In Touch With Their Roots

7.13.13 (Ryan MacNeill)

7.13.13 (Ryan MacNeill)

If Phish had played a show with the contour of Merriweather’s Saturday night’s song-based performance at any time over the past several years, it would fallen completely flat. But with the band’s revitalized interplay in their contained jamming—something glaringly missing from their modern arsenal until this tour—a show like last night’s was fantastic. Sticking to the program and breaking song structure only twice in “Disease” and “Simple,” the guys, nonetheless, threw down another high quality performance from top to bottom. The energy in the pavilion last night was both palpable and electric, and the band rode that wave all night long, dropping their second stellar “Split Open and Melt” in a row, a scorching “Birds of a Feather,” magnificent “Harry Hood” and a heavy-handed, 28-minute “Mike’s > Simple > Groove” to close things out. Filled with active jamming all night long Merriweather night one popped off in a different way than a Phish show has in quite a while.

7/13 Official (Doe Eyed)

7/13 Official (Doe Eyed)

The first set featured an array of tour debuts, including a bustout of “Destiny Unbound” for the first time since Super Ball, “Taste,” Page’s “Halfway of the Moon” and “Twenty Years Later.” The improvisational crest of the set, however, came in its final three-song segment featuring an absurdly intense and well-executed “Maze” and a version of “Split” that illustrated—to the delight of all—that song has truly returned as a juggernaut in the Phish catalog. A opening frame that contained no open improv still held everyone’s attention for the duration, and that is the mark of a band firing on all cylinders.

The highlights of the second set were all absolutely classic-sounding pieces of Phish in “Disease,” “Hood” and “Mike’s Groove.” All three pieces evoked the essence of the songs as they were employed in the hey day. Here’s how. Appearing in its hallmark slot as a second set opener, “Disease” kicked things off after setbreak for the second time this summer, and for the second consecutive time it became a creative peak of its of the show. Moving deep into a groovy space, the band swam into open waters for the first and only real time of the night and succeeded with flying colors. Resolving the exploration with a melodic coda, the band proceeded to sew the song together with its final verse in a move seldom seen in with a second set “Disease.”

7.13.13 (R.MacNeill)

7.13.13 (R.MacNeill)

Following a few-song interlude, including a “Birds of a Feather” that carried an urgency and full-band attack unseen since ’99, Phish dropped into the second mid-set “Hood” in three shows—and once again they absolutely slayed it. This time, however, the tone Trey used along with the way he built the jam to a larger peak than we’ve heard in modern “Hoods” all reeked of classic Phish. Soloing with passion and a purpose, Trey orchestrated a grandiose version that needs to be heard by any die-hard fan of the song. You might even question what year to which you’re listening. And the same might be true for the final highlight of the show—“Mike’s Groove.”

Having laid off their suite since Bangor’s opening set, this time Phish placed it as the closer of the night—and for the first time in this era, the band gave true love to each and every part of the triumvirate. “Mike’s” built to an outlandish peak with all sorts of dissonant guitar fury, but when the band transitioned to “Simple” the second open jam of the set unfolded. Moving out of song without slowing down into any sort of ethereal or noodly space, the band trucked into yet another classicly-shaped jam, hearkening back to the days when “Simple” was but an extension of the “Mike’s’ jam. And then came the glory, as Trey peaked the piece with subtle, slow and methodical reprise of the “Disease melody. While Trey never outright played the lick  note-for-note, he danced around it for long enough to make a clear nod to the set’s opening jam—a bit of Phishiness slipped into the fold. The guys blew out “Weekapaug” with creative, rhythmic calisthenics, caressing the jam like they haven’t in so damn long. This is the first 3.0 “Mike’s Groove” that deserves a place on any tour highlight reel, and it came at Merriweather Post, the same venue at which the band dropped a monumental “Mike’s > Twist > Weekapaug” in ’99 that Kevin Shapiro just dropped on Live Bait 9. Coincidence? Probably.

7.13.13 (Ryan MacNeill)

7.13.13 (Ryan MacNeill)

When Phish dropped a pinner-sized “Free” and “Bouncin” as the second and third songs in the second set, it was hard to imagine everyone in the venue would walk out ecstatic, but that is exactly what happened last night. In show that got in touch with the Phish’s musical roots of the mid-Nineties, the band delivered a memorable feel-good performance with all sorts of replay value. 2013—the summer it all came back together again.

I: Kill Devil Falls, Destiny Unbound, Taste, Halfway to the Moon, Twenty Years Later, Maze, Yarmouth Road, Split Open and Melt

II: Down with Disease > Free, Bouncing Around the Room, Birds of a Feather, Harry Hood*, Architect, Mike’s Song* > Simple > Weekapaug Groove

E: Waste, Good Times Bad Times

*Birds teases


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391 Responses to “In Touch With Their Roots”

  1. marcoesq Says:

    Great write up miner, awesome times last night. 8 song 1st set? yes please. got my birthday Destiny.

    good seeing you @gdiddy. great bday show for sure. let’s hook up on lot today

  2. MiA Says:

    I miss IMH2 a little.

  3. BillyCampbell Says:

    1D crushed last night rob. For real though, y’all appreciate a pinner Free after 1D. Kms

  4. RoosterPizza Says:

    Nope, not yet! Not much longer though…

  5. wolfmansfather Says:

    i cant remember where but saw it again was all over one of the first set songs

  6. glennw Says:

    Thanks for your review, mr. M. It was all the sweeter for me to be there with my grown sons (I am the geezer). And for me, taking us out with Waste, and how that says what I feel about my boys…and capped off by the monstrously shredded GTBT…wow.

  7. MiA Says:

    I do like this Simple though. Quite a bit.

  8. little umbrellas Says:

    I miss it too though MiA, all good. Last Hyrdrogen I caught…. Hmm…. Outside Lands maybe…

  9. MiA Says:

    This is a very Star Lake-ish Weekapaug!!!!

    I endorse this groove!!!

  10. Lycanthropist Says:

    Repost from last night:

    Ok. Just listened to melt from tonight. While the spac melt was obviously the improvisational heavy weight….
    THIS is the Split I have been looking for.

    Before everyone freaks out, let me explain

    They finally played split right! They played a split jam went out there came back to split proper and nailed the ending. That bringing it back together in the end makes such a hug difference to me
    Thrilled they finally pulled this off on top of a stellar version IMO

  11. GoingSouth Says:

    @wolfmans, I distinctly remember that too, but I can’t find it to save my life. Let me know if you find it!

  12. phlorida phan Says:

    ^ haven’t listened yet, but my guess would be 20yrs later.

  13. MiA Says:

    Closing was great Lycan.

    I’m of the opinion he needs to quit with the whammy, instead step on the overdrives, the digital delays, wah pedals, and and never spend a second below the 15th fret whilest bending the shit out of those strings. All while ignoring time signatures.

    I want the Split where he’s so out there he forgets he even has feet with which to step on pedals.

  14. MiA Says:

    He is on the precipe.


    And goodbye KC. Into Minneapple

  15. GoingSouth Says:

    Does anyone know if an AUD of JB is out there yet? I’ve been dying to hear set II, but nothing has popped up on bt.etree yet.

  16. momentends Says:

    is crunchygroove working? I can’t get it to play despite last nights show being posted. thanks

  17. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    dig all the positivity, miner. it sounds like tour is a blast and phish is being phishy. wonderful. enjoy the show tonight, kiddos.

  18. sumodie Says:

    MPP AUD popped up

  19. sumodie Says:

    Taper padelimike has been dropping AUD mp3s on the greenboard. Search under his name for other Phish shows this tour

    Here’s his MPP set 1 AUD mp3. Stay tuned for set 2

  20. Boris Says:

    OMG, please don’t play Stash tonight.



  21. sumodie Says:

    Looks like padelimike didn’t record JB so no mp3 AUDs from him

  22. sumodie Says:

    Another MPP AUD on etree

    Haven’t heard a note from last night -will have to wait till tonight. Off to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the Berkshires.

  23. phishm Says:

    Wow, I just read last nights posts. Sorry, I crashed early last night. mmm – I may not make it to a lot of shows, but pushing a female is so overboard it’s sick. I got your back if I’m ever at a show. That is just plain old out of line. If I ever saw anyone at a show, no matter who it was, pushing a girl, shit would get real and fast. That’s fucked up. Sorry for the rant, but I almost feel like the band needs to step in and ban these ass hats from their shows if they are being physical with woman. That shit is bounds for the ass kicking of a lifetime.
    OK, back to rainbows and unicorns.

  24. Stoney Case Says:

    Don’t worry. Not counting on the softies here to back me up with AG’s aggression. Stick with ponies fluff and rainbows. My crew is big enough for some dirty work.

  25. Stoney Case Says:

    Nice Phism has my back. Wake up hockey players!

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