Side Effects

2.19.10 - Chicago (C.Smith)

Over the weekend, Trey finished up his three-week solo tour, a swing that drew critical acclaim and copious enthusiasm from all of the Phish community. Throughout his tour, Trey grew more and more comfortable, letting loose with his musical expression, aided by the pressure-less environment of TAB. The development of his chops in February bodes well for this summer, when Trey will rejoin his school of Phish. And just as Trey winds down, Mike is about to hit the road for a eight-date mini-tour of the eastern seaboard. Like Trey, Mike has spent a week in rehearsal for his upcoming dates, yesterday releasing a newly-created track called “Birth of the Universe,” giving us a glimpse into the band’s sessions. Let’s take a look at each of these solo tours, and what effect, if any, they will have on Phish come summertime.


Trey and Classic TAB

Trey is the unquestionable creative force behind Phish, hence his solo efforts always present more relevance for Phish’s future than other member’s side-projects. Many songs have migrated from TAB to Phish over the years, and this tour also left us with a series of potential crossovers. Often times, the songs he drops infrequently over a tour are the ones he is reserving for Phish to define. In this case, one obvious choice would be the new Anastasio / Marshall composition “Obstacle of Course.” Played only three times over the three week tour, the catchy song seems destined to be an addition to the Phish catalog come this summer. Additionally, the reworked “Love Is Freedom” from Shine, played only once at Connecticut’s Oakdale Theatre, seems like a perfect groove vehicle for Phish to adopt. Rife with the lyrical happiness that defines the band these days, don’t let the title fool you, this could be a serious improvisational springboard. Another song that could surface this summer is “Liquid Time.” Since Phish soundchecked the song twice last year, in Chicago and Indio, Trey, with the help of Don Hart, rearranged the piece to include TAB’s horn section, forming an alternate incarnation of the song that worked quite well. But with the piece’s genesis on Party Time as a Phish song, one would imagine it would jump back into the big pond come summertime. With one stellar version from Indio’s soundcheck already under their belt, one can only assume “Liquid Time” will become a larger launchpad for Phish in the future. The other song that I originally had slated for entry into the Phish universe,”Show of Life,” was played ad infinitum during Trey’s tour, making its transfer to Phish somewhat nebulous. Still boasting the sublime sound of Phish, this piece could fit quite well into a late-second set slot before a larger closing jam. Lyrically appropriate for the band’s current state, Phish has “found [them]selves right here” and “Show of Life” is a thematic piece focusing on redemption and the present moment, two prominent themes of Phish’s modern era. Only time will tell, but this could easily become a cathartic Phish anthem.

Obstacle of Course” 2.11.10 II


Love is Freedom > Simple Twist Up Dave” 2.13.10 II


Show of Life” 2.8.10 II



The Mike Gordon Band

While Trey’s side projects always have a direct influence on Phish’s catalog and musical direction, Mike’s band has provided him an opportunity to distance himself from Phish, a place where he feels he often plays second fiddle. Mixing his own originals, primarily from The Green Sparrow, with an eclectic array of covers, Mike’s band puts on a collaborative show that engages in more whole-band jamming than Trey’s. Mike, no doubt, leads the way with his rhythmic and melodic sensibilities, but opens the door to more free form jamming, inviting his bandmmates to join in the experiment more earnestly than in Trey’s groove machine. With the bass player as bandleader, and also the best musician on stage, a very divergent musical dynamic emerges in Mike’s band. Concentrated on bass-led improv within the context of a five piece, Mike’s shows divert from the Phish sound quite a bit. With a solid band surrounding him, Mike’s ideas often push the band into engaging places. Gordeaux posted a glimpse into his preparation for his tour on Facebook yesterday. His post is excerpted here (and his newly released track can be listened to below.)

“On the first day of practices, we decided to come to the studio and invite the muse to control us for a day. I led a guided meditation in which we imagined tapping into universal energy that connects from the spheres, through us, and into the center of the Earth, and then we imagined being on stage as the music played the band and the coolest sound we could fathom came out. Each band member then described his aural vision, directing the others to create it. And this little sampling is Craig Myers’ vision, entitled ‘Birth Of The Universe.’ He described ambience wallowing from nothingness, and then mouthed out a rhythm that Todd could then interpret, helping to kick the thing into rock-ass gear. Nice work, Craig.”

Birth of the Universe

9.25.09 (T.Hara)

9.25.09 - Chicago (T.Hara)

Throughout Phish 2009, Mike easily ran away with the player of the year award, commanding his instrument as if it were his fifth extremity. Building off two successful solo tours that clearly bolstered his confidence and musical assertiveness, he came back to Phish like a man possessed. His contributions to Phish jams often stood out as the defining facet of their musical adventure, and growing through the year, Mike absolutely owned Miami’s New Years’ Run with a display of unparalleled creativity. Therefore, while Mike’s solo music may not directly influence Phish’s catalog, his musical risk-taking and role as a band leader has led to an extremely prominent role in Phish’s virtuoso on-stage conversations, a factor that should continue to stand out into 2010. As Mike hits the road, I will be looking for people to write reader reviews of his shows since I won’t be out east next week. If this is something that interests you, please check out the reader review page for examples, and email your piece to!

The Mike Gordon Band dates are as follows:

3/05 – Revolution Hall, Troy, NY – SOLD OUT
3/06 – Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT
3/07 – Sherman Theatre, Stroudsburg, PA
3/09 – Rams Head Live!, Baltimore, MD
3/11 – Jefferson Theatre, Charlottesville, VA
3/12 – Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA
3/13 – Pearl Street, Northampton, MA
3/14 – Lebanon Opera House, Lebanon, NH


Jam of the Day:

Run Like An Antelope” 8.6.97 I

This unique rendition of “Antelope” ended Riverport ’97 in divergent style. As this multi-faceted build comes to a head, the band doesn’t stop, drifting into an instrumental, theremin-laced “Makisupa” interlude before kicking into the final verse.




8.14.97 Darien Lake PAC, Darien Center, NY < Torrent

8.14.97 Darien Lake PAC, Darien Center, NY < Megaupload

This stellar show includes a strong song-based first set with exciting versions of “Free” and “Antelope,” while the second set contains a divine “Harry Hood” which features one of the jams of the summer extending out of the song’s peak. Finally dropping into “Colonel Forbin’s” and the well-known Kesey-led Bozo madness, this show was a certifiable classic before the encore even ended. This show holds not only musical significance, but strong cultural significance as well. Check out my piece about this show, from the early days of Phish Thoughts, which delves into these larger themes. In addition, this Download of the Day goes out via reader request to Jim D!

I: Ya Mar, Funky Bitch, Fluffhead, Limb By Limb, Free, Cars Trucks Buses, Tela, Train Song, Billy Breathes, Run Like an Antelope

II: Chalk Dust Torture, Love Me, Sparkle, Harry Hood > Jam > Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Merry Pranksters Jam > Camel Walk, Taste

E: Bouncing Around the Room, Rocky Top

Source: B&K 4021 (modified hypers) > Beyer MV-100 > SBM-1 > D8

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571 Responses to “Side Effects”

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  1. garretc Says:

    Oh nice! The Kesey show! I was reading back in the articles the other week and I definitely remember that one! Right on…

    Also, neemsbane + tower jam for the 1st time = definitely worth the wait for the right opportunity.. 51 more minutes of bliss awaits me!

  2. garretc Says:

    Oh man, talk about face melting…

  3. garretc Says:

    Yes guy on the AUD recording of the Tower Jam, “HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!” is right!

    Damn, I can’t believe that’s over already… Soooo good!

  4. Willowed Says:

    Hey Miner,
    I am trying to familiarize myself with the Gordo catalogue as we speak. I have heard most of his jams but I really need to dive in a bit more. Neemor and I will be at the Toad’s place show. I hope to have a solid review for you on Sunday.
    I will also try and snap some pics for you!
    Thanks for the DOTD

  5. Willowed Says:

    I think jdub will be there as well. Between the three of us, we will be able to put a nice little review togther!

  6. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    oh, I can already tell I’m going to like hearing Birth of the Universe live.

  7. Holger Dansk Says:

    TAB > Phish … I’d also include “Tuesday”.

  8. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    TAB > Phish

    I hope this is meant to be “TAB segues into Phish” and not “TAB is greater than Phish. That’s a position I can’t see being defendable. But I’d love to see you try. 😉

  9. albert walker Says:

    Hopefully 3.0 becomes a newly focused phish renaissance

    Make one last run at creating some ground breaking music

    Miami was a teezer of what they could still throw down at us with a little extra effort

    Now if we can get fat fish to join a side project his drumming can step up to what is needed

    Can’t wait for the huge t-ride liquid time

    Laterz ya’ll
    Train comin in
    Gonna try to make some money

  10. Little Buddy Says:

    This Darien show brings back some great memories. It was such a mind-blowing experience for me that I decided not to go to the Went after this show (obviously a mistake, but…). Darien was my home-town show and after hitting almost every show on the Summer ’97 tour I was so close to home and couldn’t fathom the drive up to Northern Maine. A poor decision, but I can live with it. That Antelope just melted my brain and I couldn’t think clearly, I guess.

    I just noticed that Further is playing a park a few blocks from my house this summer. I guess I’ll be seeing fake jerry doing his thing with Bob and Phil after all.

  11. JerZ Says:

    First off- Mike is a freakin weirdo. Always has been, always will be, but I think that he has gotten weirder. I am not claiming that I am a picture of stability and normalness- but jeez louise. He’s a strange bird. I love it, wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Second- that Darien show was one of the most important pieces of Phish ever. I remember people looking around when Kesey mentioned the Further Fest, like everyone was thinking, “Is it OK that he just said that”. I felt like it was Phish embracing their heratage yet distancing themselves from it at the same time, and showing that they were not just the cool thing to do now that Jerry was gone. That show was a life changer for me. Thanks for the post, I have a really crappy copy

  12. Brimley Says:

    Quick question…I’ve yet to listen to a second of TAB’s recent shows and want to know the BEST overall show to DL…Flow, tightness of the band, and these increased chops by Ernest that Miner speaks of would be what I want to hear….

  13. fat bastard Says:

    brimley loved chi in person and on tape…

  14. Marshall Says:

    ^ mmm – everytime Brimley posts, my mouth waters for a barbecue sandwich

  15. bhizzle Says:

    “With the bass player as bandleader, and also the best musician on stage, a very divergent musical dynamic emerges in Mike’s band”. I know alot Creek fans that would strongly, and I mean strongly, disagree with the “best musician on stage” portion.

  16. Spasm Waiter Says:

    to Brimley- Tabernackle has it all happening. I caught Terminal 5 and was fully impressed with tightness of band, horn arrangements and the consistent funk and interplay of Ray and Trey. Taberknackle has them tighter even (they nearly dropped First Tube in NYC but managed to push through and nail the peak). Otherwise, that was some polished jam music.

    Cactus is on another planet in many ways…

  17. Guyute711 Says:

    Darien never dissapoints. I remember thinking after the show, how is the Great Went going to top this? The fact is it didn’t.

  18. neemor Says:

    We are certainly in the weird this morning, love it.
    Gordo is a strange duck but he has to be and he’s the one member of Phish I’d want to sit and B.S. with.

    The theramin-laced ‘Lope is a gem

    And Darien brings us some of the weirdest banter imaginable….

    Looking forward to the Mike show, should really be in tune that night as Mike captivates me like no other musician ever has.

    Thanks Miner,
    It’s snowing again.

  19. neemor Says:

    willowed, tickets look good for the sixth?

    Also, the fifth is a Kung Fu show in New Haven @ Stella Blues that would be a fine night on the town also…if you guys want to go, let me know…

  20. neemor Says:


  21. Marshall Says:

    Duck Duck Duck Goose
    Trey Fish Mike Page

  22. EL Duderino Says:

    @ brimley

    I’ve listened to every show thus far of TAB ’10 tour. My feeling is go with the Fillmore show. They’re all well played, but Charlotte doesn’t have the campfire sing along shit that is so annoying. my .02$

  23. Marshall Says:

    Yea! My show gets the nod. I win!

  24. neemor Says:

    Duck Duck Duck Goose
    Trey Fish Mike Page

    I believe Mike is the Goose…..

    but, llfa anyways.
    Well done, Marshall

  25. BabyBigPerm Says:

    Totally dig Gordo’s stuff. I love glimpses of ANY band in studio. Watching the development of musical thought to musical product is a fascinating process. Makes me envious for those that can execute. I need to spend less time with headphones in my ears and more time with instruments in my hands.

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