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)

Tags: , ,

653 Responses to “A Spectacle On the Shore”

  1. vapebraham Says:

    puff face tonight, BB.

  2. lumpyhead Says:

    someone get wallowed to the floor please. Paging willowed to the floor.

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    Willowed need to put on his Wooksuit and bribe the usher with a hetty crystal.

  4. vapebraham Says:

    one of the shreddier, better wedges you will ever hear. set II last night is $$$ all the way.

  5. vapebraham Says:

    respinning wingsuit the song. slow, but it feels good.

  6. xpun Says:

    Beautiful afternoon on the boardwalk. 2 hr walk, people watching, phish in the ears. Perfect time.

    Walk negated by the double cheeseburger and fries from boardwalk burgers. Gut bomb.

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    You need to drop that deuce in the middle of the dance floor xpun. A grumpy we will talk about the rest of our lives.

  8. phishm Says:

    @weekapaugh – Get your PC into safe mode with networking. I assume you are using Microsoft Security Essentials. If not try and get it downloaded and updated. Run a full scan on your system while in safe mode. That should do it.

  9. little umbrellas Says:

    reading back starting two Miner posts ago, phew..

    7:30 mark in last night’s Twist, shit is starting to get real.

    minute 10, synth bass time.

  10. 20 Minute Halleys Says:

    I remember one week ago thinking that, “Damn, I have a whole ‘nother week before this crazy ride ends!” Now, just moments from AC III, I cannot believe that it’s almost over. I cannot wait to start respinning this epic run!

  11. little umbrellas Says:

    reading all these disappointed posts from people as I read back. to those who are genuinely upset at Phish for what they did on Halloween:

    y’all are a bunch of Wombats!! 😉 … drop the expectations yo!

  12. 20 Minute Halleys Says:

    I gotta say, the vibe on the floor last night was one of pure JOY! Everyone just beaming with positive emotion. Then, Trey, semi-apologetic, and everyone near me looking at each other with a look like “aww, isn’t that cute.” Shows how humble these guys are.

  13. 20 Minute Halleys Says:

    Though, loved the “stop the woo’ing” ad in Phishbill! Another schvician tactic!

  14. 20 Minute Halleys Says:

    Phish should just become the resident band @ Boardwalk Hall, we can all move to AC, become black jack dealers and work the third shift! Phish, Eight nights a week! Why not, doesn’t Brittany do it in Vegas! JK

  15. 20 Minute Halleys Says:

    See y’all in side, MG OUT

  16. little umbrellas Says:

    this Twist is long, but I am not feelin it. Kinda mellow, Major’y, light funk, teases are clever and all…. not hating…. just probably not gonna neep to spin this one again.. kind of whateves…

    AC Carini up next hoping for some dark meat here!!!

  17. Fly Says:

    The Matrix is on AMC until showtime.

  18. little umbrellas Says:

    anti woo add amazing!
    555 was great.
    diggin this AC Carini so far!

    enjoy tonight!

  19. little umbrellas Says:

    Hey Voopa, glad to hear you’re feeling so good these days!

  20. Al Says:

    Watching the Halloween webcast as I type this. Their new tunes have something coldplayish. Listened to the first three so far.

  21. little umbrellas Says:

    hey Al! would you mind posting a link for the new album webcast?

  22. voopa Says:

    Thanks lum! Today was a great day, relatively. My wife’s rehabbing a dying music program in Stockton (1st year in a new district), and at today’s Band Review the kids got 1st place in jazz and parade…Mrs. V Rocks!

    Next week, we host the Band Review. Good thing there’s no phwebcasts then, I think I’m scheduled to announce the ever exciting field show competition. Maybe the parade too.

    T-minus 2 hours…

  23. voopa Says:

    Mr C- you have g-lectrons.

  24. little umbrellas Says:

    “I must say, thought that I am very glad that I did not spend a couple grand getting to Jersey to see it live”-Templeton

    > maybe this has to do with people’s expectations and why they get disappointed. I’ve never flown to see Phish. I don’t drop big money to go see bands. I am content to see my local shows and dig out the highlight from tour. only destination Phish i’ve ever done was the Gorge.

    Maybe people would be less angry with Phish if they weren’t spending money traveling around the country to see em….

  25. phishm Says:

    So, tomorrow at 8am I have a cutover replacing 2 3845 routers with ASR1002’s with an HPIO offload solution. I haven’t given any thought to the cutover as of yet other then the work I built into the plan build test. Very much contemplating taking it easy tonight and getting a good nights sleep. Then again it’s last show of tour and Saturday night. Decisions decisions. Being responsible sucks. I’m tired of it. Fuck it. Let’s party. Tonight goes big again. It has to.

Leave a Reply