An Off Night

10.22.13 Rochester, NY (Jesse Herzog)

10.22.13 (Jesse Herzog)

Even Phish has an off show from time to time and last night in Rochester, New York was most definitely one of them. Unable to rekindle the magic of Hampton, the band slogged through a performance in which they never truly hooked up. They certainly gave it a valiant effort at the beginning of the second set, however, pushing through a lull in “Crosseyed and Painless” to find some interesting ground, but both “Light” and “Golden Age” were cut noticeably short as the band couldn’t find a solid groove. Finally, Trey threw up the white flag of surrender in the form of “Birds of a Feather,” and put the band on cruise control for the rest of the set. Showing signs of their age and fatigue, Phish were just never able to gel last night and played a totally flat performance in their anticipated return to War Memorial Coliseum.

10/22 Official (Fug Screen)

10/22 Official (Fug Screen)

Fully standard songs filled the first set with the exception of “Scent of a Mule,” “Timber” and “Halfway to the Moon,” though nothing really popped off the stage. One had to figure the band was exhaling after their three night run and torrid final set at Hampton, and that big things would surely follow setbreak. Or would they?

Opening the main event with “Crosseyed”—a move that had produced highlight-reel results at both PNC and The Gorge—the guys seemed primed to slaughter their third second-set opener in a row. The rock jam out of the lyrics went off just fine, but when band opened things up, one of the band members—I think Trey—slowed the jam down considerably and threw everyone else off. The band meandered for a bit, but persevered instead of bailing out and was able to salvage a final segment of “Crosseyed” that provided show’s most impressive moments. The entire excursion, however, was kind of went all over the map and featured much looser, sparser jamming that we heard over tour’s opening weekend. Go figure, Phish are human too.

10.22.13 (Jesse Herzog)

10.22.13 (Jesse Herzog)

When the band started up “Light,” it was a sign they would to go for it again, but as soon as the jam heated up into a mid-tempo groove, Trey decided to sing the opening to “Golden Age” over this texture, thus eliminating any chance of Fall’s first “Light” jam. The guys stuck with the slowed down tempo, giving “Golden Age” a more infectious, funky feel, but when the jam started, they—once again—couldn’t find a thing. Vamping over some funk chords for a while, the band gave it a shot but in the end never were able to cohere and bailed on the idea entirely. And then came the flag of surrender.

10.22.13 (J.Herzog)

10.22.13 (J.Herzog)

A harmless set of singles carried the show to its end, including one of the least impressive versions of “You Enjoy Myself” you’ll ever hear. Phish just flat out didn’t have it last night in Rochester, and now the immediate question becomes Glens Falls. This is a show that is carrying a lot of hype and will be attended by plenty of the band’s friends and family—two factors that don’t always, historically, produce the best results. With a monster New England weekend on the horizon in Worcester and Hartford, I could see this show going either way—explode or fizzle. I’m certainly pulling for the former.

I: AC/DC Bag, The Moma Dance, Axilla, Meatstick, Kill Devil Falls, Scent of a Mule, Timber, My Friend, My Friend, Halfway to the Moon, Maze, Character Zero

II: Crosseyed and Painless > Light -> Golden Age > Birds of a Feather, Halley’s Comet > Possum, Bug, Heavy Things, You Enjoy Myself

E: Joy, First Tube

10.22.13 (Jesse Herzog)

10.22.13 (Jesse Herzog)

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632 Responses to “An Off Night”

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  1. 20 Minute Halleys Says:

    I imagine that the vibe at the show was still positive, as any night seing Phish “live” can be. But…I am glad I opted out of 7 hour ride and another day off of work. Thanks for the update Miner! Happy HUMP Day y’all!

    PS “Showing signs of their age and fatigue,” My “Phish” is eternally 30 something, for the record! Wise enough to know when to say when, but still crazy enough to break the rules, occcasionally!

  2. RoosterPizza Says:

    Glens Falls Energy is going to be the bomb. See everyone later!

  3. [Not Tom] Says:

    Couldn’t agree with this review more. The only thing I got out of the crappy audio stream was that Phish can play Golden Age super slow and funky if they want to, if they want to; but if this were 1998 or 1999 that funk would have gone on for 20 mins. Nevertheless, just chalk it up to every tour has to have a throwaway and hopefully this is the only one.

  4. Fly Says:

    I gambled and lost. Now to find a way to get through the day!

    Trey was fiddling with his amp throughout the first bit of the second set. He couldn’t get comfortable. Kept looking to Fish to cut out of Xeyed. An aberration, surely. Catch you folks at Woostah.

  5. Neil Peart is my hero Says:

    I agree the second set didn’t “gel” — but where’s the love for the first set? The Maze was fantastic, with Page turning in a memorable solo. In fact, Trey laid back many times throughout the evening to let Page, Mike and Fish take over. Late in second set, he even unstrapped his guitar and just danced (goofily to be sure) but he looked like a phan surrounded by music and letting himself move with the groove. It was a special treat to see the band enjoying themselves so much!

  6. Fly Says:

    I don’t want to sound ungrateful, though. I enjoyed the first set; very nice versions of a few songs at the end. And they tried to make it work in the second set. Thank you Phish! Love to all here.

    PS Any and all getting through the day/getting through the week/getting through the semester vibes are welcome!!

  7. MiA Says:

    Great photos Jesse!

    I for one found that listening to Heavy Things and YEM with my morning coffee was delightful. Heck may even go back and listen to Bug.

  8. aj Says:

    Ha, was just gonna say the same thing, MiA. Beautiful shot!

  9. Luther T. Justice Says:

    The top pic is a winna JH!

  10. GhostPhunk Says:

    Weird night. See you tonight.

  11. C. Clavin Ball Says:

    ok, so maybe you need to cleanse the palette a bit after last night. that’s perfectly reasonable. not every time the band takes to the stage on a particular date is going to come up wine and roses. let me suggest a few offerings from the past on this date here today to whet your appetite as we await tonight’s show.

    way back in ’84 they debuted (apparently) Makisupa, during the (again, apparently) first time they were billed as Phish. Maybe they’ll homage that tonight. Probably not. Supposedly they played in ’87 on this date but who knows for sure since there is no setlist or recordings.

    In ’91 they were out west and played a largely average for the time show at a place called Chuy’s in Tempe, AZ. No real need to seek this one out, honestly.

    But then we come to ’94 and the free show they did in the band shell at UF in Gainesville, FL. This one is a keeper. Starts off with a fiery set highlighted by the CDT opener, the Stash-a-pult, and the Tela>Maze before we get to a second set full of gems. Runaway has a little gypsy queen to it, there is a real live full segue from bouncin’ to halley’s, and then YEM takes over the set. Along with the Vibe o’ Life sandwich’d in there you get an Another Bites the Dust jam (or is it Ice Ice Baby?!?) and some hot Mission Impossible action – this is what YEM was when it still had balls. And then before Page tinkles the ivories in the encore with a coil that will tug your heart we are treated with one of the most famous Hoods, the one which ended up on ALO. I definitely had that one on the ol’ ear cans on my route a time or ten.

    Two years later the band would be in Hartford, CT and wouldn’t you know it, they end up sharing the stage for the entire second set with a second drummer. Yeah, that guy Bob Gulotti graced the stage for this one and added some extra sauce to a solid set in a venue we shall be visiting within the week. Definitely one to check out.

    Lastly for now, we have ’10 and the first night of the two at UMass. Another of the “return to hallowed venues” much ballyhooed and perhaps over-expectation’d by the fanbase, this one sure looks good on paper if you are into the whole setlists-tell-the-story kind of thing. but we are not, so as we all know this one has its moments just as any other night. maybe just don’t ask that michigander at the ww booth what he thought about it, okay?

    and so tonight will write a new chapter in 10.23’s history for the band. let’s not put TOO much on the fact that it has been 19 years since they played this tiny town. or that the last time was a massive show that ran into the wee hours of the morning and produced one of the most memorable outings of their career up to that point. or that it set the bar for halloweens going forward. or that… hang on. I’m doing it. just enjoy it, people. at this point, it is all like getting mail on a saturday.

  12. Jeff Says:

    They had a day after Hampton to travel and “exhale.”. These guys are not 65 years old. Even after 3 nights dealing with that Chicago weather, they killed it in Toronto. Hell, they just had only the Colorado shows between the last 10 or so weeks so if they are already tired then that’s pathetic. They are human beings and one always has off nights in any profession. Blaming last night on “showing signs of their age and fatigue” is as wacky as most your reviews are….

  13. MiA Says:

    This is a really laid back YEM. Well played though.

    Parliament “Flashlight” teases by Mike at the end.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    your Glens Falls PSA for daytime phamily phun…

    Downtown Glens Falls public activities associated with the Phish concert on Wednesday

    * 9 a.m. on — Live radio broadcasts, grilled cheese sandwiches and “pretty much hanging out” at Fountain Square Outfitters at the intersection of Ridge and Glen streets;

    * Noon on — Live glass blowing demonstration at 42 Degrees at 22 Park Street, free

    * Noon on — Kat Walkerson and Mik Bondy of the band The Garcia Project will perform on the patio outside Downtown City Tavern at 21 Elm St., free

    * 2 p.m. on — Manifest Glassworks will host a pre-Phish art show at Aimie’s Dinner & Movie on Glen Street; regional band High Peaks will play at the theater’s Wallabee’s Jazz Bar, free

    * Post concert after party at Hot Shots Sports Bar on South Street, music by Twiddle and Mr. F, admission $5

    * Sandy’s Clam Bar on South Street will host a private after-concert party

  15. DryIceFactory Says:

    What do you mean they couldn’t hook up? They struck gold in that Light jam and even let it spill into Golden Age. There’s all types of improv, buddy and there’s no doubt in mind mind that they could have settled into a mind-melting 20 minute light. Trey saw an opportunity to do something fun and different with it, so he gave it a try. These guys can do whatever they want on any given night right now. They aren’t tired… Maybe you’re just the one whose getting old and tired and projecting? Any time you give a bad review, I just assume they must not have played Tweezer, Hood, Reba or Gin.

  16. Snigglebeach Says:

    Anyone else wonder why the smaller rooms don’t seem to get the love we all think is a no brainer.

    Sounds like this show joins the ranks of St Louis & Okl city as duds that were perceived as studs.

  17. Phantauzzo Says:

    I wasn’t so impressed after the show in part as I was expecting a bomb of a show in my hometown. But once I gave this show a close listen it starts to grow. I think the C&P>Light>Golden is the the definite highlight. What surprised me though was how tastey yet deliberate the riffs were. I think this is a good example of type 1 tightness and patience although I feel there are clear themes the band developed in Crosseyed.

    This is a new era for Phish and we never know what to expect and perhaps we are trying define the band using our prejudices of what we think 3.0 is all about. The band is evolving and not all evolution is progressive. There are detours on the way that in retrospect may reveal more than originally perceived.

  18. phlorida phan Says:

    Don’t be bad mouthing Bingo’s St. Louie show.

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Hey, Dry Ice is back….

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    St. Limb was a dud? Hmmm…

    Timber, MFmf, and Halfway is an evil little triplet.

  21. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Chuy’s was a great venue to see any live act in!

  22. BingosBrother Says:

    ::chest bumps pp::

    That’s the good stuff palmer. Personally, I’d have come back with something slightly stronger than a 6 minute Light, but hey, glad he’s back.

  23. vapebraham Says:

    nice aud. of 10.20.13 right here:

    http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=567658

    sorry to hear about rochester. couldn’t have been that bad. will listen later today.

  24. vapebraham Says:

    10.20.13 GA — just spun It again. $$$. churning ball of psychedelic groove.

  25. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    There’s a paraody of Hotel California waiting to be transcribed about this site.

    “You can check out nay time you like but you can never leave.”

    Hi Lurkers and Leavers.

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