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. tela'smuff Says:

    that’s why i love ya G. Phish, Ween, Funkadelic. you like those three bands, you can almost get away with anything with me.

  2. Guyute711 Says:

    So I told my boss I was headed back to NY for the weekend and he throws me $100 and tells me to take my Mother out to dinner. I don’t make as much as I would like at this job but the perks here and there are pretty nice.

  3. Leo Weaver Says:

    Wow. really strange looking at Augusta Nat all green…no drifts of color from the azaleas. Thanks Ma Nature!

  4. Leo Weaver Says:

    You fell into a great place to work G$

  5. albert walker Says:

    ween talk

    early lo fi 8 track stuff brilliant. although I do find them to be one of the more entertaining touring rock bands out there I do feel their brilliance was somewhat lost when they dropped the drum machine backing and went full band. something about those early Dean, Gene, and the drum machine shows just work for me.

    maybe I just hold a spot in my heart for dudes pullin scotch guard bongs made to look like famous Leonard Cohen album covers

    always up for a few ween shows a year
    love me some dirty bizness

    have fun peeps
    big day. Cubs Opener and markets closed for Good Friday tomorrow!

  6. dorn76 Says:

    They did, @rob.

    Lost to Union in the 1st round. Union made a run, play Ferris St.(?) in the undercard this afternoon.

  7. tela'smuff Says:

    i love Craig Stadler. portly, surly, cusses like a sailor. somehow he’s a beloved figure on tour, but Tiger mutters a curse word and he’s a bad man. you don’t think Stadler has ate a pastrami sandwich in bed while getting with a stripper!? cmon!!

  8. Guyute711 Says:

    I hate the fact that I have only seen Ween once. Whenever they would roll through town through the years I always seemed to be on Phish tour. Go figure. When I finally did see them I wasn’t expecting them to be as good live. I was wrong.

  9. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Golf Live–>
    http://www.cbssports.com/video/player/masters-live?ttag=ML12_on_sem_pgat

  10. Leo Weaver Says:

    But Craig’s the Walrus, man! Tiger’s just…well, Tiger.

  11. MiA Says:

    MN is looking great for playing BC. Have my MN NCAA Hockey champs hat on today. MN is the Kentucky of Hockey right now.

  12. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    MiA Says:
    April 5th, 2012 at 5:19 am
    Telling my coworkers that I’m ready for dinner at 4:30 makes me feel even weirder.

    ^ At Luby’s?

  13. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Fuck the Gophers!

  14. dorn76 Says:

    Just checked the leaderboard on the masters site, was able to click on Tiger and watch a vid with each of his shots on #1.

    This coverage is the best of any major sporting event.

  15. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Just hating because my team flailed early in the tourney. They are a good team and quite a legacy.

  16. MiA Says:

    I’ll pretend you didn’t say that PB.

  17. MiA Says:

    MN has zero credence in any NCAA sport, other than Hockey. It’s all we can hold dear from my Alma mater.

  18. MiA Says:

    Did you guys see Kaymer’s skippy hole in one?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31751_162-57409468-10391697/watch-kaymers-water-skip-hole-in-one-at-augusta/

  19. Lycanthropist Says:

    Good morning gentlemen

    How goes it for everyone?

  20. tela'smuff Says:

    The Pod, Pure Guava, and C&C, are three masterpieces, and yes, the drum machine stuff is pure Ween. at the same time, The Mollusk might be their best album. White Pepper is a pop work of art, Ween-stylie. Quebec plunges into middle-aged drug abuse and depression. Much like Phish, Ween has continued to reinvent themselves and part of it was as a live touring band. when they added Claude, Glenn, and Dave and started stretching the songs out, they reached another level. They seem to get dirtier and crunchier and they get older. the 2 NYE shows i saw this year in Denver were sick!

  21. Leo Weaver Says:

    But ya got Tubby on the hardwood MiA!

  22. Leo Weaver Says:

    Hey Lycan! You gonna make it up to Cackalack this year?

  23. dorn76 Says:

    BC has been spoiled by hockey riches for a long time. Maybe they get the credit they deserve now that hoops and football are looking like perennial cellar dwellers.

  24. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Same here with my alma mater, DU, MiA.

    I have hockey in my blood, my grandfather started as goalie for WestPoint and would have been the US Olympic goalie in ’40 and ’44. Damn Nazis!

    Dad played in highschool and college?

    Interesting aside is that in little league baseball I could always duck into a pitch to get on base if I got behind in the count. This was before I even knew the family legacy of gettting directly in front of launched sports projectiles.

  25. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Pretending I did not say you were going to Luby’s?

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