Moments In Mansfield

Official Mansfield Poster

I left Great Woods scratching my head last night with a question that has grown significant in the flow of recent Phish sets – “Why does Trey keep cutting off jams?” In a very good show at Great Woods that could have been great, Phish got into two sections of improvisation, out of “Sneakin’ Sally” and “Light” that reached points of greatness when Trey singularly decided to lop them off before they came to an organic endings. The flow of a potentially awesome second set became compromised, and we were left with some stellar, relatively disconnected, moments of Phish.

Within each individual jam, Phish is clearly listening to each other very proficiently, jamming as a unit quite well. But any time a piece seems to be progressing into something bigger, the band continues to push ahead in the musical concept, while Trey simply starts a new song. For examples, look no further than the two most significant pieces of last night’s show – “Sneaking Sally” and, more particularly, “Light.” Each jam brought original ideas to the table, connected in cohesive improvisation. But in both cases, (much more flagrantly in “Light”) Trey ended the piece awkwardly, suddenly starting the next song while the rest of the band was clearly still engaged. Food for thought.

6.12.10 (PEEK)

Nonetheless, the highest points in the evening came in “Sally > Light,” and a phenomenal “Slave” that deserved a more complete set to punctuate. “Sally” brought a bulbous funk excursion that had the amphitheatre bumpin’ like a pinball machine. Trey, with short, high-pitched licks and searing leads, and Mike, with thumping bass lines, engaged in creative interplay, leading the band through dance realms without ever falling prey to cliche grooves. Trey briefly previewed the upcoming “Light” by changing tones within the “Sally” jam, but then prematurely chopped in with the song’s initial chords. The band adjusted quickly, resulting in only a slightly rocky transition, but why isn’t Trey allowing jams to reach their natural conclusions?

“Light” entered sublime territory, leaving the song’s build for a darker exploratory realm. Page and Mike stepped up to co-lead this forward-looking experiment while Trey accented the jam from the behind the scenes. This section was amazing, but this section lasted only two and half minutes. As the band jammed on, Trey decided it was time for “Forcety-Six Days,” inexplicably starting the blues-rock number amidst a serious groove. Once the band had left the build of “Light,” they arrived at a plane that seemed destined for greatness along the lines of Blossom’s “Number Line,” but it wasn’t given the chance to grow.

6.15.10 (B.Riley)

Though “46 Days” didn’t go too far, it did include an clever improvised vocal ending before the band played standard versions of “Limb” and “Golgi.” When this dip in the road ended, Phish came back with a gorgeous version of “Slave.” Incredibly patient throughout, the jam featured a quiet initial section without a beat, as the band combined gentle offerings. Listening and responding to each other meticulously, the band built a summer highlight with the apparent set closer. Then throwing the audience a bone, the band tacked on “Loving Cup” to end the summer night.

There were encouraging sections in last night’s second set, but when the dust settled, the whole wasn’t necessarily greater than the sum of its parts. The opening “Mike’s Groove” contained high energy, but straight-forward playing in both halves, as the band has yet to match the creativity of Blossom’s “Groove.” An encore of “First Tube” closed the night on a high note just before the rains came.

At this point, Camden is set up to be a complete blowout with all sorts of big guns due up in the rotation. And Phish destroys Camden as a matter of fact throughout their career. Every.Single.Year. There’s no place like Southern Jersey to get the second-half of tour underway! See you there.

6.18.10 (K.Lindner)

First Set Notes: The jam of the first set came via “Kill Devil Falls.” A stretched out rock improvisation smoked anything in the frame with one of its best outings yet (though not in the same league as Bonnaroos’s versions from last June.) Shredding versions of “Divided Sky” and “Antelope” also dotted an opening frame that saw the debut of another original, “Dr. Gable.” This piece carries a distinctly non-Phishy sound, presenting the potential for something original to grow. Now that Phish has debuted so many new songs, the question remains – why aren’t they playing them? In the past, the band frequently repeated new material to improve it, but this summer we’ve heard a bunch of new pieces only once. Hopefully, along the second half of tour will see the development of  the new side of Phish alongside their classic jams. The band opened with a song called “Lit O Bit,” but as of right now, I do not know if its a Phish song or cover.

I: Lit O Bit*, Camel Walk, Possum, The Divided Sky, Dirt, Sample in a Jar, Kill Devil Falls, Dr. Gabel*, Run Like an Antelope

II: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley > Light > 46 Days, Limb By Limb, Golgi Apparatus, Slave to the Traffic Light, Loving Cup

E: First Tube

*Debut

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1,342 Responses to “Moments In Mansfield”

  1. Selector J Says:

    “Cool guy, I met him when I was abroad and have become pretty good friends. ”
    What! Dude, you know Steve Barker?!? That’s badass.
    You must have heard the Pressure Sounds release “Divine Madness… Definitely!” The second disc is all Scratch being interviewed on Barker’s The Wire show on BBC. Hilarious stuff from The Upsetter.

  2. flarrdogg Says:

    Unconcerned Palmer- RnR from SPAC is the goods. Complete with a legit segue into Free. Just listened. Good call.

    Bailed on my Furthur listening mission after appprox 15 minutes of 2/24/10.
    NEW PHISH WINS

  3. albert walker Says:

    I have a personality disorder officially

    I’ve posted with all 3 of my aliases on this page

    way to go on the Whale Lycan

    you do a better job of hiding your personality than me
    seemed a little too harsh at times for Lycan
    that’s probably why it worked

    or is it the real Lycan?

  4. angryjoggerz Says:

    Yeah, man. know him pretty well, will hang with him a bit this summer. Cool guy and he played a bunch of my tunes on his show, so that is cool. He works for the British Embassy in Beijing doing relief work and culture stuff, very cool gig.

    Selector J knows his reggae bidness, seen?

  5. Mr.Palmer Says:

    I wouldn’t steer ya wrong kid!

  6. Lycanthropist Says:

    No there were times i had to force the harshness.

    But I would say anything I said as the whale had to have some Lycan in it. So take it for what its worth I guess.

    I almost blew it a few times.

  7. angryjoggerz Says:

    Lycan and the whale are one in the same to me now. I like how the whale lives.

  8. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Flarr- you get to halfway to the moon yet? thoughts?

  9. kayatosh Says:

    re. 2010 being a huge improvement over anything in 2.0 and an extension of the best of 2009. I’m spinn 6-18-10 Rift now in headphones. while not perfect, it’s up to snuff for sure, which is saying a lot b/c rift’s a difficult song that we all know can get easily tripped up and sound just bad.

    gonna check that 6-22 KDF on lycan’s rec. and will spin 6-22 antelope while i’m at it. had originally skipped those.

  10. kayatosh Says:

    6-18 wolfman’s — laid back and all miked out. swingin it w/ swagger

  11. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Kaya- you hitting gdad’s on friday?

  12. BrandonKayda Says:

    @Flarr

    So I guess the Furthur didn’t go down too well? Haha, sorry about that. To each his own I guess llfa.

    The SPAC Rock and Roll is huge. One of the best jams of 2010 so far IMO, up there with Blossom #Line

  13. Selector J Says:

    that’s awesome, aj. Really cool that he played some of your joints on his show, too. Really cool. I mean, really.

    btw, have you heard Mungo HiFi out of Glasgow. A trio of producers/sound sytem operators just putting out devastating riddims.
    Check http://www.scotchbonnet.net
    I’ll be getting some promo stuff from them for the radio station shortly. I’ll share some here when I get it.

    @aw

    You know I was just ribbing you out of jealousy. Believe me. If I could afford/find all the OG presses, that’s all I’d listen to, as well.

    I don’t mind the vinyl reissues so much because even they have value since they’re done in relatively small batches. My Blood and Fire 180g ‘Heart of The Congos’ would probably fetch $40+ easy.

    Shoot. Even the out-of-print Blood and Fire CDs can go for $30+.

  14. kayatosh Says:

    @Mr. P. probably not. relying on a dude to drive and not gonna leave here til after 5. will try to find you guys in the lot for a hoot before gametime. I am pumped.

    first show since hershe(l walker)y, although i’ve listened to the other shows so much i feel like i was partially there.

  15. neemor Says:

    Lycan:
    KDF from Greatwoods was tops!
    Good call.
    I kept thinking: wow. This is good.

    Then they dropped ‘Dirt’ and I loved it, too.

    Then a cool new tune.

    Then a face-melting old tune.

    Dance city.
    Wish you were here.

  16. kayatosh Says:

    love havin a double lined up.

  17. kayatosh Says:

    neems: 6-22 dirt was the goods. great tune.

  18. Mr.Palmer Says:

    No problem Kaya- worst case we’ll meet up at the WW booth at setbreak. Mitch is working it as well.

  19. albert walker Says:

    no man

    it’s obsessive

    but like I said if I have money I spend it so putting it in vinyl works well

    it def works against me

    there’s tons of dope shit I pass on cuz there aren’t OG copies out there

    I finally broke down and bought all that Orchestre shit
    I would have never bought reissues like those before and they are dope as fuckin hell

    July 15th live in Chicago Orchestre should be dope

    It’s def easier to get a jazz or rock collection going all original pressings
    than reggae that’s for sure

    shit’s so fuckin rare in good shape

    my Super Ape and Return of Super Ape which are Island pressings so not even as rare I got sealed

    some of my prized possesions

  20. neemor Says:

    Kaya:
    That Wolfman’s was funky as hell.
    Damn, there are some really solid jams thus far…

  21. neemor Says:

    Kaya + Palmer are at Camden?
    Nice.
    See you guys at the WW set break (if not sooner).
    These are gonna be a pair of stunners!

  22. voopa Says:

    Dirt was great. Love that tune. Last night was a pretty damn nice show after all. Glad I had the day off and a chance to listen to it properly.

    And hi neemor!

  23. albert walker Says:

    I do have a real nice Heart of the Congos original pressing on Black Ark

  24. kayatosh Says:

    yep. we’re in pole position for two great shows. really excited for tomorrow b/c a thursday show has potential for some bustouts and some exploration.

  25. albert walker Says:

    you mean you didn’t hear kaya?

    you didn’t get the email?

    Phish sucks

    total geek dorkfeset

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