Viewing ‘Roo Through the Screen

Official Bonnaroo Print (Kelly)

Yesterday was my first webcast. It was odd at first. It certainly didn’t seem real; more like watching an old DVD I had never discovered. Instead of dancing, I texted my friends and posted on Twitter for much of the first show—the entire experience felt different than a Phish show. But then I got into it. The soundboard feed and crystal clear video began to draw me in, and my first night of couch tour turned into fun time. It was certainly a novelty—bong hits on the couch while cranking the show in the early evening in California? Not a wook to be seen? No spilled beers? Not so bad, really. Was it a substitute for being there? Not at all. But watching live was certainly a great option to be as close to Manchester, Tennessee as I desired.

I don’t feel that one can give a review of a show without being there to experience—it’s just not a genuine take. But in the interest of consistency throughout the summer, I figured I’d share some thoughts on the three segments of the show that stood out the most.

“Tweezer” I

After a long string of standardized singles in the first set, the band really brought me off the couch late in the opening set with the first “Tweezer” of 2012. As soon as the band launched into the jam, they dropped into virtual silence for a few measures before creeping into a very minimalist groove. With almost no backbeat, Trey began to weave a signature staccatto—or  “plinko”—lick into the mix, pushing the delicate groove forward. Each of the the band members were laying so far back in was as if they each had their own Lazy Boy, and the result was quiet and collaborative sonic tapestry. Fishman gradually built up the jam’s rhythmic backbone, as Page stepped up for the second part of the jam. But aside from Trey’s final guiar solo, this version strayed from a conventional “Tweezer” territory, continuing the fresh trend of Worcester. After the peak, the band slid into a brief ambient outro in which Fishman seemed to be hinting at “My Left Toe.” But Trey ended any such ideas with the opening riff of “Free.”

“Carini -> Shafty” II

Bonnaroo 2012

For the second time in three shows, Phish used “Carini” as a second set launch pad into sinister waters. While Worcester’s version traveled into ambient dementia, Bonnaroo’s maintained a hard-edged psych rock vibe, as Mike anchored the jam with gargantuan bass grooves. Rather than soloing, Trey favored seething, uncompressed, Hendrix-like guitar growls while Mike and Page led the thick, psychedelic brew. As the band added layers of spacier effects over the groove, Trey took a high-register staccato solo over the increasingly abstract music. The final segment saw him carving out notes with long sustain as Mike soon decided to drop the “Shafy” bassline behind the jam. For the second time this tour, Mike was the apparent decision maker of musical direction, and this time, Trey quickly fell in line, coalescing in a smooth segue. This two-song sequence was the no-doubt highlight of the second set, while featuring the first “Shafty” since Miami ’03.

 “Harry Hood -> Light” I


Towards the end of the second set, Phish dropped this unlikely song pairing. But before we get to the segue, let’s talk about the “Hood!” While Worcester’s version was nice, Bonnaroo’s was in another league. Playing with incredible passion, Trey lit up this rendition with original melodies that were distinctly different from his usual arsenal, and his finger dexterity and fluidity was on full display again. Mike responded throughout the jam with unique lines of his own, and “Hood” fully elevated with their ongoing, creative exchange. Once the band reached the top of the cathartic jam, instead of moving into “Hood’s” final section, Trey used the expected change to move into “Light” via a series of choppy rhythm chords.  This unexpected shift mimicked a similar transition from the band’s set at Austin City Limits set in 2010, but this time, they got into some experimental ambient textures in “Light.” While not fully developing a jam out after the composed section, the band did build a dark and abstract sound sculpture than extended well beyond the normal song structure.

Now Phish will take an uncharacteristic four-day break before playing again Friday in Atlantic City. Enjoy the week and see you there for the continuation what looks to be a very promising tour! See you on the road…

I: Down With Disease, Funky Bitch, The Moma Dance, Sample in a Jar, Axilla, The Gambler*, Possum, Wilson, Tweezer > Free, Backwards Down the Number Line, Cavern, 

II: Golden Age > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Chalk Dust Torture, Carini -> Shafty > Rock and Roll, Alaska, Harry Hood -> Light > Character Zero, Rocky Top 

E: Show of Life, Julius, Tweezer Reprise

* w/ Kenny Rogers

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750 Responses to “Viewing ‘Roo Through the Screen”

  1. kayatosh Says:

    MJ 2001 is a had to be in the “room” thing. the energy was intense. everyone w/ head down groovin hard.

  2. mr.palmer Says:

    Shits going 7, fool. Then it’s over.

    LA is nervous as fuck right now.

  3. mr.palmer Says:

    Gonna say the same thing Kaya. It was awesome in the room , even though I was dealing with a person that was entirely too high the whole time.

  4. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    I’m fucked if it goes 7 cuz my ride to ac wants to go to game 7 if it’s happening

  5. tela'smuff Says:

    yeah, i wasn’t there, but the energy seemed to be pretty high. i would have had fun. kinda like that Miami ’03 2001 with the P-Funk tease.

  6. tela'smuff Says:

    from youtube vids i’ve seen i should mention.

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    df is screwed.

  8. mr.palmer Says:

    I’ve never listened to the p funk medley . Everyone told me is was so bad, embarrassing actually, I figured why bother. Have the show, never listen to that part.

  9. kayatosh Says:

    decent aud. of last night up if you want to check the highlights.

    what the hey happened to the mrkt. today? bull fail. is the gig up? bank runs and rebellion in our future?

    check out the real situation
    nation war against nation
    where did it all begin
    where will it end?

  10. ElJefe Says:

    Palm it was pretty bad! Rest of the show was pretty cool. Good Dwd jam if I recall…

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    not the medley @mr P. that was fairly bad, although i’ve always liked that show because i love George, and the spectacle of that situation was so interesting to me. maybe if i was there i would have hated it. who knows.

    what i’m referring to is the 2001 in the first set. they change the jam and get real slow and do a little PFunk (Want’s to Get Funked Up) jam that is pretty cool. then they throw in some other teases.

  12. stapes Says:

    re: Woostah DwD it definitely sounds like the whole band was done, not necessarily just TreyDHD. And man do I too wish they had kept up that nice little groove they had just started. To me it almost sounded similar to a theme they hit on for awhile in the Woostah ’97 Runaway Jim. Super nice stuff.

    That Miami ’03 first set had some Steely Dan ‘Showbiz Kids’ licks thrown in the Gin. Love that.

  13. poop goblin Says:

    Markets want more from Germany Kaya. The Spanish bank $$$ is just the first step. Everyone’s saying retest of last bounce but headline risk seems dangerous.

    Crazy game of euro chickin

    Lean short but be nimble cuz a euro bond announcement is an instant 10% rally probably over 2 days.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    because of course there would be, there’s a rip of last night’s video on the noid

  15. tela'smuff Says:

    i actually think that 12-30 show is one of the best of the year besides the PFunk stuff, but even then, i like the story and idea they use to bring out Pfunk. That 12-30 first set is maybe the best first set of the year. i think it was the first Sand of 2.0, and introduced the more rocking version we get today. Sand->Shafty ->NICU is pretty perfect if i recall. A nice Weigh bustout and a Cities then end it with Gin->2001. i loved that set. The second set is madness really, all the way through. hitting that crack pipe.

  16. stapes Says:

    The Sand->Shafty is super slick, imo. Completely organic transition.

    Organic, brah.

  17. ElJefe Says:

    Tela is that the 2nd set with the Birds/LA Woman madness?

  18. poop goblin Says:

    AC batch Jack herer wax taste test + woostah 2001

  19. kayatosh Says:

    poop G: the report out of a german news agency about euro bond talks and the possibility of further china easing had me close my short pos. today at just above breakeven. the continuation of the slide was unexpected and brutal. should have been greedy and not fearful. the bull’s horns are dull. bulls need to hold the line or gets ugly fast near term.

  20. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Taking Phish break for a bit. Kaya caused me to get some Miles Davis – Tribute to Jack Johnson on the brain. Sick record.

  21. kayatosh Says:

    folded em too soon.

    bring on friday. bring on the fun.

  22. kayatosh Says:

    shafty ftw! great song. used to be known as olivia’s pool.

  23. GhostPhunk Says:

    Pretty great start to game 6

  24. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ..or Oblivious Fool…

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    1st goal is critical @ Bingo’s Bro

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