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)

Tags: , ,

630 Responses to “The Spirit of St. Louis”

  1. William H. Bonney Says:

    @robear. I will be closing out the run. Can’t miss the finale. Filling up now

  2. Billy88 Says:

    space channel had spock’s brain episode today, just sayin’

  3. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    first spin BGCA 3. yep, it happened.

  4. MiA Says:

    Thirtyth spin of BGCA. Oh yeah.

  5. MiA Says:

    Yeah, my list may be wrong. Tough thing to pull from your head.

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Venue looks sick. Hope there is a decent stream. I have nothing else to do tonight.

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    telas just sent a sick pic of the tiny shed that is tonight’s venue
    super jealous. looks like a throwdown is imminent.

  8. joe Says:

    shitty stream of any kind?

  9. joe Says:

    The summer of Rift

  10. plord Says:

    I’m on Hoodremix, heard better. Anyone else found a better sounding one? Kansassouri kept dropping out on me…

  11. joe Says:

    Palmer, you’re not super into the last half of the giants pats game?

  12. PigSong Says:

    Gotta get to work early tomorrow, hoping for a nice stream to stay up late with though.

    Hey there BB, this thing is almost over for the year.

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    joe- only if they are replaying last years superbowl….

    Yasunobu is coming in nice.

  14. PigSong Says:

    oh shit, show started already. Yasunobu is up.

  15. joe Says:

    if it wasn’t for the chatters, the one on hoodstream would be fine to get an idea of what’s happening. not dropping out or anything, although I just can’t do it for very long with the sound through my work computer speakers. not with other things to listen to that are much better quality. I can wait till miner tells me what to listen to tomorrow.

  16. plord Says:

    Yasunobu def sounds better.

  17. PigSong Says:

    Yasonobu pulled a fast one on us, said he was skipping the midwest. I’ve got it turned way down on MBA speakers, but seems like I could headphones this.

  18. snow Says:


  19. joe Says:

    I’ll cop to watching the bottom stream while listening to one above it. really bored riding out the homestretch of my work week. 3 hours to go

  20. kayatosh Says:

    back from day at beach w/ fam. marathon. I got a chatty little girl. now stream headphones bane beer. ahhhhhh

  21. MiA Says:

    Phish: Wed, Aug 29, 2012
    Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City, OK
    Set 1: Kill Devil Falls, Rift, Wilson > Backwards Down the Number Line, The Moma Dance,

  22. alf Says:

    a rare stop in during couch tour to say praise jah and praise the BB

    wouldn’t be hitting CO without telas, and thanks to sumo for the ticket hook up, whatever corporation had that easy button commercial series aint got shit on the bb

    and, sorry dancing 🙂

    looking forward to seeing you kids in 2 days. need it!!

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    whoa! divided bustout!

  24. alf Says:

    seriously gonna have to be careful at altitude with all the dank ipas of CO, especially if you fucks are going to nail gun me or whatever that shit is

  25. kayatosh Says:

    dick’s jealous

Leave a Reply