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. Gavinsdad Says:

    A circus of light

    White house subs

  2. MiA Says:

    My iPhone crashed too. And my home button is broken. Fuck Apple.

    This iPhone 4 is getting kinda slow at times too. I’m rebooting this thing more often than Windows.

    And it double posts.

    My only thought on the markets is that capital controls are not good. If that is happening, then things are gonna get ugly. Don’t care where you live, but if someone says you can’t access your money anymore. You panic.

    Trying to keep the panic down is what they are trying to do in Europe. But insolvent banks can’t prop up insolvent banks. Unless you can back it up with Taxpayer money like we did in the US.

    The ECB can’t shove it down the throats of the citizens of Europe (read Germany) like the Congress/Fed did to US citizens.

    I wouldn’t hold too much long right now. Return of capital is sometimes better than the return on capital.

    Gold is good. But physical is best. Who knows.

    Enjoy Phish now. While its out there.

  3. ThePigSong Says:

    Pretty sure Troy is/was a PT thing, but it started here organically.

  4. snowbank Says:

    Good point DF. But then that wouldn’t be a typo.

    Alf: Settings>General>Keyboard- you can change it there.

  5. MiA Says:

    Troy, Troy, Troy

    Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.

  6. MiA Says:

    Dissecting a joke is messy.

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    I really hope they’ve been practicing Antelope. It is a quintessential phish song for me and they haven’t even been able to time the opening punch right for most of 3.0, much lesss tear it apart the way Antelope should. 8/12/96 Antelope is the 1st time I got it and the awful timing in 3.0 really chaps my ass.

  8. Gavinsdad Says:

    Bingos – I’ve only really dug the spunk of the utica lope. I’m totally with you…it needs real help. I Need one to scare the shit out of me.

  9. xpun Says:

    “And it double posts.”

    dont blame your paddlin on your phone mia, the rest of us have controlled it 😉

    hop you and the mrs had a great day, congrats again

  10. stapes Says:

    Woostah Carini is so freaking good.

  11. GhostPhunk Says:

    ‘I Need one to scare the shit out of me.’

    Love this.

  12. xpun Says:

    best part of roo webcast was hanging in here talking to the bb

    when shit was good we shut up and listened, when it was bad we laughed, and when it was alaska’d we had little mini melt-downs

    its like being able to talk at shows AND not distract from the music.
    i dont talk, i dont sit, dont take piss breaks….i dance

    rooster’d btw

    AC will fuck your face

  13. xpun Says:

    carini 2 for 2 in this young year


    Sounds good Snowbank. I’m cool with manual selection. You know the “awesome” clip of Jimmy Valvano running on the court looking for someone to hug after NC State upset Villanova in the 1983 NCAA’s? That was me after my first listen to 6/7/12 at about 2:45am on 6/8/12.

  15. MiA Says:

    Thanks xpun. Great day today.

  16. ThePigSong Says:

    We woulda shat ourselves over that Sand plinko section in 09/10. I realize this is still happening, but it’s for the product as a whole, not one section in one song in one show of many.

  17. xpun Says:

    bh – same here. waited for live phish app to get show and listened straight through. that 2nd set was exactly what the entire community needed to start this tour. could not have felt better in those wee hours of the 8th

  18. MiA Says:

    This place is filled with funny cats.

    The meme days were tough to get through. Spent the whole day howling with laughter.

  19. ThePigSong Says:

    Love having tour around, people actually post after six pm. That said, Nellie Kane has finished my mkDevo night. I think I may youtube both Woosta shows to the TV while I putz around the house all day tomorrow.

  20. Alf Says:

    Don’t really hear 77 dancing but I do hear a bit of country style jamming right before the move to nellie kane, so that the nk is more of a developed idea than a total change in direction.

    Totally patient, a slightly slower tempo than lately to ease in the jam instead of aggressively attack it. Almost little feat infused. Fish hopped right on treys lead for nellie bc they were already moving in the bluegrass direction

  21. xpun Says:

    sweet man….ended up a shit show here….got the whole youre not my real dad business which i expected going in so was able to brush off…..teenage girls are something else…..

    blah,blah fuckit not trying to piss on your tea party

    glad you had fun. thats important..obviously


    I think I was subconsciously going “contrarian” on the 2nd set Alaska comment whilst trying to make a point regarding how tempo can totally transform a tune… and not so much commentary on Alaska. I am weirdly an Alaska fan though… Sorry.


    I think I was subconsciously going “contrarian” on the 2nd set Alaska comment whilst trying to make a point regarding how tempo can totally transform a tune… and not so much commentary on Alaska. I am weirdly an Alaska fan though… Sorry.

  24. Alf Says:

    First paddlin

    Night kids

  25. xpun Says:

    welcome to the club bh although mia should really be here for your first 😉

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