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. willowed Says:

    Haven’t listened to any notes since my couch tour Friday. But I was very shwilly, so I don’t remember much from couch tour last Friday.

    I think I may go in fresh tomorrow.

    But this Tweezer GA Carini talk is making me crazy.

    No Tweezer No Carini make Willowed go crazy.

    You all should know where that’s from. First person who posts gets a shinny nickle.

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Extra ticket tonight anyone?

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:


    Kaveh- no haircut yet. Decide to go full on Wook-fro straight thru AC!

  4. bob dylan Says:

    i helped smiegel at work one day. friendly enough dude.

  5. MiA Says:

    I’ve seen Palmer’s pre-haircut look on Facebook. Very nice.

  6. MiA Says:

    Or Simpsons.

  7. phlorida phan Says:

    I thought it was the Simpson’s.

    All work and no play makes Homer a something something.

  8. phlorida phan Says:

    Guess my memory is more shot than I thought. Got the Simpson’s part right I guess.

  9. little umbrellas Says:

    “Don’t mind if I do!”

  10. Al Says:

    Official HD video of Hampton Carini here:

  11. little umbrellas Says:

    how about the Pink Floyd album post the actual Halloween album costume becomes a tradition….

    the show which follows 10/31 is a Floyd album… this way they can play a bunch of Floyd albums and not just Darkside.

  12. Fly Says:


  13. Al Says:

    If they played a Floyd Album I’d freak out. Animals or Wish you were here please. Bit still: Without a Net would be my fave.

  14. MiA Says:

    Yeah, that would be the ultimate ball kick. Come on’ Basement Tapes!

  15. dorn76 Says:

    I really dig Halfway to the Moon. Hypnotic bass line. Page is a pimp and all over Red in the songwriting department lately.

    Seems like some good playing sprinkled in last night amongst some very rough spots.

    Xeyed a keeper.

  16. dorn76 Says:

    It’s all good playing. Really referring to the song selection/energy when I say rough spots.

  17. BigDudeInTheDoorway Says:

    Animals or atom heart mother would be unreal. I like that idea of a harpua > Floyd album > harpua for every post Halloween show. I could definitely see them doing that too.

  18. little umbrellas Says:

    will they really cover their own album for Halloween…?
    Maybe the new album is not even a reality….?

  19. BigDudeInTheDoorway Says:

    1/2 way to the moon would be such a better slow contrast in energy song for 2nd set. Heavy things has no business being in the 2nd set.

  20. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I think it is a good possibility, LilUm.

  21. dorn76 Says:

    I don’t hear a ton of practice in this Timber….kinda hurting my ears.

  22. jerseyjim Says:

    Halfway to the Moon is growing on me…

    i like the how Page changes the lyric to “compass” but trey echoes “wallet”

  23. 4thDimension Says:

    difficult to jam well when you are being pelted by glowsticks. last nite was very bad in this respect. these people have families, stop throwing things at them. trey just shook his head. very disapointing. why can’t they make a PA announcement … these guys have families, kids, stop throwing objects at them

  24. Mr. Palmer Says:

    yuck- not a fan of this golden age…

    Looking forward to tonight…

  25. Vapebraham Says:

    Why is anyone throwing hard objects at the stage ? This is barbaric and mindless.

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