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Link Thursday, 08/05/2010
William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA

Soundcheck: Burn That Bridge

Set 1: Possum, Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother, DividedDivided Sky, Funky Bitch, KDFKill Devil Falls, Halley'sHalley's Comet > SampleSample in a Jar, NICU, Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, AntelopeRun Like an Antelope

Set 2: DwDDown with Disease[1] -> Free, Alaska > BOTTBack on the Train, Maze, Joy, Tweezer -> Fluffhead

Encore: Loving Cup, TweepriseTweezer Reprise

[1] Unfinished.

Teases:
· Call to the Post and Theme from Leave It to Beaver teases

Noteworthy Jams: Down with Disease

Average Song Gap: 3.9

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: Prior to Down With Disease, Trey and Mike both teased Call to the Post and the Leave It To Beaver theme. Disease was subsequently unfinished. Before the encore, but after acknowledging a sign reading "Stage Banter," Trey talked about a new guitar that Paul Languedoc had made for him, explaining that Paul had "put aside this magic piece of wood to build me one last really special guitar," adding that he had been freaking out all night about how good the guitar was and pointing out that there was an ocelot on it. Trey told the crowd he wanted them to do a big cheer for Paul; Trey and Fish subsequently led the audience in a "Languedoc" chant.

Links:
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download

Song Distribution:
4 Stash
3 Hoist
2 Joy
2 A Picture of Nectar
2 Lawn Boy
2 Junta
2 The White Tape
1 Party Time
1 Farmhouse
1 Billy Breathes
1 Rift
1 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday

Songs by Debut Year:

climber17 , attached to 2010-08-05 Permalink
i was shut out of mailorder, and had written off the tour, when a friend of friend contacted me with an extra ticket for this night. i love tour openers, enders, post-hiatus', end-of-tour festivals, etc. so knew that this night would be special. much like the first poster, ya kinda had to be there, but i will say this, especially to all the naysayers:

phish is at the top of their game

i don't mean to suggest that they are better or worse then they were in previous years, only that at this show, they were perfectly Phish

their jams, while not clocking in as long as years past, contain a concision and focus that is as equally, if not more, effective in reminding me that time and space are relative. trey is inspired, page and john are effortless (until i read his modern drummer interview, i thought that festival 8 he sounded out of practice, now i realize that he was just, shall we say...overdoing...the charlie watts thing. there was no doubt at the greek bout his chops)
AND MIKE WAS UNREAL. perfect tone, perfect grooves

perhaps i am just an incorrigable positivist

or maybe i'm right and those of you who long for better days ought to consider whether you are looking backwards or ahead...
Score: 1
mgouker , attached to 2010-08-05 Permalink
mgouker Tour openers can be sloppy, but this one is definitely more solid than usual. The first set is played pretty close to the lines. The only standouts (for me) in the first set are a good “The Divided Sky” and the kickass “Antelope” at the end – thoroughly enjoyable.

The second set starts off strong with a nice DWD>Free – a part of the show that has worked real for a while now. This sounds really nice here and (hmmm.... let me turn this up). “Alaska” is another safe choice, a song that the band plays really well, but is not very risky. “Get Back on the Train” is full of nice melodic Trey soloing and beautiful sinuous interweaving by Mike. This is tasty indeed. I am liking how this set evolves. “Maze” is a ringer for me – I love the song and it always seems to kindle high energies from the band and the audience. Coming so late in the show, it seems clear that their reserves are high. It's a band that loves to be playing together again. Lucky them! Lucky us!

By the end of the jam, Trey's guitar is tearing through the seams of the celestial void and we are getting some major hosings. This is a nicely executed Type I jam that bodes well, especially – as I mentioned – so late in the set. What's going to top that? The next song “Joy” is a wonderful, pretty mellow ballad that I really love – lovely, serene lyrics delivered in a naked voice (quavering on the album) with a powerful refrain that is inclusive. Still, coming after that “Maze” though... hmmm.

Well, I didn't really want to stop raging quite yet. I'm getting those first painful pangs of The Impending END of the show and this is one I would like to see keep going. There is nothing special about the jam. It dies and we hear Tweezer's rumble that fades and comes back omnipotent and unforgiving. “Tweezer” is not the crazy jam vehicle it once was, but is still to be respected because after all, who knows? This “Tweezer” is rocking and full of high-speed stiletto chops (especially Trey). Short, no meandering, but incisive. I like this a lot and now there is a good chance for a Tweezer Reprise closer (or two – I'm sure we must be still one short in the Tweezer Accounting, not counting interest). I like it how it fades into “Fluffhead”. That's pretty.

OK, so many nice Fluffheads, but in general these are always generally strong, demanding precision and supreme dynamic control and are thus a good litmus test of the band's state. This is a nice start to Fluff's Travels. The band is really neat here – important for “The Chase”. This is excellent all the way, through and through. The band sounds great – no question at all. I'm listening to the LP version now. Very yummy! Page, especially, sounds awesome here. I like the voices in “Bundle of Joy” - they are definitely having some fun! Great buildup! Boom!!! OK, this is awesome, really joyful and well-played. After some stage banter about Magic Wood, we get a great Loving Cup (this one's like an exclamation point for the night) and Tweezer Reprise. A Good Show I think.
Score: 1
ajcmixer , attached to 2010-08-05 Permalink
Three beautiful days and nights in Berkeley, started off with my favorite show/setlist/overall experience. Personal highlights were the 1st four songs of the 1st set, love Kill Devil Falls but felt this one didn't quite "get there", rest of the set was solid. Same for the 1st four songs of the 2nd set, very solid though all night long Trey seemed to be slightly underneath the general FOH mix, might have been that he was in the process of figuering out his brand-new beautiful axe. But the 2nd set really picked up for me with the Maze, Joy was beautiful and well jammed-out towards the end and the Tweezer>Fluffhead to close out the set was the dance-fest I was waiting for. The Loving Cup>Tweezer Reprise encore was totally off-da-hook and left me exhausted and smiling ear-to-ear. Though arguably it was the worst performed show of the three it still was a great show to my ears, I feel very fortunate to have jumped on the bus last year@Jones Beach, have attended a dozen shows since through the Saturday Greek show and they're playing at such a high level that they're either great or stratospheric. Fun!

Peace,
Alex
Score: 0
MountainKung303 , attached to 2010-08-05 Permalink
MountainKung303 Lots of phan favorites. Very well structured. A superior Antelope. The Greek Theater is an awesome place to see a show!
Score: 0
drgef , attached to 2010-08-05 Permalink
drgef Ok, so I will be reviewing all three of the Greek shows in the next week or so. I needed some times after the shows to let it sink in and also listen to the shows again. Just a short background: my first show was biddy mulligans in Chicago feb 1991. I liked them but at the time was a hard core deadhead and it was kind of an us vs them mentality, it felt like I was going to leave my wife for the new girlfriend, and I just could not jump on the bandwagon, which looking back is sad because in my view the dead were nearly dead by this time and the remaining dead shows were often rather sad affairs in different ways. So I did not see phish again for many years at a UCLA show that the sound from the back was terrible and I just did not get all that into it. What would be my next attempt was again several years later at a valentines day show at the forum, which I thought sounded much better but he skanky phish fans were just terrible where I was, like just the terrible BO and over the top level of intoxication, strangely the audience made a dead show look like an AA meeting. Thinking back on it it I can see why it eventually got problematic for the band. Anyways, I forgot about them and was done, until reading the Trey interview in the rolling stone mag and getting a copy of joy. Festival 8 and I was on board, even if this tired old man could only really attend festival 4.5 (and stayed in a hotel). As an addiction specialist in LA I was very moved by trey’s recovery and how it came out on JOY and when I heard acoustic set I was for sure going to fest 8 (really 4.5 for me)

Well, I heard about the lottery and thought I would throw my hat into the Berkeley ring with zero thought I would get it.. So I was rather shocked by my being selected for tickets. I should say I am 45, have beat my body up to no end and was a bit concerned about 3 concerts in row, so I went into a form of training…working out daily to livephish.com shows and audience tapes.

The last time I was at the Greek was for the dead in 85, and again in 89 (I think) at one of the shows my friend Merissa jumped on stage and sat next to Brent while he sang before being escorted out. So it was a very strange feeling to be back there some 21 years later for phish.
I drove into Oakland the day of the first show and found my way on Bart, I am really glad that I took a cab from Bart I was running late and already kind of beat from the drive. The cab left me in front and I did not comprehend that there was a massive line to get in that I skipped, as I just melted in, it was only on the second day that I even saw it. Let me say this, the Greek, while being a perfect summer intimate place for a concert is really not very user friendly. In fact it was kind of brutal for an old man like me. Even being there nearly 2 hours early was not enough to easily secure a place to stand, luckily I was solo all shows as it would have been even harder.

After basically being told “no room here” I was getting rather desperate and was calling out “who has some space for an old man” till someone finally offered me a slab of stone to call my own. Now if you have not been to the Berkeley Greek, you gotta know this, the grass is ass. Seriously, it is amazingly steep so steep that you really really can not possibly stand/dance on it well for a concert. In many places it is completely unusable. So I knew I had to have a slab of stone. Being so grateful for it, it was now nearly impossible to leave. Being there 2 hours plus early, plus the nearly 1 hour Bart and getting inside and man it was rough cause if you had to piss you were basically out of luck.
The show. Well, I am not a man who can say this song was so much better played at --- show..In fact even though I have been to several I can say I am hearing nearly all phish songs fresh and common songs are not stale, like they had become with the dead. I think that is why I loved this first show so much, it was just good old classic phish songs played wonderfully well in my view.
Possum opener just said to me: we are going to dance and have some good fun tonight,

Wolfmans – I just like it, I am sure some are burned out on it but I like it, have always liked it since hearing on the Hampton box set.

Divided sky: loved it, just got good and jammy and looking up into the sky with perfect silence, so much better live, hearing the waves of audience response, seeing the SF bay in the background

Funky Bitch and Kill Devil… just really good and well played, both rocked out hard

Haley's comet: I just loved it, never hear it before and was just in music heaven, so fun and well sung….

Sample-NICU-bouncing perfect jamming dancing fun, but the transition into Run like an antelope was so cool, I did not have a clue that I was even hearing run… I just have not heard enough of them to be able to expect it, and it is just yet another great jamin dancing song. I love Run, and this one caught me off guard with a great smooth jam

All in all the first set was lovely some of the finest jam music I have heard in years.

Sadly, it was clear that if I left my stone slab I was not going to be able to make it back, it was just that mobbed. I was kind of hurting by the second set, but did the best I could to hold out leaving my place, one of the downsides of being solo at a show I guess, but it really would not have mattered as I was about to learn

Down with disease again-free-Alaska all sounded really well played, I loved back on the train, but by maze and joy I had to hit up a bathroom so bad I could not stand it anymore. But it was so packed in, with zero room in the aisle to even walk to the bathroom, I had to push and shove my way out… It was a good think I took my stuff with me because I am sure I could not have gotten back to my slab. Now having missed both maze and joy I was feeling better but no where to stand, so I went up to the lawn, and it was so crowded all I could do was stand behind everyone in the far far back where I could hear but not see anything. So, I enjoyed the fluffhead (I was going to bring a sign for it just with cotton balls pasted on cardboard but any extra effort was too much as was the Sunday toga outfit… The rest of the show, watched from the back was a fun but it just makes a huge difference being so far away. I missed a lot of the details like when Trey said: something to the nature “I am going to play this new bad guitar and then sang the line in loving cup I missed it, until hearing the recording. People I don’t have a lot to compare it to, but I think this version of loving cup should be considered for the top version list, check it out and let me know what you think! Now don’t slam me, but Tweezer just does not connect much for me, I don’t know what the hell it is about so I did not mind all that much missing it. Summary: first show was what I would think is a classic phish show, lots of favorite tunes, but not a lot of mind blowing moments, just a ton of good old fashion fun, and I loved it. Suggested cut: NICU-Bouncing-Run like an...and loving cup
Score: 0
bobyeagerful , attached to 2010-08-05 Permalink
bobyeagerful This show is solid! Joy is superb and I still can't stop listening to the Tweezer>Fluffhead! These guys are sooo gooood!
Score: 0
dpwilljr , attached to 2010-08-05 Permalink
dpwilljr I know this wasn't the greatest show ever. I still get a knot in my stomach when I listen to the crowd's reaction when the band hits the stage.
The encore was worth the price of admission. Mike releases some bombs at the start of reprise that, at the time, made me think of Jaco Pastorius.
Score: 0
CannedWalrus , attached to 2010-08-05 Permalink
CannedWalrus I brought a Dog Log sign to this show that Trey was staring at inquisitively the whole show. Then he delivered a monologue about Languedoc. Then they played Loving Cup. Disappointment...
Score: 0
kflinn1 , attached to 2010-08-05 Permalink
A year to the date of Phish’s last appearance in the Bay Area, the Vermont foursome opened the second leg of its summer tour at Berkeley’s Greek Theater on Thursday night.

Phish’s set slightly resembled last summer’s Shoreline stop (“The Divided Sky”, “Halley’s Comet”, “Down With Disease” and “Maze”), but the playing—and of course the atmosphere—were far superior this time around. Many fans expected a bit of rust to have gathered since Phish’s last performance on July 4th near Atlanta, but the band was on point all night, foreshadowing what promises to be a historic week of shows, with two more at the Greek followed by two in Telluride, Colorado early next week.

Opening the night with a buoyant “Possum” and leaping into the funky “Wolfman’s Brother”, the 90-minute first set was paced well, with the awkward stop-and-start transition from “Halley’s” into “Sample in a Jar” standing out as the only gaffe.

After a run of the band’s shorter, sing-a-long numbers (“Sample”, “NICU”, “Bouncing Around the Room”), Phish closed its first set at the Greek since a scorching tour closer in 1993 with “Run Like an Antelope”, one of four songs in Thursday’s show that the band also played that August night in ’93.

“Antelope” has become a go-to first-set closer this summer, finishing off five of the 19 opening segments thus far. Deservedly so, as it’s one of the finest examples of classic Phish: a jaunty opening section precedes a build to a roaring crescendo, finishing off a batch of 10 songs that were enjoyable, yet not terribly adventurous.

The musical bravado that was Phish’s calling card in the mid-1990s surfaced on occasion in the second set, most notably during the set-opening “Disease”. The 15-minute romp featured excellent interplay early in the jam between Anastasio and keyboardist Page McConnell, as the latter traced piano themes around the guitarist’s leads, before moving to the organ as bassist Mike Gordon took the reins, pacing the song with bouncy runs that drummer Jon Fishman augmented nicely, never drawing attention away from Anastasio’s soloing, instead locking into a solid groove while finding spaces for tom-tom fills and cymbal splashes.

Certainly, this “Disease” was the highlight of the evening, as it was the night’s most venturesome offering. Quality takes on “Free”, “Alaska” and “Back on the Train” followed before Fishman led the band into a mid-set “Maze”, which featured formidable solos from McConnell and Anastasio.

“Joy”, the title track from Phish’s 2009 studio album, offered some space to breathe and rest before the double-punch of two of the band’s heaviest hitters: “Tweezer” and “Fluffhead”. “Tweezer” saw Anastasio scatting over a snappy Gordon bass riff and built to a fine peak before mellowing and sliding into the twists and turns of “Fluffhead”.

Arguably Phish’s most difficult composition, “Fluffhead” is an intricate weave of themes and sections that ends with a searing Anastasio solo, and it proved a fitting end to a second set that featured just about everything that Phish faithful long for—precision, humor, and (occasional) transcendence.
Score: 0

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