Incredibly Ordinary

7.20.13 (WCProductions)

7.20.13 (WCProductions)

When I woke up yesterday, I had a text that Phish had announced an extra set! In a tour filled with unprecedented events, including a postponement, a cancellation, now we had a random three setter! Not since 7/12/96 in Amsterdam had the band played a three set show that was not associated with a holiday and or a festival. July 20, 2013 would live in eternal Phish lore—and what a throwdown it would be! After a lightning-canceled Friday night’s show, the band was sure going to kick down the goods—or so we thought. When the dust settled on this surprise show, however, we had a Saturday Night Special spread over three sets. Favoring songs to jams and sticking with an obnoxiously tight song rotation, the band put on a good, though underwhelming show at Northerly Island.

7/20 Official (R. Kelly)

7/20 Official (R. Kelly)

When the band opened the night with “Prince Caspian” and slid into “Twist,” it felt as though the guys were picking up exactly where they left off and would play last night’s second set, then continue with two more. But that didn’t happen. Trey quickly returned the band to their first set flow as he combined “Ha, Ha, Ha” with “Possum” in a joke that was clearly on us. The band dropped a thick “Cities” that got kids moving, but quickly doused any momentum with “Lawn Boy” and “I Didn’t Know.” Though they were sharp throughout the first set, the band did nothing special or out of the ordinary in a situation that kinda called for it.

Phish delivered the meat of the show in the second set in the sequence of “Golden Age > Waves > Piper > Slave.” Though this 40-minute segment boasted a quality flow, the only real highlight reel music went down in “Piper > Slave.” The band let things hang out for only one of two times during the show in “Piper,” sculpting an unrelenting jam that carried all sorts of groove. As Trey added some late-90’s wah textures to the mix, the guys got into some stop/start action as well, leading an incredibly danceable feel to the uptempo jam. Strong work by Page anchored the piece throughout, and Trey got into some minimalist rhythm comping to his organ work in final section that resembled a “Maze” jam for a bit. Bleeding into “Slave,” the guys capped the four-song sequence with another stellar version. All summer, the band has been capping big-time sets with magnificent “Slaves,” and while this set didn’t match any of monsters dropped during the first two weeks of tour, this “Slave” carried as much majesty of any short of SPAC.

7.14.13 (A.Nusinov)

7.14.13 (A.Nusinov)

When the band emerged for their marquee third set, “Tweezer,” “Ghost,” “Sand,” and “2001” all waited in the wings to form a potential monster, but Trey opted for “Meatstick,” “Birds of a Feather” and “Ocelot.” Nuff’ said. This third set reeked of repeats, and I am not one to ever care about such things. Though the band has been playing phenomenally this summer, their rotation is as tight as ever, and its starting to effect things. The guys turned things around for the ending of the set as they dropped another stellar “Light” and segued into another standout take on their other feel-good set-capper, “Harry Hood.” This “Light” veered from the others of summer, favoring delicate interplay in a very gentle, jazz-laced jam. The guys lit up  “Dave’s Energy Guide” in the beginning of this one before steering off course into a tasteful exchange that stole the third set spotlight outright.

All in all, Phish fell short of even the most minimal expectations given the situation at hand in Chicago on Saturday night. Dropping a mediocre show when the situation called for a banger, the band left Sunday open for a end-of-week extravaganza. Just about everybody expected something special from the guys last night, and they delivered a standard show with two high quality jams and one set to write home about. Though the show certainly had its moments, the performance was anything but nasty, gritty, and overwhelming—the stuff we’ve come to expect from Phish 2013. This one had its moments, but amounted to nothing more. And for the record, I had a fucking blast the entire time, just thought the band didn’t deliver. Massive amounts of fun, very little serious music. Hopefully Sunday night can salvage the weekend in the Midway. We shall see.

I: Prince Caspian > Twist, Ha Ha Ha > Possum, Cities, Lawn Boy, I Didn’t Know, Rift, Destiny Unbound, My Friend, My Friend, Kill Devil Falls, Cavern, David Bowie*

II: Back on the Train, Mike’s Song > Theme From the Bottom -> Weekapaug Groove, Golden Age > Waves > Piper > Slave to the Traffic Light

III: Meatstick, Birds of a Feather, Strange Design, Ocelot, Light > Harry Hood > Good Times Bad Times

E: Shine a Light

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1,245 Responses to “Incredibly Ordinary”

  1. LukasChuck Says:

    Heady, thanks for that article. Spot on. When my music snob friends whinge about ‘jambands’ I try to politely remind them that ‘jamming’ is what Miles Davis did every time he played. One of the greatest jazz musicians of all time and he wouldn’t give his musicians music until they walked into the studio to record. Walking into a session completely blank has produced some incredible music that was improvised, on the spot. I like to think Phish is trying to find that same improvisational space every time they walk on stage whether it be type 1 or 2 or 3.
    ps I’m also a self professed music snob

  2. sumodie Says:

    LP app streaming Toronto

  3. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    go to bed Sumo it is late.

  4. Foul_Domain Says:

    That was some sick sick shit.

    I cant wait to report tomorrow.

    Disease…Bowie…Oh my god, Bowie….it was all just so good!

    I have to go recover

  5. jtran Says:

    Holy disease. ..!! It just keeps going and going $$$

  6. sumodie Says:

    PB, Gorge packing! Always a late packer / loose ends tier upper

    Disease is mighty fine (tho streaming via LP app was choppy)

  7. GhostPhunk Says:

    High five bitches

  8. GhostPhunk Says:

    Can’t believe piper time… #firstshowoftour

  9. GhostPhunk Says:

    Disease so on… Rarely a mid jam noise maker…. #totallywas

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    show of tour in toronto? KYS

  11. Lycanthropist Says:

    Still an hour away from home. Looks like a nice set for Toronto

  12. BrandonKayda Says:

    I haven’t heard a nurse, but that second set looks fine to me. 19min Disease, 12min Tweezer, 15min Bowie? I mean I know it’s hip to say that times aren’t important but it definitely factors in to how curious I am to hear parts of the show. Excited to hear this one.

  13. BrandonKayda Says:

    That should be “note,” not nurse. Odd…

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    I haven’t heard a note, but that second set looks fine to me. 19min Disease, 12min Tweezer, 15min Bowie? I’ll take it. I mean, I know it’s hip to say that times aren’t important, but honestly it definitely factors in to how curious I am to hear parts of the show. Excited to hear this one.

  15. Floyd Says:

    Normally I don’t comment and I think you’re great Miner but this show is far from ordinary. Mikes>Theme>Weekapaug, Golden Age>Waves>Piper>Slave, and Light>Hood alone make for a better than ordinary show, even with the 2nd sets of 2013. Is there a 20 min jam in there anywhere? No. But there doesn’t always have to be. And if someone had said this already hold your comments. I haven’t read every post. Hope everyone is having as much fun out there as I am from my lazy boy!

  16. Stoney Case Says:

    > October 18-20 Hampton
    > October 22 Rochester
    > October 23 Glen Falls
    October 25-26 Worcester
    > October 27 Hartford
    > October 29 Reading PA
    > Oct 31-Nov 2 Halloween in AC

  17. [Not Tom] Says:

    I’d that the whole of Fall Tour huggie bear??

  18. Stoney Case Says:

    It I’d.*

    *not official source. I know nothing n

  19. Mac Says:

    I have seen those same dates and places. Unofficially of course.

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    Punkmugs cd is about the illest phish ever made. Givin me phish vd.

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