Unforgettable

7.5.13 (Jake Silco)

7.5.13 (Jake Silco)

On a night nobody in attendance will ever forget, Phish played through one of the heaviest rainstorms of their career while matching mother nature’s theatrics with plenty of their own. The use of superlatives has become useless in this torrid Phish climate of Summer 2013, as the band is on a mission to thrown down the gauntlet on a nightly basis. The amount of tremendous music they have showered us with in the first week-plus of tour just saw another sharp spike with a monstrous second set that remained in a deeply improvisational space for the duration. Opening up the groove refinery in the main event, the band cranked out a filthy centerpiece of “Tweezer -> Cities -> Wedge” in the middle of the second set—and all of that happened after a twenty minute exploratory “Rock an Roll” wound its way into “2001!” Yeah, it was a special night of Phish.

7/12 Official (DDL)

7/12 Official (DDL)

Historically, the band has responded to mammoth deluges with memorable shows—the most famous of which is the iconic date of 7.22.97 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Etched along side Antioch ’99, Columbus ’00, Darien Lake ’00 and Deer Creek ’09, history now has Jones Beach 2013. Things started out quickly as the band took the stage amidst a raging storm and punched out spirited takes of “Chalk Dust” and “Cars, Trucks, Buses.” But then Trey made some interesting song choices. “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing” matched the fury of the moment, but songs like “Ocelot,” “My Sweet One,” “Sugar Shack” and “Number Line” seemed to suck the energy out of a crowd that may have as well have just jumped into a swimming pool.  When they started up “Number Line,” the vibe was so far off what was actually going on I looked up and realized that the band was bone dry on stage and playing a below average first set—with plenty of flubs—like it was a sunny afternoon at Great Woods. But then something clicked. Maybe Trey looked beyond the front few rows of dry fans to the thousands of others who were braving a biblical deluge to be there. When the band started “Reba,” the entire night turned around as quickly as the Dukes of Hazzard pulling a U-Turn to escape from Roscoe P Coltrane.

The rain had not let up one iota, but when the “Reba” jam dropped, it no longer mattered. The band launched into a stunning, multi-tiered rendition of their classic that saw Trey effortlessly tear off gorgeous arpeggios while bringing the jam to a monstrous peak. One had the thought that they might end the set with such a triumphant version, but instead they followed “Reba” with the most ferocious “David Bowie” we have heard in a quite some time. This 25-minute combo completely flipped the script on the evening and left the drenched amphitheater abuzz at setbreak as everyone fled for cover.

7.5.13 (Jake Silco)

7.5.13 (Jake Silco)

When the lights dropped after a welcome interlude, Phish wove yet another seamless set of non-stop action—all doused with original ideas while avoiding any cliché jamming whatsoever. This was the real deal Holyfield, Phish-meets-mother-nature, full-blown gauntlet. As soon as the main event kicked off with “Rock and Roll” everyone knew we were in for a treat, but little did we know we would totally forget about the inclement conditions for most of a 50-minute sequence that we will be listening to forever. “Rock and Roll’s” jam provided an interesting stylistic juxtaposition with PNC’s “Crosseyed.” While Holmdel’s centerpiece featured several staggering peaks with heart wrenching melodic work from Trey, “Rock and Roll” was more exploratory and expansive—like a freight train in your living room—without the monstrous peaks. Both jams are amazing and illustrate just how diverse and masterful the band’s jamming is right now.

7.5.13 (J.Silco)

7.5.13 (J.Silco)

The band’s relentless attack continued with a version of “2001” that served as both a landing pad for “Rock and Roll’s” voyage and a springboard into “Tweezer.” And when the “Tweezer” jam hit, the rain and wetness fell one stage deeper into our collective memory as the band threw down a groove session of monumental proportions in “Tweezer -> Cities -> Wedge.” The band has returned to sculpting super-thick, gooey soundscapes this summer as Mike and Page are using more sounds than ever while dictating the course and the sound of jams as much as Trey. Fully locked, the band served up musical crack for the duration of “Tweezer -> Cities;” the type of music that offers salvation on the dance floor. This was the stuff the band had left behind in recent years; this was the candy-grooving of lore filtered through a modern lens; this was the type of rhythmic escapade hat leaves traces on your soul forever. This was utter bliss.

7.3.13 (P. Harrington)

7.3.13 (P. Harrington)

The band brought “Tweezer’s jam to an emotional, “Theme”-infused arrival, and as they slid out of this section, Fishman started up beat to “The Wedge.” It sure sounded like the band would merge these two songs, but instead, Trey started a rhythmic vamp and steered the band into “Cities.” Blowing out the “Cities” jam like no time since Atlantic City 2010, the band played one of the most infectious pieces of the night. And all the while, Fishman never give up. Continuing to lay down the “Wedge’s” beat in between verses of “Cities,” and then all over the song’s uber-infectious jam, he finally got the other guys to come along and they wound down their set-long chunk of sashimi grade Phish into the Rift era piece.

All of a sudden, Summer 2013 has taken on a very retro contour. And by that I mean that the band is serving up the goods night after night after night after night. Not since the late-90’s has Phish thrown down a week of shows soaked in the quality of improvisation than the one that has just transpired. And as many fans like to note, we are have only cracked the second week of tour!

See you in a few hours!

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Cars Trucks Buses, Ocelot, My Sweet One, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, Water in the Sky, The Sloth, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Sugar Shack, 46 Days, Backwards Down the Number Line, Reba, David Bowie

II: Rock and Roll > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Tweezer -> Cities -> The Wedge, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Character Zero

E: Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise

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362 Responses to “Unforgettable”

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  1. HarryHood Says:

    First!

  2. HarryHood Says:

    Pretty sure that’s my first ever first post….

  3. leo weaver Says:

    Sounds like I have some afternoon listening. Happy Saturday.

  4. Stoney Case Says:

    + 1 for Dukes of Hazard reference.

  5. gavinsdad Says:

    Just thru Lincoln Tunnel and mpp bound. Just gotta pass my house on the way to swap out my sneaks!

    Glad u had fun Miner. Classic shit.

  6. Fly Says:

    Get dry, everyone. Couch tour initial reaction: Well-peaked Reba, top 3.0 Bowie, RnR long but didn’t get there, IMHO. Very nice Tweez>Cities>Wedge. On the SPAC 2 level, not quite SPAC 1/3/PNC level.

  7. ColonelJoy Says:

    I Have Only Seen Bangor (Sloppy) And Wasnt Too Impressed With The Lauded Whale Fests That Have Followed, But ListEning To Last Night Im Sold..Look Forward To chicago

  8. Stoney Case Says:

    “Find your kitty,
    Find yourself a Kitty to live with”

    @AlbertWalker

  9. Stoney Case Says:

    Agrees with Colonel. PNC and SPAC 3 pretty solid too.

  10. PigSong Says:

    Just ran the Reba/Bowie – onto Tweez>Cities
    ya boi

  11. Mdawg Says:

    2013!

  12. Terbear Says:

    I’ve been seeing phish since 96, and Trey has been a huge influence on my guitar playing. So, when I hear him relying on his whammy pedal for every solo, my ears become tired of hearing the same solo on very song. Instead of hitting the peaks, Trey almost seems apprehensive, like a kid who’s afraid to raise his hand even though he knows the answer. Trey is play “peak-a-boo” with his solos, and it’s driving away this once die-hard fan.

  13. bob dylan Says:

    Here I am posting on the last page. Needs more coffee.

    What’s up people? Glad you had fun. Jones beach sucks as it is, doesn’t help when the water starts flooding the seats a la 09.

  14. JerZ Says:

    Last night was a blast. I had my wetsuit in my trunk, and decided to rock it all night. Best call ever at a show like that. Ha

  15. Dan B. Says:

    Miner’s review is spot on. With some fun exceptions (Chalkdust, Cars Trucks, and 46 Days) the first set was a dud until Reba. Who wants to stand in torrential rain and howling winds to hear Sugar Shack and Number Line? I certainly wasn’t too happy about it. But man the second set was awesome. Amazing jams that went all over the place without ever being boring for even a second. I was hoping they would go on all night. What a great band. What a great summer. Bring on Chicago!

  16. bearito Says:

    And the band plays on…

    Can’t wait to get some in Alpharetta!

    Have fun at MPP everyone

  17. bob dylan Says:

    Epic move jerz. Talk about not sweating some rain.

    “and they wound down their set-long chunk of sashimi grade Phish into Rift‘s opener.”

    Miner, was that a typo? Rift opens rift. Unless I read it wrong.

  18. Marcoesq Says:

    I would’ve rocked a rash guard in conditions like that.

    Still stand by that can’t turn you loose jam in RnR…sounds legit

  19. Calpain Says:

    glad all you JBers got some phish hose along with all that rain!

    felt 2001 was brewing since the ’09 JB version was rain soaked as well.

  20. tela'smuff Says:

    hitting the road for some much needed family visiting and r&r. see ya fools in Chi-town next week.

  21. Buddysmyles Says:

    Cold Wet Heat…

  22. MiA Says:

    Safe travels Tela’s

  23. El Duderino Says:

    y’all know about this ?
    Showing august 1st only

    8/27/72 restored to HD

    http://www.dead.net/features/grateful-dead-meet-movies/grateful-dead-meet-movies-2013-sunshine-daydream

  24. gavinsdad Says:

    @shred – if u were in that funny little area in front of the sbd/kuroda then we were directly in front of you. And funny…water was litterally shootin up my nose too. I needed a peg leg for that whole set.

  25. kenny powers Says:

    sick duder!

    did they ever come out with that abridged 2-disc version of the Spring 1990 box set?

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