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:

    Phast in tact.

    Hoping to stay that way until Friday 8PMish MDT.

    Save for some cu$tie kids in the lost

  2. Robear Says:

    Bonney, tell me u r Denver bound.

  3. joe Says:

    how about roundhouse? (round room and farm house, and it packs a punch) just as bad? I thought so

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    Just gave a couple of my friends inside Billbonneys coordinates 😉

  5. joe Says:

    tonight is going to be bustouts and rarities night. padding the stats late in a blowout game

  6. voopa Says:


  7. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    coil to close first set

  8. MiA Says:

    “The John Coltrane of the vacuum cleaner”

  9. phoammhead Says:

    foam 3rd song in 1st set

  10. MiA Says:

    Soul Shakedown Party to open the set (or Mellow Mood).

    Still left (I think) from Leg 1

    It’s Ice
    Ha ha ha
    Saw It Again
    Buried Alive
    Torn and Frayed
    If I could
    Oh Kee Pa Ceremony
    I am H2
    Golgi Apparatus
    Dogs Stole Things
    Walls of a Cave
    Water in the Sky
    Babylon Baby
    Stealing Time
    Mango Song
    Sleeping Monkey
    Divided Sky
    Bold as Love
    Light Up or Leave Me Alone
    Buffalo Bill
    Seven Below
    Scent of a Mule
    The Curtain With
    Old Home Place
    Pebbles and Marbles
    Life on Mars
    Dinner and a Movie
    Daniel Saw the Stone
    Soul Shakedown Party
    Lonesome Cowboy Bill
    A Song I heard the Ocean Sing
    Access Me
    Squirming Coil
    Jesus Just Left Chicago
    TMWSIY, Avenu Malkenu
    Susskind Hotel
    La Grange
    Swept Away
    Mexican Cousin

  11. albert walker Says:

    Monster LxL

    good stuff Troy

  12. phoammhead Says:

    sleeper show tonight . . . could be stuff of legends

    something extraordinary going down

  13. Gavinsdad Says:

    Thought vultures walls and 7 below would punch thru this rotation soon enough. Figure makisupa fun down in Denver (dabs)

  14. Gavinsdad Says:

    Huge limb and theme fan. I had a thing with billy b when it came out for sure.

  15. Angryjoggerz Says:

    I’m so ready to go swimming with space whales

  16. voopa Says:

    I Saw It Again!

  17. bob dylan Says:

    I love the Internet. Was googling trying to find the AW Hollywood water wheel meme and found this:

    Gonna check when I’m home. I had a few bookmarks I ran across last week of old memes from here. Found the AW and redneck Randall ones.

  18. phoammhead Says:

    i guess showtime is soon . . . what about 8:30EST

  19. Beaten Worker Says:


    Impressive list, but If I Could was played in KC I believe. Part of the Mikes sandwich.

  20. bob dylan Says:

    I dunno who I pissed off but tonight isn’t going well. Last person of the day was the bag of crazy super paranoid about hackers type. Made me get out of work late and missed my train by 1 min so I had to wait 40 more for the next one. Now the one I caught just broke down.


  21. poop goblin Says:

    Part of the grab your lady, slow cut, easy listening stylee mikes groove

  22. bob dylan Says:


  23. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    ::drive by::

    Other golfing options near Dick’s for those looking…
    Aurora Hills is about 1.5 miles east of Common Grounds and is decent/inexpensive. It’s a straight forward muni but is kept in good condition. Also, Green Valley Ranch is fun. It’s just off of Pena Blvd as you come from the airport and is basically due east of Dick’s by about 5 miles. Common Grounds is fun too, I just played there today in a work scramble. From the tips it would be long and not fun, at least for my hack ass. Also, I think the caddies they have are younger kids trying to go the Evans Scholars route.

    For those looking for tickets, Denver’s Craiglist has a bunch. I plucked a few GA Fields in the last week for friends at face or below (no fees).

    I may be interested in some golfing action (50/50) but am not sure if I can take Friday off or not. I don’t want to be working. I see that damn venue everyday as I go to work and it’s been torture for the last week.

    If anyone is playing, hit me up at randomposternutbag – geemail

    Enjoy the shows and your time in Denver, the weather is trending hotter than last year, but it gets dark early so it should be all good for showtime.

  24. phoammhead Says:

    need some waves love up in that list

  25. Says:

    Right Boot.
    Got it.

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