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. kayatosh Says:

    spinning 7.6.13 (SPAC) tweezer>sand>carini. slipped through the cracks on first go round of show listening.

    lovin this hard driving, yet clean toned tweezer. purposeful. doesn’t go out, but works well for me> sand. yes please.

  2. fat bastard Says:

    cities tonight big time

  3. Dr Pronoia Says:

    Hope everyone has a life changing weekend of phish. Hurts badly to miss Midwest phish, but I’ll be there in spirit…ENJOY!

  4. voopa Says:

    kaya, I love the super-clean tone that Trza uses to start that Tweezer jam.

  5. angryjoggerz Says:

    Up and at em… pregame night with the boys went very well. Main event time, stay hydrated people! Gonna be a hot one.

  6. marcoesq Says:

    morning everyone. excited for everyone hitting up the Chi town sure madness. Have a few friends from Baltimore in town, show em a good time!

  7. kayatosh Says:

    i’ll be webcasting. Excited for chitown folks to get the summer 2013 treatment. Should be especially revelatory for RL.

    whoah. this spac carini is a ride. typical wanky jamming in stage 1, melodic spacious jamming in stage 2, driving, glory jamming in stage 3, and then a final hybrid stage that switches between the above described styles w/ a distinct gordon assertiveness that gives way to a 4-way, soft convo and a perfect segue into Architect. wow!

    7.6 tweezer>sand>carini — $$$.

  8. kayatosh Says:

    Though “Carini” has been a consistent 3.0 spring board, none of the jams come close to resembling this jaunt which broke from structure and never looked back. The efficiency of this tale is absolutely mind-bogglingly, as it clocks in at twelve minutes! The amount of themes and ideas built, developed and realized within such a short amount of time takes nothing short of divine intervention. But these days, that is exactly the power that Phish possesses. And they continue to put forth music that is on par with or surpasses anything in their 30-year career, a feat unparalleled by any live music act alive or deceased.

    ^^^ miner’s thoughts on spac carini and phish in general. I agree w/ the man. I’m playing catch up. Our host has already accurately sized it up and moved on to the next. amazing.

    even this architect jam is working for me.

  9. marcoesq Says:

    Re: Webcating Does anyone use PS3 to do so?

    When I tried to test it during the SPAC run, the image would just freeze on my TV and lock up playstation. I had to manually reboot each time. What’s going on here?

  10. kayatosh Says:

    not sure i get the wilson placement in this 7.6 set II.

  11. DryIceFactory Says:

    Definitely a Train>Cities opener tonight, right?

    I’m locked and loaded, really ready to dig into this run. Logan->Midway tomorrow at 6am EST. Yesterday’s show totally felt like a “let’s set up a blowout for this weekend!” type of show. Feeling like they improv’d energy to get it ready for a 20 minute rager in Chicago. Too much excitement, too much coffee, gotta curb the expectations, see y’all in the stands.

    Also, I have an extra stands ticket for sunday night. Section 311 row Q. $60 ajpapadonis @ GeeMail

  12. kayatosh Says:

    you hangin in there, voops? vibes, man.

  13. revise your despise Says:

    It’s 300 miles to Chicago. We’ve got a full bottle of love, half a jar of purple OG, it’s bright as fuck, and I lost my sunglasses.

    HIT IT!

  14. GhostPhunk Says:

    Morning BB

    With only Toronto on my summer capable list this year, I’m dying to get in the building. So tough having a small show schedule. Saving it up for fall/anny. You kids get some this weekend. This 3 pack will be a game changer I’m thinking. And in the current state of Phish that’s pretty exciting.

  15. revise your despise Says:

    @Marco. Make sure you have the latest software update from Sony.

  16. btb Says:

    Any pics of extra sound stacks or the lawn setup surface yet?

  17. kayatosh Says:

    get some, revise. nice variation on the BluesBro.

    you get some too, dry ice.

  18. marcoesq Says:

    I updated it right before I tried, Revise. Maybe I’ll check again. thx

  19. voopa Says:

    kaya- On the left channel of the SBD some ass is just screaming at Mike for…something, and after the second “MIKE!!! PLEASE !!!” Trey drowns him out with Wilson. My guess is Wilson was in response to Mr. Obnoxious, but of course I’m not sure.

  20. marcoesq Says:

    Probably the same dude screaming out for Possum at Jones Beach right before the monster RnR

  21. voopa Says:

    I am hanging in there. Will probably be in the hospital until at least Monday, which is fine, I’ll take all the Dilaudid I can get. 🙂

    No complications, I’m walking a lap around the floor every other hour, but still on a liquid diet, until I start passing gas. Things are good.

  22. marcoesq Says:

    Damn, vibes to you in the hospital. that place is never fun

  23. marcoesq Says:

    This Piper is pretty slick…controlled chaos

  24. btb Says:

    You’ll be rock n’ rollin in no time Voops

  25. verno329 Says:

    @marco It worked fine for me last time but I had to move the “mouse” every like 15 minutes or so or the screen would dim. That’s probably a setting I could adjust but instead I’m switching back to the computer>TV for tonight and rest of the Chicago.

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