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.



Summer 2012 (SammyC via Crowdseye)

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257 Responses to “Summer Segues”

  1. Albert walker Says:

    Bobby d

    Just trying to show silly kids that dig furthur why fake jer blows

    I found more

  2. albert walker Says:

    this is a lot future shot of the crowds and venue fake jer will be playing when phil calls it quits

    this video makes we want to kill people and never listen to the GD ever again.

  3. viola Says:

    the pin verdict will have to wait until early august apparently….

  4. albert walker Says:

    this is just fucked. this is as fucked as peeps that carry setlist books on phish ter.

    Fake jer. doing the vince classic Way To Go Home

    let’s hope if Phil saw this he wouldn’t have hired his hack ass

  5. P.S.H.S Says:

    Robear, I’m your nh guide. White mountains, or lakes region? White lakes do not exist.

  6. albert walker Says:

    holy fuck. this could be the worst. kenny g sitting in with fake jer dropping some hard core reggae riddims.

    this is yer guy phil? really?

  7. albert walker Says:

    holy shit. Will It Go Round in Circles. I dig this song too. fuckers.

  8. Jtran Says:

    you missed that one aw

  9. joe Says:

    good one Jtran.

  10. P.S.H.S Says:

    Robear Portsmouth is probably the best city to visit in nh, if you’re looking for country, squam lake or lincoln is where i would go

  11. albert walker Says:

    ya Jtran. who can forget that rippin suzzy gi

    s that his wife that can’t play percussion for shit

    if so. awesome. all about having the talentless wife in you band. one of the perks of being fake jer. slide un talented family members into your solo touring projects.

  12. albert walker Says:

    joe check out that three little birds. has your fav sax tone on it.

    saw your twitter comments.

  13. oldskool Says:

    Miner, whatever you did to update the font on the site I love it! So much easier to browse from my iPhone now.

  14. snow Says:

    I think I now know what it feels like to lose a child.

  15. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Why must you post piss poor music links?!

    cease and desist!

  16. oldskool Says:

    Spent 45 minutes with the Rotterdam ’72 Dark Star this afternoon, hello old friend.. Now that is Type II 😉

  17. snow Says:

    Is that 2001 mashed up with Bird Song?

  18. joe Says:

    Kenny G radio is much worse than just kenny G. Has the very worst aspects of smooth jazz and watered down pop r&b. Lady usually leaves the desk by 6 but stayed an extra hour and 45 minutes tonight. Mentally, I can tune it out until 6, but after that I was ready to smash my face into the desk repeatedly to make it stop.

    fake Jerry band and solo acoustic Vince tunes are a major upgrade from that even.

  19. viola Says:

    do those videos of fake jer make you wanna strap on your own geetar and get better?

  20. Robear Says:

    pshs, i was thinking of coming out for a few days to see my kid. they are near ossippee. i need a place to crash, with him, so I don’t have to hang with inlaws.

    aug 21 – aug 23

  21. albert walker Says:

    I don’t even know what it is man. hippies freak me out.

    I see a grown man wearing a tie dye in 2012 my brain just shuts down. I have no idea what goes on at a john k show but nonsense.

    best part of hippies is they like to pretend to dig music but all have terrible taste in it.

    like sitting through a karl D set. I’d rather be beaten.

  22. albert walker Says:

    when I see masters it does Viola. Trey doesn’t even do it fore me much anymore

    but after seeing mcglauphlin, or dimieola, or frissel, or scofield that shit makes me run home and start tabbing out there shit and studying new ideas

    those fake jer vids make me said someone would cop another man’s style there hole life. weird existence. can’t let your influences over take your sound.

  23. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Hey gang- sorry for the drive by.

    ‘noid down?

  24. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Seeing JGB tonight with Melvin.

    the guitarist Dave is from here and blow the Fake Jer out of the water to the point of many folks here no longer even consider all options to reminisce…

  25. P.S.H.S Says:

    I’d go to portsmouth or Conway then. Conway has great access to the mountains

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