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. RoosterPizza Says:

    Carini saved that set from being a stinker for the ages.

  2. neemor Says:

    It was a full moon last night, I believe.
    Enough said.

    Carefully wording to not place undue expectations: This evening will change lives.
    My guess on the light room is that most East Coasters are waiting for the New England shows to hit a few due to the tight swing but for the Mothership to be half full….
    I’m thinking out loud and wondering what’s the deal.

    Is the speculation about webcasts cutting into physical attendance bearing fruit?
    Curious what the kids these days are up to if not making the pilgrimage to a Phish show who, by most realistic accounts is playing as well as they ever have?
    I’m hearing buzz about the Drake show, for example. Have I not done my job to disseminate the Aural Ice Cream that is Phish to the newcomer, or is my love for the band not attractive to the potential new fan?
    Or am I simply over thinking this whole thing?

    I’ll see you in Hartford. Tickets for 12/29 are already secured.
    The XL center in the Hartbeat will throb and bulge with the monstrous sounds of the Phish.
    Don’t miss it.

  3. phoammhead Says:

    @neems miner throwing hyperbole with half full room comment … Place was full but not packed which made it quite nice and comfortable

    and I did personally didn’t see hundreds of tix but there were quite a few and no buyers and I didn’t see many miracle seekers either

    had a blast last nite and I’m sure I will tonight too

  4. buddysmyles Says:

    According to Yemblog & a few pics i saw… The room was mostly full… Didnt see pic of behind band tho… Those who were there, whats your take?

  5. buddysmyles Says:

    ^nevermind… Thanks Phoam

  6. neemor Says:

    Thx. Now I feel better about the state of the fans.

  7. neemor Says:

    And all it really takes is like 4 BBers for a good time.
    We hold shit down.

  8. jdub Says:

    Hope all is well Sumo.

  9. Posternutbag Says:

    Well, I too fell asleep on my couch watching the webcast, which has never happened to me before. It was really strange to see close-ups of Trey’s face when they were kicking into Ocelot and Sparkle, as he seemed actually excited to play them. The Ocelot must be his spirit animal or something…

  10. Peej Says:

    So Trey forgot how to play Mound? That was pretty ugly.

  11. sumodie Says:

    Full moon, eh?

    I AM a Wook

    Time to soak….

  12. dorn76 Says:

    Hope he high fived during that Carini. Real Dorn would’ve.

  13. sumodie Says:

    All is well, jdub. Slammed right into show from long frustrating drive. Show was intense and post show more so

    Carini was IT

    Muthahip just getting goin’!

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Sumo- what is up?

  15. butter Says:

    Totally heard the Allmansesque guitar build out of Carini funk darkness too Miner. Listening now, totall Almans jam morphed with Meters

    > then drop into Page led Meters funk breakdown full on. Page huge MVP in this Carini, some nice Fishman too

    Mellow warm up show to start indeed, solid write up

  16. revise your despise Says:

    Spot on review. Had a great time. The BB crew is as solid as it gets.

    I can see why the venue is so loved by this fan base. Old school with great sound and all GA. Can’t beat it. Watch out tonight’s goin off the deep end.

    The code from the extra that i gave away last night: 551070540129

  17. Gavinsdad Says:

    Trey was def feeling the Sparkle. He also does that early in the song jump/hop to get himself all energized.

    Giddy up kids…nite 2 awaits.

    (Side note – please tell me why GD channel would play a summer 92 round and round?? Absolutely putrid playing by the band.)

  18. sumodie Says:

    Psyched for tonight

    That is all…

    Beautiful venue indoor & out

  19. Nissl Says:

    Yep. On the plus side it seems like they stayed well gelled over the short-ish break, other than perhaps being slighty flubbier than usual. That is not something you’d have seen a couple years ago. And they seemed to be well rested and excited to play, and I like where they’re coming from tonally.

    But the result was oddly laid back and even a little boring at times, particularly the first set. I literally almost fell asleep a couple times during the stream, and I’m never the guy who says that.

    Stuff picked up a bit as the show went on, so I’m figuring it was just the tour opener. Too many mellow nights in the farmhouse beforehand?

  20. Capt. Obvious Says:

    Show was full from the bands vantage point. Empty behind the stage but even that filled in

  21. Shred Says:

    Meters or all mans on Halloween would be a sick call.

    Hard to believe miner was critical. Hamptons is Hampton once again. Break the cycle already.

  22. Calpain Says:

    webcasted w @Gdad last night. relaxing end to the week, good times.

    Kuroda was lovin the mothership during that Twist–swirling circular light explosion.

    glad to hear you made it through that wormhole @sumodie!

    can anyone refresh my memory on the crunchygroove work around?

  23. tela's_muff Says:

    Had a great night imof webcasting. Got wrecked in my recliner. Busted dancing by my wife. Passed out half hour after show.

    I really enjoyed the first set from the chair. Thought it moved along nicely. Typical 2013 but I liked the song selection. Loved the highlights of set 2. Twist space was outside the box for 3.0 twists, a top shelf Roggae and that Carini jam joined the elite jams of 3.0. The communication between Trey and Page throughout that jam was a sight to behold. Boogie breakdown. Overall thought it was a fine opener of tour.

  24. BooVT Says:

    Eat a Peach for Halloween?

  25. MiA Says:

    I like my twists more Floydian than Santanaish

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