Windows to the Soul

7.5.13 (Ryan MacNeill)

7.5.13 (Ryan MacNeill)

Phish continued their musical tour de force in Saratoga Springs last night with two incredibly innovative jams—“Split” and “Carini—that stand up to anything they ever produced from either song. Though unable to construct a single set as magical as Friday night’s second frame—or really a single set at all—both Saturday’s first and second contained all-time improvisations. It seems like we have stumbled upon an embarrassment of riches in the Phish community in the summer of 2013, as even on a night, when the band played two sets that amounted to no more than one extended first, they still managed to drop two Herculean doses of transcendence.

7/6 Official (Millward)

7/6 Official (Millward)

First, let’s look at the “Split.” Let’s be honest, 3.0 “Splits” have absolutely sucked. Not only has the band been technically unable to manage the song, but any sort of improvisational creativity has been absent from it since post-hiatus, less Utica’s broken up version. But god damn, did that change last night as they took “Split” right off the deep end. The initial part of the jam saw Trey shredding with extraordinary phrasing and precision—unlike any other recent version. But then, the band started to stray from structure! They were using “Split” as a launch pad into open waters! Not since Deer Creek ’03 had the band showcased such audacity, and this time they created a whole ‘nother monster altogether. An excursion that was as soulful as it was demented, put a spotlight on the band’s superior creative flow of the current moment. Words fail me to covey the sort of spiritual event that that took place in the first set’s final twenty minutes. This jam absolutely needs to be heard with your undivided attention to be believed. Phish, honestly, dropped a piece of music of the likes we haven’t heard in ages, resulting in—easily—the most outrageous “Split Open and Melt” since Big Cypress. Embodying supreme confidence by taking one of their most difficult songs into open waters, the band came back with a tale of jaw-dropping magnificence. And then there was the “Carini.”


7.5.13 (R.MacNeill)

In, yet, another of their most pristine escapades in a hot minute, the band continued to rewrite the record book for “Carini.” Juxtaposed against the sinister abstraction of it’s last outing at MSG on 12/30, SPAC’s “Carini” traveled in the absolute opposite direction into a soaring piece of melodic triumph. Intricate ideas spewed forth in an Olympic exposé of musical communication, as it took only about a minute for the band to flip the switch and head for the stratosphere. Locked and loaded and moving a mile a minute, this jam is nothing short of the soundtrack to paradise. Though “Carini” has been a consistent 3.0 spring board, none of the jams come close to resembling this jaunt which broke from structure and never looked back. The efficiency of this tale is absolutely mind-bogglingly, as it clocks in at twelve minutes! The amount of themes and ideas built, developed and realized within such a short amount of time takes nothing short of divine intervention. But these days, that is exactly the power that Phish possesses. And they continue to put forth music that is on par with or surpasses anything in their 30-year career, a feat unparalleled by any live music act alive or deceased.

And what about the rest of the show? Well, it was solid but uninteresting less the first “Tube” jam of the modern era and another new song! It seems at just about every corner, Phish had pressed the “reset” button this summer, and the result is our delight. The feeling of really letting loose to “Tube” for the first time in nine years (Deer Creek 6/24/04) was an undeniable sensation that lit the crowd’s collective consciousness afire. A speed groove in which all three members crushed with authority set the table for “Split’s” journey to the outer reaches of the universe two songs later. Secondly, out of “Carini,” the band seamlessly debuted their third song in three shows, “Architect” off of Trey’s most recent solo album Traveler. Though the song is lyrically over the top and cheeseball, I dig it musically (though I’m not gonna’ hold my breath to see what everyone else thinks about it.) It will be quite interesting to watch the fan base reception of this one.

7.3.13 (R.MacNeill)

7.3.13 (R.MacNeill)

On a slightly more critical note, set two never really elevated other than “Carini.” A standard “Number Line” opener gave way to the most laymen versions of “Tweezer” and “Sand” one will ever hear. In neither jam did the band develop anything original or of note, and the combo came up absolutely zero once taken off of paper. “Wilson,” “Boogie > Possum” to end the set? Shoot me in the face. But it was all fun and games after hearing two of the most magnificent excursions we’ve heard in years.

Depending on Sunday night’s affair, SPAC 2013 is quickly becoming the new birthplace of modern jams. But somehow, I don’t think it’s gonna be a regional thing this time around, as Phish has dropped “lifers” (jams you’ll listen to for the rest of your life) in the first three shows of tour. Wait ‘til we compile a Best of Summer 2013 playlist at the end of August—good Lord, have mercy! The only burning question going into any show right now is, “How many Hall of Fame jams Phish induct tonight?” Damn, it’s a good time to be a Phish fan.

I: Crowd Control, Chalk Dust Torture, The Wedge, Funky Bitch, Heavy Things, Bug, Bouncing, Tube, Julius, Split Open and Melt

II: Backwards Down the Number Line, Tweezer > Sand > Carini -> Architect*, Wilson > Boogie On Reggae Woman > Possum

E: Show of Life > Tweezer Reprise


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429 Responses to “Windows to the Soul”

  1. Stoney Case Says:

    BBBW! duh. thanks for the reminder. wtf? Stoney Case’d!

  2. butter Says:

    guf – bust out!! yo yo welcome

  3. bobby weird Says:

    hah! well, I forgot about crunchycase website so we’re even!

    Bangor stream sounds like crap fyi.

  4. DavidSilver Says:

    Texting while driving >tweeting mid jam

  5. Stoney Case Says:

    is it me, or do most of the ticket broker sites seem to be just shadow sites for StubHub? Not memorizing, but seems like same tickets avail for same prices everywhere other than stubhub that I check.

  6. Stoney Case Says:

    maybe if I tweet whilst show going, I’ll hear the imaginary orchestra, and not the slide whistle!

  7. tela'smuff Says:

    Stoney – thank god you finally found something positive about Phish in 2013. stay focused on that Tube. play that shit on a loop.

  8. Stoney Case Says:

    tela, I dug the GA too. Just not above the end of year versions from BGCA and Dicks.

    other positives, Paqe bringing the Meter’s chops, Mike bringing the hair and scarves, Fishman bringing the extra limbs.

    Carini was pretty sweet last night too, will listen again. Great for first time of year. All-timer, maybe so, maybe not.

  9. skyballs saxscraper Says:

    Last night’s tube felt like it was miles long, extending from one end of the universe to the other, connecting at the ends. This is impossible, of course, since the universe is shaped like Mick Jagger’s head. Everyone knows that.

  10. Gavinsdad Says:

    @guf – awesome. Welcome to the nuthouse. hope we get to hang this Summer…dicks perhaps? (I’m also pnc and mpp).

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    right on. yeah, i love that Carini and Mike’s hair.

    Atlanta is primed for slide whistle, chicago gets the rawk.

  12. skyballs saxscraper Says:

    I can confirm that Mike’s scarf is made of 50% wool and 50% wizard.

  13. Stoney Case Says:

    I dig the section of Split starting around 12:30 where Trey starts to use the slide whistle with some sustain, like holding a note, that keeps bending. makes for a nice ethereal passage.

    13:30 we get the squishy lazer bomb from Mike which starts another nice, unique exchange of ideas. Page on the baby grand, which I always love.

  14. Stoney Case Says:

    with any luck, they snatch that thing at customs!

  15. DavidSilver Says:

    Possible. Canucks love slide whistles. May want to keep it. Carini jam ver Deadesque. In the best way.

  16. butter Says:

    Kinda like thinking other people wouldn’t know a hot show if it walloped them over the head? -DavidSilver

    ^i made that comment when 2/3 of the BB didn’t think SPAC 1 was a good show and still find it quite appropriate.

    wear a cape, crawl on the floor for glowsticks, tweet, make out with fat chicks… i really don’t give a shit what u do in the show as long as your not in my seat or talking over the music. do it your fucking way, stay out of my way unless u have good herb, water, cold beer or some funky dance moves to share.

    happy Sunday

  17. Stoney Case Says:

    could not get through #Line. too much slide where my shred should be.

    first run through ‘Tweezer’!

  18. Stoney Case Says:

    ::has lumpyhead from not recognizing hot shows::

  19. little umbrellas Says:

    Also, new set up has Mike’s rig farther away from Trey. Seemed to be an issue (see Mike’s Gear walkthrough vid). Im a page sider but also a bassist. Mike’s gonna seem far away….

  20. bobby weird Says:

    sorry if this was (probably) covered already, but i just learned of this quote from the following article:

    Trey referring to HOAHB

    “I’m just overwhelmed by all of it,” Anastasio said. “We’re hearing that the show might run regionally in certain places, so we’re thrilled about that.”

    He laughed when told some Phish fans were happy that the show closed so he would stick to playing live.

    “So they were glad the show closed?” he asked. “I am excited to get on tour, if I’m speaking to the Phish fans. I can’t wait.”

    Anastasio says the band will play some of the songs from the musical at Phish shows.

    “There’s a lot of great songs. I’m not sure what will make that leap at this time,” Anastasio said.

  21. phoammhead Says:

    so, stoney is bad nervana / BNCB is robear …

    #can’t keep up

  22. Stoney Case Says:

    Anastasio says the band will play some of the songs from the musical at Phish shows.

    “There’s a lot of great songs. I’m not sure what will make that leap at this time,” Anastasio said.

    Trey’s way of trolling the fans!

    this Tweezer has a nice crunchy groove of it’s own, however, winds down once they hit the crossroads.

  23. butter Says:

    agree DS on the “i know u rider” sounding licks from Trey at front end of Carini jam

    need a tube and a respin of Tube

    spun Melt > Tweeprise and have to agree with Miner that Tweez > Sand quite pedestrian. but still a cool mellowness to the lil tweeze jam. still beats Telluride Tweez (wasn’t that the one he lopped off the whole jam?)

  24. butter Says:

    yea Stoney he really was getting the most out of one lick, then one note during that passage in Melt, heady stuff

  25. angryjoggerz Says:

    Really enjoyed the webcast last night, a little drunk on the couch. Looking forward to one more tonight. To those of you in the show – make it count.

    Chicago finally feeling close. Cannot wait. See you freaks on the dancefloor.

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