…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. phishm Says:

    I do gotta say that Df’s comments have been very positive over the past few days. A good girl will do that to someone. Man Df, if you have a girl you like that get’s it, you are set. Now just concentrate on keeping her. Oh to be young again. I would still make the same mistakes I did in the past to have the kids I have now. Life is weird.

  2. snow Says:

    gobble gobble

  3. snow Says:

    my posts were getting gobbled this afternoon.

    I forgot all my insightful comments, so… nice work today BB.

  4. phishm Says:

    Slick intro into Possum in this show. Check it out if you are listening.

  5. snow Says:

    @Jtran- Vashon is an island near seattle. Generally known as a hippie haven, along with a few other islands. I’ve been told there are lots of organic farms and orchards. I’ve never been there. Sorry. Not much help.

  6. phishm Says:

    I saw a comment about the 12/29/97 show that said it shouldn’t be considered due to the Possum. Have you listened to this Possum? Holy shit. It’s balls out amazing. IMO of course.

  7. voopa Says:

    “Bwoow wom wom bom bwoow wom wom HEY bwoow wom wom bom bwoow wom wom HEY”

    …who am I?

  8. phishm Says:

    Sammy Hagar?

  9. voopa Says:

    lol, no!

  10. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Very obviously the Skrillex remix of Punch You In The Eye.

  11. phishm Says:

    JK. Don’t mind me. Had to go with the 12/29 show even though I absolutely love the next night. Couple of great Phish shows there. Fun to listen to. SPAC 2004 on the deck. Time to go out. Peace all. And it’s early too. Fuck it. Bad week. Getting Phished.

  12. MiA Says:

    #1 MN playing #4 ND tonight.

    College Hockey!!!!

  13. phishm Says:

    This still may be my favorite Waves. Love this version.

    http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/2004-06-20/waves

  14. P.S.H.S Says:

    holy fuck! Trampled by Turtles:live is on Palladia at 9.
    Time to get weird

  15. xpun Says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/08/russian-police-get-lucky-_n_4241178.html

    Russian police choir gets lucky

  16. butter Says:

    new (to me at least) technology alert

    Arcam – rBlink = a bluetooth transmitter and digital to analog converter (dac)

    200$ converts a digital bluetooth signal to analog via rca jacks

    turn any receiver into a bluetooth capable device, makes it a snap for friends to play their music on your system.

  17. phishm Says:

    What’s cool about that waves is the crazy riff that Trey gets into in the Drowned and a little bit in the -7 is originated at the end of that Waves. Love how they play 4 almost breather tunes, yet almost sarcastically and then just destroy the Drowned. The 2nd set is another story. Perfect set IMO. And then some. Unless someone can point out a flaw.

  18. voopa Says:

    The answer is: Worcester Light

  19. verno329 Says:

    Must pamp the @phishod app for all iOS users. Even better after the update. Search by tour, year, song, venue. Random show selector. Venue info a tap away. If it can add the ability to create playlists it’ll be perfect.

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    That happens to be currently being rocked on Gone Phishin’, voopa 😎

  21. little umbrellas Says:

    noice. a well put description of TH chronology by @Gdad

  22. little umbrellas Says:

    gotta say, I enjoyed the read back on the 10 sets thread. solid recs right there.

  23. phishm Says:

    OK, that was weird. Ordered a pizza. Delivery driver was last and got lost. Got to talking to him giving him directions. Dude stuck around and got high as hell and drank a couple IPA’s. I felt bad letting him back on the road. He was not only high as hell when he left, but an hour late from his delivery. He seemed OK with it. Like I said. Weird.

  24. little umbrellas Says:

    uncle enzo won’t be happy

  25. MiA Says:

    Word Verno. Great update.

    If you wanna search for Prince Caspian, you can also search for Fuckerpants too.

    Mn killed by ND. Mn looked nonplussed and sloppy, at best.

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