…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. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Good morning fLegionaires. Hope all in AC & that made shows on Fall Tour are well satiated & soul satisfied. & I sincerely hope that are pleased w/ the current state of Phishdom & all the promise that the future holds. Wingsuit was straight up ballsy & I think a proliferation of the unique bond btwn Phish & their fanbase. Where else could this have happened? Bodes well for the future. As in the boys are commited to making meaningful new music & all of us being able to enjoy some live exciting Phish a few times or a more a yr for yrs to come. As someone who really just started seeing listening & digesting Phish in 3.0 I for one am extremely jazzed & grateful for the current status.

    Lots of listening & disecting to be done over the next 8 or so wks until NYE @ MehSG. Maybe this yr it won’t be so Meh. & as Slick said in the last post time to take NYE back to Miami 😉

    Once again Thank You Mr Miner Thank You BB Massive & of course Thank You Phish.

  2. btb Says:

    relistened a few times to this Wingsuit set

    Man, I’m finding it hard to get excited about these tunes. Trey saying they wrote 25 songs has me hoping they have some other worthwhile material. New PH is always hard to digest though. 3-4 keepers IMO.

    “lyrically, people just don’t seem to get it” – Todd

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Twisty… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BMiZasfANE

  4. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Have faith btb. Always take a little while to warm up to something as new as Wingsuit. Just give it time & let them breath on stage. Lots to be excited about on a larger scale.

    & unless Stanford takes down Oregon & FSU simply forgets to get off the bus looks like OSU will be on the outside looking in. Too bad really. Wish the B10 had more depth. However after watching MSU’s def against UM could make for a good B10 Chmp game in early Dec.

  5. Jerome Garcia Says:

    ^but agreed that out of the 12 there are a Jerry Garcia handful ie +/- 4.5 that will be keepers.

  6. ren Says:

    Morning Crew!!!

    Back in Babylon picking up the pieces are a phenomenal RUN!!!!! The weekend was desne with stimuli in so many ways….and as usual is going to take some time to process and fully absorb. Haven’t even really begun to dig into any Fall respins yet….except for a whole lot of Wombatting over the past few days.

    The music was great, the venue was great, Caesars was great….the list just continues. Had great 200 level seats looking dead on for Halloween and had a tough time being mobile that night. Spent the next night raging with the BB on the floor….and boy does it start to spoil you! Really enjoyed finally meeting some of you (Phooaaam&BEK, Revise, Willowed and Gdad….I’m sure I’m forgetting some…turns out I danced next to Palmer for a whole night and never actually met!) Bummed I never got to connect with Dorn as well….so much going on. 3rd night on the floor spent 2/3 of the show about 15 ft from Mike which was a treat. Also got to connect my usual suspects crew with some BB members which was fun as well. Lumpy made a great companion for pretty much the whole run….bodes well for the future of our community.

    Finally took a ride on the ol’e VEHICLE again!!!!! Very glad I did and was able to share the experience with Mrs. Ren for her 1st time. One of those just kind of happened moments on Halloween. I enetered the show pretty well dialed in on my usual concotion. Somewhere around the end of the 2nd set/going into the 3rd I made the acquantince of a very mellowed out individual in what I thought at the moment to be a bear costume (clearly a wombat now in retrospect) Who proceed to give the Mrs and I few drops….needless to say, we were up pretty late that night. Before the 3rd set ended was able to score some more which we took again on Sat. 2 very different experiences…both a blast. Thanks for everyones encouragement and helping me along my journey. Excited to have this amazing tool back in my arsenal.

    More to come as I whittle through piled up work and get to start some re-spins.

    Thankful for my loved ones, friends, family, our band Phish and the many beautiful experiences that fill my life.

    CANNOT WAIT FOR MSG!!!!!!!

  7. btb Says:

    Truth hurts, Jerome!

    I’m walking myself off the Joy is better than Wingsuit ledge. Only PH fans are able to complain about albums that haven’t been recorded yet 🙂

    I don’t expect Trent to write tunes like he’s 25 years old anymore, but the abundance of lame lyrics and ballads amongst all the Dad Rock is a bit unsettling.

    Ok, I feel better. Hoping the album rocks. Probably doing New Years runs.

  8. btb Says:

    PERSNICKITY

  9. Jerome Garcia Says:

    To ren:

    Gonna take my bike out gonna take my bike gonna ride it slowly gonna ride just like I like

    Glad to see you back on the Albert Hoffman bicycle brocephus & cheers for getting mrs ren puddled.

  10. phlorida phan Says:

    ” and it feels good, cause it feels good” Just put your wingsuit on, and don’t crash.

  11. Jerome Garcia Says:

    btb Tory is the epitome of cheesedickishness. Sorry to say it but like you said truth hurts. He is a jedi master on the Languedocs but otherwise is a geeky nerdy theatre kid at heart. Love him but he’s kinda lame. Oh well. Thank Jebus they jam bc if all we had to go on were his 3.0 lyrics we might not stop going. Probably not but you know what I mean.

  12. btb Says:

    I hope Gordeaux has a major influence on the new album

  13. ren Says:

    Page will have huge influence on the new album….dude is at the top of his game right now….and thats saying a lot.

  14. tela's_muff Says:

    guys who spend all day on a message board calling a guy with the level of Trey’s accomplishments, lame*, is pretty funny. just sayin. i agree with the lyrical stuff, but is that really any different from 10, 15, 20 years ago?

    i for one love Wingsuit, particularly the title track, Waiting All Night, The Line, Monica, Fuego, and 555. Add in Halfway to the Moon and pretty interesting album coming up. a couple others have potential. couldn’t be more excited for the future.

    *i’m currently enjoying king of lame bands (per BB) Arcade Fire. another excellent release.

  15. mmmhmm Says:

    Will Steam show up on the new album???

  16. lumpyhead Says:

    cuddly…but lumpular

  17. ren Says:

    Wanted a Wombat Reprise SOOOOOO BAD on Saturday!!!!!! Had a great time hearing the new album for the 1st time. Definitely a show of legend and sorry for those who were disappointed by their expectations. Its Phish y’all….shoulda known better.

  18. aj Says:

    Just got on plane, 14 hours to Beijing then 11 days in the motherland. Plenty of phish highlights to tide me over an total MBV show post buzz. Let’s do this. Only 3 more international trips for me before msg! Let’s do this!

  19. aj Says:

    I’m pro wingsuit, excited

  20. btb Says:

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to say a few of the tunes from AC won’t get recorded. Especially when you consider the Yarmouth Road, Half way to the Moon stuff that’s been played already. Plus 25 total demos they have.

    I always go back to Trey saying that they haven’t made a “great album” yet. We’d all like to see that happen, but I just tend to judge them by the collective body of work, which is outstanding. I don’t need a great PH album to love this band. I need more dope Carini jams!

  21. ren Says:

    Travel safely AJ!!!!

    Eat some Dou Miao for me! Can never find that shit here.

  22. aj Says:

    Cuddly… And muscular

  23. MrCompletely Says:

    @ren, kudos on taking the dive, having the missus along helps I’d think

    It just took you a long time to get back on the train

  24. ren Says:

    Leaving the venue, I believe on the 2nd night?, deefinitely the loudest spontaneous crowd roar I can remeber. I also love watching the evolution of the event and hotel staff reaction evolve over the course of a run. 1st day is total apprehension, deisbelief and even rejection. As we were leaving the venue on the last night and as we were checking out…the smiles were abundant and you could almost see their admiration. They may not understand…but they appreciate who we are, the vibe we bring and the connectedness we have for oneanother.

    Wish every human being could have just 1 PEAK show experience…but then again, I guess thats what makes it so special for US.

  25. MrCompletely Says:

    I’m gonna power back through the summer and fall jam highlights to get ’em locked in brainwise but I’m hitting that phish overload point and need to flip the musical script pretty soon

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