Hey Fellas, Have You Heard the News?

7.5.13 (Jake Silco)

7.5.13 (Jake Silco)

Greeting Hotlanta with a big time second set on, ironically, the coolest night of tour, Phish migrated South on Tuesday without missing a beat and opened their two-pack at the best conventional amphitheatre in the game, Verizon Wireless in Alpharetta. Centered on the theme of Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker,” which the band jammed into from the set-opening “Rock and Roll,” the second half featured continuous teases of the hard rock anthem in virtually every tune. But unlike some similar sets that have become gimmicky, this one had plenty of musical meat throughout. Page seemed to take charge in many jams on Tuesday night, following a show at Merriweather in which Fishman anchored the improvisational effort, showcasing the democratic nature of modern Phish and allowing Trey to lay back and continue to dial in his whammy pedal—a tool, that believe it or not, will—and has already started to—bring the band’s new sound to the next level.

7/16 Official (J. Santora)

7/16 Official (J. Santora)

The guys played an incredibly standard opening set—especially in juxtaposition to Sunday night’s smoking first half—that even started to drag with the four-song sequence of “Army of One,” “Rift,” “Horn,” and “Possum.” But the show kicked into gear with the summer debut of “Pebbles and Marbles,” and from then on, the band meant business. Following a quick spin of the post-hiatus bustout, they dropped into a thick Southern “Ocelot” before “Cavern” seemed to end an uneventful frame. The second “Antelope” in as many shows, however, popped out of nowhere to give a bit of credence to the set’s final third. Though solid, this version didn’t pop like Merriweather’s or SPAC’s versions, let alone Bangor’s instant classic. Thus, when the lights came up on the incredibly spacious general admission dance floor after one of the least dancy sets in memory, it was quite clear that the flat cement playground would see its action after setbreak.

And just as predicted, when the lights dropped, the adventure started. Phish blew open “Rock and Roll” almost instantaneously, and only minutes into the set the band had found utter glory. Spinning into a blissful exchange, this jam elevated immediately—as if it only took a nod to surf the astral plane. The jam stayed in this happy place for some time, and when Trey played a descending lick that brought the guys out, it only took a few moments for Mike to begin tickling the bassline to “Heartbreaker.” Hopping on the Zeppelin tease, Trey led the band into the opening verse of the song, but when guys came out of that verse back into the jam, some of the filthiest music of tour went down. Page led, on clavinet, into a series of crunchy grooves that Trey painted in his uncompressed, post-hiatus growl. If you mainline Phish crack— which I highly recommend—check out this narcotic chunk of music. And while the audience was enveloped by this monstrosity, Trey orchestrated a back door segue into “Makisupa Policeman,” and the jam/song flow of the set began.

7.5.13 (Jake Silco)

7.5.13 (Jake Silco)

One would think that a 2013 Phish might give their reggae song some love for the first time in ages, but apparently they were saving it all for “Chalk Dust.” Placing their anthem square in the middle of the set, I couldn’t help but recall 2012’s heavily-improvised, leg two versions, while feeling we were about to witness another. And did we ever. While the aforementioned versions of 2012 were driven by melodic leads by Trey, the band opened up this jam into something different altogether and it blossomed into the highlight of the show. Launching from the actual “Chalk Dust” jam, Trey took a turn for the uplifting—similar to the initial shift of “Rock and Roll”—but this time, the band stuck with the vibe and scripted a stunning piece of new school Phish that oozed spirituality. Sounding momentarily like they were building towards “Architect,” they sidestepped the new song and continued to forge their wide-open path. Mike took the lead for much of this jam before Trey got a bit antsy and started up “Wilson,” a move that was all but forgotten when the band spilled into “Tweezer.” But how sick would it have been if they left out “Wilson” for a final section of “Chalk Dust” and segued into “Tweezer?” Hmmm…I digress.

7.5.13 (J.Silco)

7.5.13 (J.Silco)

As soon as “Tweezer’s” jam hit, Trey kicked into “Heartbreaker,” but when they dropped back into “Tweezer,” it was Fishman who took the helm, steering the ship into an ocean of hard groove. Trey played with a funky then ferocious sensibility, keeping up with Fish in a true dance floor throw down that took full advantage of the glorious concrete of Alpharetta. But just as the jam turned away from straight rhythms and began to transform into something greater, Trey dropped out, insisting the band come with him, thus they quickly—though artfully—put together a segue into “Silent in the Morning.” Call me a monkey’s uncle, but that “Tweezer” had about five more minutes of beauty left, but what can you do but count our blessings and come back tomorrow.

7.7.13 (J.Silco)

7.7.13 (J.Silco)

At this juncture, the set turned somewhat songy in contour, quasi-resembling a 2012 second half, but this time the music within those songs was far more impressive. Placing “Birds of a Feather” in the main event for the second time in three shows, they—again—tore the piece apart with creative, contained jamming. And then the parade of summer “Hoods” continued, this time highlighted by delicate rather than driving playing by Big Red. A beautiful version put a nice cap on the set, while balancing it with a final jam before “Character Zero” closed things out.

The first night in Alpharetta had “post-Northeast, mid-week let down” written all over it. If there was going to be an off night of Summer 2013 it was going to be Tuesday. Once the band hits Chicago this weekend, it’s all big time shows from there on out less Toronto. In the past few years, the guys might have come down South and tossed in a token effort last night, but that’s not how Phish 2013 rolls. In fact, they just keep on rolling and rolling and nothing in this universe seems like it can stop them. We are not quite at tour’s midway point and the sets just coming. Only one more show before Phish hits the Midway for a marquee trifecta—see you on the dance floor!

I: Kill Devil Falls, Mound, Bathtub Gin, Army of One, Rift, Horn, Possum Pebbles and Marbles, Ocelot, Cavern, Run Like an Antelope

II: Rock and Roll -> Heartbreaker^ -> Makisupa Policeman > Chalk Dust Torture^ >Wilson* > Tweezer* -> Silent in the Morning, Birds of a Feather, Joy, Harry Hood* > Character Zero*

E: A Day in the Life > Tweezer Reprise

^ unfinished, *Heartbreaker tease

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1,285 Responses to “Hey Fellas, Have You Heard the News?”

  1. El Duderino Says:

    they were serving Goose Island 312 on tap @ SPAC
    thought that was pretty unusual

  2. sven Says:

    Re: Mockingbird event

    Rock Bottom has got a great rooftop beer garden. Kinda small, but always enjoyable if you can get up there and logistically in a great spot.

    That said, it looks like it is going to be a hot and sticky mess this weekend and hanging outdoors might not be all that enjoyable.

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    since that’s an AB InBev brand now, I think it is becoming a common macro “micro” offering in a lot of places.

  4. phishm Says:

    Nice work Stoney. They read the posts. Of course they do. Just listened to the Makisupa. Very nice. Guess that solves that conflict. Chicks in the front row is what the band wants. Wonder what that does to the whole rail rider theory. Either way, have a good one bb. Trying not to speak for anyone. Guess that’s why I always put an IMO at the end. Guess if I don’t then it’s not assumed.

  5. BillyCampbell Says:

    This one on saturday stoney. 99%sure I’ll be taking this bus.


  6. El Duderino Says:

    AB InBev?

    has the brewery/name been sold?

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


  8. marcoesq Says:

    I’m bugging out…need to see more phish. Dick’s is a long 6wks away

  9. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Needs confirmation:


  10. jdub Says:

    I was pleasantly surprised to find Sierra Nevada’s Foam on tap at SPAC.

  11. marcoesq Says:

    @dayman- If you’re lurking, how did your Boards go? Hope you’re hitting up Chi…If you haven’t started rotations yet!

  12. marcoesq Says:

    crunchy groove not working for me…anyone else?

  13. plord Says:

    Hm. Higher Ground in Burlington just announced that they will be showing the Friday Chicago webcast in the small ballroom as a Waterwheel/Mockingbird benefit.

    Sweet 🙂

  14. dusty Says:

    @marcoesq You need to change your browser’s user agent string to “LivePhishApp” now. Ph app is filtering based on it for now. Will only be a matter of time before they change their app to something more unique I think.

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    Beer repost from yesterday, sort of on topic. For the IPA lovers, here are some great Chicago local options to try during your stay. Also, for people who dont want to mess around hunting good beer on tap, make your way to Hopleaf in Andersonville – amazing selection, great food, Zombie Dust on tap.

    Revolution Anti Hero IPA
    Revolution Double Fist DIPA
    Revolution Galaxy Hero IPA
    Revolution Crystal Hero IPA
    Begyle Hophazardly American IPA
    Begyle Johnny Quest Things We’re Sellouts Black IPA
    Begyle Farmers Hand American IPA
    Begyle North by Northwest American IPA
    Pipeworks Ninja vs Unicorn Imperial IPA
    Pipeworks Citra Ninja Imperial IPA
    Pipeworks Blood of the Unicorn Imperial IPA
    Pipeworks Galaxy Unicorn Imperial IPA
    Pipeworks Something Hoppy This Way Comes Imperial IPA
    Pipeworks Unicorn’s Revenge Imperial IPA
    Pipeworks Standard Issue IPA
    Spiteful Instigator IPA
    Spiteful Messenger Double IPA
    Spiteful Bitter Biker IPA
    Spiteful Lost Bike IPA

    Half Acre Daisy Cutter Pale Ale (4 pack cans)
    Also, not chicago but close – you will want to try Three Floyds Zombie Dust on tap

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    Chicago has too much good beer to get stuck at Goose Island!

  17. bhizzle Says:

    good morning peeps!

    So was there or was there not a key word in the maki policeman?

    And loving those rumored fall dates….making up for the missing of the summer jams.

  18. btb Says:

    crunch groove is no more or atleast extended break / stealth mode for a while.

  19. Stoney Case Says:

    Phishm, yes, the leader of the band, has spoken.

    Hot Ladies >> Sweaty Dudes on the rail.

    Smoking pot >> landing planes on the rail

  20. btb Says:

    At KBS day in Clv some dude was talking my head off about the Pipeworks beers being great. I need to try those.

  21. dusty Says:

    chi beer reqs making me wish I was going more and more. Didn’t get touched at MPP going in first night and enjoyed some avery ipas inside.

  22. marcoesq Says:

    Where is the user agent string? Buddy just gave me a d/l code but I’d still like to know for future shows

  23. bhizzle Says:

    Zombie Dust? Sounds like code for PCP….

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the imperial ipas, but I don’t see the need for a brewery to make 6 “different” versions…..

  24. marcoesq Says:

    The ATL show is up on crunchy groove, just won’t play. damnit phish, gimme my free music in exchange for the $1,000 I spent on tix this summer

  25. angryjoggerz Says:

    BTB, Pipeworks are pretty proper, tap and bombers only. Ninja vs Unicorn being their masterpiece. Funny, punk rockish labels. I am actually getting out of state requests for that one, even Heady Topper trades offered, so you know its the good.

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