10/24/08 Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
I: Cayman Review, Last Tube, Drifting, Gotta Jibboo, Alaska, Ooh Child, Money Love & Change
II: Backwards Down The Number Line, Sand, Tuesday, Spin, Greyhound Rising, Push On ‘Til The Day
E: Moesha, Let Me Lie, First Tube
Bursting with energy, Philadelphia was afire last night. On the brink of the Phillies’ first home World Series games since the ill-fated season of 1993, the city is literally painted red. With the hype of tonight’s game three looming large, Trey pulled his party into a town needing no excuse for festivities. With a show that stood up to Boston in might and psychedelia, The Electric Factory is now officially on the ballot for the best show of tour. Again taking every song beyond its natural length with feverish energy and vigorous guitar-led improvisation, Trey crafted a standout show for his beloved City of Brotherly Love.
In another show that never dragged from start to finish, Trey even left the acoustic songs aside, favoring more time to shred. With a tour-best second set- featuring only six songs and some of the best moments from tour- Trey delighted the jam packed club with a set of pure fire. Opening with the most extensive “Backwards Down the Number Line” to date, this first-time placement as a second set opener could foreshadow what is in store for the song. Evoking folk rock textures reminiscent of the Dead, this song has been a focus of the second half of tour, appearing three nights in a row.
Directly following the opening peak of the set, Trey dropped into easily the hottest Sand of the week. With not much difference in TAB’s “Sand” and Phish’s version, Trey was laying into this with such ferocious improv, at times I felt like we were already at a Phish show. No joke- with his band providing every bit the groove Phish did with the song, Trey annihilated this wide-open psychedelic epic with dirty venomous solos and disgusting dance grooves. Absolutely the Sand to hear thus far, Richmond will need to go the distance to keep up with Philly’s masterpiece.
After a quick “Tuesday,” Trey unleashed the second “Spin” of tour and the first since the Roseland. Entering into the post-song jam with an ambient and eerie space, Trey slowly led his band in an earnest full-band jam that built into a virtual cover of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” off of Dark Side of the Moon. Another jam that more closely resembled what you’d expect to hear at a Phish show, this directed improvisational segment vaulted itself to the must-hear highlights of the entire tour. Ridiculously psychedelic, this jam provided the down-tempo compliment to the blistering Sand.
As the audience reassembled their brains, Trey seized the opportune moment to slide into the beginning of the long-awaited return of “Greyhound Rising.” With polished transitions and extended soloing following the lyrical sections, Trey has clearly worked out the kinks on what seems to be sure-fire Phish epic. With several striking compositional sections, a heavier bluesy jam, and mellifluous lyrical verses, the community has been waiting for something like this from Trey for a while. Fully showcased as a centerpiece of the second set, Trey seemed both excited and proud to reintroduce the song to his larger fan base. Anyone who already felt attached to this song will now love it even more, and it will scoop up any doubters along the way. This one is certainly destined for greatness.
Topping the incredibly improvised set with a spirited and intense “Push On Til the Day,” the sweaty venue was left in a cheering frenzy as Trey gave his signature fist pump, assuring everyone he is right there with us. Using diverse styles of improvisation and enough energy for the Spectrum, let alone the Electric Factory, Trey left no one in Philadelphia in doubt of where he is at musically at this point in time. With a fierce approach to the set and a list of fresh songs to go along with his masterful chops, Trey delighted the venue with a no-holds-barred hour plus display.
Although after the show few were thinking about the first set, though it did contain some notable points. A mid-frame “Jibboo” provided another series of improvised dance grooves ranging from the deranged and dissonant to the silky and smooth. All previous songs had solid jams, but it was “Jibboo” that gave the room its initial spin of the evening. Following the tour staple of “Alaska,” Trey busted the tour’s second “Ooh, Child,” bringing the blissful improv to a much higher place than Providence, his guitar sounded heavenly throughout. Juxtaposing the melodic cover with the grittier “Money, Love and Change,” Trey closed the set with a jam that gained direction as momentum about half way through, turning into a piece of rock-funk fusion.
With a show that contained at least two of the best jams of tour in “Sand” and “Spin,” Philadelphia proved to be Trey’s stomping ground yet again. Regardless what side of the Ben Franklin Bridge his shows are on, Trey always seems to treat the Camden / Philly area with monster efforts. Following in a long tradition of sparkling Phish in the city of cheesesteaks, pretzels, and water ice, Trey owned the classic room from note one through the crashing conclusion of “First Tube.”
Richmond prediction- best yet- tonight is gonna’ blow up!
A new, superior source of a special night! Boston is coming next!!
I. Gotta Jibboo, Peggy, Dark and Down, Push On Til The Day, Sweet Dreams Melinda, Sand
II. Burlap Sack and Pumps, Money Love and Change, Last Tube, Let Me Lie, Drifting, Alive Again, Tube Top Flop, Windora Bug > Ruby Waves*, Moesha, Dragonfly
E: A Case Of Ice And Snow, First Tube * debut
“First Tube” (Thanks to Michael Blume)
“Money, Love & Change” Clips Philadelphia Last Night (thanks to SpaceCadetGlow @ PT Phish)