Shakin’ to That Fine Fine Music

6.11.11 (Brian Ferguson)

Due to the copious amount of great music that came out of summer’s opening leg, one jam has been notably missing from many discussions of top-shelf highlights from June. After three-nights of fire in the Midwest, Phish returned to the east coast for a mid-week stop in Great Woods. Sandwiched between their Midwestern throwdown and a groovalicious night in Darien, its not surprising that Great Woods—a venue that should be renamed Mediocre Woods for this era—has been glossed over. Thought there wasn’t a lot of highlight material at Mansfield compared to other shows of June, but towards the beginning of the second set, Phish threw down a version of “Rock and Roll” that stands up to just about anything played over the entire tour.

6.10.11 (G.Lucas)

Before the band had even launched from the song’s classic rock textures, creativity defined their interplay. As Trey annihilated his solo, his band mates were similarly crushing the piece—Page on piano and Mike dropping high-octane bass lines—in a showcase of torrid energy. And though the band was connected early on in this standout jam, things got far more interesting once they entered uncharted territory.

Flowing into a sparser musical texture, Mike took the lead with bold offerings as Page hopped up to his clav and Trey chopped atypical rhythms licks over a powerfully rolling beat. The band’s fluent communication translated right into this new sequence, and as they, collectively, slowed the jam down, the music grew more engaging by the moment. Once they reached a certain tempo, the guys quickly launched into abstract, melodic interplay as Trey wove his lines over Fish’s ultra-delicate breakbeats. If the band was locked to begin with, by this juncture they were Krazy-glued together and fully tapped into to the source. Trey entered his spiritual register, repeating a melody from the gods over an increasingly ambient backdrop. And as the band converged around Trey’s theme, they immersed the audience in bliss. Moving as a single entity, the Phish had reached a golden moment.

Official Great Woods Print (Duval)

But the jam only stayed uplifting for so long. As Trey tore off one sinister lick, the entire piece took a turn for the dark side. Mike and Fishman formed an intricate unique pocket, as Fish continued his standout playing. Trey unleashed seething guitar lines over these rhythms and the band dove into a menacing experiment, considerably upping the intensity of the music. Page offered piano comps to this darkening passage as Trey just absolutely went to town. With the band adhered in a single-minded mission, each member brought eclectic and connected phrasings to an increasingly evil brew. This sequence jam blossomed into psychedelic monstrosity, and once it reached its peak, the band allowed their wall of sound and effect to gradually wash into a drone landscape. Removing the crowd from this sonic dungeon, Trey softy played the opening lick to “Mango Song,” bringing the dark into the light and resolving the band’s dip into the netherworld.

Because the show’s relative mediocrity, this experimental “Rock and Roll”—that built directly from Phish’s Midwestern mayhem—has been wrongfully slighted in post-tour playlists and analysis. Maybe you are familiar with this jam or perhaps you’re not, but either way, click play and let this dark-horse adventure take your mind for a spin.



Jam of the Day:

Light Up or Leave Me Alone” 6.14 I

A smoking highlight from the first night of Alpharetta’s two-night stand.

[audio:] Tags: , ,

467 Responses to “Shakin’ to That Fine Fine Music”

  1. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Hell yeah, voopa! my first skip show, I’m ready.

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    sure snow

    we’ll just have to see how it plays out

  3. snowbank Says:

    Also, this isn’t anybody’s first rodeo so I hope everyone knows that it is not personal if you don’t show up or respond or whatever. I’m just trying to give myself the best opportunity to meet up with people throughout the weekend. Especially with people that I still have not meet…

    I’m learning how to work the groupMe deal. Even better. If you send me your email addy then I can email you an invite and you can use a nickname and put in your phone number without needing to send it to me. In case you are worried about that sort of thing.

  4. sumodie Says:

    snowbank, thnx for the groupme invite, I’m in

  5. Corey Says:

    Couple things. This heat is stifling up here in the NE.

    Was at the Gorge for the first round back in 97. Now that was a hot two days to be in the pit. They unleashed the hoses on us preshow. 09 was a little more bearable. Primo camping behind the red fence was awesome. Anyone remember hearing the mission impossible theme on clarinet while folks tried to scale the fence for a quicker line to their camp? Some were more successful than others. That was me on the clarinet egging them on. Some totally got into character, others were oblivious to the musical referencing of their stealthlike maneuvers.

    Love that @Mr. C shares my enthusiasm for asshole day.

    If by Terraces, you mean rocks, then great. If not, may I suggest sitting/standing on the rock ledge between the terraces and the lawn behind you. You are in line with the band and can sit (not that you’d want to) for the whole show unobstructed, on the rocks. There’s the walkway behind you. Sound is incredible as you’re at equal height with PHiSH. And to be able to see (you see, I’m not very tall) unobstructed sitting even…well, that’s the posternutbag’s meow. Plus, you’ll get the cool breeze all night.

  6. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    signed up for the Gorge groupme also, let’s see how it goes. Thanks for setting it up @snow. On the Portsmouth Suzy now. Good show, great Crosseyed and Light. Wanted a little more Light, but I’m kinda selfish like that. Nice show. The first set Timber was the best 6 minute song I can think of.

  7. mitch Says:

    Bill, what’s your name on the BB before I join this group me for gorge?

  8. mitch Says:

    Guess I shoulda read before posting. Thought it was stranger danger.

    On phishposters asshole day is every Thursday. Any other time someone is being an ass they say “didn’t know it was Thursday yet” and on Thursday it’s fair game.

    Might make us new yorkers and AW feel more at home around here you fucking pussies.

  9. mitch Says:

    :my plan is to go in early with WW even tho I have a ticket so I can secure a terrace spot for mr c and company:

    Shh dont tell. His vet ass schooled us on the terraces back in 09

  10. Corey Says:

    Derek is soo good. One of the toughest sounds out there.
    Sure looks older with the beard. Not a kid anymore.

  11. Corey Says:

    Ha! Great musician to musician exchange from Conan. “You’ve been practicin’!”. Got a nice smile from Derek.

    G’night owl.

  12. Guyute711 Says:

    everyone left the tt when I lost internet connection and now I cant’ play tunes. Boooo!!!!

  13. voopa Says:

    “You’ve been practicin’!”

    That was awesome.

  14. brother Says:

    listening to radiohead in rainbows to come down off of this phish high. what a great month of june and early july. some game changing events both on and off the field. thank all you people for making my day what ever degree more enjoyable than it is. seriously, you guys are like a fresh breeze every time i check in. keep on keepin…..whatever…… you get it.

  15. brother Says:

  16. brother Says:

    on the murdock thing…

  17. lumpyhead Says:

    @ Miner – about all the stuff on twitter… if you have haters, you’re doing it right.

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