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”

  1. Weekapaug Says:

    well, we did get the 3 Fox shows and New Years, so I’m not complaining

  2. lastwaltzer Says:

    @aw when i was at red rocks I was having a blast he doesn’t sound that good though on a lot of the tracks or it could be fishman not being used to having someone to drum with and they were just getting in each others way.

  3. Selector J Says:

    sorry to burst your bubble there, Mr. C.

    I want to see some Moses blotter sheets. That dude never gets any love.

  4. albert walker Says:

    We hear the same mistakes Lw

    And yes I’m sure some was fish’s slop

    But there are some amazing bk moments in undermind and waves

  5. lastwaltzer Says:

    undermind was the best part imo that did work for the most part.

    On that note I’m out, Mr.C remind me about that shirt llfa

    see yall tomorrow.

  6. sumodie Says:

    mmmm…some good convo here today (d’oh) …some thoughts:

    Guided trips: Phish shows are a kind of guided trip, with room for improv of course.

    Tower jam: I always pimp it. Only time at a fest I knew when/where the 4th set would happen. I doubt I’ll witness another piece of performance art that tops this one.

    Telluride: yeah, baby! A fair trade for RR, imo. Especially when resources are considered 🙂

    Kesey @ Darien: wished my Mom (& Dad) had been with me at this show, even with the acid talk (llfa).

  7. albert walker Says:

    Deadheads are crazy

    Treat fake jerry like he’s the second coming

    But rag on some old dude that has given us so much cuz he likes to bring his wife to work


    Who fuckin cares

  8. albert walker Says:


    Markets faded into the close again

    Russel pretty flat

    May be ok

    Boring day today

  9. Robear Says:

    Random pole question #2:

    Whence eating Oreo’s or Newman O’s,

    do you regularly convert the single stuff to ‘double stuff’ before consuming?

  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    What do oreo’s have to do with pole’s?

    BTW- never convert, single stuff is how i roll.

  11. albert walker Says:

    Robear working for the census bureau

  12. Luther Justice Says:


    You’ll find the Phil/Jill flip off picture on philzone on the discussion board, in the “other stuff” folder under “Jill Thread Pulled”. Then scroll down to the 3:00 PM Feb. 28 post by Jill Lesh. There you will see them. And Phil’s eyes look crazy.

  13. Luther Justice Says:

    and Jill Lesh is quite attractive…

  14. halcyon Says:

    whats happening BBoard. T-Ride sounds like it is happening. Finally received an email from homeowner I was looking to rent from. Rates went up by 90 a night. Good thing we have a place booked. Can’t wait for dates to be announced. It is like the anticipation of christmas as kid. Downside is still have to try and get tickets. Telluride might be my only shot at shows this summer.

    NO whammies.

    Amazing conversation today, well actually everyday on here.

  15. halcyon Says:

    That wook down shirt has me llfa’ing everytime I see it. I have to grab one soon.

  16. Angryjoggerz Says:

    No Phil for me tonight, sucks. I was never once shut out of a GD show, but somehow didnt make it in to the not quite show. I guess I should have tried harder, but was not overly motivated.


  17. Selector J Says:

    re: RR drumming

    Overall, I loved it. For me, the number of notes being drummed was unnerving at first (distracted me from the Undermind groove) but I felt they settled down quite a bit during, and especially after, the Drums segment following Undermind.

    The 7 Below and 2001 went over really well with what sounded like Fishman foging ahead while leaving lots of space for Billy K.

    The last few minutes of that 7 Below jam (before the drop into 2001) has some cool tension stemming from some fun time signature changes from the whole band. (At least, that’s what it sounded like to a guy who knows very little about the technical aspects of music…) The 2001 was a good call to go into… like a rhythmic release when they lock in to that groove plus LOTS of drumming space. By the time Waves was played, I think maybe Fishman and Billy K were finally comfortable enough to play the plethora of notes they tried during Undermind and this time it felt right to me. Maybe I had just gotten more comfortable with it? Whatever it was, I thought the experiment was ultimately a success.

  18. kayatosh Says:

    yo wussup yall. listened to mike’s new joint, birth of universe and now digging on the 8/15/93 tweezer. damn 93. always loved me some 93, especially in 93, boy.

    aw: still holding a massive short position on (bill) russel 2000, added short today at the rus high of day (finally hit a high and shorted it). i am very underwater but stayin put.

    gonna go watch duke mess up MD. no fera of the turtle here.


  19. kayatosh Says:

    time to read a few comments (and finish tweezer) before b-ball. love you dudes and dudettes.

  20. kayatosh Says:

    “Sobriety is relative

    I puff and once a month maybe have some wine

    But imo am living sober

    Everyone is different but I don’t see grey raggin on others over reasonable consumption”

    brilliant. i’m in your camp. lay off the alchol. keep it as a rare treat.

    oh shit, a simpson’s doh. 8/15/93 tweez

  21. albert walker Says:


    You should sell skew on that index
    Shit is jacked

    Vols are creepin in

    Make money if the short grinds against you

    All the index skews are pumped

  22. kayatosh Says:

    aw: index skew? you lost me. i’m no pro.

    duke game: zubek rips net to slow down MD momentum and maybve slap some sense into ice cold sheyer.

  23. kayatosh Says:

    aw: yes, betting against the rus (only since mon on this latest position) has been murderous. rus is on parabolic launch. cooled topday. had a real strong down move off the HOD. and then recovered somewhat, like magic.

  24. albert walker Says:

    Out of the money options on the indexes are at 2 year highs relative to at the money

    Cats hedging a huge move down

    Sell otm puts if markets are flat to grinding up

    Would get smoked on a big quick move down though

  25. albert walker Says:

    Markets looked tired today

    Trend still feels up though

    Adp jobs # was hot today

    I just want more volatility
    After the opens shits been dull

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