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”

  1. snow Says:

    @stoney just keep telling yourself that homie. whatever gets you through the night…

    From the kitchen/living room – I thought the show was great by 3.0 stds. There was interesting play in almost every song and several got nice shots of improve with Twist/Veleveta/Hood getting down to srsbzns. When you add the context of the venue it must have been a peak experience. Glad to hear the #BB was well represented.

    vibes sumo! stand strong. you’re a good man.

  2. bob dylan Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d2DQlP3wSE

    ^lookie what i found! furthur whole show from msg 2010. buddy and i left our faces on the floor of this one. had to go to the 400s behind stage for some of the second set to handle ourselves. epic memories in that room. wish they didn’t gut its soul.

  3. Stoney Case Says:

    Best 1st set of 2013 = not saying much.

    Better than

    MPP2?
    Gorge 1 or 2?
    BGCA 1?
    Dicks?

  4. SOAM Says:

    loved mpp 2….brents best song is blow away by a mile, imo

  5. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I’m with SOAM. Blow away fan

  6. Stoney Case Says:

    Snow you’re kidding right? I’m sleeping like a champ. I’m a phish junkie. I want to feel pain for missing fall tour in tiny hockey sheds. I feel no pain. I’m ready.

  7. snow Says:

    @stoney – I’m not a comparison guy. I think the accounting is getting skewed if you are just going off the Miner’s reviews. He is unabashedly big jam focused and there is way more than that going on in these shows.

    I have not listened to Rochester but H1 and H3 sets 2 were are good as Gorge2 IMO. H1 has nary a lull with a gorgeous Roggae and an epic Carini. H3 has an all time contender in the TweezerAgePiper.

    yes, there have not been any 36minute jams within one song. But anybody who has been locked-in at these shows has had a hell of ride. I don’t know what else people want? Is it just about the most epic show ever? Then what do we do?

  8. MrCompletely Says:

    I heard it (Blow Away) too much, perhaps. Don’t like that keyboard sound he plays on the main riff. The ending goes on too long when you’ve seen the rap a few times. Might be nitpicking, probably am. I was at pretty much all the versions people call out as keepers and always enjoyed it live.

    Here is a pretty great impromptu acoustic guitar version by Damia Timoner https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPt_j23EVzk&list=TL2FDJ2Br1wHkKclncYX7AYTcx666qs9tF has a couple slips in it, but for a spontaneous arrangement it’s pretty great

    he also does a nice Loser and an absolutely fantastic Cassidy – plus wish you were here and lots of other good things

  9. dorn76 Says:

    It’s only ok to fluff last night, Stoney.

    Keep up.

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    here’s the Cassidy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piwJYab7idk that’s how clean his work is when he’s had a chance to polish it.

  11. butter Says:

    amazing night with the Phish, Gavinsdad, Treasure & Miner to name a few of the implicated suspects

    WHEW, I WOULDNT TWIST AROUND THAT WAY

    morning kids

    headed back west, upstate NY is pretty chill. lotsa Fall color change to take in. Glens Falls is a tiny tiny town, and its like the show was in a high school gym

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    well, when everyone in the room says one thing and all the non fluffers are on couchtour or next day playback that says quite a bit actually

    however, I get where Stoney is coming from – his point is a larger one, not so much about a given show in particular as the overall State Of The Band

  13. Gavinsdad Says:

    I am at rest area. Listened to all of set one. Amazing that the app cut Bowie twice (!!). Great bit of flourish at the end of Yarmouth (kid u not). The LxL is very worth your time. Bit of a lag the Yarmouth/camel walk section

    Thru rock and -7. I’d focus on the quality of the playing overall very clearly locked up in the RNR. Nice and spicy. Feel like this sustained energy was there in some quantifiable way from ussr on…I was very influenced my the intimacy factor last nite…that would be an element that’s tough to “feel” on cast or playback.

    Looking forward to Twist etc.

    Powerful fun show from my end.

  14. Gavinsdad Says:

    Kinda pissy the app is cockblocking this Bowie.

  15. butter Says:

    when Camel Walk is psychedelic i always know where in for a long night

  16. MrCompletely Says:

    also so much depends on how you feel about the elephant in the room, which is a whale, of course

    well, time to dial it up on LP and actually have an opinion

  17. Gavinsdad Says:

    And the split was not the best rather extremely “melty”…the kind where the playing “falls apart” in the deconstruct-y way…fit the vibe of the room real well.

    Floor was soupy…kids going for it.

  18. snow Says:

    @C- so your first point is that people in the room are loving and those non-fluffers not in the room are not loving – so that is evidence that those in the room are fluffing? Is that right?

    I don’t even know where to start with the state of the band point. do you mean that there is something tentative overall to the playing? can you paraphrase what you think stoney’s point is?

    Also C, you have have been on the couch all year. What say you? Do you feel the playing is holding from late summer tour?

  19. Gavinsdad Says:

    Sorry for all the posts…sometimes it’s very refreshing to listen to a set straight thru…solo drives always the best set up for that.

  20. snow Says:

    For sure – if the elephant grinds, I get not liking in subjectively. objectively I would think one would still see the creativity on display.

  21. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Dig the write up Miner. Garcia. Glad everyone had a great time in the room & casting. Looking fwd to spinning the rest of 1st from Bowie on & 2nd frame. You kids made some good calls ystdy MiA esp. Disappointed wasn’t able to cast last nt. Enjoyed some of Lukas’ mixlr hook up – thanks bro! All in on AC custy cast.

    Pg 4 @Palmer I’ll be there Fri Sat & Sun in Htown.

  22. Spasm Waiter Says:

    @AJ- Extremely compelling argument for Elton John. Seems like a lock almost. May have to give that record a good listen so I am edumacated…

  23. aj Says:

    Please note this is NOT my argument, it is a friends, and she is wise (hi kaitlin!)

  24. aj Says:

    Please note this is NOT my argument, it is a friends, and she is wise (hi kaitlin!)

  25. bob dylan Says:

    main thing i miss about not having a car is listening to shows all the way thru and just cruising.

    buddy brought me a pliny. stand up guy i tell ya. lets me crash on his couch for a month and then brings me pliny. i owe this guy a medal.

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