Miner’s Dicks Picks

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , , on August 25th, 2014 by Mr.Miner
8.30.13 (Jake Silco)

8.30.13 (Jake Silco)

Here are my selections for the top 10 jams in Dick’s history.

10. “Carini” 8.31.12 I

This surprise jam, early in the first frame, set the tone for the FYF show.

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9. “Runaway Jim” 8.31.12 II

A rare siting of an exploratory, second set “Runaway Jim” in the modern era. This one is kind of aimless for a while but comes together in the second half. Some might rank this higher, but it just doesn’t hit me very hard at all. It’s kind of messy and all over the place.

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8. “Sand” 8.30.13 II

This “Sand” opens up into a gorgeous passage of Phish. While not quite 2012′s version, this “Sand” is quite good in its own right.

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7. “Piper” 9.4.11 II

An airtight excursion that passes through several themes, one that Page laces with his magic Theremin.

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6. “Sand” 9.2.12 II

A far more fluid jam than I ever gave it credit for, and sick throughout.

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5. “Chalk Dust Torture” 8.31.13 II

A defining moment of late-summer ’13, as the band set the course for Fall.

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4. ”Chalk Dust Torture” 8.31.12 II

An incredibly cohesive monster with some of Trey’s most inspired work of the year.

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3. ”Tweezer” 9.3.11 II

One of the bands most triumphant moments in 2011.

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2. “Undermind” 8.31.12 II

This set closer confirmed that something special was going at Dick’s in 2012.

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1. “Light” 9.1.12 II

The mac daddy highlight from Phish’s years at Dick’s. It’s just so good.

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The Top 10 Shows of Tour

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on August 12th, 2014 by Mr.Miner
7.16.14 (Jesse Herzog)

7.16.14 (Jesse Herzog)

I must admit, in ranking shows, I am essentially ranking second sets. There were a couple first sets that stood out over others this tour, but at the end of the day, when thinking back and spinning these shows, it’s all about the second sets. There were no first sets that were strong enough to sway my decision making process, so there’s my disclaimer. And therein lies the reason for a couple of rather tight calls on this list of shows. As always, thanks for reading!

Honorable Mention:  7/3 SPAC, 7/5 SPAC, 7/18 Chicago, 7/19 Chicago

10) 7/8 The Mann Music Center, Philadelphia, PA

This show breaks into the top ten on the strength of its “Fuego,” the second best jam of tour, and its late-set sequence of “Ghost > 2001 > Harry Hood.” Though Trey shanked the “Tweezer” jam, there is more than enough meat to carry this one. The story here, however, is the monumental “Fuego” jam that still stands as the song’s most developed and prolific outing.

I: Axilla, Gumbo, Taste, 555, Tube, Halfway to the Moon, Camel Walk, Sparkle, Halley’s Comet > It’s Ice, Ocelot, Walls of the Cave

II: 46 Days, Fuego > The Line, Backwards Down the Number Line, Tweezer > Ghost > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Harry Hood > Tweezer Reprise

E: Possum

***

9) 7/25 PNC Amphitheatre, Charlotte. NC

Charlotte Official (J.Santora)

Charlotte Official (J.Santora)

Living in the shadows of the Merriweather stand since the weekend they both happened, Charlotte’s performance actually has quite a bit to offer. This show’s centerpiece is a long form “Chalk Dust” that stands second only to Randall’s in summer’s top versions. The seamless sequence of “Fuego -> Twist -> Circus” boasts tour’s most impressive segue between the latter two songs, and summer’s most intricate and variant  “Reba” popped up late in the second set.  Trey’s “riftcord” in the “Piper” jam was the only blemish in this set, and Charlotte has  one has one of my favorite first sets taboot.

I: Mike’s Song > Back on the Train > Weekapaug Groove, Wingsuit, Possum, Tube, My Friend, My Friend, Winterqueen, Beauty of a Broken Heart, David Bowie, Golgi Apparatus

II: 555, Chalk Dust Torture > Fuego -> Twist -> When the Circus Comes, Piper > Rift, Waiting All Night > Reba > Character Zero

E: Loving Cup

*** 

8) 8/1 Amphitheatre at the Wharf, Orange Beach, AL

Phish’s first visit to the Gulf Coast resulted in a smoking second set that featured the jam of the south in “Down with Disease” and an original “Tweezer” that reached a gorgeous musical space. Pairing “Fuego” and “Slave” in the middle of the set and then closing things out with a seamless mashup of “Boogie On” and “Antelope,” Phish brought their best Southern effort on the three-night run’s opening night. A rock solid set of music gave the Phish-starved deep South something to write home about.

I: Chalk Dust Torture, The Moma Dance, Heavy Things, 555, Rift, 46 Days, Tube, Devotion To a Dream, Wolfman’s Brother, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, Free, Character Zero

II: Down with Disease > Theme From the Bottom > Tweezer > Prince Caspian, Waiting All Night, Fuego > Slave to the Traffic Light, 2001 > Boogie On Reggae Woman -> Run Like an Antelope

E: Bouncing Around the Room > Tweezer Reprise

***

7) 7/26 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD

This second set flowed like water from start to finish and boasts plenty of high quality improvisation throughout. The jam of the show is a toss up between the ‘70s-rock infused “Ghost” jam and the avant-garde fusion that went down in “Light.” Each of these jams is quite good and of completely divergent feels. The opening run of “Carini -> Ghost -> Steam” came off without a hitch and a contained but blistering “Harry Hood” capped things off. A true powerhouse Phish set.

I: Sample in a Jar, The Moma Dance, Wombat, Backwards Down the Number Line, Roggae, The Wedge, Wolfman’s Brother, Nellie Kane, Lawn Boy, The Line, Stash, Suzy Greenberg

II: Carini -> Ghost > Steam -> The Mango Song, Monica, Light -> Also Sprach Zarathustra > Harry Hood

E: Julius

***

6) 7/30 nTelos Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA

Portsmouth Official (Kelly)

Portsmouth Official (Kelly)

Portsmouth’s second performance was far and away the best show Phish has ever played in the intimate nTelos Amphitheatre. It was always a treat to see Phish in such a small outdoor venue, but the shows there have always been medicore. That changed this year in a big way on night two, as Phish dropped only the third “Fuego” jam of tour (and first since Philadelphia almost three weeks earlier) and it was a keeper. The band was locked on this night and it showed in “Fuego’s” deep groove throwdown, a vibe that continued with the second-ever “Meatstick” jam (and first since 7.15.99), a funktastic piece that eventually bled into one of tour’s “Pipers.” This set boasted flow, bust-outs, surprise jams and just about everything you’d want in a Phish set (except a powerful closer).

I: Bathtub Gin, Devotion To a Dream, Yarmouth Road, Guelah Papyrus, Alaska, It’s Ice, Poor Heart, Mountains in the Mist, Meat, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, David Bowie

II: Fuego > Gotta Jibboo, Meatstick > Piper > Billy Breathes, Seven Below, Waste, Backwards Down the Number Line, First Tube

E: The Lizards

***

5) 7/20 Northerly Island, Chicago, IL

I’ve totally come around on this show, as I was in a poor headspace that night, and the back half of this set completely smokes! This is a “Mike’s Groove” to be reckoned with, as the band not only split open “The Wedge” like never before, crafting one of tour’s best jams out in the unlikeliest of places, but they followed it up with an incredibly unique “Ghost” jam that was as dark as “The Wedge” was light. A smoking “Weekapaug” this closed the “Groove” emphatically and an above average “Disease” kicked things off in a set that flows from start to finish, despite an unneeded “Theme.”

I: Gumbo, Runaway Jim, Tela, The Line, Scent of a Mule, Bathtub Gin, Silent in the Morning, Maze, Ocelot, Walls of the Cave

II: Down with Disease > Winterqueen, Theme From the Bottom, Mike’s Song > The Wedge, Ghost -> Weekapaug Groove, First Tube

E: Character Zero

***

4) 7/12 Randall’s Island, New York City, NY

When this second set ended I called in perfect. With everything it its right place, Phish played an airtight frame of music with highlight jams all over. “Ghost” is the true centerpiece of the set, a patient journey through rock and downtempo realms. A stunning “Harry Hood” closes things out, and an intricate and ambient “Carini” started things off. Tour’s only “Punch” opened the set and tour’s only “Rock and Roll” came as a blistering contained rendition. Throw in a strong “Wingsuit” in the middle of the set, and you’ve got—well—a perfect frame of Phish.

I: AC/DC Bag, 46 Days, Yarmouth Road, Devotion To a Dream, Free, My Sweet One,  Back on the Train, Halfway to the Moon , Sparkle, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, The Line, Run Like an Antelope

Set 2: Punch You In the Eye, Carini > Ghost > Wingsuit, Rock and Roll, Harry Hood

E: Tube, Joy, First Tube

***

3) 7/4 SPAC, Saratoga Springs, NY

7/4 Official (Mumford)

7/4 Official (Mumford)

Rarely does Phish open a second set with an hour of top-shelf improvisation but on July 4th that is exactly what happened. And they did it in grand style, debuting “Fuego’s” jam with an exploratory, twenty-minute excursion that peaked in tour’s most sublime moment. From the new to the classic, the band slid into a run of “Disease > Twist > Light” before ever looking up for air. They coasted to the finish with “Theme,” “Number Line” and “First Tube,” but the damage had most definitely been done. This one was a holiday show to remember, and—easily—the best July 4th show in since 7.4.00.

I: The Star Spangled Banner, 555, Kill Devil Falls, The Moma Dance, Reba,Waiting All Night, Runaway Jim, 46 Days, Rift, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil

II: Fuego > Down with Disease > Twist > Light > Theme From the Bottom, Backwards Down the Number Line, First Tube

E: Character Zero

***

2) 7/27 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD

MPP Official (J.Callos)

MPP Official (J.Callos)

Night two of Merriweather was a different kind of Phish show. Though breakthrough jams took place in “Tweezer” and “NICU,” the take away from this night was about energy. But not the balls to the wall energy one would associate with a rock show, but the wacky, Phishy energy that was necessary to pull off such a second set at all. This type of setlist trickery and antic/comedy driven show was part of the band’s repertoire in the early-Ninties, and here we were in 2014 witnessing a performance every bit as musically inspired and energetic. Watching the band perform this show was like watching them rediscover their youth. As if shot into some alternate zone by Fishman’s abrupt change of direction in “Tweezer’s” jam, the guys became possessed with a spirit of old—but a spirit that clearly still burns brightly in their hearts today, driving the modern version of Phish. We’ve all seen a lot of shows, and we’ve all seen the guys have a great time on countless occasions, but something was different on this night, they were having a whole ‘nother level of fun as they wove in and out of songs, stopped to jam where the spirit moved, and generally carried on with a zaniness that has lied just below the surface for the most of the modern era. This night was special for us, no doubt, but far more significantly, this night was special for them.

I: Fee, The Curtain With, 46 Days, 555, My Sweet One, Sand, Bouncing Around the Room, Saw It Again, Fuego, You Enjoy Myself

II: Wilson > Tweezer -> Back on the Train -> Tweezer > Back on the Train -> Tweezer > Waiting All Night, Free -> Tweezer -> Simple -> Tweezer -> Free, Catapult -> Slave to the Traffic Light, Down with Disease -> NICU -> Hold Your Head Up > Jennifer Dances > Hold Your Head Up, I Been Around

E: Boogie On Reggae Woman > Tweezer Reprise

***

1) 7/13 Randall’s Island, New York City, NY

7.13 Official (J.Flames)

7.13 Official (J.Flames)

No antics in this one, just the best improvisation of the entire tour in a Hall of Fame hour of music that went “Chalk Dust > Light > Tweezer.” “Chalk Dust” is up there with Phish’s all time jams, easily cracking the upper echelon of that discussion. A true masterpiece that soars out of the gates and then settles into the most intuitive and connected jamming of the summer, this one has replay value for days as it continues to wow with every spin. Showing ultimate composure and exhibiting patience rarely seen in this day and age, the band navigated a near half-hour piece of music that is ridiculously dense and rich, featuring countless feels and soundscapes. But that’s just the first half of the coin. On the backside Phish dropped “Light > Tweezer,” each a standout highlight of its own. The band dripped into a surreal “Mind Left Body” jam in “Light,” and packed the tour’s best “Tweezer” with totally inventive playing, building to a group-wide peak that saw brains explode across Randall’s Island. This first hour of the second set was real-deal Holyfield, sashimi grade Phish that will stand up to anything. Finishing the set with “Velvet Sea,” “Monica” and “Slave,” this one was airtight through the end. Randall’s final performance also boasts my pick for best first set of tour, featuring several juicy selections.

I:Sand, Winterqueen, Reba, Birds of a Feather, Water in the Sky, Possum, Runaway Jim, Bouncing Around the Room, Maze, Split Open and Melt

II: Chalk Dust Torture > Light > Tweezer, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Monica, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Backwards Down the Number Line > Tweezer Reprise

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Mid-Tour Awards

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on July 23rd, 2014 by Mr.Miner
7.20.14 (Graham Lucas)

7.20.14 (Graham Lucas)

Best Show: 7/13 Randall’s Island

Runner up: 7/4 SPAC

 Best Set: 7/13 Randall’s Island Set II

Runner Up: 7/12 Randall’s Island Set II

Best First Set: 7/13 Randall’s Island

Runner Up: 7/11 Randall’s Island

Best Stand: Randall’s Island

Runner Up: SPAC

MVP of Tour: Jon Fishman

Runner Up: Page McConnell

 Jam Vehicle of Tour: “Harry Hood”

Runners Up: “Chalk Dust,” “Light” and “Down with Disease”

Best Segue: “Piper -> Halley’s” 7/18, Northerly Island

Runner Up: “Ghost -> Weekapaug” 7/20 Northerly Island

Top Jams of Tour

(In chronological order after 1 and 2)

1. “Chalk Dust Torture” 7/13

2. “Fuego” 7/8

“Harry Hood” 7/1, “Bathtub Gin > Limb” 7/3, “Fuego” 7/4, “Piper” 7/5,  “Chalk Dust” 7/9, “Bathtub Gin” 7/11, “Down With Disease” 7/11, “Ghost” 7/12, “Harry Hood” 7/12, “Light” 7/13, “Tweezer” 7/13, “Down With Disease” 7/15, “Wombat” 7/18, “Light” 7/19, “Harry Hood” 7/19, “The Wedge” 7/20, “Ghost” 7/20

7.16.14, Detroit (Jesse Herzog)

7.16.14, Detroit (Jesse Herzog) 

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A Portrait of an Era

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on May 20th, 2014 by Mr.Miner

1091808964_1553For the past two weeks, I’ve been playing a game that has totally diversified my Phish listening. If you have the Phish On Demand app, and can get a speaker for your phone in your bathroom, you can play too! Before every shower, I hit the random show selector. No matter what show comes up, I choose one jam to listen to from that show for the duration of that shower. Several of these jams have been featured in my last couple playlists, but last night I hit the jackpot!

The random show selected was 8-14-98, Limestone, Maine. Your thought is correct, there was no show on that date. The app had pulled up the Lemonwheel soundcheck. I almost just hit the button again to select a real show, but staying true to the rules of my game—you can’t pass on a show—I decided to let it ride. I’ve never been one to listen to soundchecks all that much beyond The Bunny or live at a festival, and I had never heard any of this multi-tracked Lemonwheel affair. I selected the 20-minute jam and hopped in, not sure what to expect.

Lmnwhl Postcard (Pollock)

Lmnwhl Postcard (Pollock)

The tape cut in on a laidback bluesy, groove—nothing all too special. But after a couple minutes, the band dissolved into an ambient jam that clearly foreshadowed the late-night “Ring of Fire” jam in which they—essentially—debuted their next improvisational palette that would take them through the fall and beyond. This was a spectacular, and totally unexpected end-of-the-day soundtrack! And, boy, Phish sounded like they were at complete ease, clicking immediately into a gorgeous, emotive passage. But they weren’t just testing levels here, it was much more than that. This was the first time the band had stepped on stage at Limestone since The Great Went. They were re-acclimating themselves to the magical surroundings and reacquainting themselves with the spirits of the north woods. You can hear the guys’ awe and sense of majesty in their playing. They had reached the end of a long and winding summer tour that started six weeks earlier in Copenhagen, came stateside in Portland, Oregon, and wound its way to the northeast corner of America. The near-psychic connection the band had developed over this time is evident in the utter relaxation and collaborative nature of their jamming. And you wanna talk collaborative? Wait to hear what comes next.

1998-08-16moAfter coming to a natural pause, the band’s dripped into a quintessential, Summer ’98 funk groove that absolutely slays. At this point I’m dancing to some never-before heard ’98 Phish in my shower at 1:30 am—and fuckin’ loving it! This music transported me back in time instantly. They say that smells can evoke specific memories of a place in time, well so can chunky Phish grooves, because I felt like I was back at Limestone, 16 years ago. Comfortable and confident, the band sounded in their element, neck-deep in groove and playing to a wide open field.

This 22-minute jam truly represents a sonic portrait of 1998 Phish—a year when they had built on their raw funk of ’97, smoothed things out considerably and began to travel outwards via melodic, ambient-amoeba jamming. Two of the band’s signature sounds of the year are captured in this single soundcheck jam. And don’t let the word “soundcheck” throw you, this is the straight dope! Listen below.

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Download link

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Island Memories—Night 1

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on April 2nd, 2014 by Mr.Miner

“Twist Part 1″

-
“Twist Part 2″

***

“Stash”

***

“Tube”

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TTFF: Dreaming of Summer

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on March 13th, 2014 by Mr.Miner
7.22.13, Toronto (Jake Silco)

7.22.13, Toronto (Jake Silco)

Mike’s -> Simple” Clifford Ball 8.16.96 II

A historic chunk of Summertime Phish.

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Reba” 8.2.03 Limestone, ME

A daytime, post-hiatus gem.

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Sneakin’ Sally” 8.8.98 Columbia, MD

Quintessential Summer ’98 grooves here.

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Disease -> Free” 6.26.95 I, SPAC, NY

Simply put, one of Phish most superbly executed  psychedelic odysseys.

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***

Chalk Dust Torture” 8.31.12 II, Commerce City, CO

Some of Trey’s most blissful and cathartic playing of Summer ’12.

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Light” SPAC, NY 7.5.13 II

This dense, virtuosic conversation kicked off Summer ’13 in earnest and is now my go-to version of the song.

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***

Crosseyed and Painless” 7.10.13, Holmdel, NJ 

This jam has so much staying power—truly an all-timer.

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***

Harry Hood” 7.22.97 II, Raleigh, NC

After an intense, power-packed set of Phish, the band encored with this sublime “Harry Hood.”

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***

Rock and Roll -> Meatstick” 8.5.11, George, WA

A jam—especially in context—that caused ripples throughout the modern Phish universe.

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***

Ghost” 8.15.98 II, Limestone, ME

The essential nugget of late-Summer ’98 Phish foreshadowed the shift to ambient jamming come the fall. This relatively under-the-radar “Ghost” sneaks into my personal top five.

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2013 Year-End Awards

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on January 23rd, 2014 by Mr.Miner
12.28.13 (Jake Silco)

12.28.13 (Jake Silco)

1st Team Type II Jam Vehicles of the Year: “Carini,” “Tweezer,” “Light,” “Down With Disease,” “Chalk Dust Torture,” “Golden Age”

2nd Team: “Ghost,” “Rock and Roll,” “Twist,” “Crosseyed and Painless,” “Piper”

1st Team Type I Jam Vehicles of the Year: “David Bowie,” “Bathtub Gin,” “Stash,” “Harry Hood,” “Wolfman’s Brother”

Jam Vehicle of Year: “Carini”

MVP: Jon Fishman

Best Music of the Year: “Down with Disease > Carini,” 12/29 MSG

Most Succesful Jam of the Year: “Down With Disease” 12/29, MSG

Most Sureal Jam of the Year: “Tweezer” 7/31, Stateline, NV

First Set Jam of Year: “Split Open and Melt” 7/6, SPAC

Most Sinister Jam of the Year: “Carini” 12/29, MSG

Grooviest Jam of the Year: “Carini” 12/29, MSG

Most Unique Jam of the Year: “Tweezer” 11/2, Atlantic City

Unexpected Jam of the Year: “Twenty Years Later” 10/29, Reading

Underrated Jam of the Year: “Carini” 7/5, SPAC

Best Under 10-Minute Jam of the Year: “Chalk Dust Torture” 7/16, Alpharetta

Comeback Jam of the Year:“Twist”

Best New Jam: “Energy”

Best New Original: “Fuego”

Deepest Pocket of the Year: “Carini” 12/29, MSG

Filthiest Funk of the Year: “Twenty Years Later” 10/29, Reading, PA

Most Adrenalized Moment of the Year: “Piper -> Taking Care of Business” 10/20, Hampton, VA

“Holy Shit!” Moment of the Year: “Woos!”  in Tahoe Tweezer—like it or not

Phishiest Moment of the Year: “Bush” funk jam in AC “Theme”

Best Guitar Solo: End of “Down With Disease” 10/29, Reading, PA

Most Fluid and Cohesive Second Set: 7/12 Jones Beach

Most Explosive Second Set: 10/20 Hampton Coliseum

Smoothest Segue: 7/6 “Carini -> Architect” SPAC

Worst Attempt at a Segue: “Sand > Light,” 7/10 PNC

Shreddiest Peak: “Ghost” 10/19, Hampton, VA

Blissiest Peak: “Down with Disease” 7/22, Toronto, ON

Best Song in Non-Traditional Spot: “Sneakin’ Sally” E, 11/1 AC

Best 3-Night Stand: 10/31-11/2 Atlantic City

Best 2-Night Stand: 7/26-27 The Gorge

Best 2-Set Show: 12/29, MSG, NY

Best 3-Set Show: 10/31, Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City

Sleeper Show of the Year: 7/16 Alpharetta, GA

Outdoor Venue of the Year (Gorge not included): Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Alpharetta

Indoor Venue of the Year: Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY

Best / Most wide open GA Floor: Civic Center, Hartford, CT

Venue With Chillest Employees: Hampton Coliseum

Top “What Song Are They Playing” Moment: “Chalk Dust Torture,” 7/16 Alpharetta, GA

Most Underachieving Jam: “Backwards Down the Number Line”

Best Individual Performance at a Concert: Jon Fishman 8/31, Dick’s, Commerce City, CO

Best CK5 Moment: the “rain” effect at the drop of the Hartford “Tweezer” jam

Worst Show of the Year: 10/22 Rochester, NY

Most Absurd Moment of the Year: 7/19, Chicago—Canceled show mid “Caspian” with no rain

Hardest Rainstorm of the Year: 7/12 Jones Beach

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The Top 10 Shows of 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on January 21st, 2014 by Mr.Miner
12.31.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

12.31.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

Honorable Mention: 7.12 Jones Beach, 7.26 The Gorge, 7.31 Lake Tahoe, 8.4 Bill Graham, 10.26 Worcester, 10.27 Hartford, CT

***

10. 7/5 SPAC, Saratoga Springs, NY

7/5 Official (Millward)

7/5 Official (Millward)

On the second night of summer, Phish threw down a huge statement at SPAC, foreshadowing what was to come in 2013 with one of the most fluid second sets of the year. Infusing creativity at every turn after setbreak, highlighted by one of the most inventive “Lights” ever played, the band was locked in on this night, and never looked back all year. And the first set ain’t too shabby either, particularly the closing couplet of “Cities -> Bowie.”

I: Kill Devil Falls, The Moma Dance, Sample in a Jar, Roses Are Free, Birds of a Feather, Yarmouth Road, Bathtub Gin, Nellie Kane, Army of One, My Friend, My Friend, Cities -> David Bowie

II: Energy > Light -> The Mango Song > 46 Days -> Steam > Drowned > Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Character Zero

***

9. 7/10 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

Phish’s return to Northern Jersey came on the heels of Toronto’s last-minute cancellation, hence it was primed to explode. An it explode it did, as the band greeted PNC with Leg One’s strongest show. This second set is chock full of improv, featuring a popular pick for the jam of early-Summer in “Crosseyed > Hood,” and an underrated, late-set “Light.”

I. Llama, Wolfman’s Brother, Sample in a Jar, Julius, Halley’s Comet > Bathtub Gin, Lawn Boy, Ya Mar, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Theme From the Bottom, Suzy Greenberg

II: Crosseyed and Painless > Harry Hood, Axilla, Sand > Light > Good Times Bad Times, Slave to the Traffic Light, Rocky Top, Cavern

E: Possum

***

8. 10/29 Santander Arena, Reading, PA

10/29 Official (D. Welker)

10/29 Official (D. Welker)

Reading contained one of the best start-to-finish second sets of Fall Tour. With fluidity, multiple tour-highlight jams and a potent, retro-take on on “You Enjoy Myself,” this show did far more than set the table for Atlantic City. What is keeping Reading’s ranking this low is its pedestrian first set; one of the least inspired of the fall, salvaged only by a ferocious “Split Open and Melt.”

I: Cars Trucks Buses, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Ginseng Sullivan, Wolfman’s Brother, Sparkle > Walk Away, Divided Sky, Split Open and Melt > Julius

II: Down with Disease > Taste, Twenty Years Later > Piper > Backwards Down the Number Line, You Enjoy Myself, Grind

E: Bouncing Around the Room > Reba, Good Times Bad Times

***

7. 8/31 Dick’s, Commerce City, CO

Saturday night’s throwdown in Commerce City boasts two energetic sets, with a top jam of the year in the now-famous “Chalk Dust Torture.” Don’t forget the late-show, hard-hitting “Tweezer,” the subsequent version to Tahoe’s epic. The rest of the show was filled with rock solid playing and quality song selection throughout.

I: Buried Alive, AC/DC Bag, Wolfman’s Brother, Yarmouth Road, Fee > Halfway to the Moon, The Wedge, Halley’s Comet > Bathtub Gin, Bouncing Around the Room, Mound, Gumbo, Run Like an Antelope

II: Chalk Dust Torture, Light -> 46 Days > Steam -> Free, Joy, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Tweezer > Backwards Down the Number Line

E: On the Road Again > Tweezer Reprise

***

6. 12/31 Madison Square Garden, NYC, NY

NYE '13 (Masthay)

NYE ’13 (Masthay)

This was Phish’s 30th Anniversary show and it contained a vibe like none other. Centered on the sonic recreation of the early ’90s during the truck top JEMP Set, this New Year’s show was a celebration of Phish past, present and future. The band brought their A-game for the entire night, including another fierce third set. And check our every Trey solo in the first set, they are all fresh, inventive and well-phrased. A gentle-turned-biting “Light” blossomed into the improvisational highlight of three-set show.

I: AC/DC Bag, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, Wilson, Divided Sky, Ocelot, Sugar Shack, Halfway to the Moon, Fluffhead

II: Glide, Llama, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Fuck Your Face, Reba, Icculus, The Lizards, Split Open and Melt

III: Character Zero > Auld Lang Syne > Fuego > Light > Twenty Years Later, Bouncing Around the Room, You Enjoy Myself

E: Grind, Show of Life

***

5. 10/31 Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Halloween 2013 was a one-of-a-kind evening. Never before had Phish played us a set of unheard music, a move that leveled the playing field by eliminating any possible expectations of what was to come. The anti-Wingsuit sentiment voiced by a faction of the fan base, in my opinion, spoke far more about the listeners and what they were bringing to the show, rather than anything he band  did. Owing us nothing but continuing to give, Phish allowed all of us into the creative process, playing us a set’s worth of new material. And what a set it was! Paving the way for the next several years, Phish debuted more than a handful of keepers on Old Hallow’s Eve. And then they absolutely crushed the third set, something they hadn’t done, in any holiday show since 1998.

I: Heavy Things, The Moma Dance, Poor Heart, Back on the Train, Silent in the Morning,Kill Devil Falls, Mound, Free, Camel Walk, Stash, Golgi Apparatus, Bathtub Gin

II: Wingsuit > Fuego, The Line, Monica, Waiting All Night, Wombat, Snow, Devotion To A Dream, 555 > Winterqueen, Amidst the Peals of Laughter, You Never Know

III: Ghost > Carini, Birds of a Feather, Harry Hood, Bug, Run Like an Antelope

E: Quinn the Eskimo

***

4. 7/27 The Gorge, George, Washington

7/27 Official (DKNG)

7/27 Official (DKNG)

The second night of The Gorge was Phish’s finest night of summer tour, as they dropped a seamless second set laced with artistry, forethought and patience. Every time Phish gets to the Gorge, everything slows down and Phish’s music garners a spaciousness that is congruent with the venue’s natural surroundings. After an outstanding effort on night one, the band came back and topped themselves with this show. “Disease -> Undermind” and “2001 > Sneaking Sally” anchored—for all intents and purposes—a perfect set.

I: Architect, Golgi Apparatus, The Curtain With, Kill Devil Falls, The Moma Dance, Maze, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Roses Are Free, Say Something, Ocelot, After Midnight

II: Down with Disease -> Undermind > Light -> Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Walls of the Cave > Fluffhead, Run Like an Antelope

E: Show of Life, Good Times Bad Times

***

3. 10/20 Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA

The second set of this show was absolutely relentless and left the entire audience in a state of blithering state of bliss. It had been quite some time since Phish had thrown down that hard for the duration of an entire set. Deep dives in “Tweezer” and “Golden Age” anchored the exploration, while the band kept the dance music spinning all night long. One of the moments of the year came in the surprise segue out of a celebratory”Piper” into ” “Taking Care of Business.” And the show ended with “2001 > Sand,” “Slave to the Traffic Light.” I mean—really? This set was pure Phish fire.

I: Julius, Funky Bitch, Back on the Train, Roses Are Free > Sample in a Jar, Ginseng Sullivan, 46 Days, Divided Sky, Bold As Love

II: Paul and Silas, Tweezer > Golden Age > Piper -> Takin’ Care of Business, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Sand, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: A Day in the Life > Tweezer Reprise

***

2. 11/1 Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

11/1 Official (D.Mumford)

11/1 Official (D.Mumford)

This show makes the number two spot over Hampton on its balance and the strength of its first set. Additionally, the centerpiece of this show,an absolutely transcendent version of “Twist,” bests any improvisational segment of Hampton’s monster set. AC’s second set also remained quite strong after “Twist,” highlighted by a comically-laced “Makisupa” and a very underrated “Light.” Remember the encore of this one? A jammed-out “Sneaking Sallly” with a full-blown “Shaft” jam. Yeah, they were feeling it on this night.

I: Cavern, Runaway Jim, Sand, Halfway to the Moon, Halley’s Comet > Tube, Possum, When the Circus Comes, Sugar Shack, Jesus Just Left Chicago, David Bowie

II: Twist > Gotta Jibboo > Makisupa Policeman, Light > Chalk Dust Torture, Meatstick, Boogie On Reggae Woman, The Wedge, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley

***

1. 12/29 Madison Square Garden, NYC, NY

This start-to-finish barn-burner featured the band’s best playing of the year—and in memory—in the all-time sequence, “Down with Disease” > “Carini.” I’d put this chunk of music up against any from the guys’ 31 shows at MSG, and that speaks volumes. After this gargantuan opening of the second set, the guys kept things moving in the right direction with a comedown of “Waves” and a sexy version of  Twist.” The band sealed the deal with an intricate, rock-solid “Bowie” to close. Don’t sleep on the first set either, an energetic frame of Phish that featured depth-in-brevity within “Gumbo” and “It’s Ice,” not to mention scorching versions of “Stash” and “Walls of the Cave.”

I: The Moma Dance > Rift, Roggae, Sparkle, The Line, Stash, 555, It’s Ice,Gumbo, Walls of the Cave

II: Down with Disease > Carini > Waves > Twist > Golgi Apparatus, David Bowie

E: Possum

12.29.13 (Jake Silco)

12.29.13 — MSG (Jake Silco)

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The Envelope, Please…

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on November 25th, 2013 by Mr.Miner
Hampton Coliseum (Andrea Nusinov)

Hampton Coliseum (Andrea Nusinov)Fall Tour Awards:

FALL TOUR AWARDS

MVP: “Tweezer”

Barely edging out “Carini” on the strength of its third version, “Tweezer” takes away the most coveted individual award of Fall. “Tweezer” not only produced my jam of the tour in Hartford, it also produced two other jams that I have heard ranked number one of tour by others, and that speaks to the incredible nature of them all. Three all-star versions, all with a unique vibe and direction vault “Tweezer” to the top of this fall’s pedestal. Had Worcester’s “Carini” gone a bit longer and developed more, we might just have co-MVPS, but Trey elected for a pre-mature “Caspian,” a move that—in retrospect—sealed the deal for the big dog. “Tweezer,” here’s another trophy for your mantle. “Carini,” close, but no cigar.

***

Comeback Player of Tour: “Twist”

This recipient comes as no surprise, as Phish resurrected “Twist” from the dead over Fall Tour. When the band opened the second set of the season with “Twist,” it felt like a bizarre and foreign move, yet when they opened up tour’s second-to-last main event with “Twist,” it felt just right. Over the course of two weeks, Phish sculpted three magnificent jams out of their once-prolific platform, and just like that, “Twist” was a major player in the Phish scene again. First, an ambient, Pink Floyd laced excursion in Hampton, then, a delicate, ethereal outing in Glens Falls, that featured a sneak preview of “The Line,” and finally a signature masterpiece in Atlantic City with one of the jams of the year. Welcome back, “Twist!” We’ve surely missed you and had grown tired of your pseudo “Oye Como Va” scene.

***

Debut of Tour: “Fuego”

It was hard to not sport an ear-to-ear smile during the debut of “Fuego,” the undeniable gem of the Wingsuit set. A multi-staged composition that leaves room for two improvisational passages, all packaged with catchy hooks, overlapped lyrics, and group chanting, “Fuego” has all the components of a Phishy show-stopper. I bet we see this one during the Holiday Run at MSG.

***

Second Set of Tour: 10/20 Hampton 

Hampton 2013 (A. Nusnov)

Hampton 2013 (A. Nusnov)

The vibe after this show reeked of the late ’90s, when Phish left most of their audience speechless and in dismay on a nightly basis. This was one of those shows for which the ushers had to eventually ask fans to leave, because nobody wanted to go anywhere. We had just experienced a full-throttle assault like none in recent years. The second entire set was strewn with big-time jam vehicles, and the band never stopped taking care of business. After two nights at Hampton, many Northeastern fans who had elected to skip the run were feeling pretty good about their decision. After night three’s course-correcting ritual, they weren’t.

Paul and Silas, Tweezer > Golden Age > Piper -> Takin’ Care of Business > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Sand, Slave to the Traffic Light

***

First Set of Tour: 10/26 Worcester 

This first set runs away with this award, though there were several other high-quality opening frames during Fall 2013. This one however, featured highlight jams in “Bathtub Gin” and “David Bowie,” not to mention solid versions of “Stash” and”Simple.” An extended version of “Party Time” opened things up before “Punch” really got things going. A couple rarities of “Ride Captain Ride” and “My Soul” as well a spirited version of “Back on the Train” rounded things out less a gratuitous “Character Zero.”

Party Time, Punch You In the Eye, Back on the Train, My Soul, Bathtub Gin, Ride Captain Ride, Stash, Simple > David Bowie, Character Zero

***

Show of Tour: 10/31 Atlantic City, NJ

10/31 Official (D.Mumford)

10/31 (D.Mumford)

There is no denying the incredible significance of this year’s Halloween show. Never before has Phish presented an entire set of new material, and never have they presented so much new material that has been as instantly well-received. Touching on so many disparate genres and feels, the songs of the Wingsuit set were all crafted with a distinctly Phishy vibe, and most seem to be ready for rotation. The infusion of this much new material totally revolutionizes the Phish experience and paves the way for a glorious future—all in their 30th year! And after setbreak, the guys came out and tore apart a third frame for the first time in ages. Unloading two top ten jams of tour in a prolific one-two Halloween punch of “Ghost” and “Carini,” the band provided plenty of improv for those who didn’t get off on Wingsuit’s revelation. Those jams were supported by solid versions of “Hood” and “Antelope,” and when you combine all of these elements, you’ve got your show of fall tour.

***

Two Set Show of Tour: 10/26 Worcester, MA

Rarely is a Phish show presented over two flowing sets without a single lull or dull moment, but that is exactly what happened on Saturday night in Worcester. One need only look above to see the quality of this show’s first set, and most are familiar with the monster sequence of “Drowned > Light” that opened the second. Follow that up with “Sand” and “Mike’s > No Quarter > Weekapaug,” with only a “Theme” interlude, and one has the most complete Phish show of tour.

Runners Up: 10/27 Hartford, 11/1 Atlantic City

***

 All-Stars, 1st Team: 

 “Tweezer,” “Carini,” “Twist,” “Ghost,” “Disease,” “Golden Age” 

========

Mimi Fishman Auction:

Mimi_Fishman_Foundation-353x-353xFive Phish New Years ticket packages were just added to the Mimi Fishman Foundation online charity auction. All proceeds from the ticket packages to benefit Phish’s WaterWheel Foundation.  The auction also features Phish Summer Tour posters signed by all band members. Of special note is the multiple night runs include matching numbered posters auctioned off as single sets. Additionally, the auction includes New Years packages donated from The String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Umphrey’s McGee with the proceeds to benefit Colorado Flood Relief efforts.

To access the auction please visit www.mimifishman.org

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TTFF: The Structured Stuff

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on November 22nd, 2013 by Mr.Miner
10.22.13 (Jake Silco)

10.22.13, War Memorial, Rochester, NY (Jake Silco)

As everyone well knows,  I almost exclusively comprise my playlists of Phish’s open jams. Not today. The band’s playing was so strong across the board this past tour, that I’d like to highlight some of my favorite contained jams for this Friday’s playlist. As I wrote about as recently as this year, the band’s structured—or type I—playing, was the last part of their repertoire to ripen in this era. Sure, they could get through all the changes without the obvious flubs of post-hiatus, but for the first years of this era, they infused little to no creativity into their structured jams, causing parts of shows—particularly first sets—to drag. This year, however, starting in summer, Phish made a point to resuscitate classic pieces that has lost their luster; pieces like “Bathtub Gin,” “David Bowie,” “Stash,” and “Harry Hood.” During 2013, these jams—and more—have regained their proper place in the Pantheon of Phish. Here are some of my favorites from fall presented to you in a thought out playlist that bring some flow to your Friday.

***

2001” 10.26 II, Hartford, CT

Though “Also Sprach” had been gaining creative steam all year, this this tour is first time the guys gave the piece a decent amount of time to breathe, as both versions clocked in at must over eight minutes. Hartford’s tour highlight came at the tail end of a groovalicious set that featured massive versions of both “Tweezer” and “Golden Age,” and kept the vibe alive with a nasty rhythmic throwdown.

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***

Harry Hood” 10.23 II, Glens Falls, NY

Perhaps the retro environs of Glens Falls seeped into Trey’s consciousness, because he took this set-closing version of “Harry Hood” with the fury of old. The jam begins with some distinctly modern textures and ends with a scorching peak the likes of which we haven’t seen in quite some time—all in all, a stellar version.

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***

Bathtub Gin” 10.26 I, Worcester, MA

This “Gin” provided the highlight of perhaps the best first set of the tour on the second night of Worcester. Almost breaking form, the band remains anchored in groove and brings this version to a colossal peak—the largest single peak of the entire show.

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***

Sand” 11.1 I, Atlantic City, NJ

This third-song “Sand” beat out any second setter of this tour, as Phish’s relaxed and confident demeanor showed immediately on night two in Boardwalk Hall. They had just turned in their first “Shaft” jam of the weekend in “Runaway Jim,” when they flexed their muscles on their groove anthem—an incredibly fiery start to one of tour’s strongest performances.

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***

Roggae” 10.18 II, Hampton, VA

I recently respun Hampton’s tour opener and found it to be an incredibly well played show, if not a touch mellow. This mid-second set “Roggae” stood out immediately and paced the set between “Twist” and before “Carini.” This second set is a dark horse of tour.

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***

Sneakin Sally Through the Alley” 11.1. E, Atlantic, City

After a spectacular performance, Phish went right ahead and blew up a “Sally” encore, eventually reprising the “Shaft” jam from “Runaway Jim.” Whew!

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***

Split Open and Melt” 10.29 I, Reading, PA

The band seemed to have this “Split” jam by the horns as they had progressed the piece into ominous abstraction. Then, without even attempting to bring it back, Trey bailed out of the jam abruptly for “Julius.” Not sure what that was about, but this jam is nasty.

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***

Gotta Jibboo” 11.1.13 II, Atlantic City, NJ

After a monumental “Twist” jam, the guys applied their focus to the groove in this smoking “Jibboo.”

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***

David Bowie” 10.26 I, Worcester, MA

This intricate “Bowie” closed out Worcester’s big-time first set on the 26th, coming at the tail end of a powerful, set-closing trifecta that started with “Stash” and “Simple.”

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***

Slave to the Traffic Light” 10.20 II, Hampton, VA

This gentle, understated “Slave” served as a perfect juxtaposition to the fire-filled set it closed, the set of the fall tour.

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***

You Enojy Myself” 10.29 II, Reading, PA

A real live “YEM” jam?! Lordy, lordy where have you been? Refreshing to say the least!

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