The Crab Has Vanished In the Air

Official 6/16 Print (DKNG)

Summer 2012 is a great time to be a Phish fan, and last night was another reason why. Balancing a strong, song-based performance over two sets, the band unquestionably centered the show on a surreal mash-up of “Light” and “Manteca” that stands up to the any recent sonic foray. Playing support to this centerpiece jam was an engaging set-opening combination of “Crosseyed -> Slave” and a seething, late set “Sand.” But for start to finish fluidity, this second set couldn’t touch the other four of tour. Not to diminish the playing within, but the band’s recent set craftsmanship wasn’t exactly showcased in either frame on Saturday night. Nonetheless, there are plenty of highlights to discuss, so let’s start with the brightest.

A fluid sequence of “Crosseyed -> Slave” kicked off the main event, in which the band exited the snarling rock cover with a sparse textural jam that soon built—in transcendent fashion—towards a gorgeous transition into “Slave.” But following this powerful opening couplet, the band dropped into the monster jam sequence of the night, “Light -> Manteca -> Light,” or—from here on out—”Lighteca.” Trey took a different turn when confronted with “Light’s” guitar solo, quickly deferring to the rhythmic focus of Mike and Fishman. Joining in the groove-based excursion, Trey began to subtely weave teases of “Manteca” into already similar-sounding mixture. And then—bam—the band burst into the full-blown Dizzy Gillespie cover!  As they shifted back into “Light,” they continued to groove hard in an outright musical fusion. Lacing this jam with both melodic and rhythmic teases of “Manteca,” the band sculpted an incredibly slick hybrid of the two songs. Then, as Trey switched gears with some hard rhythm chords, Fish immediately changed into a more driving beat, giving the piece a very “Chalk Dust” vibe. In fact, I was sure the band was moving slowly towards a back door transition into their rock anthem, but when they steered clear of the song—instead, veering into a lyrical “Crosseyed Reprise”— I thought it to be even cooler that they didn’t take the plunge and maintained a more subtle musical nod. Eventually dripping into a spacey outro, it sounded—momentarily—as though the band would pass into “No Quarter,” but instead they chose a fitting landing point in “Theme From the Bottom.”

6.16.12 (M.Stein)

Phish continued their setlist shakeup last night by dropping an uncharacteristic, late set “Sand.” And stylistically, this one couldn’t have been more opposite of Worcester’s version. Sidestepping the whole-band focus The Centrum, last night’s “Sand” provided a retro take on the song, as Trey took center stage, lighting his Languedoc afire. While the band certainly held down a strapping groove, the focus of this jam was on the Big Red Machine. Blending the feel of millennial versions and recent TAB renditions, this “Sand” was a heat-seeker rather than an overtly swanky collaboration. And it’s fresh to see the band with such divergent takes on within a week of each other. The band carried their lyrical “Crosseyed” reprises through the set, ending “Sand” with the second such episode of the evening. The set closed with a laid back and ethereal version of “Number Line” and a relatively stock, but ripping, “Antelope.” Trey was on fire all night and “Antelope,” put a fitting cap.

A first half, filled with old-school song selections, opened with a bang when the guys came out with an adrenalizing “Mike’s Groove.” The hefty opening suite set the table for a big first opening frame, and after a teasing twin-bill of “Gumbo” and “Halley’s”—both without jams—the vibe continued with the always-menacing “My Friend” and a laid-back-turned-spirited, Trey-centric, “Wolfman’s Brother.” But the rest of the set fizzled a bit, despite an uber-chronic intro to an out of place “Punch.”

All in all, night two of AC was a very fun and tasteful night of Phish, featuring many well-known anthems for the noticeably increased Saturday night crowd, and with a centerpiece that gets tacked on to an exponentially expanding Summer 2012 highlight list. And with a centerpiece as acrobatic as “Lighteca,” and a fun “Crosseyed” theme throughout the set, everything fell right into place.

6.16.2012 (Jesse Herzog)

I: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Gumbo, Halley’s Comet > My Friend, My Friend,Wolfman’s Brother, The Horse^, Lawn Boy, PossumPunch You In the Eye,  Ocelot, Suzy Greenberg

II: Crosseyed and Painless -> Slave to the Traffic Light, Light -> Manteca -> Light* > Theme From the Bottom > Golgi Apparatus, Sand* > Backwards Down the Number Line, Run Like an Antelope

E: Good Times Bad Times

^aborted, * w/ “Crosseyed” lyrical reprise

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311 Responses to “The Crab Has Vanished In the Air”

  1. sumodie Says:

    Not as tight, yet, up front. sunday slacker crowd fo sure

  2. xpun Says:

    Ive been fearing that al weekend MIA

    The crew i rolled up there with is all about the drugs still. ditched them and went solo night one, met up w some of the bb post show and hung w them on saturday. very cool group. putting names with handles with faces. i bit overwhelming and im sure ill forget quite a few by next time.

    protip #x – dont talk about bber’s handles in the mens room

    leo’s wings are amazing as is he. sillywilly would never strike me as the blowing up dams type

  3. MiA Says:

    Ha ha. Xpun. SW is a great guy. Hugs and high fives.

  4. MiA Says:

    Drive to Boise in ’99

    Because you don’t skip the skip show.

    First set was kinda meh. Friend even left went back to hotel.

    Second set, well y’all know.

    First set may be well… Ok.

    Second set. Trey’s gonna look out and say “Alright guys. They went home. It’s us and you hardcore Fuckers. Let’s do this!”

  5. MiA Says:

    Oh yeah, and this Wolfmans is serious stuff here.

  6. MiA Says:

    Reason #9 why blossom is gonna blow up.

    Second set. Trey’s gonna look out and say “Alright guys. They went home.
    It’s us and you hardcore Fuckers. Let’s do this!”

  7. PigSong Says:

    Twitter seems to be reporting a just as packed scene as the last two nights, which does not bode well for a decent stream.

  8. PigSong Says:

    I’ve been wondering this for a few years now I guess. What flavor are Leos wings? Or does he have a whole variety, dry rub or sauced?

  9. Willowed Says:

    Dry rub goodness

  10. stapes Says:

    Classy move Willowed

    Never had a problem.with Sierra in a can. Been drinking quite often. Everyone is moving towards cans. I dig it.

  11. voopa Says:

    I suspect that there will be fewer nattering phone nancies tonight, providing for better stream b/w, but we’ll see.

  12. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    is it a legit stream via someone who know what they are doing or a raging yahoo with massive dose of self-important altruism?

  13. mr.palmer Says:

    There’s is a dude on the rail with a horse mask/ face on with a sign that says ” don’t Tease me Bro”.

  14. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    just got back from the mountains. lost power in a thunderstorm last night went to brass quintet perform a bunch of neat stuff including a sweet beatles medley.

    Hot here today just swam a mile and played with my youngest daughter in the pool and listened to last night. nice stuff.

    My oldest daughter, who is in france on a corporate espionage junket, made me the coolest stash box for father’s day. She bedazzled phish and aquatic shapes all over the box on the out side and on the bottom inside she listed a series of numbers and and arrow going backwards. She knows her dad is a phish geek. pretty freakin cool of her I gottta say.

  15. MiA Says:

    Very funny Mr. P

  16. sumodie Says:

    Fuck I’m ready!

  17. TreasureReprise Says:

    Brother opener again for Father’s day?

  18. MrCompletely Says:

    @vegas – The new Pick is def my favorite since the Denver ’73, but that’s just my style of Dead. All of the rest of the releases for the year are going to be almost as good – I say almost just because they’re not going to be from 72-74.

    Glad you like the Landover, I pretty much pitched that as the bonus disk. The idea is to show how different Truckin’ jams could be at the time…my next listening project after the Spring ’90 recap I’m doing now is mapping out all the variations in the Truckin’ thematic jams from May > Aug ’74…they are almost all permutations of the same elements…very heady

    Truckin’ is the Dark Star of ’74

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    good call son

  20. TreasureReprise Says:

    I play the numbers, kid.

  21. MrCompletely Says:

    like a wily veteran, workin’ the odds

  22. Willowed Says:

    I’m sure all the kiddos got in the tub.

  23. TreasureReprise Says:

    Really looking forward to the nTelos streams this week. Hoodstream just doesn’t cut ir.

  24. mr.palmer Says:

    Willowed – easy 2 points for the kid. I’m coming for you. 😉

    Pleasure as always this weekend.

  25. TreasureReprise Says:

    it*

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