What A Run!

7.4.2012 (George Estreich)

The Phish from Vermont have arrived—again. If 2009 and 2010 provided building blocks for this era, and 2011 was the year the band began to forge new ground again, 2012 is the year they have hit full stride. Each and every night of Leg One, Phish came to play with a polished musical consistency that all fans have longingly sought since 2009. Practiced and adventurous, the band left a wake of fire across the eastern US over June, addressing almost all of their fan base’s grovels while crafting timeless jams with the effortless nature of lore.

The band’s collective patience that popped up in certain jams of 2011, quickly became the hallmark of 2012. Beginning with Worcester’s opening-night bomb and carrying right through SPAC, Phish—especially Trey—displayed a willingness to let the music breathe. This patience gave all jams a far more dynamic quality right off the bat, and the resulting interplay left us with hordes of highlights to debrief throughout the next month.

Throughout summer’s opening leg, Phish certainly righted several issues that had plagued their shows in the modern era. Trey’s infamous “ripcord,” though not gone completely, didn’t play a large role in disrupting summer shows. In fact—in quite the opposite direction—the band dropped handfuls of stunningly seamless segues of the like we hadn’t heard in years! In addition to a wide array of bust-outs this summer, including one we thought we’d never see in “Skin It Back,” the band diversified their central jam vehicles to include “Ghost” and “Twist”—two songs that were in desperate need of revival, “Golden Age”—used primarily as a single last year, and “Back on the Train.” The band also included noteworthy one-off jams on “Roses Are Free,” “Birds of a Feather,” “Fee,” “Skin It Back,” and two-off jams on “Light Up or Leave Me Alone” and “Sneakin’ Sally.”  Notably absent from setlists were long-form compositions, as “Divided Sky” and “Guyute” made only one appearance each, though “Fluffhead,” a veritable 3.0 anthem,  still dotted several sets.

7.4.2012 (George Estreich)

The guys’ musicianship shone all month, but none more brightly than Jon Fishman’s. Arguably, one of the last band members to fully get up to speed in 3.0, Henrietta-turned-Friar-Tuck absolutely owned his kit this past tour. Fishman’s next-level beat science drove the band all June and became the defining facet of so many tour highlights. Creatively steering so many jams this summer, Fish’s leadership has been crucial to the band’s enhanced communication. And when The Greasy Troll is on fire, the backbone of the band—Trey and Fish—becomes far more daring. Though Phish is unquestionably a four-minded monster, the symbiotic relationship that has always existed between Trey and Fish blossomed in 3.0-style this summer, pushing the band further and further into new territory. When reviewing your favorite sequences from this run, be sure to hone in on how tour MVP, Jonny B. Fishman, kicked them up a notch.

And the highlights! Oh, the highlights! Far to many to list in a summary piece like this, suffice it to say that we will have plenty to talk about for this month and beyond. Almost every single night of tour, Phish dropped at least a sequence, if not several, of to-die-for jamming. Taking the concept of “musical density” to a whole new level, the band covered staggering amounts of ground within single jams, moving fluidly through many diverse feels.

If 3.0 is the “The Golden Age” of Phish, 2012 sure seems like the start of “The Rennaissance.” Reaching levels not approached in the past three calendars, the band has melded their modern foci of enchanting sound-sculptures and “plinkofied” rhythmic bliss with the rest of their musical repertoire, forming a refined style that encompasses their entire career. Using this wide musical palette, Phish painted different styles of shows over summer’s first act, ranging from from dark and improvisational to playful and song-based, speaking to everyone in their audience. And if the contour of the past few years stays true in 2012, we are in for one hell of a second leg!

7.4.2012 (George Estreich)


Jam of the Day:

Sneakin’ Sally > Ghost” 7.6.12 II, SPAC

One of 2012’s most engaging sequences.



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279 Responses to “What A Run!”

  1. Litteringand Says:

    Yesterday was my parents 45th Anniversary, cheers Miner.

  2. Dorn76 Says:

    I like surfing.


    And thx for chiming in @Miner.

    Let the debrief begin!

  3. GhostPhunk Says:

    Happy Anniversary Miner, grats! @alf dropping some serious stuff back there. Makes me want to go back and re listen to certain segments a little more intently. Love the detailed view man. Thanks to @alf and @stitch for making saturday’s show a little more special.

  4. Jtran Says:

    happy bday glowbanks

    happy anny miner

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    sure about that, dorn? 😮

  6. st8 of mind Says:

    What is this about Miner not keeping up this site? Did I miss something?

  7. Robear Says:

    7th Heaven ! Congrats MIner.

    Way tO age gracefully GlowDanks!

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    guys, miner’s just not doing full tours, the blog ain’t going nowhere. they should cover that again.

    happy bday snow and anniversary miner!

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    happy happy @snow

    congrats, miner!

  10. st8 of mind Says:

    Ok, thanks DF. I can certainly understand why.

  11. MiA Says:

    Happy B’Day Snow!

  12. Dorn76 Says:

    Oh to be a shark in the water with Maya…


    Phishthought: Jim continues its great run since Bethel, multiple interesting and fiery versions. AC and Cincy popped out of my headphones this AM. Now if they’d just take it for a ride again…(not a criticism)(wry emoticon)

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Oh right, Jim is the other one I keep forgetting about that I really want them to jam again.

    Gin, Stash, Wolfman’s and Jim

  14. dognamedwilson Says:

    @mia, consider an external dac before you spend money on firmware. Even the high end brands like your denon don’t sport the best sound cards. This is highly rated entry level dac:


    I bought this one to play digital files on my vintage system:


  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Stealing Time goes big night 2 BGCA

  16. dognamedwilson Says:

    ^meant to also note that I love mine for the price. @kp has one that I looked closely at but I forget which. Fiios maybe?

  17. viola Says:

    DC 09 asihtos just came on the shuffle…. amazing beats dropped by fish. he rolls effortlessly through that segment into drowned. and mike drops some of the most amazing sounds that night that are not captured on the recording. he he possessed by aliens this night…. the breakdown jam of drowned > twist is astounding. mike has his brontosaurus bass bombs stomping all over that segment.

    i think its a shame that 2009 often gets overlooked…. dc set2 is a monster of a show with lots of original jamming. great communication, and stellar band/crowd connection. one of many experience that is not captured on playback and thus not appreciated by the masses.

    2001 get plink0fied at the 4:50 mark ta boot ta boot

  18. MiA Says:

    Thanks DNW. I think the firmware is free. Funny how the manual for the Denon has different screenshots than the installed firmware.

    I’ll check that Maverick Audio out. Looks nice.

    I had been looking at this earlier which I think is similar


  19. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    30 days to the LBC.

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    so much drama

  21. deckie Says:

    thanks for the recap Mr. Miner! your site adds a whole nother dimension to couch tour.

    I haven’t heard everything from letg 1 yet but finally got jam (or style of jam) I’ve been waiting for since the late ’90’s.

    I’ve always wanted Phish to bring back the 20 min Tubes they used to play, for some reason that jam just does it for me and low and behold they delivered in the 2012 Sands! Play any recent Sand from a minute or two into the jam and you’ll find striking similarities to tube jams of old

  22. Jtran Says:


    New Phish companion announced last week

  23. MiA Says:

    But somehow, someway …

  24. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Happy b-day Snow.

    Happy Anniversary Miner!

    head up Neems.. kids these days.. Give Df a break, he’s a young Canadian. A confused boy who desires for a band that existed for a few months over a 30 year career span :). you know, the one that jams everything 20+ minutes..

    I was looking through some setlists from ’94- ’95. I was trying to picture what some of these shows would be critiqued by us, today. I mean, looking at some of those set lists there was quite a few nights without much “meat”. As the Talking Heads so eloquently said, “Same as it ever was”..

    i like 20YL. Whats wrong with this song? tehy’ve only played it a few times. I thought people want new stuff, no? I like Halfway to the Moon a little more. That is a great tune.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ugh, poorly written post. Need a proof reader. Where’s garret to give me shit?

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