Miner’s Picks: Summer Leg II

"Rock and Roll" - 8.5.11 - The Gorge (Graham Lucas)

Phish was riding high from a standout June tour and phenomenal festival when the hit the road for their second leg of summer. Beginning at the West Coast musical shrine of the Gorge, things started on an incredibly high note. From night one of tour we saw Phish integrate their newest abstract style of “storage jamming” into their live shows. Throwing down a seminal piece of modern-generation Phish on the first night of tour in “Rock and Roll -> Meatstick” things were off and running in a hurry. Pushing forward in their stylistic reinvention, the band incorporated this new-style psychedelia into all of their shows, even if only in small spots. The band was moving forward again, and there was no looking back. Following the night of insanity at the Gorge came the LA “Piper,” Tahoe’s “Light” and “Ghost,” UIC’s “Elements Set” of 8.15 and the next night’s “Down With Disease.” The band was comfortable taking massive musical risks again, and more often than not they were succeeding with flying colors. On a tour that lasted only two weeks, Phish still managed to crank out quite a few highlights. Capped at UIC by the only indoor stand of the summer, Phish’s second leg like it passed in a blink…but the music remains. My favorite pieces from Leg Two are below.

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“Roggae” - 8.5 I, Quincy, WA

The laid-back, West Coast psychedelic vibe took hold right away at the Gorge, sinking in deeply with this surreal sunset version of “Roggae.”

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“Rock and Roll -> Meatstick -> Boogie On” - 8.5 II

The jam of the year and, perhaps, the defining musical sequence of the modern era. Page’s Theremin was re-introduced in the live setting after the band’s groundbreaking Storage Jam, bringing new sounds into the mix while facilitating a new style of abstract jamming.

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“Farmhouse” - 8.5 II

“Oh snap! Did Miner just drop a “Farmhouse” on his picks?!” Indeed, I did. The cosmic energy from the previous 50 minutes spilled over into a beautifully reflective version of Phish’s ballad.

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“Wolfman’s -> Maze” - 8.6 I, Quincy, WA

Passing through a “Heartbreaker” tease within the monstrous rhythms of the jam, Phish built from this groove-based outing into “Maze,” a combo that cranked up the intensity of the first set.

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8.6.11 (G.Lucas)

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Tweezer > Caspian -> Sand -> Tweezer” - 8.6 II

If wide-open Phish grooves are your thing, this sequence is for you. Featuring an underrated “Tweezer” and my favorite “Sand” from the second leg, this is a can’t miss sequence of dance floor Phish. The “Sand -> Tweezer” is below.

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“Run Like an Antelope” - 8.6 II

Musically recapping most of the set within the song’s intro, Phish finished the job with a “Golden Age” jam in the “Antelope.” A supercharged version in a season that wasn’t necessarily full of them.

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“Tube” - 8.8 I, Hollywood, CA

A powerhouse few minutes from the first set of Hollywood.

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“Piper” - 8.8 II

This standout “Piper” capped a fierce (and underrated) set-opening sequence of “Carini > Crosseyed > Twist” at the Hollywood Bowl, and became the improvisational highlight of the show.

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“David Bowie” - 8.9 I

This rarely-placed, mid-first set “Bowie” anchored a strong opening set in Tahoe with a dark and intricate excursion.

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8.10.11 - Lake Tahoe (John Crouch)

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“Light” - 8.9 II, Stateline, NV

An exploratory, bass led epic that—like the Gorge’s “Rock and Roll”—reached musical places never before touched in the band’s career.

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“Chalk Dust -> Slave” – 8.9 II

Two ripping renditions of classic songs that were tactfully bridged by an delicate breakdown of “Chalk Dust.”

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“Runaway Jim > Ghost” - 8.10 II, Stateline, NV

In my mind, Phish should have rode out the magical plane they found in “Runaway Jim,” but they didn’t. Cutting a potentially stellar jaunt short with “Ghost,” the band took the second piece from rock to storage psychedelia in a version that takes the cake for the best of a weak second leg for the song.

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“Wolfman’s Brother” - 8.15 I, Chicago, IL

With a completely original jam all together, this version gets my vote for “Wolfman’s” of the year.

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“Reba” - 8.15 I

Riding the cresting momentum of the first set, this “Reba” hit the spot at UIC.

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UIC Pavilion (Chad Smith)

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“Sand > Light > Dirt” - 8.15 II

The beginning combo of the “Elements Set,” a standout segment that has been overshadowed by the latter par of the frame. Phish took another dive into original, abstract, and intergalactic realms in “Light.”

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“Waves -> Undermind > Steam” - 8.15 II

One of the most compelling jam sequences of the second leg, Page broke out his Theremin again for a spiritual soiree at towards the end of “Undermind.”

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“Harry Hood” - 8.15 E

The exalting exclamation point on a remarkble night in Chicago, and the best “Hood” of the summer that wasn’t played in Colorado.

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“Chalk Dust Torture” - 8.16 I, Chicago, IL

A third-song scorcher from UIC’s second show.

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“Limb by Limb” - 8.16 I

Taken into plinkofied planes, this first set “Limb” came as a surprise and delightful highlight of its set.

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8.9.10 - Lake Tahoe (John Crouch)

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“Down with Disease -> Twist” - 8.16 II

This exploratory “Disease” touches on countless places, though settles in few; a post-hiatus style jam without the opiates. A smooth transition into “Twist” capped a wild ride.

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“Bathtub Gin” - 8.17 I, Chicago , IL

A cathartic musical farewell, albeit for only a couple weeks.

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“Crosseyed > No Quarter” - 8.17 II

The only sequence really worth including from a fun, but musically anti-climactic final set of tour.

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1,017 Responses to “Miner’s Picks: Summer Leg II”

  1. willowed Says:

    First real concert I ever saw was Blues Traveler at the Rocky Point Palladium in R.I.

    I will remember it forever.

  2. willowed Says:

    8th grade smokin izm in the bathroom. Life was good.

  3. sumodie Says:

    Featured on the top webpage of the nytimes this morning:

    “Electronic Dance Concerts Turn Up Volume, Tempting Investors”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/business/media/electronic-dance-genre-tempts-investors.html

    (in case anyone thought “raves” weren’t popular anymore: the Electric Daisy Carnival is branching out to NJ this May and sold 60,000 tix in 3 hours last month)

  4. sumodie Says:

    R.I.P. Rocky Point

    saw Jane’s Addiction there in ’91!

  5. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Blues Traveler played Halloween at G’burg my freshman year.

    Spin Doctors played Halloween there my Soph. year

    I think in ’96 Panic played, the year after i graduated , but i came back for that show.

    HORDE hysteria back then. All those bands were huge. I think Rusted Root even had a gig, maybe senior year. They sucked balls

  6. sumodie Says:

    Huh, BT played Rocky Point in Aug ’91 -that’s the summer I got into them and I was also in Providence. Wonder if I went to that show….can’t recall my first BT show

    gotta luv google:

    http://www.bluestraveler.net/archive/searches/setlist_display.php?show_id=340

  7. willowed Says:

    I figured you knew the Rocky Point Palladium Sumo

    That’s old school

  8. sumodie Says:

    Willowed, you off to Oakdale Further on Sat? Was tempting but I opted instead for Seun Kuti in Hudson NY

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Anyone work for a company that doesn’t allow you access to your personal e-mail on work cpu? Curious.

  10. tzara's Says:

    Having some fun tonight with the Weir/Hornsby show. Just on the Weir set so far, but bringing back some memories. Looking forward to the joint set.

    3/31: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=554013

    4/1: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=554025

  11. albert walker Says:

    this quakers album really is ridiculous

    get it

  12. tzara's Says:

    Need to check that out, PooG. Rhapsody only has a few tracks available but it sounds hot.

  13. tzara's Says:

    You dig Gorrilaz at all, or are they just poser cartoons? Have a couple friends who like them. Plastic Beach sounds alright.

  14. voopa Says:

    tg- I dig most of the stuff Danger Mouse has done…Gorillaz, Broken Bells, Gnarls, etc…the albums he did w/Beck & Black Keys are great too, of course.

  15. dorn76 Says:

    6-1 BC over MN tonight! Just ridiculously fast and skilled for a college team, and the goalie is a wall. Pretty tought to beat. I think the shot total was basically even, tells you how slick these guys are.

    One more step to the title! Ferris St. has their hands full.

  16. tzara's Says:

    Nice voopa, didn’t make the connection with broken bells, I remember liking that. Need to get back on the new music thing a little better. Tonight might be the new Chromatics album, on recommendation.

  17. MiA Says:

    BC looked great. Congrats to those guys.

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