The first jam of tour that lifted the entire audience into a galaxy far, far away sprouted from the unlikeliest of places. Kick-starting The Greek’s second night’s second set, Phish strung together three heavy-hitting jam vehicles – “Rock and Roll,” “Ghost,” and “Mike’s Song.” Building a legitimate tour highlight in “Rock and Roll” and a solid version of “Ghost,” one figured when the band doused the fire of “Mike’s,” a mellow interlude was inevitable. Sidestepping “Hydrogen” for “Simple” for only the second time this year, Gordon’s anthem seemed quite appropriate for the summer night. “Simple’s” only previous appearance within a “Mike’s Groove” this summer came on June 29 in Canandaigua, New York, was a version that brought creativity back to the often one-dimensional piece, featuring a shimmering ambient jam that landed in “I Am the Walrus.”
Phish moved through the Greek’s mid-set rendition with a notably relaxed energy that characterized much of their playing out west. Fluidly migrating out of the lyrics, Trey and Mike took co-solos, cooperatively sculpting a double helix of melody that pointed in a singular musical direction. A dynamic opening carried an idyllic pace, allowing individual phrases to breathe while complementing each other perfectly. And just when it sounded like “Simple” was winding down and heading for another song, Phish dipped into their satchel of wizardry and pulled out a hypnotic spell.
Page took initiative with delicate piano leads, coaxing his band mates to keep their heads in the game rather than bailing for another song. The jam took a distinct turn for the mellow as Page led a gradual descent onto a gentle musical pillow. Once arriving there, Trey, Mike and Page immediately circulated in a three-piece melodic pattern while Fishman framed the abstraction with dainty cymbal work.
Page began to alter this musical orb with effected notes as Trey flicked astral pennies into the ether, blending their aural trajectories perfectly with the band’s floating experiment. As Page pushed the piece into a quasi-digital realm, Mike held down the lead with rolling bass notes. Entering an elevated state of blissful reverie, this futuristic groove took on a life of its own, moving mechanically within a sparse, psychedelic tapestry.
Deep into the jam, Trey added a rhythmic delay to his notes, pushing Fishman into a more earnest groove. Together, they lured Mike and Page into this spontaneous build. Laced with a bit of attitude, Trey added distorted layers atop the musical play-land and Mike hopped freely in this rhythmic romper room. This final segment brought the once placid jam into an intricate excursion in ambient-groove. Locked into a musical sequence that burst with nuanced tonal color, Phish crafted a bumping, space-aged dreamscape that piqued the interest of fans young and old. Providing the post-show buzz of The Greek’s second night, this “Simple” jam awakened all to Phish’s renewed improvisational capabilities as the band embarked on their second leg of summer tour.
Jam of the Day:
Phish broke down this unorthodox “Split” into “Dog-Faced Boy” before capping the sequence with a magnificent “Hood” that has unduly lived in the shadows of The Greek and Jones Beach’s versions.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
8.17.2010 Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY < New torrent w/ Encore
8.17.2010 Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY < Megaupload w/ Encore
A two-set, start-to finish barnburner, this show stands among the strongest of tour. Trey’s Alpine annihilation carried over to Jones Beach’s opener – another night where his torrid playing stood out. “Reba,” “Wolfman’s,” and “Possum” brighten the opening frame, while the second set is comprised of non-stop, highlight-quality improvisation.
I: Fluffhead, Kill Devil Falls > Cities, Funky Bitch, Wilson, Reba, Walk Away, Wolfman’s Brother, Possum
II: Lengthwise > Maze, Halley’s Comet > Mike’s Song > Simple > Backwards Down the Number Line > Prince Caspian > Rock and Roll > Weekapaug Groove, Loving Cup
E: Show of Life, Golgi Apparatus
Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S(din)> Lunatec V2> Benchmark AD2K> Sound Devices 722 (24/48)