Moments In A Box: Magic

11.1.13, Atlantic City (Jake Silco)

11.1.13, Atlantic City (Jake Silco)

Woven into the fabric of Phish shows alongside compositions and jams are moments—those instances where time stands still, everything goes into slow motion and the world explodes. Fall tour had many of these indelible occurrences that everyone in attendance will always remember. Here are a few of such moments from Fall—presented chronologically—that still give me goosebumps to think about.

Piper -> Taking Care of Business“—10.20 II, Hampton, VA

Though there are several frozen moments from Hampton’s third show, none brought a more thunderous response than this one. As if an exuberant “Piper” to punctuate an outrageous jam sequence of “Tweezer > Golden Age” wasn’t enough, this impromptu move into “Taking Care of Business” was nothing short of genius. As soon as everyone in the crowd recognized the song they were playing, Hampton’s roof nearly blew off. People freaked out, and rightfully so, because Phish hadn’t only just executed a shrewd and seamless segue, they had laid down their mission statement for the next two weeks! They were as excited as we were to be on tour. If everyone didn’t already know that shit was on like donkey kong this fall, after this moment they certainly did.



Drowned‘s” “Sitting in Limbo” jam—10.26 II, Worcester, MA

This one still blows my mind. The band was neck deep in an uptempo groove of the likes of “Guy Forget” when they—collectively—stopped on a dime and converged on one of the most surreal segments of music of the entire tour. As if they had this change preconceived, the guys were immediately on the same page as they bled into the infinite. Mike dropped some enveloped filtered notes that provided an aural cushion for this ethereal music. The band sat into a delicate, to-die-for groove for a minute or or so before Page (I believe) hinted at the chords of “Sitting in Limbo.” Trey picked up on the Chairman’s idea—as he so often does—and he, himself, offered the chord progression of Jimmy Cliff’s reggae classic. Trey had played “Sitting in Limbo” with TAB once, and I was sure he was about to step to the mic to sing the first line. Apparently, (from someone who actually watches the show) he almost did, but deferred, keeping the poignant nod instrumental. But damn if that change and subsequent jam isn’t one of the most sublime moments of 2013.



Trey’s final solo in “Disease“—10.29 II, Reading PA

The 'Doc (Andrea Nusinov)

The ‘Doc (Andrea Nusinov)

There are moments and then there are moments. Ask anyone who was in the intimate Santander Arena on that Tuesday night about the end of Reading’s “Disease” and they may just turn away and blush. Yeah, it was like that. Following the meat of a solid, though unspectacular, “Disease” jam, Phish found their way into one of their now-classic, blues-like codas. This southern-laced jam was particularly significant on the brink of Halloween with all of the Allman Brothers talk in the air. The band actually worked their way into a jam around Eat a Peach‘s famed live track, “Mountain Jam,” and it was within this feel good context that Trey would make history. The guys had the room in the palm of their hands and were bringing the jam to a full-band peak when Trey reached back and unleashed the most spiritual, spine-tingling, and downright spectacular guitar solo of the past five years. Channelling his inner Duane Allman and harnessing every bit of his own soul, Trey opened his heart and out burst rainbows and Klondike gold. And this wasn’t just a short statement, he let it all hang out in a blissed out guitar solo for the ages. This is one we’ll be telling our grandkids about. (nb: I had continuous chills just recounting this tale without the music on.)



Twist” middle peak section—11.1 II, Atlantic City, NJ

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

10.31.13 (J.Silco)

One could sense during the first set of Halloween that Phish was more focused on the second. They had clearly practiced the Winsguit set and had a lot riding on the success of its songs. Thus, the first frame of Halloween didn’t amount to much, but with the pressure lifted in the third set, the band was clearly able to let loose and jam. Well, when they came back to Boardwalk Hall the next day after nailing their Halloween show, the guys were visibly looser and more comfortable on stage from the jump, tearing apart the show’s opening half. And that brings us to “Twist.” The band had played two versions thus far on tour, Hampton and Glens Falls—both bigger than any since Cincy 2012—and the second had built substantially from the first. Thus, when Phish opened the second set in Atlantic City with “Twist,” everyone knew we were in store for a treat. But midway through this jam, things got straight silly, and we stumbled upon another magical moment.

I’m not exactly sure just what transpired during this segment, but it was one of those instances where the energy of the moment continued building upon itself and informing the actual music onstage. Page and Trey had locked into an exchange that the other guys quickly latched onto, collectively forming a sort of anthemic vamp. This drew in the audience’s energies and this sequence gained series momentum before the band broke from this vamp into a high-speed, cathartic peak. Then, this moment truly crystalized as they continued switching between these two feels, creating a monumentally triumphant passage, both musically and energetically. This was one of those bigger-than-music metaphysical explosions that happen from time to time at Phish shows, and quite honestly, this was the most collective, in-show peak since Tahoe.

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296 Responses to “Moments In A Box: Magic”

  1. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Shaps was right behind Willowed and I on AC 2. He was enjoying himself… Nice dude.

    The 12/11/99 plug was a must.

  2. Stoney Case Says:

    nice work, P. I hit him with that one too.

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Not sure how coherent I was… *spun monkeys*

  4. Stoney Case Says:

    “Shaps! You gotta release that one Philly show! 12/11/99! Burn Stoney’s ass, he got shut out……Belch”

  5. hoedown Says:

    100% agree with ya in that Palmer. That was clearly no afterthought or throw away encore. Just the perfect capper to a all night Friday dance party!!

  6. garretcorncob Says:

    What’s up, kids? This guy just ended his job hunt, finally. Mostly.

    CornCob is gonna be selling mortgages on commission. Oh yeah. Payin’ the bills while I chase silly dreams of creative careers.

    The whole commission thing means I’m keeping my eyes out for possible part-time things to keep income steady (hence the “mostly”, but my living is cheap, so a loan sale will probably go a long way.

  7. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    yo, i am way late to the phil and friends party. tickets for those early december shows went on sale a month ago… stoner fuck. c’est la vie

  8. garretcorncob Says:

    Nooooo, damn you unclosed parentheses!

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Good luck corncob…

  10. Stoney Case Says:

    corncob’d, send me an email with your info. i sell houses.

  11. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    that is a good feeling, garret. and you got stoney looking out, which is nice.
    for what it’s worth, i, too, hate unclosed parenthesis. i do like the fact that both parentheses and parenthesis are acceptable spellings.

  12. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    anyone out there with an extra to each night to phil and friends, terrapin crossroads, december 4, 5, 6, and 7 i am looking! hit me up at papasolea@gmail! gracias.

    stoney- i love, absolutely love, 8/10/97 SOAM>bye bye foot. a great phish moment.

  13. Rob Ford Says:

    disclosure and darkside playing shows in TO on back to back nights, mmmmmm

  14. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    ^stoney and phishm- 8/10/97

  15. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    party time, rob ford- get your crack pipe warmed up.

  16. Rob Ford Says:

    motherfuck, disclosure is sold out

  17. garretcorncob Says:

    Oh yeah, realtor is one of stoney’s many hats that he wears while shitting on good times! I’ll definitely shoot you a note. Will be great to have a connection to start.

  18. garretcorncob Says:

    Catching up with the Phish vimeos. 2 Carinis out of the 4 songs posted? Huh…


    Trey’s Hartford hipster hoodie hails hale Tweezer

  19. DavidSilver Says:

    Buzz Kill is his biggest hat though.

  20. garretcorncob Says:

    Dang, sweet Page lines around 11:40ish of Hampton Tweezer.

    Miner’s right, this jam is 100% on point from the get-go.

  21. phishm Says:

    Probably my favorite Halley’s that I caught. The entire show is a dark masterpiece. Rhinoceros opener. Stick around for the Gumbo. It’s full on Phish crack.

  22. phishm Says:

    It’s all setup for tomorrow night. Aqueous doesn’t come on stage until about midnight. I have the fattest, dankest and tastiest of pre rolls just for them to share. Can’t wait to get those kids high as fuck, then it’s time to ride the wave. Hope they can still bring it. I’m sure they can. Looking forward to it.

  23. MiA Says:

    Think Mdawg went to Aqueous. Not sure if he reads here too much but interested I his opinion.

  24. lumpyhead Says:

    I saw darkside play at the Roxy last weekend.

    They are extremely good live. Go check em out Rob Ford!

  25. phishm Says:

    And all the college females all around the Scarlet and Grey Cafe should help the night roll along nicely. My brother doesn’t know it yet, but we aren’t making it back to Cincy tomorrow night. His wife will get pissed, but she’ll get over it.

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