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. Vapebraham Says:

    Velvet sea. Could see that comin from a mile away. Cuddle.

  2. Spasm Waiter Says:

    That crushed

  3. phishm Says:

    I hope Trey whales the shit out of this.

  4. Vapebraham Says:

    Twist has always been my boy. Nice to see it flip lids. $$$.

  5. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Velvetta FTW… great tune.

  6. bob dylan Says:

    damn that twist was nice

  7. MiA Says:

    MrsMiA likes this set. Minus the Alaska.

  8. Slicksasquatch Says:

    It should twist this way

  9. Vapebraham Says:

    Alaska was a sick joke.

  10. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Alaska Great place to visit, just not during a phish show.

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Polar opposite of a Cincy Twist.. what makes them the best

  12. little umbrellas Says:

    Cuddle Twist goes boom!
    jazzy funky loose jam to get it going. very cuddle center. but the cuddle expanded. depth. Twist ftw

    though another one where once they achieved the idea they where ready to move on. I could probably listen to the last bit of the twist for a good while.

  13. MiA Says:

    Twist and Velvet Seas have been in sets together for a long time. No coincidence.

  14. phlorida phan Says:

    I always hate when alsaka starts, but by the end im ok with it. Same with velvetta

  15. little umbrellas Says:

    cinci polar glenn. mos def. two sides to the coin.

  16. [an unrelated] wilson Says:

    Nailed the crescendo there.

  17. little umbrellas Says:

    ok, so you’re Trey, you’ve already brought out the first three big numbers of the set, they’ve gone however they’ve gone, your just wrapping up your poignant breather tune. what do you play?

  18. little umbrellas Says:


  19. PigSong Says:

    Time and space provides. This set is killing it for me.

    btw, having a hard time with new avatars. Keep reading MiA as BK and Vapebra as Silly..


    Carry on..

  20. Vapebraham Says:

    Time to crush another hood.

  21. bobby weird Says:

    Hows the show?

    Ive seen better defense in Little League than from this STL Cards WS team. Never seen anything quite like it.

  22. voopa Says:


  23. snow Says:

    my stream struggled through the twist peak. otherwise awesome.

  24. little umbrellas Says:

    tight high energy first set with an Out ending!
    preps the scene for…
    all in all, a very blissful and cuddly night of enjoyable trip music.

  25. bobby weird Says:

    Cool LM, thanks!

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