7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

One of the pervading themes of Phish’s opening half of summer tour has been rain. For the past week, it seems like we’ve been walking out of shows soaking wet wearing shit eating grins just about every night, and Wednesday in Alpharetta was no exception. The rain came early and often, drenching the lawn-goers while blowing into the sides of the pavilion taboot. The band met the weather with yet another great second set—not to mention a solid first—that flowed from start to finish with no discernible lulls. Centered on the sequence “Energy -> Fluffhead -> Piper,” the band played a fast-paced second set that also featured a nod to the inclement weather in “Drowned -> Water in the Sky,” and a late-set dance party with teeth in the form of “2001 > Mike’s > Wedge -> Weekapaug.” With an opening frame that far outshone yesterday’s snoozer, the second night of Alpharetta balanced the grittier throwdown of the first with a quirky show that offered quite a lot.

1073195_10151464842411290_1276473880_oThough the musical highlight of the night emerged in “Piper’s” dark and demented tale, the biggest take away of the show came in the return of “Energy” smack dab in the middle of the second set. The band hadn’t touched the cover since its well-received debut at SPAC, but it was only a matter of time before the song reared its head again—and this time, as suspected, it carried a new school jam in tow! Trey added a lyrical refrain of “Electricity” as the band vamped over the songs chords and drifted into uncharted waters for the first time ever. It’s been a moment since Phish has kicked down a new jam vehicle, and this one seems to have some legs. Progressing out of the song’s feel into a fast-paced groove, it wasn’t long before Trey was hitting his wah pedal and painting the textures with his signature sound. But aside from the jam, itself, simply dancing to a new palette of Phish music was pure joy.

And as the band brought the jam to an ambient close, they coyly slipped into a “Fluffhead.” It had been ages since I enjoyed “Fluffhead” as much as I did last night. Despite a few struggles on Red’s behalf, the placement of and transition into the anthem was superb, and above all else, it was only the first version of summer. Phish had all but beaten a dead horse for the years of 2009-2011, playing “Fluffhead” far too often for any 15 minute composition, but this time it just felt right. Continuing their summer of segues, as the guys wound down “Fluff,” they never got to the very end, instead slipping into a “Piper” that would soon explode. This tour, “Piper” has been used as a cathartic vehicle, but at Alpharetta, the band took the jam in the opposite direction, entering into a lair of dissonance and layered effects. You hate to see the band get stuck in ruts, thus, it was great to see them flip the script on “Piper” this go round, keeping things fresh and unpredictable. Without having respun the show, I can’t go much further into a description of the jam, but if someone could only listen to one track from this show, “Piper” would be my nominee.

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

“Drowned” hit a few nice places before segueing into “Water in the Sky,” a pairing that I thought—momentarily—would be followed by “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” and “Waves” in a nautical homage, but the band choose a different route. Phish closed the set with another dynamic “Mike’s Groove,” this time pairing “2001” with “Mike’s” in a classic combo that we haven’t seen in a minute. Each piece saw the attention it deserved, if not a bit more succinct than Merriweather’s versions. This time, the band slipped in “The Wedge” to bridge “Mike’s” and “Weekapaug,” including a surprise transition into “Weekapaug,” further cementing Summer 2013 as the tour that the band relearned segues.

7.14.13 (A.Nusinov)

7.14.13 (A.Nusinov)

The final piece of note to this show was the debut of Trey’s “Frost” in the first set. Translating gorgeously to the Phish setting, “Frost” is now waiting to be placed deep in the second set out of a long jam. I really dig this one and think it could be a fixture in the Phish universe from here on out. Beyond “Frost,” the first set contained some spunky dance numbers at the top set in “Moma,” “Funky Bitch” and “Gumbo,” but slowed a bit from there. “Guyute” sounded fresh and spot on in its only appearance of tour.

Phish has now put the east coast behind them sets their targets on Northerly Island in Chicago, a new venue that has received less than stellar reviews by other fan bases. Hopefully the venue has fixed things up as they claim they have, because there are a lot of Midwesterners who will be tasting Phish 2013 for the first time of of summer. And as Frank the Tank said, “It’s so good when it hits your lips!”

I: Runaway Jim > The Moma Dance, Funky Bitch, Divided Sky, Gumbo, Nellie Kane, Frost*, Alaska, Guyute, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Suzy Greenberg

II: Punch You In the Eye > Drowned -> Water in the Sky, Energy -> Fluffhead -> Piper > Fast Enough for You > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Mike’s Song > The Wedge ->Weekapaug Groove

E: Quinn the Eskimo

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538 Responses to “Electricity”

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  1. MiA Says:

    Love it! Phish!!!!

  2. hazel mango Says:

    Yay, MiA!!!! (that rhymes)
    and miner too…

  3. AD Says:

    Thought the Divided Sky and Nellie Kane in the first set were notably nice.

  4. avila Says:

    55 year old Deadhead friend looking to see his 1st show in Tahoe if anyone has an extra.

    The excitement continues to build…..

  5. hazel mango Says:

    avila, I have an extra Wednesday…
    hazel mango at the hot mail place.

    Lil’Um.. could not make it happen with the timing of work/friend meetup… next time though, please let me know, want to see you guys.

  6. voopa Says:

    Jdub- thanks for the Pete Rose quote info. Can’t believe I forgot that. The Yaz quote is from Arcata ’92, before Weigh and Hydrogen.

  7. Boris Says:


    Such a beautiful vibe.

  8. little umbrellas Says:

    No worries Hazel, Just packin up and checked the board. was a fun show, I can keep doin’ show posts. Tomorrow night we play in Tahoe.

    Electricity, gonna save this one for some morning coffee.

  9. little umbrellas Says:

    Hey GP? what’s the name of the group you’re playin with? I’ll check you out.

  10. BrandonKayda Says:

    Hey – what’s up guys?

  11. Christian Says:

    FYI: While everyone knows that “Energy” is an Apples In Stereo song, few probably know that Robert Schneider, the frontman for that band and writer of “Energy” lives here in Atlanta (Decatur, actually). He is a PhD student at Emory’s Department of Mathematics. I have known him for a number of years due to his work with other Elephant 6 bands out of Athens, GA. I posted a picture on his facebook wall of Phish playing his song the moment they started it and he seem to appreciate it. Fairly soon after, he posted something to the effect that he was thanking Phish and that, as a side note, Apples and Stereo and Phish had both recorded with Bryce Goggin.

  12. Vaughn Heylin Says:

    Bring your ponchos. More rain tonight!

  13. voopa Says:

    Night nurse
    Only you alone can quench this here thirst

  14. voopa Says:

    Thanks Christian…actually, jambands.com went over all of that pretty thoroughly, but thanks.

    Back to sleep, hopefully.

  15. Blooby Says:

    I enjoyed the first night a heck of a lot more. The jamming was more up my alley although there were a couple of segues night 2 that had me smiling. Damn, it was wet. Probably should be noted how quickly security had the venue and then the lots cleared. I could see wookie detritus runnng in the sewer grates in mu rearview mirror as I drove away.

  16. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Hope ou are feeling better and recovering well Voops. Miner, thanks for the review. Sounds like you are havin a fun tour. The 3 I caught were quite rewarding.

  17. guitarpicker420! Says:

    Just watched the forecast for tonight. Guy was saying any rain will be brief and he doesn’t expect more than a tenth of an inch….which is, I think, what they forecast for JB…. See you guys in Chi-town tonight!

  18. BillyCampbell Says:

    Drop your socks and grab your cocks, it’s a fuckin Phish Friday!

    Welcome to the party bitchez!

  19. neemor Says:

    “But aside from the jam, itself, simply dancing to a new palette of Phish music was pure joy.”

    Nicely put.
    Good stuff, Miner.

  20. btb Says:

    Morning comrades!

  21. MiA Says:

    Wettest tour evah

  22. kayatosh Says:

    happy friday, everybody.

    Life is strange and sometimes cruel. Find fun and happiness where you can.

    Keep what’s important and know who’s your friend.

  23. Stoney Case Says:

    Hey now. Top of the mornin. Have a good friend in Chcago ISO one pavilion or GA for tonight. Will probably be his only show if summer. Hit me offline.

  24. Monsterpus Says:

    Robert Schneider produced NMH’s Aeroplane over the Sea, too. It’s all connected, man…

  25. MiA Says:

    Hopefully Bryce is engineering their new album.

    He made Slip Stitch and Pass their best sounding live effort IMO.

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