The Fulcrum of Fall

11.2.13 (George Estreich)

11.2.13 (George Estreich)

One of the dates everyone had circled before Fall Tour started was October 23, Phish’s return to Glens Falls Civic Center. The intimate venue in the small New York town had played host to only one Phish show before and it was one of legend. This would be the second. Close to Burlington, Vermont, Glens Falls would also be the “friends and family” show of Fall Tour—an event that often comes with added demands and pressures on the band. Atop all that, after a torrid Hampton weekend, Phish showed signs of fatigue in Rochester the previous night, dropping the ball in their shakiest performance of the year. These multiple variables had their long-awaited return to Glens Falls up in the air.

A fierce opening set seemed to set the arrow straight for the band, but it was the second set’s more creative endeavors that had given them problems in Western New York. The vibe inside the Civic Center was electric from note one, and it certainly felt like Phish could ride this energy to victory, but the truth would be told after setbreak.

10.19.13 (A. Nusinov)

10.19.13 (A.Nusinov)

In each of the first four shows, the band had opened the second set with a significant piece of improvisation, thus when they kicked down the doors of Glen Falls’ main event with “Rock and Roll,” fans strapped on their seat belts for a long-form ride. It felt like the guys had something going when Fish dropped the rock jam into half-time, but not long after the tempo slowed, they wound down into a quasi-natural ending with no real ground covered.

Very rarely does Phish start a second set with two jam vehicles without taking one of them for a ride, thus when “Seven Below” started, it seemed that the post-hiatus tune would provide our adventure of the night. Perhaps a bit hesitant from the fact that “Rock and Roll” didn’t get anywhere, the band didn’t try to bring “Seven Below” outside the box, favoring a contained and very fiery exchange. The band wove a good amount of creative playing into this anchored rendition, building back their improvisational confidence that they had lost over the past night plus a jam. And upon “Seven Below’s” conclusion, Phish crept into “Twist.”

As soon “Twist’s” first notes whispered into the arena, one knew that here would lie our gem. Phish had opened Hampton’s first second set with “Twist,” and with it sculpted a Pink Floyd-laced ambient soundscape—a clear sign of intent to resuscitate the song’s creative edge. This Glens Falls version would not only help that cause, it would become the pivot point of Fall Tour.

11.1.13 (A.Nusinov)

11.1.13 (A.Nusinov)

This time around, Phish built right out of the song’s Santana-esque jam instead of bringing the lyrics back and launching off a second jam a la Hampton. Trey accelerated the pace of this “Twist” early on and Page stuck right with him, as the band’s jamming sounded far more locked than at any point since Hampton. Minutes later, Trey and Page led a break from form, and once Fish and Mike switched up the rhythm, Phish shot into the stratosphere with a high-octane and quite atypical, mid-jam climax. And as quiet dreamscape emerged out of this peak, “Twist” oozed into its most transcendent section.

Atop atmospheric textures, Trey began playing a heart-tugging melody—a week later discovered to be from “The Line”—that came to define the final portion of the jam. As the rest of the band carefully constructed their offerings around Trey’s melody, a breathtaking exchange blossomed. Building off this thematic sequence with layers of ambient effects, the guys took their time to descend from a truly blissed out trip.

To close this set, Phish absolutely slayed an old-school version of “Harry Hood,” a piece that, unquestionably, continued the band’s now-righted improvisational path. As “Hood’s” blistering peak brought the tour’s smallest crowd to it’ highest high of the night, Phish had made it through their slight stumble and came out of Glens Fall’s with a rocket strapped to their back heading for New England. After the subsequent weekend, with only Reading and Atlantic City to go, it became very clear that Phish wouldn’t falter again. And when looking back over tour’s first week, there was no doubt that things had shifted for keeps with the Glens Fall’s “Twist.”

Boardwalk Hall (George Estreich)

Boardwalk Hall (George Estreich)


Winged-music-noteJam of the Day:

Twist” 10.23 II, Glens Falls, NY

Fall Tour’s point of solidification.

[audio:] Tags: , , ,

212 Responses to “The Fulcrum of Fall”

  1. verno329 Says:

    Thanks for the ’03 TAB Ulysses. I’ve got to go through my HD and see what all TAB I have in lossless from ’02 & ’03. Seems like a good project to take on.

  2. dorn76 Says:

    Shred with the fluffin!

  3. Joe Says:

    I had never heard 11/14/95 until a few years ago. Had eluded my ears somehow. Now it’s one of my favorites. Going to get the full spin today for certain.

  4. Stoney Case Says:

    Tripping Billy >>>> C. Clavin

  5. Rob Ford Says:

    You guys love me as much as Degrassi, eh?

  6. ren Says:

    ::MSG GA tix Question::

    Does anyone know, if you have GA West tix will they also allow you to enter GA East?


  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Ren- no

  8. Mr. Palmer Says:

    you will stay in your designated pen and you will like it.

  9. dorn76 Says:

    Fuck I like my Wingsuit. Spinning daily.

    Devotion to a Dream my new hotness. Bouncy tune. Solid first set place setter. >>>>>KDF

    Signs are I listen to too much Phish.

  10. vapebraham Says:

    cliff: excellent 11.14 phishtory capsule. 11.14.94 and 11.14.95 are required listening. 11.14.95 set II being in top five (10?) set II of all time contention.

    7.20.13 (Chi) Bowie spinning now — $$+. crisp trey action. this one may have been lost in the shuffle and rain.

  11. ren Says:

    I put my Wingsuit on 1st thing this morning…low sun shining on my face…perfect really.

    Seriously though @palmer…can’t be like “it’s too crowded up front just need some breathing room in back”? I’ve got friends with east the same night. But I guess I could have worse problems

  12. Kaveh Says:

    A slight follow up to one of yesterday’s post:

  13. dorn76 Says:

    Ren, like how the fuck to get that Wombat into the renovated MSG??

    Old MSG they’d let Wombats stroll right in. Ruined the place.

  14. MiA Says:

    “you will stay in your designated pen and you will like it.”


    Listened to AC2 Sneakin Sally. Love the groove they almost got in to there but Mike got a little wily with his bass.

    Anyone else hear that?

  15. ren Says:

    When we were kids one year we took the train in early, went to the village before the show, scored some whip-it’s, and bought a 3ft plastic binger. Snuck it in and rocked it up in the 300’s. Peeps were pretty amazed.

    A wombat…not so easy

  16. vapebraham Says:

    looking for a phish break? try this excellent electric MMW show:

    these guys got better over the years, and they were dope to begin with.

  17. RicksFork Says:

    Great piece Miner. Thanks as always for the thoughts. Inspired by you I ran 6 miles in Central Park this morning and listened to this Twist 3 times. Perfect running music on a beautiful morning in a beautiful place.

  18. vapebraham Says:

    mia: spun that AC ’13 sally last night. $$$. the post vocal jam jam gets quite great.

  19. ren Says:

    Would much rather be cracking’ 1st IPA with Vape right about now…soft pretzel with truffle cheddar might have to do though

  20. garretcorncob Says:

    Miner about your comment late last night:

    That is a interesting way to look at it, one I certainly hadn’t considered. That does help it’s case a little bit, but I just don’t see the Waves > Carini as smooth enough, or something.

  21. bob dylan Says:

    hampton tweezage is really getting the job done in the office this morning

  22. vapebraham Says:

    yes, bob, that one will sweep your floors, polish your knobs, and clean (your grandfather’s) clock.

  23. little umbrellas Says:

    knob polisher

  24. jtran Says:

    another nice piece miner. agreed that GF was when the heat really got turned up this fall.

    I think it was the band’s intention to just bring it start to finish (duh, I guess), but sickness > travel > fatigue in ROC kind of pushed that plan back a little bit.

    I do think Hampton 3 was the band really pushing through to bring gold to the people that made the effort to get down there. Don’t know if they still sound sick in ROC, but GF everyone sounds healthy and energetic again.

  25. little umbrellas Says:

    go john!

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