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)

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1,321 Responses to “Patience Is a Virtue”

  1. DryIceFactory Says:

    BOFA is begging for a jam at UIC. Go Island Tour on that shit.

  2. DryIceFactory Says:

    Agree Kaya

  3. sanchothehutt Says:

    I’m just enjoying the fact that Phish is back and as good as ever, and that my Brewers are 4 games ahead of Tony LaDouche’s Cards 🙂

    Fluff, huh? SOunds like the jams are all headed toward Chicago. Have fun, you folks with tix! I envy you.

  4. DryIceFactory Says:

    I hope we get something to rival ADS->Fluff->Bowie at UIC.

  5. sanchothehutt Says:

    You fellas have no idea what you’re about to get @UIC. I really have a feeling it’s going to be epic.

  6. thedayman Says:

    cannot wait for UIC this next week, my head will explode over the course of the run, no doubt.

  7. DryIceFactory Says:

    You know what is awesome about Fluffhead for me?

    I had never heard the song before until I saw it live, on the floor, maybe 20 people back, with a head full of L. I kept telling my friends after the show “DUDES… the chorus celebration at the end of that song “Fluffhead” is RIDICULOUS!” That was the night I really got IT.

  8. DryIceFactory Says:

    Check this out…

  9. DryIceFactory Says:

    oo they just fucked up

  10. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Nice DIF!

  11. DryIceFactory Says:

    not a very clean version of Fluff

  12. DryIceFactory Says:

    Page with a lil improv there.

  13. Tom Says:

    bundle of joy

  14. thedayman Says:

    i think 2001 is coming after dis

  15. DryIceFactory Says:

    A Day in the Life next

  16. Guyute711 Says:

    They finally played steam!! Haven’t been looking. Just watching tahoe business.

  17. DryIceFactory Says:

    @dayman

    I think they could build a fun segue from #line to 2001 if they got weird with it a la Blossom10, Jones Beach10 or even Bethel2.

  18. DryIceFactory Says:

    @G711

    Trey had a guitar sorcery solo is steam. $$+

  19. Tom Says:

    Halfway to the moon still mia

  20. thedayman Says:

    i would be down dryice, although id like them to save 2001 for uic selfishly haha. a nice jammed out 2001 would be just fine with me 😉

  21. DryIceFactory Says:

    Alright kids I’m done. I dont think we get much meat from here on out. Despite being a show for a chunk of non-fans and casual fans, we still couldnt break the “jam past the 5th song” mold of leg II. Unless #line proves me wrong now. In any event, I’m done. This feels like a set closer or 2nd to last song of the set.

    And “The Town” just came on HBO, I’m obligated to watch. They blow up the Jeep from the North End robbery on my street.

  22. Guyute711 Says:

    They hooked me with the first showing. Blossom was one hell of a show. Saw one set, met up with robear at ww and was on tour.

  23. DryIceFactory Says:

    Love a nice jammed out 2001. 7.17.98 II is probably my favorite 2001 ever. And one of my fav mike’s as well.

  24. DryIceFactory Says:

    AH YES A #LINE PEAK! Great work guys. $$

  25. Guyute711 Says:

    If only I had a sugar momma and one more month of no job. 🙁 🙂

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