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. voopa Says:

    Thanks mayhem. We will survive. And yes, the probability of BGCA being webcasted helped a great deal.

    Even if all the shows I was going to are just glory hole’d, it still lessens the sting.

    Looks like I’ll be hospitalized longer than I was planning anyway, so I made the right choice. Maybe I can redeye a Fall show.

  2. xpun Says:

    vibes voop

  3. xpun Says:

    i have no clue what billy said. is that in response to me?

  4. mayhem Says:

    Sorry to hear about that. Get well soon! And yes, come out east for fall.

  5. mayhem Says:

    It is xpun, I don’t know what it means either, but I’m curious

  6. sumodie Says:

    Chicago Re-re now

    looks like just Friday reserved left

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    sounds like you got served and are (still*) in shock over it

    *elided in billy’s version

    sometimes seen on pt as served>shocked

  8. sumodie Says:

    Found out too late to pull a Saturday…..

  9. mayhem Says:

    Thanks t3

  10. xpun Says:

    thanks t3

    the more you know

    i’ve got the week of halloween (oct 26 to nov 3) and the week after thanksgiving (nov 28 to dec 8) off work. just trying to gauge if i need to try to grab anything else. any fake dates would be appreciated

  11. mmmhmm Says:

    xpun, I blocked out hotel space in Hampton from Turkey day week thru 30th Anny dates just in case. Hopefully shows will fall within those dates at Hampton. If not, I can always cancel the hotel.

    Halloween has been bouncing between Philly (#1), Barclays in Brooklyn (#2) and Nassau (#3 due to the renovation). I have been hearing more Philly than BK as of late. Possibly from this site….

    Also been hearing Charleston SC rumors in the fall but no solid dates.

  12. xpun Says:

    i guess everything i saw today pointed towards AC for ween. didn’t know if that was based on the article from the local writer or if other sources had pointed towards that. hampton, ween and 30th anny what i’m aiming for but will probably not be able to hit them all, so i guess its all just for shits and giggles these days.

    i’d guess (and im always wrong) that they may have an announcement after this weekend. no ticket sales out west will be affected by new dates. there either sold out or the gorge and no one hits that at the last second. also im not expecting any western dates for fall/winter. we are three and a half months from halloween and thats if they start tour then

  13. xpun Says:

    thanks for the info mmm

  14. xpun Says:

    just told my son that phish was webcasting this weekend and we would probably try to watch a few. he got super pumped up. mini me is a head

  15. little umbrellas Says:

    @Hazel. We open. So I believe we come on at 9:00. Turkuaz just finished sound check.

  16. sumodie Says:

    Hey BBers, thanks for the kind words today. Unfortunately it was time for G’s mom to go, and we are both grateful that the day finally arrived. G is still down in VA but I’ll be sure to pass along your kindness.

    BB still holding strong, IMO. Some great convo today!

    Thanks again

    Still digging this 20+ minute Moon Duo jam:


  17. xpun Says:

    Sorry to hear that sumo, vibes and prayers to you, G, and the family

  18. little umbrellas Says:

    grandma’s fo eva! Love to the Omas past and present.

  19. sumodie Says:


    Our host mentioned:

    12 show fall tour
    30th Anny run (~12/2 wkend; not Hampton)
    NYE run

    Kenny Powers heard good word about 2 Worcester shows in Dec (no clue which end of the month tho)

    Otherwise that Halloween in AC rumor has been all over Phish world

    Who knows….

  20. mayhem Says:

    Same here sumo. Sorry to hear that. Thoughts, vibes, and prayers yours and G’s way

  21. mayhem Says:

    I think you can take it to the bank that anniversary shows will be in Worcester, but I know nothing

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Went to a minor league baseball game tonight with the family. Been going to game for 35 years and never gotten a foul ball. Tonight, 3rd batter of the game, my kids get a a ball that was fouled back and bounced off the press box right into the empty row of seats behind us. Great moment. Made the night. My daughter won’t let the ball out of her hand. She has a death grip on the thing… It’s the little things in life….

  23. mayhem Says:

    That’s awesome Palmer, unforgettable moment for her, you too. I’m picturing my little girl holding the ball. I know that death grip

  24. jerseyjim Says:

    @sumo: thoughts and prayers to you and G, and family.

  25. mmmhmm Says:

    Wow definitely missed the AC rumors as of late. Phish has never doubled up on a Halloween venue and I hope they don’t start now.

    In 3.0, fall dates have not dropped until summer has ended. Fall 2009 started on 11/18 but Summer ended 8/16 not Labor day. “Save The Date” announcement for Indio came after . 2010 Fall started on 10/8 with ACL and 10/10 in Broomfield, CO. 2010 Summer ended with Jones Beach on 8/18

    So as of yet, there has been no fall tour coinciding with late season Dicks shows to guesstimate announcement times for this fall….

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