Phish, Almighty

7.27.13 (Eric Battuello)

7.27.13 (Eric Battuello)

Dreams do come true. On so many levels. Last night Phish redefined what is possible in live music with their finest accomplishment of their career—the Tahoe “Tweezer.” But really it was the finest accomplishment in all of our careers, because the audience—the Phish community— was as much a part of this feat as any. Even the people that weren’t in attendance. I just respun the jam for the first time and Holy.Fucking.Shit! Tears streamed down my face as I listened back to the night of my life. That is the best thing that has ever happened on planet earth.

7/31Official (J.Soto)

7/31 Official (J.Soto)

The reason I see Phish is in pursuit of what happened last night. Not only was it the best jam of the band’s career, it was “Tweezer”—my favorite jam by—oh—about infinity miles. “Tweezer” is Phish. The Freezer is our home. And home has never felt as special as right now. Anyone who has ever doubted that Phish would be back and better than before—put that in your pipe and smoke it. Sculpting a piece of music  far beyond anything they’ve ever done, the band wielded powers greater than we’ve ever dreamed last night. It was simply incomparable. And where the heck do we go from here?

Just the sheer numbers on the Tahoe “Tweezer” are ludicrous. Thirty-seven minutes and not even close to one single dull moment. The seventh longest jam of Phish’s career, and the longest since IT’s “46 Days” in 2003. But 37 minutes of 2013 Phish is unlike 37 minutes of music from any other era. There was no vamping, searching, or meandering—just straight musical genius encompassing Harvey’s like a fucking sharknado. ‘Nuff said. Staggering to the core would be the understatement of the century.

7.30 (E.Battuello)

7.30.13 (E.Battuello)

The thing is, beyond “Tweezer” and beyond Tahoe—the new apex of Summer ’13—the Phish universe is in a place of unparalleled glory right now. Things have never been this great. The band’s level of improvisation is off the charts and more proficient than at any time in their past—and they just keep getting better. Trey has not been shy about saying that right now is his favorite time in Phish history, and I whole heartedly agree. 2013 has brought us to a point in this arc few of us saw coming. Everything that has come before this—the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s—have been stepping stones to now—2013, the year that dreams come true.

After the first half of “Tweezer”—one of the more evil jams I have ever heard—wrapped up somewhere around the half way point, I took a bow, thanking the band for what they had given us, and thanking powers that be for allowing me to have been present for such a ceremony. But little did I know, things were just getting turnt up! Sitting in a sort of musical purgatory between the Hades-laced soundtrack we had just heard and the heavenly passages that awaited, the guys chilled out with no sense of unease or urgency to get anywhere at all. And that is the sign of a band that believes in itself and trusts that the music will take it where it needs to go. That is a band that has let go of their egos and bought into each other hook, line and sinker—forever. Pun intended.

7.30 (E.Battuello)

7.30 (E.Battuello)

When the band—on a dime and all at once—made a change for the skies above, nothing in the universe could hold them back. Playing the most inspiring music that we have ever heard, soon the crowd got involved, elevating the experience to a whole ‘nother level. As the band hit a break in the mind-bending jam, the crowd let out a “Wooooo!” The guys immediately picked up on this, altering the jam in order to create breaks for the crowd to respond—and the rest is history. The interplay between the band and audience reached a level unseen before, driving each other higher and higher into a cosmic and communal bliss. After a set of “Woos!” the band would tear into music so cathartic and inspirational that it will make you cry. This is IT like IT has never manifested ITself at a Phish show before. This was a whole new level for this psychedelic mind game called Phish. This was life like we’ve never experienced it before. Or was it a dream?

7.30 (E.Battuello)

7.30 (E.Battuello)

And then the band moved beyond this monumental and never-ending peak, capping “Tweezer’s” apex by jamming on Traffic’s “Dear, Mr. Fantasy,” a genius move considering the opening lyric of the song—“Dear Mister Fantasy play us a tune/Something to make us all happy.” Finally, in a move that obliterated whatever pieces of anyone’s brain they still had left, Trey coyly slid in the “Tweezer” lick back into the mix, bringing everything full circle with a stop/start cadence to facilitate a final set of  “Woos!” Forget about it.

At this point, the band melted into “Tela” and everyone exchanged hugs, looks of disbelief, and generally celebrated life before refocusing on the elusive bustout. At this point, it was all gravy. Nothing else mattered. But of course, Phish finished their set. In fact, it all flowed quite perfectly, as “Twist” emerged out of “Tela,” and the most impressive “Architect” to date shone brightly deep into the set. A beautifully placed “Bouncing”—a song that always surfaces when things really go down—set the table for a colossal, wide open “Antelope” to close things out. And then the “Woos!” returned! In “Antelope’s” post-jam segment, and then again in “Tweezer Reprise,” the band created breaks for audience participation, reminding us of the peak experience that just went down.

Sacred Space

Sacred Space

After the show, I took a photo of the asphalt on which I was dancing last night, for that was a place of unforgettable power—a few square feet I will never forget. And when every one has their own square feet of space, everyone can get down together. It’s simply the best when all your friends are together with enough room to openly take in the divine goods with a reckless abandon. The west coast is the best coast for this very reason, and Phish is showing how much they love the region’s wide open GA environs. But lo and behold, we are about to take this indoors! Are you serious? Bringing this larger than life music into the confines of Bill Graham is going to make for quite the intense experience. Are you ready? Because the band certainly is. Rest up folks, because who knows what’s next?

First Set Notes: Meh. But who cares.

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Camel Walk, Sparkle, Back on the Train, It’s Ice, Brian and Robert, Yarmouth Road, Kill Devil Falls, Lawn Boy, Ocelot, Stash

II: Tweezer, Tela > Twist > Architect, Bouncing Around the Room, Run Like an Antelope

E: Julius > Tweezer Reprise

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1,513 Responses to “Phish, Almighty”

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  1. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Hallelu

  2. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Hallelujah

  3. Luther T. Justice Says:

    Praise Jeebus!!!

  4. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    And of course, this happens the show before I jump on… Left Coast Phish for this New England guy.

  5. Bryan Says:

    Thank you for all your thoughts and thank you for getting me super jealous I wasn’t there…hahaha. Can’t wait to hear it!

  6. Wilson8or Says:

    Thank you Miner, for making me laugh this morning. Are you kidding me with this write up? Jesus overhyping Christ. I’m glad Phish isn’t the greatest thing in my life. Excuse my while I go take a picture of the toilet I just shat in. IT is the greatest shIT I have ever dropped

  7. Foul_Domain Says:

    “First Set Notes: Meh. But who cares.”

    ^ Love it! Awesome review, Miner. Glad you and everyone else there got to experience that in person.

    I can’t imagine thinking about playing the rest of the set after what just went down in Tweezer. …And then they play Tela! I haven’t listened to a note other than Tweezer, but if they got through Tela cleanly, I’ll be more than impressed. That’s no easy task after a 37 minute mind-scrambler.

    I can’t think of any jam from this band’s history that is comparable to this jam in any way. There are elements of an entire band’s career in this jam. It really does have everything in it that Phish has worked toward for 30 years. Just astounding!

  8. phlorida phan Says:

    Fucking Sharknado! bout time it made it. Glory Glory……

  9. Willowed Says:

    Too jammy

  10. Foul_Domain Says:

    So another person’s account of an unforgettable experience bothers you?

    Go Fuck yourself, Wilson8or

  11. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Troll. Let it go. Music wins.

  12. roberto luongo Says:

    happy for the band and everyone in the room. you can’t always get the shows or the playing you want but they can still bring it.

    see ya’ll soon
    SF gonna be fun

  13. Foul_Domain Says:

    word

  14. TheMole Says:

    Holy hyperbole!

    That said – shit is real. Certainly gave me some goosebumps this morning.

  15. gavinsdad Says:

    How bout that tour centerpiece jam people were lookin for?

  16. gavinsdad Says:

    They do whatever they want.

  17. Fly Says:

    Sending my love to everyone this morning

    I’ve been having a tough time with anxiety and procrastination before my new job starts

    But last night’s music demands jubilant celebration

    Absolutely incredible that this band could reach the highest point of their career now

    Truly a dream come true

    Thank you Phish, thank you all

  18. Snigglebeach Says:

    Just finished first listen. Anyone who doesn’t think that Tweezer was the most significant piece of Phish improv in 15 years is an idiot.

    Seriously. 36 minute track I knew was gonna be good. But that just floored me. Literally the Holy Grail of Phish. 3.0 anyway.

  19. revise your despise Says:

    The rift in the fabric of space that tweezer created caused water to back up in my basement last night during a rain storm.

    Now instead of leaving for work I get to dab and take it in properly. It’s more powerful than we could have imagined!

  20. punkmug Says:

    Bravo Miner. Great piece. LOVE your set 1 review!

    I was thwarted from listening to set 2 no spoilers from a text that BTB sent me this morning! He owes me a choice IPA for spoiling this! Anyway, I just finished it and am simply blown away that it is actually a great jam and not 18 min of noodling with some sweet spots. Everything I heard sounded pretty gawd damn legit. Can’t wait to get this one on the good stereo at home and investigate this beast further. Life is good!

  21. bob dylan Says:

    36:48??!!

    I know. I know. “Length of jam doesn’t mean anything”

    What it does mean is I’m headed to live PHiSH before work today. Holy shit.

    Can we get a recap from DF so I know it’s good enough to like?

  22. punkmug Says:

    Mitch..its legit. You will love it.

  23. Luther T. Justice Says:

    2 legit to quit

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    phish celebrates jerry’s birthday by dropping 37 minute tweezers, yo

  25. Oldskool Says:

    That is the first jam in a VERY long time I regret not being in the building for. I am thrilled for all those in attendence whose life was forever altered by the power of that music

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