E is for Excellent Segues – Don’t get us wrong, there were plenty of terrible segues on the run, yet we loved the way Down With Disease turned a corner into What’s The Use? at Alpine and the how Gotta Jibboo smoothly transitioned into Bathtub Gin in Deer Creek.
F is for Fee with Megaphone – At the first night of the Deer Creek run a familiar object returned to the Phish stage for the first time in 14 years, when Trey brought a megaphone out with him for the encore and not only sang Fee into it but swung it wildly during N02 and Kung.
G is for Gordo – The Phish bassist continues to add MVP awards to his mantel as his playing continues to reach new heights with each passing tour. Mike constantly challenges his band mates to explore more terrain during jams, whether they pick up on it or not is a different story.
H is for Harry Hood – Harry underwent a resurgence this summer with solid versions in Hartford and the Greek and an otherworldly version at Jones Beach. While the peak still needs some work, the quartet is taking its time building the beautiful jam with fantastic results.
I is for I Didn’t Know – Fish played the vacuum and ruined your set only once in Leg 2 when the band brought out the song written by Nancy Taube at Deer Creek. This was a particularly vacuum-y version with Fish hanging around to play the melody along with the band after taking his typical solo.
J is for Jones Beach Jumper – Sadly, the biggest story of the tour where the mainstream media was concerned happened during setbreak of the tour closer at Jones Beach when a 30-year-old fan jumped from the top level of the venue to the mezzanine. Luckily, the only person he hurt badly was himself and he’s already been released from the hospital.
K is for Kung – Missing in action since the Brooklyn shows in 2004, this Jon Fishman original returned during a wild encore on August 12 at Deer Creek.
L is for Lack of TTE – After 12 plays in ’09 and two on the first leg of the tour, Phish only played the complex and largely unloved tune once on the second leg. Will TTE become a bust out one day?
M is for Mr. Miner – Have you ever tried writing a review of a Phish show just hours after the band leaves the stage? Trust us, it’s not easy. Whether you agree with what Phish Thoughts’ Mr. Miner has to say or not, you’ve got to respect his ability to wax poetic about a concert so quickly and a great community has formed to chat about the band in the comments section of his posts.
N is for Never Satisfied – There were plenty of fans saying “bust outs are great, but where are the jams?” after leg one, but it felt like those same folks were complaining about the lack of bust outs on this jam-filled leg. Some people will never be satisfied. [We’re just as guilty as anyone as you can see by the “R” and “Y” entries on this list]
O is for Ocelot Guitar – Trey unveiled a new guitar at the first show of the leg and described its genesis during the encore:
…He [Paul Languedoc] told me about nine months ago, that he had put aside this magic piece of wood to build one last, really special guitar. And he gave it to me about a week ago, and this is it – [presenting guitar to the crowd.] And I’ve just to to say that I’ve just been freaking out all night about how good this guitar is – it’s the magic guitar…
[Photo by Adam Kaufman]
P is for Please Practice Destiny – When Phish dusted off Destiny Unbound after a 12-year layoff in 2003, the quartet absolutely nailed the Mike Gordon composition. The boys broke Destiny out again at Fenway last summer and also tackled it at The Gorge, Telluride and Jones Beach. Each subsequent version seems to get worse as Trey keeps having major difficulties with the tune, especially in Jones Beach. C’mon guys, the tune deserves better – spend a bit of time in rehearsal getting it right.
Q is for Quinn The Eskimo – The Telluride run’s bust out came in the form of this Bob Dylan cover. Unplayed since 1999, Quinn The Eskimo was a fitting encore on August 9 and then once again at Alpine on August 14. We sure hope the tune – which is closer to Manfred Mann’s cover than Dylan’s original – sticks around in the rotation.
R is for Repeats – Considering how unpredictable the setlists and playing were in the first leg of tour, we couldn’t help but be surprised at the number of repeats. BDTNL, Possum, Down With Disease, Tweezer, Tweezer Reprise, Mike’s Song, Ocelot, Run Like An Antelope, YEM and Weekapaug were all performed four times in the span of just 11 shows. Luckily, those are pretty good songs to play the shit out of if you’re going to play the shit out of anything.
S is for Stage Banter – One of the most humorous moments of tour took place at the first show where Trey picked a sign out of the audience and told the crowd he would honor the request. The sign turned out to say “more stage banter” and Anastasio obliged by telling the audience the story of his new guitar.
T is for Type II Jams – Whether it was the hairpin turns of the Jones Beach Backwards Down The Number Line or the multiple unique jams in the Alpine Down With Disease, the second leg of Phish Summer Tour 2010 contained a number of memorable jams. Other high points included the Simple and Cities from The Greek and all the Lights.
U is for Unbelievable Venue – There’s no doubt Town Park in Telluride, CO was one of the most beautiful places Phish has ever performed. Everyone who went came back raving about what an incredible experience they had at the festival-like shows.
V is for Videos on Phish.com – One of the best parts of 3.0 is how quickly the band puts up official videos on their website. The pro-shot, multi-cam clips from the Greek are especially sweet.
W is for Walls of the Cave – Though it may have taken those in attendance a few moments after Page hit the isolated notes on his baby grand before recognizing this Round Room song, the first performance by 3.0 was warmly welcomed once the band got into it and rocked this out with little signs of rust.
X is for (i)XNay on the Whammy-vey – One of the big stories from the first leg was Trey’s use of the whammy pedal on most jam vehicles. Dog Gone Blog has a fantastic piece on the genesis of the “Whale Call.” Trey’s use of the effect was much more subtle this leg, which can either be a result of his new guitar, a sign at the Greek telling him not to use it or – most probable – Anastasio falling in love with a new aspect of his tone.
Y is for Yikes! – The first set of the Deer Creek run contained a number of cringe-worthy moments as the band stumbled through most tunes they played. Luckily, the quartet pulled it together for a fun second set and killer encore.
Z is for Zarathrustra – 2001 has hit a renaissance of late with fantastic versions thrown down at the Greek and at Alpine after the Michael Jackson tribute at Camden on Leg One. While the tune will probably never again hit the improvisational heights it achieved in 1997, all versions mentioned above as worthwhile listens.