California Dreamin’

8-15-12 (John Florek)

Having re-listened to Long Beach a second time, I am still in awe of the level of communication displayed by the band Wednesday night. Phish’s improvisational skills are as sharp, if not sharper, than ever and clearly on the rise again. When the guys click like they did in the Southern California, a whole new improvisatioanal dynamic emerges.

In “Rock and Roll,” “Ghost,” and “Hood”—three top-notch excursions—there were “jams within the jams.” In each piece, one band member would present a new idea, and the other three guys would flock to it with negligible reaction time, and within measures, that single idea had blossomed into a musical tangent—often seen to fruition—before moving onto the next. Never falling prey to a cliché idea for the entirety of the second set, while constantly pushing each other forward, Phish showcased the essence of improvisation. If Phish comes close to playing in this vein on a nightly basis—and I don’t see why the won’t—we are in for quite a treat over the next fortnight.

8-15-12 (John Florek)

What really stood out to me when relistening to the show was the single-minded nature of the band’s jamming. I couldn’t say any individual stood out last night over anyone else, because each band member’s phenomenal performance could be singled out. But what makes Phish larger than life is when any individual lead falls away in favor of the group mind. Things elevate the highest when one can’t pick an “MVP” of a show. Last night, Phish—as a whole—took home the gold.

The second set seemed to go by in a flash. Bombarded with fresh ideas for the duration, I was so engulfed by the moment that all of a sudden they were crushing “Good Times, Bad Times,” the obvious set closer. In essence, the set started…and then it ended, with nary a second of dead time. Even the mind-set “Guyute” felt possessed its menacing vigor of old—the first version that popped like that in a while. And while we are talking about shredding versions of standard songs, check out that set-closing “Good Times.”

8-15-12 (John Florek)

Touching on just about all aspects of their game in a spectacular display of musicianship, Phish is moving into new levels of play. The band has always possessed a more singular focus to their music in former eras than they have now. Reeling in diverse styles from their near 30-year career and refinishing them with modern brushstrokes, Phish has become a more diverse band than ever. Covering ludicrous amounts of musical ground within a single jam, their music is more multi-dimensional than ever. And I’m not just talking about one show here. Their 11-14 minute jams birthed this phenomenon, and—now—if they start to stretch that dense musical paradigm into long form, over 20 plus minutes, hide the women and children, because psychedelic warfare will be waged nightly! Since 2009, the band has, undeniably, progressed with each and every tour, and this naturally seems like the next step. Like so many ghosts asked Ray Kinsella in “Field of Dreams,” is this heaven? No, this is Phish 2012. Let’s walk into the cornfields…


Island Run Pin Update:

The four piece colllectors set is officially up for sale at MYFE. Designs! Check out these high quality photos, and head on over to MYFE.’s house to pick up a set for your desk, mantle, or display case! Only 250 sets were made, and they will never be reproduced, so once they are gone they are gone!

“Twist” 4.2.98

“Roses > Piper” 4.3.98

“Birds > 2001” 4.4.98

“Oh Kee Pah > YEM” 4.5.98

The Island Tower

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503 Responses to “California Dreamin’”

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  1. soulish Says:

    Listening to this show is such a treat. Being deep in the abyss and wishing it could go on forever is a wonderful feeling and then looking at the time and seeing there’s another 10 minutes to go in the jam…! If you listen to the first bit of deep ambience in RnR, probably between 12-15 minutes or so, note that Fish keeps a very light beat going constantly, it’s not overpowering, but it’s enough to allow them to keep going and enter new territory. When he drops out there and let’s the ambience rule they can never find a beat and start playing again so I love that he did that, and such amazing music followed from it. Hopefully he keeps doing that.

  2. RedRedWorm Says:

    Outstanding post.

    Trey, People will come, Trey.

  3. Oldskool Says:

    Love the passion in the last two posts! Very infectious. Can’t wait to spin LBC later tonight on the big headphone rig.

  4. RoosterPizza Says:

    Hide the women and children!

  5. RoosterPizza Says:

    Damn! James Earl Jones didn’t know he was talking about Summer Tour 2012.

  6. Xpun Says:

    Rooster when are you back in US?

  7. Litteringand Says:

    Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, cause they shredding everyone out here yall.

  8. RoosterPizza Says:

    We land in Burlington at 2:00pm on Monday. My family is getting really excited to see us and the baby. It is crazy it is time to go already.

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    so mike jammed with phil last night, eh?

  10. ThePigSong Says:

    30 minute bgca tweezer?

  11. ThePigSong Says:

    Another enjoyable read Mr M.

    One friend pulled Saturday and Sundays off of TM yesterday. Lucky guy!

  12. ThePigSong Says:

    Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:
    August 17th, 2012 at 5:07 am
    so mike jammed with phil last night, eh?


  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


  14. Litteringand Says:

    Huge LIGHT tonight, mark it

  15. Guyute711 Says:

    It would be nice to see Phil sit in with the boys.

    Trey’s new song premiers tonight on XM at 6PM.

  16. spunround Says:

    Mike sat in with Phil last night at Terrapin crossroads…

  17. alf Says:

    california dreamin’ is damn right

    have fun out there all you kids, especially you west coasters!

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    great pictures Voopa!

    Go get some SF crew..we are all counting on you.

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Of course Z-man caught the Gordo sit in with Phil…

    Phil Lesh & Friends
    Terrapin Crossroads
    San Rafael, California

    Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S(din)>Sound Devices 722 (24/48)
    FOB/DFC/KFC/ZFC/AARP 5′ From Stage, 6′ High
    DSP: Sound Devices 722>Sound Forge 9.0>CD Wave>flac(16)
    Recorded By: Z-Man
    Seeded By: Z-Man

    Disc I 1st Set

    01 Greeting By Phil Lesh
    02 Return Of The Grevious Angel
    03 Hearts On Fire
    04 I Can’t Dance
    05 Brass Buttons
    06 $1000 Wedding
    07 Cash On The Barrelhead
    08 Hickory Wind
    09 Love Hurts
    10 Las Vegas
    11 In My Hour Of Darkness
    12 Band Introductions

    Disc II 2nd Set

    01 *Bass Duet >
    02 *The Wheel >
    03 *Uncle John’s Band
    04 *Death Don’t Have No Mercy
    05 *I Know You Rider
    06 *Loser
    07 *#Franklin’s Tower
    08 Outro/Phil Donor Rap

    * With Mike Gordon On 2nd Bass
    # With Blue Sky Riffs

    Phil Lesh – Bass And Vocals
    Mark Karan – Guitar And Vocal
    Brian Lesh – Mandolin And Vocals
    Graham Lesh – Acoustic Guitar And Vocals
    Ross James – Peeal Steel And Guitar
    Connor O’Sullivan – Keyboard And Mandolin
    Elliot Peck – Vocals
    Scott Paden – Drums

  20. William H. Bonney Says:

    Not enough tucking………..

  21. ballzdeep Says:

    Light Up or Leave it to Bieber

  22. Justin Bieber Says:

    Just order the set of phish pins. They will look fly on my flyers flatbrim yo!

    thank you mr. miner ( Harry Hood :twinklewink: )

    Ps. Who is Phil Lesh?

    off to the studio… peace ya’ll…

  23. MiA Says:

    I am also very enthused about tonight.

    Sucks trying to keep expectations in check after Long Beach!

  24. Duder Says:

    did anyone make it to Terrapin X Roads for the Mike sit-in with Phil last night???

  25. Duder Says:

    Z-Man is home teams most active taper… dude doesn’t sleep apparently

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