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”

  1. kayatosh Says:

    agreed, tweezer, w/ respect to the tightness of the song rotation. need fresh tunes. but they are trying to break new ground jamming wise.

    i’m so hard up for fresher selections, i imagined they were going into LaGrange at PNC when alas it was yet another julius. Had my arms raised in jubilation and then “danger, i was told to expect it . . .”. that said, julius was well-played.

  2. Stoney Case Says:

    Tweezer, Miner has Jamnesia. He’s a very in the moment cat and just loves what they’re doing right now. He felt the same last year. And the year before that.

  3. xpun Says:

    Kid at WW table that looks like silly from behind/side. Nearly got a big ol bear hug from a stranger.

  4. Foul_Domain Says:

    I wish they’d play Vultures more. Such a great song with wicked guitar solo potential. Same with Brother and Buried Alive.

  5. Foul_Domain Says:

    @Stoney – you coming back up for Toronto Round 2?

  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    I guess my reason is I don’t have a ticket or car, and no money to pay for either of those things. 😉

    But it’s all good – excited to see what happens tonight.

  7. sumodie Says:

    Yup, band not dropping so many bustouts / nuggets like last summer (thus far). Trey ever on catch-up mode to begin tour, first sets not consistently full o juice, but..

    The full band communication is tightest yet in 3.0 – the creativity on display thus far is excellent to these years and continues to blossom

    Not everything is perfect (what is?) but we are only 6 shows in…..

    2013 is very worthy to these years, and while I might not write so enthusiastically as Miner, I LOVE that he writes what he feels.

    And dare I say his ‘public voice’ serves to push the band further….

  8. Stoney Case Says:

    Miner gets kids to shows! Flat out. His enthusiasm is infectious. BK withstanding. You could have done Waterwheel probably BK! Wanna do it tomorrow? Cab, bus, Craigslist for a ride.

  9. El Duderino Says:


    re: screen behind stage

    not an led screen just a thin line of led lights at the very bottom, when they chase the kinda look like Close Encounters.
    Seems like less is more and much less gimmicky too.

    re: analogue sbd.

    I’m sure it’s not all analogue equipment.
    Either way it’s a more warm/rounded sound but not washy like late 1.0/2.0 Paul eras

  10. kayatosh Says:

    page is on his game big time. exhibit A — CTB. page is the man.

  11. kayatosh Says:

    el dude: welcome back to the fold. thought you banished yourself and vowed never to come back.

  12. El Duderino Says:

    just dipping my toe in kaya

  13. El Duderino Says:

    I’m crazy and i do what I want what can I say

  14. kayatosh Says:

    all good, dude. the more the merrier. hope all is well in dudeland.

  15. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Come on now.. Really not hearing any difference between ’13 and say ’11-’12?

    To these ears it on a completely different level. Just spun SPac, set II loud on ride home form work. While Mango is butchered up a bit, the slick segue from Light-> makes up for it . 46 Days->Steam? Come on, that is the titties, and I’m not even a Steam fan.. or at least I wasn’t. Then they drop a Drowned ,Slave to close… Gnarly.

    Always up for less Possums, Julius etc…. So I hear the tight setlist rotation complaints..

    Honestly, outside of a handful of shows in ’11 and ’12, they were pretty boring.

    Jamnesia is legit, but warranted in this case. It’s just better.. at least to my ears.

    Rock on MPP. I still need to spin last night. Any extra codes? pretty please

  16. Foul_Domain Says:

    Couple beers, couple burgers…

  17. sumodie Says:

    MPP have 7pm start? Already opened with KDF

  18. kayatosh Says:

    first vape o the day w/ ASIHTOS.

  19. Stoney Case Says:

    Destiny Unbound

  20. El Duderino Says:

    in response to stoney case’s comment on his first whale like this tour.
    Gin from SPAC is mine and is my favorite jam of the weekend even though it’s not psyche type 2 just rock jam.

  21. Stoney Case Says:

    Streamless In Seattle

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    Any streams tonight?

  23. sumodie Says:

    Yes, good to have your voice here, Dude

    Even better to hang with u in person at SPAC!

  24. El Duderino Says:

    @ sumo

    thnx for hooking up the whole house last weekend on both levels
    It was great to share a show with you finally and not just the before and after.
    Always a pleasure to see you man

  25. mmmhmm Says:

    anyone got the stream? Womenasresmarter appears to be offline

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