A Lumpy Start

10.18.13 (Jake Silco)

10.18.13 (Jake Silco)

As Phish stepped into Hampton Coliseum for the first time since their comeback weekend in 2009, the place was half-empty. Few in the building were familiar with such environs, especially since the last time we gathered in Hampton, Virginia, tickets were going for $500! I didn’t think that the sparse environs would play a part in the actual show—and perhaps it didn’t—but the band played their most mellow show in memory to kick off Fall Tour. But it wouldn’t have been a Phish show without any adventure, and on this night the band fuel injected all of their adventure into a redonkulous version of “Carini”—a piece that immediately stands among the best jams ever dropped in the storied round room. But other than this paradise voyage, the show was delivered as if not to offend any one, and it wound up being just a bit too tasteful for many fans that were chomping at the bit.

10/18 Official (J.Flames)

10/18 Official (J.Flames)

Halfway through an inexplicably mellow second set, someone reminded Trey that soundcheck had been over hours, and when Trey got that message, he tore into “Carini”—a jam that defined this show in full. Settling into a growling mid-paced jam, the band locked into the pocket and never looked back, crafting a multi-thematic voyage that deserves any and all fans’ immediate attention. As the band moved through an extensive period of darkness, they flipped the switch on this already impressive piece, and built it to a scintillating, Allmans-eqsue blues-rock peak. Trey hit upon a lick of glory and transformed this melody into the guiding light of the jam that would bring the band to the mountaintop. And just when you thought Phish had brought another 3.0 classic to a bluesy peak, they broke shit down into funk textures that reinvented the jam on the fly. Moving into an entire jam-after-the-jam, the band continued to bring the house down with rhythmic interplay. In fact, this segment built an entire theme unto itself before the band finally wound their way down. If you caught the webcast, you already know, but if you haven’t heard it yet, sit down with this “Carini” with your morning coffee—I guarantee you will have a better day for it.

10.18.13 (J.Silco)

10.18.13 (J.Silco)

Any musical highlights other than “Carini,” however, were few and far between. The only other true meat of the show came in the set opening “Twist”—the first version in such a slot since Philly 2003—and the oddly placed “Roggae.” “Twist” seemed like a very peculiar choice from to kick off the second set, and although the band moved into an impressive ambient lair, the jam felt a bit short of complete as they drifted into “Free.” Following the opening couplet, the band played a searing rendition of “Roggae,” a song usually reserved for less highlighted placement. This “Roggae” captivated the room’s attention in full, raising the eyebrows of quite a few skeptics. But when Trey started playing “Sparkle” in the middle of the second set, I literally leaned over to my friend and asked, “What’s going on?” And then they played “Cavern.” Finally, the messenger bird made it’s way down from the rafters and delivered Trey the word, prompting him to “Throw something down for the kidz before things turn sour!” And so he did.

Hot versions of “Number Line” and “Antelope” closed out an underwhelming set, but when the band plays something of the caliber of “Carini,” sometimes its all just gravy. 2013 has seen slight step backwards in the quality of tour openers, as Bangor and now Hampton’s first night, have carried the vibe of warm up shows. But even in warm up shows, Phish can still deliver the goods, and I bet that when this run is all said and done, nobody will have forgotten Hampton’s “Carini.”

First set notes: A solid, though standard first set kicked things off with solid song selection and energy. “Jim” and “Stash” provided the first dips into full-band improv, but in truth, this was a warm up set through and through.

I: Wolfman’s Brother, Runaway Jim, Mound, Chalk Dust Torture, Army of One, Nellie Kane, Stash, Ocelot, Rift, Bouncing Around the Room, Walls of the Cave

II: Twist > Free > Roggae, Sparkle > Cavern > Carini > Backwards Down the Number Line, Twenty Years Later, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Run Like an Antelope

E: When the Circus Comes, Suzy Greenberg

10.18.13 (Jake Silco)

10.18.13 (Jake Silco)

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399 Responses to “A Lumpy Start”

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  1. voopa Says:

    It’s a new day

  2. voopa Says:

    Great photos Jake!

    Had other obligations and missed hearing/seeing the show live, and when I saw that Twist>Free>Roggae started set II, it made me miss it more.

    Oh well. Long Saturday ahead, but I’ll be alive and casting in 13 hours!

  3. Jeff Says:

    What good is Minor’s opinion anyways? Same guy that claimed the Tahoe Tweezer was the best jam of their career, and then a few weeks later called the Denver Chalkdust the summer’s best jam. He’s a prisoner of the moment…

  4. howard_roark Says:

    Twist opened Set II on 06/18/2011, ftr.

  5. Cheard Says:

    I wondered the same thing about sparkle and cavern as I watched the set list unfold on “paper.” I can only go tonight, so at least I don’t have to worry about that anomaly.

  6. phishm Says:

    Getting old. I missed most of the show as I fell asleep in front of the computer with the head phones on. Had a really weird dream and kept coming in and out of sleep while they played. Kind of hard to describe, but sleeping with the head phones on to Phish music is very surreal. Anyway, I’m not sure how to describe the experience other then to say it was weird. Mellow dreams and mellow Phish combined for a really good sleep I guess. Hope you all enjoyed the show. I’m sure it was good.

  7. Viggo Says:

    Did he only catch the second set? Not even a whisper about the first. Did not catch show or webcast, but looks like there were some good selections in there.

  8. 20 Minute Halleys Says:

    I opted to webcast this at the very last second, and am glad that I did. I sat, retrospectively, in the confines of my living room, getting over rather odd cold, and couldn’t be happier that I could still catch this show, knowing my immune system was not taking a beating. I nodded in and out occasionally which added some soundscape to my semi-conscious state. But while I thought Twist was going to go the distance, Carini drove past the signpost destination. I love how it hovered in darkness for a while as opposed to that instant glory shot they have been injecting as the jam begins.

  9. sumodie Says:

    Anyone got a spare set of eyewear I can borrow?

  10. jdub Says:

    Nice job as usual Miner.

    Last two indoor tour openers featured unreal Carini’s. My favorite Phish tune in this era just keeps getting better.

    It’s a beautiful New England fall day. Leaves are golden, red, and orange. Sox play for a spot in the Series tonight. And Phish plays in the Muthaship. Soaking it in while I can. Enjoy the day BB!

  11. hoedown Says:

    So am I the only one that thinks Free and the end of Carini contained blatant “Will Go Round in Circles” teases? I haven’t been able to find anyone else picking up on that. Just trying to figure out if I’m accurate or need some “ear calibration”….

  12. dorn76 Says:

    What good is an opinion on the internet. What is the point of me commmenting. Am I learning?

  13. buddysmyles Says:

    @Dorn… U are Learndead… Pronounced Leh-nerd-ded

  14. glennw Says:

    On Trey’s mellow streak, I wonder if he heard the new Garcia/Legion of Mary CD set recently, that would do it. Slow burning fire indeed.

  15. hoedown Says:

    Anyone? Anyone? Come on, someone tell me to clean out my ears or confirm my noting of the teases, please….

  16. Whale returns Says:

    I don’t get the > sign anymore. Yeah half filled stadiums have to take a toll on the band. That’s what happens when you don’t write new music. It becomes stale. Sorry to be Debbie downer but how many times can I hear wolfmans standard jam. Come on guys.

  17. Whale returns Says:

    I don’t get the > sign anymore. Yeah half filled stadiums have to take a toll on the band. That’s what happens when you don’t write new music. It becomes stale. Sorry to be Debbie downer but how many times can I hear wolfmans standard jam. Come on guys.

  18. MiA Says:

    I could easily see the band covering the Allman Brothers for Halloween.

  19. btb Says:

    Trey drank too much cold green tea?

  20. MiA Says:

    Yippee, im outta jail. Whose got a heady pair o eyeglasses for me to wear down here? ;0\

    what?

  21. ren Says:

    Morning gents. Had a lot of fun last night!

    What the heck happened to @sumo?…damn bro…hope you’re ok.

    Yet another BBer flaking on tickets with me…for real?

    ::2-Day Woosta Pass up for grabs. Nice 200 level seats. Get at me::

    paulny123 at ghee mail

  22. MiA Says:

    I also saw Dorn’s Doppleganger and danced next to him second set.

  23. sumodie Says:

    Long story, MiA. But Im in desperate need of eyewear as a result

  24. Kinger Says:

    Not sure if its been posted, but there was a huge wreck on the main highway coming into hampton that probably contributed to the “half full” venue. Place was placked by end of second set.

    Really fun show w a lot of songs I like.

    What up T3?

    Have few funny Regan-esque stories from the show.

  25. MiA Says:

    I fear my -3.75’s are to strong for ya.

    Walmart!

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