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. Robear Says:

    AAPL about to pass GOOGLE

    markets up, jobs down, it’s some funky old shit
    still comin’ round

  2. tela'smuff Says:

    Baddeley looking good. his game so far dialed in. something to think about.

    tempting @leo. tell Eliz to email Brooke and convince her it makes good sense to fly out to Charlotte for the show in August. 🙂

  3. litteringand Says:

    A Justin Rose and clogged my nose
    Before I could blink twice

  4. Leo Weaver Says:

    I’ll do that tela’s. good luck on your end!

  5. albert walker Says:

    more band I’ve never heard of getting me excited for summer

    http://www.pitchfork.com/news/46040-beach-house-wild-flag-real-estate-cults-atlas-sound-big-krit-added-to-pitchfork-music-festival/

  6. willowed Says:

    Ricky Fowler is a flat brimmer. I wonder if he is the goto man on the PGA Tour if you want to score some Mawl

  7. albert walker Says:

    you peeps need to realize that only white hats in the 90’s rock the hard bend on their brim

    its like wearing jnco jeans or Z cavaricci pants if that’s still your look

    the rest of us in 2012 like RIcky Fowler rock em flat. may want to join the 21st century.

  8. voopa Says:

    Yeah no.

  9. Guyute711 Says:

    I suppose I should keep the tag on my hat too eh?

  10. albert walker Says:

    just bustin balls. with the return of the snap back lately a soft bend is actually coming back.

    but on a new era fitted. gotta rock it flat.

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    i tried a felt brim, but the bubble on the top front looks ridiculous on my head. if i try to pull down to much, my ears stick out like Spock. so i’m stuck with a semi-flat brim.

    i’m bringing back the visor and fanny pack this summer.

  12. Chonz Says:

    I love Ween. They were there for me when I was no longer hitting Phish shows from 99-09. Saw 50+ shows, drove countless miles, and had my entire social life revolve around Ween during that time.

    But I’ve kind of come to a point with Ween, that feels all too familiar to the wayI felt about Phish when they weren’t doing it for me anymore. Maybe it’s overexposure, or maybe the unexpected way my Phish passion has reignited over the past few years is diminishing my passion for Ween.

    Last year was the first year since 1997 that I haven’t seen Ween live. This is a record that is unmatched by any other band, and I don’t see any way that that will ever be matched. 13 straight years of seeing at least 1 Ween show. While I did have fun at the last Ween shows I saw (Halloween ’10 in CO), it came no where close to the intensity or creativity I used to feel from them.

    I feel like Mickey’s fishing expeditions and Aaron’s struggles with addiction have Ween up against the ropes. They played mostly festival sets last year, with only a few selected full shows. No new album since La Cucaracha (which frankly sucks) in ’07, and no new songs added to live show since they started covering Let’s Dance at every single show since ’10. (At MSG on 12/29/11 I was talking to a buddy of mine about the Ween shows in CO and I predicted that at midnight on New Years Ween would play ALS -> Let’s Dance, and I was right from three days and 3000 miles away.) I would be suprised if they even play a show this year.

    Anyway, sorry for the long rant, but this is a topic that I have been struggling with for a while.

    Nothing will ever be able to take The Pod from me though.

  13. dorn76 Says:

    Tiger is putting lights out.

  14. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    I rock the visor with a fauxhawk!

  15. albert walker Says:

    for me Ween will always be the band that made that brilliant record The Pod and was a get shitty drunk and have a blast live band

    not enough setlist variability or style differences for me to really travel to see em. probably seen 25 plus shows mostly in the 90’s.

    I do have friends way into it that try to sell me on their full band shows being better than I gave them credit for but I never got it I guess. just fun dirty rock to my ears. once or twice a year a blast though.

    seems like last 3 times I saw them though not much setlist variability at all.

  16. albert walker Says:

    fuck. knew I should have bought DROP into the masters. penny stock that sponsors Tiger.

    stock went from .29c to .44c in the last 2 weeks.

  17. tela'smuff Says:

    @Chonz – i agree that the focus seems to have faltered with Ween. Gener seems to be the problem more so than Mickey. Mickey said he hates making records now, so who knows. Agree La Cucaracha was subpar compared to their other albums, but it still has some great additions to list. Gene has a solo album coming out soon. also agree that the setlist variation is lacking, especially given their huge catalogue. although the Denver shows recently they did try to break their record for most unique songs played over three days. so we didn’t get any repeats for the first two days, and got some rarities. really great shows. but i feel ya, Ween seems to be at an impasse.

  18. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Garrigus was a big druggie apparently. Dude ripped it while he was playing event on the PGA tour. Probably scored his shit from flat brim Fowler.

  19. Guyute711 Says:

    Always have rocked the curved brim. I use my hats to keep the sun out of my eyes and hide my blazed eyes.

    La Cucaracha has a few good tunes on it but it’s no Chocolate and Cheese or Quebec or Mollusk or 12 Country……you get the point. They have been around for a long fucking time so kudos to them.

  20. Spasm Waiter Says:

    NYC’ers- Going to check some live tunes at Bowery Electric this Friday. My buddies band is playing the 10 slot. He said opening bands at 8 and 9 are both solid. Anyone interested can get info at:
    http://www.theboweryelectric.com/dave-wanamaker-ocean-carolina/
    Shoot me an email if you wanna meet up derrbot at gmail dot com

  21. garretc Says:

    Those of you who’ve seen me in my show-standard SF hat (which is pretty much anybody that’s seen me at a show) know I’m a slight curve guy myself.

    I’m simply too suburban white to pull off the flat brim without feeling like I’m trying way too hard, something I’ve come to accept without much effort, frankly.

  22. Lycanthropist Says:

    I am just not cool enough to rock a flat brim..

    so I went with the straw fedora look

  23. Guyute711 Says:

    Bad news Lycan, you aren’t cool enough for that either. Ha ha

  24. Lycanthropist Says:

    I am just not cool enough to rock a flat brim..

    so I went with the straw fedora look.

    i can pull it off ok..

  25. Lycanthropist Says:

    haha

    apparantly not cool enough to properly post either.

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