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…

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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’”

  1. phoammhead Says:

    i’m toast . . . been fun

  2. Duder Says:

    sour d and 5 Dogfish Indian Brown Ales @ 7.3% = comfortably numb!

  3. Corey Says:

    watching a stream on someone else’s tv, as if you’re in the room with them, is very very strange…

  4. Duder Says:

    standard fare on paper

  5. Corey Says:

    watching someone get up and walk in front of the tv gives me the creeps.

  6. Duder Says:

    is there a taper420 stream? not webcasting

  7. Corey Says:

    watching someone quickly pull a bong across the screen gives me the laughs.

  8. RedRedWorm Says:

    watching a stream on someone else’s tv, as if you’re in the room with them, is very very strange…

    as is watching this sitting on a city front porch in a mostly latino neighborhood.

  9. phoammhead Says:

    Catching decent stream Corinna . . .

  10. Corey Says:

    ustream. someone has a camera facing their tv screen in their family room.

    Woo! Listened to this from SPAC allll day.

  11. phoammhead Says:

    1st set sand

  12. RedRedWorm Says:

    Damn. When was the last 1st set Sand? I know 12/30/03 was one that comes to mind that fucking crushed.

  13. Duder Says:

    sounds terrible the stream that is

  14. Corey Says:

    Too bad radio broadcasts are no more. It was great to listen to NYE via the airwaves. Video = greater interest and dough, me thinks…

  15. Corey Says:

    ch h ch ch chop pp y y-

    Wait, they played Sand already? I gotta refresh the setlist!

  16. phoammhead Says:

    nO more ovals

  17. lot rat Says:

    charleston for sand 2010.

    bougth the dl on wireless…kickin kindly at the lake.

    mike sounds sick.

    page….lil funkin

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    pnc ’11 had set I sand

  19. Duder Says:

    ok i got the right one now

  20. phlorida phan Says:

    chucktown ’10 phoam

  21. Duder Says:

    Chucktown set I is what Miner has been clamoring for

  22. Duder Says:

    i love how these guys be caughin’

  23. Duder Says:

    does a stream of a stream affect the performance? 😉

  24. RedRedWorm Says:

    Very wishful thinking, but it would be nice if this Halley’s got stretched out…even just a tiny bit.

  25. Corey Says:

    hearing someone cough in said chop using said glass accoutrement is priceless.

    Merriweather 6.11.11
    MSG 12.30.11 Sand in I

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