…And That’s a Wrap

11.2.13 (Jake Silco)

11.2.13 (Jake Silco)

Phish punctuated their best tour of the modern era on Saturday, playing a hot show in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall—a room that gained a ton of all-time stature in band history this past weekend. Though Saturday’ night’s jams didn’t quite elevate to the levels we saw in AC’s first two shows, the guys still put on an incredibly fun and entertaining performance that had significant highlights in both sets. To cap a historic weekend, the guys threw an end-of-tour party that served as a celebration of all that has transpired over the past, magical fortnight.

11/2 Official (D.Mumford)

11/2 Official (D.Mumford)

After two balls-out performances, Phish opened up Saturday’s show with a conventional run of songs, beginning with a “Wilson” opener and carrying through a sixth-song “Funky Bitch.” But when the band started up “46 Days,” the vibe of the show turned on a dime. Playing a heat-seeking version of the blues-rocker, Phish injected all sorts of energy into their audience while elevating the musicality of the show in an instant. What happened next, however—in the middle of the first set—was my highlight of the entire show.

Just as the band was wrapping up “Theme From the Bottom,” Page began hitting a rhythm on his clav, and his bandmates caught on in an instant. Trey assumed his role of groove conductor on rhythm guitar, while Fish and Mike formed an instant pocket, transforming the concert into Dance Party USA. We all hopped in the DeLorean and set the date to 1998, and when we arrived at our destination, the band threw down a quintessential late-90’s funk jam that was laced with humor, taboot. Spinning the room like a gyroscope, the band locked into a groove and immediately set the show afire. This jam would be the most hooked up the band was all night, as the funk was deep as all get out. Over this crack groove, Trey began a stand-up comedy routine, asking Fish who his least favorite president and second least favorite president were, and what his favorite beer was, to all three of which  Fish answered “Bush.” Reprising the antics from Friday’s “kush under my bush” version of “Makisupa,” the guys engaged in a classicly Phishy maneuver as they blew our minds and busted our guts simultaneously.

11.2.13 (A.Nusinov)

11.2.13 (A.Nusinov)

The first set had caught fire at it’s halfway point, and the band’s momentum carried right through the end of the frame. Gordon’s “Yarmouth Road” and a tight “Limb by Limb” set the table for a ferocious set-closing “Mike’s Groove” that popped on both sides of a “Hydrogen” connector. With one set left to go in tour, things seemed lined up for another huge frame of Phish.

When the dust settled on the main event, however, the band had clearly given it their all, but their jams didn’t quite get “there” throughout the second set—a solid frame of B+ Phish. This is not to knock what happened, as the Saturday’s set was very enjoyable, but, rather to differentiate Sunday’s second set from the monumental improvisation to which we have bore witness this tour. The band was not sloppy at all, they just weren’t as cosmically hooked up as they have been since Glens Falls. Let’s check out what happened.

The band selected “Down With Disease” to open the second set for the second time in four shows, using their anthem as a way to bid adieu to the road for the time being. Fishman maintained a driving rhythm throughout most of this set-opening jam, lending a upbeat vibe to the entire piece. The guys found their way into a couple interesting places, but, as previously mentioned, when this “Disease” ended, it never had reached the sacred ground we have been experiencing on a nightly basis this fall. Instead, the jam plateaued at a certain, melody-anchored, point, and when Trey felt like it was time, the band dissolved into “Piper.”

11.2.13 (George Estreich)

11.2.13 (George Estreich)

Something happened during “Piper” that proves—beyond all else—that Trey is the true motivating factor behind the “Woo!” As the band hit a break in a full-steam version, part of the audience let out a meager “Woo!” Before anyone knew it, Trey took the cue from his congregation and formed a stop/start jam to facilitate crowd participation. But if this musical gesture wasn’t enough to prove his love for the “Woo,” at one of these breaks, Trey enthusiastically instructed the audience to “Take off your patches!” This was in reference to a comical ad in Halloween’s Phishbill for “Woo-x,” patches to help fans curb their addiction to and urge to “Woo!” Thus Trey’s move came as pure comedy—kind of. When this short but fiery “Piper” jam came to a close, the band exhaled via “Roggae.”

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

One could feel the oncoming “Tweezer,” as the band didn’t have many central jam vehicles left to play. Instead of dropping right into their gooey launchpad, however, Trey elected to set the table with a gorgeous mid-set “Waves.” Though the guys would leave their jamming for “Tweezer,” Trey unleashed a poignant guitar solo in the post-hiatus piece that whispered to our souls. As the band hit the “On the wind and under water” refrain, Trey dripped in the opening lick to “Tweezer,” a move that brought a roar from the crowd and ushered in the last jam of Fall 2013.

Dialing in their efforts, Phish engaged in a proficient groove outing that provided us a final opportunity to let loose on the dance floor. Though this version wouldn’t morph into transcendence like Tahoe’s, Hampton’s or Hartford’s, it certainly served its purpose as the dance centerpiece of the second set and whipped the audience into a liquid frenzy. After the jam’s initial groove segment, it meandered for a few, before the guys locked into a latter segment of more eclectic—though still rhythmically focused—interplay. When the band settled, seemingly having expressed the totality of their ideas, Trey made the move for “Julius.”

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

Rocking renditions of “Julius” and “Number Line” brought the set to its set closing slot, and if I were a betting man, I’d have wagered a fair chunk of change on a tour-ending “You Enjoy Myself.” But instead, Trey made a left turn for “Character Zero,” a move that he made summer to punctuate huge musical events. And Atlantic City’s three-night run was most certainly a gargantuan musical event in the Phish universe.

Over this fall tour, Phish has hooked up in a way we haven’t seen in over a decade, and the musical results have been nothing short of staggering. Bringing the goods on a nightly basis, Phish tour has developed a buzz that it hasn’t had since the late-90’s. Everyone—the band members and audience, alike—have been living the dream the way it’s supposed to go. At this point, the story of our Vermont super-heroes has totally course-corrected in a way few ever thought possible. Not only has Phish been jamming like at no point in this era, but they hit the “Reset” button in a huge way over the weekend with a slate of new songs that will pave the way for the years to come. As the band steps into the studio this week with the momentum and magic from an unforgettable tour in tow, I think we are bound to see one of the greatest—if not the best—studio efforts of their career. And when they emerge in a couple of months at Madison Square Garden, I suspect we will experience a full-annihilation Holiday Run like none in the modern era. Though the past five years since 2009 have been an incredible journey, the payoff for our work and dedication has finally arrived. Fall 2013 will go down in history as one of the most prolific tours in the band’s career, with its duration being its only limiting factor. The music is better than ever and light is still growing ever brighter now. It’s a good time to be a Phish fan.

I: Wilson, Rift, Ocelot, Water in the Sky, Sample in a Jar, Funky Bitch, 46 Days, Theme From the Bottom*, Yarmouth Road, Limb By Limb, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

II: Down with Disease > Piper > Roggae, Waves > Tweezer > Julius, Backwards Down the Number Line, Character Zero

E: Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise

* “Shaft” jam

Atlantic City (Jake Silco)

Atlantic City (Jake Silco)

2,223 Responses to “…And That’s a Wrap”

  1. jdub Says:

    I used to think the slinky martian jam at the end of Went Simple was some seriously creative Phish. Then while listening with my wife in the car once, she pointed out it was The Odd Couple theme song. Slick little ditty it is.

  2. Gavinsdad Says:

    Rememeber: loud volume is your friend when you listen to the AC shows. You don’t have to be in the bldg.

    Thanks for the reportage and vibes as always Miner.

  3. Gavinsdad Says:

    And on my end for the past 4 years I’ve had the inability to separate the fun I’ve had dancing to the quality of the actually shows. In my Phish going life those 2 things are inextricably tied together.

    But u knew this 🙂

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    I was very distracted at pnc and mpp 1/2 because I couldn’t find the “perfect spot”…some shows I just have to watch and appreciate from that viewpoint. I will try this if, by chance, I can make a nye run show since MSG has tweaked it’s “gavinsdad ergonomics”.

    Gonna dl AC shows in a bit here and get to job searching wah wahh

  5. MiA Says:

    I’ve kinda always loved the groove led jams. Fell into something last night. Listened to the show just focusing on Mike.

    Not sure what happened in the first set of Saturday, but on relisten, Mike doesn’t leap out in many of the jams. Even Weekapaug, it sounds to me like Mike is along for the ride. Watching he even looked a little separated and feeling left out.

    After the “Tears of a clown” tease, Mike seemed to have high spirits. The Disease jam, with Trey laying back, Mike and Fishman completely hook up. Maybe not what Miner’s looking for in a peak, but there is an unquestionable point where suddenly Page leaps in, and moves from Clav to Piano and one

    Trey is on board, Boom. Trey leaps in, magic happens (for me) and in reflection of Mike’s B’day show at DTE, the jam revisits happy times and Mije is more engaged than any other time in the show.

    Trey stepping back from lead into the groove gives Mike the room to really stand out without ice-9 bombs. As a Mike fan, glad to see him get “out if his funk” and into the funk.

    Just thinking…

  6. Gavinsdad Says:

    Finally, to the lurker I met very late Friday nite. Great chatting with u. You gave me quite a bit of perspective to be honest, more than you would know. Same w your husband. Very much appreciated and hope our paths cross again.

  7. MiA Says:

    iPhone likes mije instead of Mike. Sheesh

  8. Gavinsdad Says:

    Keeping hogging here:

    Community is excellent. One of the perks:

    – a simple brunch w Willowed Palmer xpun and revise

    – an art show of Phan Art with folks selling their wares and running into one of Bob Dylan’s friends

    – a walk with xpun down the boardwalk and bumping into AE and his new baby

    – seeing Ren and his wife on the beer/pretzel line before nite 3. Getting hugged.

    These little things add up. Lots of love to the BB in all it’s permutations.

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Off to two parent /teacher conferences. Should be fun.

    Catch up in a bit.

    Agree gdad-great weekend. Lots of solid folks makes this even more fun.

    Willowed and I kept running into Gordo on the Boardwalk. So proud to see no one bother him while with his kids.

  10. jdub Says:

    Couldn’t agree more @Gavinsdad. The BB made my 4 shows exponentially more enjoyable. Everywhere I turned there were familiar faces and warm smiles. It has become family here.

    Whether it is sharing dance space, a long drive, post show decompression time, a hotel room, a set break conversation, a pre game meal, or even a place to crash in ones home. I probably wouldn’t have hit half the shows I did in this era if not for BB phamily. I’ve backed down from discussing the music too much because it is way too subjective and I don’t know enough of the nuances but I’ll always come back. Love the back and forth. Some smart people here.

    Besides, Miner does the best job of providing up to the minute tour coverage on the net. No one delivers as consistently and with as much verve. Tons of respect for him.

  11. mmmhmm Says:

    Miner gracias for another tour of great writeups!

  12. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    “56 days just long enough for them to get a little rusty, fortunately it only takes them 3 or 4 shows to warm up”
    ^
    Yes, however with their stated intention of stepping into the studio to workout the new material a lay down an album. I think the rust is not going to be as prevalent as in past off-seasons.

  13. Jamreveler Says:

    Miner you’ve made 3.0 a joy…. couldn’t agree more that we’re all enjoying the born fruit of the bands and fans commitments. Looking forward to spinning this fall back again and again in the coming weeks. Phish feels like Phish again. to quote my other fave band “listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul”

  14. Marcoesq Says:

    Twist

    twist

    TWIST

    good god almghty. love it

  15. Marcoesq Says:

    Great seeing everyone this weekend and meeting new BB’ers. Could only end up making Friday but what a show I managed to catch. Great 2 weeks, think we all got our fill.

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Worlds colliding…

    http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24171214/audio-phish-wrote-a-song-about-memphis-darius-washington-jr

  17. dusty Says:

    honestly for me, the BB is what helped me return to enjoying ph shows after I did the jaded bail. I will always be grateful to Miner for taking the time to create such a special community. thank you.

    What a fun tour. Very special one for me. I enjoyed the Worc/Hartford run the best. Worc/GF for best crowd energy. I was completely showber for whole tour, danced my ass off and elevated energy around me at all shows besides AC. There was this guy in the family page pocket named booty, kicking the large man raging L dance. Reminded me of the greek. Something about the old skool kinda drunken deadhead L rage that I don’t miss at all.

    Sound in AC kinda sucked. I noticed a delay this year, but basically everything in seats behind that delay was washed out. Enjoyed the Mike’s funk throw down in the upper corner of the building. Some really fun nooks and crannies in that place. Thanks DJ LL Kool kitty, that memory will be brain burned without any help.

    People in the NE huff gas everywhere in public but are afraid to get high. Get your fucking priorities in order people. Waldo st. is a bomb of a fakedown. I saw multiple cops getting greased cash in hand. Hella gas, and I lived in philly.

  18. phoammhead Says:

    ditto MrMiner for bringing IT night after night … really strong drops all tour … thank you!

    great times seeing again, meeting for 1st time – getting to know many BBers … elevates this game of phish exponentially … thank you all!

  19. gavinsdad Says:

    12:02 in that twist is the inkling where that puppy would go…fantastic blissed out elevation…then into the vanilla ice > under pressure goofiness. so rad.

  20. gavinsdad Says:

    at 13:40 in the AC twist in my head i was like, “i just personally experienced something as good as the star lake mlt” from a bliss/personal raging satisfaction standpoint. i know i know but still…fucking awesome peak there.

  21. RoosterPizza Says:

    Just starting to be able to enjoy the music from fall run. I was really bent out of shape and embarrassed all week about missing DCU and Hartford shows, especially after many people generously made arrangements for me. I am happy to hear that a lot of good people got to catch a lot of good music. I really wanted to get away from my research, but, despite packing my bags twice, I couldn’t do it…

  22. RoosterPizza Says:

    To the positive side of things, it was great to see good people (new and old) at Glens Falls. Can’t argue with a Bowie in the 5 spot of the first set. Split and Twist also definitely carried their weight.

  23. Underlurker Says:

    Yeah, that Twist. Can’t get the Pettyish Jamming Me segment out of my head. Must have been unreal in the room.

  24. RoosterPizza Says:

    Split is the one that has really hit me on replay the last few days. That thing stalls my brain out.

  25. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers…

Leave a Reply