A Spectacle On the Shore

10.31.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

10.31.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

On Friday night in Atlantic City, Phish was at it again. Playing a scalding hot show to follow up Halloween, the band laid it all on the table with a performance defined by a thirty-year confidence and improvisational swagger. On Fall Tour of their 30th Anniversary year, the guys have synced up like never before, playing jams that are plucked from our dreams, and on this night, they dropped a “Twist” for the ages that we will be listening to for the rest of our lives. While the second set opener was certainly the centerpiece of the night, the show was rock solid through both sets, only suffering a minor song-based lull deep in the second. But even these late-set songs popped in a show where Phish slayed every single piece they touched from the first note through the encore—another precious night of music on a Fall Tour that is quickly making history.

11/1 Official (D.Mumford)

11/1 Official (D.Mumford)

One might have understood if the guys had come out with a mellow set after their marathon holiday show, but in fact the opposite happened—they came out en fuego. Kicking off a night with “Cavern,” an unsuspectingly great show opener, Phish sounded like they had never left the stage. The band picked up just where they had left off the night before, and laid into a second-song “Runaway Jim,” in which the guys got funky early on. In the bridge of the song, the band broke down the typically quiet section into a filthy groove, and Trey stepped to the mic with the lyrics from the theme of  “Shaft!” Shit was getting dirty and it was only the show’s second song. It was at this juncture that we all knew we were in for another quintessential night of Phish. The band then confirmed this notion by dropping a third-song “Sand!”

Usually when Phish plays “Sand” in the first set, it remains fairly succinct and to the point, but this one would be an aberration from the norm. Stretching out the piece into a scintillating groove fiesta that—momentarily—sounded like it might pop out of form, the band was letting loose on this opening frame with playing that sounded like it belonged after setbreak. Both “Halfway to the Moon” and “Halley’s Comet” were performed with authority, as Trey explained that the former would likely be a track on next year’s album. The band moved into their second consecutive throwdown out of “Halley’s Comet” (the last being Hartford’s “2001”), with a ferocious “Tube” that kept the energy of the room sky high.

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

The band nodded to its hot first set by playing Los Lobos’ “When the Circus Comes,” a song generally reserved for cooling down after particularly smoking interplay. Bustouts of “Sugar Shack” and “Jesus Left Chicago” preceded a superb “David Bowie” that served at the opening course’s final touch—and what a start it was!

But—Jesus Christ in the foothills—the “Twist” that opened the second set was simply out of this universe. The level of connection and communication displayed by Trey, Mike, Page and Fish was pushed to another dimension as they wove a majestic tale that leapt—immediately (as in before the set ended)—into the annals of Phish history. Like Jordan or LeBron, Phish has routinely transformed their weaknesses into strengths, and after “Twist” had fallen off the improvisational radar in the modern era, the band has brought the song back with a fury on this fall tour. On this night, they wove a quasi-medley of teases in “Twist,” as the band hit on “Banana Pudding” and Trey quoted The Beatles’ “Get Back” early in the jam, while landing in full blown jam on Queen’s “Under Pressure” late in the excursion. But holy shit, what came in between! Reaching a triumphant stride, the band converged on one of the most cathartic passages of music they have ever played. No fucking joke. Weaving magic out of thin air, Phish blasted into a majestic passage that needs to be heard by all to be believed. This was pure hose to the nth degree, and this segment elevated the room to dizzying—literally unbelievable—heights. The band came out of this magnificent section into the “Under Pressure” jam, and once they saw that through, they moved into music that sounded like the spiritual fallout of the explosive jaunt. Allowing the music to take its course, the band meandered in this milieu for some time, almost sounding like they might build back into “Twist’s” ending, but instead came to rest to a monumental ovation.

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

The band released from “Twist’s” phenomenal excursion by unveiling the first “Jibboo” of Fall Tour, and playing the living daylights out of it. Allowing their audience to get loose to far less cerebral music, everyone appreciated the groovy interlude in order to gather their marbles. Trey must be boning up on his strains, because his pun about smoking OG Kush “under his bush” in “Makisupa” became a running joke for the rest of the show. But first and foremost, the rhyme became the source of a tripped out and layered vocal jam in a heavily improvised version of the song. One could sense another jam vehicle lurking behind this bush, and when the song ended, the guys dropped into “Light.”

Spending a large portion of time juicing the composed jam, the band finally opened things up into some intricate grooves that saw Trey do work on rhythm guitar. This “Light” also featured a third segment that blossomed when the band seeped out of their groove into something more abstract. Patiently building this final segment, they wound their way—kind of abruptly­­—into “Chalk Dust.” And here’s where things got a tad songy. Trey next called for “Meatstick,” “Boogie On,” and “Wedge,” though the first two selections contained extra improvisational mustard.

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

Phish closed things out with a gorgeous “Slave to the Traffic Light” that fell somewhere stylistically between Hampton’s refined and delicate version and Hartford’s old-school shredder. And just when everyone was catching their breath and beginning to consider their first post-show move, the guys dropped a jammed out “Sneakin’ Sally” encore—with a reprise of the “Shaft” jam—on our exhausted domes! What a freakin’ treat—and a highlight, taboot.

These nights of Phish that we’ve been experiencing since Glens Falls has brought be back—in feeling—to my youngest days as a fan, teeming with excitement and bursting with enthusiasm. But now that we—as a community—are older and more evolved, these jaw-dropping nights of Phish take on such a greater poignancy. Special would be the understatement of the century; sacred is far more appropriate. And with one night left a Fall Tour that will go down in history, let’s all have a night to remember.

I: Cavern, Runaway Jim*, Sand, Halfway to the Moon, Halley’s Comet, Tube, When the Circus Comes, Sugar Shack, Jesus Just Left Chicago, David Bowie

II: Twist > Gotta Jibboo,  Makisupa Policeman, Light -> Chalk Dust Torture, Meatstick, Boogie On Reggae Woman, The Wedge, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley*

*w/ “Shaft” jam

Boardwalk Hall (Jake Silco)

Boardwalk Hall (Jake Silco)

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653 Responses to “A Spectacle On the Shore”

  1. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Mendo Purps yo

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    Are balls not always bareback? I guess if you’re small you could buy Magnums and cram the whole package in there

  3. Weekapaug Says:

    @ Mr. C
    I think I remember us thinking the band was reading this blog back in ’09 or ’10 and we/you came up with the idea of requesting a face melting Sparkle. So… if anyone in Phish’s camp is reading this, can you please tell them to give us a 20 minute Sparkle?!?! Thanks

  4. MrCompletely Says:

    Crosseyed > Tweezer > Mike’s > 2nd jam > FMS > Freakapaug (w/Super Freak jam)

  5. MrCompletely Says:

    I think that FMS idea originally came up when we were making fun of people with signs requesting absurd things?

  6. Weekapaug Says:

    Oh, that’s right. FMS. Yeah, and then Trey ended up coming out and throwing in his two cents about signs. Dedicated a song to the guy behind the sign. Classic

  7. Jerome Garcia Says:

    I can get behind that 2nd set

  8. Weekapaug Says:

    Hey, I have a quick off the subject question. I’m running a PC and somehow got my browsers high jacked with a Fastclick virus that will not allow me to click on a Google search without redirecting me to an advertised web page. Anti virus will not clean it. Any advise?

  9. MrCompletely Says:

    didn’t someone actually have a heavy things sign or something like that? something really ಠ_ಠ ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) ( ︶︿︶)_╭∩╮

  10. Weekapaug Says:

    I don’t remember what the sign read but I do remember seeing less signs for a bit.

  11. MrCompletely Says:

    if regular antivirus or the windows Malware Removal Tool doesn’t do it it’s not a regular Fastclick variant & that’s really all I know

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Resting up for the final round.

    Listening to last night set 2. That Twist was something else, huh?

    Such a fun place to see this band. A must visit for all Phans

  13. Weekapaug Says:

    Hmm. ok. I might need to use my phone to search for a solution. Thanks. It’s my first virus I’ve got on a PC in many years. And a free version of Microsoft Security is all I use.

  14. MrCompletely Says:

    family time, check you guys later. Might jump back on the webcast tonight but we really shouldn’t. Chemo is fucking expensive yo even with insurance & that long term disability 60% paycheck hurts too. First time we’ve had to really watch the $$$ in a few years so I feel weird complaining about it but there it is. Gotta try to be smart with the dollars for awhile. But with the run they’ve been on it’s tempting.

  15. MrCompletely Says:

    you know how to use the MRT from the Run menu? google that and do that first. MRT cleans out regular Fastclick virus.

  16. BingosBrother Says:


    Dedicated to the funky willowed video. Not only do they read us, they watch our videos.

  17. butter Says:

    funny micro moment last night, when the crowd didnt woo the first time in Twist when we usually do.

    woo X for the win. Trey gotta a big kick out of that too.

  18. Weekapaug Says:

    Have a great day Mr. C. Hope it all works out for ya.

  19. butter Says:

    lol’ing over here at whole package in a magnum @C

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    I always cram my balls btw. Anything less would be uncivilized.

  21. Gavinsdad Says:


  22. Fly Says:

    Anything less would be uncircumcised.

    Second set tonight: Fuego>Tweezer->Cool it Down>Mike’s>It’s Ice>Paug
    E: Lizards->Tweezer Reprise

  23. Gavinsdad Says:

    Ahhh! Fly you the best

  24. Gavinsdad Says:

    @spaz – right on

  25. Marcoesq Says:

    Amazing time last night. Great seeing everyone from the BB massive. My buddy loved his first show last night, just said he wants to see them again asap. TWIST!

    Officially out for tonight. Back in Philly and work duties call tonight and tomorrow. Everyone have a great time! BIG Tweezer looming

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