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. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Bouncin- I’m with you. I was just saying that this past weekend to a few of the guys. For some reason, one I can’t quite pinpoint, I just don’t see this 3.0 thing lasting too long. Wish I had a reason for feeling this way. Maybe i’m just used to them pulling the rug out from under us in the past.

    I really hope I’m wrong and they play until 2020.

  2. Dorn76 Says:

    next stop MSG for me.

  3. lumpyhead Says:

    morning dudes

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Dorn- Tab at Beacon? I think it is Oct. 26th. Also playing Capital Theatre in Port Chester. That is probably closer to you and easier. I want to see that place. Really cool they brought it back.

  5. thedayman Says:

    Fully agree @AW. this show was an icing on the cake show for me… Pulledthe trigger absolute last minute and made the trek. Well worth it

  6. SillyWilly Says:

    “we’ll always have umphrey’s”

    well played, DF…and you’re right it hurts to write that shit.

    and I agree with AW. What’s going to happen to this scene once Phish is done?

    It truly is a dying era.

    The spirituality of the nation will suffer. no doubt.

    But for now, I’m enjoying this Indian Summer before the brutal, final winter.

  7. angryjoggerz Says:

    Glad I pulled the trigger last minute to do CO too, will be the last Phish for me until next year, and that will have to just be local. Leaving my wife with one kid was doable, but with two is asking a bit much, especially with no family around. Gotta make this weekend count, really looking forward to it. Say hi.

  8. Kevin Says:

    So is there any type of meetup in Denver at all?

  9. Duder Says:

  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Aj- you just have to pick your spot. One weekend trip a year should be fine. I left my wife with 3 this past weekend. I think they are pissed I came back. I kid, sort of… Soak in Colo. it will be great.

    I think 2013 will go huge. Winter, Spring , Summer, Fall tours.. with a NYE run also.

  11. phoammhead Says:

    i’m searching flights . . . damn, too expensive. i always do this shit before the dicks run . . . damn. shit. damn! i’m done. see you next yeamar.

  12. sumodie Says:

    Alf, ive an xtra 3 day ptbm field pass. will text u later

  13. angryjoggerz Says:

    I should also say that one of my friends just pulled the trigger and is coming from VT as well and she is in need of FRI and SUN GA field tix if anyone has a lead. I worked her a bit to come so now want to try to help her out as much as I can. She’s good people and will add much to the vibe, so help her out if you can. Hit me up, thanks.

  14. Dorn76 Says:

    Cap theatre is a definite possibility, would love to check out the renovation…Will wait to see what tix look like.

    Already have tix to see the Metermen w/Page on Nov. 1 at BB King’s in NYC. May end up with an extra, too.

  15. Jtran Says:

    I know silly has 2 extra Friday fields

  16. dusty Says:

    metermen at howard university after those NYC shows.

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Oh yeah, forgot about Metermen. Hope to catch that one.

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I heard a really good interview with Peter Shapiro on that wacky sunday call-in show on the GD channel last sunday 😉

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    in re: Capitol Theatre

  20. robear Says:

    AJ, tell her you have her set up with Waterwheel. For Friday and Sunday.

    If shes so darn great. Time to give back.

  21. Billy88 Says:

    anyone here like to golf?? CommonGround G.C is in Denver and just 6 miles from the venue and was just host to the US Am a few weeks ago.
    Public, inexpensive and have free(tip) caddies.

  22. Billy88 Says:

    I have an extra field for Friday.

  23. pw Says:

    you forgot about the epic LxL from 2-18-03. massive.

  24. robear Says:

    No Reba has come close to SBIX to my ears.

    Last nights was solid.

    LxL gets the $$$.

  25. Dorn76 Says:

    Last thing I need is a caddy snickering at my golf game.

    This is awesome…Remains of 550 bomb detonated in central Munich yesterday.

Leave a Reply