Lazy Sunday

6.17.12 (Jesse Herzog)

And sometimes there are strange nights at the Phish concert, and Sunday would most definitely qualify. Despite a quality opening to the second set in “Drowned > 2001 > Reba,” the band played songs as if they were on “shuffle” mode all night long and somehow, their iPod missed any true launch pads and—for much of the second set—even rock songs. In a series of head-scratching decisions, the band unveiled a string of ballads in the middle of the second set, totally dousing any fire the set had going, while leaving the night with little to no musical adventure. Phish, to their credit, played every song in both sets quite well, but whoever was calling songs was in a particularly mellow mood and allowed the show—as a whole—to fall flat. Before breaking down the questionable calls in this one, let’s turn to the centerpiece of the show.

6/17 Official Print (DKNG)

Bursting out of the second-set gates with The Who’s “Drowned,” the guys crafted an engaging jam, but it never veered far enough from the song for long enough to qualify for an “Atlantic City Jam,” and for a second-set opening cover, that says a lot. Trey slinked into the background once it started, allowing Page to lead much of the way on piano. But just as the piece dropped into half-time and it felt like things might pop off, the band, instead, turned for a quick, ambient transition into “2001.” And here is where the action of the show truly took place. Opening up the funk instrumental with slowed and chunky, open-air grooves, all four members coalesced in the most exalting “2001” of this summer. Stretching out the first verse with James Brown teases, and then the second verse with slow and swaggering rhythm patterns that evoked the vibe of many past festival monsters, Trey shared the spotlight with Gordon. The wide open grooves continued as the band followed the peak of  “2001” with a divine “Reba.” Remaining true to its classic contour throughout, the band delicately eased into the groove and slowly built a remarkable rendition. But aside from this phenomenal chunk of summer dance music, the show was quite thin and there’s no other way to put it.

After “Reba” came to a conclusion, Phish dropped into a second-set “Roses” and my heart nearly stopped. Were they really shifting “Roses” into rotation as a jam vehicle?! After Worcester’s first set revelation, this move seemed to signify exactly that. But when the juncture came to elevate, the band fizzled out into “Chalk Dust?!” Really? And the blows just kept, inexplicably, coming—“Prince Caspian -> “Silent In the Morning” (a pairing that worked well, though ill-placed), “Bug,” and an anticlimactic ending of “A Day in a Life” and a standard “Down With Disease?!” The setlist oddities continued right through a double encore of “Jibboo” and “Quinn The Eskimo.”

6.17.2012 (Jesse Herzog)

In a Sunday show that seemed bound to blow up on a half-empty Bader Field, Phish took things in the polar opposite direction with virtually zero out-of-the-box jamming in either set. The random song generator was at work for an harmless first half as well. The unquestionable highlight of a solid opening half was a torrid “Timber” and surprisingly energetic version of “Fluffhead.” And I rarely point out “Fluffhead.”

In summation, Atlantic City’s final night left many, dare I say most, in the crowd incredibly underwhelmed. Though each song was played well individually—Phish is at the top of their game after all— their setlist made no coherent sense whatsoever. When the band never even attempts to jump into adventurous jamming, we are left with last night—Singlestown, USA.

On to Portsmouth…

I: Brother, Runaway Jim, Dogs Stole Things, Boogie On Reggae Woman, NICU, Foam, Wilson, Timber, Fluffhead, Walls of the Cave, Character Zero

II: Drowned > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Reba > Roses Are Free > Chalk Dust Torture, Prince Caspian ->Silent in the Morning, Bug, A Day in the Life, Down with Disease

E: Gotta Jibboo, Quinn the Eskimo

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318 Responses to “Lazy Sunday”

  1. kenny powers Says:

    And yes, that is a good sitcheeation you got goin thur.

  2. Jtran Says:

    2 of 3 2001s so far in 2012 8+ mins

  3. kenny powers Says:

    Damn, first the kid rocks a Strokes shirt in transformers, now he’s in a Sigur Ros video?

    Saw them at Berklee school of mizak around 2002, talk about an awesome show to just sit down lay back and take it all in

  4. kenny powers Says:

    Good point Jtran.

    On a random note, how awesome is Page’s tone and style in that Nothing from Wooksta? So early 70s!

  5. joe Says:

    tt anyone?

  6. kenny powers Says:

    Nothing and If I Could are prime examples of bittersweet live experiences. I’m so psyched to hear them but all the fair weather kids keep yappin their mouths off during it.

    my perfect scenario: halfway up the venue in the platform between sections except for the slow and poignant tunes where I would be very close on the floor

  7. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Alf gives great rides to airports…

  8. Jtran Says:

    Also I think it’s worth mentioning that all 3 AC shows were marathon shows, so I’m sure that led to late set 2 tiredness

  9. MiA Says:

    Trying to figure out who I owe tickets too and everything.

    Sent an e-mail out to Tela’s, Leo, AJ, TheDayMan, LW, and DF.

    Help me figure out how many extra Pavs I have now?

    I think I have an extra pair for Cincy.
    Two pairs for Star Lake
    A couple for Blossom.

    I think LW wanted the Alpine Pavs, but hasn’t paid me yet.

    I did a terrible job of tracking this.

  10. MiA Says:

    @SW, did you need tickets to the midwest run? I hope so.

  11. JeffieM Says:

    Just getting through AC2SII. That lighteca is one sexy jam. Hopefully after the limp show last night, the band will be rearing to go for two nights in Portsmouth!

    Kevin- I’ll be there both nights. I always drop by WW at set break to catch any BBers that might wander over. I’ll probably be in a midnineties Trey style XXXL Pink t shirt one night, so I’d love to say hi.

  12. SillyWilly Says:


    I have a Star Lake ticket.

    I could use one for Cinci.

    Not sure I’m going to do Blossom, yet.

  13. MiA Says:

    Gotcha on the Cinci then.

    We will kidnap you to Star Lake and Blossom.

    It Is Your Destiny Luke.

  14. JeffieM Says:

    This late set pornofunk Sand from Saturday is sweet. After Golgi when they could have just played some rock tunes to take it in, it’s a nice surprise.

    Summer 2012. Phish Jams.

  15. robear Says:

    IDK miner, for those of us that use this site as our ‘Facebook’, the ‘nostalgia act’ comments and subsequent follow up discussions are $$$.

  16. Andrew Says:

    Stoked for the next two nights, perfect venue for what they’re laying down. GA is where it’s at, right along the water and should be super comfortable weather.

    Tweezer looms…

    WW at setbreak to meet some peeps sounds right, anyone here volunteering?

  17. voopa Says:

    I like the new style of throwing a dance jam late in the second set. First noticed w/Sally at Tahoe last year.

  18. Jtran Says:

    robear, any word from the boss about the DC / AV run?

  19. Mr palmer Says:

    Having a tough time deciding which set is more $$$

    DCU 1 set 2 or AC 1 set 2? Slight lean towards AC at the moment.

    Sally -> Bowie seals the fuckin deal for me. That’s how you end a show! The first tube was sick also , even with a prance. Best one I’ve seen since NYC 2009

  20. poop goblin Says:

    night 2 code


    night 3 code


  21. thedayman Says:

    On a five hour layover now, and just hearing this birds for the first time. Re sick ulous. Sounds like the bands been blazin as of late, looking forward to catching up in the next few days

  22. joe Says:

    even that short back on the train is great. love the transition into and out of it too.

  23. poop goblin Says:

    damn if that Tube for AC 1 is a nostalgia jam sign me up for nostalgia tour 2012

    that shit is just dirty

    of course I left my stopwatch at home and am not addicted to a pedal that makes Trey’s tone play in a loop.

    Long Live Troy and the Nostalgias!!!

    this whole Sloth, Sweet one, 46 days, Camel walk, Tube is just classic set I phish.

    a lot of guitar players very excited to hear some of the ideas being thrown out by prancer. tone is crunchin. compin fierce.

    just listen to him on Tube. so sick.

    anyway. that is all.

  24. Gavinsdad Says:

    AC 12 tube was the Dirt Diggler.

  25. frottage Says:

    last night’s second set:

    46 minutes of not goddamn mellow
    18 minutes of mellow
    some beatles
    and finally down with diseeeeeease
    —> which i am pretty sure is also technically “not goddamn mellow”

    i was not gifted by god wrt what the britons call “maths”


    if i have my rudimentary figures correct that is approximately 99% focused ill shit from billy and the bangers

    and 1% “now fellas reach over and take your lady’s hand and do what’s right” music

    #occupyphish #wearealsothe99% #besttoursincethe90s

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