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.

phishhamptonposter

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)

Tags: , ,

395 Responses to “Hampton Comes Alive”

  1. Mr. Palmer Says:

    First sets have blown monkey balls….My biggest critique. This should blow the fuck up..

    Tweezer,->Piper, Rnr>Slave

  2. Berkeley Head Says:

    Since that set was 100% song will this set be 100% jam?

  3. aj Says:

    I’m calling sand

  4. phishm Says:

    I like the Tweezer call actually.

  5. phishm Says:

    Or Crosseyed. Energy is a good call. Wait theirs rock n roll and drowned. Wow it’s hard to choose.

  6. Stoney Case Says:

    Agreed Palmer. Classic Sunday set-up by the master Trey. Set 2 goes huge. Light Tweezer Energy Sally stylie

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    Maybe Light could take Stash place?

  8. phishm Says:

    Looking forward to this one Stoney. I know you are too. This should be huge. I’m going to take an approach of just coasting along with the music and allow it to control me for a as long as it wants to. Fuck expectations. If I were to try and compare songs with previous versions in real time it just wouldn’t be enjoyable to me. Know what I mean?

  9. Vapebraham Says:

    Het some.

  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Sweeet!!!

  11. tela's_muff Says:

    nobody called a Paul & Silas opener

  12. plord Says:

    Curve ball.

    Also blue ball.

    Short break before normal set II functions resume.

  13. Vapebraham Says:

    Wow.

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    SO freaking predictable… 😉

  15. phishm Says:

    And it begins. Sometimes when I’m tripping really hard at a show it seems like they are making fun of me. Not sure why.

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Never a doubt Phishm….

  17. Vapebraham Says:

    Boom

  18. jtran Says:

    raise a glass to palmer’s balls for paul and silas > tweezer set 2 opener

  19. Stoney Case Says:

    Palmer how could you miss the Paul and Silas opener call?

  20. ElJefe Says:

    Phishm- they are…

  21. Vapebraham Says:

    Loving this

    Harry potter (Hedwig’ s theme) tease

  22. phishm Says:

    Everything currently. Then nothing again. That’s when you all start to critique. Admit it they are it. Period. End of story.

  23. phishm Says:

    And fortunately some of us branch off of it and help bridge the highways. Either you get it or you don’t. Know what I mean Stoney?

  24. Stoney Case Says:

    Mike Gordon.

  25. phishm Says:

    Been you to have any spike, mon?

Leave a Reply