First Sets and Sax-Scraper

8.17.18 – BGCA (Graham Lucas)

In a complete role reversal, on Saturday night at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, the first set provided the meatier musical dish, while the second set never found a groove. Refusing to allow any second set jam to develop, less a universe aligning “Simple,” Trey kept the setlist moving forward in favor of the style of jamming we have quickly become accustomed over two nights of Leg Two. The irony of this show was that the first set was—unquestionably—the best of tour, seemingly setting up a significant second half that was, in the end, left begging for musical drama. But, let’s focus on the first set for a change.

8.17.12 (G. Lucas)

The band carried Friday’s momentum right into Saturday night’s opening frame, showing a willingness to get right into things with a spunky opening pairing of “Runaway Jim” and “Wolfman’s Brother.” Though “Runaway Jim” remained with in the confines that you’d expect from its opening slot, that wouldn’t be the same with “Wolfmans.” A dynamic version took a left turn at the juncture where the guys conventionally steer it back to shore. Veering into a smooth-then-hard-edged groove tangent, the band built its initial first set highlight out of its second song.

Phish’s energetic playing continued in Page’s “Beauty of a Broken Heart” before “Ocelot” brought the an intense, blues-based, mid-set peak. “Maze” has turned into a reliable scorcher over the past year, and last night’s certainly fit right line with this trend. The band rolled into “46 Days” with a head full of steam, tearing apart a rendition that popped with a far groovier feel than usual thanks to Mike, Fish, and Page. Perhaps this rhythmic vibe led to the next song selection of “Tube,” because when the band hit the break for the jam, dense dance textures dominated the dance floor, as Page made sweet love to his clavinet over an infectious groove.

The band took their first real breath of air with “Circus” before getting right back into things with a notably clean version of “Sugar Shack.” But the true highlight of the set emerged next in “Split Open and Melt.” On the drop of a hat, the guys switched modes into abstract artisans, sculpting some of the more mind-fucking music we’ve heard from “Split” in a quick minute. In fact, the band got so deep into the fray, they couldn’t find their way back from the other side and into the song’s ending, but in this case, the imperfection hardly diminished the places traveled. One of those jams that leave you slack-jawed in the live setting, the band set its path for the outer realms and stayed the course for the duration. Quite different than the standout we just heard at SPAC, this version continued to get crazier and crazier until the band had all sorts of issues getting back on the same page in order to pop into the theme. The third entirely different “Split” of the summer stole the cerebral jamming trophy for the first half. “Cavern” provided an exclamation point to a frame of music that seemed destined to set up big things. But those big things never came.

8.17.12 (Graham Lucas)

The second set became a patchwork creation of greatest hits, none of which the band took into an interesting jam but for “Simple.” The initial couplet of of “Golden Age > Piper” each had developing jams that were cut short before they were realized in any sort of way. When “Mike’s” started, it seemed like it would be one of those rocking, though improvisationally thin second sets, with our only hope of exploration coming in the off chance that the band kicked down a “Simple” within the “Groove.” And boy did they ever.

Official SF Triptych (K.Taylor)

After “Mike” anchored a particularly rousing version of his song, the band evoked the feel of the Dead once again with a stunningly patient, ambient sound sculpture out of “Simple.” At times, it seemed that barely anyone was playing anything at all, though a gorgeous tapestry of sound continued to emanate from the stage. Sounding very much like “The Wheel,” this vibration-uniting excursion silenced a chatty-Saturday night audience with its mystical aura. An instant favorite, and a certain must-hear-now chunk of music, this “Simple” stole the second set all by itself, because after that Phish hopped the express train to Fizzletown, USA.

An innocuous and rushed sequence of “Number Line,” Carini > Wilson,” “Weekapaug,” “Horse > Silent,” “2001 > Fluffhead,” “Loving Cup,” Show of Life,” and “Character Zero” provided no music to sink one’s teeth into, whatsoever, while taking up the final hour of the set plus encore. After displaying an eagerness for extended jamming over the first two shows of leg two, Phish reeled things in quite a bit on Saturday night with an energy-centric second set. But we’ll always have “Simple.”

I: Runaway Jim, Wolfman’s Brother, Nellie Kane, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Ocelot, Maze, I Didn’t Know, 46 Days, Tube, When the Circus Comes, Sugar Shack, Split Open and Melt, Cavern

II: Golden Age > Piper > Mike’s Song > Simple > Backwards Down the Number Line, Carini > Wilson >Weekapaug Groove, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Fluffhead, Loving Cup

E: Show of Life, Character Zero

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498 Responses to “First Sets and Sax-Scraper”

  1. marcoesq Says:

    Miner called this 2nd set pretty much spot on last nigth

    Mr.Miner Says:
    August 19th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    i’m feeling a crosseyed > light > free, meatstick, fizzzzzzzzle, YEM

  2. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I wise man said a few weeks ago ( it was me btw) that this 3 pack would play out like every other hyped three pack.

    1. One super sick psychedelic show ( last night)

    2. One show most will disregard, sat. rocker special ( night 2)

    3. One show that was good with a hot centerpiece set two jam.( night 1- Disease, Tweezer)..

    Like I said, same as it ever was. Phish is great. As they make their way back east lets hope the deep psych follows them from San Fran.

    Keep it simple folks. Webcast or not, special venue or not, this is what they do ….and they do it well. Enjoy the ride.

  3. marcoesq Says:

    Xeyed was fun. Now -> Light

  4. marcoesq Says:

    If anyone has any spare DL codes, please email me. m h o y t 1 3 at gheemil

  5. Litteringand Says:

    +1 @Palmer, knew the kids where in for it last night. Does Dicks from last year hold that same template? I feel like you can’t really put your finger on that run compared to other 3 nighters of 3.0. I wasn ‘t there so i’m not sure

  6. oldskool Says:

    KC is going to rage! I liken it to Utah after Vegas ’98 or the insane Riverport run after the Gorge (cant remember which summer). Major skip show.

  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Dicks is a little weird for me. I’m not as high on night 3 as most. I loved the SSSshow, but that is more because of the phishiness to it and what it means to a lot of people. Night 2 was the big , deep night with the Tweezer.

    Dicks run seemed to buck a lot of “so-called” trends…webcast curse, etc..

  8. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Code welcomed at derrbot @ gmail. Congrats to all in attendance of last nights scorcher.

  9. realoutcasty Says:

    cannot wait for wednesday. gotta catch them any time they dip their toe into the bread basket.

  10. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers!

    Keep it simple folks. Webcast or not, special venue or not, this is what they do ….and they do it well. Enjoy the ride.

    ^ @Palmer; dig it. #ThrowItDown

    Anyone have an extra code from last night? Thanks.

  11. jdub Says:

    Rough morning after staying up for webcast. 3.5 hrs of sleep but feel so thrilled at what I webcasted. So much for curses. @Palmer had it right of course, way to keep a level head.

    Go Phish!

  12. Kaveh Says:

    I didn’t go or webcast last night, so what is the last photo of Trey about?

  13. Kaveh Says:

  14. jdub Says:

    ^YEM percussive/bass throwdown had Trey chopping in.

  15. jdub Says:

    Chipping in, dang auto correct

  16. jdub Says:

    Funny look from Mike to Trey when he heard it. Caught him off guard I think.

  17. Phishm0610 Says:

    NOthing like a little sleep to help sort things out. I will be playing this for the kids first thing this morning. Think we may have a couple hour or so car ride in our future. Just wait til I play this for my mom and dad. Seems to me they used the stream to their advantage and sent an aura of energy through tv cameras into all of our homes. Thanks boys for an incredible ride. I’m glad that I’m not alone, and knew this for a long time now. It’s cool to know how to glow. Still learning the tricks, but at least I know now. It’s no longer on the tip of my tongue. Thanks all and have a good day. Love to hear from someone at the show. How did you have the ability to walk to your car.

  18. Beaten Worker Says:

    I was not in the building this weekend, but ive enjoyed everything I have listened to so far. Streamed Saturday night and had a blast doing so, and im halfway through this light from last night and can already tell ill be listening to this sequence a whole lot from now until Denver. On paper looks like a bit of a mid set lull, but I like all those songs so had I been there it would have been just fine for me.

    I cant say it enough, but I love the style they have developed over the last few years. Ranks among my favorite from their whole career.

    Have a good week folks. First show of the year for me Saturday and then off to the Grand Finale in Denver shortly after!

  19. marcoesq Says:

    Oak Mtn>Lakewood gonna be a throwdown!! Can’t wait

  20. Kaveh Says:

    @Palmer: I forget; will you be in Denver?

  21. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Boy is napping, finally! Now cruchygroove , final round of PGA tourney live and the kush.

  22. Dorn76 Says:

    Oh sure, Phish throws down an epic show, and totally destroys my chance of doing anything productive besides downloading and listening to it this morning.

  23. Dorn76 Says:

    wrong post’d

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