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. butter Says:

    got a nice space cloud whaled out Split to go back west with!!!

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    oh robert walters is cool. A lot of people have seen him and don’t know it, he was/is in the Greyboy Allstars with Denson

  3. bob dylan Says:

    id be happier with a wordpress template than what they are running.

    hell, i’ll take the philzone template over what crap they’ve got.

  4. MrCompletely Says:

    me and the boys here could have a Bootstrap site up and running for em in no time

  5. butter Says:

    in the morning i pack up my gear and toss it in my carry all

    and fly back west

  6. bob dylan Says:

    you have any friends that can hack phish site and redirect to said stripped down version?

    when they find out they might appreciate it and thank us.

  7. snow Says:

    thanks for filling that out MrC. makes sense.

    agreed: If you are looking for playlist material, the bar is much higher. And people wanting shows with non-stop playlist material are going to be disappointed.

    people wanting to get down and go for a epic journey for a night – available at about 7 out of 10 shows right now.

  8. MrCompletely Says:

    to me the consistency critique is the one that can’t be argued. their batting average is a bit low. the home run shots keeping some fans happy but not all.

  9. jtran Says:

    just spun the twist jam

    very nice $$$

  10. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Re-Twisting now

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    Phish is the Adam Dunn of the psych rock world.

    Luongo creeps in only to get whammied. What up!

  12. Kaveh Says:

    Afternoon:

    Here are my two codes for Hampton3:

    481683316837
    722486899814

    Enjoy.

  13. Kaveh Says:

    anyone know how to deal with a .rar file on a mac?
    I can’t get it to extract anything.

  14. Spasm Waiter Says:

    I forgot about the cool slow descending melody Trey finds toward the end of Twist. Top shelf.

  15. buddysmyles Says:

    I awoke @ 4am singing Goodbye Yellowbrick road to my lady (no idea why)…

  16. ren Says:

    Hoping this next run is where Troy conveniently drops the whale…everything else will fall into place.

    Batting AVG at Woosta is pretty strong…time to turn the tide

  17. snow Says:

    agreed on consistency not being there. this is where my noobness is working in my favor… I’m just floored when they breakthrough. butter calling 2/5 as worthy makes that clear. oh well, fuck it. I’m having fun. thanks for the convo.

  18. plord Says:

    If the cover album is Goodbye Yellow Brick Road I hope the song that makes it into the rotation is Social Disease. Deep cuts yo. It is a phenomenal album, not sure I hear where the band is going to take it deep tho…

  19. bob dylan Says:

    Google has the apps you’re looking for @kaveh

  20. RoosterPizza Says:

    Thanks, kaveh

  21. ren Says:

    Thanks Kaveh!!! My quick fingers were able to grab one

  22. snow Says:

    @kaveh- sorry, but questions like that must be answered in this form
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=rar+file+mac

  23. ren Says:

    I knew it was smarter to go for the bottom code Rooster!

  24. plord Says:

    That descending lick in the Twist was cash money. I was curious to see if anyone would call it a MLBJ. It’s not, of course, but has that flava.

  25. MrCompletely Says:

    silly @plord don’t you know that anything that sounds remotely like a mind left body jam is, incontrovertibly, a mind left body jam? it’s logically inevitable since the classic version of the actual jam and the song it’s named after have only a vague and oblique relationship to begin with

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