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”

  1. LukasChuck Says:

    Headed out and going to miss set 2. Argh! Rage on BB.

    Opener: drowned.

  2. tela's_muff Says:

    jumping on. excited

  3. bobby weird Says:

    :am webcasting btw. dont mind me:

  4. Jerome Garcia Says:

    1st set Sat Nt Spec is most certainly was not phishm. Glad your lil gal didn’t freak out & had fun #winning

  5. MiA Says:

    Golden Age opener

  6. phishm Says:

    Energy opener

  7. mayhem Says:

    Rock and Roll

  8. phishm Says:

    Still thinking that they will cover Phish for Halloween. No new tunes as of yet. If they have been in the studio then they would of surely played one by now. Just an assumption on my part, but felt a while ago that they would cover their new material. Only time will tell.

  9. Jerome Garcia Says:

    I like it Rainbow Pony

  10. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    Disease

  11. phishm Says:

    Thanks Jerome. Funny story. There was a haunted barn and a haunted hayride. We chose the hayride, which was pretty tame. When it was done my daughter asks if we can do the haunted barn. I bought the tickets and we were about to go in and she freaked out. Needless to say we did not go into the haunted barn. On another note, just got my hands on some of the best smoke I’ve had in ages. This 2nd set will be awesome. Here we go.

  12. bobby weird Says:

    its on now son.

  13. Jerome Garcia Says:

    & the winner is…

  14. bobby weird Says:

    ghost

  15. voopa Says:

    Woot!

  16. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Ghost

  17. Gavinsdad Says:

    Scents

  18. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Tri post weirdo & voopstar!

  19. Jerome Garcia Says:

    & gdad. Woot is right. Goin deep fo sho.

  20. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Haha phishm. Well 1 outta 2 ain’t bad.

  21. Jerome Garcia Says:

    What’s Page eyein?

  22. bobby weird Says:

    they love this barn. its just been awhile. i think they have settled in.

  23. Gavinsdad Says:

    This is money

  24. Gavinsdad Says:

    That Tahoe tweez lick. So fucking nice

  25. frot Says:

    so what’s the stream link tonight, fellas?

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