Wow!

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. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    have a good one aj!

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    woah is glens falls not even through TM?? wtf

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    TIME TO GET PUMPED FOR ON SALES!!

    CRANK THE MAIDEN!!!

    wait a sec…
    something’s not quite right there…

  4. Skyballs Saxscraper Says:

    FEAR OF THE HARP
    FEAR OF THE HARP
    I HAVE A CONSTANT FEAR THAT PLUCKING’S ALWAYS NEAR

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    phones are way too fast today

  6. xpun Says:

    “I admittedly do not have the trained ear that
    many of you do. I don’t comment much because I cannot analyze the music in that way (or have
    trouble putting into words)”

    I don’t have a good ear and the writing ability of a chimp but I never let it stop me from commenting all the time. It’s a great community here. Get in on the action.

  7. dorn76 Says:

    wtf you go to the site and you’re in a queue before tickets are on sale?

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    is this really the glens falls page?

    http://ev11.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventList?groupCode=GFCON&linkID=global-gf&shopperContext=&caller=&appCode=

  9. xpun Says:

    What are the onsales today?

  10. sumodie Says:

    yes, df

  11. RicksFork Says:

    thanks xpun. That’s why I like this place. Good people.

  12. dorn76 Says:

    Sumo help me out here…

  13. sumodie Says:

    hartford selling thru the same ev11 type of link too

  14. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    does ticketmaster have any if i call? or does the TM app?

  15. sumodie Says:

    ok, hartford isnt quite the same looking but still non TM/LN

  16. sumodie Says:

    dont really know anything more about glens falls website, havent paid attention

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    hartford is pretty straight forward. but you all keep worrying about that Glens Falls dealio. nothing to see here. shoo.

  18. dorn76 Says:

    BS. So when could you get in the queue?

  19. dusty Says:

    doubt TM is involved at all. Prepared for that back end to be brought to it knees I think.

    @t3 whats really weird with those twins is the deep communication in their eyes as they look at each other.

  20. DryIceFactory Says:

    “After listening to set 2, all I knowis that this summer is bringing a much different approach. 2012 was the peak of the first three years of 3.0, and it sure seems to me we are on a different, dare I say, 2.0 type path.”

    What are you even talking about? The fact that you are predicting “a path” and trying to compare the current shows to 10 years ago is making you look stupid in the present and will make you look stupid in the future. Stop living in yesteryear. This is not like any era that you once lived out, and it’s not even worth trying to predict what will happen in the future because, let’s be honest, you have no effing clue bro.

    I think the band would get a good chuckle out of the fact that you think they are playing like they did in 2.0, botching compositions and playing 20+ minute jams that are hit or miss.

    “this show reminded me of a show I once saw in 2003!” thats what I say everytime i leave a show too!

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    boom. Hartford done.

  22. Skyballs Saxscraper Says:

    I can tell already this isn’t going to work.

  23. dorn76 Says:

    how the fuck…

  24. Selector J Says:

    Pretty rad tour no matter how you slice it and stack it up later. I don’t know if they’re better than ever or anything like that but it’s been pretty impressive lately even with the slop.

    Also, I think it’s tough to objectively pit a sick ass new jam against a 98 classic that you’ve had memorized for 15 years. Of course the new one is going to sound more dynamic and interesting. It’s new.

    Still loved that west coast stretch. It definitely did not suck. They were en fuego after the Chi monsoon debacle. Need to go respin some east coast shows.

    Gorge. Sally. Segue.

  25. MiA Says:

    @ricksfork – I hear ya. “Painful” is a subjective term. Almost all terms describing music here are pretty subjective. “Sick, Hip, Hot, Raging” etc.

    Who is looking for Glens Falls? Should I try to pick anything up in particular?

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