Summer Segues

SPAC 2012 (SammyC via Crowdseye)

Seamless segues haven’t exactly been Phish’s strong point this era. In fact, between ripcords and rushed changes, this facet may have been the weakest of their game—until this summer. Though every transition wasn’t perfect, some were jaw-dropping, and the overall movement between songs became more fluid than at anytime since their ’09 return. Instead of one band member switching gears, segues were allowed to develop over time and—often—nailed at full speed, creating immediate adrenaline boosts in their sets. Below are a handful of my favorite transitions from tour.

“Sand -> Nellie Kane” 6.8 II, Worcester

Worcester 2012 (Masthay)

Nailed at full speed amidst a funk throwdown, this segue—though feeling at the time as if it came out of the blue—was set up perfectly by Trey. As he not-so-covertly teased the lead line of “Nellie Kane” amidst a furious, melody-laced, full-band groove, the last thing anyone in the venue was thinking about was bluegrass. Powering forth like a soul train, the band kicked it into overdrive as Trey morphed into other guitar leads, but the groundwork had been laid. The guys continued cranking on their next-level dance session, but when they hit a change, Trey wove “Nellie Kane’s” beginning, in earnest, right into the music. With negligible reaction time, Fish switched into the bluegrass cadence and the intergalactic groove morphed into a country shuffle. Flawlessly executed and fully bizarre, “Sandy Kane” stands out as the most dynamic segue of summer—thus far.

“Birds -> Back On the Train” 6.15 II, AC

After re-listeing to this sequence last night, I’m not sure that anything from summer is better. Fierce, exploratory and transcendent, this “Birds” has it all wrapped up in one locked and loaded package. The guys had taken the piece light-years from song-structure into free-form jamming, and when they seeped into an ambient realm, it seemed as if they might wind down. But Trey picked the tempo right back up with his solo, and as he diced the minimalist canvas with short rhythm chops, Fishman changed from an abstract rhythm into a shuffle beat, and—on a dime—the band switched into “Back on the Train.” Following an astounding fifteen-minute jam, the guys could have faded into silence and received a huge ovation, but by pushing their creativity, they crafted another masterful transition.

“Light -> Manteca -> Light” 6.16 II, AC

6/16 Print (DKNG)

Several times this summer, Trey suggested a change before going for it, making the ultimate shift far more cohesive. This is seamless sequence, in which Trey laid the groundwork well in advance of the actual transition, is a perfect example. As soon as the band splashed into “Light’s” jam, Red—very noticeably—teased “Manteca,” a move that got the rest of the band thinking in that direction. About a minute later, when Trey continued to hint at the song, the guys were totally with him. The rhythm section switched over smoothly and the band landed in the jazz cover without a hitch. After moving through the theme and verse, Fishman altered the beat and they were right back in “Light” as if it never happened.

“Tube -> Psycho Killer -> Tube” 7.6 I, SPAC

Amidst an explosive first set “Tube,” Phish pumped up the pavilion by gradually building their crack-groove into the elusive Talking Heads cover, “Psycho Killer!” Closing one’s eyes and listening to the tracks off the Live Phish soundboard, there is no discernible switch or hesitation, whatsoever, throughout the entire, two-segue sequence. Perhaps planned from the get go, this shocker was pulled off with Jedi-like precision and provided an adrenaline-filled memory from one of the nights of tour.

“Disease -> Blister In the Sun” 7.7 II, SPAC

SPAC 2012 Mini (Masthay)

While soling during the opening section of “Disease,” Trey found himself in a melody that closely resembled the Violent Femmes hit. As if he caught himself by surprise, he moved into a full quote of the song—and just like the rest of the summer, Fishman was right there. And so were Mike and Page. Facilitating the segue, Fish smoothly shifted rhythms as Trey stepped to the mic, and Phish brought out the song for the first time since Barcelona ’98. Though the set fizzled from the “Disease,” this initial segue spoke to the spontaneity the band felt all tour long.

“Light > Ghost” 7.1 II, Alpine Valley

Moving away from full speed transitions, Alpine’s “Light -> Ghost” provides an example of a patient and well-executed ambient migration. Too often the band seeps into an murky realm only to have Trey layer a new song over the sound collage. But this segue is different. Phish brought “Light,” one of their most collaborative and cerebral jams of tour, into a new-age, synth’d out denouement. Page took the helm and directed this retro-futuristic segment as Trey and Mike picked along. As Page concluded his solo with a final, pitch-bent chord, Trey laid the opening of “Ghost” into the empty space like an artisan. The band let him vamp solo for a few measures before oozing into the groove and completing the patient and slick maneuver.

=====

Jam of the Day:

Sand -> Nellie Kane” 6.8 II, Worcester

The most acrobatic segue of tour.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/2.02-Sand-1.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/2.03-Nellie-Cane.mp3]

*****

Summer 2012 (SammyC via Crowdseye)

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257 Responses to “Summer Segues”

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  1. Cable Hogue Says:

    Waves>Bug was nice too.

    Lighteca gets my #1 vote.

  2. MiA Says:

    How do you not recognize the KDF > Twist or the Sand Roggae? The light > groove?

  3. MiA Says:

    Have a great day everyone!

  4. bob dylan Says:

    I’m on a phone now but the idea of going back to a more standard font in safari sounds awesome. I was zooming for a while but then decided to change my browser just for this site. 11 inch screen’d.

    Thanks miner.

    Also, garret gets a phone call home? What is this? 1955?

  5. MiA Says:

    Line spacing matters. Very nice.

    I got more space where my lines used to be…

  6. room10oh9 Says:

    the only thing that ‘fizzled’ after Disease was you!
    that whole night was the pure fire. boogie on>golden age>sprach.
    plus the first set heat with Maze, Gin and a krushing GTBT’s to close.
    c’mon dude!

  7. st8 of mind Says:

    Nice work Miner. I agree that the Birds>BOTT was probably the best sequence of summer.

  8. Xpun Says:

    Dcu 2001. Nice

  9. MiA Says:

    That gin was one of my favorites of the tour Room

  10. Litteringand Says:

    I’m a big fan of the RnR>Steam transition.

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Good topic. I love a quality movement from one thing to another.

    The c&p->slave was pretty well crafted too

  12. Luther T. Justice Says:

    Did garret’s mom ground him after getting the call from the CHiPs officer?

  13. willowed Says:

    I would add the Crosseyed>Slave

  14. willowed Says:

    I see TIII beat me to it

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I bet it was that annoying Grossie guy who pulled him over. Ponch and John would’ve told him to pull into the next rest area and spent their “lunch break” chilling. maybe they would’ve called Bonnie to come hang out too. Oh, Bonnie. you were such the temptress.

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    great minds, willowed 😎

  17. Luther T. Justice Says:

    I think Ponch & John have a no tolerance for illegal herb. There was the one episode where they risked their lives hang gliding into a canyon to bust some evil growers selling to teens. Then Ponch used the confiscated herb to pick up chicks at his singles apartment complex.

  18. poop goblin Says:

    on the stream that set not only “fizzled” post DWD it became unlistenable and painful for me on the stream.

    shit I don’t even like the DWD. SPAC 2. yuck. gimicky as all hell with no real meat in set 2.

    always here to spread some early morning negativity.

    have fun kids
    West Coast Phish!!!

  19. poop goblin Says:

    Sand > Roggae

  20. punkmug Says:

    Great picks miner!

    Some of my favs:
    Twist>Piper>Billy Breathes
    KDF>Twist
    Crosseyed>No Quarter
    Waves>Bug

    Just for fun, how about what could have been?
    Fee>Maze

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Just for fun, how about what could have been?
    Fee>Maze

    ahhh… such a classic pairing.

  22. MiA Says:

    Golden Age > 2001. Didn’t they do that like 3x this tour?

    It’s becoming like … predictable.

  23. Robear Says:

    None of the ‘HYHU’ sequences?

    #sitegonetoshit

  24. sumodie Says:

    Just my pick, robear

    DC’s GBOTT > HYHU is some slick phuckery

  25. viola Says:

    excellent post miner.

    sand>kane is top rack. also add me to the sand>roggae team. heard that yesterday and it really catches your ear. but the brds>bott gets it down in fine fashion. trey just working IT, sets that great 5 note lick in a loop around 12:00 minute mark, blends into deeper waters with some blues pentatonic and then before to long page sends them into bott with that haunting organ transition. great team effort in AC.

    p.s. golden age 2001 is a killer combo and works overtime on 6.30

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