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”

  1. 20 Minute Halley's Says:

    Anyway, my GF says as we are leaving…”next year we are heading south! I can’t go home knowing they are going to be playing this well, and that I am not there to witness it!” We may have to quit our day jobs if they can’t stop this madness!

  2. 20 Minute Halley's Says:

    I cannot believe this leg is already over. Hope everyone has a safe rest of tour, and cannot wait for another Dick’s Blowout.

  3. marcoesq Says:

    Thinking about flying down to ATL for a little Alph run. This week got me back into Phish in a BIG way

  4. BillyCampbell Says:

    Fiddle sound? So trazor aping kang now? Head explodes. Buncha phunions.

    Real proud of you stoney. For true.

    Any Wisco Dells vets here? Cool shit to do?

  5. marcoesq Says:

    Might even make ToronNO happen next Monday…have a meeting in Buffalo that I could schedule that day. Quick hour jaunt north

  6. angryjoggerz Says:

    Excitement and enthusiasm building. Band seems on fire. Im down with a little space fiddle from the face prancer.

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I like the little third stone teases in the golden age

    @billy c
    two words: Tommy Fucking Bartlett. okay, that was three, but you get the point.

  8. Leo Weaver Says:

    More violin than fiddle to these ears. doesn’t come across on the tapes, at least that I’ve been able to pick up.

  9. Stoney Case Says:


    It’s spelled TorontNo

    Sick ass venue. Highly recommended.

  10. angryjoggerz Says:

    I am wondering if Trey is doing that thing where it sounds like a flying space whale that is going back and forth across the venue, not the whale per say, more of a space whale. You know, the space whale.

  11. marcoesq Says:

    I had a hard enough time getting auto correct to let me spit that out.

    Can’t even d/l last night’s show yet since my bar codes are non existent. crunchy groove it is

  12. TheSloth Says:

    Does anyone have a spare code to help alleviate the cost of a HD purchase? theslothbb at gmail

  13. bearito Says:

    Well hot diggity damn! Phish is just straight killin’ it.

    Stoked to have MPP for my drive to Hot’lanta today!

    Looks like I have an extra for each night ATL. A pit and a pav.

    Hit me up @ bearito 2 @ g mail

  14. gavinsdad Says:

    light > boogie got people goin.

    we were calling punch or my soul opener. we were calling for fluffhead or lizards. we were calling for Ghost we were calling for Sally but i said we’d likely get Boogie in it’s place.

    i didn’t make many correct calls yesterday but looks like Alpha is gonna get lit the fuck up.

  15. BillyCampbell Says:

    Tommy Fucking Bartlett rules. Got called on stage last year and made a fool of. Life highlight. For my kids.

  16. jdub Says:

    Installing a project I’ve been working on for a while now. Good news is I am getting big check at the end of the week.

    Feeling like Toronto is pulling me. A let down show after Chicago or private throwdown for 5,000 Canadians and a handful of fans? 8 hour drive though. And I need place to crash. Wheels are turning after huge opening northeast run. Finally am catching up on work and money coming in, so a little wiggle room.

  17. LukasChuck Says:

    @marco: I’ve got an extra code I can shoot your way

  18. kayatosh Says:

    really digging this pull of 7.13.13


    prefer it to the chris king schoeps, which was pretty darn good.

    MPP 1 and 2 — $$$ 2 pack. Just catching up w/ night 1 now (maze).

    caught some stream last night. and was impressed w/ light>boogie on and yem. started listing to set I on stream at mule and was majorly digging it.


  19. BillyCampbell Says:

    TorontOhFace shaping up to be Utawshit circa 98.

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    Northerly Island Rules, in case anyone is wondering:

    Will Call
    Tickets can be picked up on day of show starting at noon when the box office opens. Customers must have credit card, picture ID, and confirmation number. TICKETS MAY NOT BE DROPPED OFF OR LEFT FOR OTHER GUESTS.

    General Rules
    Items PERMITTED in this venue include:
    – Snack food in clear plastic gallon-size bag or 6-pack size soft sided cooler.
    – Factory sealed water up to a gallon in size
    – Backpacks (subject to change based on event.)
    – Diaper bags when a child is present.

    Items NOT PERMITTED in this venue include:
    – Weapons
    – Alcohol
    – Drugs
    – Umbrellas
    – Laser pointers
    – Skates
    – Wallet chains
    – Ice chests
    – Banners
    – Flyers
    – Beach balls
    – Frisbees
    – Fireworks
    – Outside food or beverage (except as noted above)
    – Video and audio recording devices (unless otherwise noted)

    Camera Policy:
    – Personal cameras ARE allowed in the venue.
    – Flash photography, video and removable lens cameras ARE NOT permitted without venue approval.

    **PLEASE NOTE: These guidelines are subject to change and are at the discretion of management.**

    Children Rules
    There are no age restrictions. Children under 2 are admitted free but must sit on parents lap. Parents are encouraged to use reasonable discretion as some events may not be suitable for children.

    Events take place RAIN OR SHINE. Facility is NOT covered.

  21. marcoesq Says:

    thanks lukas. and if I get mine working, I’ll pass along my extra to whoever needs it.

    email: m h o y t 1 3 at ghee mail


  22. BillyCampbell Says:

    That Note is key. 1D made us toss our water and soft cooler on a 90° day, then check our binoculars. This was at The World though. Too many other hassles to list. We are being prepared for confinement and we’re losing the battle. LiveNation is evil.

  23. kayatosh Says:

    fishman drumming like a champ

    page breathing fresh life into the band and more at the helm

    trey figuring his shit out; thriving when he favors more rhythmic, spacious playing.

    gordon typically solid. anchoring the whole thing.

  24. kayatosh Says:

    yo, leave your friggin ice chest at home!

    ice chest?

    and if you thought you were gonna string up a banner or fly a flyer, fuggedaboutit.

  25. JCM Says:

    Miner- i try not to read your reviews on shows where I was there because the beauty of Phish is that everyone feels the music differently depending our their mental mindset at the show. I thought that, maybe I’ve just been in a good place because the SPAS/MPP shows were so good for me. I read your reviews just to see if it was me that was feeling it or are they really playing as well (better is my opinion) as they ever have. I’ve loved your comments…they have been spot on to what I experienced!

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