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. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    lol if neemor wants to leave here because I like when they jam fee and roses, that’s his prerogative….

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Halfway to the moon is a great song, 20YL bores me….

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    If anyone is interested… Supposedly a great show. My Morning Jacket.

    Set: THE DARK, BLACK METAL (w/ Preservation Jazz Hall), WORDLESS CHORUS, I’M AMAZED, ANYTIME, IT BEATS 4 U, STEAM ENGINE, ISNT IT A PITY (George Harrison Cover. w/ Dean Wareham), OUTTA MY SYSTEM, MAHGEETAH, ROCKET MAN (Elton John Cover), THE BEAR, COBRA, RUN THRU (w/ Johnny Quaid), MAKES NO DIFFERENCE ( The Band cover w/ Clint from PJHB on Sax Solos), SMOKIN FROM SHOOTIN, TOUCH ME PT.2, GIDEON (w/ Andrew Bird on violin)
    Encore: VICTORY DANCE, CIRCUITAL, CARELESS WHISPER (Wham! Cover), ONE BIG HOLIDAY (w/ Johnny Quaid & the Squallis Puppeteers)

    DOWNLOAD – My Morning Jacket – 2012-07-14 – Forecastle Festival – Louisville, KY

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I’ll try that link again. Not sure why it didn’t work. if anyone wants the link , i can email it.

    DOWNLOAD – My Morning Jacket – 2012-07-14 – Forecastle Festival – Louisville, KY

  5. Mr. Palmer Says:

    DF- I don’t think that was it, re: roses and Jim…lol.

  6. marcoesq Says:

    Afternoon all. Great day/week/month of Phish here.

    Miner, thank you again for all you have done the past 3-4? years. Can’t believe it’s been almost 4yrs since they announced the return. Can’t think of a site I visit more regularly than here.

  7. marcoesq Says:

    Palms, just sent electronic request for el MMJ show. Kinda been diggin them lately, Victory Dance is one badass tune. Some great covers there also

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    lol, to be honest I didn’t understand any of what neemor wrote today, just as he didn’t understand a word of what I wrote.

  9. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    BGCA Light!!!!!!

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    boogie on from the archives – i see what you guys mean by boring vamps

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Gotcha marco. Email sent.

    Looking at flights to Atlanta or Charlotte. Why so expensive to fly to Charlotte?

    Newark to Hotlanta $150, Charlotte $350?

  12. garretc Says:

    Sorry to let you down, Palmer. I got it into my head that it would be more important for me to be out working and making money and stuff, but I see now that I obviously am needed more here to make middling to so-so jokes about other folks’ spelling and/or grammar!

    Jamming some “Cookin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet” between working and interning, hits the spot. Tempted to go on a phast until LBC, DF style, but I’m also tempted to geek out on relistening to leg I… Suppose there’s no need to decide right now though

  13. snow Says:

    Thanks for the Happy Bdays BB! Really appreciate you all.

    Congrats on you anniversary, dear host. Great day to get married or get born.

    Speaking of which… Happy Birthday to lil miss snowbank! Can’t wait for another year of your silliness, sweetness, joke and great dance moves!

    People get ‘analysis paralysis”. In a certain mindset, you all sound like a bunch spoiled whiners and it crumbs my buzz. But that’s the nature of critical discussion and the preference discussion. The trap is to think question your enjoyment of the music based on what anyone posts. It’s a zero some game. You can’t talk about it non-stop without some consequence.

  14. garretc Says:

    Probably less flights going into CLT than ATL, P, so lower supply? Isn’t Atlanta’s one of the biggest/busiest airports in the world?

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    garret, today is the last day to decide… will have all of fall to relisten.

  16. garretc Says:

    “The trap is to think question your enjoyment of the music based on what anyone posts.”

    Good point snow, but also equally important to not question anybody else’s enjoyment of the music based on what they post. Clearly the fact that we’re all here means that we really really love Phish, so any criticisms should be read with the baseline of “That was some of the best music I’ve ever listened to in my life, but here’s this little thing that could have been better,” or something akin to that…

  17. garretc Says:

    Damn DF, I guess I forgot to put that deadline on my calendar… Not that it would have helped having it on there, I don’t think, since I already missed a couple hours of work this morning that WERE on my calendar…

  18. marcoesq Says:

    Palms, look at USAir when flying into CLT, generally cheaper as it’s their hub. SWA just started flying into ATL but $150 is REALLY cheap. I’m looking at $240+ from BWI>ATL next month

  19. Dorn76 Says:

    @palmer, I’m seeing $192 from LGA>CLT


  20. Mr. Palmer Says:

    your right GC. Looks like for a little over $200 I can fly into Atlanta, hit that show and Charlotte and fly home to NJ, nonstop . Not a bad deal.

    Something to chew on i guess. Not sure i can wait until 12/28 to see them again.

  21. Leo Weaver Says:

    What marco said @Palmer. Clt is a USAir hub. Also, tix out of LGA are typically under $200 R/T…may be worth it for you even with a little extra work to get there. Also check for one way flights into Atlanta on Saturday and out of Charlotte on Monday.

  22. garretc Says:

    Don’t worry Palmer, I’m sure at least several of the December run shows will be in the Northeast, even though they’ll be focused mainly on the west coast…

  23. Leo Weaver Says:

    Hit me up offline Palmer and I’ll give you more details about the developing Atlanta>Charlotte caravan.

  24. Dorn76 Says:

    Think I’m def doing that 8/26 in CLT. Was considering Oak Mtn, I think that show will blow up. Too many logistical issues, though. And Fuck Alabama.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Garret- yeah, I’m assuming the 12/28-12/31 MSG run. Not sure i got what you mean though ” they’ll be focused mainly on the west coast”?

    Leo- that’s what i was looking to do. Saturday to hotlanta, monday home from charlotte.

    Right now it’s a pipe dream. Will try and get wheels in motion. You guys doing Atlanta also, Leo, Duder., G$$, Phoam?

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