Four Wishes For Fall Tour

8.2.13 (Brian Thomas)

8.2.13 (Brian Thomas)

Phish played so well this summer, these lists are getting harder and harder to make. But as we go into Fall, there are still a few things I am hoping to see.

1. The First Set: The last remaining weakness of modern Phish shows is undoubtably the first set. Aside from SPAC’s “Split Open and Melt,” there were no open ended jams in the first half of any shows this summer. There is rarely even much contained jamming of note in opening frames, causing these sets to be musically uneventful. At no point in the last few years have I spun any first set from start to finish, and rarely do I dip into first sets at all but for the random “Reba” or “David Bowie.” Why does Phish choose to keep their first sets so mellow? Sure, lots of fans are there to hear their songs, but how about mixing it up? When the band throws down a great second set, I consider it a great show at this point. Imagine if they infused both sets with creativity? I’m not saying it should be like 1997, but just a bit of interesting music, some meat—and not always “Stash,” “Bathtub Gin,” or “Antelope.” An air of unpredictability has returned to Phish’s second sets this year, but their first ones have remained quite routine.

2. “Energy:” We’ve just seen the birth of Phish’s newest jam vehicle—”Energy.” In only three versions after its debut, the band has built an open-ended psychedelic juggernaut. Sprouting a jam in Alpheretta, the cover was soon placed in the hallowed spot of second set opener in Chicago and San Francisco. The band first opened up “Energy’s” jam in Chicago, charting an uplifting course with an ambient outro, while in San Francisco, they took it down a less cathartic, darker path. I believe we will see this song really blow up this Fall, starting right away in Hampton. I also believe we will see the band take “Energy” jams in wildly different directions, making the new Apples In Stereo cover all the more intriguing.

3. Get In Set Two! : There are several songs that have been begging for the second set treatment, though Phish has been quite stubborn in in keeping them as structured, first set jams. They are: “Wolfman’s Brother,” “Bathtub Gin,” “Tube,” “Stash,” “Split Open and Melt,” “Ocelot,” and “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing.”

4. New Phish Material: Before every tour for the past couple years, this hope has been listed. Let’s be serious, the band hasn’t written a song in ages. “Steam” is the only original that has debuted in this era and stuck around. Joy songs have been played into the ground and then some. A new album has been hinted at all year, though nothing—even a rumor—has materialized. Does this mean another run with no new originals? Most likely. They did great this summer adding “Energy” to the mix. “Say Something” has potential. But how ’bout an actual Phish song? It’s about time.


Winged-music-noteJam of the Day:

Rock and Roll” 8.3.13 II, BGCA

This monster version provided the centerpiece of Bill Graham’s second show. PS—Thanks for your feedback. I am keeping the links.

[audio:] Tags: ,

906 Responses to “Four Wishes For Fall Tour”

  1. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    mr p- deer creek ’04 has a real long version of nothing. i think that is the one from the oxy years. great mix tape! i am a huge fan.

  2. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    nothing is a song i can get behind. very cool “ballad”.

  3. SOAM Says:

    I like “Gone”

  4. little umbrellas Says:

    excuse if im being bullish. I just think that I could put on a Zappa piece of music for a Phish fan and not tell them what I put on, and if I chose the right piece, they would be loving it.

    if it’s a personal thing against Zappa that will always stigmatize the listeners experience, well there is nothing I can do about that.

    much of Phish’s music is so influenced by and similar to Frank’s ….

    a general question: do you like It’s Ice? well then I can find Zappa that you’d like, just wont mention it’s from him.

  5. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    “You can’t always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream.”

    word up.

  6. MiA Says:


    Bring your own tissues

  7. dorn76 Says:

    Zappa The Right Way

  8. marcoesq Says:

    I don’t really like zappa either.

  9. little umbrellas Says:

    “I get not liking zappa’s more lyrical albums, but if you (like phish and) don’t like his more guitar driven, fusion albums, like hot rats or shut up n play your guitar, well you probably haven’t heard any of them”

    > who am I to say what people will like. not my place to judge. I was just tryin to say somethin more like this ^^(DF’s statement).
    , you know, just perhaps one hasn’t heard certain pieces of music is all.

  10. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    sometimes zappa is the only thing i can listen to- it is almost like an instinctual craving- my mind will race until i can settle down and listen to frank. he has so much music and a lot of it blows my fucking mind. my .02 regarding fz.

  11. little umbrellas Says:

    ‘the right way’

    just for all those lovers of It’s Ice, Split, Reba, Icculus, Tube, etc…. hope you’re not missing out on more music of this style and caliber.

  12. marcoesq Says:

    someone bring me some zappa to listen to in AC. I have a 60mi drive each way before and after AC2&3. Haven’t heard a ton of his shit but what I have heard, I have not enjoyed. But I was never really into the prog rock ’92/’93 Phish so your parallel discussion might be flawed.

  13. little umbrellas Says:

    listening to Kaveh’s first show. Redrocks 94. love this Run and this SOAM.

  14. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    i think hot rats is his most accessible album- pretty much all instrumental (with the exception of captain beef heart pimp rapping on willie the pimp)- a good introduction to fz.

  15. MiA Says:

    Zappa has a lot of different faces. Politician, Humorist, Satirist, Serious Composer, Not so serious composer, Pop Maven, etc.

    There are sides to his music I really don’t like either. Can’t find any fault in finding the stuff that sucks.

    It’s not like I’m gonna whip out “Jazz from Hell” for anyone. Fuck that album. And a lot of his composed stuff is very very challenging to listen to. And his inability to sing doesn’t help.

    He also has toe tapping music, straight forward rock jams, and plays some great solos where people vamp behind him.

    LU is right that there is some great Zappa, even Phish fans would like (Peaches etc) then there is a lot of stuff nobody really likes.

  16. jtran Says:

    TT bumpin

  17. MiA Says:

    “never discuss philosophy or politics in a disco environment” – Frank Zappa

  18. aj Says:

    I wish someone would just make the pinnacle Zappa mixtape already so I can just listen without digging too much. I’m open minded but lazy.

  19. hoedown Says:

    Enjoy By has hit the NJ market, or so I’m told. Will hopefully secure several for sharing at AC run for those of you I come across. Coming to our town, we’ll help you party down…

    DF may finally get his EB hookup after all, assuming he pretends to play nice long enough for me to foolishly hand one over to him…

  20. little umbrellas Says:

    Hot Ratz. great starting point,

    also the song Inca Roads off One Size Fits All. (guitar solo over the middle funky halftime section, do not understand how any Trey lover won’t like this)

    my go to mind blower:
    Roxy’s~ Village of the Sun>Echidna’s Arf>Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing.

    -has gorgeous vocals by George Duke, multiple long form instrumetnal grooves, Rhodes solo, Trombone solo, Guitar victory lap. and for all you Junta lovers, this shit should blow your mind.

    >i think the biggest thing Zappa has going against him is the idea people have about his catalogue based on his personality and some of the more late era or humour/sexual music he made.
    >the same thing happens to Phish. the biggest thing going against them is the idea people have in their heads about what Phish is.

    Joe’s Garage. Phish will never play this. way to sexual for the family affair that Phish can be for many.

    ~Zappa rant done~excuse me to all those who’ve heard me say that shit before, know it’s not my first timd expressing these thoughts. FALL TOUR IS ALMOST UPON US!

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Zappa is one of those musicians I respect and appreciate the brilliance, but rarely have the desire to sit down and listen to…. Kinda like Lady Gaga

  22. little umbrellas Says:

    “There are sides to his music I really don’t like either. Can’t find any fault in finding the stuff that sucks.”


  23. MiA Says:

    Sofa No. 1 and Sofa No. 2 are great tracks. If you’re into Jazz, Purple Lagoon is a great track too.

  24. gavinsdad Says:

    FZ definitely is a shapeshifter. trying to make mixtapes to jive with others sensibilities is tough. guess we just listened to a whole shit load of it along the way and decided what was meh…i’m looking at you THINGFISH.

    @shediv – do all 3 of course…i’m one of the dads staying home to Trick or Treat with my 7, 8, and 10 year olds after a shitty vibe between me and the wife over hitting the halloween show AC10. no sweat. I’m also getting down there Friday afternoon for shows 2&3 and hope to catch you. last time all of a sudden there were just a whole mess of us page side soundboard. fun spot.

  25. little umbrellas Says:

    @AJ. do you need me to make links from my previous post? I will if you want.
    that should do you right. Jon Fishman also has a mixtape he made of Frank’s music.

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