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Live Phish (10/26/10 Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH)

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Album Review

Phish's August 13, 2010 show at the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, IN is the second of two shows available from the location in the Live Phish Download series. The summer 2010 tour is an exciting one in the annals of the band's history. They seemed to have worked the bugs out of their repertoire before July, and each and every evening has its share of material that is nearly mind-blowing. This night was no exception. While things kick off with a rather de rigeur reading of "Chalk Dust Torture," it gives way to a tight, pleasurable, song-oriented series, including "Guelah Papyrus" and a storming "Axilla." These are nice prefaces, but the reading of "Walls of the Cave" is where it really begins to shine. This is one of the finer versions of this song from the entire tour, and it is matched by readings of "Stash" and "Ocelot." The set moves through a killer cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "The Ballad of Curtis Loew," and closes with a stellar, nine-minute "Possum." Set two's highlights are a truly inspired version of "Maze" (which is arguably the highlight of the evening), followed by a choogling "Meatstick," which begins a jam marathon that transitions into "The Mango Song," "Fluffhead," and "Julius." After that journey, the encores, "Contact" and an intuitively expansive "Slave to the Traffic Light," feel like icing on an already decorative cake.


Formed: 1983 in Burlington, VT

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

During the early '90s, Phish emerged as heirs to the Grateful Dead's throne. Although their music was somewhat similar to the Dead's sound -- an eclectic, free-form rock & roll encompassing elements of folk, jazz, country, bluegrass, and pop -- the group adhered more to jazz-derived improvisation than folk tradition. Moreover, they sported a looser, goofier attitude; after all, their drummer regularly played a vacuum during their concerts. However, Phish's main claim as the inheritors to the Dead's...
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