February 2011 - Posts

Phish 2010-08-13 Verizon Wireless Music Center – Noblesville, IN Summer 2010 Leg 2

LivePhish Limited 06 (released 2/1/11)

On Friday August 13, 2010, Phish played the second show of a sold- out two-night stand at the Verizon Wireless Music Center, commonly known as Deer Creek. It was the seventh show on Leg 2 of the band’s summer tour and their twentieth headline show at this outdoor covered amphitheater with a capacity of about 24,000. Phish first played this venue fifteen years earlier and had since played two nights each summer in 1996 (8/13/96 was released in 2002 on CD as LivePhish 12), 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009. They also played three-night stands in 2000 and 2003 making this Phish’s most common outdoor summer host and a favorite of many fans who travel from across the country to camp in the surrounding cornfields. This was Friday, August 13th, which was also somewhat of an historic return – the band played a breakthrough gig on that same date seventeen years earlier at the Murat Theatre in Indianapolis (Murat 1993 - 8/13/93 was released in 2007). It was with this rich background that 2010’s Friday the 13th show took shape.

As temperatures soared into the mid-90’s, Phish kicked off the show with a rocking “Chalk Dust Torture” (surprisingly the first Chalk opener ever at Deer Creek) followed by “Guelah Papyrus”, which was played only one other time in Noblesville in 1997. The Fishman- penned bluegrass number “My Sweet One” came next, followed by “Axilla” and “I Didn’t Know” with a classic vacuum solo by Fish. “Walls Of The Cave” was played for the first time since the band’s 2009 return and preceded “Stash” and the alien themes of Mike’s ballad “Train Song” (the only version of the year) > “Backwards Down The Number Line”. “Ocelot” found the band improvising a bit more as Trey dropped some sweet leads. Deer Creek’s first “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” came at sunset. This Lynyrd Skynyrd cover, which recently returned to the live repertoire the previous summer, featured the band’s blues chops and Page’s soulful vocals. “Wilson” > “Possum” closed set one.

A mostly non-stop set two began with “Halley’s Comet” > “Light”, the latter of which inspired the band to venture outside the beat and let their freak flag fly, eventually hovering free for a few ambient minutes. The ambience led into “46 Days” which in turn transitioned to a high octane “Maze” - a double-entendre reference to the local fields that many attendees called home for the shows. Set two continued with “Meatstick”, which showcased the band’s skills with Japanese lyrics before morphing through a unique and musically intense segue into “The Mango Song”. The band followed Trey’s lead one at a time into Mango, creatively riding it atop the “Meatstick” beat for a while before committing and ultimately finishing the song by starting “Fluffhead”. Fluff blew the place up before resolvinginto “Julius”, which brought the set to a high-energy close. The Deer Creek faithful, many of whom had made the heroic 1200-mile, nearly twenty-four hour drive from Telluride with just one off day between, were treated to an encore of “Contact” into a passionate “Slave To The Traffic Light” that provided a fitting end to another steamy stay at Deer Creek.

Phish 2010-08-07 Greek Theatre – U.C. Berkeley – Berkeley, CA Summer 2010 Leg 2

LivePhish Limited 05 (released 2/1/11)

On Saturday August 7, 2010, Phish played the final show of a sold- out three-night stand at the Greek Theatre. After setting the bar high with the previous two shows, expectations soared. As the band continued their 2010 Greek run, they seemed to reach higher each night as they basked in the glow of this historic venue and uncommonly attentive crowd.

Phish opened the show with an old-school pairing of “AC/DC Bag” > “Foam”, the latter of which featured Page’s fine piano work. “Gotta Jibboo” was next as the band deepened their connection with the same patient, open-eared approach that developed over the previous shows. After a long pause they ripped into “Reba” as Trey’s new guitar emitted a flow of pretty leads and staccato runs amidst intricate Rhodes work by Page. Fish and Mike set the foundation for a soaring jam that came to a close without whistling. The year’s last “Sleep Again” and “Army Of One” provided a needed moment of reflection before “Poor Heart” led to a sizzling combination of “46 Days” > “Tube”, the former of which included a playful “Streets Of Cairo” tease by Trey among other highlights. Holding the last bass note from “Tube”, Mike provided the bridge to a fiery, sing a long “Character Zero” that ended one of the few sets of 2010 that fits on a single CD.

After another lovely sunset over the San Francisco Bay, the band kicked off set two with “Wilson” > “Light”. This rendition of “Light” climbed to pinnacle heights, bending and floating to a sublime place that only Phish can go.  As with “Simple” the previous night, this heavenly Jam transcended the limits of time and space before resolving perfectly into The Golden State’s first performance of “Twenty Years Later” – nearly twenty years after Phish first played at nearby Berkeley Square. Twenty Years slid neatly into “Harry Hood”, which Fish accentuated with ghost notes on a second snare drum, press rolls and other percussion wizardry. As had become the rule here, the band quickly hooked up for this jam as they traded sustained notes that hung in the night air and reverberated across the Greek’s open bowl. Harry gave way to “Theme From The Bottom”, which built patiently to a strong peak, continuing the dynamic tone of this whole run of shows. Phish’s trademark reading of Deodato’s “2001” sustained the fun as fans jumped up and down with arms in the air and Mike repeatedly punctuated the funk with his foot bell. The thick “2001” groove gave way to a rocking “Suzy Greenberg” that found the band having such an obviously good time that they reprised the funky Suzy jam and shook the trees for a few more minutes before slowing down for “Slave To The Traffic Light”. Slave featured a spacious jam that found the crowd mesmerized, leaning into the notes as if to connect more deeply with each one. Having started with “Wilson”, this special set could only end with the first “The Lizards” encore in nearly fifteen years as the eager crowd sang along “but I’m never ever going back there and I couldn’t if I tried...” and closed their eyes for the instrumental ending, wondering if or when such a run at such a place would happen again. Not another word was uttered as “First Tube” put the finishing touch on an incredible three days of music at one of the must stunning spots there is.


Phish 2010-08-06 Greek Theatre – U.C. Berkeley – Berkeley, CA Summer 2010 Leg 2

LivePhish Limited 04 (released 2/1/11)

On Friday August 6, 2010, Phish played the second show of a sold out three-night stand at the Greek Theatre. The Greek Berkeley is a Greek Revival style, open-air amphitheater built in 1903 with a cozy capacity of about 8,500 and stunning views of the San Francisco Bay including the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. This run, which began Leg 2 of the summer tour, was the band’s first visit to this venue since they closed their epic summer 1993 tour there. J.J. Cale opened the show in 1993 (joined by Trey and Mike for a sit-in) but in 2010 it was just three smoking nights of Phish. After a solid opening night on Thursday, during which Trey debuted his latest custom guitar with a special chant for luthier Paul Languedoc, the band really opened up for the Friday night show.

It was a cool night in the Berkeley foothills but the crowd was heated up and the band responded in kind, opening with “Chalk Dust Torture” – perhaps a shout-out to Jezmund aka lyricist Tom Marshall in the house. Next came the complexities of “Guyute” followed by a relaxed and grooving “Ocelot”, a song about the wildcat that adorns the headstock inlay on Trey’s new guitar, and “It’s Ice”. The music never stopped for the rest of set one as Phish tore through a topical combination of “Cities”, with its invocation of the ancient Greeks and an explosively funky Jam that formed the set’s apex, into “The Moma Dance”. Still floating on a sea of energy from the so- called “Berkeley Jam”, set one ended on a high note with “Bathtub Gin” > “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan”.

Set two started with the Velvet Underground’s “Rock And Roll”, which briefly visited a mystical place (known in the LivePhish.com world as “Berkeley Jam 2”) before dropping into “Ghost”. This short but hot “Ghost” lit up with a groove that was still building when it bumped into the opening riffs of “Mike’s Song”. The selection recognized the especially resounding quality of Mike’s bass at the Greek and this dark and heavy “Mike’s Song” led to the pinnacle moment of the set if not the run. “Simple” that came next built patiently with exquisite restraint, moving Outward through a series of tribal peaks on a timeless journey. Spacey digital delay provided a landing into “Backwards Down The Number Line” which in turn introduced California to the universal themes of the “Show Of Life”. “Seven Below” > “Weekapaug Groove” wrapped up Mike’s Groove. “You Enjoy Myself” closed the body of set two, recalling the last song at Shoreline a decade earlier.  The Encore, “Good Times, Bad Times” drew the middle show of this classic three-night stand to a close.

Essays by Kevin Shapiro



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