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. bhizzle Says:

    hee hee, I thought as much. slow, but it made me think about the relocation of Fish’s set this time around, with the band being able to “unmuddle” the sounds

  2. jdub Says:

    Stream is a dud. May or may not be back up for set 2.

    Seams like a typical affair but you never know.

  3. xpun Says:

    Cuddle fish males deposit their sperm into an egg containing sac in the females mouth!

    Wow. These things are mind blowing. Males keep a harem of females. But other males change their color patterns to look female then get “captured” into other males harems only to mate with the females already there without getting caught. It’s like Jerry springer of the deep blue sea.

  4. phishm Says:

    Actually, anyone listening to DJSudoCode it should be much better for the 2nd set. He received some coaching from some of the more experienced streamers and has a charger. He’s currently charging his phone and will pull out all the tricks to make it work. Not promising anything, but it’s looking better for the 2nd.

  5. bhizzle Says:

    this Lrft Handed Milk Stout Nitro is pretty smooth

  6. sumodie Says:

    Finishing Harpua video; entertaining from the no cost post show comfort of home. No, not a successful Harpua but I get the intent.

    Insert that in the 1st set and add more jam anywhere in the show and peeps would’ve been fine. Rain certainly screwed things up too, esp with that curfew

    Nothing like rehashing…

  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Page freak out

  8. jdub Says:

    Was that from Gin Palmer? Epic Page gif

  9. BingosBrother Says:

    Lost Coast 8 Ball Stout
    Half Acre Daisy Cutter

    My top 2 for the weekend. Never really drank much, but I think I like it.

  10. jdub Says:

    DWD getting low through the glory hole.

  11. plord Says:

    This Disease is doing things…

  12. halcyon Says:

    Stream is up and runnin

    DWD sounds nice right now….groovin

  13. plord Says:

    There’s the breakdown…

  14. halcyon Says:

    nice uplifting groove just took a turn

  15. jdub Says:

    Multifaceted Disease. Can;t wait to hear with clarity

  16. jdub Says:

    we on the same page Plord and Halcy.

  17. jdub Says:

    sounds a little disease supremish

  18. Skyballs Saxscraper Says:


  19. BingosBrother Says:

    Just noticed R. Kelly did the chi poster. Very yellow.

  20. jdub Says:

    Prime slot for this here 2001 groove.

  21. jdub Says:

    Coincidence hey Bingos.

    Chi posters as odd as the weather and shows.

  22. voopa Says:


  23. Stoney Case Says:

    Free goes Storage here

  24. halcyon Says:

    Was hopin free went for a ride, but maybe piper will blast off

  25. joe Says:

    song rotation is ridiculously tight. not like every other night for a lot of tunes. I know we’ve complained about it here since the return but this tour it really is true.

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