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. cal Says:

    Eleven days to Deer Creek. Eleven days to Deer Creek. Eleven days to Deer Creek..

    Promising start to the tour for sure, after hearing everything but AC3. Fish is looser than the past three years, more willing to depart from the script more quickly. Mike taking the lead like in 2009 when he was the only one who could. Page has even had moments of dominance, sorta. Trey has been very patient and subtle overall, not such a bully.

    Dropping a decent Tweezer first set at festival=good sign. Totally unpredictable smooth segues=awesome development. No individual jams or sets so far that rank with the best of last year for my tastes. But it seems like the pieces are falling into place for some monstrous shit.

    Couch tour with Col. Joy tomorrow night, should be fun. Rock on BB! Hope to see some of you cats in Noblesville!


  2. Snowbank Says:

    Cool. Poog. Seems that way to me too. And I can still remember the truffle oil tones of that smoke. Very smooth.

    It’s never all come together the way it did for me this weeked, so I’m suspect of my perspective.

  3. cal Says:

    Wait, no: TEN days to Deer Creek! Ten days to Deer Creek…

  4. SillyWilly Says:

    so I got a new roommate, who is all curious about Phish

    played hin last nights Reba and he loved it

    he’s turning me on to Bardo Pond, right now

    holy shit where was I with that band?

  5. plord Says:

    Bardo Pond. Man, haven’t heard that name in a while. They used to play warehouses in S.F., or tiny rooms like the Hotel Utah and the Paradise Lounge.

    Pretty ill garagey noise psych as I remember. I think they ran their own psych music festival for a few years, but even that was going down in a small unlicensed warehouse 🙂

  6. SillyWilly Says:

    Yeah, plord, I think I’m in the middle of one of those Phish changing someone’s lives nights.

    this kid is subletting from my old roommate and he’s pretty cool

    started dancing to phish when i played it, then asked me if I knew Mahavishnu Orchestra: oh man do I?

  7. Snowbank Says:

    Easy him in slowly silly. Some body get a net and a bat. We’ve got a live one!

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    I mean, after a few songs I went for the kill:

    Storage Jam.

    He thought it was awesome.

  9. MiA Says:

    I used to leave Phish running in my stereo in college.

    Came home and my roommate was in the living room air-guitaring to Tweezer.

    I was like, damn I gotta marry that girl!

  10. Snowbank Says:

    The storage jam is a bat and a net in one. Great thinking silly!

  11. jtran Says:

    I take it you did mia

  12. MiA Says:

    Sadly, yes.

    Should have married the air-drummer.

  13. RoosterPizza Says:


    Not sure if anyone else has answered your question, but they did a live and replay for NYE. You could watch it live, and then you could watch the replay one time, anytime at your leisure. The shitty part is that I didn’t get the replay until like three days later, if I remember correctly. I also received an email with a code and had to redeem my free replays. So, if you don’t watch the live one, you’ll be waiting a couple of days to watch the replay.

  14. sumodie Says:

    Rooster, some webcasts have had the replay option (like Tahoe) but not all. LP’s answer to me seemed to be ‘no’ on the replay option, but their answer wasn’t entirely clear. Waiting back for second reply

  15. RoosterPizza Says:

    Now reading back through the comments…disregard my above comment.

  16. RoosterPizza Says:

    Sorry about that. All I know is that my stream of NYE sucked. One night, I had to stop watching it because it was so bad…the stream that is.

  17. Frankie Says:

    Just got back home… Great seeing all you guys again! Great times!

    Can’t wait to do it again! Have a great rest of tour!

  18. sumodie Says:

    Took me several months to perfect our video stream. For a different reason we called the cable guy and while here he removed an unnecessary splitter from the main cable (this helped a lot)

    Also learned that clearing the browser cache, using Chrome to stream, shutting off torrents & other programs, and restarting the computer all helped incrementally

    And don’t stream thru wireless (and try not to have any other devices sharing the internet while streaming)

  19. butter Says:

    first spin of AC

    starting with the meat : night 1 set 2

    as great as billed, this birds jam just gets the party and momentum going. i was expecting it to be the peak of the set

    but HOT DAMN this thing build and builds until Billy Breathes, which features one of the sickest Trey solos i’ve heard in a while

    full band communication Twist with a new Twist

    Trey comes up with some new licks in Piper – which is outta this world, the way they are able to break out of the box

    and what a regal begal solo in BBreathes by Red

    on to Sally

  20. butter Says:

    this Sally is disgusting

  21. butter Says:

    that is some NEW SCHOOL ass Phish

    way to go boys

  22. butter Says:

    that Sally is some of the sickest music i’ve ever heard

    forget about it

  23. Snowbank Says:

    It just kept coming that night butter. It was just amazing the way they kept giving every tune something fresh.

    Can’t wait. To. Spin this on my home. Stereo. Might have to tomorrow night instead of wbcasting.

  24. butter Says:

    went back to the first set for Tube. sometimes its nice to listen to the show from front to back. This Tube is a precursor to that knar knar Sally

  25. butter Says:

    Mike just destroys things

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