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. kayatosh Says:

    loved frankie>undermind — even if both were just etases of brilliance. LxL is the tumeric.

  2. MiA Says:

    Excellent voopa

  3. jdub Says:

    Cursing my decision to not buy a plane ticket to CO a month ago. But wife is thrilled for our little family vaca to the white mountains this weekend. I am too, no really. Just wish the family vaca was to CO instead of NH.

    In all seriousness, looking forward to some family time.

  4. MiA Says:

    I remember when this was rare.

  5. sumodie Says:

    “Phish Donates Segways in St. Louis”

    Phish’s Mike Gordon hasn’t ridden his segway onstage since 2003 but his band still has segways on their mind. At every show, the members of Phish donate to a local chairty through their WaterWheel foundation. Last night in St. Louis, MO, WaterWheel donated to Seg4Vets, which has given more than 1,000 segways to disabled veterans.

    “You know, this changed my life. Improved my marriage, improved my relationship with my children cause I was able to go to the zoo for a full day.” said U.S. Army Corporal Chris Stout told local news source Fox2 Now St. Louis. The news channel says Stout was injured during a mission in Afghanistan and the Seg4Vets program helped give him back his mobility. A news clip about Phish’s contributions to Seg4Vets can be found here.

  6. Robear Says:

    Anything showing up on the stream front?

  7. kayatosh Says:


  8. sumodie Says:

    ^ actually I grabbed that from jambands. I was at one (the only one?) of those shows where Gordo rode out on the Segway, awesomely weird, better than the sexy scarves but not as cool as playing the electrified bagpipes at the Gorge. Can’t believe they still had those segways kicking around, what a worthy donation.

  9. joe Says:

    and otterman on hoodstream has video (mute it) of colonel sanders dancing with a bucket in his hand occasionally. don’t know why I find that so funny

  10. Albert walker Says:

    Still dabless for the day

    Barry obummin

  11. kayatosh Says:

    embarrassed to be streamin. guess i dig phish.

  12. sumodie Says:

    Jdub, have a great time up there, perfect time o year for the White Mtns (fewer bugs hopefully). What town are you staying in?

    You hitting Story Land up there?

  13. Albert walker Says:

    Dumb ass phishies smokin that spice
    Thats the kinda shit that I don’t like

  14. kayatosh Says:

    aw: does not compute. you dabless is like a bird w/o wings.

  15. MiA Says:

    Ha ha

  16. MiA Says:

    Ha ha

  17. Albert walker Says:

    Tryin to get my tolerance to where flowers get me high before dicks

  18. MiA Says:

    Damn beagle… Licks me when posting.

  19. kayatosh Says:

    ratcheting back. smart.

  20. Albert walker Says:

    Been cheating a little hash oil vape pen hits

  21. kayatosh Says:

    dieting is never easy

  22. jdub Says:

    @Sumo, we’re staying in Woodstock at the brewery in town. May day trip it to Story Land for the kids. Mostly looking forward to the great outdoors, family style. Should be fun. Enjoy Dick’s!

  23. kayatosh Says:

    this first set feels like empty out the bag of leg II go-to’s and throw in a DS “bustout.” really dug the wolfman’s.

  24. MiA Says:

    Nice AW. But if that happens I have totally underestimated your tolerance.

    The remedy made me want to sit down.

    Well that, and literally walking 4-5 miles with xpun in San Francisco that morning.

  25. T. Leo Says:

    Hey Guys, long time no post. been a while since I could enjoy couch tour.

    Do I have a messed up stream or are they mixing up yamar?

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