Gee, It’s Good to be Back Home

10.22.13 Rochester (Jake Silco)

10.22.13 Rochester (Jake Silco)

Phish stepped into a room of legend on Wednesday night in Glens Falls, New York, and bounced back from their Tuesday night clunker with a fiery two-set performance. Leaving their rust in western New York, the band was on point from the get go on Wednesday, hitting Glens Falls in stride and treating the intimate 7,000 person audience to a high-octane mid-week performance.

10/23 Official (R.Kelly)

10/23 Official (R.Kelly)

When the band stepped foot in Glens Falls Civic Center—a room whose lone Phish show spawned their most popular holiday tradition—it was only appropriate to start right where they left of in 1994, with The Beatles “White Album.” Opening the show with the third-ever “Back in the USSR,” a song debuted in the same building 19 years ago (the other was 12.6.94), Phish quickly gave a nod to their seminal Halloween concert. Right away, one could tell Phish was a different band from the sluggish quartet that took the stage in Rochester. The guys sounded sharp, focused and enthusiastic from the jump, attacking their opening run of songs—including a popping version of “Undermind”—before truly igniting the show with a scorching, fifth-song “David Bowie.” Within the “Bowie” jam, the band illustrated a clear command over the music, displaying tight, full-band, tension-and-release jamming that was strewn with nuances and mini-peaks. Their willingness to take such a deep dive early in the show fully showcased the band’s confidence on this night in New York state.

The entire first set was comprised of tour debuts, less “Stealing Time,” and the fresh setlist got the crowd going early. One point of note—if only for a blazing set of blue balls—came in “Gumbo,” when Page took his final piano solo on clav and began to push it! Trey was even feeling it and hit a couple rhythms chords as accompaniment, but Fishman slowed down the backbeat and thus dissolved any shot of a jam. Also in the first set, the guys played a blazing version of “Limb by Limb,” featuring a wildy passionate solo by Trey.

10.22.13 (Jake Silco)

10.22.13 (Jake Silco)

Come the end of the set, the obvious choice seemed like “Antelope,” thus the band veered the other way and dropped an intense rendition of “Split Open and Melt.” So many times in this era, the band has gotten discombobulated during “Split,” often losing direction all together. But not last night as the guys remained notably coherent throughout this version. Even when the jam elevated to a space cloud and Captain Treyhab went on an intergalactic whaling mission, the band was able to return to earth and hit the ground running, tearing through the peak of “Split” with a fury and ending a very high quality, opening frame.

10.19.13 (J.Silco)

10.19.13 (J.Silco)

Tour’s first “Rock and Roll” opened Glens Falls’ main event, but things didn’t exactly go as one might expect. For the first time since tour’s first show, the band didn’t go huge on their second set opener, this time electing for a concise jam that seemed to end prematurely. As Fishman dropped into half-time, “Rock and Roll” seemed primed for take off, but before anyone could get their bearings straight, Trey strummed a signal to wind things down, and up came “Seven Below.” Phish allowed this second jam in the set to breathe considerably more than the first, as Trey took center stage with precise, six-string theatrics. Though this piece never moved too far from its theme, “Seven Below” gave the band the confidence they needed as a unit to dive into the centerpiece of the set—“Twist.”

On most nights, Phish places their largest improvisational effort on the second set opener, giving shows in which they do not, completely different contours. This show was weighted towards the back of the second set, as the two most impressive jams of the night were the final two—”Twist” and “Harry Hood.” During “Twist’s” contained jam, Trey bucked convention and set his sights much higher, speeding up the piece into wide-open territory. Where so many “Twists” have gone dark before, this one turned towards the heavens as the band opened the magic door to some awe-inspiring music. Locked in and playing as a single unit, the guys navigated a cathartic, uptempo jam for some time before hitting a change with which things turned ethereal and majestic. A extended down tempo segment in which the band played some truly sacred music provided the final piece of this melody-driven “Twist”—the shining gem of the night.

“Velvet Sea” bridged us to the second-place highlight of the show—“Harry Hood.” The throwback environs must have evoked something in Trey, because it had been quite a while since he laid into a “Hood” jam—and peak—like he did on this one. Moving from a plinko-esque beginning to a staggering end, this “Hood” is a must hear for any Phish purist. Trey’s exquisite playing throughout this version is enough to send shivers down any fan’s spine.

10.22.13 (Jake Silco)

10.22.13 (Jake Silco)

Following a surprise “Chalk Dust” closer, Phish brought things full circle, playing for an encore, the one song from the “White Album” that remained in Phish’s repertoire—”While My Guitar Gently Weeps”—a move, in and of itself, that spawned a tradition. As we move to Worcester, and tour’s halfway point, we have begun to see the development of a legitimate Fall run of shows. The band has been on fire every night less one, and each of those shows has produced a timeless piece of creative Phish—“Carini,” “Ghost,” “Tweezer” and “Twist.” What will come next is anybody’s guess, but if I were in a few hundred mile radius of New England this weekend, I’d make it a point to get to Worcester and Hartford to find out.

I: Back in the U.S.S.R., Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Water in the Sky, Undermind, David Bowie, Golgi Apparatus, Gumbo, Yarmouth Road, Camel Walk, Horn, Limb By Limb, I Didn’t Know, Split Open and Melt

II: Rock and Roll > Seven Below, Alaska, Twist > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Harry Hood, Chalk Dust Torture

E: While My Guitar Gently Weeps

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1,299 Responses to “Gee, It’s Good to be Back Home”

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  1. Luther T. Justice Says:

    Nice! Thanks Miner!

  2. MiA Says:

    Great writeup. Very nice that so nice that so many BB’ers were able to get in. Sumo!

  3. MiA Says:

    I’m really impressed by the non-repeats. Seems the band wants to go through their whole catalog. I was hoping that.

  4. ToddV Says:

    Thanks. Twist sounds like my kinda thing as well as the Split. But I think you meant spawned, not spurned.

  5. BooVT Says:

    Nice review, once again, MM.
    “Captain Treyhab” – awesome.

  6. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Great catch @todd.
    Thx Miner. Fun from the couch. Funny, in 94 that room didn’t seem large…

  7. RicksFork Says:

    Well said Miner. Had a blast last night, can’t wait for tomorrow!

  8. In Flagrant Delicto Says:

    Worcester and Hartford are going to be off the chain.

  9. buddysmyles Says:

    I just procured $105 worth of Heady Toppers & some coco-mushies… Ready to go Deep this wknd & i hope the boys do too! See ya in Whoo-stah

  10. Dez Says:

    Enough with the bashing the Rochester show….we get it….you didn’t like it….move on!

  11. Dale Gribble Says:

    Can we agree that only asshats throw glow sticks at the band?
    I was sitting top Row Mike side and watch Trey get pelted in the chest with a glow stick!
    The band will not reward us with good tours if we treat them like targets.

    And the dude standing behind me who kept screeming “whoooooo”.
    This is not Dio your watching, take it elsewhere!

    The show was a good show.
    1st set was reggae-ish and had ups and downs.
    The second set was well played. They explored each song!

    Good show, not epic!

  12. mindleftbody Says:

    The Twist was the highlight for myself. They brought everything to a halt mid-jam, and Trey started playing some very gentle notes which seagued into an almost mind left body type chord progression jam. THAT was heaven. Thanks to everyone!

  13. jdub Says:

    A full 1st review! That can only mean good things. Nice review Miner.

    You know it’s going to be a good night when you get Undermind>Bowie early in the 1st set. Everything seemed to click from there.

  14. btb Says:

    Heady Topper > 2nd Set Alaska

  15. ren Says:

    Glad it was a good one!

    Primed and ready for this weekend!!! Wondering which night at Woosta is the GO BIG night…..I’m thinking Friday??? Cool it down a bit Sat and then crush Sunday? I’m also intrigued about what they will bring due to current song selections/tour contour etc.

    MiA is not only a wookette whisperer, apparently he has a crystal ball too. Maybe I get to say hi to Reba for him this weekend.

  16. Spasm Waiter Says:

    I like the sound of Worcester Reba. Man they seem to like that venue. Should produce some great highlights. Perfect little town for the Phish.

  17. Nagarjuna Says:

    “Captain Treyhab” = $$$

    Not a huge 3.0 fan myself but decided to check the webcast last night with my 8 year old son. We both rocked out thoroughly and I had give a long tutorial on the nature of “improvisation” after that Bowie – he had some questions! He went to sleep at set break so I could go to church with that Twist, which Miner rightly called sacred. (Tightly juxtaposed with the profane in a second set Alaska, which MM so generously chose not to mention, but all is forgiven on nights like last night.)

  18. neemor Says:

    “This is not Dio your watching, take it elsewhere!”

    Good times last night.
    Thanks guys.

  19. BingosBrother Says:

    Intergalactic whaling mission ftw.

  20. aj Says:


  21. Dale Gribble Says:

    I liked Alaska,
    I thought it was bluesy and they jammed it nicely.
    is it a second set killer, no!
    but next time Trey asks any of our suggestion for setlist, I am sure we will tell him to replace it with Reba!

  22. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers…

    ….webcast Set II last night…decent opening RnR->Seven Below. Set II was a good; I think Hampton2 is a stronger show or at least on par with this one.

  23. Kaveh Says:

    I am a HUGE fan of the video on demand…firing up Set I from last night.

  24. ren Says:

    Twist cued up right now….oh yeah

  25. neemor Says:

    Undermind and Gumbo flirted with genius in the first stanza.
    Yarmouth Road vocals are rough on these ears. I said last night that Mike can have either Sugar Shack or Yarmouth Road, but not both. Similar infectious leads by Trey, a nice hook, some syrupy beats.
    Thoroughly enjoyed I Didn’t Know and Melt placed my jaw on the floor.
    A few things did last night.
    RNR>Seven Below made me think of the Tweezer>Golden Age in that it felt like the band wants to create a fully-realized one/two punch out of the gates.
    This one didn’t reach the heights of that T>GA but had similar rock then funk pairing. If that makes sense to anyone.
    Twist is why we keep coming back. Push, push, explore>Payoff.
    Good times.
    Miracled Fri and Sat and Sun was already in the cards so it’s going to be a fun weekend. See you guys on the road.
    Thanks sumo.
    In a big way.

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