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. MrCompletely Says:

    I seriously feel like we’re missing the gravy train @RL

  2. MiA Says:

    Hilarious response AJ.

  3. roberto luongo Says:

    ya C. chances are my wook ass isn’t going to be in the middle of two areas I actually know shit and have hook ups in.

    pretty much zero some probability I imagine.

  4. dorn76 Says:

    When the time comes, @RL, we trust you will point us in the right direction.

    Blue horseshoe loves Bluestar Airlines.

  5. voopa Says:

    Phil Woods ftw

  6. dorn76 Says:

    Don’t say that shit, Mr. C. The hope that I will someday be filthy rich as a result of little to no effort is all that keeps me going.

  7. dorn76 Says:

    shit i’m a tactless prick.

    out for a while.

  8. ren Says:

    Thanks C! You are a veritable fountain of knowledge made all the better by your willingness to share it

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Spin the Crazy Fingers->Comes a Time for some smooth, healing, soulful Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead. A true cure for what ails ya.. Trust me…

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    if you ever come up with a biznis plan @RL, I’m in, if there’s an angle for me.

    seems like the kind of thing that should happen.

    fortunately you’re about to get a whole bunch more free time lol

  11. gavinsdad Says:

    i was hoping that a few people would gather in my room with a few of the CO biz people to really find an opportunity around the “picks and shovels” as I am drinking the koolaid that CO might be the state that sets the model for future states.

    i also have non-rasta hedge friends who spoke about the ease of setting up shells for young/emerging businesses. i also think that portable (steel) warehouses are something to watch out there. i think the consulting/marketing of the industry to new jacks is where major snake oil lies. but we are definitely gold mining again and it’s funny cause we just need to find the information and people that has/have integrity. somehow i still feel like in talking to my friends who are working hard in CO and taking financial risk that they are still being shady. wonder if that shadiness layer will be peeled back enough for folks to make decent decisions without getting totally fleeced?

  12. phlorida phan Says:

    ^HOAHB soundtrack pre order. Over/Under of copies bought? I’d guess at 10 is were Vegas odds are set.

  13. angryjoggerz Says:

    GD, how you enjoying drinking “the mother”?

  14. gavinsdad Says:

    the mother is shivering my nutsack AJ

  15. MrCompletely Says:

    shadiness is a hard earned reflex and not one that’s easily shed

    the people who make the serious FYM off this are gonna be the ones who figure out how to take it all the way legit without losing quality

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    Ha. But it is fun and freaky to drink something that contains… the mother.

  17. MrCompletely Says:

    “consulting” is ALWAYS where the snake oil is in every industry

  18. angryjoggerz Says:

    Finally booked tickets for Dicks. woo!

  19. ren Says:

    Love the bidzness talk. My point of view and what I would pursue are the necessary elements that are already legal…thinking like grow tech. With good hands on experience I think of at least 3 good products throughout the course of each batch.

  20. MrCompletely Says:

    Anyone pulling from

    MAngo man noticed a missing zipfile – #9 – which I am replacing right now. Contains tracks 74 through 82 including the 11.18 Houston Playin’ which is as great as any of the Dark Stars imo

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    “consulting” is ALWAYS where the snake oil is in every industry

    after I finished my primary undergrad degree, I had a few classes left to get a second major in computer applications (basically this was a funnel program to consulting and starter programming jobs). stayed in town for one more semester to knock out those classes. about midway through the semester I was sitting in a huge auditorium surrounded by people I realized I had absolutely nothing in common with (I of my long hair, frequent trips away to catch shows rather than to stay in town for football games, lack of khakis/button down/shined shoes look, etc.) and I literally left that class and decided I was done with it. Didn’t finish the classes. Couldn’t see myself buying into all of that, couldn’t see myself spending any more time towards that end.

    now, keep in mind, this was the fall immediately after having been “opened up” a great deal at The Clifford Ball. Even though I had seen a large number of shows by this point and had many experiences that I point to as formative, I had a vivid point of reference of me standing on that hill that kept coming back to me throughout that fall semester. and the reflection of sitting in that crowd in that auditorium and how alone I felt amongst all of those people compared to how connected I had been just weeks before with 70,000+ of my people up in Plattsburgh.

    so what did I do? got a substitute teacher gig teaching English (well, an elective Media class, actually) and then later Latin I-IV, applied to grad schools, and went on to get my masters in Recreation to go do what I wanted to in the first place. and even that didn’t end up being where I ended up, as I now have a corporate job. but I wouldn’t be here now if I wasn’t there then.

    the whole point of this being that sometimes it takes being in that place you don’t want to be to get you where you need to go. I was never in a “bad place” that semester (shit, my sister and I – she was a senior in high school – caught several shows that Fall together and we wouldn’t have otherwise) and I got to do some things I otherwise wouldn’t have, but I definitely knew just wasn’t me. and getting to that revelation was probably the most educational aspect of the entire endeavor after all.

    once upon a time I almost became a demon consultant but my time on the hill at The Clifford Ball opened my eyes enough to realize that shouldn’t be for me

  22. MiA Says:

    I love how gloriously quiet the Hollywood Hood gets and it really seems like nobody screams out at all during the whole jam. Maybe a whistle or two.

    Beautiful recording.

  23. roberto luongo Says:


    it’s all about the pump and dump. fuck real biznes plans. just like the tech bubble. just need people that don’t understand the industry but know it’s at an early point that are good marks for your shitty earningless future growth potential paper.

    that Medbox is the best example. pretty sure herb vending machines aren’t deserving of the current 600MM$ market cap.

    you IPO. cash out and run. pretend like you’re running the bizness as everything slowly fades to zero.

  24. sumodie Says:

    I’ll likely be one of the 10 buying the HOAHB soundtrack, tho not from itunes hopefully

    Curious to know where trey got the ideas that became the Tahoe Tweezer, wooooooo!

    Besides, my only other broadway album, Hair, is getting kinda lonely

    Also willingly phish fasting here, kinda overdosed, but not heroically, on the PH last week

    AC may be out for me, but Hampton in, hhmmmmmm

  25. MrCompletely Says:

    great story!

    Not all consultants are scammers or full of crap by any means. But a lot of them are. Even the ones that are, you know, sometimes you just gotta respect the hustle. Basically consultants in most fields are shaking down stupid ass middle managers who don’t know the details of the business they’re in and won’t empower or trust their own employees.

    I’d rather be the consultant than the middle manager. Consultant = business wook, middle manager = business custy

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