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. bobby weird Says:

    me too @ joe, but i’m taking notes.

    loving your call again tonight. boldness. keep it rollin while you’re hot!

  2. bouncin fan Says:

    I actually remember this one. was def driving around catching live music all summer 97

    Art Bell on Chupacabras 6/16/97. total classic

  3. Multibeast Says:

    christ I am getting excited. 1st ‘hometown’ shows in quite some time.

  4. MiA Says:

    OKC is getting nice sunny 90 degree weather today. Did I already say that?

  5. tela'smuff Says:

    All this Two Hearted talk is cool, my first IPA love, great beer, but you guys are coming to the mecca of microbrews. Try some local shit man.

    Crazy mtn
    Great Divide
    Dry Dock
    Left Hand
    Fort Collins Brewing
    Twisted Pine
    Boulder Beer

    That’s just some I know sells bottles/cans.

  6. MiA Says:

    Spinning 8-6-96 Tweezer. Great monster Phish.

  7. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    What about weather in the denver this weekend?

  8. sumodie Says:

    Heard sat field was avail at tickethorse 15 min ago

  9. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    I tried to order an IPA at a shitty sports bar last week and the bartender asked me if I was American. Look what you guys have done to me. I blame Alf.

  10. voopa Says:

    I’m down w/a kickstarter for ’13 Dick’s.

    What happened to that photo of AW w/a WW poster from last summer? I shoulda saved it.

  11. MiA Says:

    Why would someone want to drink beer actually brewed in Colorado? That’s so “non-imported” type stuff.

  12. BooVT Says:

    I wish I could be at a zoo in Oklahoma tonight. That could be the first time that sentence has ever been written in the history of the English language.

    Everyone fortunate enough to be attending tonight, appreciate it, enjoy it, and have a great time! I am jealous.

  13. tela'smuff Says:

    If IPA is your thing and you’ll be in Denver this weekend. Here’s my list for CO brews

    Ska Modus Hoperandi. – cans
    Odell IPA
    Avery – Maharaja (sp wrong) – Dble IPA, 22oz
    Great Divide – Titan
    Odell Mercenary – Dbl IPA
    Oskars Deviant Dales – Imperial IPA, tall boy cans (not for a beginner)
    Oskars Gubna – Imperial IPA
    Oskars Dales Pale – a hoppy pale if you are new to IPA
    Dry Dock has a dbl ipa in a 22oz that’s very good
    Boulder Beer Mojo IPA

    These are the best IPA’s you can get in a store, from CO, imo

  14. Kaveh Says:

    @tela’s: Great list! I’ll take three of each for the weekend. Should be a good place to start. 🙂

    Odell Mercenary – Dbl IPA

    ^ BINGO. Plus their Double Extra Pale Ale: 750mL bottles, called Pond Hopper is tits!

    And I’m pretty addicted to Ranger IPA’s in the can as well.

  15. tela'smuff Says:

    Been tempted by that Pond Hopper. Don’t touch New Belgium unless I have no choice.

    But, I’ve been onto Cali IPA’s hot and heavy as of late.

  16. MiA Says:

    College That’s college rhythm.

  17. Multibeast Says:

    Just had Dry Dock this past Sunday night for the first time. Real good.

  18. tela'smuff Says:

    Been tempted by that Pond Hopper. Don’t touch New Belgium unless I have no choice.

    But, I’ve been onto Cali IPA’s hot and heavy as of late

  19. MiA Says:

    Tela’s mostly chose beers for the Rust Belt Melt run. He nailed them each time.

    Great palate.

  20. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Aren’t we due directions for Dick’s?

    The FAQ email with subtle humor and vital logistics.

    It would seem a meet up off-site is limited to those who choose to motivate and get on the brewery tour, which tela’s graciously orchestrated. Or independently check out some local attractions. Shotgun Betties comes to mind. 8)

    Last year on lot it was mayhem depending on how you approached the venue.

    Where is the campground in relation to the venue directionally speaking?

  21. Selector J Says:

    School That’s College Rock riddim.

  22. Multibeast Says:

    I’ve got a friend in Telluride who has blasted new belgium for years. His diatribe on this topic is hilarious.

  23. BingosBrother Says:

    Home not so sweet home. Shows like last night make you wanna go on tour. Ate breakfast at the hotel next to clay guida this morning. perfect. Pretty sure fishman was trying to break his drums last night. shit was loud. nothing beats dancing in the handicapped section. except when a drunk wife is abusing her husband in a wheelchair. people are nuts.

  24. Selector J Says:

    🙁 link fail.

    School That’s College Rock riddim.

  25. SillyWilly Says:


    I think everything tastes better on the Terrace.


    Even the college schwag from a one hitter.

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