Hampton Comes Alive

10.18.13 (Jake Silco)

10.18.13 (Jake Silco)

What a difference a day makes. One night after taking batting practice over the course of two sets, Phish came out swinging on Saturday night at Hampton Coliseum and truly inaugurated their 30th Anniversary Fall Tour with a smoking two set affair. Laying it on early and often, the guys took no prisoners, crafting a show that—arguably—bested any at The Mothership in 14 years. Evoking the feeling of fall tours of lore, the guys threw down a show that was bursting at the seams with energy and never relented for a moment, leaving fans with shit-eating grins as they moseyed back to their hotels through a perfect autumn evening.


10/19 Official (J.Flames)

Stepping to the plate with a purpose, the band lead off the game with a solid double in the gap in the form of “Bathtub Gin” before staging a scoring rally that was highlighted by a scorching indoor “Tube.” A version that set fire to the full-sized, Saturday night crowd, this creative and extended “Tube” provided an unquestionable highlight of the first set. Following this adrenalized start, the guys slowed things down with the modern rarity, “Fast Enough For You” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Ballad of Curtis Loew.” Non-rotation songs of “Yamar” and “My Sweet One” sandwiched a crunchy “Stealing Time,” which set the table for a smoking “Mike’s Groove” that was weighted towards “Weekapaug” with Page leading the way on clavinet. In retrospect, I thought there would be more musical meat to discuss in the opening stanza, but it just goes to show how far balls-to-the-wall energy and precise musicianship will take a set.

The first half had the arena buzzing as fans prepared themselves for what was sure to be a stellar main event. The band was feeling it, and they were bringing it hand over fist. A night after starting the second set with “Twist” for the only the second time since 2003, Phish opened Saturday night’s with “Ghost” for the first time since Alpine 2010, and the second time since Raleigh 2003! And what a “Ghost” it was. Reminiscent of IT’s legendary “Ghost” from Limestone, this version had a trajectory set for the heavens, and shot like an arrow into a blissful, peaking plateau where the jam sat for an eternity. Trey peeled of sheets of descending notes at the zenith of this excursion, cascading like victory over his legions of devotees. Super-charged catharsis of the highest degree, this “Ghost” drove us across the sky in a chariot before grounding us with a breakbeat-driven, ambient denouement.

10/18 (Jake Silco)

10/18 (Jake Silco)

Flipping the conventional script, the band segued out of “Ghost” and into a second-song “Disease,” providing a unique contour to the set’s opening couplet. The band moved from the song’s rock platform into a more ethereal, open-ended excursion that reached some profound places before getting chopped a bit abruptly for a wild, antic-filled version of “Steam.” The band absolutely slayed the “Steam” jam as Trey illustrated how he’s honed his pitch-bending as juxtaposed to the overly-whaley, 2013 debut at SPAC. Following the conventional jam, however, Trey joined Fishman on drums for a percussive-driven segment that saw Mike not only play his fight bell with drum sticks, but also bring back his power drill  from Friday night’s “Antelope” to play the bass. Page stabbed at his Hammond, providing the only melodic comping to this rhythmic tangent, before the guys remerged with the end of “Steam.”

10.18.13 (J.Silco)

10.18.13 (J.Silco)

It was high time for the band to take a breath, and they did so in the form of “Prince Caspian.” But the set found its way into too much filler after that. “Boogie On” had some extra zest, and carried the energy of the night just fine. But after that came “Theme” (which was actually quite good). And then came “Wedge.” “And then “Silent in the Morning.” At this point, we could have been in the middle of a first set! The guys did, however, close things with a bang, scripting a haunting and twisting version of “Harry Hood.” The set, though, had already lost considerable momentum, an issue that has seemed to plague an older Phish.

Just like that, we are one night away from fall tour’s first weekend being complete. And if the first two nights are any prediction of what is to come, we are in for one hell of a run. Phish took but one night to stretch their legs, and on Saturday, Trey used his newly dusted off Ocedoc to announce, “Game on!” And you know what they about Sunday shows…and with a “Tweezer” looming at Hampton Coliseum?! Yikes. Hide the women and children folks—we’ll see you in a few hours!

I: Bathtub Gin, The Moma Dance, Tube > Fast Enough for You, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, Ya Mar, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, My Sweet One, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen >Weekapaug Groove

II: Ghost > Down with Disease > Steam* > Prince Caspian > Boogie On Reggae Woman, Theme From the Bottom, The Wedge, Silent in the Morning, Harry Hood

E: Quinn the Eskimo

10.18.13 (Jake Silco)

10.18.13 (Jake Silco)

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395 Responses to “Hampton Comes Alive”

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  1. Jeff Says:

    “And you know what they about Sunday shows.”. Huh? English please? How could this be “arguably the best ever at Hampton in the band’s history” when you felt the 2nd set started to feel more like a first set?

  2. Whalereturns Says:

    Miner I really like your reviews a lot more when I agree with them.

    Cool cryptic hood have to listen to that again. Awesome ghost and overall a nice gearing up show. Energy tonight.

  3. Whalereturns Says:

    Jeff I don’t know if you were at any of the Hampton shows in the 2000s…but they were rough. Really rough.

  4. Jeff Says:

    There were Hampton shows before the 2000s that I was at (and referring to)…

  5. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Thanks for the timely review Miner. Sounds like some really high qualit playing from the boys. Glad to hear it.

  6. BingosBrother Says:

    Thought Ghost was pretty terrible on first listen. To each his own. Carini still the illest jam by far imho.

  7. Spasm Waiter Says:

    @jeff- I believe he said, “arguably—bested any at The Mothership in 14 years.”

  8. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Interesting Doppelgänger. I’m gonna queue it w/ my coffee & have a more thorough listen.

  9. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Yo spasm how’s the fishing? 10′ seas last sun = no go outta Delmar. Hope to make it happen during my annual visit in ’14.

  10. 20 Minute Halleys Says:

    Second night of webcast, and I happy I made the decision to do so. You get some really interesting perspectives with the camera angles. Did the steam percussion come as a result of Trey breaking a string? Because he was tapped on the shoulder about three quarters of the way through by somebody? Any way, it got songy towards the end, but Hood got some Hampton Love!

  11. 20 Minute Halleys Says:

    Tapped on the shoulder…and then proceeded back to his setup, that is…I found it odd that someone would disturb him mid drumming?

  12. Jeff Says:

    My mistake; he is referring to the last 14 years…

  13. Spasm Waiter Says:

    @jg- The weather is gotten a lot better than fishing is been decent but not the stellar year across the board. Pretty much just finished up my season

  14. 20 Minute Halleys Says:

    Mike was definitely a little under the weather. My GF turned to me and asked if his voice just broke, during Ya Mar, and I didn’t catch it at first. What a trooper. I loved the camera angel on his foot bell.

  15. Gavinsdad Says:

    Very cohesive playing last nite from the couch. Sober unbiased, er, first set as well. Thought that Ghost was excellent. Worthy of listens down the road.

  16. Plopcopter Says:

    So nice to wake up and read about a great show!
    Personally I felt the energy was carried through the entire second set. Arguably on paper I can see how it may have appeared “songy”, but it held my attention the entire time. This was my favorite show in ages and quite possibly my favorite first set ever…. musical mastery.
    Thanks for the timely review miner!

  17. Plopcopter Says:

    So nice to wake up and read about a great show!
    Personally I felt the energy was carried through the entire second set. Arguably on paper I can see how it may have appeared “songy”, but it held my attention the entire time. This was my favorite show in ages and quite possibly my favorite first set ever…. musical mastery.

  18. Spasm Waiter Says:

    @jg- sorry that didn’t work on it for you. I lost 5 days of work in a row and 8 of the last 12. Stinger.

  19. ren Says:

    Was out fishing (in the boat kind) yesterday actually. Caught a few really nice blackfish. T-shirt weather on the LI sound yesterday…trees all turning…nice

    Looking forward to giving this one a spin.

  20. Ghostface Says:

    Couch tour notes: Trey’s guitar went silent during last blast of dry ice during steam. So he headed over to play drums with fishman. Making for a killer unintentional drum jam. Mike was even trying to get some sounds from hitting his fan with the sticks. Mic the fan! Guitar tech fixed the ocedoc and let trey know. Gordon’s voice completely shot during ya mar. Odd that trey played mikes, knowing this in retrospect. My two cents, the ghost started to go places but never materialized until the multiple descending notes. My only beef is that once they hit gold moments like this they (Trey) abandons them too soon. DWD got the full ripcord treatment. Page smiled in an uncomfortable way here, he wanted to keep going and almost cringed at the steam lick starting. When Trey goes clean on the ocedoc it sounds incredible but the fingers aren’t moving like they used to on the note runs. Lots of misses. Would love to hear more of the descending note runs effected and layered like he did in ghost. Love this band. Onto Sunday…

  21. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Feel worse for you spasm. Bummer for sure. Trip was still fantastic & was able to land a few small brownies & work on my fly fishing in tight spots.

  22. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Nice Ren. Black fishing is pretty sweet.. Using green crabs?

  23. ticketstub2013 Says:

    great. great show. extra codes:


  24. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Thx stub

  25. Al Says:

    Webcast Night 1
    Set II


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