PHISH Summer 2012 in DEER CREEK and ALPINE VALLEY
- By Sean Wilmsen
- Published on July 04, 2012
As the preeminent jam band in the country ventures off on their 2012 Summer Tour, various fans, Headstash staff writers and even some random, first-time Phish-goers will submit reviews of each night. They'll tell you their favorite songs and segues, how the crowd reacted and whether this show is worth buying, downloading or skipping altogether.
Phish rolled into Nobelsville, Indiana and East Troy, Wisconsin for two nights each of top-tier jamming, special segments and bust-outs. Deer Creek and Alpine Valley got treated to some rarely played tunes like Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" and masterful jams in "Light" and "Golden Age." Our resident on-tour man, Sean Wilmsen takes you through each of the four shows.
Read out previous Phish tour reviews below:
June 7 and 8 – DCU Center – Worcester, MA
June 10 – Bonnaroo 2012 – Manchester, TN
June 15 – Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ
June 16 – Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ
June 17 – Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ
June 19 and 20 – nTelos Pavilion – Portsmouth, VA
June 22 and 23 – Riverbend Music Center/First Niagara Pavilion – Cincinnati, OH/Burgettstown, PA
For a complete list of tour dates, check out Phish's official website.
June 28 – Klipsch Music Center – Noblesville, IN
Set I: The Birdwatcher, The Curtain With, Fuck Your Face, The Old Home Place, Pebbles and Marbles, Weigh, Chalkdust Torture, Wolfman's Brother, Cool It Down, Tweezer, Tela, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan
Set II: Mike's Song > McGrupp and The Watchful Hosemasters > Back On The Train > Hold Your Head Up, Bike > Hold Your Head Up > Weekapaug Groove, Prince Caspian > Waves > Bug > David Bowie
Encore: Show Of Life > Tweezer Reprise
Best Song: McGrupp and The Watchful Hosemasters - Not just because it was a bust-out because this version contained excellent playing by the entire band.
Best Jam: Waves - The usual guitar solo followed by lyrics did not happen in this version and instead led the band into a groove that they would continue to build on throughout the jam. Taking off into their first type II jam of the weekend, this “Waves” is the clear standout jam of the night.
Best Segue: Mike's Song > McGrupp and The Watchful Hosemasters
Best Moment: Of course it’s a “you had to be there” moment, but the “Hold Your Head Up > Bike > Hold Your Head Up > Weekapaug Groove” was my personal favorite moment. If Fishman playing guitar on “Weekapaug,” leading into a duel drum solo with Fish and Trey doesn’t make you laugh and cheer, then you need to start seeing another band. The stage antics this tour are great, and I feel like it keeps the band loose to go out and explore their jams more.
Sloppiest Moment: "Weigh" was a little choppy and the end of "Tela" wasn't the best, but the show was solid overall.
Twitter Recap: First of the weekend is done and man that "Waves" is still playing in my head. Off to sleep in the 100-degree tent . . .
Rating out of 5: 3.2
June 29 – Klipsch Music Center – Noblesville, IN
Set I: Crowd Control, Dinner and a Movie, Sweet Jane, Limb By Limb > Possum, Mound, Life on Mars?, The Mango Song > Big Black Furry Creature From Mars, Strange Design, Birds of a Feather, Halley's Comet, While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Set II: Down With Disease > Sand > Twist > Rift > Bathtub Gin > Fluffhead > Ride Captain Ride > Run Like An Antelope
Encore: Cavern > Sanity, First Tube
Best Song: Sweet Jane - My favorite Velvet Underground song that was last played Halloween 1998 was perfectly done. It had the crowd singing the chorus in unison and brought the energy through the roof. Hopefully, this one stays in rotation.
Best Jam: Down With Disease - Trey takes the reigns of this jam and never gives it back. Playing around Page's notes off the baby grand, Trey and Mike laid down the texture nicely.
Best Segue: Down With Disease > Sand - A nice exploratory groove.
Best Moment: Sweet Jane
Sloppiest Moment:The “DWD > Sand > Twist” was a great way to open up the second set, but “Twist” lacked any type of a jam and was aborted.
The “Bathtub Gin” jam right away grabbed my attention and clearly showed the band listening and trying to experiment, but just as it got going it was ended for a “Fluffhead.” It was almost like Trey got out of his comfort zone with how weird the “Gin” was getting and needed to get out.
Twitter Recap: A great show that featured a monster section of "DWD > Sand" but a second set that fizzled with abortions and odd placement. The 100-degree heat and thunderstorms with 70 mph winds couldn't stop us, though.
Rating out of 5: 2.8
June 30 – Alpine Valley Music Theatre – East Troy, WI
Set I: My Soul, Daniel Saw The Stone, AC/DC Bag > The Moma Dance, Runaway Jim, Let It Loose, Reba, Kill Devil Falls, The Sloth, Ocelot, Poor Heart, When The Circus Comes, Timber (Jerry) > The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenburg
Set II: Backwards Down The Number Line > Carini > Wilson > Golden Age > Also Sprach Zarathustra, Rock and Roll > Steam > Piper > Quinn The Eskimo, Harry Hood > Character Zero
Encore: Good Times Bad Times
Best Song: Piper - A longer intro than usual 3.0 versions, this “Piper” took off with rocking energy. But what makes this my favorite song is the last two minutes. The band found a groove and Fishman drops out to create an absolutely beautiful soundscape. Don’t let the length fool you – this short jam is filled with great playing by each member of the band.
Best Jam: Golden Age - This song has become a staple for funk and I love it. The band turned the Valley into a dance floor. With Trey stepping back from his usual role leading the jam, Mike stepped in with bass lines that echoed throughout the entire venue.
Best Segue: Golden Age > 2001 - Just a flawless transition that got the crowd dancing out of control.
Best Moment: Been wanting a "Let It Loose" since UIC and tonight was my lucky night. The band plays this Rolling Stones cover so well, but not too many in the crowd seemed to recognize it . . .
Sloppiest Moment: “Harry Hood” was one of the most beautiful jams I have heard since the reunion, but they just do not know how to finish the song. If finished properly, this would have been my favorite song of the night. But they just can’t feel good about the ending of “Hood.”
Twitter Recap: Only "Good Times" tonight as Phish continues to pick up "Steam" this tour. The theme has been funk and tonight brought just that.
Rating out of 5: 3.0
July 1 – Alpine Valley Music Theatre – East Troy, WI
Set I: Soul Shakedown Party, Lonesome Cowboy Bill, Vultures, Gotta Jibboo, Dirt, A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing, Access Me, Meat, Frankenstein, Fee, Maze, The Squirming Coil
Set II: Crosseyed and Painless > No Quarter > Light > Ghost > Back on the Train > Farmhouse, 46 Days, Heavy Things, Joy, Julius
Best Song: Fee - The rare jam made this version stand out among the other 3.0 ones.
Best Jam: Light - This song has settled into the band's biggest and best jam vehicle and was way different than the 6/23 and 6/16 versions.
Best Segue: Light > Ghost
Best Moment: Trey took off and completely destroyed "46 Days." Peak after peak, Red kept on ripping the song into an unforgettable version.
Sloppiest Moment: The lack of flow at the end of the second set. After some amazing jams, Trey decided to play songs that just did not belong. "Farmhouse" could have been a nice breather, but "Heavy Things" and "Joy" followed by "46 Days?" Huge nosedive, but everything up to that point is incredible.
Twitter Recap: A "Soul Shakedown Party" it was. Phish closes out the Midwest in stellar fashion with second set jams that would keep any music lover's head bobbing.
Rating out of 5: 3.2
- Sean Wilmsen
Stay tuned as we continue to publish quick-hit fan reviews from each night of Phish's Summer Tour 2012.
What did you think of the Alpine Valley and Deer Creek runs? Let us know in the comments below . . .