Maple Leaf Lovin’

7.7.13 (Jake Silco)

7.7.13 (Jake Silco)

On a hotly anticipated night north of the border, Phish added a monumental piece to their Pantheon of Summer 2013 jams in Toronto’s “Down With Disease,” while supporting the centerpiece with a thrilling “David Bowie” and two fun and energetic sets of music. Finally playing a dry show in a truly summer environment, the band and crowd rejoiced amidst a cool Canadian evening at Molson Amphitheatre. With the band playing a rescheduled date from July 9’s postponement, even some of the most hardcore and familiar faces on tour were absent from the scene as Phish bombarded Toronto with their most complete show of the weekend.

7/22 Official (P.Hamou)

7/22 Official (P.Hamou)

The guys got right to business with a one-two punch of “Moma Dance” and “Chalk Dust,” reversing the usual order of the show opening couplet. Then out came “Undermind” for the first time since Dick’s. Though the band remained within the musical confines of the song, it sounded so damn good to hear one of the their countless amazing songs that have been left for dead this tour. Even in an out-of-the-way show in Toronto, the band stuck to their minuscule summer rotation that has quickly become a bit of a joke. But song choices aside, the energy exchanged between the band and their undersized audience was off the charts for the duration of both sets—and that a crucial aspect to an amazing night with Phish.

The highlight of the opening half came in a sunset rendition of “Stash.” Trey’s chops are so on point right now that every jam sounds interesting, whether contained or open. His uber-proficient chops graced so many ferocious “type I” jams over the rain-soaked Chicago weekend, and they took over this “Stash” as well. When Trey fires out creative melodies and licks, it raises the game of his bandmates as they must match their own creativity to jive with him—and vice versa. But never has this rang so true in the modern era as Summer 2013, where contained jams like “Stash” “Mike’s Song” “Bathtub Gin” and “David Bowie” pop with psychedelic contours. This is an element of the Phish of old that has rejuvenated considerably this tour.

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

But as fierce as the band’s structured jams are right now, when they let loose and unabashedly dive into the abyss this tour, they have created jams that stand up to anything in their career. Examples are SPAC’s “Light,” PNC’s “Crosseyed,” Jones Beach’s second set, and now Toronto’s “Down With Disease.” In this refined conversation of the most virtuosic degree, the band showcased why there is no possibility of comparing them to any act in the history of live music. No band manipulates music as if Play-Doh like Phish, and this set opening “Disease” is a case in point. Soaring into the most uplifting music of tour, the band reached a holy plane—and stayed there for what seemed like an eternity, spinning into a cyclone of bliss. This is the real deal, folks. This “Disease” reaches a place we dream of jam’s attaining, and the band didn’t rush out—in fact, quite the opposite. As if they had discovered a new planet, the guys extensively explored this sacred ground, one graceful note at a time, and the result was staggering.

When the band finally reached the end of this incredible peak, the crowd roared but the band kept chugging. Slipping out of this heavenly realm and into a filthy section of groove, the band completely switched gears on the fly, and this wasn’t just a casual denouement. Instead of ending the jam at their earliest natural chance, they took the piece smoothly into a darkening ambiance. Without jumping the gun, the band wove their set-opening masterpiece seamlessly into “2001.” Though this version remained succinct, it served as furious exclamation point to Phish’s newest adventure.

7.14.13 (A.Nusinov)

7.14.13 (A.Nusinov)

At this point, the second set—and show—seemed primed for all-time status, but then things got both songy and choppy. After a standard “Free,” the band tore into “Piper” with all sorts of urgency. Springing to improvisational action, the band locked into a jam that felt destined for greatness. The guys were very clearly keyed into each other’s ideas and were crushing it hand over fist when Trey jumped ship and started “Tweezer” with no warning whatsoever. Though as abrupt they come, who’s gonna argue a drop into a second set “Tweezer?” Not this guy. But the “Tweezer” that had been looming so large in the Midway over the weekend didn’t really elevate. Settling into a slow, quasi-routine “Tweezer” groove, the band played around the song’s theme for the duration of the jam, but this time the creativity wasn’t really there. Used as a song rather than a launchpad last night, the “Tweezer” that had Canadian fans buzzing in the lot before the show wound up being less than powerful.

Though the songs continued with “Silent In the Morning,” “Number Line,” and “Cavern”—three that have taken the beating of a red-headed stepchild this summer—there was still a closer left. As the band played “Cavern,” one might have anticipated the subsequent “David Bowie,” as the two songs often pair up to close sets. And this one straight exploded. Another jam that didn’t leave its road map but enthralled to the fullest, this “Bowie” featured a major key flip that anchored its direction while the band’s crazy chops took care of the rest. Toronto’s “Bowie” truly touched its set-closing essence with a fluid fifteen-minute exercise that rolled like a steam engine through the living room of your mind.

7.14.13 (A.Nusinov)

7.14.13 (A.Nusinov)

Treating their Canadian fans to a triple encore, Phish came back on stage with “Loving Cup,” the summer’s first “Squirming Coil” and a final good-bye in “Tweezer Reprise.” It’s safe to say that all who made it back to Molson Amphitheatre for the Phish show last night left home smiling, as the band dropped a real party show featuring a marquee setlist, a “lifer” in “Disease,” and plenty of supporting meat throughout. A northern fan base deprived of a home turf show since 2000 in the same shed, was kicked down a winner on Monday night, and I am blessed to have been there to share in the groove, eh?

I: The Moma Dance, Chalk Dust Torture, Undermind, Army of One, Halley’s Comet > Twist, Bouncing Around the Room, Stash, Yarmouth Road, Tube, Ocelot, Suzy Greenberg

II: Down with Disease > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Free > Piper > Tweezer > Silent in the Morning, Backwards Down the Number Line, Cavern > David Bowie

E: Loving Cup, The Squirming Coil, Tweezer Reprise


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655 Responses to “Maple Leaf Lovin’”

  1. marcoesq Says:

    MPP Simple>DWD Reprise theme is sublety in it’s best form

  2. marcoesq Says:

    BB’er in bottom left corner??

  3. roberto luongo Says:

    it’s like one of his teachers Scott Henderson.

    kind of cat that makes you want to never pick up your guitar again after you see him play I guess you would call it blues live.

    similar when I see shit Jimmy bust out. just mind boggling.

  4. neemor Says:

    10/18-20 Hampton
    10/22 Rochester
    10/23 Glen Falls
    10/25-26 Worcester
    10/27 Hartford
    10/29 Reading
    10/31-11/2 AC

  5. fat bastard Says:

    did it even rain at pitchfork?

  6. Stoney Case Says:

    RL turning it positive. Phishm making sense. Cow not being contrarian.

    Rainbows Fluff and Ponies around these parts! All it took was a throw down in Canada that hardly anyone saw or heard.


  7. neemor Says:

    ^ Trusted source.
    Make plans.

  8. roberto luongo Says:

    Trey is a type A egomaniac. last time I say this but I would be shocked if Trey ever read a blog review of his show.

    and even more shocked if he gave a fuck what it said.

    this is the dude that will play the whale through an entire set including Reba (knowing quite well it doesn’t work. cat is self aware) just to make it’s dialed in for set II when he feels like playing it.

    and has also talked in interviews about enjoying watching fans empty off the line during 40 minute jams in the mid 90’s.

    doubt Trey awakens every morning with nervous energy awaiting Miners phishthoughts from the night before

    hilarious concept though.

  9. neemor Says:

    I love fluffy rainbow ponies.
    Princess Rainicorn.

  10. Stoney Case Says:

    Neemor. You mean you copied and pasted my page one post?

    Thanks man. I’ve been called many things. But never a Trusted Source!

  11. roberto luongo Says:

    empty off the lawn

  12. Frankie Says:

    Great second set last night! Had fun sharing it with GP, his wife and Stitch and her husband… The sound was better on the lawn though… More bass and less annoying talkers…

    Never thought that Disease was 17 minutes… Though it was like 13 or something… Really weird how that works sometimes…

    I liked the Tweezer a lot but I had the MSG version on my mind so I was waiting for them to open it up… My fault…

    Don’t miss out on the Bowie too! Great jam! Just perfect landing…

  13. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    not beat this brent thing to death, but here is a great video of the entire show:

  14. roberto luongo Says:

    and let’s just say if Trey thinks his fans want to hear summer of 89 and that it isn’t a fuck my fans I wrote this lame song for my wife and I’m droppin it then we are in bigger trouble than I thought concerning Troy’s songwriting.


  15. fat bastard Says:

    ok do you guys think they play TTE at all this year? I sure wish they would there is a ton of room in that song for some crazy heat. i feel they can pull that off as a second set closer.

  16. fat bastard Says:

    Energy>Waves>TTE would be a treat

  17. roberto luongo Says:

    I’d love to hear it FB

    pretty complex tune and it’s been awhile. imagine it would take a pretty epic shed session to relearn that composition.

    wonder if they ever will.

  18. fat bastard Says:

    its a shame if they don’t. its a new template for them to just tear up. make it happen.

  19. marcoesq Says:

    If they condensed TTE down to 2-3min and then tacked a jam on it, maybe. But that ship has sailed. Trey read 1 too many scathing reviews on here about that song. lolz

  20. neemor Says:

    I trust you implicitly, Robear. 🙂

  21. Frankie Says:

    On relisten thought the Disease jam sounded Scents-like… Maybe a prelude to the monster Scents jam they’re gonna drop at the Gorge… 🙂

    Gorge’s on my mind now… my favorite phish venue ever! Envious of all you lucky enough to go… would have loved to check out those yurts…


  22. marcoesq Says:

    Philly 2 in ’09. I enjoyed this show but it got panned because of night 1

    Set 2: Birds of a Feather, Farmhouse > Tweezer, You Enjoy Myself, Esther, Time Turns Elastic > Tweezer Reprise

  23. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ISO 2 tickets to each night AC

  24. joe Says:

    cool. only 3 months till I can catch some live phish in person again.

    c-teamer here.

    I haven’t heard the harpua bit yet. might do the archived webcast tonight, but can say I agree with everyone who says it’s crazy that it was planned against Miner specifically because they read the blog. I’d believe it as a general jab at the ‘persnickety’ fans but that’s as far as I’d go with that.

    Does anyone know if there is a time limit as to when you can start watching the archived webcast. I know you have 48 hours from when you start it, but can I wait till the weekend to check it out?

  25. BrandonKayda Says:

    Damn – 7/21 Mike’s has some teeth. Glad to hear Trey really get into that tune again. I guess this is the renewed type I you all are talking about. Cool stuff…

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