Under the Radar

Phish played so many oustanding jams during leg two, that several top-shelf excursions have flown under the radar. Below are four jams that one shouldn’t forget when making his Leg Two playlist.

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Simple” 8.18 II, SF

BGCA (Michael Stein)

Buried in the least impressive second set of Leg Two was this ambient “Simple” jam that came a bit late to salvage things, but has plenty of post-tour playback value. The band trickled out of Trey’s solo and into a near-beatless realm anchored by ethereal harmonies. Painting a crying solo over the band’s drone canvas, Trey added an emotional thread to the abstract conversation. Speckled with loops and effects, this piece evoked the feel of Bay Area psychedelia and is probably the most undersold jam of the tour.

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Rock and Roll” 8.24 II, Pelham, AL

8.24.12 (Ryan MacNeill)

As Leg Two turned towards Colorado, this “Rock and Roll” had my vote for jam of tour. Once springing the piece from high octane rock textures, the guys moved into a clavved-out section of darkening percussive grooves. Trey carved out a sinister solo atop this momentum-filled segment, but when the band seeped out of this faster section and Fishman hit a medium-tempo groove, the quartet converged in a dreamscape of bliss. The second half of this jam is one of the most heavenly passages of Phish music this year.

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Golden Age” 8.25 II, Atlanta, GA

Official Atlanta Print (M.Davis)

For whatever reason, Lakewood doesn’t stick out in my mind when thinking back over Leg Two, but the show had two outstanding second set jams—“Chalk Dust > What’s the Use?,” (featured yesterday) and this “Golden Age.” The band dialed it back a bit on their new-era cover this past leg, but certainly not on this night, as they dove head first into an expedition in robofunk. Trey turned to his signature, Fall ’97 guitar scratches as Mike took over with envelope-filtered bass leads. This groove template actually popped up a few more times over the rest of tour, specifically in Dick’s “Chalk Dust.” Gordeaux forged forth on his bass led jihad, while the rest of the band danced gingerly around his atomic leads. Rarely did Phish give themselves to this type of focused rhythmic excursion over a blissed out leg two. After demolishing the dance floor, the band oozed into a storage-laced comedown that likened a soundtrack to the underworld. With so much to listen to, this one can easily get lost in the shuffle. It shouldn’t.

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Limb By Limb” 8.28 II, St. Louis

8.22.12 (R.MacNeill)

Phish played, arguably, the greatest “Limb by Limb” in history, rivaled only by 12.3.99, and nobody seems to be talking about it. Following a seamless stretch of music lasting almost forty minutes, when the guys started “Limb,” it felt like a cool down selection. But it turned out to be the highlight of the show. The band burst into wide open territory, when Trey hit an evil lick in the middle of the normally temperate jam, things got buckwild. Completely exiting the song structure and into one of the most compelling 2012 passages of music that didn’t take place at Dick’s, the band dove into deep waters. (Something many fans wish they would do more often with “Limb.”) Peaking the jam with a dramatic six-string expose, Trey took this one to the top with a rocket on his back. The St. Louis “Limb” is on the level of anything from summer tour. Simply awesome Phish.

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462 Responses to “Under the Radar”

  1. Foul_Domain Says:

    ^very strange comment…

    Not sure that I have the power to “shut the blog down”. In fact, Im not really sure what that means, but whatever.

  2. Mr.Miner Says:

    @tela, nebver questioned it. the rest of the set is relative crap…

    @phishm— Nobody shuts the blog down, son! Two strikes… ;)

    jk.

    this is a 24 hour establishment.

  3. Phishm0610 Says:

    Almost missed the jk. Introspective music on an introspective mind. Great writeup on those CDT’s. Good stuff. Oops. Maybe not night after all. Gotta get up early however. Good stuff.

  4. Phishm0610 Says:

    Just kidding of course. Great blog. Phinest in the nation. WOW. IT. !#spiced. Great terms. Thought those were tm. Just kidding. As you were. Peace.

  5. Phishm0610 Says:

    and for the last trifecta, night all. See u bright and early. Or not. Either way. Night all. Peace.

  6. Bwana Says:

    David Byrne talking about the evolution of 1960′s music:

    “The gathered masses in sports arenas and stadiums demanded that the music perform a different function—not only sonically but socially — than what it had been asked to do on a record or in a club. The music those bands ended up writing in response — arena rock — is written with that in mind: rousing, stately anthems. To my ears it’s a soundtrack for a gathering, and listening to it in other contexts recreates the memory or anticipation of that gathering — a stadium in your head.”

  7. Bwana Says:

    and this:

    “It’s been pointed out by Scott Joplin and others that the origin of jazz solos and improvisations was a pragmatic way of solving a problem that had emerged: the “written” melody would run out while the musicians were playing, and in order to keep a popular section continuing longer for the dancers who wanted to keep moving, the players would jam over those chord changes while maintaining the same groove. The musicians learned to stretch out and extend whatever section of the tune was deemed popular. These improvisations and elongations evolved out of necessity, and a new kind of music came into being.

    By the mid-twentieth century, jazz had evolved into a kind of classical music, often presented in concert halls, but if anyone’s been to a juke joint or seen the Rebirth or Dirty Dozen brass bands at a place like the Glass House in New Orleans, then you’ve seen lots of dancing to jazz. Its roots are spiritual dance music. Yes, this is one kind of spiritual music that would sound terrible in most cathedrals.”

  8. Bwana Says:

    ^^ i see parallels. connections. or maybe they’re just rainbows…

  9. Bwana Says:

    St Louis: Sand Reprise > Walk Away

    A shorter version than Dicks with an equally impressive segue… Walk Away straight fire (and the longest version in my iTunes catalog)

  10. voopa Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDbeVB4admk

  11. mmmhmm Says:

    Miner, since this is a 24 hour establishment, I wanted to drop this goofy old Nugs page I rediscovered this evening on Gorge ’97. Funny to read this after four or so years of reading PhishThoughts, especially since its Brad Serling’s old writeup…”kind bud supermarket and every aisle the produce section” pretty funny stuff. Interesting take on “the new songs” as well…

  12. Phunky58 Says:

    cmon man, i just tweeted about this exact subject with almost the same songs u put out there days before this article was released. coincidence?? hmmm i dunno about that

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