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. P.S.H.S. Says:

    8/93 is razor sharp, love it, especially miner picks. don’t get me wrong i love the live bait. it’s hard for me to explain, but if i have a chance to really listen to any music for a little time, which i don’t have much of lately, i go straight for the new stuff

  2. joe Says:

    thanks halcy. I’m not savy enough to figure out the work around on the archive and was really trying to get 2-24-1974. I can pluck something out of the blog I guess. (I know the trick is typing in download instead of details in the url, but can’t do it from there…)

  3. P.S.H.S. Says:

    i’m also a 97-98 kinda guy too , because it’s when i first started seeing them. but, the storage/funk/abstract crazyness that happened during the gorge rnr is the best of all worlds for me

  4. alf Says:

    oh yeah, there’s a new live bait. just made my night a lot better.

    joe, change ‘details’ to ‘download’ in the url of any archive show page, download the vbr mp3s

  5. joe Says:

    thanks alf – I was 99% there.

  6. halcyon Says:


    The acoustic Jerry Set from last week is great. check out the montana show from a month or so ago as well .

    This one is awesome. Especially the Wharf Rat

    Dead Show/podcast for 7/8/11
    This week’s Deadpod features the second set of the show that marked the introduction of Keith Godchaux to the Grateful Dead family. This is quite an interesting second set, and really shows the band in transition from its earlier sound to the sound that would characterize it throughout 1972. In particular listen to the sound on ‘That’s It for the Other One’.. it leads into a heart breakingly beautiful Wharf Rat..

    Grateful Dead – October 19, 1971
    Northrup Auditorium – Minneapolis, MN
    Set 2:
    Ramble On Rose
    Me And Bobby McGee
    Brokedown Palace
    That’s It For The Other One ->
    Wharf Rat
    Sugar Magnolia
    Uncle John’s Band ->
    Not Fade Away ->
    Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad ->
    Not Fade Away

  7. Pauly Ballz Says:

    @halcyon. Perhaps a link? So beautifully described! Want to hear this!!

  8. Mike in Austin Says:

    Thumbs up to the 10/19/71 show.

  9. Mike in Austin Says:

    I’d never shelve a year of Phish or an era. They are all unique, and all have some very fantastic qualities. But I get maybe the setlists aren’t quite what you’re looking for back then, but the music, esp, the jams?

    The ’93 It’s Ice and Wedge in LB6 reminds me of how my jaw was dropped by liquid fingers Trey. And that ’93 Wedge with Page’s Piano … sounded so good compared to that cheesy keyboard synth he used to play. You can tell he loved playing a quality Piano on stage.

    I agree with AW on the ’95 RR too. That summer was wild. Blink and it was gone. Start in CO a quickie then IN and TN, then they hugged the East Coast. Then they mostly didn’t play July and August again until Sept. It was a very short summer tour.

    I love Storage Jam, and Gorge RnR, et al, but the playing by Trey back then was … awe inspiring. Back then, I did actually push up to the front of the stage just to watch Trey’s fingers.

    I think the “move to groove” in later years was just Trey trying to get guys like me to listen to the whole band, and when they grooved together, there is magic in all of them. Some of the greatest melodic “whole band” sound is coming out in 95 and 96 and stuff like that Riverport Gin in ’98.

    Enjoy all the eras. They all have huge merit.

  10. Pauly Ballz Says:

    Dude: Everything rocks. In its own unique way. Wrd my brah! Right on.

  11. joe Says:


  12. garretc Says:

    Well, thinking about hitting dicks was fun for the day I guess… I thought my growing attraction to dicks was going to overwhelm me, but saner (but not necessarily better) heads prevailed…

    At least I have 3 nights of Furthur in Eugene to look forward to in a few weeks! It’s no Phish 3 night run, but fuck, it’s closer, cheaper, and I’ll be raging it with my hometown crew of PNW college transplants…

    Y’all take good care of dicks out in CO for me, ya hear?

  13. Mike in Austin Says:

    I find consolation in Garrets post. Sad of me, but I do. Thank goodness for this webcast.

    Someone really does have to stop George Lucas from himself.

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    On solo dad duty tonight AND have to do a 7 way conference call with China, in Chinese, for 2 hours. Really hoping the kiddo does not wake up (she always does), but what can I do? Got her bathed, jammied, read to, story made up and told and now she is sleeping. Not so easy when you cannot nurse!

  15. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ’94-’95- Some of the best years of my life. Junior and Senior years at college, seeing a ton of Dead and Phish shows. Cut my teeth on the live music scene big time during that period. Saw some great shows. Was interesting to catch the end of the Dead while at the same time being witness to the rise of the Phish. The torch was being passed.

    Just loaded up the HD to dive into some ’95 Phish.

  16. joe Says:

    In my day, we saw the dead AND phish. ate all the lsd on lot and the girls didn’t wear any panties…we’ve got some old bastards around here (myself included)

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Going with 7/2/95, randomly

    Sunday, 07/02/1995
    Summer Stage at Sugarbush, North Fayston, VT

    Set 1: Sample in a Jar > The Divided Sky, Gumbo, The Curtain > Julius, Camel Walk, Reba[1], I Didn’t Know, Rift, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

    Set 2: Runaway Jim -> Makisupa Policeman -> Scent of a Mule, Tweezer -> Ha Ha Ha > Sleeping Monkey, Acoustic Army, Slave to the Traffic Light
    Encore: Halley’s Comet > Tweezer Reprise

    [1] No whistling.
    Notes: This was a benefit show for the King Street Youth Center. The band brought back Camel Walk, which hadn’t been played since February 24, 1989 (757 shows). Reba did not have the whistling ending and Trey announced during Makisupa that this was “4:20…. Day”.

  18. poop goblin Says:

    amen Joe!

  19. poop goblin Says:

    packing finally

    starting up this UIC night 2 set II

  20. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Spun that one the other night poopster. Great set. Only song that i wasn’t feeling was the Day in the Life, but then again, i haven’t felt that tune in a long time. Was a weird placement as well.

    I’m a fan of Numberline and Theme, so those don’t bother me like some people. I’ll take a set like that, with the huge Disease>Twist any day of the week. Smokin.

  21. Mike in Austin Says:

    Funny Palmer, I was gonna post, that the only two shows I wish I had seen was the Great Woods and Fayston, VT shows. Great 4 day run.

    That summer flashed by quick since it was mostly just June. Red Rocks -> IN, TN then it was mostly east coast shows after that. Tough for a midwest kid. They mostly played only June and a few days in July.

    I had graduated from college, moved to Austin, new car, etc. Dropped $8K in DELL in May of 1995 with my signing bonus. Felt broke but had a brokerage account. That DELL investment (and BVSN and VIGN) paid for a lot of ’96, ’97 and ’98 and ’99 Phish.

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Nice Mia. Wise move investing back then. Summer of ’95 i caught The Mann shows ( scene of the chick with the rats), JB, and then Great Woods. I started my career the week after Great Woods. Good summer.

  23. Mike in Austin Says:

    too many “mostly’s” in that post. Can’t take the midwest out of this kid.

  24. joe Says:

    that great woods show was the one that really really hooked me for good. mentioned a million times before I’m sure, but had someone tape it off the radio as well (R.I.P WBCN) and must have listened to that one every day for a few years it seems. (until I had new year’s 96-97 taped off the same station) got the same recording from miner’s archives a bit ago and it feels like I’m 23 again.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I often forget how brilliant a well executed Divided Sky is these days. Shame on me.

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