Right At Home Again

7.13.13 (Ryan MacNeill)

7.13.13 (Ryan MacNeill)

In one of the most symbolic moments in recent years, Trey came out for the second set of Sunday night’s show at Merriweather wearing a t-shirt! In leaving his button down in the green room, Trey conveyed the comfort that he once again feels on stage at a Phish show. In the days of lore—days that may not remain as unmatched legend for much longer—Trey had a rotation of t-shirts, but ever since the comeback, it’s been collars and blazers for Big Red. The comfort Trey is feeling is clearly shared by his bandmates as well as they annihilated Merriweather Post Pavilion to close out the Northeast portion of their summer tour. Playing a ballistic show from start to finish, the band showcased why so many of our lives have changed for this band. The excitement that is swirling between the crowd and audience at shows these days is unprecedented for the modern era. For the past few years Phish has played shows using the sounds and jamming styles from their past, but starting in 2013, and exemplified by last night’s “Light” jam,” Phish has reinvented themselves and their sound once again—a hallmark of their career—while taking all their jams in new and innovative directions. I shudder to think what the Gorge and San Francisco will be like, let alone fall tour! Hide the women and children folks, this is getting serious.

7/14 Official (Doe Eyed)

7/14 Official (Doe Eyed)

Aside from “Light’s” monumental excursion, the greatest take away from last night’s show was the first set. Playing, hands down, their best opening frame of summer, the band threw down some unexpected twists taboot. After moving sharply through the first third of the set, the show elevated to another level when the guys dropped the most impressive “Stash” since post-hiatus. Taking the piece into blissful realms and then into a wah-laced segment a la Worcester ‘97, the band packed an incredible amount of action into the now-resurrected piece, and damn what a great development. “Stash” had been left for dead as nothing but first-set filler, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the song makes it into the second set before tour’s end.

Phish followed “Stash” with a “Scent of a Mule” in which the band actually used the Mule Duel to showcase their musicianship and create something different. One feature of this jam was Fishman on marimba, a new stage feature as of tonight, and—wow— it made some abstract sounds. My personal favorite surprise of the set, however, came next in “It’s Ice.” Launching from the ambient jam into a filthy dose of disco funk, this one came like a left hook from Sugar Ray Leonard as he distracted you with his rope-a-dope on the right. Check this piece out for a vivid illustration of just how damn nasty Phish is right now. Capping the opening half with scorching versions of “Tube” and “Antelope,” the band received an extended standing ovation after the first set! The addition of a throw down first set completely changes the contour of an evening with Phish, providing an incredible boost to any show.

7.13.13 (Ryan MacNeill)

7.13.13 (Ryan MacNeill)

With an interesting move that I didn’t realize until later, the band kicked off the second frame of Sunday night’s set with the exact triumvirate as they started Bangor’s—“Golden Age > Twist” and “Number Line.” And in retrospect, the sequence had a very similar flow. “Golden Age” exploded into a furious groove jam that saw Trey favor his wah pedal once again, a move that causes every Phish fan to giggle with delight. Though “Golden’s” jam stayed within normal territory, it, nonetheless, enthralled any Phish groove junkie in the audience. Bleeding into “Twist,” the band once again seemed on the verge of popping out of  structure as they turned toward home. “Number Line” provided an unwelcome second-set interlude before Phish turned the pavilion upside down with the Merriweather “Light.”

7.13.13 (R.MacNeill)

7.13.13 (R.MacNeill)

When “Light” started up last night, one could only imagine the places it would take us after witnessing the SPAC and PNC versions. The opening chords of the song are now enough to make any psychonaut drool in a pavlovian response. Continuing to push the envelope with their modern launchpad, last night the band came up with music that verges on indescribable. Some amalgam of free jazz and hard groove sprinkled with calypso and topped with an avant-garde stop-start cadence is about the best I can do. But let me tell you—this shit brought the house down. There is something incredibly awe-inspiring about witnessing greatness and being completely cognizant of it while it is going down, and that was exactly the feeling I had last night. Phish was inventing music that only they could make right there on the spot, and people were freaking the fuck out—and that’s where this whole experiment got started thirty years ago. Segueing seamlessly into “Boogie On,” the band’s unstoppable momentum spilled into the cover and spiced up the version quite a bit.

As the band tore through a hot “Julius,” there was about 45 minutes left on the clock and everyone could see the “You Enjoy Myself” from a mile away. But what nobody could see was the infectious and active jam that would spring from yet another classic that had lost its luster. Sticking to the groove paradigm last night, I don’t think it will be long before we see the band take a “YEM” into open waters—the Gorge perhaps?

As tour follows the lines going South for two shows and then takes a quick right turn out to Chicago, the trajectory of this run is mind boggling. After the show tonight I thought of all the west coast friends who will see the band at The Gorge for the first time this year and what an awakening they are in for. 2013 is the moment we’ve been waiting for since 2009. 2013 is what I thought was possible when Trey stepped in stage in Brooklyn in 2008. Now it’s all happening right before our eyes.

Is the south ready for Hurricane Phish?

I: First Tube, The Moma Dance, NICU, Roses Are Free, Chalk Dust Torture, Stash, Scent of a Mule, It’s Ice, Tube*, Run Like an Antelope

II: Golden Age > Twist, Backwards Down the Number Line, Light -> Boogie On Reggae Woman, Julius, You Enjoy Myself

E: Loving Cup

* “Ice” tease

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1,426 Responses to “Right At Home Again”

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  1. punkmug Says:

    Great read. Thanks Miner!


  2. phoammhead Says:

    Psychonaut…love it!

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Drive safely, psychonauts. Alpharetta looms large.

  4. Foul_Domain Says:


  5. Cheard Says:

    Thanks to Telephish for a killer stream; great way to end a weekend.

  6. Willowed Says:

    This gave me goose bumps. I guess I’m throwing on Its Ice for my breskfast coffee.

    So happy for all you cats catching shied right now.

  7. st8 of mind Says:

    Nice write up Miner. Thanks again.

  8. jdub Says:

    Great work Miner! I’m effin pumped. That Light sounded ridiculous on a high quality stream. No more skipping 1st sets. Operation get the kids to bed early is underway.

  9. btb Says:

    Cool beans

  10. Fly Says:

    Holy fucking Light. Next level achieved.

  11. Stoney Case Says:

    Glad to finally be on the same planet as miner hearing these shows. Trey hit all his free throws last night. Then launched a 360 two handed dunk from the top of the circle during Stash and all heaven broke loose.

    Feels good to say slide fluffers may not love this show. Trey fans will.

  12. marcoesq Says:

    wow, forgot about Ice. that shit raged! what a great time last night, that was the best start to finish Phish show I’ve seen in 10yrs.

  13. Fly Says:

    Those are the same goosebumps I felt after the BGCA 3 madness. They lifted the bar in BGCA. They just lifted it again. Unfucking believable.

  14. Fly Says:

    And (almost) perfect segue into Boogie On. Fuck. This fucking band. Phishm’d.

  15. Stoney Case Says:


    That’s the shit that I like, like

  16. Stoney Case Says:

    For those that don’t follow Twitter,

    Confirmed reports of 11 ladies in a row on the rail. Aided by our convo here yesterday? Coincidence? You decide.

  17. kayatosh Says:

    way to go phish! somebody code me.

  18. roberto luongo Says:

    yo comrades. hope ya’ll in enjoying the Phish.

    had a nice weekend. getting ready for the Chicago run and caught a rippin Spiritualized show in a small ass room with great sound right by my crib Friday night.

    minimal words and thoughts I’ve heard from tour is the band is catching their stride and slaying last couple nights. sounds like things a rolling into my 3 packs.

    can’t express how much more I’m enjoying this tour no spoilers than getting caught up in all the hype. just like summer tour 94. it’s all about the LIVE experience. just like it ever was. excitement for this Chicago run is 20x higher than when I’ve listened and discussed every note of tour to death.

    have fun comrades
    Chicago phish bitches

  19. thedayman Says:

    spiritualized was in Chicago on Friday?? Fuck I fugged up

  20. Fly Says:

    Another couch tour initial reaction: Trey sounds different singing the lyrics to these songs (Stash, Boogie On). More organic, more at home. A return to the essence. Perhaps evidenced by the second set t-shirt.

  21. kayatosh Says:

    nice approach, RL. makes sensi. know that they added a slick jam in It’s Ice. fuggetaboutit.

  22. Stoney Case Says:

    Until you spin the Stash and It’s Ice RL!

  23. JanxSpirit Says:

    phish.net just reminded me that it’s the 21st anniversary of my first show. The night before my college orientation…sub-$10 ticket at the door…Glide opener…helped Trey carry his gear out after the show…

    I guess if you told me I’d still be seeing the band 20+ years later, I’d have been pretty stoked.

  24. kayatosh Says:

    love that it’s ice jam. just spun it again and again. love how they transition from the jamlet back to it’s ice. butter

    something’s shaking on shakedown street.

  25. Kaveh Says:

    Nice write up @Miner…in hindsight, wishing I had done more than Maine…band is far and above the start of Summer Tour…can’t wait to see them out West!

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