A Mountain Groove

7.26.13 (Eric Batuello)

7.26.13 (Eric Batuello)

Damn, that was fun! On an idyllic afternoon in Lake Tahoe, Phish greeted their California-based crowd to a dance throwdown unlike any other on tour. From the opening couplet of “Wolfman’s Brother,” “Gotta Jibboo” through the encore of “Weekapaug,” “Character Zero,” every note seemed scripted to the dancer in all of us, as one groove after another emanated from Harvey’s stage. On a tour filled with inclement weather, a sun-drenched California dance party on a flat asphalt parking lot really hit the spot. Rarely does Phish play a show that carries a single vibe all the way through, but Tuesday in Tahoe, that’s exactly what happened, and it was grand.

7/30 Official (J.Soto)

7/30 Official (J.Soto)

Both “Wolfman’s,” and the first “Jibboo” of tour extended into standout versions, an early sign that this was gonna’ be a groove-laced afternoon. A cleverly placed “Cavern” and a ripping “Birds” both provided first set surprises that kept the energy high. “Cities,” though not leaving its form, burst with a fresh feel courtesy of Jon Fishman. His rhythm brought an urgency and a snap to this version that made it standout immediately.

The highlight of a non-stop opening set, however, came in “Bathtub Gin.” Phish has infused “Gin” with a newfound energy this summer, and this version grew in a unique direction as the band totally deconstructed the jam before building it back into a glorious peak. Shying from a groove until the jam’s arrival, this “Gin” stylistically diverged from other versions of tour and absolutely shone. Phish took all of this energy and channeled it into the final pairing of the set—“Tube” and “Walk Away.” The band had not closed a set with “Walk Away” since 1991, so it certainly felt a bit odd as they took their bows following the James Gang cover. The first set had smoked from start to finish while channeling an infectious vibe—a vibe that would be picked up upon with the first notes of set two.

7.27.13 (E.Batuello)

7.27.13 (E.Batuello)

Without having respun the show, my narrative process is somewhat compromised, but my overall memory of that second set is an absolute fucking explosion. Every single piece of the set popped with extra zest, forming an incredible whole—another monstrous frame of music from our beloved Vermont quartet. “Golden Age”—likely the jam of the show—opened the main event with a smorgasbord of grooves and then promptly transcended them in a sublime segment free form music. The guys brought this one deep, finally attaining the caliber of jam we all knew could stem from this new era cover. It’s taken them a few years to really get comfortable with “Golden Age’s” jam, as they had seldom moved beyond a standard groove, but Tahoe’s version provided the type of soul-quenching journey for which I’d been waiting.

When the band blended into “46 Days,” a song that can get real generic real quick, I thought we were in for a rocking interlude. I was wrong. Going absolutely buck wild on an additional jam segment, Mike Gordon led a disgustingly crunchy funk session that brought the house to its knees. This was real-deal molasses thickness, the music that envelops you from every side as your superhuman self spins through eternity. Jiving completely with the contour of the night, the opening sequence of Golden Age > 46 Days” blossomed into an instant classic. And that was only the beginning.

7.26.13 (E.Batuello)

7.26.13 (Eric Batuello)

They say all good things come in threes, and—honestly—the trifecta of “Ghost > Carini > Piper” was nothing short of exhilarating. Forming a dynamic contour over three jams, each also popped with a creativity all their own. Though the band connected pieces with less than precise transitions throughout the set, that’s about the only persnickety gripe one can poke at an inspiring night of music. Laying into a groove-based “Ghost” jam like they haven’t this tour, the band let things hang out on their elusive vehicle in version that I can’t wait to hear again. If you haven’t gotten the picture yet, this set possessed a torrid flow and an energy that gripped the audience and simply never let go. So naturally, the next song was “Carini.” Blowing out the jam into an uplifting triumph, the band gave their sinister anthem the treatment—like just about every piece they touched last night.

7.20.13 (WCProductions)

7.20.13 (WCProductions)

The hits just kept coming as the band capped their three-jam sequence with a full-throttle, melody-driven “Piper” that brought things to a rolling boil. This set really, truly had it all.  “Ghost > Carini > Piper” provided a magnificent centerpiece to the main event, especially considering the caliber of jamming we had already heard in “Golden > 46.” I can only imagine the replay value of this entire set, let alone the show as there never was a single lull.

Exhaling, momentarily, with “Wading in a Velvet Sea”—again placed impeccably—the band played the only slow song of the night before igniting once more in an awesome closing couplet of “Mike’s Song” and “Slave.” I couldn’t put my finger on what song would close things out last night, and “Mike’s” provided a welcome surprise, not to mention the out of nowhere move into “Slave” when it felt like a “Hydrogen > Weekapaug” was already in the books. Dramatically closing the set with “Slave,” a move we hadn’t seen since Chicago, the band added a final curveball to the night as they left “Weekapaug” hanging for the first time in ages. But not for long.

A fantastic night of Phish concluded with a swift run through “Weekapaug” and—of course—with “Character Zero,” Trey’s Summer 2013 nod to a smoking night of music. Being in the mountains of California for Phish is glorious on its own merit, but when the band is crushing like they are currently, everything gets turned up a notch—or ten. The difference between where the band was the last time we stood in Harvey’s parking lot and where they are now is astounding, and every part of Lake Tahoe looks a bit more beautiful given the current circumstances. Nature, Phish and friends…what could be better?

Nothing in the universe.

I: Wolfman’s Brother, Gotta Jibboo, Cavern, Birds of a Feather, Funky Bitch, Cities, Rift, Bathtub Gin, Tube, Walk Away

II: Golden Age > 46 Days > Boogie On Reggae Woman > Ghost > Carini > Piper > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Mike’s Song > Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Weekapaug Groove, Character Zero

Tags: , ,

771 Responses to “A Mountain Groove”

  1. Boris Says:

    Getting into some wankery here. Pull out of it boys.

  2. Stoney Case Says:

    ZZyZX put the cape on over his R Wilson jersey half way thru Ocelot. I knew shit was going to get serious.

    CDT, Camel Walk, KDF, Stash set 1 highlights.

  3. Boris Says:

    Why did my tweezer stream just stop? This has happened before with my livephish app. Fuck this shit. I am not sitting through all that crap again.

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    @boris

    Do you have an iPhone? Check the Phish on Demand app – totally free, and tonight’s show will likely be up by tomorrow. It’s all set up by the same guy in charge of phishtracks

  5. sumodie Says:

    Also found the LP stream to be too stuttery when listening to the same night’s show. Def not gonna try tonight

  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    Listening to 6/24/70 GD show – huge show – like 4+ hours long. Crazy 4th set.

    The AUD is really rough quality but I love it; definitely gives you the vibe in the room.

    Happy Birthday Jerry.

  7. Frankie Says:

    This Tweezer is like Japanese Phish…

    Next level!

  8. kayatosh Says:

    SF on deck. Wooohooo!

    Redd in yountville — best meal ever.

    Long form tweezer, huh. Should make for a good spin on the backside of this adventure.

  9. kayatosh Says:

    Make that other side. Good night and sweet tweezery dreams.

    Cali is the spot. Dreamy

  10. Boris Says:

    Yeah Brandon. Good suggestion on the OD app. I will check it out tomorrow or just listen to the LP app again tomorrow. Trey was having technical difficulties right before my stream skipped ahead to Tela. Either that or it was the fastest long jam ever.

  11. Frankie Says:

    My kind of elevator music

  12. Frankie Says:

    Have a great trip Kaya! Enjoy le Phish!

    The time is now!

    Safe travels!

  13. negev79 Says:

    Kaya – was just in Yountville for my honeymoon! We had dinner at Redd as well, it was fantastic! Second only to French Laundry in terms of best honeymoon meals. Yeah, we splashed out for the post wedding vacation!

    As a result, desperate for an extra code for tonight if anyone’s got one. My spouse is already pissed at the amount of cash I’m spending on Phish this year. He is not going to appreciate an extra $10 charge in the bank account…

    my user name at gmail if anyone wants to help a gal out…

  14. Stoney Case Says:

    Thanks Phish

    Total 180 from last time to Tahoe. Everything so dialed. Great great crowd. Huge Humboldt posse in Mikes corner.

    Place could be louder. Guessing city ordinance.

    Play Tahoe, The Right Way

  15. ElJefe Says:

    Where did you kick it Stoney?

  16. Nich Says:

    Was that a 37 minute Tweezer? Wha. What’s?!?

    I jut jizzed thinking of what Phish could do in 37 minutes in 2013.

    A fuckload more than they could fom 98-11 that’s for sure.

  17. Nich Says:

    If phsish tracks ever goes down, check out phishows.

    Same concept, been around way longer. Way more under the radar.

  18. BrandonKayda Says:

    Phishows is awesome @nich

    That’s where I grabbed most of my shows starting out…

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    what’s next for team zissou?

  20. Slicksasquatch Says:

    What a great time the past two nights . Phish is fucking back in prime form . Firing on all cylinders . Masterful . “Clap your hands”

  21. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    the tahoe tweezer is now in my possession. let’s see if i had to be there to enjoy it.

    pfft.

    i enjoyed it on twitter without hearing a note.

  22. Slicksasquatch Says:

    Pleezer

  23. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    waaaaah there are still 10 more mins woooo!

  24. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i bet all the so called song chasers had the time of their life tonight. this is why we phish.

  25. Berkeley Head Says:

    I have to hear that Tweezer again to even know what happened really. I became perfectly lost in it live. The re- spin (eminent) will be like the first time.

    If I can’t make a show, my non-live listening experience is still sublime (the very second it’s available I’ve got headphones on;) and living out west makes that conducive to being done with it at a decent time. The music is the music; it’s there forever and it will never “sound” better than on the re-spin/first spin and always again than through headphones….

    As such, I’m about to do a re-entry into the sublime. Just like the first time….

Leave a Reply