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. yematt Says:

    ^^hope that’s not 🙁 upon here. just a tip.

  2. butter Says:

    @oldskook – i’m pretty hot for Philz @ on 24th x Folsom in the Mission right now.

    Blue Bottle has gone a bet comerc. on us, but still will satisfy. haven’t made it to a sight glass yet, but really enjoy their beans and have had them mailed out a few times. Four Barrel @ 375 Valencia St. is legit, and a very up scale hip coffee bar. that street is really hipster capitol right now, and there are fun bars and restaraunts and shopping in a newly gentrified neighborhood

  3. yematt Says:

    >Roggae would’ve been slick and appropriate. very content with the ghost pick though.

  4. Snow Says:

    Damn it. Sorry pig song. I’ve been out of the loop this week. Didn’t know you were looking.

  5. MiA Says:

    Ouch snow. Lindsay was 22 and Julia was 19.

  6. Snow Says:

    I’m just being sassy. Just got done with a week of work at corporate and nothing phish in the forecast.

  7. MiA Says:

    Don’t jive me turkey….

  8. Snow Says:

    Don’t know if you have heard but I fancy myself a funny guy.

    Anybody need any salmon, ulu’s or musk ox clothing before I leave alaska?

  9. PigSong Says:

    it’s all good snow.

    Roggae may have slipped the San Andreas, better off just teasing it @plord.

  10. PigSong Says:

    16 hour work day and I’m sitting here content, another 14+ hour day tomorrow. Life must be alright, Ph has something to do with that. Only thing I could ask for is an unwind beer that isn’t going to happen. Night folks.

  11. Lycanthropist Says:

    Rock and Roll:

    Pretty good. Pretty….pretty…. good

  12. Snow Says:

    You are one pretty short of a Larry David but I still agree lycan.

  13. Snow Says:

    I cannot fucking believe we are 24hrs from BGCa. Fucking crazy.

  14. MiA Says:

    Ha ha ha.

  15. RoosterPizza Says:

    I can’t believe how this RnR slows down right into this tranquil space.

  16. Henry Says:

    Right around the 12-13 minute mark is exactly where this jam should’ve segued into something else in typical 3.0 fashion

    Well done boys. Bravo for pushing through

  17. Slicksasquatch Says:

    Anyone pick up a Saturday for ole slick?

  18. butter Says:

    Oh, @oldskool I believe your talkin Mail Order beans. Sight Glass, their Ethiopians and owl (something) espresso blend are killer.

    Blue bottle – houndoras and hayes valley espresso

    Just working my way around four barrel’s menu. The columbian I had was stellar

  19. RedRedWorm Says:

    Won’t you step into the Bieber?

  20. Andrew Says:

    This Hood was hanging out in a storage drawer in the refridgerator

  21. Andrew Says:

    Fishman Bieber cover upcoming

  22. BrandonKayda Says:

    RnR like 19mins in sounds like a Light jam. Ghost has elements of DTE DWD all over it. Love the cross-referencing of other jams.

  23. MiA Says:

    Just came back from awesome fun dinner with Lumpy in Santa Monica. Had a great time. Gorgeous night.

    Tons of talent out here. Including MrsMiA.

  24. lumpyhead Says:

    ^lobster sliders go hard.

    @voops those photos are killer.

  25. acleo Says:

    ^^^ Or maybe just collaborate with trey. You guys could do a musical.

    I Think the universe holds all the answers.

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