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. Willowed Says:

    Jets. I meant well. Typo

  2. RoosterPizza Says:

    Awesome Willowed. Good stuff, man.

  3. jdub Says:

    After all my effort to line up my trip to AC for tonight I’ve got to stay home and take care of business. Very psyched for everyone on the field tonight. Seems like the table has been set quite nicely. Lots of hot playing but no top to bottom show yet.

    So much on the table. Reba, Waves, Scents, Tweezer of course, ASIHTOS, undermined, Golden Age all could make an appearance. A post millennial throw down. Take your pick of new tunes as well; Halfway to the Moon, Steam, 20YL, or even Liquid Time (dare I even mention).

    Really can’t wait for this Tweezer, could be a let down if we’re not careful

  4. xpun Says:

    You won’t regret that move willowed. Good choice. Speaks volumes of you. It was great meeting you.

    Anyone know who the couple was back w us first set. Guy had long red/blonde? Hair up under his hat. Blonde girl she had those shoes w the individual toes. Think both had on green shirts They either are/were from Chicago couldn’t quite hear what he was telling me. Anyways if that’s someone from the board just wanted to say I had a blast dancing w you guys. Looked at set break but didn’t see them to introduce myself

  5. sumodie Says:

    Happy dad’s day to the bb fathers!

    What, no willowed or jdub tonite? Bummer

    got wax’d flat last nite, thank god my pod had a ripping gd set on it, daves pick2. love my bed

    took an actual tub bath post jog, feelin super charged again

  6. MrCompletely Says:

    daves picks 2 is so fun. working on a detailed breakdown of the set 2 jam sequence. one of those epitome of summer 74 multi-theme jams with a lot of musical conversation happening

  7. alf Says:

    reggae about to be bumpin at the chelsea back patio (not bar). stop by!

  8. tela'smuff Says:

    well done @willowed. i admire that call. plus, building some capital for Dicks. see what i did there?

    enjoy that reggae sesh @Alf.

  9. MrCompletely Says:

    Cheers to Willowed. You’re a good man.

  10. RoosterPizza Says:

    You guys are good shit. This place is the greatest.

  11. voopa Says:

    Jets. Wait, what?

    I home alone for the week. Just got supplies, and have cracked a 24 oz. Sierra Torpedo to go along w/the Open, Giants and AC2 highlights. The stream kicked in during Light last night, hopefully we get a little more tonight.

    “Woo”s during PYITE are too much. Damn I wish I was there.

    @Treasure love that DKNG…the vids re: making of their HBowl and MSG posters at vimeo are worth checking if you haven’t.

  12. voopa Says:

    They have other vids up now including AC and Portlandias.

  13. voopa Says:

    “I home alone for the week.” This bodes well…

  14. TreasureReprise Says:

    @voopa, thanks for the heads up. I will check those videos out.

  15. xpun Says:

    Got a check in the mail yesterday for almost exactly what I spent this weekend. Insurance reimbursement. Not exactly free money but unexpected. Account balance will look pretty much the same on Monday as it did before the trip on Friday. Got to love that.

    Also got a dad day card from my mother. She likes to underline words and phrases in cards as if to say “this, this adjective right here is why I paid 4.99 for this particular card”. Kind of funny

  16. jerseyjim Says:

    Right boot.
    Got It.

  17. ThePigSong Says:

    good on you Willowed – sounds like you’re a great Dad.

    Really enjoy the post-Manteca pre-Xeyed jam in Light. PYITE and Wolfmans were nice, yet to get to the Sand.

    I have a feeling I’ll be on the couch hoping for a stream tonight, so bring it boys.

  18. MiA Says:

    Dammit. That’s right, I need to remember I have a father today.

  19. MrCompletely Says:


  20. Snowbank Says:

    Totally understandable move, willowed.

    I was pretty much satisfied after the first night.

    My travel arrangements are going to keep me here one more night. So I am going to have to see to the boys have the trifecta in them that poog feels coming. He was right about last night.

    Can anyone not at the circus confirm if the playing is as hot as it seems? Caution: your opinion may or may not be used to make decisions on including but not limited to changes in employment status.

    And my chief scientist reports that phish completely obliberated the entire idea of beginning, middle and end. Just noting fot the log.

  21. PigSong Says:

    Just cracked a can of Sierra Pale Ale – and it’s fucking disgusting. Has anyone tried these? The taste is off obviously because of the can. Super metallic tasting.

  22. glennw Says:

    I am a happy father today. I hope all you dads are too, and that the end of your day is the greatest ending in rock history. Folks at AC, do a tick check. I found several after Friday.

  23. voopa Says:

    I’m diggin’ it Snow…there’s a certain drive to last night’s jams that for me recalls the fiery Rhapsody in Red jams from early 80’s JGB and the like. First noticed it in Halley’s, started to take off in Wolfman’s, and Ocelet had a bit too. It finally came together in that post Manteca jam, just pure warp drive.

    I’ve heard *most* of but not all of both days so far, and to me night 1 is a little more consistently high, but 2 definitely has higher highs.

    There’s a circular element to a lot of last night too in Gumbo, Slave and GTBT. Reminded me of 8/3/97.

  24. MiA Says:

    I think the band is loose and happy and communicating. Sharp. Positive.

    Still feel there is a lotta rock/bluesy sound to the jams. While I like it, its not totally unique.

    I di Like the slow adoption to the groove they’re willing to re-embrace.

    My .02

    Looking forward to a proper Split. Tough ham to pull off now with some of Treys latest playing styles.

  25. voopa Says:

    Pig- The cans do not do justice to the green label. Torpedo is OK tho.

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