The Crab Has Vanished In the Air

Official 6/16 Print (DKNG)

Summer 2012 is a great time to be a Phish fan, and last night was another reason why. Balancing a strong, song-based performance over two sets, the band unquestionably centered the show on a surreal mash-up of “Light” and “Manteca” that stands up to the any recent sonic foray. Playing support to this centerpiece jam was an engaging set-opening combination of “Crosseyed -> Slave” and a seething, late set “Sand.” But for start to finish fluidity, this second set couldn’t touch the other four of tour. Not to diminish the playing within, but the band’s recent set craftsmanship wasn’t exactly showcased in either frame on Saturday night. Nonetheless, there are plenty of highlights to discuss, so let’s start with the brightest.

A fluid sequence of “Crosseyed -> Slave” kicked off the main event, in which the band exited the snarling rock cover with a sparse textural jam that soon built—in transcendent fashion—towards a gorgeous transition into “Slave.” But following this powerful opening couplet, the band dropped into the monster jam sequence of the night, “Light -> Manteca -> Light,” or—from here on out—”Lighteca.” Trey took a different turn when confronted with “Light’s” guitar solo, quickly deferring to the rhythmic focus of Mike and Fishman. Joining in the groove-based excursion, Trey began to subtely weave teases of “Manteca” into already similar-sounding mixture. And then—bam—the band burst into the full-blown Dizzy Gillespie cover!  As they shifted back into “Light,” they continued to groove hard in an outright musical fusion. Lacing this jam with both melodic and rhythmic teases of “Manteca,” the band sculpted an incredibly slick hybrid of the two songs. Then, as Trey switched gears with some hard rhythm chords, Fish immediately changed into a more driving beat, giving the piece a very “Chalk Dust” vibe. In fact, I was sure the band was moving slowly towards a back door transition into their rock anthem, but when they steered clear of the song—instead, veering into a lyrical “Crosseyed Reprise”— I thought it to be even cooler that they didn’t take the plunge and maintained a more subtle musical nod. Eventually dripping into a spacey outro, it sounded—momentarily—as though the band would pass into “No Quarter,” but instead they chose a fitting landing point in “Theme From the Bottom.”

6.16.12 (M.Stein)

Phish continued their setlist shakeup last night by dropping an uncharacteristic, late set “Sand.” And stylistically, this one couldn’t have been more opposite of Worcester’s version. Sidestepping the whole-band focus The Centrum, last night’s “Sand” provided a retro take on the song, as Trey took center stage, lighting his Languedoc afire. While the band certainly held down a strapping groove, the focus of this jam was on the Big Red Machine. Blending the feel of millennial versions and recent TAB renditions, this “Sand” was a heat-seeker rather than an overtly swanky collaboration. And it’s fresh to see the band with such divergent takes on within a week of each other. The band carried their lyrical “Crosseyed” reprises through the set, ending “Sand” with the second such episode of the evening. The set closed with a laid back and ethereal version of “Number Line” and a relatively stock, but ripping, “Antelope.” Trey was on fire all night and “Antelope,” put a fitting cap.

A first half, filled with old-school song selections, opened with a bang when the guys came out with an adrenalizing “Mike’s Groove.” The hefty opening suite set the table for a big first opening frame, and after a teasing twin-bill of “Gumbo” and “Halley’s”—both without jams—the vibe continued with the always-menacing “My Friend” and a laid-back-turned-spirited, Trey-centric, “Wolfman’s Brother.” But the rest of the set fizzled a bit, despite an uber-chronic intro to an out of place “Punch.”

All in all, night two of AC was a very fun and tasteful night of Phish, featuring many well-known anthems for the noticeably increased Saturday night crowd, and with a centerpiece that gets tacked on to an exponentially expanding Summer 2012 highlight list. And with a centerpiece as acrobatic as “Lighteca,” and a fun “Crosseyed” theme throughout the set, everything fell right into place.

6.16.2012 (Jesse Herzog)

I: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Gumbo, Halley’s Comet > My Friend, My Friend,Wolfman’s Brother, The Horse^, Lawn Boy, PossumPunch You In the Eye,  Ocelot, Suzy Greenberg

II: Crosseyed and Painless -> Slave to the Traffic Light, Light -> Manteca -> Light* > Theme From the Bottom > Golgi Apparatus, Sand* > Backwards Down the Number Line, Run Like an Antelope

E: Good Times Bad Times

^aborted, * w/ “Crosseyed” lyrical reprise

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311 Responses to “The Crab Has Vanished In the Air”

  1. RoosterPizza Says:

    It was kind of haha for a little while, and then I was puking every 20 minutes for five hours. I was supposed to drive two and a half hours to the us embassy to get my daughter’s paperwork turned in for her passport and all of that. Now that’s delayed…so yeah, shitty night.

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    fair enough. love deep, jammed out chalkdust

  3. DukeOfLizards Says:


  4. BingosBrother Says:

    Feckin heat.

  5. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ..or Caspian.

  6. PigSong Says:

    Big night as in I spent it watching an Apatow movie with the missus. Glowing reviews on twitter though.

  7. RoosterPizza Says:

    Nice touch, duke

  8. MrCompletely Says:

    Heat were much more focused and intense in the 4th. LBJ outplayed KD but really it came down to things like defensive intensity, the details of execution and the missed FTs by OKC, which are inexcusable in the Finals. Wade and Harden poor games cancel out more or less. Interesting game. Def think OKC can/will take at least 1 in Miami

  9. DukeOfLizards Says:

    I actually think that there has been a ton of subtle musical intrigue in almost every recent Chalkdust, which unfortunately gets swept under the rug because, well, it’s Chalkdust.

  10. RoosterPizza Says:

    Lebron found out to get the ball out on the wing, foul line extended. Bank shot and can finish strong left or right. Take your pick…

  11. YborCity Says:

    No YEM yet this summer… what’re the odds that it’s next? Pretty good odds, I’d say.

  12. DukeOfLizards Says:


  13. YborCity Says:

    The tweeter I’m following tonight says that the Caspian was “very unfinished”…

  14. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Seeing as how Silent has basically been the de facto intro to YEM in 3.0, I’d have to agree, Ybor.

  15. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    These are not the tunes you were looking for.

  16. BingosBrother Says:

    Isn’t Caspian always unfinished?

    Wasn’t Silent Horsed lat night?

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Horse was horse’d… get it straight.

  18. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Horse was Horsed last night.

    AKA, Trza flubbed the ever-loving shit out of it and decided to cover up with some banter.

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    hopefully you have all made fresh popcorn, because the show continues

  20. PigSong Says:

    It’s so hard not to heckle the people tweeting from the show, impossible to convey that I appreciate what they’re doing but sometimes they just lob the over the plate.

  21. PigSong Says:


  22. DukeOfLizards Says:

    WTF is going on with this set right now

  23. MrCompletely Says:

    Everyone who had DWD in this slot, collect your winnings

  24. Bwana Says:

    late set DWD… yeah Phish!

  25. Kevin Says:

    Based on the stream, this set sure took a turn for the boring after CDT

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