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)

Tags: ,

4,964 Responses to “Wow!”

  1. Berkeley Head Says:

    Whatever you do though BD, don’t J walk. they’ll get you

  2. stapes Says:

    5/17/77 High Time + Asher Green Bullet IPA + a little Shively medley = $$$

    I like doing Kaya combo rankings. I can relate so well.

    Picked up a few more bombers for the inaugural BB IPA tasting. Gonna have to hide’em in the back of the fridge.

  3. voopa Says:

    I heard Electric Avenue twice today, once after a morning talk show discussion about the resurgence of electroshock therapy; the other time just now while watching today’s Simpsons rerun, where Homer and Ned are bounty hunters w/tasers. If I were any more impressionable (save it) I’d be dosing right now.

  4. MrCompletely Says:

    @stapes hit the dark star 72 all stars link a few pages back. I updated it with a missing zip file early this afternoon or something. Guaranteed to set your head right.

    So you like living in civilization then @Bob? Nice. You’ll adjust pretty quick I bet.

    The apt comparison for daytime/work use is booze since weed, you know, gets you high and stuff. I could easily get away with the physical act of getting high all day if I wanted to, but I can’t code with ant kind of buzz so I’ve never even considered being baked at work.

  5. MrCompletely Says:

    Tuscaloosa sow is the gem out of that box for sure. Not so sure the rest of it really qualifies but a lot of people love it so whatevs

  6. sumodie Says:

    Bobby D, live it up! Glad to hear you’re finding the new scenery more than a little okay

  7. MrCompletely Says:

    I like the way you think business wise, @gd

  8. sumodie Says:

    RIP Elmore Leonard

  9. mmmhmm Says:

    Hellow fine folks of the BB. Been a while.

    Nice Miles recs Mr C and LU. I have listened to so many great albums through this place over the past 3ish years its unreal.

    Water is important. just finished a course on water law a few days ago. Was working today on the coast checking out a resort island’s groundwater wells to make sure the salt water intrusion into the aquifer hasn’t been getting worse due to summer crowds and massive golf course watering. Salt consistently in there bc the fresh water has no time to recharge without drawing ocean water from over pumping . This country unfortunately will be in for a shock when water is more tightly regulated in the near future.

    Spinning the new Mother Hips album. I never find that they are great plays all the way thru but always have 4-5 pretty damn good tunes and 5 or so that you kinda have to warm up to. Wish these guys came east more often.

    Ph loves dicks.

  10. voopa Says:

    Elec. Ave. cracks me up every time but I love it. Have a remix in the jukebox.

    Mango, feel free to drop by the voopa farm if you happen to find yourself East of the East Bay.

    mmmhmm…thanks for reminder, been meaning to check the new Hips, been stuck on Doris.

  11. Angryjoggerz Says:

    I love “Directions” by Miles… Same era, think it was a Japanese release. Voopa knows.

  12. voopa Says:

    ^^I meant Mitch but HM is welcome anytime too obvs

  13. voopa Says:

    Directions is an overlooked but critical component of the canon. It’s outtakes from 60-70, which makes for a good overview, and was originally an import (remember when that actually meant something?), so it gets missed in many discussions.

  14. mmmhmm Says:

    I remember seeing Japanese imports of GD releases at my local shop and thinking it was weird. However my first time in Europe I scooped up the Stash album as well as some sweet-at-the-time GnR live shows that were European bootlegs.

    Everything is an import now except for American craft beers.

  15. mmmhmm Says:

    I was so thrilled to have some crisp GnR shows that nobody else in 9th grade had. They were still listening to the Live Era 2cd when I had the slick imported shows. suckas

    Kinda cool finding import records these days. Found a cool Tosh import called Island Zorro which was live picks from a 1979 L.A. Fox theatre show recently that is a good gem

  16. Berkeley Head Says:

    So there’ll be
    No more smokin and feelin tense
    When I see them a come
    I don’t have to jump no fence

    Tosh “Bush Doctor”

  17. Berkeley Head Says:


  18. selector j Says:

    @voopa – Man, that Simpsons episode made me grab the Eddy Grant LP off of eBay. Couldn’t get it out of my head. Unashamed. I love that track.. and the video!

    That’s how it’s done, people.

  19. Berkeley Head Says:

    And here I’ve been thinking that was a Men at Work song

  20. IrieWalton Says:

    Word, BobbyD.

    Just be respectful with your blazing out here, using common sense, and folks will treat you with respect.

  21. RoosterPizza Says:


  22. RoosterPizza Says:

    Like, goofy torched.

  23. Jerome Garcia Says:


  24. bob dylan Says:

    ya i was just talking shit about marley greens. work takes attention these days. no more space out besides the dark star 72 compilation.

    voopa, thanks for the offer. i’ll be in touch.

  25. selector j Says:

    Mrs. Selector is hating on electric ave. Says it’s cheesy. And I showed her the video, too!
    This from the woman with a ‘cleanig the house’ playlist that includes that awful pop song “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes…” Don’t know what it’s called. Don’t wanna know. You don’t either. All you need to know is that it’s terrible.

    I don’t know what’s gotten into her. Electric Ave is the jam.

Leave a Reply