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.

[audio:] Tags: , ,

296 Responses to “Moments In A Box: Magic”

  1. Gratefulcub Says:

    Big thanks to Kenny Powers for our only listenable copy of Big Cypress. I really needed that Roses tonight.

  2. Rob Ford Says:

    anyone know why sleeping monkey fades in after julius on niagara ’95? was there just a long gap between the songs?

  3. snow Says:

    This is so awesome.
    I would have had kids sooner if someone would have explained how much fun you can have messing with their heads!

    I will post the link to lil miss snow’s Therapy Fund later.

  4. MiA Says:

    Parents playing with toys, leaving their kids out of it, photographing their “art”, posting and bragging about it, then rationalizing it as “doing it for the kids”

    Hipster parenting 101.

  5. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    what’s shaking, bb?! i hope you are all doing well. i love the woosta drowned- sick version.

    i have a quick question for the bay area bb. what is re-entry like at the grate room in terrapin crossroads? i know that they allow people to move freely between the dining area and the grate room. could two people share one ticket, if they are only going in one at a time? for example, one person sees the first set, the other sees the second set? thanks.

  6. vapebraham Says:

    “Just respun reading

    20yl >>>> dwd imo”

    ^^^ see everyone eventually comes to the realization that reading DwD is $$+ at best, and really kinda of boring for most of it. 20 yl def. > DwD from that show.

  7. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    @rob ford- i’ve been listening to that niagra release over the past two days. it is definitely fishman shitting in our ears- there is a punkiness to it that i like, but i think no one else does. saying that, i think bob dylan’s voice still sounds good, and i like furthur… i have zero street cred. poo in the ear drum.

  8. vapebraham Says:

    worcester drowned is fairly bad early on but there’s a distinct pt. where they flip the switch and the redemption is sweet; that one is $$$.

    4.4.98 hood now during midN moon n’ starmont.

  9. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    “they flip the switch and the redemption is sweet”

    yes! the redemption is so sweet. i listened to it for only the second time this morning, i forgot how much fun that second half is.

  10. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    i don’t think the woosta drowned is necessarily bad early on, but it is a bit stale/unoriginal soundning early on. overall, hot version. however, i do have poo in the ear drum.

  11. vapebraham Says:

    you got, heady. bad was the wrong adj. and may i recommend this Hood from 4.4.98. harmonic goodness. $$$. waves of dark green.

  12. joe Says:

    Mike’s later in set is such a case of missed opportunity to me. The trey rhythm effects are really cool but then just stops and goes to no quarter. Would have been a perfect spot for the never going to happen 2nd jam (listened today on ride in to work)

  13. hoedown Says:

    @ Vape- your dedication to keeping the Reading DWD out of any type of epic category is impressive. I was not accepting the $$ status on the car ride home and demanded a $$$ designation. My energy forced you into submission at the time, which I think was more youtrying to shut me up and not poo on my parade.

    Even though you continue to discount the DWD, I still feel it is worthy if $$$ now that the dust has settled. With all the peeps claiming that final build and solo to be otherworldly, its deserves the extra kickdown. I know you won’t agree but it still holds up IMO even with the show-blinders off….different strokes… same as it ever was.

  14. vapebraham Says:

    hoedown: respect, brotha. I will spin it again while fully elevated and digest it again. i like it. i just don’t love it. subjective. it’s one of the few marquee jams of fall that drags a bit. the other top shelfers cruise by. subkective

    cheers. red red wine

  15. Stoney Case Says:

    spun all of Reading again. Top to bottom.

    For the life of me, I can’t find the slow, standard, or boring part of the DWD. I can’t even dock the 20YL jam for coming out of 20YL.


    spun Worcester Drowned>Light about 5 times. FOR THE LIFE OF ME…..I can’t find the standard, boring or slow part of Drowned either.

    Not even sure how to discuss Phish here anymore.

  16. vapebraham Says:

    wife takes kids to burger joint; dad blasts phish, hops another ride on the rhino and has one too many goblets of grape aid. no dinosaur scenes, no nothin. crap parenting 101.

  17. snow Says:

    hmmm… upon further reflection, that is pretty stupid @MiA.

    I re-read the page and the title annoyed me the 2nd time
    “While Their Kids Sleep, These parents Pull Of This Amazing Stunt…”

    yeah, well, actually there is nothing amazing about it. it may seem amazing to the kids but any idiot can do it.

    It’s also not a stunt in anyway I would use the word stunt.

    then there is a general fail to the whole thing: what kid sees the toys and thinks that they came to life only to stop in the middle? it doesn’t make sense. the parents would have to implant the idea some how.

    back to the drawing board…

  18. snow Says:

    oh and it’s “off” not “of”

  19. joe Says:

    (from Worcester 2, that Mike’s was)

  20. vapebraham Says:

    don’t mind me, stoney, i’m blastin 3.2.11 goodbye Head by TAB.

    if it takes a thousand years for the sound to reach your ears
    way up there in the big blue sky.

  21. Rob Ford Says:

    “spun all of Reading again. Top to bottom.
    For the life of me, I can’t find the slow, standard, or boring part of the DWD. I can’t even dock the 20YL jam for coming out of 20YL.
    spun Worcester Drowned>Light about 5 times. FOR THE LIFE OF ME…..I can’t find the standard, boring or slow part of Drowned either.”

    peeps on this board prefer numberlines where we like to hear jams

  22. Ulysses S. Wingsuit Says:

    Divide and conquer.

  23. garretcorncob Says:

    In case you’re having too good of a day and want to bum yourself out with a look at the dark side:

  24. hoedown Says:

    Word Vape.,.not expecting you to change your conclusion, just pointing out it was a very impressive moment in real-time and holds up on playback. Like you said subjective. Just happy we have multiple high level jams that even make it possible for that DWD not to be considered gold by someone such as yourself. In fall 2010 that would have been top level shit no matter what type of jams you prefer.

    Side note – proper show pregaming includes cold Enjoy By’s, coconut butter and whiskey in a parking garage with Vale, Cal, and G-diddy at the helm! Such a fun out and back on a ho him Tuesday. Maybe it even more worthy by getting a heady YEM with the lack there of in AC…oh yeah and the Reading Reba I swore by on ride out.

  25. snow Says:

    Now, sir, you have crossed the (#)line @RoFo. Prefer a #line?

    shit, kaya would rather the band take a nap than hear a #line.

    I would rather have these as my only socks than hear a #line:

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