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. thedayman Says:

    thanks for the code, voopa! much appreciated.

  2. butter Says:

    Another huge win was at the end of RnR Mike offered up Boogie on, but The Crimson Dago was set on Ghost!!!

    He’d been working some rhythm licks in at the end of RnR jam that sounded Freeish, or Ghosty

  3. Selector J Says:

    Fixin’ to No Spoilers this dilly. Thanks be to @taylorc wherever you are.

  4. kayatosh Says:

    hey, selector. missed your show today. got caught up in work and tour opener energy. yes, the taylor c tape is $$$.

  5. Duder Says:

    Ha! nice WT!
    good to see you

  6. albert walker Says:

    a bit of looseness in set I but great energy through Rift. Trey really nimble and shreddy in KDF.

    LOVE Cool It Down. think Trey chillin with the hipsters making him cover all the VU again lately. hopefully they get deeper into loaded in SF.

    def a energetic set.

  7. albert walker Says:

    Love Suzy in the opener slot.

  8. Mr palmer Says:

    Damn.. You guys are quick with the codes. Any extras floating around email me.

    Dude- home from Hershey late yesterday. 36hours was enough for us. Kids had a blast.

  9. SillyWilly Says:

    Seems like >Ghost is the stamp of a great jam

  10. Duder Says:

    cool, mission accomplished. nothing better than an amusement park for kids.

    mine was Six Flags Great America

  11. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Last night Rift hits and I am thinking to myself, “Troy never hits this anymore, need candy for dry mouth.” So I wander to the phellowship to grab some candy and sure enough from what I could heard, Troy lands this one.


    Maybe so, maybe not; need to relisten.

    At work drained but recharged. Be prepared for SF.

  12. Duder Says:

    this Quinn peak is pretty sick

  13. albert walker Says:

    not that tight PB. Troy falls out for the last 30 seconds or so. he falls out a few times actually. not terrible but not as tight as some of the more recent versions.

    just spun it.

    tough tune.

  14. Duder Says:

    2nd time now for R&R…

  15. voopa Says:

    Interesting change on the Hood chords during the second build. Fantastic peak and finish. Ghost may have topped Charlotte from last year. Still piecing RnR together. Bomb Gin.

  16. ColonelJoy Says:

    RnR>Ghost…3.0 can’t get any better…until this Ghost, song has largely dissapointed as of late. They’ve teased us with similar jammy sets before, only to regress…let’s see if their serious this time…

  17. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Thx, Adub. Sounds like my candy excursion was the right choice.

    Fish was going off last night in the Gin.

    could have been the earplugs.

  18. kayatosh Says:

    trey gets sticky fingers in guelah (tough song). big difference last night btw. 1st and second set quality.

  19. Dorn76 Says:

    u got mail @palmer

    Excited for all you SF bound BB’ers. Gonna be fun. Weather looking great, too. One of the few places to escape the heat.

  20. PigSong Says:

    Hit the Hood twice in a row. Started over now at Suzy.

    Duder, Lakewood?

  21. kayatosh Says:

    prospect of a cross country journey never felt so right.

    SFran. do they hand you a brownie when you deplane?

  22. kayatosh Says:

    i better cool it down

  23. marcman Says:

    And the explanation is rather simple. Trey obviously has Bieber Fever. Which apparently is very different than the Webcast Virus, which produces completely opposite symptoms.

  24. kayatosh Says:

    great version of cool it down. trey stiff arms mike’s meatball at the end (nice call, butter. The BB does not miss a beat).

  25. William H. Bonney Says:

    Guess miner has a new jam to make a pin for………

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