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. little umbrellas Says:

    DF, probably very right about this. didnt have an opinion about this for the same reason. when you have a hollow body goin with two tube screamers, the thing is like a wild beast, it is just ready to scream. all sweet spots. gives that endless sustain.

    Trey has his rig set to burst out of its seems with fire at any moment, almost like his job is to control it. taming the dragon.

  2. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    but he doesn’t always use both tube screamers. sure, when those are both on the sound is more a product of the effect …. but when the effects are dialed back, i think this guitar has a little less unadulterated kick than the other(s).

  3. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    not even intending any of this to be critical, just something i’ve noticed since he debuted the thing at the Greek. Been way into Trey’s tone/rig since I got into the band years and years ago (that’s my chasing the dragon). new guitar is different – that’s all.

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    100% w mr c’s Roggae comment. Always been a fave. Even Moreso now with the exploration tacked on. Good stuff.

  5. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    Free could use some Roggaine.

  6. RustyFender Says:

    Thanks for the updates, everybody. Hanging on tight till Reading/AC. My Halloween prediction: Phish covers Gamehendge. That, or a 3-hour TTE.

  7. She Divides Says:

    I was very impressed by the roggea on listening (wasn’t in the room)

  8. jig Says:

    Quick review- First set medium, second set had some nice funk and heat. I’ll take it for an opener. Don’t think this is gonna be your normal Sat night special. Have fun, be safe, and get down.

  9. little umbrellas Says:

    thanks for the feedback Phishm, will try that.

  10. little umbrellas Says:

    hear ya Wison. I think i’d have to have been on tour a lot more or somethin to say for myself what differance I hear..

  11. little umbrellas Says:

    here’s to the dragon being conquered and now wielded by Tzra to release flame with cold and calculating precision.

  12. vapebraham Says:

    stoked.

  13. vapebraham Says:

    casa de kaya pre show album music: coltrane’s a love supreme– $$$$

  14. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Custy cast purchased. Bomber of Firestone Walker Union Jack & six of Sante Fe Brewing Happy Camper aka Hippie Camper chillin in fridge. Blackberry & Purple George varietals. Should be fun.

    Let’s do this. Still waiting…

  15. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Hope you kids in the Round Room have a blast tonight! Be safe out there.

    Question is…to boom (mildly) or not to boom?

  16. William H. Bonney Says:

    Waves opener ?

  17. bobby weird Says:

    sox on the (muted) tele. custy cast purchased. lets get this party started.

  18. William H. Bonney Says:

    Of course last nite was kinda mellow. I was tired. Well rested and fit tonite. Yo

  19. bobby weird Says:

    brad serling just tweeted band on in 5… fwimbw

  20. vapebraham Says:

    go bonney! het some. like the waves opener spirit.

  21. Jerome Garcia Says:

    @heady how was the tea after all that time?

  22. bobby weird Says:

    its time, kid…

    ^ mickey goldsmith

  23. Gavinsdad Says:

    Stay tuned…wondering what my beer approach should be. Have a cold “American Beauty” here…and 3 cans of National Bohemian. Hmmm. Also have Dales and Murphy’s and Guinness draught cans. And some “lager”.

    Perhaps twist up a number….

    Here they are!

  24. Jerome Garcia Says:

    GIN!

  25. Gavinsdad Says:

    Niiiice

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