Electricity

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

One of the pervading themes of Phish’s opening half of summer tour has been rain. For the past week, it seems like we’ve been walking out of shows soaking wet wearing shit eating grins just about every night, and Wednesday in Alpharetta was no exception. The rain came early and often, drenching the lawn-goers while blowing into the sides of the pavilion taboot. The band met the weather with yet another great second set—not to mention a solid first—that flowed from start to finish with no discernible lulls. Centered on the sequence “Energy -> Fluffhead -> Piper,” the band played a fast-paced second set that also featured a nod to the inclement weather in “Drowned -> Water in the Sky,” and a late-set dance party with teeth in the form of “2001 > Mike’s > Wedge -> Weekapaug.” With an opening frame that far outshone yesterday’s snoozer, the second night of Alpharetta balanced the grittier throwdown of the first with a quirky show that offered quite a lot.

1073195_10151464842411290_1276473880_oThough the musical highlight of the night emerged in “Piper’s” dark and demented tale, the biggest take away of the show came in the return of “Energy” smack dab in the middle of the second set. The band hadn’t touched the cover since its well-received debut at SPAC, but it was only a matter of time before the song reared its head again—and this time, as suspected, it carried a new school jam in tow! Trey added a lyrical refrain of “Electricity” as the band vamped over the songs chords and drifted into uncharted waters for the first time ever. It’s been a moment since Phish has kicked down a new jam vehicle, and this one seems to have some legs. Progressing out of the song’s feel into a fast-paced groove, it wasn’t long before Trey was hitting his wah pedal and painting the textures with his signature sound. But aside from the jam, itself, simply dancing to a new palette of Phish music was pure joy.

And as the band brought the jam to an ambient close, they coyly slipped into a “Fluffhead.” It had been ages since I enjoyed “Fluffhead” as much as I did last night. Despite a few struggles on Red’s behalf, the placement of and transition into the anthem was superb, and above all else, it was only the first version of summer. Phish had all but beaten a dead horse for the years of 2009-2011, playing “Fluffhead” far too often for any 15 minute composition, but this time it just felt right. Continuing their summer of segues, as the guys wound down “Fluff,” they never got to the very end, instead slipping into a “Piper” that would soon explode. This tour, “Piper” has been used as a cathartic vehicle, but at Alpharetta, the band took the jam in the opposite direction, entering into a lair of dissonance and layered effects. You hate to see the band get stuck in ruts, thus, it was great to see them flip the script on “Piper” this go round, keeping things fresh and unpredictable. Without having respun the show, I can’t go much further into a description of the jam, but if someone could only listen to one track from this show, “Piper” would be my nominee.

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

“Drowned” hit a few nice places before segueing into “Water in the Sky,” a pairing that I thought—momentarily—would be followed by “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” and “Waves” in a nautical homage, but the band choose a different route. Phish closed the set with another dynamic “Mike’s Groove,” this time pairing “2001” with “Mike’s” in a classic combo that we haven’t seen in a minute. Each piece saw the attention it deserved, if not a bit more succinct than Merriweather’s versions. This time, the band slipped in “The Wedge” to bridge “Mike’s” and “Weekapaug,” including a surprise transition into “Weekapaug,” further cementing Summer 2013 as the tour that the band relearned segues.

7.14.13 (A.Nusinov)

7.14.13 (A.Nusinov)

The final piece of note to this show was the debut of Trey’s “Frost” in the first set. Translating gorgeously to the Phish setting, “Frost” is now waiting to be placed deep in the second set out of a long jam. I really dig this one and think it could be a fixture in the Phish universe from here on out. Beyond “Frost,” the first set contained some spunky dance numbers at the top set in “Moma,” “Funky Bitch” and “Gumbo,” but slowed a bit from there. “Guyute” sounded fresh and spot on in its only appearance of tour.

Phish has now put the east coast behind them sets their targets on Northerly Island in Chicago, a new venue that has received less than stellar reviews by other fan bases. Hopefully the venue has fixed things up as they claim they have, because there are a lot of Midwesterners who will be tasting Phish 2013 for the first time of of summer. And as Frank the Tank said, “It’s so good when it hits your lips!”

I: Runaway Jim > The Moma Dance, Funky Bitch, Divided Sky, Gumbo, Nellie Kane, Frost*, Alaska, Guyute, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Suzy Greenberg

II: Punch You In the Eye > Drowned -> Water in the Sky, Energy -> Fluffhead -> Piper > Fast Enough for You > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Mike’s Song > The Wedge ->Weekapaug Groove

E: Quinn the Eskimo

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538 Responses to “Electricity”

  1. plord Says:

    Locked out too. Probably trying to keep down the load on the servers; login is typically a heavyweight process.

  2. Boris Says:

    ouch bummer

  3. Stoney Case Says:

    Electricity! Electricity!

    ::cries in Cheerios::

    ::puffs AW’s stash::

  4. voopa Says:

    Maybe if everyone stops hammering LP we won’t get weird redirects.

  5. negev79 Says:

    Harpua tomorrow for sure

  6. jdub Says:

    Congrats Voopa! That shit is too funny.

    You will be dancing in no time.

  7. Boris Says:

    here comes a special couple of shows in chi-town

  8. LukasChuck Says:

    Somehow when I reloaded it started the stream from the beginning. 1.5 hrs before set 1 started. crazy.

    Looks like the weather stopped Pearl Jam @ wrigley and Pitchfork as well.

  9. stupendous Says:

    3 sets tomorrow?

  10. phishm Says:

    Wow, am I glad that I didn’t drive the 5 to 6 hours up to Chicago and pay for a hotel and wait all day in the heat and then get a show with a 2 song 2nd set. Just sayin.

  11. voopa Says:

    Nothing’s canceled yet.

  12. jdub Says:

    dang, them caramels really kicking in now.

  13. sd Says:

    “Unfortunately, that’s it for the night. Again, the venue has been evacuated due to a storm that is approaching the area.”

  14. negev79 Says:

    It’s officially over kids

    Phish @phish
    Unfortunately, that’s it for the night. Again, the venue has been evacuated due to a storm that is approaching the area.

  15. negev79 Says:

    Crazy. Anyone know – has this ever happened before? Not delay but full on cancelation?

  16. Stoney Case Says:

    Shows over. Elvis has left the building.

    Storms looks like it will miss us for the most part.

  17. phishm Says:

    How could they possibly call a show at 10? Thunderstorms are quick.

  18. skyballs saxscraper Says:

    Phish’s twitter says show’s over.

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    BEST DISEASE EVER

    All kidding aside, Be safe kids..

  20. negev79 Says:

    My favorite Tweet was “see, even God hates Prince Caspian”

    LOLOLOL

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Venue management is petrified after the Buffet incident.. No way they will let place get mangled. They cancel show… Lame

  22. phishm Says:

    So, if there is a huge storm coming, where are all these concert goer’s supposed to go? Their cars are miles away. Is Chicago trying to outdo Toronto? Just send 30000 people off into the street. Pissed off. Good call.

  23. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Looks legit:

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/chicago-il/weather-radar

  24. jdub Says:

    Wow.

  25. voopa Says:

    …and now it is. Darnit. Oh well, hospital WiFi wasn’t really cutting it anyway.

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