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”

  1. phlorida phan Says:

    I got you bro!

    Also there was many of hot chicks in Hampton, just need your dude blockers on! (Backing up MiA)

  2. shred Says:

    Gearing Up For Glens Falls.

    If you back out Sunday and Carini. We aren’t left with much….

    Summer started much stronger. Hope I am making the right call.

  3. jdub Says:

    Band is just recalibrating expectations. Don’t want people to get too excited. This way, when the roof blows every few shows, the payoff is bigger.

  4. dorn76 Says:

    If anyone needs a hotel in GF (Hampton Inn Lake George) shoot me a msg.

    Would be all yours, not shared.

    b d r L j M 1976 at G-male

  5. phlorida phan Says:


    ^not much left with, but my off the cuff highlight reel.

  6. Gratefulcub Says:

    Headed to Glen Falls for my first ever birthday show. My 40th trip around the sun is going to start off proper.

  7. dorn76 Says:

    Bingos doesn’t just high five, he gives CPR.

    “Chest Pump”.

    I lol’d.

  8. jdub Says:

    Glens Falls Roll Call.

    I’m in.

  9. jdub Says:

    Happy B-Day Gratefulcub! What a way to celebrate 40 trips.

  10. aj Says:

    Happy Birthday, Grateful Cub! May what is to come make the past 40 years seem like a calibration.

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    thephunion ‏@thephunion 3m
    After last night’s show, might be time start having the conversation about whether non-webcasted shows affect the band’s playing.

  12. RicksFork Says:


  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Best show of 2013 followed by the worst.

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Happy Birthday Cub.. See you in a couple of hours.

  15. shred Says:


  16. 4thDimension Says:

    Good review miner. Very fair general assessment although the timber my friend halfway was a nice suite and the xeyed light ga had some elevated moments that may have been undersold … Floor was way too crowded and yap heavy … Tonight is a lynchpin show

  17. 4thDimension Says:

    Still wondering about band trajectory regarding new material and jam creativity

  18. voopa Says:

    Did Trey have to switch guitars mid-YEM? Sound like he drops out for a while before the “Ba-da-da-dum. WEEEEEEEE!” part.

    Wilson opener tonight.

  19. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers…

    …I need some help from you all…looking into NYC for NYE; anyone has a solid, on the cheaper end of things, recommendation for a place to stay. Doesn’t need to be right on top of MSG either.

    If you want to email kjrahimi at yahoo dot com or just post here.

    Much appreciated!

  20. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    night one hampton has a bad rap. personally, i really enjoyed the twist, roggae, carini, and antelope. and while the set was numberline’d, the numberline had some punch to it- a pretty cool version.

    last night, well those nights happen- especially in 3.0. the only thing consistent about 3.0 phish is the inconsistency. i am sure it was a blast to be in the building. i’ve said this before: a mediocre phish show is still better than most other concerts. have fun in glenn falls!

  21. GhostPhunk Says:

    HBD cub, see you in a bit. Palmer, you doing woosta as well now?

  22. Kaveh Says:

    Happy Birthday, Grateful Cub!

    ^ Have a great day.

  23. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    i think i predicated that at least three or four new songs would be debuted- i may have been way off the mark with that prediction- four shows in and no new songs- however, there is still a lot of music to be played.

  24. marcoesq Says:

    Morning all. Maybe they just needed last night to fuel the burners for the next week and a half.

    Kaveh- Let’s talk. I have Diamond status with Hilton and can get you a Hilton, Hampton, Doubletree, etc room anywhere in the city for $379-$5,000. Some pretty close to MSG. You have my email.

  25. vapebraham Says:

    are they sick?

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