…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. voopa Says:

    Spring off, live another day

  2. MiA Says:

    Had enough wine tonight that I comfortably fell asleep. I woke up once my body started converting all that alcohol to sugar.

    Why do I do anything but vape?

  3. voopa Says:

    Is it

    “Let’s steal a car”

    or “…the car”?

    Does it matter?

  4. MiA Says:

    Is there gas in the car?
    Yes, there’s gas in the car

    I think the people down the hall
    Know who you are

  5. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Word @butter & gdad re Jonathon Wilson. Dope. Butter def in right place geographically speaking to catch Mr Wilson more frequently.

    Looks like I owe MiA an order of Poor Qui’s Buns from East Side King. Nice W by the Gophers over the Nittany Lions ystdy.

    Beaut of a morning down here below the tension line on N Padre island & on the Laguna Madre visiting friends @ my fav waterside B&B 😉 fixin to load up the beasts & 4 mo old & go for a jog on the beach. Gonna take the boat out later & get a line wet. Life es bueno.

  6. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Love Kid Charlemagne perhaps my fav Dan song. Did you catch the Dan @ Bass Concert Hall MiA? Tickets went mighty quick & then were going for > $200 on secondary market.

  7. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Also nice Hidden Treasures of Taj. Picked that up for my mom for Xmas last yr. Think I’ve pamped on here & we’ve discussed before. Went downtown the other night. Nobody would love me. Nobody will love you baby. Ain’t nobody love you like Chainey do.

  8. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Forgot to mention that had the pleasure of my first few Dirt Wolfs ystdy upon arrival on the Laguna. Absolutely delish & great hoppy buzz aft 2. Poured a 3rd aft dinner during 2nd half of Bama LSU & while fishin for specs in the lights in the canal.

    Dirt Wolf def $$$ & on par w/ EB. Avail @ Cent Mkt MiA & Selector.

  9. jdub Says:

    We had a campout Friday night at the Roger Williams Zoo with the Boy Scouts. Learned a few things I did not know.

    Wombats are crepuscular creatures – explains the lyrics of course.

    Opossums live in the US, Possums live in Australia.

    The more you know.

  10. Shred Says:

    Are codes for Holiday Tour in the live phish system yet? I can’t verify my tickets..

  11. BooVT Says:

    Just finished the Jimi Hendrix documentary. It was fantastic.
    He was a genius.
    How did he achieve all that by the age of 27?
    I feel like such a slouch, now…

  12. MiA Says:

    I didn’t JG. Like you said they were ridiculous to get.

  13. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Hey gang. Beautiful day on east end of LI. Going for malt and mollusks fest at local brewery. I likes me some oysters and beer. Band playing as well. Not sure of the quality on the latter…

  14. phishm Says:

    Woke up quick at about noon
    Just thought that I had to be in Akron soon
    I gotta get high before the day begins
    Before my sort of girlfriend starts bitchin’ about my friends

    Have an easy one today.

  15. phishm Says:

    One other thing. If anyone knows anyone who knows how to play quarterback, the Packers are looking.

  16. MiA Says:

    Call Vince Young. Wait, they cut him already.

  17. BooVT Says:

    Rain is a sign from God that I should stop raking leaves.

    And the big “11.12.13” on the label is a sign from Stone Brewery that I should drink this Enjoy By this afternoon.

    It’s really very obvious. Drinking beer and watching football is simply my fate. Don’t fight it.

  18. MrCompletely Says:

    So what the fuck. This news story you may have seen about the woman being killed at a wild cat rescue sanctuary outside PDX. My friend and his wife work there. She is the right age to be the victim. Not sure if it’s her or not yet. They have a baby daughter. Can’t exactly be like “yo bud was that your wife or just one of your friends and co workers” just gotta wait til the name comes out I guess

    so fucked up. they do incredible work there. really amazing. tragic no matter who it actually is of course. wtf. He is mid 90s era Phish tour kid fwiw

  19. Fly Says:

    @C, that is horrible news. I Google’d it and saw that they have released a name. Vibes your way, brother.

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    Dang C. Vibes kid. I really hope its not a babys mother. Life is horrible sometimes.

  21. MrCompletely Says:

    yep it’s her


  22. jdub Says:

    oh man, that is terrible news. My heart breaks.

  23. phishm Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that C. That’s awful. Vibes man.

  24. locust the lurker Says:

    Such sad news, C. So sorry.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Sorry to hear that, Mr.C. Terribly sad story…

    Had a nice visit from Miner at work today. Got to show him around the studios. Tried talking him into seeing MBV tomorrow night in NYC. Wish I could go.

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