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. Phishm0610 Says:

    or been? my bad.

  2. MiA Says:

    Darien lake Demons have Mason Crosby. He’s killing it.

  3. Xpun Says:

    G$$$ is the demons.

    No one has cutler I hope

  4. MiA Says:

    Cutler always looks baked. Spicoli style smirk.

    Romney has the “im a billionaire, I don’t smoke pot, but I’ll give you a swirly in the toilet” smirk.

  5. MiA Says:

    My other FF team opponent has him. He’s like -4 now.

  6. Xpun Says:

    I’ve got Rogers in my work league. Sweet

  7. PigSong Says:

    Donny D!

    Later folks

  8. Xpun Says:

    Romney has the “I haven’t figured out where its coming from yet but I’m guaranteed to make a HUGE profit off your demise” smirk.

  9. bobby weird Says:

    so funny. i despise cutler but worship spicoli, so v confused… but spicoli is so rich… its in the eyes?

  10. bobby weird Says:

    shoots first … aims after… thats gold jerry. that plus i killed bin laden? barack is on track to be back. sorry all haters.

  11. voopa Says:

    It’s Krystal, btw.

  12. dorn76 Says:

    In the campaign he said he’d make that call, and he made it. Solid. Seal Team 6, ftw.

  13. dorn76 Says:

    Dick’s Piper.


  14. bobby weird Says:

    gotta be a lock. esp given romney flubs re middle east. except, of course, for the probable october surprise. i like our chances on balance.

  15. MiA Says:

    Bears O line is terrible.

  16. Xpun Says:

    Bears _______ is terrible.

  17. tzara's Says:

    Trying to dose out Dick’s one set at a time with the Mrs. She gets mad when I listen without her. So we’re rolling D1 Set II. Jim! I’m rooster’d back by the Foam with MiA all over again.

  18. tzara's Says:

    Damn, I brought the BB to a halt. Let me tell you about the dinner I had, what I did today, then follow with a rundown of my thoughts on context, reggae, and civilization. Anyone?

  19. Phishm0610 Says:

    absolutely. what you got.

  20. Phishm0610 Says:

    actually. I’m tired. Gonna get some sleep. I’ll read what you got in the morning. Night all.

  21. tzara's Says:

    Well, for dinner I sauteed kale and garlic, then deglazed with a sauvignon blanc that I made. Added tomatoes, nicoise olives, vegetable stock, bay leaves, thyme, and then added two filets of cod. Cook covered for 5 minutes, take the cod out and reduce the mixture. Paired great with a white burgundy.

    As for context, reggae, and civilization, I am pro, anti, and pro. Not anti-reggae, just never connected on a deep level. My shortcoming.

  22. voopa Says:

    We had filet mignon, mashed potatoes and asparagus with a heaping helping of feuding.

  23. slicksasquatch Says:

    hey all! just got back from a nap. work was tough today.
    the only thing that come me through was a nice green tea.
    reading a few emails from my friend GILLY FISH now and then gonna watch some big sweaty men take showers in the locker room.
    Night All!

  24. tzara's Says:

    Most of that sounds like a great evening, @voops. Hope everything is well. Except the 49ers, I hope the Hawks can keep up with them. Missed seeing you this year, next year for sure.

  25. Andrew Says:

    Fly by – just getting in from seeing the Alan Evans Trio, found out about the show around 8:30 tonight, showed up no tix no problem doors were open no charge since there was no one there. Literally no more than 17 people at the busiest, including bartender and soundman. There were more hula hoops than people at one point. Unreal performance, been wanting to see his chops since the early Soulive days. Guitar was in the pocket and the organ player absolutely smoked, has played with Melvin Sparks for a while. Sick funky jazz, his beats are insane.

    If they are coming through your town they are a must-see! Believe they are heading to Athens tomorrow night. Chill guys to talk with and even with an abysmal turnout they raged it hard. What a treat.

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