BCGA (Dave Canny)

BCGA (Dave Canny)

What the hell just happened? In a five-week whirlwind, Phish just tore apart the nation like they haven’t in at least a decade. When the band came back in ’09 few expected them to reach any level of skill beyond nostalgia. And even when they crushed 2012—a year that has firmly been filed under “Yesterday’s News”—few expected the band to redefine itself one year later. In retrospect, the years of ’09 through ’12 were all related to their past, a sort of getting up to speed on what they had accomplished in their career while showing flashes of innovation and brilliance. This past tour, however, Phish opened the floodgates of creativity, presenting us with a forward-looking tour that was plucked from our wildest fantasies. This summer, Phish started to forge a new path again with jams that sound different from any other time in their career and an energy purer than ever. Don’t look now, but with Dick’s as a stepping stone, Fall Tour is just around the corner! 2013 is shaping up to be a year musically on par with any in Phish history.

BGCA (G.Lucas)

BGCA (Graham Lucas)

When I listened to several of my ’97 and ’98 favorites since tour ended, the jams sound far less dynamic than they do right now. I love that shit to death—trust me—but Phish is absolutely reached another level this summer. The efficiency and proficiency of their jamming is unparalleled to any point in history. The band needs exactly zero searching to find where they are going these days—as soon as they entered a jam this summer, with few exceptions, they were locked in directional, purposeful, whole-band improv. The quickness in which ideas were exchanged and built upon set a new standard for Phish, and consequently, the band was able to get far more out of their jams. This musical density had been building since Miami ’09, and has now reached a mind-boggling level. For example, go listen to the Alpharetta “Chalk Dust,” one of the best east coast jams of summer, and then try to wrap your head around the fact that it is under ten minutes long! Phish of 2013 is another beast all together. Their entire thirty-year career has led them to this point—a place where they draw on their illustrious past to create music that moves beyond their previous accomplishments.

BGCA (Graham Lucas)

BGCA (Graham Lucas)

The number of highlights from Summer Tour is nothing short of staggering. Trying to sum up this tour in writing is a task unseen in this era. Very little 3.0 Phish compares to what just went down over the past month. With only a slight dip in Chicago due to non-stop weather delays, the band launched off the “Harpua”-laced third night of the stand and never looked back, crafting two of the most memorable weeks in Phish history. Toronto’s majestic “Down With Disease” gave us a glimpse of the holy realms that we would frolic in we hit the west coast. Tour—undoubtedly—peaked at the Gorge and Lake Tahoe with several elite sets of Phish including the Tahoe “Tweezer”—in my opinion, the best jam of all-time. Finishing things with an outstanding four night run in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the guys dropped jams on the level with the previous weekend, but only sculpted one monster show in Bill Graham’s finale. At last, the band played a legit west coast run, and—go figure—it produced the best Phish we’ve seen in over a decade.

I’ll get down to analysis, but right now I’m still in awe of what we just experienced. I still have yet to spin three of the west coast shows—it was just different this time. As in the days of lore, we knew that after setbreak things would absolutely get crazy—a feeling that just hasn’t been prevalent over the past four years. But now, it’s full steam ahead! The entire community is more mature and everyone can appreciate what is transpiring quite a bit more, and I reckon the band feels the same. Nobody expected to be where we are right now, making this year of 2013 all the more magical. Hot damn, it’s good to be alive.

BGCA (Jeremy Renda)

BGCA (Jeremy Renda)

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4,964 Responses to “Wow!”

  1. gavinsdad Says:

    very pretty Mission courtesy of Jonathan Wilson:

    C – you got a fave Mission? I can never pick cause that tune does one thing very consistently for me and that’s make me feel awesome. so i guess it’s a matter of nuance, finesse and Jer’s solo that separates some from the pack.

  2. gavinsdad Says:

    i think that cap theatre mission from the youtube vid is the one that i love best tho….

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    As you say it’s all about the nuances. Most of them are killer and quite similar.

    6/18/78 is on one of the official releases and has an extraordinary shredding solo at the end – I think this is it

  4. Calpain Says:

    SW: this is particularly heartbreaking to read, as we are about the same age. Ive been reading about Transpersonal Psychology (search for Stanislov Grof), which has helped influence my decision making and my approach toward daily life. Far too many concepts are integrated in his writings for explanation here.
    Considering the intellectual rigor you bring to the BB, this may be something worthy of your time. Take care and good vibes your way.

  5. MrCompletely Says:

    There are some real nice ones from ’81 if you don’t mind his voice, too. 5/28 and 8/21 come to mind. May ’81 JGB run is sick. Peak guitar playing. Incredible month for the big fella.

  6. MrCompletely Says:

    @calpain, if you’re interested in transpersonal psychology that will probably lead you eventually to Ken Wilber. Before he got onto a guru trip he was one of the most important thinkers/writers on psychology and spirituality there’s ever been, and he started in the transpersonal psych field. I’d ignore anything he did after the early 2000s (and stay completely away from the online debate about him) but the early books are $$$$$$$$$$$$$

    easily the single most influential writer for me in terms of impact on how I actually live and the structure of all my conceptions about life, consciousness, and spirituality.

  7. phlorida phan Says:

    @AJ, that list of swampcrotch products is bullshit. No where did I see the goldbond friction stick. Tried and true in these florida swamps. I said I wasn’t pampin it ever again. But hey, maybe some of you missed it the first 5 pamps…….

    Prolly not best for sharing with friends, but it works like a champ.

  8. dorn76 Says:

    Butt Stick message was received loud and clear over here, @PPhan.

    Put it on my list of essential “Right Way” touring items along with cape, vape and air max 1’s.

  9. MiA Says:

    I love my beagle. Except when he eats my tomatoes, drinks my coffee on the coffee table, and just acts all “beagley”

    The breed is a life support system for a nose.

    He is a sweetheart dog though. Don’t like specific dog breed laws. That seems ridiculous. I 100% agree on that.

    Except Chihuahua’s. I see no purpose in that peeing scared breed.

    Maybe it’s I just hate Taco Bell. It all runs together.

  10. Calpain Says:

    thanks @Mr.C. This is currently a personal interest, but its gravitation is strong and could become a future career interest.

  11. phlorida phan Says:

    Glad you picked up what I was putting down Dorn. As is your buttocks.

    On a kaya scale, Friction Stick gets the coveted $$$$. The powder is to the coke as the stick is to crack. Should be an SAT question.

  12. dorn76 Says:

    Taco Bell, it all runs together.

    So true.

  13. gavinsdad Says:

    (and pre-show advils)

  14. phlorida phan Says:

    One of my good friends was hospitalized for a couple days after eating some bad tacobell meat. Went right back to eating it after getting out. He should be a Darwin Award finalists.

  15. MiA Says:

    Bad Taco Bell meat seems like it’s redundant and I question how the word “meat” is defined.

  16. MiA Says:

    Lost snows train of thought at “Billy Joel Nailed It”

  17. MiA Says:

    Phan throwing down knowledge. Gotta agree on the stick.

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    hear they will be giving out free buttsticks upon entry at Dick’s. apparently they want everyone to all glide in smoothly this year with as little risk of chafing as possible. you can probably expect extra ‘bag checks as a result though.

  19. phlorida phan Says:

    True, he also went to jail for walking into a pharmacy, giving the clerk a note saying a gunman outside had his wife and kids a gunpoint and was going to kill them if they didn’t give him oxy’s.

  20. ren Says:

    Ken Wilber stuff looks pretty interesting. Been finding “psychology” in general to be very intersting. It gets harder and harder to find new things that peak my interest as I mature….maybe there is something to be had of this relatively new interst of mine.

    I’m getting paid right now to do pretty much nothing…am wasting my life…and not really happy about it. Time to take the reigns and steer myself onto a new path. You can’t keep darkness from creeping in but you don’t have to go silently into the night 😉

  21. Berkeley Head Says:

    “Don’t go changin’, to try and please me…”

  22. Berkeley Head Says:

  23. roberto luongo Says:

    all these FINRA pump and dump warnings on MMJ stocks is pissing me off.

    I know GD was all over this.

    but given some of the peeps I know with not only capital but knowledge of capital markets and hook ups. with some of the peeps I know on ground floor of the bizness.

    we should have IPO’d some bullshit. the last 2 yrs were like early tech bubble nonsense. all penny stock BS but easily could have gotten paid HUGE with no earnings.


  24. angryjoggerz Says:

    Should be an SAT question.


  25. MrCompletely Says: – the charts in this one are worth the $8-10 by themselves

    those two probably represent the apex of his work before the puzzling, depressing descent into guruhood and marketing.

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