The Era of Good Feelings

6.20.2012 – Portsmouth, VA (Michael Stein)

This summer, if one thing was evident from Worcester to Denver, Phish felt great. Filled with joy, their positive emotions permeated their music all summer long, redefining the meaning of “Bliss Phish.” Where improvisational segments once turned towards the dark and ominous in such pieces as “Tweezer,” “Ghost,” and “Rock and Roll,” this summer,the band veered for the light in almost every instance. Thus, Summer 2012—especially Leg Two—was largely defined by these uplifting, melody-anchored escapades.

The Long Beach “Ghost,” KC’s “Tweezer,” Alabama’s “Rock and Roll,” Charlotte’s “Tweezer,” Dick’s “Undermind,” “Chalk Dust,” “Light,” and “Sand” head the top of this tour’s bliss jam class, and herein lie many of tour’s most magical moments. The joy and light that lives within every one of us recognizes these similar vibrations released by the band, resulting in truly heart-opening experiences. While I’m all about dark Phish jams, more often it is a bliss jam that connects one to the infinite. Why are so many people still reeling from Denver’s tour closing three-night finale? One reason is because so many of Dick’s jams elevated to this place of communal reverie, creating experiences more powerful and inspiring than normally outstanding Phish jams. The band was tapped into IT, creating more than music in the Rockies. They were harnessing universal messages from beyond everyday comprehension and channeling them through their instruments. Finally stepping out of the way, the guys were conduits in Denver,  as Trey often talked about in the mid-‘90s, allowing life’s energy and sounds to flow through them. And that made all the difference.

8.19.2012 San Francisco, CA (Michael Stein)

Most of the issues fans have pointed out in this era—rocky transitions, odd song selection, ripcorded jams, fizzling sets—have, arguably, come from the band overthinking things and not letting IT flow. On this past tour, however, that problem vanished in the air, as Phish glided through a fortnight of dreams. When thoughts cease, the false self dissipates and truth arises, and throughout Leg Two—specifically in Colorado, we experienced the truth.

6.19.12 – Portsmouth, VA (M.Stein)

At so many junctures during Leg Two, where Trey used to bail, he persevered, breaking down improvisational walls that once constrained him. And with the cooperation of his ready-to-jam bandmates, the guys formed excursions that shot arrows through our hearts all tour long. Phish’s good feelings didn’t only effect open jamming, but was infused into each “Harry Hood,” “Ocelot,” “Maze,” and even “Golgi Apparatus” that they played. The band was in the moment all tour long, and every second felt as important as the one before.

Music reflects the people and environment from which it is created, and with Phish and their fans teeming with joy all season long, everything clicked on Leg Two, resulting in a wake of euphoric music. As the band criss-crossed the nation with an absurd quickness, each night they were able to slow everything down, and take it one measure at a time. This commitment to improvisational patience combined with the gratitude, celebration, and appreciation that wafted through the air at every show, created a magical mixture that pointed the band towards catharsis more often than not. When it comes down to IT, music is all about feeling, and throughout Leg Two, things had never felt better.

6.20.12 (Michael Stein)


Jam of the Day:

Tweezer” 8.22 II, Kansas City, MO

One of my favorite bliss jams from summer.



6.19.2012 (Michael Stein)

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977 Responses to “The Era of Good Feelings”

  1. dognamedwilson Says:

    Seem to recall someone here saying he pink-slipped “classic tab” after the studio sessions. Trey’s horny gals are pretty chatty on twitter but I didn’t follow back then.

  2. Shred Says:

    Poopa- I’m referring to discussion from yesterday.

  3. dognamedwilson Says:

    ^which is to say, “following completion” not “as a result” of recording.

  4. angryjoggerz Says:

    Music reflects the people and environment from which it is created, and with Phish and their fans teeming with joy all season long, everything clicked on Leg Two, resulting in a wake of euphoric music.


  5. GhostPhunk Says:

    Morning BB

    I’m way too busy to be here today but I had to stop in and say how great I thought this post was. Nailed. So many excerpts I could copy and paste from this one that resonate at a deeper level with me. Miner, hats off buddy.

    Have a great day boys and girls.

  6. bhizzle Says:

    It’s all in the plaid shirts

  7. kayatosh Says:

    Great article, miner. Your words represent the feelings well. A daunting task to describe the largely indescribable, but you pulled it off.


  8. Troy Whaley Says:

    I was @ KC and OKC. KC was sooo laid back. Loved it, still love it, still spinning it. OKC had a different vibe as soon as we hit the lot. It was feeling really different as we entered the venue. I get why the jam seekers hated it – but i honestly had MORE fun @ OKC. Me and my show buddy were both reflecting how the songs seemed a lot longer than they were. It was a great rock show with some really good playing (minus zero). BUT – as we know, the documented audio has nothing on KC. Headspace? Perhaps. Life is complicated. So is the Phish.

  9. halcyon Says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Don’t remind me Tela’s 🙂

  10. Troy Whaley Says:

    It occurs to me, which might be implicit in Miner’s analysis, that it has taken three years of tours to get enough confident, loving, non-skeptical energy flowing to the Band to sufficiently prime the pump that feeds the Hose.

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    @troy – i felt the opposite about OKC. each jam seemed shorter than the next. i guess i was shocked to see what i thought was a 2 min Birds turn out to be a 4min Birds.

    sorry Halcy. if it helps any, they expect snow at 10,000 ft today.

  12. kayatosh Says:

    spinnin some leg I plus assorted this morn w/ the hspball.

    8.7.93 McGrupp — $$$. Thought it was 2012 phish. Then i checked the date. context.

    now 2.28.2003 — Walls of the Cave. Great tune.

    I love phish.

  13. kayatosh Says:

    some context is more important, noteworthy than others.

    you do not need to know the context to appreciate the music on its face.

    sometimes knowing the context enhances the playback listening experience.

  14. Chonz Says:

    Good Morning kids!

    I thought I’d drop in and say high before I read back on the posts I missed from last night (gotta keep up with my phishm0610 thoughts!)

    I’m feeling good today. Getting ready to get in on some presale tickets for the Book of Mormon in MPLS. Hope everyone has a great day.

  15. Dorn76 Says:

    Is that a copy and paste from earlier in the week @Kaya?

    (wry emoticon)

  16. Troy Whaley Says:

    @telas – OKC certainly does not withstand scrutiny after the fact. I figured my experience would be in the minority, one reason I wanted to share it. Analytically, my ego felt a little ripped off by 8 repeats between the two shows, despite the experience described previously. Looked like a night out for OU. More girls than you could shake a stick at. Maybe the custy college kids disprupted the flow.

  17. kayatosh Says:

    sorry, dorn. didn’t mean to open that can of worms.

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


  19. MiA Says:

    11.21.97 – Slave


  20. Xpun Says:

    Way to go DNW! Keep up the good work.

    Happy Bday Halcy.

    @Kaya – your love can be infectious. spread it around. I typed that and then realized it sounds like an STD warning. But I meant it in a good way

    wish i hadn’t missed the context discussion a few days back.

  21. Xpun Says:

    so worse geography? south bend indiana in the atlantic coast or dallas in the nfc east?

  22. Guyute711 Says:

    And the Big East continues to crumble. Why does Notre Shame insist on keeping it’s football autonomy. The program hasn’t been special in years. Oh wait, it’s ACC football.

  23. Leo Weaver Says:

    Happy birthday Hal!

    Good on ya DNW, keep it up bro!

    @xpun…or Mizzou in the southeastern conference?

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Why does Notre Shame insist on keeping it’s football autonomy.

    tired quip aside, the answer is “because they can”.

  25. Dorn76 Says:

    I don’t often use the phrase “so full of motherfucking win”, but when I do, I’m watching this Light vid.

    Great post Miner. Feels like Phish and the community are tapping in to what we’ve each always done best, and coming together to make Phish shows can’t miss type shit.

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