The Spirit of St. Louis

8.28.2012 – Chaifetz Arena (Jeremy Renda)

The first time stepping indoors after Bill Graham’s now-legendary third show, Phish unveiled the most impressive night of music since their memorable visit to San Francisco. Weaving a seamless second set—less one bumpy segue—the band bathed in creative improvisation all night long. If Charlotte illustrated the strength of show that Phish can drop while remaining, largely, inside the box, St. Louis showcased the magnificent places they can go when breaking down boundaries at every turn. Bringing almost every song into open-waters, and jumping into the deep with a centerpiece voyage of “Limb by Limb,” the band oozed original music in a must-hear show for all fans.  Finishing strong with the mighty combination of “2001 > You Enjoy Myself,” there were no issues with the back third of this set, in fact, there were no issues throughout the entire show, as Phish dropped the second instant-classic of Leg Two.

“Punch” 8.28.12 (R.MacNeill)

The action in St. Louis, however, hardly started in the second set. Kicking off the evening with the first Leg Two appearance of “Punch You in the Eye, the guys seemed as amped as the crowd for the indoor environs of Chaifetz Arena. A tight “Runaway Jim” set the table or the two jams of the set—“Ocelot” and “Reba.” “Ocelot” seems to be growing in prowess with each version and, though I haven’t listened back to the show due to an impending flight to Oklahoma City, last night’s rendition may just take the cake. Upon the conclusion of the dramatic take, Phish rolled right into the second “Reba” of tour—and, boy, was it a keeper. Boasting multiple peaks within a delicate exchange, this version had the venue pulsing. With such dynamic jamming so early in the night, the show elevated right almost immediately, and then the rarities started to roll. “The Curtain,” “Peaches,” “The Sloth” and “Camel Walk” all made their Leg Two debuts in a first set that benefited from stellar song selection. Earlier in the day, a buddy and I were talking about using “Curtain” sans “With” as a launch pad—as they did in former eras—and sure enough, hours later, as they were on the verge of dripping into “With,” Fish revved the drum roll intro to “Peaches!” Funny how that works sometimes—and what a one-two punch. Closing an enthralling first set with “Possum” and “Quinn,” things were primed for take off after the break.

8.28.2012 (Ryan MacNeill)

I love when Phish takes a random array of songs and sculpts them into a set of mastery. On paper, one might look at last night’s second set and not freak out, but just wait until they listen to the music! Starting with “Chalk Dust,” the band played an all-but seamless sequence that ended with “Walk Away” 45 minutes later. Breaking down the boundaries of “Chalk Dust,” “Frankie Says,” and “Undermind,” the band dove into open improv in each selection, connecting one piece to another with a creative jam and seamless segue. From the minute the band didn’t finish “Chalk Dust,” this set kept one on his toes with original jamming, airtight interplay, and surprisingly smooth transitions throughout. At home in the unknown, the band showed no inhibitions, carving out nuggets gold over the set-opening sequence. Navigating this long stretch with confidence and musical acumen, the band landed their opening foursome in a monstrous “Sand” that lit the dance floor afire. And just when you thought the guys had inked the exclamation point on this non-stop offering, on the fly, they slipped into a phenomenal version of “Walk Away” that imploded the arena.

Official St. Louis Print (A.Vastagh)

When the band started “Limb by Limb” after such extensive jamming, any rational fan had to think it would be a cool down in the middle of the set. Phish, however, upended the entire audience as they took “Limb” on its most fantastic voyage since December 3, 1999, in Cincinnati. Exploding into the stratosphere out of the usually contained song, the band unveiled the centerpiece of the night with an exploratory epic that left jaws firmly rested on the arena floor. Trey brought the multi-tiered jam to a scintillating peak before turning the ship back to shore in a jam that immediately jumped onto the top-shelf of summer highlights.

8.28.12 (R.MacNeill)

The buffer that everybody expected from “Limb” came next in a rousing “Julius” that did nothing whatsoever to slow down the set. And as the final chords of the song hit, the opening ambiance of “2001” graced the indoor air. The intensity of the dance anthem was palpably increased in the concrete surroundings, as the band had their sights set on a strong finale. And there was no other choice to finish such a magnificent night of Phish than “You Enjoy Myself.” Not seen since the end of Bill Graham’s third show, the band played a far more upbeat and cathartic version to end this one. In their tightest second set of the summer, Phish left no room for relaxation during St. Louis’ main event. A show that seemed destined to blow up—indoors on a Tuesday in a small Midwestern arena—did exactly that. With no filler of any kind, last night’s second set has immediately risen into the crème de la creme of 2012.

In the aftermath of Bill Graham’s finale, everybody wondered if Phish would put on another performance of that caliber this summer. Well, they just did.

I: Punch You In the Eye, Runaway Jim, Ocelot, Reba, I Didn’t Know, The Curtain > Peaches en Regalia, Mound, Sample in a Jar, The Sloth, Camel Walk, Possum, Quinn the Eskimo

II: Chalk Dust Torture -> Frankie Says -> Undermind -> Sand -> Walk Away, Limb By Limb, Julius, Also Sprach Zarathustra > You Enjoy Myself

E: Shine a Light

8.28.2012 – Chaifetz Arena (Jeremy Renda)

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630 Responses to “The Spirit of St. Louis”

  1. tela'smuff Says:

    In OKC. Aw is right. If u can make it, then make it, shit won’t last forever. Feel very good about decision to make the drive. Recharge the soul.

    Alf – can’t wait buddy.

    See ya’ll in a couple days

  2. Duder Says:

    I’m into 7+% ABV beers
    great buzz, l
    ike nail biting, doesn’t take much at all

  3. Multibeast Says:

    Got my best bud flying in tomorrow from MN for the Dicks run. This is the guy that played phish for me the first time in 94 and took me to my first show that same year and introduced me to booms for that show. So fackin pumped we are still doing this shit.

  4. MiA Says:

    I’ll tell him to grab 2-3 cases for “personal” use for me then.

  5. Multibeast Says:

    Enjoy my man. I was thinking this morning when I read your first post from the road that you absolutely made the right decision.

  6. Multibeast Says:

    On to the 2nd set from last nite. Diggin the CDT outro.

  7. MiA Says:

    Looking forward to meeting you Multi.

  8. Multibeast Says:

    You as well MiA!

  9. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    True – I can drop in to a SoCal show and be back at the office recharged the following day, minus a little sleep.

    I drag along ladies worth their weight for volunteering or just raging or both.

    MrsB. and I always commit to CO phish for obvious reasons. I traded SF for LBC and came out a winner by my standards.

    Truth – shows I attend are delectable for me. MSG being a notable exception again prevailing perceptions prevade. MrsB said as we mosied towards our car back in January, “Maybe we do not travel to se the band as our next vacation.” I agreed in principle, practice not so much.


  10. Multibeast Says:

    The ol Alien Calculator. An astronomer created this equation to estimate how many alien civilizations are out there. Cannot use this equation to determine if aliens will land on Dicks field this weekend.

  11. negev79 Says:

    Nice review of last night’s show from the Riverfront Times in St. Louis. Not one smelly hippie stereotype or tired Grateful Dead comparison.

    Well done!

  12. SillyWilly Says:

    guarantee that Alien Calculator guy has been featured on Coast-to-Coast

    kinda sad I missed him.

  13. Phishm0610 Says:

    every time I jump on here for a minute of 2 I always find something interesting.
    I’m not through the review yet negev, but had to quote something from it as it seems that the writer is a noob that was inspired by the best musicians in the world.

    “When a crowd hits the same level, a flow of movement overtakes the masses as if the sound waves are something physical”.

    Not sure who this guy is that wrote the article, and I’ll keep reading on, but well said man.

  14. bob dylan Says:

    Think I’ll start a 12 month kick starter for next years dick’s shows. Tired of sitting those out.

    AW working WW? Who’s got my AW WW meme?

  15. bouncin fan Says:


    you need to listen to some of the vintage Coast to Coasts from the archive

    Art Bell was the fuckin shit.

  16. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Yes, Release the meme!

  17. MiA Says:

    Review was pretty good. 12 year old kid on the first photo pretty funny.

    And last photo? Who knew GarretC was at the show with three girls?

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    I made the bold statement in SF that Pliny the Elder replaced TwoHearted as my favorite beer.

    Tori made the good point that Pliny the Elder might just be “hot new girl in the apartment next door” and that I’ll be back to my true love Two Hearted when I stop lusting

    I guess Pliny is a double, so it’s unfair to compare.

    But, I might even give that Racer 5 the nod over Two Hearted right now.

    Maybe I’m just burnt out on the Two Hearted.

    How Milwaukee Hipster is that?? “I’m burnt out on two-hearted”

    It’s just that I could get 11$ pitchers of Two-Hearted at the Student Union in Madison, and I could have just overdone it.

    Great beer. I love it. Probably still my favorite. I’ll be back. But, I’m ready to see other beers for awhile, just to renew the spark, ya know.

  19. SillyWilly Says:

    Dude, AW, I didn’t even know there was an archive

    well, I know what I’ll be doing after tour is over…

    thanks for the heads up

  20. bob dylan Says:

    Well said silly. I’m not to that point and buy two hearted whenever I’m home but I too have been rockin racer 5 lately. Pliny is in the cards when I’m out west in sept. can’t wait!

  21. Jerm Says:

    Pliny is impressive. Racer 5 is not in the same league as Two Hearted. Carry on.

  22. Multibeast Says:

    Good points on pints SW. Growing up in the mid west and havin spent some serious time on the terrace it seems like Two Hearted was always the upper echelon brew. But I have been getting way in to Racer 5 lately. Also lovin Firestone Jack (and Double Jack) Imperial IPA

    Still waitin for that 1st sip of Pliny.

    Last nite’s walk away rips. On to LxL.

  23. joe Says:

    fancy beer and herbs talk over my head.

    Are we still on Central time tonight? – Dinner and a Movie opener tonight.

  24. bouncin fan Says:

    Art Bell and Terrence mcKenna from late 90’s

  25. MiA Says:

    CT it is.

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