Beyond Belief

8.15.12 – Long Beach (Sam Heller)

Opening the floodgates of creativity, Phish redefined possibilities with a second set that elevated this game to a completely new level. Storming out of the gates with nearly 45 minutes of experimental jamming in “Rock and Roll > Ghost,” and continuing with an immaculate “Limb by Limb” and “Harry Hood” that will make a you cry, Phish brought their A+ game to a tour-opener of dreams in Southern California.

As not to sound redundant throughout this piece, allow me to say up front—this was the best I’ve heard Phish play in ages. Last night’s second set was a case study in virtuoso communication and the metaphysical explosions that result from such human achievement. Touching on every facet of their sound that makes them the phenomenon we know and love, Phish gave a glimpse into paradise. The best thing you can do for yourself as a Phish fan right now, is to stop reading this review, cancel the next 90 minutes of your life, grab some headphones and bask.

8.15.12 (Sam Heller)

Weaving musical gold while lacing together one dreamscape after another, Phish came out with a massive statement in Long Beach. “Rock and Roll,” in and of itself, contained a entire show’s worth of standout improvisation. Spanning the the full spectrum from wide-open fields of melodic glory to demonic lairs of a “storage” sequence that sounded plucked from the wee hours of Super Ball, itself, the band could do no wrong. After plunging such depths with the first jam of the set, they could have easily hit cruise control. But that’s about the farthest thing from what happened.

Moving from a monumental excursion directly into “Ghost,” it felt that the band turned a corner with this decision. Feeling no need to reel things in, they forged forth into—arguably—the most spectacular portion of the night. Using the entirety of “Ghost’s” jam to peak “Rock and Roll’s Odyssean journey, the band converged on a life-altering peak. Taking but a couple of measures to move outside the box, “Ghost” proved, as it has all summer, to be an efficient path to original music. And this time, they drove the piece right through the heart of the audience, sparking a communal bolt of reverie. After 45 minutes of unbridled, wide-open jamming, the band could have dropped their instruments and walked off stage to a standing ovation. But they just kept moving forward.

8-15-12 (S.Heller)

Concluding almost an hour of non-stop improv with a spectacular take on “Limb By Limb,” it became quite apparent that the entire set would be laced with grandeur. A spot-on and notably raging “Guyute” fit within the context of this set better than any recent appearance of the song, and “Dirt” felt as poignant as ever Trey’s guitar lines dripped with emotion. And when the guys rolled into “Harry Hood,” they could have taken this show to the bank with a standard version—but they didn’t. Sensing a theme here?  Instead, Phish played what has to be considered an elite “Hood” of any era. Listening to each other with a subconscious marksmanship—a hallmark of the entire show—the band sculpted a final dip into majesty. Providing the proverbial cherry on top, this multi-tired “Hood” sealed the deal on a night that was far better than imaginable.

And we may have just scratched the surface…

First Set Notes: A more than solid tour-opening frame was marked by high energy playing from start to finish. “Cities” got things moving as the second song of the show, while both “Stash” and “Gin” popped with extra spirit along the way. But, as many tour-opening sets of this era, this one was long in the rearview mirror by the time the encore hit.

I: Suzy Greenberg, Cities > Kill Devil Falls, Guelah Papyrus, Cool It Down, Rift, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Bathtub Gin, Quinn the Eskimo

II: Rock and Roll > Ghost > Limb By Limb, Guyute, Dirt, Harry Hood > Good Times Bad Times

E: Julius

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405 Responses to “Beyond Belief”

  1. Xpun Says:

    Shark week making it hard to pack

  2. MiA Says:

    New phone doesn’t autocorrect dudnt?

  3. Albert walker Says:

    Stuck flying above Iowa. 3 phishies drinking and talkin nonsense behind me.

    This is my hell. I need to puff. Fuck.

  4. MiA Says:

    I was right behind Kuroda second set. Seems like everyone was (Voopa?), incl. Robear.

    Whom had my decorative glassware i brought for the show.

  5. TheUniverse Says:

    Thanks for all the setups. Wish I could I have delivered on them.

    Biebs at a Phish show really through us for a loop at TheUniverse offices.

    Of course TheUniverse saw it coming but how do you prepare for that shit?

  6. butter Says:

    alright i’m a bone head

    the live phish code is printed really small on the bottom of the tic even after they rip off the vertical one

    going to use my slow internet out here in the sticks to dl a few tracks at least, in lossless

    gotta spin that RnR > Ghost on the home system before going to bed tonite

    so White Sox

  7. Justin Beiber Says:

    sick show last night, huh

  8. TheUniverse Says:

    I wasn’t in the room but that RnR was sick on tape.

    Any highlights there Biebs?

  9. butter Says:

    Tons of babes…….at the airport

    you aint kiddin my man, gotta love the socal skin showing trend or lifestyle

  10. Justin Bieber Says:

    So much energy. My friend Dan pointed this place out to me. What a great musical community. Selena had a great time also.

    See you down the road in L.A. next tour i guess..

  11. butter Says:

    yea surprised we didn’t bump into each other Robear + MIA, we were right behind CK too

  12. TheUniverse Says:

    Did your posse let you smoke jah herb or drop some liquid bieberino?

  13. Robear Says:

    Landed back in Oaksterdam.

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ give me a call @Robear

  15. Justin Bieber Says:

    I did spill some soda backstage, that was kind of embarrassing. Trey liked the hat. Dan told me he was a big fan. No herb for the Biebs, Selena on the other hand. Just kidding..tmz doesn’t read this site do they?

    We did order the webcast for Saturday night, date night though. Nothing like dry-humping to phish, or so I’ve been told. :twinklewink:

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    Stuck flying above Iowa. 3 phishies drinking and talkin nonsense behind me.
    This is my hell. I need to puff. Fuck.

    ^ AW internet gold

  17. butter Says:

    just to give ya’ll a peak into my dl speeds out her in the sticks, i’m looking at a half hour to dl the RnR in ALAC

    been hearin about Google Fiber and they claim 1GB/sec, and are testing it in Kansas City. 7 seconds to dl an HD Movie.

  18. Robear Says:

    FYI: if u have been seeing Phish since 09, u r no longer a nOOb. Congrats. In 96, the kids that started in ’93 were considered h3tty.

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    This Hood is overshadowed by RnR Ghost…but it is pretty f’n sick.

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    I kinda think Biebs is really here.

  21. butter Says:

    Robear just gave away a cobalt tool or some shit

  22. TheUniverse Says:

    No, you are safe Bieber. TMZ doesn’t read here. TheUniverse posts here, so it’s a secure channel.

    After watching Trey, you ever think about playing the guitar?

    And why wait for Phish to come back? TheUniverse goes to the Phish, you can too.

  23. plord Says:

    Listening through AGAIN to last night. Bathtub Quinn RnR Ghost Hood on repeat. So good.

  24. Skyballs Saxscraper Says:

    That Ghost… on first listen, I thought a transition into Spock’s Brain was coming right before the Roggae tease.

    RnR>Ghost was an adventure, but that Hood… made me feel feelings. Utterly sublime.

    I kind of wonder what sort of mindfuckery CK5 could pull off with a blank check budget that a pop act will be sure to bring him. Something like making the lighting so complex and intricate that Daft Punk would weep tears of joy.

    Some say… he can only see infrared light. And that he refuses to eat anything that doesn’t have a temper. All we know is, he’s called CK5.

  25. voopa Says:

    We were to the right of the tapers for set 2…thought I saw Miner over there, not sure.

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