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. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    nothing beats dancing in the handicapped section. except when a drunk wife is abusing her husband in a wheelchair. people are nuts.

    ^ That is some sad shit there. See You Next Tuesday.

  2. joe Says:

    interesting Trey interview. noted that it is best to listen to his new album on the come down late night/early morning. I can dig that.

    we need a list of those types of albums. Groove Armada’s Vertigo fit that bill for me in 1999. didn’t necessarily enjoy that one unless it was after 3am.

  3. SillyWilly Says:

    @AW

    thanks for the archive links

    pretty pumped to delve in

    One of the funniest parts of the trip to Cinci was that lady who called in and started telling everyone birds loved to fly in and land on her head

    been happening since she was 4 yrs old she said and she was 55

    i was dying. “Oh, here’s one right now”

    christ lady, its 3AM, and you got birds on your head.

    she had way better drugs than us.

  4. Kaveh Says:

    Been tempted by that Pond Hopper.

    ^ Well at least try that one.

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    I agree with you, Tela’s.

    Trying local stuff is one of my favorite parts of tour

    local herbs, local brews, local food – Local colors are a big part of the fun for me.

    Plus, you guys know how I am:

    if you can drink beers brewed across the street, it’s way better than drinking a beer shipped in from LaCrosse, WI

  6. Multibeast Says:

    On the topic of Denver and beer. Some friends of mine own a bar in my neighborhood (the Highlands) called Fire on the Mountain. Great wings other eats and good beer on tap. Check em out if you are in the hood.
    http://www.fotmdenver.com/

  7. gavinsdad Says:

    Odells. even seeing that word makes me shed a tear of joy.

    and non IPA peeps visiting CO..go drink that Oskar Blues G’Night…its BOMBPOPS.

  8. Multibeast Says:

    @SW
    Agreed on the Terrace. After AV 10 I killed about 4 hours there before my flight back west, checking in on work, drinking beer and looking at the look. It was a good day.

  9. Kaveh Says:

    drinking a beer shipped in from LaCrosse, WI

    ^ And you can trust me on that…that is my hometown. 🙂 Although a Golden Leaf is about the one City Brewery beer I can drink. Let me say this, City Brewery isn’t close to the old Heilmen’s Brewery.

    Although Pearl Street Brewery is good LaCrosse beer.

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    Listened to coast to coast after the show last night. still quality. my favorite post glow activity.

  11. Multibeast Says:

    *looking at the ‘lake’*

  12. gavinsdad Says:

    and if you have a dispensary hook in Denver the Clinic’s Ft Collins Cough wax is pretty sick. As is their Grape God and Headband.

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    Bg3 ftw all day every day…

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    @Kaveh

    I love Pearl Street Brewery.

    There’s some resurgences in old wisco beers

    For example, the old Rhinelander recipe is back and they’re selling the 8 oz bottles

    but it’s too old-school for even the hipsters to drink.

  15. BingosBrother Says:

    not yesterday though. 😉

  16. MiA Says:

    “local herbs, local brews, local food – Local colors are a big part of the fun for me”

    Didn’t you have a run in at the McDonalds SW?

    The local yellow and red.

    Just kidding of course.

  17. SillyWilly Says:

    @Multibeast

    “looking at the look”

    I just figured you meant the overall assortment of attractive individuals who often populate the terrace.

    wisco gets a bad rap on the overall sex appeal, but the terrace has never wanted

  18. snow Says:

    one last grovel…

    I’ve got access to mp3’s and Flac’s but the Peachtree deserves the HD-FLACS (thank you sirs)…
    anybody got a St. Louis DL code for poor ole’ snow?

    snowbank bb @ geezmail…

    I have BGCA 1 & 2 to trade and can make the fruits of my purchase available…

    Can’t believe I was so close to BGCA 3 and choose my wife and family and job instead… (just kidding, of course)

  19. SillyWilly Says:

    @MiA

    Hahaha. Yes I did.

    And karma local’d the shit out of me on that one.

    In my own defense, however, I did enjoy a wonderful Wegman’s sub earlier that day.

    I had saved half of of it for post-show, but about 30 minutes before we left for the venue, I got too hungry and ate it

  20. sumodie Says:

    Dick’s onsite camping to the SE corner of the stadium

    Easy to find on google maps. Bright green fields are the soccer fields for campers

    Believe there’s 3 entry points into Dick’s lots

    what’s it like leaving lots post show? Never had to deal with that hassle last year

  21. albert walker Says:

    no doubt miner. it’s the straight goods. so many sick themes and turns in those jams in that set.

  22. albert walker Says:

    upstate hillrod NY

    MCD’s is about as local as you can get. never knew it was so redneckish up there.

  23. Jtran Says:

    Liberty Diner. Know it

  24. sumodie Says:

    I’m feeling a few lbs heavier just reading all these dank beer recs, mmm good

    discovered delicious dale’s pale ale cans at last years dick’s, and they’re not even the creme de la creme, lol

  25. phoammhead Says:

    funny no etree download avail yet

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