement had like 2 inches of standing water from the fairly normal rain outside.

  22. Kaveh Says:

    be sure to load up before you head into the venue

    ^or @KP’s place. 🙂

  23. Kaveh Says:

    E72: Just started the plunge into the first Dark Star (04.08.72: Night 2) of the tour.

  24. kayatosh Says:

    I’ve got the power!

    celebrating w/ gorge RnR and (mike) vick’s vapor action.

  25. Dr Pronoia Says:

    Thanks guys for the recs. I’m going 4/14, 5/3, 5/7, and 5/11

    Kaveh – If I get meth-style addicted to ’72, I may just take you up on your offer of more burning!

    Have an amazing run all you Dickers. My UIC 3-pack was a peak music-and-friends experience, and I’m really excited for everyone going to have just as transcendent a time in beautiful Colorado

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