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’”

  1. tela'smuff Says:

    hot first, but damn they are cutting some jams that are ready to explode.

  2. 20 Minute Halley's Says:

    Myfe shout out? Get your pins packs!

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Stupid webcast..

  4. 20 Minute Halley's Says:

    I am signing off team…hope all is “right”ed in the universe tonight, that Mike’s bass doesn’t drop San Fran into the pacific and tumble the Golden Gate (or maybe that it does; with no casualties!). See y’all soon!

  5. 20 Minute Halley's Says:

    oh, and #play!

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    That computer thing behind Mike is new, huh?

  7. tela'smuff Says:

    last 1st set Slave i saw was in Chcago 2000. special treat here.

  8. RedRedWorm Says:

    @ 20 minute, While I may be not quite there w/ ya as far as the importance of hitting all the changes, I can appreciate where you’re coming from. A whole lot more to the band than just improv. I think that can get lost by some. With that said, I fucking love songs jammed to the fullest.

  9. phoammhead Says:

    1st sets can be frustrating waiting for main event

  10. tela'smuff Says:

    glorious Slave!!!! highlight of the set. get ready.

  11. 20 Minute Halley's Says:

    @ Red

    I am just trying to rationalize what I really am looking for…four song sets and tricked out Halleys!

  12. Robear Says:

    Was the webcast that uneventful?

  13. RedRedWorm Says:

    Well said 20.

  14. 20 Minute Halley's Says:

    I can’t deny what I really want…but I can rationalize what we sometimes get!

    But I couple that with the whole experience! But I think we all see the same thing, experience that same thing, yearn for the same thing, we just come at it from a different point of view (ala Dylan)!

  15. 20 Minute Halley's Says:

    Could it be that everyone not there is hoping that any eventfulness will be somehow contained until Dick’s? There for the mass willing of sub-par sets (even though we know that negative energy to be completely un-fair and very “un-dude-like”, very non-buddhist and almost self-defeating) Could it be that sometimes these projections come true!

    Or maybe miner is right, and when we cannot be there, we should hope for a webcast, which will dull the potential brightness of any show…

  16. lot rat Says:

    have they extended halleys other than bethel? I used to love that outro jam, heavy trey.

  17. 20 Minute Halley's Says:

    Any way, I was already signing off…damn this site…love this site! Hopefully we can all meet again on the great journey to the middle! Or some shit like that!


  18. 20 Minute Halley's Says:


    No, and even then, when it was exciting, it was eventful, but more excitement in the non-standard-ness of it!

  19. 20 Minute Halley's Says:


  20. RedRedWorm Says:

    Great Slave

  21. BrandonKayda Says:

    Hey guys. Setlist thus far?

  22. lot rat Says:

    trey seemed rushed. sand, halleys and slave were a combined 18 mins.

    how bout a fuckin fall tour for the love of ……jah?

  23. lot rat Says:

    bk what up bro

  24. lot rat Says:

    bag, moma, possum, corinna x 2, san, halleys, bitch, sample roses, mfmf, slave.

  25. Cable Hogue Says:

    @Robear –


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