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.

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Jam of the Day:

Light” 8.9.11 II

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

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/ph2011-08-09t14.mp3]

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1,022 Responses to “Tahoe Revisited”

  1. Dr Pronoia Says:

    congrats beantown

    also congrats Badgers on an impressive beat down tonight. god I’m happy college football is back

    dropped Quinn off for his first day of daycare today. that shit was sad

    oh, and I’m officially unemployed

    random, semi-drunken, personal drive-by complete

  2. joe Says:

    Congrats butter!

    Awesome jerry tunes and live bait must have been too much for the cheap memory stick. Not recognized in any computers now. Too late to audible. Going to have to go old school and sing songs around the campfire instead

  3. joe Says:

    Off for the next few days. Enjoy the shows, in person or virtually

  4. butter Says:

    thanks joe

    congrats beantown!

  5. yematt Says:

    so its a no go for me this weekend. too last minute and im needed at work. c’est la vie. my boss actually felt bad that she couldnt let me go, she kind of gets it.

  6. yematt Says:

    awesome, awesome summer though! best i’ve ever had and its absolutely because of the phish and good people. will gladly join the wings of couch tour in style in this weekend.

  7. garretc Says:

    Can’t get enough of the Gorge RnR… Unbelievable experience

  8. ThePigSong Says:

    congrats beantown!

    wish I was hittin’ Dicks this weekend. Thought seriously about it, and probably could have talked the SLF into it but I decided to go with a bomb ass anniversary present for my lady instead.

    She’ll be happy, and I can stream this weekend if it comes down to it anyway.

  9. garretc Says:

    So glad they took the time pre-show to plan out that segue > Meatstick!

  10. Bwana Says:

    bummer Garretc… No Quarter is definitely the ‘song’ I’m most psyched about catching this summer (SB9 and UIC)! Awesome psychedelia.

  11. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    Anyone got an extra camping pass for Dick’s? I’m trying to convince my buddy to roll down from Fort Collins who could use a solid weekend of Phish but it looks like camping is sold out. Hit me up at randomposternutbag at gmail

    Enjoy the shows this weekend either live or on the webcast..

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    yo. UIC 1 set II setlist was pre-written and i would bet my 17 unborn children on that shit. waddup.

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    CONGRATS BUTTER ON THE BABY

  14. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    still haven’t listened back to UIC 1 set II (have listened to the wolfman’s and anyone who doesn’t love it is A FUCKING MORON) or UIC 2 set II.

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    and yes, i am drunk. at school finally. fucking wish i could be in CO with all ya’ll. begging my family for a miami trip for new year’s. missing all of ya’ll. won’t even be webcasting, but pumped for everyone who will be there.

    it’s 12:30, everyone wake the fuck up.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    and fuck “phishfan” or whoever it was who has been trolling. he doesn’t know shit.

  17. garretc Says:

    Dang, I’ve been a “listen to whole shows” devotee for so long, but I’ve been hitting highlight jams of ’11 this evening, and, well, it’s been pretty pretty awesome…

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i know it’s been like 2 weeks or something, but i need to thank everyone who hooked me up during the UIC run.

    LW, thanks x1000 to you and your girl for letting me stay with you guys. you guys saved me. AW, thanks for getting me on the floor for the first 2 nights and getting me lifted as fuck for all 3 nights. duke thanks for hooking me up with night 3 floors. everyone else who i hung with, and i know you know who you are, thanks and i can’t wait to hang with ya’ll again soon.

    UIC, BITCHEZ

    yeah, i say bitches without hesitation, waddup

    DICK’S, BITCHES

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    fuck whole shows, whose got my complete europe ’72 in FLAC? ended up not buying it cuz i unloaded my bank account on a camera (canon 5D mark II)

  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    *who’s

  21. garretc Says:

    Dang, MSG ’10 Tweezer reminds me of both the Gorge RnR and the Tahoe Light in places, specifically around 13 minutes in, I guess…

    Hella hip

  22. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    garret, fuck what people say, MSG tweezer is the shit.

  23. Robear Says:

    DF. Wuz up? Not doing Co either. Will try my first webcast.

  24. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    woah robear no CO? i thought you were def doing it? webcast are fun though, i’m just praying that i end up hitting the new year’s run this year though and see all you guys soon enough. what was this mike interview today?

  25. RamblinMind Says:

    Mike brings his cat to the vet, just like regular people!

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