Boy, Mann.

The Mann '14 (Andrea Nusinov)

The Mann ’14 (Andrea Nusinov)

Phish continued their summer onslaught with two very different second sets at the Mann on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Philadelphia. Tuesday’s showcase was chock full of creative improv, including the unquestionable jam of the tour thus far in a stunning, long-form rendition of “Fuego.” Wednesday night’s second set was highlighted by another in the recent line of exploratory, wide-open “Chalk Dust” jams, but was played in more straight forward fashion following the top-shelf opener. Instead of analyzing the shows as individual performances, let’s look at the overall musical takeaways from Phish’s stand the the City of Brotherly Love.

Mann Poster (LandLand)

Mann Poster (LandLand)

Any discussion of Mann highlights must start with “Fuego.” Phish drastically matured their newest springboard from its first to its second outing, unfurling one of their elite modern jams out of the brand new piece. Phish’s late-career musical re-development has led them to this type of wide-open, thematic excursion. The band demonstrated ultimate on-stage comfort as they calmly navigated this deeply exploratory adventure. The music was orchestral in nature and carried a very free, yet refined vibe. Trey carved out gorgeous melodies—delicate portals to heaven—as the band engaged in a jam that could only have been played in 2014. No rush, total comfort, and flowing as single course from start to finish while fluidly rolling through distinct improvisational ideas. “Fuego” is not only Phish’s newest jam, it is a launch pad to a new type of jam—patient, sprawling, free form journeys that move between developed themes. These are the jams that many of us dreamt of when we thought about Phish playing as the guys neared age 50. Each band member led different parts of this excursion, all with utmost nuance and subtly, forming a wholly collaborative endeavor. And just as one thought Phish would bring this jam to a huge crescendo like SPAC’s version, Trey led the troops out the back door and into the most intricate groove throwdown we’ve heard this tour. The Mann’s “Fuego” was pure, long form Phish genius, and all signs point to more stunning journeys from Phish’s newest monster.

Phish delved into a late set-run in Tuesday night’s show—“Ghost > 2001 > Harry Hood”—that absolutely demolished. Though Trey fought tooth and nail to get the band out of a “Tweezer” jam and into “Ghost,” once he got them there the band gained liftoff. Trey has been playing with revitalized dexterity this tour, featuring clean, multi-note runs that sound especially awesome in juxtaposition to his extensive whammy experimentation last year. Additionally, Trey has drenched his playing in original melodic phrasing has provided a powerful lead of so many Summer jams. The Mann “Ghost” combined both of these trends into a soaring piece of music that served as the night’s most profound peak. Any thoughts of a lopped off “Tweezer” vanished in this dizzying, highlight-reel “Ghost,” a second keeper from the Mann’s opening night.

The Mann (Andrea Nusinov)

The Mann (Andrea Nusinov)

And “Harry Hood” was the third. The second, deeply improvisational version in as many performances this tour punctuated a stellar set of Phish. And the beauty of this “Hood” was its absolute tenderness—a total juxtaposition to the flowing psych rock of Mansfield’s standout rendition. The Mann “Hood” saw the band delve into an immersive conversation within a stunningly delicate milieu, and they came up with yet another nugget of improvisational gold to end a very impressive frame of music. After an extensive rain delay pushed the start of the second set beyond 11 pm, the band made sure that the entire night was worth any inconvenience that people had been through.

The Mann (A.Nusinov)

The Mann (A.Nusinov)

Wednesday’s night’s second set kicked off with another top-shelf jam—something we have come to expect from the band on a nightly basis— in “Chalk Dust Torture.” Following in the footsteps of Dick’s 13’s and MSG 13’s versions, the Mann “Chalk Dust” featured many different segments of improv, however this one was notably more fluid as it morphed between feels. This jam carried an uptempo rhythm throughout, and the band seemed to surf a musical wave in whatever direction it would take them without truly developing any single section for too long. This type of protean jam has become a modern trend with “Chalk Dust,” and provides a stylistic contrast the band’s more singularly focused improvisations. (Note: They certainly have taken “Chalk Dust” in the mono-thematic direction such as Dick’s 12, but more often than not its jams fit this description.) Spanning several feels, Mann’s version’s provided a tasting menu of Phish sounds, all connected with a single thread.

Several other jams provided sub-highlights of the run. “Twist’s” tight rendition featured mini flourishes in different directions, but each time returned to structure, much like a jazz take on the song. “Mike’s Song,” though not extensive, featured more active interplay between Trey and Page, and didn’t simply default to a guitar solo. Could this be a sign of things to come? One can only hope. Each show saw one significant first set highlight each night—Tuesday, “Tube” and Wednesday, “Wolfman’s Brother.” Both pieces featured a developed jam that moved beyond convention and gave a burst of energy to otherwise routine frames of music.

All in all, the Mann was a very solid two-night stand. Whether you favor the more adventurous first show or the cleaner, more rocking second show largely depends on your stylistic preference. But whichever path Phish has chosen in each show of this short tour, whether jamming or rocking, they have executing it to near perfection. When looked at together, the two Philly shows demonstrated the yin and yang of live Phish.

7.5.14 SPAC (Chris LaJaunie)

7.5.14 SPAC (Chris LaJaunie)

Tags: ,

2,250 Responses to “Boy, Mann.”

  1. SOAM Says:

    This just in:

    Johnny Sac’s wife just landed a coveted new role in her career….And it relates to psychedelic music!!!

    “as Gilmour prepares to release new pink Floyd album, first since 94, and then subsequent tour he was happy to announce that they have a new, lifelike flying pig to grace the stadium shows they are famous for….you know her as Ginny Sac, the wife of mobster Johnny Sac on the Sopranos, and no stranger to exciting, high flying roles herself, she is prepping by going to White Castle 5 times a day, every day for the next 6 months…”

    File under-PIGS ON THE WING.

  2. BrandonKayda Says:

    Mann Fuego
    Randalls Disease
    Randalls Carini>Ghost
    Randalls Chalk>Light>Tweezer

    These are SERIOUS jams, and that’s only from 4 shows.

  3. SOAM Says:

    Ginny Sac sings phish tunes too…”I feel I never told you, the story of the Host, tess cupcake, that I just ate and who I’d never share…

  4. little umbrellas Says:

    Official Randy Ghost vid is bomb.

  5. jtran Says:

    @df fuego song portion is only 6 mins bro, not 10 like you said last week. so 26 min fuego = 20 min jam.

  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    What happened to musical density, man?


  7. marcoesq Says:

    MannFuego is so fucking good …doesn’t have a true peak but closely resembles the more cohesive jams of late 90’s-2000ish

  8. bob dylan Says:

    we all know what happened the last time Soto did a phish print.

    just sayin

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Great, someone is going to shit the dance floor again

  10. SOAM Says:

    Confession-I have never liked Light.

    confession-on of the highlights of 3.0 for me was in Hartford, summer, 09, I think…”pick up a fuckin book”


  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I was sure it was going to be the deer creek happy corn one.

    that one’s… better… maybe?

  12. marcoesq Says:

    MannFuego kinda has a 98-00 Runaway Jim feel to it. Maybe a little Camden ’00 mixed with a little Star Lake ’98 with some Star Lake ’12 Light calypso on top.

  13. Kaveh Says:

    @SOAM…there is a new Pink Floyd album…

    “A new Pink Floyd album, entitled The Endless River, is due for release in October 2014. As revealed by Polly Samson on Twitter, it is based around the sessions for The Division Bell, which saw David, Richard and Nick returning to their method of improvisational composition which created masterpieces like Echoes and Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

    The album, which is predominantly instrumental, was produced by David, with Phil Manzanera, Youth and recording engineer Andy Jackson, building on the 1993 sessions produced by Bob Ezrin and David. Richard Wright features strongly throughout, and, as such, the recordings can be considered his swansong. He remains much missed.”

  14. little umbrellas Says:

    ‘Floyd’ having a new album seems weird to me. two decades since the last one.. and that was 30 something years since their first. hmm. maybe if they had Roger in there too it’d seem legit.

  15. Gavinsdad Says:

    To wrap up on the art side note:

    I can go on all day about this stuff. In the end I don’t love these two galleries but for NYC they basically run the “juxtapoz” artists scene. That’s like a post post street art with a hint of Graf/zine/wheatpaste/illo vibes that now cost more than you can afford. Both of these guys had Philly gallery stints before NYC. Check both sites “artists” pages for range

    (He reps my old school fave Jim houser…phila boy)

    My fave current painter he reps is Sam Friedman who was in a show I curated in 07 called Source Material if u google around. He’s become a fantastic painter and currently assists KAWS

    If you like Graf that grew up check Greg Lamarche (formerly SP One)

    The best painter tho skills wise is Alex Lukas (kept his studio here in phila past 5 years or so)

  16. BrandonKayda Says:

    I love how they almost end the Mann Fuego, but then slowly build it back up out of nothing.

    Noone’s in any rush whatsoever, very cool.

  17. little umbrellas Says:

    …. not sure it’s fair to title it as a Pink Floyd album… seems like a new Gillmore collaborative work.

  18. BrandonKayda Says:

    Again around 15mins in is a time where they would usually transition into another song in past years. Mann Fuego is a really awesome jam.

  19. roberto luongo Says:

    lil Bibby and Kevin Gates on a Pat Benatar flipped trap beat. hilarious. and totally great. love Bibby.

    love is a battlefield trap beat FTW. ha

  20. Gavinsdad Says:

    I need to replace my Manchego cheese with some Mannfuego.

  21. sumodie Says:

    Trey is ever the prankster…from Fallon last night:

    ” At one point, a member of the audience shouted “Cheesecake,” which Fallon assumed was a Phish song. The host asked those in the crowd to refrain from making requests before guitarist Trey Anastasio said, “we always take requests, as long as its Icculus.” “

  22. Underlurker Says:

    “The album, which is primarily instrumental, . . .”

    :: drool ::

  23. Stoney Case Says:

    you all watching the lazy lightning mannFuego video or a different one?

  24. marcoesq Says:

    Funny, sumo. Where’d you see that?

  25. marcoesq Says:

    Lazy, stoney.

    not lazy stoney

Leave a Reply