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. PigSong Says:

    I have one last code for ATL that I’d like to trade. Open to any show of the tour. ThePigSong at gmail

  2. SillyWilly Says:

    The interesting thing to me is the songs they used to create a great show.

    Only song of the second set that has been a consistent jam song is Sand.

    I like that.

    I think there might be a bit of that same phenomenon tonight because I think they’ll want to save the big songs for Denver

    of course maybe they drop Tweezer>Light>Ghost tonight which would make predictions for Denver pretty interesting.

  3. MiA Says:

    Vibes to everyone in the path of Issac.

  4. DryIceFactory Says:

    This Limb is nothing short of epic. Trey brings the house down.

  5. Duder Says:

    Just from the set list alone, this is the most interesting show of the year IMO

  6. SillyWilly Says:

    hang tough, kids.

  7. MiA Says:

    They’re know for blasting out a great show pre-festival.

    I think the OKC call is a very good one. They have so much to play still they could easily do 4 days in a row of blowout shows.

  8. DryIceFactory Says:


    I felt like Trey was just going to start yelling out “DON’T GO BACK TO KILL DEVIL FALLS!!!” during the peak of Limb.

  9. SillyWilly Says:

    I really only have one request for the band right now:

    Please give Waves the full Leg 2 2012 treatment.

    4 shows left, I will be at the last two.

    Don’t care when it drops. Drop it tonight. Drop it Friday.

    I’d just love that song to get the current jam style

  10. SillyWilly Says:

    I’m on the Undermind, now

    Loving the segue fest going on.

    I agree with Miner, so far: Seamless.

    change of pace

    another way to craft a great show.

  11. angryjoggerz Says:

    I really would love a big SOAM, Waves, Shafty, Have Mercy in Denver. CO will be the last Phish I get live for some time with a baby on the way soon. Bring it, boys. Bring it.

  12. jdub Says:

    Aside from Limb, it is all top shelf type 1. But the flow is outstanding, the playing incredibly smooth, and fresh song selection. Those who are just looking for 45 minutes if LB RnR>Ghost may not dig this show. To me it is the beauty of 3.0

  13. MiA Says:

    Looks like Friday is now 90° and sunny for Friday.

  14. MiA Says:

    Friday. Again.

  15. ghostofsoam Says:

    It seems as if this is the best tour since 98 and maybe mailing it in last new years and getting shit for it was the best thing that could happen…they need to cancel all individual band tour shit and lay out a last minute late fall tour…

  16. sumodie Says:

    Today’s top pic is too intense with mornin coffee, ackkkk!

    Thanks for the tasty writeup, miner. The boys sure flipped the setlist switch last night

  17. SillyWilly Says:

    yeah, jdub

    Phish was relying on a great fastball to strike people out in the early innings of Leg 2, but now in the middle-late innings they’re fanning hitters with a great change up.

    late in the 7th and Phish is pitching a gem.

  18. SillyWilly Says:



  19. angryjoggerz Says:

    ya lost me, Silly

  20. sumodie Says:

    Screw fall tour, the boys need to hit the studio at last. This kinda great energy deserves to put towards crafting some new tunes as a foursome. fingers crossed they actually do it this time (please)

    Then more tour 8)

  21. Phishm0610 Says:

    the change up is a nasty pitch. Think they are learning the circle change too. knee buckling curve balls and heat that destroys the radar.

  22. jdub Says:

    I gotcha Silly. Using the change up while they conserve the heater to catch fans flat footed during the final innings. Brilliant.

    Setting the table for a strong finish

  23. MiA Says:

    Happy b’day Hazel Mango!

  24. Duder Says:

    latest word on the ‘nerd is that “we’re down but not out”

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    well, just so long as no one starts saying they have some mythical gyroball in their arsenal. that’d be like saying their gonna drop a gamehendge set tonight or something 😯

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