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. dorn76 Says:



  2. roberto luongo Says:

    it’s funny I saw that entire 77 box set on one file and I thought it was the same show 5 times

    shit I spun em all and thought it was the same show every time

    spun that new Dave’s picks from 73 and dug the shit out of it though

    77 just so clean and polished but I hear ya Plord def more subtle but not a lack of tasty diversity thrown around in those type I jams that tour.

  3. roberto luongo Says:

    what time you get in to Chicago Canadian?

  4. snow Says:

    What up BB? I only spun the first set last night and it was amazing. so much engaging playing. wowsers.

    @Miner – I left the AG convo to go to yardwork and just read back this am.

    1) yes, there are many things worse than women who feel entitled. If you really want to defend that statement, let’s start with sexually assaulting someone at a show. How is an entitled woman sneaking a spot on the rail worse than someone actually going something like, I don’t know, physically intimidating someone? Any statement like “There’s nothing worse than a girl who thinks she can do what she wants at a show because she’s a girl” needs some serious qualifying before it can be anything but misogynistic.

    2) I would question your assumption that getting in line at 3pm entitles a person to space at the rail. First of all, that would at best be a cultural norm as there is no place that it is an official policy of phish or a venue.

    SO AG can get in line and run to the rail and hold space. Why is this so effect for HIM? because he uses his physical presence to hold space according to the dozens of accounts I have read of him physically intimidating people. Absent the ability and intent to physically intimidate people, it’s not such a clearly justified way of being.

    3) We are lucky that everyone else does not follow AG’s example. If we did, then phish shows would start as a race to the rail at 3pm and then be a gladiator battle to hold your space. Is that what we want?

    To be clear, I’m still not sure that AG is guilty of what mmmhmmm accused (“unforgettable” pg 14) or that he isn’t right to hold space. I am curious to here your expanded defense of him.

    @Stoney- Did you talk to AG as you intended?

  5. voopa Says:

    Let’s not reframe the narrative here. The pitch-shifting pedal is still being used in _every_ song.

  6. skidmorephish Says:

    i’d like to chime in on the tight rotation issue. i’ve been seeing phish for 23 yrs now and unpredictability is what makes phish special…take that away and they are still really good, but not the same animal at all. to hear some tunes repeated in a 3 show stretch like from bangor to saratoga is not only surprising, but disappointing. as well played as last nights show may have been, the variance in setlists is why we all go multiple nights throughout a tour and often to 3 or more shows back to back. after looking over last night’s setlist, i have some level of concern this may be a new normal. every tune but Mule was a repeat and some, like bdtnl, have made appearances in 4 of the 8 shows we have had on this tour so far; its the possum of 2013. what i also found troubling is opening set 2 with the same golden age>twist>bdtnl triumvirate that opened set 2 in bangor; why do that? look…i think we can all agree that any phish in 2013 is a gift, let alone them playing at such a high level, but that after the precedent that’s been set over the past 30 yrs, we expect the unexpected and that means a wider rotation, especially out of the gates. i’m not one of those guys clamoring for the bustout of harpua or spock’s brain every night, but after 8 shows with a ton of repeats, don’t we have room for a fluffhead here or a guyute there? ok..maybe those are too technically challenging for the onset of a tour…fine. then how about a gumbo or a timber…a horn or a lizards. feel free to agree or disagree, phish fans are nothing if not opinionated. again, i am very thankful for still having a phish to see and for them to be healthy and playing at a high level…i am just merely looking to discuss the tight rotation, which i feel is a negative.

  7. snow Says:

    Miner’s defense of AG in on “In touch with their roots” page 6.

  8. Mr. Palmer Says:

    One more brutal 12 hour day about to commence, then I can catch up on the weekend Phish at MPP. Sounds like things are picking up even more Steam.

    Atlanta->Chocago will be great. jealous of you guys…. I’ll take my 4 and be happy though.. Is it Fall yet? haha…

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Boston>Albany>NY/NJ/BK run this fall…mark it… I’m all over that shiit!!

  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Lets drop the Ag stuff… Inevitably it is a he said/she said thing that won’t get resolved.

    I like watching those guys rage from time to time… To each their own.

  11. snow Says:

    I think the thing that bugs me most is the use of “he is in line at 3pm” in response to accusations of AG physically intimidating people.

    The more reassuring response would be – that sounds awful. I really hope he didn’t do that. I’ll talk to him about it.

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    RL, only bus I could book gets me there Thursday night at 1130

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Snow- He did talk to him. Ag and others said no such thing happened. Like I said, she said/he said.

    Not defending actions like that whatsoever, but unless people saw it, what else is there to do?

  14. snow Says:

    @Palmer – I don’t understand what you enjoying their dancing has to do with Antelope Greg physically intimidating people at shows and Miner justifying it by him getting in line early. Seems like if he is friends with Miner then we have an opportunity to deal with this. Especially if AG thinks his actions are legitimate.

  15. Jtran Says:

    maybe mmmhmmmm slf was attacked by someone she thought was AG but it was in fact someone else

  16. snow Says:

    @ Palmer -well, Like I am doing, we can question his logic and get it clearly stated that AG has not intention of physically intimidating people. Then watch and shine a light on it when he does.

  17. roberto luongo Says:

    some one needs to tell AG that Trey doesn’t do the groupie thing anymore so his fanboy ass need to stop his dreams of someday being Trey’s love slave.

    the rail is for weirdos most of which are either biopolar schizophrenic or both

    I know at least a dozen of em think Trey is speaking thorough them and vise versa.

    so in a way if you go hang out with the weirdos except it to get weird. I tend to get crazier than even the crazies especially when spun so try to avoid peeps I know I’ll get in a brawl with if I go anywhere near them.

    would take me about 30 seconds to get in a fight down there.

    psychos. far page side speakers. get away from the stan’s that like to be center to stare at Trey’s package like AG.

  18. Jtran Says:

    or, maybe he was just airplaning and she viewed getting clipped with a wing as an attack 😉

  19. snow Says:

    very possible @jtran.

  20. Stoney Case Says:

    Yesterday was not miners finest moment regarding females and shows.

    Anyone defending sounds like an idiot. Period.

    Voopa you’re wrong about the pedal. Very minimal usage last night.

    Direct quote from an email I received. From a true Phishstorian that was in attendance:
    “Yes I was very pleasantly surprised that trey hardly used his DigiTech Whammy all night. We got to hear him play guitar! Imagine that”

  21. roberto luongo Says:

    and I like greg. known him forever. he’s a psycho wing nut. kid only takes up a few feet down there.

    it’s the whole pack of 50 psychos that makes it crazy. they’re all out of their minds down there.

    rail riders are worse than non puffers and arcade fire fans. fact.

  22. Jtran Says:

    I dig the tall dude that’s always directly in front of Trey that wears tie dye alot. Is he a famous fan?

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


    I know we are all wrapped up in all this “phish is really playing great” business, but this is for serious.


  24. roberto luongo Says:

    Trey has used some whammy on every solo since about 1999

    it’s just how much he uses it guarantee as voopa said there is whale in every solo last night.

    but I’m no spoilers someone else gonna have to do the exciting exercise.

  25. snow Says:

    way to be self-aware, take responsibility for yourself and avoid creating conflict at shows @RL. We need more of that.

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