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. dorn76 Says:

    Still more out there, keep trying if you haven’t already grabbed one.

  2. kayatosh Says:

    doniac schvice — loved those days. getting that zaniness in the college mailbox was a treat.

    one kid and mamma have lice; getting deloused now — camp downside. trade and week all wrapped up. time for party time w/ music. digging in where i left off before last night’s detour into energy>jim — 8.3.13 set I.

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    and now a 111 for Friday.

  4. Kaveh Says:

    @T3: do you need both of those tickets? if not, I’m very interested in them.

  5. stapes Says:

    Aahh the Schvice. That brings back some memories.

    Happy B-Day Mr. Joggerz! Have a good one.

  6. kayatosh Says:

    what a jacked ticket system. still smarting from paying the stubhub tax for 2 out of 3 BGCA’s. patience would have paid off, as it usually does.

    VWE to avoid KMS

  7. kayatosh Says:

    vibes to everyone

    sorry if i wasn’t my usual happy, up-all-night-to-get-lucky self in SF. wife’d

  8. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    right now I do, assuming my wife goes to both shows. I’ll keep you posted.

  9. Kaveh Says:

    now worries…I’m starting to pull tickets too.

  10. Fly Says:


    I know the world you are in


    And vibes to all figuring out various ticket scenarios. I will have to miss most of fall ter, but may be able to hit Rochester. Will have to play by ear.

    @alf, sounds awesome, man. Very jelly. Maybe we can carpool a show or two. I’m rolling into town tomorrow. Let’s meet up sometime next week before the madness.

  11. Joe Says:

    Damn I gave up too quickly I guess. Just resigned to having to scramble closer to dates to get floors.

  12. Selector J Says:

    @kaya – Go grab yourself a music nap with this one:

    No Licey Head – Jah Son

  13. kayatosh Says:

    got zilch for reading. grrrr. jacked.

  14. Corey Says:

    Anyone sit in 119 before? Fish side Mike side side/behind stage?
    Thoughts on sound, sight, etc? Anyone? Worcester, that is…

  15. sumodie Says:

    I hav 300 level woosta ptbm xtras i need to sell, 2 pair per night

    Also xtra Rochesters

    Did overly well of sorts with ptbm this time, cept for Halloween

  16. Kaveh Says:

    @corey: i’ve been there once; on the floor; but I’m guessing inside the sound will be great anywhere in the 100’s.

  17. kayatosh Says:

    thanks, selector. i know that beat and melody from another cut(s).

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    FT: Halloween + cash for AC3 GA + Glens Falls

  19. mayhem Says:

    I’m a fan of behind the stage. a lot of people don’t go to there seats there, so there’s usually lots of room, and it is loud

  20. Selector J Says:

    Yea, man. It’s originally Ali Baba by Jackie Edwards. Lots of others on that riddim, too. Notably “I Killed The Barber” by Dr. Alimantado.

    Love the dub half of Licey Head. Fat Man Riddim Section are the core members of Jacob Miller’s Inner Circle.

  21. tela'smuff Says:

    Kaya – on one level, yeah, it’s crazy to leave, but dude, you didn’t commit the rest of your life to Phish, like you did to your wife. It sounds like you read the situation correctly and did the right thing. i wouldn’t sweat it so much. just my opinion of course.

    i left Vegas ’04 night two early, mainly because my ears were offended. went to a titty bar on shrooms instead. much more fun.

    Poop! Dicks!! Poopy Dicks!

  22. BingosBrother Says:

    Patience is key kaya. Just gotta believe. Never won a lotto, presale, or onsale in 4 years and I’m done stressing. Always ended up ok, so fuck the hassle.

    Welcome back dryice!

  23. kayatosh Says:

    ali babba – right o. thanks, selector. always droppin knowledge. time to nice it up. good luck w/ your writing. get some real sleep when you can.

  24. dorn76 Says:

    You spin roots and study rocks?


  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    119 is in the corner behind fish, so cool sightlines if you like being behind the stage as some of us do. plus there is the new, bigger bathroom in that corner, which is nice, considering the bathroom history of that building.

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