TTFT: The Season of the Whale—June 2010

6.26.10 - Merriweather (Graham Lucas)

We last left our modern-era audio retrospective after wrapping up the comeback year of 2009 in Miami. This week, let’s take a look back at the the year that was 2010. After six long months off—a time filled with promise—Phish came back at Toyota Park in Chicago, kicking off Leg One of summer with a blistering two-set effort amidst sweltering heat. Coming off a practice session at UIC Pavilion, the band’s beginning-of-tour momentum carried through Blossom and Hershey Park as they opened up the run with three of its stronger shows. The following weekend featured two nights in Hartford and two in SPAC, before the band hit an improvisational breakthrough at Camden and Merriweather with jams such as 6.25’s “Chalk Dust,” 6.26’s “Rock and Roll,” and 6.27’s “Piper.” After popping north to Canandaigua, the band finished out the tour with four shows down south, each featuring flashes of greatness, but little whole show consistency.

This tour was also the month that Trey favored his whammy pedal for pitch bending, a technique affectionately (or not) nicknamed “The Whale.” Many fans lamented this more mimialist playing by Trey, but by laying back, Trey allowed Page, and specifically, Mike to step up and lead jams like never before. When Trey got finally debuted “The Ocedoc” and a more fiery style of play at The Greek, a new improvisational dynamic had emerged over Leg One that allowed the band to communicate on a more democratic level. Phish threw down many great jams during this month, and today’s playlist represent ten of my favorite in chronological order.


Ghost” 6.11, Bridgeview, IL

The improvisatioonal centrepiece of a big-time second set that opened tour with a bang.



Number Line” 6.12 II, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

One night later, this jam topped Chicago’s “Ghost,” showcasing a single-mindedness rarely seen in 2009.



Disease -> Sand” 6.17 II, Hartford, CT

An intense throwdown on night one in Hartford.



Rock and Roll > Free” 6.19 II, S.Springs, NY

This “Rock and Roll” set up the following weekend’s tour highlight version. This one from SPAC, however, ain’t too shabby either.



Drowned > Swept > Steep” 6.20, II S.Springs, NY

This sequence provided the meat of SPAC’s second performance.



Chalk Dust > Caspian” 6.25 II, Camden, NJ

Phish hadn’t dropped a jam like this all summer long. It felt like a monumental breakthrough at the time, and it still holds up just fine.



Rock and Roll > Free” 6.26 II, Columbia, MD

Right up there with the best jams of tour; a gorgeous piece of improvisation. This comes from the Saturday night of tour’s peak weekend.



Piper” 6.27 II, Columbia, MD

Amidst a thematic second set strewn with allusions to “Saw It Again,” Phish dropped the gnarliest “Piper” of the era up to that point.



Light” 7.1 II, Raleigh, NC

This was the top version from a tour in which “Light” became Phish’s preeminent jam vehicle.



Tweezer -> Slave” 7.3 II, Alpharetta, GA

Believe it or not, this was the first time that “Tweezer” and “Slave” had been paired in the band’s career—and it made for a no-brainer tour highlight.




The latest from Robert Champion of The Sloping Companion:

The Philler by The Sloping Companion on Mixcloud

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320 Responses to “TTFT: The Season of the Whale—June 2010”

  1. lumpyhead Says:

    yeah, that was after living the storage set. I was living in a state of bliss that I can’t really talk about in mixed company.

  2. kenny powers Says:

    also – Japan ’99 Limb is Trey putting on a god damn clinic.

  3. butter Says:

    @Palmer – i would get just get it checked out at the apple store while its newish still

  4. BingosBrother Says:

    10 minute Odd Future track

  5. kenny powers Says:


  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Thanks Butter. I’ll bring it to Mango.

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    UK homeboy wut

    Mike Gordon, Sunday, 03/18/2012
    The Borderline, London, United Kingdom

    Set 1: Only A Dream, Rhymes > Jaded, Be Good and You’ll Be Lonely, Barika > Spiral, Weekly Time

    Set 2: Traveled Too Far, Horizon Line, Skin It Back, What Things Seem, The Walls of Time, Cities, Dig Further Down

    Encore: Meat > You Don’t Mess Around with Jim

  8. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Cincy Zoo ’93 – great set II ( there is a sdbd out there somewhere) Solid Tweezer then the YEM>Cocaine>Yem ->Halley’s-> Slave ( see the city, see the zoo) to close her out. Hot stuff.

    Been spinning this show for a solid 15 years.

  9. alf Says:

    didn’t anyone tell you kids dubbing is a must? someone come nice it up in the tt

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    OF gives me hope for the world. those kids just have FUN. would love to rage the lot with those maniacs.

  11. Robear Says:

    this 8/3/98 ‘Halley’s from TTFF is a phricking $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Epic

  12. kenny powers Says:

    i’ve been TIED

    to the Whipping Post

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    you remastered 9.29.99 correct? is it up anywhere right now?

  14. Robear Says:

    Kp, as we get older, they etc, etc,

  15. sumodie Says:


    On March 20th, the Spring Equinox 2012, the title music for Lucifer Rising and Other Sound Tracks will have its premiere and release.

    The title music, along with other musical pieces recorded at my home studio in the early Seventies, have been revisited, remixed and released for the first time.

    This is a musical diary of avant-garde compositions and experiments, one of which was to appear on the film Lucifer Rising.

    The collection has been exhumed and is now ready for public release. This will be available exclusively on the website.

    Side One
    1) Lucifer Rising – Main Track

    Side Two
    1) Incubus
    2) Damask
    3) Unharmonics
    4) Damask – Ambient
    5) Lucifer Rising – Percussive Return

  16. kenny powers Says:


    it is on the Nerd

  17. kenny powers Says:

  18. sumodie Says:

    Stream the title track to Lucifer Rising here:

    I may have to get this one

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Beauty, Clark.

  20. kenny powers Says:

    one time i was


    then i farted

  21. sumodie Says:

    Speaking of the whale, of which I’m a fan, I just spun Greek3 today

    Love the Light jam even more now (& please, more 20YL in 2012!!!)

    those Greek 2&3 Kevorkian remasters sound incredible, I kinda wished a show or 4 from last year would’ve gotten the similar custy treatment

  22. kenny powers Says:

    i think leg I 2010 will age like wine.

    the whale is insanely psychedelic

  23. kenny powers Says:

    i honestly can’t get enough loops

    Jibboo 7/4/00


  24. angryjoggerz Says:

    doing it in NYC, though, once again I have not left a 3 block radius. I gotta get out more, at least for a meal. Oh well, work is going well, so cannot complain.

    Summer in the city is no joke either. Ladies like their shorty skirts up in this.

  25. ElJefe Says:

    Sumodie- thanks for the link. Big Jimmy Page guy. How’s it sound? Can’t listen till later. Wish he do an acoustic instrumental album.

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