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”

  1. sumodie Says:

    To fix my stream Ive done:

    Clear web browser download, history, cookies. Restart computer

    Make sure no other CPUs using the network. No other programs running on the CPU, esp hidden ones like auto update apps

    Also, awhile back we called cable guy due to net issues. He found an unnecessary outside splitter in the cable line that was adding noise to the net signal & slowing it down

    ***
    Awesome 2nd song placement!

  2. phishm Says:

    it

  3. negev79 Says:

    Trey just sounds very comfortable in the this jammy space. LOVE

  4. bobby weird Says:

    negev exactly, yes!!!

    remember 2012 “ripcord”? yeah ….when’s the last time you heard that! Ha!

    #worthknowing

  5. tba Says:

    miner careful w/ the world pathetic, I’m too old to judge best anymore, although the last show played is the best if Phish is Phish, and why 99 and 04 scared the shit out of me. it is your blog, but no opinion about performance is pathetic IMHO, even wham. people have their faves, so no need to deny them, as u urself have reflected many a time brother. my wife doesn’t get phish, but she’s hardly ever pathetic, just when she disses Phish :<). seriously u want pathetic no boston garden or barclays in the fall tour. driving to shit holes that were cool in the 80's and maybe 90's ehhh, save hampton and glens, well since negative comments outweigh positive online 10 to 1, i'll stop stop stop, back to dwd kids with an s not a z please :<) (kids are polite; kidz push)

    ps yes eric clapton u can get sober and still rock slow hand; boy trey is just so freakin good, anyone notice he plays the hardest frett for a chord possible so much of the time. it looks like the ocelot is curved a bit for better barre chordind but what do i know.

    pps best beauty of my dreams, oops my favorite, forgot I'm too old for best, but not contradictions apparently :<)

    luv yah folks :<)

  6. Stoney Case Says:

    Out of hand.

    #TooJammy

  7. Stoney Case Says:

    Amazing Disease! Maybe they’ll cover the Richard’s Caspian!

  8. sumodie Says:

    Slow to warm to that DWD but that latter half was the shizzle! Band is so freakin dialed together this tour

  9. bobby weird Says:

    o no he didnt…..

  10. tba Says:

    too jammy took me a few days to get that one a while back, like the whole troy thing a few years ago, talk about slow…

    ok happy belated b-day poppa, time for a don’t let go to honor IMHO :<) yah right better chance at getting my hampton mo filled.

  11. sumodie Says:

    That Caspian solo was a thrilling electric rush

  12. Selector J Says:

    Big up yourself, @Frankie. Glad you like it.

    ==

    From Fuckerpants to Farmhouse…
    alright-alright-alright
    Phanners need to start up the ‘woo’ again, stat.

  13. bobby weird Says:

    he hung thay sweet note…. +!

  14. bobby weird Says:

    i heard hood. just sayin

  15. negev79 Says:

    ok kids, jumping off here….see you all tomorrow night!

  16. phlorida phan Says:

    ^ longest held note ever

  17. little umbrellas Says:

    The woo was nice when an improvised moment. But the anticipated crowd ritual regurgetation is way to corny. at least Reba was played. Try to clap along to that bitches! Oh wait, you want to woo again? Well we’re just gonna play really quietly then, for a long time.

  18. pbs Says:

    despite questionable placement, the playing at the tail end of this Farmhouse is extremely tasteful and welcomed (as with the last west coast version, in le Gorge)

  19. phishm Says:

    Not sure whether to laugh or cry. Welcome.

  20. tba Says:

    Next rolling stone top guitarist better have trey top 10 or at least top 20; guy has earned it. not talking best just among a group representative of the most skilled guitarists in rock history. imho live and studio should be separated. and yes every time i’ve seen or listened to phish it is a lot like last is best, which is so freakin’ great. have a feeling the new album gets them their top 10….

  21. phishm Says:

    thanks guys

  22. jdub Says:

    Nice spot for this debut.

  23. little umbrellas Says:

    MiA called that Punch during the set break.

  24. bobby weird Says:

    phishm… what are you talking abooot? just curious.

    #LESSwoooo’s

  25. chris Says:

    yes! seven below! finally and perfect opportunity for a nice jam

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