California Dreamin’

Hollywood Bowl - 8.8.11 (Graham Lucas)

Phish greeted a distinctly Los Angeles audience to a second set filled with action-packed adventure, following up their opening weekend at the Gorge with playing every bit as strong. With nary a moment to stop for air, the second set possessed a relentless flow, diverse jamming and an arrow set for the dark side. Following a well-played but straightforward opening half, the band got to business in second, highlighted by the opening sequence of “Carini > Crosseyed -> Twist > Piper.” With an impending flight to Tahoe in mere hours, let’s get to the video tape.

Official Hollywood Poster (DKNG)

After several contained “Carinis” over the opening half of summer, when Phish kicked off the nightcap in Hollywood with the dark anthem, one had the sense that it might go a bit further. And instead of dropping out into another song following a hard-rock peak, this time the band built naturally into a mid-tempo groove and right onto the spiritual plane. Flowing from the dark to sublime, “Carini” provided one of the beautiful passages of the night. Spilling into a spacey outro, the band wasted little time before dropping into “Crosseyed and Painless.”

Enhancing the composed jam with percussive and intricate interplay and seething fury, Phish had the Bowl eating out of the palm of their hands as they jammed on the song’s infectious theme. Mike’ bass lines stood out as a commanding force beneath this piece—and the set—as his eclectic ideas thumped loudly into the Hollywood hills. He and Trey shone together throughout this hard rock peak and right beyond it, as the band jammed into more delicate textures. Getting very quiet very quickly, Trey favored guitar scratches over an alien canvas produced by Mike and Page, while Fish backed them with shimmering cymbal. As the band moved deeper into this spaced-aged sound sculpture, Mike, again, took command of the eerie exploration. Trey whispered the opening of “Twist” over this context, and the non-stop highlights continued to flow.

8.8.11 (G.Lucas)

With four-minded interplay within the theme of the song, “Twist” has become a modern-era piece of jazz-fusion, and this version stood out for its cohesive build from a cool beginning to a full-throttled peak. But the improvisational highlight of the show came next as the band paired “Twist” with its classic setlist partner, “Piper.” A vibrant example of musical density, the band assaulted the crowd with so many ideas and textures within this scorching-turned-blissful improv. Locked together and moving a mile minute through a jaw-dropping, wide-open jam, Mike and Fishman added a hard-edged pocket that continually pushed the piece to new and different places. And out of this original music, the band hit a sacred stride and finding some of the most transcendent places we’ve heard this tour. Though ending somewhat abruptly in “Mike’s Song,” this spectacular “Piper,” nonetheless, stood out as the gem of the show.

8.8.11 (G.Lucas)

A fiery “Mike’s” was out shined by “Weekapaug,” whose percussive interplay had reached an engaging plane when Trey put down his guitar and climbed behind the drum set. Fishman moved into the center of the stage and onto a mini-kit and the band seeped into Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” The quasi-comical take on the classic song added a new Fishman cover to his repertoire and added some lightheartedness to quite a serious set of music. Stamping the frame complete with “Character Zero” and “Quinn the Eskimo,” the band finalized another standout set of music.

Infusing their Hollywood showcase with creativity at every turn, the band left the City of Angels for Tahoe having dropped yet another bomb. Their stellar second set more than made up for any lack of adventure in the first, and the band heads for northern California as hot as we’ve seen them this summer. This one is a quick turnaround, so travel safe and I’ll see you there.

1st Set Notes: Well played throughout, the first set featured several songs just performed at the Gorge, though was highlighted by three pieces that weren’t—“Disease,” “Tube” and “Split.” The rare “Disease” opener always gets things going quickly, and this version kicks-started the show. “Tube,” though still short, just hit the spot as Trey comped Page’s solo with all sorts of funk sensibility. But the most outstanding piece in the opening half came in “Split Open and Melt.” More groovy than most recent versions, this version still reached those raunchy and dissonant places that define a great “Split.” In fact, much like Raleigh in June, the band got so engaged in their abstract improv that they had trouble building out of the jam as they botched the ending again. The other point of mention was the note-perfect rendition of Zappa’s “Peaches En Regalia.”

I: Down with Disease, Cavern, Possum, Cities, Peaches en Regalia, Kill Devil Falls, Lawn Boy, Tube, Back on the Train, Wilson, Axilla, Split Open and Melt, Backwards Down the Number Line

II: Carini > Crosseyed and Painless -> Twist > Piper, Mike’s Song > Joy, Weekapaug Groove > 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover* > Hold Your Head Up > Weekapaug Groove, Character Zero, Quinn the Eskimo

E: Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Julius (*debut)

 

Hollywood Bowl - 8.8.11 (Graham Lucas)

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963 Responses to “California Dreamin’”

  1. plord Says:

    Hey Multi, great meeting you too 🙂

  2. negev79 Says:

    I’m guessing steam and CK5 is going to be bouncing lights off those screens through the smoke.

    At least that’s what I hope is about to happen

  3. ThePigSong Says:

    chef – from the lp app? If so I’ll buy it right now to be able to stream the next three sets audio only from the phone.

  4. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Maybe there are mics on those sheets for surround sound?

    Is shit about to get Storage on our asses?

  5. Multibeast Says:

    Been off for about 30 mins or so.

  6. She Divides Says:

    That’s awesome chef!

    @plod- despite a little chop in my stream the 46 days sounded excellent.

  7. plord Says:

    Thanks Negev. I am still so exhausted from the red-eye home that I might not last but I wanted to hear at least a little 🙂

  8. DukeOfLizards Says:

    ^speakers, not mics

  9. She Divides Says:

    Whoops, I meant plord Damn touch screens.

  10. DukeOfLizards Says:

    I’m in this for the long haul on the east coast.

    Beer cracked.

  11. chefbradford Says:

    @Pig no, I paid for the streams, then had the idea to try logging into livephish via my phone’s web browser and see if I could catch the stream. It worked. I haven’t tried it on the LP app, but I doubt it would work unless you’ve paid for the show.

  12. negev79 Says:

    red eyes suck. good news is that you can still listen to the show tomorrow if you crash out tonight. The wonders of modern technology.

  13. Corey Says:

    Veggie Korma over here…And checked the tail end of J. Stewart. Stateline is a strange place. Hope for clean sounds this set. Or not.

  14. gavinsdad Says:

    racer 5 here. call it Duke.

  15. Multibeast Says:

    Did a red eye from maui last oct. That flight straight up ruined me. Fever, flu the whole deal.

  16. She Divides Says:

    @ duke- here’s to the long haul!

    @plord- good luck resting up, red eyes suck but my old boss made the whole staff take them, so after a while I kind of got used to them.

  17. kayatosh Says:

    it’s on.

  18. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Chillin with a Woodpecker. Slim pickins at my go-to bodega.

    Although my grocery store just picked up a bunch of the Six Point brews, including the Sweet Action, which is all kinds of exciting.

  19. gavinsdad Says:

    i had one of those tough tough situations at work turn good late today. i am wildly pumped.

    jiboo to set the mood nice. hershey opener summer 10 was goodness too.

  20. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Stream is about a grillion times better than set I for me.

  21. gavinsdad Says:

    Although my grocery store just picked up a bunch of the Six Point brews, including the Sweet Action, which is all kinds of exciting.

    ^my local store down the street got 4 diff sixpoint 4 pack cans incl the sweet action. that is delicious stuff.

    back to the music.

  22. ThePigSong Says:

    got it chef, I didn’t pay for the stream because of bandwidth issues tonight. Guess I’ll have to tomorrow to at least give her a try.

  23. DukeOfLizards Says:

    That Hershey show was a fuckin blast. Before my BB days, but I distinctly remember a tall motherfucker at the WW table imploring me to kick down before I got down :D.

  24. negev79 Says:

    ah the pirated streamer got wise – audio only no video. Fine by me!

  25. ThePigSong Says:

    how lame is it that Beale street is outside my window, and I’m cooped up with a Sierra Pale listening to a stream? don’t answer.

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