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. bobby weird Says:

    saul g … quite the super hero in that way. there is something there.

    bg3, set II: “facts dont do what i want them to.”

  2. BingosBrother Says:

    Hopefully, the 1st half was the Bears OK show and the 2nd half will be a Dicks led jihad.

  3. bobby weird Says:

    fuckin dorn, for the MFW! love that!

  4. RedRedWorm Says:

    Yes, Tela’s. Crystal Ball is a Bad Mamma Jamma, indeed.

  5. Phishm0610 Says:

    then again I have it on DVR and have it paused. Might as well go back and catch up.

  6. PigSong Says:


  7. angryjoggerz Says:

    wait, her name is actually Crystal Ball? Her parents must be pissed that she did not end up as a stripper.

  8. Xpun Says:

    We could always post a play by play for mia. Im too tired. Any volunteers?

  9. PigSong Says:

    first link didn’t post



  10. RedRedWorm Says:

    S.E. Cupp from “The Cycle” is pretty damn easy on the eye as well.

  11. bobby weird Says:

    i nominate phishm. no….wait… on second thought NO!! i dont!!

  12. tela'smuff Says:

    Hell yeah. Cupp is nerdy hot. Love her. #politicalporn

  13. MiA Says:

    I heart radio (iPhone app) and searched for ESPn, and found green bay ESPn radio.

  14. PigSong Says:

    I’d love to hear why these refs aren’t Scabs, and if they are why it hasn’t been publicized. Only one article on the topic in google.

  15. bobby weird Says:

    i’m going to further incriminate myself, but having just now listened back to BG 3, set II, crosseyed-jam … umm .. fucking dark star!! — i assume this has been discussed. i kinda remember it but not so clear b4

  16. dorn76 Says:

    Alex Wagner ain’t too shabby neither.

    Perhaps MSNBC’s tagline should be Upward, rather than Forward.

  17. RedRedWorm Says:

    Hahahahaha…Lean Upward.

    Well played.

  18. bobby weird Says:

    saul goodman superhero action figure or, at least, some branded image of this important action figure. i really see potential here.

  19. bobby weird Says:

    kaya get with me. do fo free

  20. MiA Says:

    Thanks pigsong

  21. Jerome Brown Says:

    damn, the bears are worse than i thought

  22. MiA Says:

    Bears are worse than the vikings.

  23. PigSong Says:

    “I think that was a catch” -no shit.

    “That was a punch, it was on purpose! That was on purpose!!” -please somebody gag this announcer.

  24. tela'smuff Says:

    Whose smirk is worse? Romney or Cutler?

  25. Phishm0610 Says:

    been watching the game. What’s the topic been. Got the game paused again. MiA, did that link work for you? U able to watch the game now at least? Directv all the way for me. NFL Sunday ticket, Red Zone channel and NFL network. nice.

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