Patience Is a Virtue

8.10.11 - Lake Tahoe (Eric Batuello)

After four consecutive shows that flowed naturally with jams routinely seen to fruition, Phish closed out their stand in Tahoe with a herky-jerky performance that had flashes of brilliance, but little cohesion. Ironically, the band played quite well and continued to present original ideas throughout the second set, but instead of allowing any of these jams to fully develop, Trey showed his first signs of impatience during leg two as he continued to push the setlist forward while cutting of several jams that had loads of potential. In a second-set filled with improvisational vehicles, the possibilities were endless. When all was said and done, however, the “mini-jams” strewn throughout the main event—some charted for the stars—were never realized and Phish left the Sierras with a high-energy set that possessed little continuity.

"Disease" - 8.10.11 (E.Battuello)

When the band opened the second half with “Disease,” one had to think they were taking one of their favorite recent jams into the deep end. But when they had broken structure and engaged in serious improv, Trey decided to bring “Runaway Jim” to life at the cost of the “Disease” jam.” But when the guys opened up “Jim” for the first time in ages, it seemed like that decision would soon be forgotten. Coming out of a segment of growling psychedelia, Phish made a change and sounded like they might debut a new song. But when they took this idea and transformed the music into a sublime groove, it seemed like the band was on the brink of transcendence. But just as they hit full stride, Trey, inexplicably, bailed on the idea in favor of “Ghost” (a song he had already pushed earlier in the “Jim”.) At this juncture, Phish had embarked on two legitimate jams during the first two selections of the second set only to have them aborted by the big guy.

Though the “Ghost” jam, itself, was a straightforward rocker, once the band hit the peak, they dripped into an ambient excursion. As the guys added layers of abstract effect and melody to this burgeoning sound sculpture, the moments within were the most spiritual of the night. But once the band had locked themselves in the storage shed, Trey got claustrophobic and escaped this developing beast with the eject button in the form of “Golden Age.” Not to be repetitive here, but as soon as “Golden Age” got out its structure and into a palpable groove, Trey urged the band into an ambient fade out and “2001.” Letting loose a bit in the super-charged space funk, Phish crafted a sweltering late-set dance session, a vibe that would be furthered by a jamless “Sneakin’ Sally” and a wholly standard “YEM.”

8.10.11 (E.Battuello)

The meat of the second set would have to be considered the sequence from “Runaway Jim” through “2001,” but with little cohesion, the presentation of this music suffered. The set could have been huge. If Trey allowed one or two jams to grow—specifically, “Jim” and/or “Ghost”—the show’s eye-popping setlist would have sprung to life. But as it stood, though “Disease,” “Jim,” and “Ghost” all had moments of sheer genius, Trey’s continuous impatience didn’t allow the band to reach any musical breakthroughs. For the first time this tour, Phish didn’t drop a timeless, improvisational gem, but, instead, powered past a few passages of huge promise en route to their most discombobulated effort of August.

Unofficial Tahoe (Masthay)

Oddly, as tour has seemingly just started, it is now on the brink of conclusion. With one show at Outside Lands and three in Chicago, Phish will bid us adieu until Colorado—three shows that will likely be their swan song of 2011. And over these next four shows, I’m sure we will hear quite a bit more mind-bending music. Every tour has a speed bump, and last night certainly felt like the off night of this run—not such a big deal considering the goings on in the Phish universe over the past week. On to San Francisco. Next stop—Golden Gate Park!

1st Set Notes: The band played the first set straight as an arrow, favoring well-played songs though stringing together a lot of flat setlist choices. The show’s first signs of life came via a late-set “Stash” whose spiraling jam provided the first improvisational licks of the evening. The band built a little end-of-set momentum with “Funky Bitch,” and “Antelope,” but when the lights came on for setbreak, there wasn’t much music to discuss. The most notable talking point was the bustout of “Dogs Stole Things” to open the show, one of the last songs to appear in this era.

I: Dogs Stole Things, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Poor Heart, Alaska, Halley’s Comet > It’s Ice, When the Circus Comes, Ya Mar, Stash, Funky Bitch, Instant Karma!, Run Like an Antelope

II: Down with Disease > Runaway Jim > Ghost > Golden Age > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley, Guyute, Wading in the Velvet Sea, You Enjoy Myself

E: Show of Life, Good Times Bad Times

"2001" - 8.10.11 (Eric Batuello)

Tags: ,

1,321 Responses to “Patience Is a Virtue”

  1. Lycanthropist Says:

    ftw @ackbar

  2. sanchothehutt Says:

    that shit is hilarious, ackbar.

    it IS a trap, after all

  3. Mike in Austin Says:

    Every show gets a 1.4x multiplier in person. Lights make you lose your shit. it’s like watching fireworks. That 11 min Hood at Tahoe felt like 16 minutes.

  4. Mike in Austin Says:

    Except Hollywood. Which had a terrible sound system.

  5. win butler Says:

    Noice

  6. DryIceFactory Says:

    @Sancho

    Miner said he thought they should have gone further, which they should have. I argued back that I thought they were going for short and sweet to satiate the dance party crowd. I wasnt necessarily disagreeing with him (Wish that Ghost went deeper more than anyone) but I just said I thought Phish had felt like they killed it and played the show exactly how they wanted to. And what they did do was awesome.

    He argued jams were cut short, but I said I thought most of them (maybe all) reached natural conclusions and we couldnt fully agree there.

  7. sanchothehutt Says:

    I always wonder what Martian chicks think of this song

  8. Lycanthropist Says:

    its a real shame Hollywood had such a bad sound system..

    That bowl looked sick as hell and I really liked the second set

  9. Lycanthropist Says:

    no jams got cut in Tahoe 2

    they just didnt develop into anything.. IMO

  10. DryIceFactory Says:

    Yea Lycan you found the middle ground Miner and I should have found together. I feel like Ghost played to a success though.

  11. win butler Says:

    Not all musicians like to jam all the time.

  12. DryIceFactory Says:

    He actually agreed with basically everyuthing you said, if I remember correctly.

  13. Lycanthropist Says:

    I agree the Ghost > Golden Age > 2001 was tasty

  14. DryIceFactory Says:

    “Let’s trick a bunch of hipsters into buying our album and play our hard rock songs with fun lyrics.”

  15. kayatosh Says:

    nice opening 3 to set II tonight.

    been comparing aud. sources. now going with gotfob km140 for both nights of gorge. had the taylorc for night 1, and find the km140 has better clarity in the low end. waiting for gp420 to weigh in.

  16. DryIceFactory Says:

    “and our short, fun cover songs that non-fans might or might not know.”

  17. sanchothehutt Says:

    Yo, Dry, my buddies and I thought it was a fun show. Of course, it was on TV.

    But I’m totally with you. I felt they gave every song the treatment, and when they ended, I DID look at my buddy and think they cut it off early, but when every song is getting jammed out it’s hard to complain, right?

    Hope everyone enjoyd this “Bird’s”

    G’night!!!

  18. Mike in Austin Says:

    Gotta give credit to someone willing to go to a Phish show and stand there and rebroadcast for other people.

  19. sanchothehutt Says:

    It’s just that none of those promising jams amounted to much was the bummer…

  20. DryIceFactory Says:

    I think they played a great show at Tahoe and accomplished exactly what they, as a band, wanted to accomplish.

    Play some new and original licks for the jamheads but keep the set list moving for the mawl/dance party crowd. Similar to Gorge2, we just got more songs people “expected” to blow up and go deeper at Tahoe.

  21. Mike in Austin Says:

    The wine is kicking in. Later guys. See ya at UIC.

  22. DryIceFactory Says:

    ^Tahoe2

  23. DryIceFactory Says:

    Get some MiA!

  24. Lycanthropist Says:

    “Not all musicians like to jam all the time.”

    ^^^THIS!!!

    I cant tell you how rewarding it is sometimes to just nail off a bunch of killer tunes..

    It is a invigorating as a deep jam..

    And what better place to deliver a nice polished show, but to a bunch of hipsters at a fest. Make those fuckers get their hands out of their pockets and rip there skinny jeans due to dancing

  25. kayatosh Says:

    jam of tour so far – 8.5 RnR with the 8.9 Light in 2nd place, 8.6 sand in third.

    best sequence: RnR->meatstick->Boogie on.

Leave a Reply