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. tela'smuff Says:

    i love the tone Trey hits pretty much straight into the Hood jam.

  2. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Is not that site a satire site?

    Lots of articles seem misdirected

  3. MiA Says:

    Haven’t read back today but last night was the 8th year anniversary if Coventry.

    I love anniversary shows.

  4. Snow Says:

    What up bb?

    Set 2 is… Go.

  5. BingosBrother Says:

    Element Set Anniversary too. Guess I’m goin to St. Louis. Dangit. 😉

  6. albert walker Says:

    finally starting set II

    good set I. def a bit loose. shreddy peaks in template gin and stash.

    I loved the little Cool it Down and Suzy Opener

    now to the goods. RnR starting now.

  7. William H. Bonney Says:

    “Is not that site a satire site?

    Lots of articles seem misdirected”

    No it is not. I’am not getting sucking into anymore discussion on it. But the bottom line is both parties fear, the rise of Libertarian thinking and logical conclusion of individualism over collectivism which relies on govt. on all levels running your life for you…to protect you..and the children….

  8. MiA Says:

    You could watch Trey as he looked to be “loosening” it up during Set I.

    He was trying to impress with Gin and ride it hard.

    Trey is such a contrarian. No sea and sand, or ASIHTOS, or Waves.

    Instead plays Dirt.

  9. Robear Says:

    Set 1 very dance friendly. Noodle Jig

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    Settle down Billy. Today we celebrate.

    ICE-9 at 9:15 in RnR. Get em Mike.

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    “Trey is such a contrarian. No sea and sand, or ASIHTOS, or Waves.
    Instead plays Dirt.”

    so true MiA! it’s a shame you’re skipping OKC, cause that’s the shit is going down.

    Set II: Drowned>Waves>Sea & Sand>ASIHTOS>Prince Caspian>Wedge
    E: Tube

  12. thedayman Says:

    at 19:30 trey starts playing some riffage that is eerily similar to the island tour stash bliss section. someone’s been listening to some phish….

  13. albert walker Says:

    say what you want about the whale.

    direct correlation between use of whale in jams and jams that go huge

  14. thedayman Says:

    wow, closer to 20 min it’s almost note for note.

  15. William H. Bonney Says:

    I celebrate everyday….. but read the article if you want to comment on it great if not great….but don’t tell me to settle down or get fired up or anything else…I do what I like, when I like………..


  16. Boris Says:

    That article was funny. The sweaty nipple! What a line!

  17. BingosBrother Says:

    Whale stretches time and minds when used correctly.

  18. BingosBrother Says:

    Easy there, Tonto.

  19. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Card-carrying, voting libertarian here for 22+ years.

    did not dig too far around. Makes no sense to devote energy to something so intrinsically biased, I took it for parody and satire. My perceptions have been proven wrong before.

    Billy, You seem passionate about your beliefs and that is good.

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    No round room either, seems like it would have be apt.

  21. kayatosh Says:

    “Others such as “Weekapaug Groove,” “You Enjoy Myself” and “Possum” defend that soft comfortable world of white status.”

    ^^^ hilarious

  22. tela'smuff Says:

    @PB – i’m pretty sure that is all satire. i’ve always understood it as satire.

  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Feel like last nights Ghost is most reminiscent of the MSG nye ’10 version

  24. Mr. Palmer Says:

    That is written by the same guy behind that Christwire stuff. Not sure if it is satire or just over the top craziness. Either way, I got a kick out of it.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Pumped to see you again in the filthy south, Billy the Kid!

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