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. Kevin Says:

    I wasn’t there, but on playback, it’s not a loss. 2/3 of the show is great. They just lost a little focus in the last 1/3, which unfortunately is the 1/3 most of you get the most excited about.

  2. DocGanz Says:

    “seriously, Brother should be more than a gimmick song”

    Absolutely, Mr. C!! Couldn’t agree more. Once a year ain’t cutting it. And needs to be let out of the box for the first time in who-only-remembers

  3. Gavinsdad Says:

    After mapping out some drives looks like JB1 would be the only other leg 1 option. 3 hrs. Thing is that the belt parkway could drive a man insane. The cut-thrus in mid Bklyn are good but really nasty neighborhoods and rife with risk.

  4. gratefulcub Says:

    Not a loss, Jiboo with the last equalizer pulls out a well deserved draw.

  5. joe Says:

    if you’re going Euro, that should be equaliser.

  6. gratefulcub Says:

    joe, you cheeky bastard

  7. DocGanz Says:

    From pg.2-
    “Greek and SBIX and Miami, the only runs that continued to elevate through the end?”

    I thought Dick’s last year elevated or was at least fairly consistent throughout. Night 2 had great peaks, and I liked Night 3 better than the “S” show… so 3, 1, 2, but still…

  8. MrCompletely Says:

    hey Miner, It Gets Better post p1

    no worries

  9. willowed Says:

    Palmer – I just sent you a note. the hotel for JB is your is you want it.

    E-mail me!

  10. tela'smuff Says:

    @Doc – yep. Dicks was pretty hot all the way through every set IMO.

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Ha! I emailed 2 seconds ago. your QU and yahoo mail… thanks buddy

  12. IrieWalton Says:

    To all the haterz spin that Birds from Friday night.

    Be happy for what you get and that Phish is still laying down the jamz like no other when they want to and when the time is right for them.

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Wanna kill 35 minutes? Crosseyed>Slave>Light Mkdevo style

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    On the bus back to Madison from OHare

    Had a great time. 1 off night doesn’t bother me. Birds and Piper and Light were too good for me to be upset by last night.

    Gonna take a little nap here. Gotta get some work done the next few days so I can head down to Cinci.

    Thanks to gavinsdad for his Jersey Jedi driving skillz and alf for the ride to the airport this morning.

    Hope everyone is travelling safely.

  15. poop goblin Says:

    Last night was not a bad phish shows. Just not the phish show they wanted. They played a fathers day rock show it wasn’t sloppy or bad. Miners review nails it but not a trainwreck or anything.

    That fluff reba and 2001 were just swinging

    Phish is killin it. from 4.0 after WCU 1 to AC3 troy went from a psychedelic master to a custy nostalgia act. Funny shit kids.

    Trey is playing better than ever and the band has swagger again

    That fluff was pure phish heaven and I’m not a big fan of the tune.

    If its that stressful when Santa doesn’t get you the pony you asked for then hang em up. Such a great weekend. And yes even aditl is better than being back in Babylon

    Perspective people. Im off til AV. Keep it irie. Laterz.

  16. joe Says:

  17. SillyWilly Says:

    Re: sound at Bader Field

    The wind makes it tough. Mr. P was right that the sound behind the speaker stacks was fickle.

    Once I got centered up about 20 yards off the center speaker stack I was great.

    Very comfy venue. Plenty of room. I heard Phish paid to put that sod down? That was a serious kickdown to the fans if they did. Very good for dancing. Easy on the joints. No dust.

  18. voopa Says:

    Nice one joe!

  19. Snowbank Says:

    I forgot how much a head full of color changes the show experience. And not a little but a lot. The whole thing becomes much more of a roller coaster ride.

    I was being overly dramatic when I used ‘suck’. I meant it was disappointing the show on a relatively down note after such high highs fri/sat. I mean, i was they were going to sound down… It was super loud and without the field full, it seemed tin-y. There was plenty of good music played last night. I remember some gems.

    Also, the whole bader field set up is fantastic. The weather was an awesome. Such a dream.

    The crowd energy Saturday night was insane. The punch points in Suzy greenberg and antelope were crazy. I thought my head was going to explode.

  20. Snowbank Says:

    I don’t think I have ever seen trey physically rocking in sync with the crowd the way he was on Friday in 3.0. It really felt like we were a massive organism with Troy as our brain.

    Yeah, felt is fhe key word there.

  21. kenny powers Says:

    I feel kind of bad for sounding all jaded and negative in my first post today. truth is a second set like that could have been perfect at the end of an overwhelmingly intense weekend, when you just want to sit back and reflect from a bird’s eye view…soak it all in.

  22. Snowbank Says:

    Let’s see. Window seat, exit row. No middle passenger. Oh and a hottie in the aisle row. Good deal.

  23. kenny powers Says:

    holy shit palmer good call I forgot that now I can play youtube clips on the home theater with full surround sound on the big screen

    hi my name is dan and I like to use voice to text without punctuation because it easy

  24. kenny powers Says:


    Bummed I wasn’t there to meet you this weekend, you’re good people.

  25. brother Says:

    just saw the new sigur ros video with shia labeouf…..what….the….fuck…??

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