A Bundle of Joy

8.2.13 (Graham Lucas)

8.2.13 (Graham Lucas)

Centered on a holy excursion in “Rock and Roll,” Saturday night’s show in San Francisco was otherwise comprised of feel-good songs with a straight forward flow. But when the band annihilates an all-timer to kick off the second set, the rest of the night truly becomes gravy. After the opening sequence of set two, however, the band dropped “Number Line” and never looked back, riding through the desert on a horse with no jams. The guys did, though, close the night with a bang, unleashing a monster “Slave to the Traffic Light” to cap a summer of spectacular versions. All in all, however, Phish made me eat words of yesterday, as Saturday night’s two-setter paled in comparison to Friday night’s lights.

8/3 Official (T. Stout)

8/3 Official (T. Stout)

But holy crow that “Rock and Roll!” Taking a back seat to only Tahoe’s “Tweezer,” Bill Graham’s “Rock and Roll” now stands as my second best jam of summer, and—easily—the best jam played in five BGCA shows. Scaling ludicrous spiritual heights via sublime whole-band voyaging, Phish scripted a cosmic rite that will undoubtedly stand the test of time. This was one of those jams that is hard to believe in real-time and sounds even better on listen back; “an instant classic of magnificent proportions. Purposeful, transcendent, and completely realized, fire up this second set opener as soon as possible and bask in the glory of Phish 2013.

When the band segued into “Steam,” it felt like the beginnings of a prime-time set of Phish, and when they tacked on a gooey funk jam on the back end of the song, things seemed primed to get wild. But then came the dreaded second-set “Number Line,” killing the flow of the set as if the band were clubbing baby seals on stage. This brutal vibe crusher took the psychedelia right out of the night and set show on course for a Saturday Night Special. Having bucked their trend of straight forward Saturday nighters with their best set of tour at the Gorge last week, Phish came back to earth last night, delivering a back two thirds of the set that really went nowhere. As much fun as I had all night long, once the band switched into jukebox mode, the music lacked any grit or direction.

8.2.13 (G.Lucas)

8.2.13 (G.Lucas)

Placing a classic “Mike’s > Hydrogren > Weekapaug” square in the middle of the set was a sign of how things would unfold last night, despite a standout “Mike’s Song.” Trey took a back seat to Mike’s lead as the jam dropped—a move he would mimic in “Slave”—creating a sinister groove that built a head of steam before Red swooped in to sculpt a scorching solo. “Weekapaug” didn’t pop as usual and the there was a lot of fluff before “Slave.” Honestly, though, this “Slave” was drenched in creativity from the get go and is a must-hear version.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much else to report on the improvisational front. Despite bustouts of “Alumni Blues” and “Lengthwise,” the first set dragged—especially through the impossibly slow segment of “Sample,” “NICU,” “Mound,” “Jesus Left Chicago” and “Driver.” Only to follow up songs later with “Bug” and “Possum.” Oy.

It now looks like Sunday night will be the keeper of this run much like last year’s Bill Graham extravaganza. Toning things down a notch from the monster sets of The Gorge and Tahoe, Phish has put on some tasteful shows in the Bay, but far from the seamless, exploratory beasts that some were expecting. With all sorts of launch pads still on the table for tonight, however, the second set could look like—“Crosseyed -> Light -> Piper -> Velvet Sea, David Bowie.” We shall see. Two more nights of this wild ride until a few weeks off. Enjoy every moment. And god damn, play that “Rock and Roll” loud and proud!

I: Grind, Weigh, Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, Lengthwise -> Maze, Sample in a Jar, NICU, Mound, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Driver, Timber (Jerry), Axilla, Bug, Possum, First Tube

II: Rock and Roll > Steam > Backwards Down the Number Line, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Joy, Fluffhead, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Waste, Suzy Greenberg

8.2.13 (Graham Lucas)

8.2.13 (Graham Lucas)

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636 Responses to “A Bundle of Joy”

  1. BingosBrother Says:

    Fav song is Driver? Takes all kinds. Good for them. I’ll never get Lengthwise though. It’s not eve really a song.

  2. Bandito Says:

    Some funny stuff in this write today Miner, gave me a chuckle a few times. I do not think they should attempt segues into #Line, just does not work. Driver sounded great on the stream. Page is really into his Lil Pumpkin this tour.

  3. Gankmore Says:

    I thought Weigh and the entire Maze, Sample, NICU, Mound section was fantastic in the first. Bug, Possum, First tube just kept it coming. The boys sounds great in the theater of the short attention span.

    While backwards gets a bad rap for its pop music quality, I really think some of Trey’s best tonality an playfulness comes out in that tune, he really loves playing it and it shows. The Fluff was tight coming in at a rather average but still tasty 14:30 or so.

    Had a blast these shows, haven’t stopped moving once this entire run

    The amazing energy and tight coordination of everything at this run so far is going to make this one fantastic play list for my first real powder days at Squaw Valley this year. You know what I’m talking about? Endless switch spins to Hydrogen > Weekapaug off Siberia? Maybe you should.

  4. verno329 Says:

    Made it through the Mike’s (had to wait to check for a 2nd jam) before heading to bed with the iPad next to the bed playing. Remember hearing Joy start but that was as far as I made it. Gonna have to watch the Rock n Roll over again this morning. Wouldn’t consider it “better” than the Xeyed>Light>Sally>Still Waiting from last year. Certainly not easily but what is Phish discussion without hyperbole?

  5. angryjoggerz Says:

    Finally finished a little dj mix last night, spirit of the summer easy space disco vibes. I think the bb will enjoy this, dancefloor but also lots of space and atmosphere.


    DJ Junior D – Electricity (8.2013]

    A Walk (Kolombo remix) – Tycho
    The Tic-Tac Tactic – The Vanisher
    Rhythm Reel #6 – Metro Area
    Let’s Dance and Freak – Kerrier District
    Mayhem (Soul Clap remix) – Mystery Roar
    Sensational Rhythm – 2AM/FM
    NY Maskin – Prins Thomas
    I Gave You Away – Audion
    Sychronize – Discodeine
    Meet U in Brooklyn – Fabrice Lig
    I Want It (Lindstrom and Prins Thomas Remix) – Locossulus
    We Held On – Deep Space Orchestra
    Neighborhoods – Mathew Dear
    Vos-sako-rv (Irregular Disco Workers remix) – Lindstrom
    Holding On – Classixx
    French Kiss – Lil Louis
    Burnin’ – Daft Punk
    Shakedown Street (Tommie Sunshine Remix) – Grateful Dead
    Dance (Master at Work remix) – Chic
    Up in Flames – Captain Comatose
    Made to Stray – Mount Kimbie
    Pow Pow – LCD Soundsystem
    Don’t Stop the Dance (Todd Terje remix) – Brian Ferry

  6. stapes Says:

    Stony Sunday mornings. More coffee!

  7. stapes Says:

    @AJ – drank that Pipeworks last night. Good stuff. Thanks again!

  8. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Was there wooing last night? I found Friday’s show to be a challenging listen, secondary to woos.

  9. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    I thought mike was being super annoying at the beginning of RnR with all his effects. Trey and the rest of the guys were on and locked in and mike was just all over the place, not allowing the jam to settle. Trey did everything he could to wait him out. Finally he switched his crap off and the jam took off. Beautiful from there on out. Then they settled on some beautiful ambient space and trey got bored and stopped playing. Just as mike was setting the stage for more beauty. >steam

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @miner, still think this run is gonna be the big blowout at the end of tour and even better than dick’s this year? They’ve got a lot to do tonight if so.

  11. PB Says:

    NICU, Mound, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Driver, Timber (Jerry), Axilla – seems like a nice run in the first set to me. Tack on the Alumni and Weigh and I like this set. Not sure why the whine. First sets are pretty much for songs and couple of type 1 jams. Accept it, it has been that way for the vast majority of Phish’ time on stage. Not every first set can be 11/17/97.

  12. MiA Says:

    Glad to hear he first I Am Hyd. Of the year.

    16/17 song first set? Is that the most of the year?

  13. Luther T. Justice Says:

    Damn that Numberline. Damn it to hell! Or just damn it out of the 2nd set.

  14. sumodie Says:

    AJ, thnx! Always hard to figure out which dl icon to click for the actual music file. Third try’s the charm

  15. RedRedWorm Says:

    “I thought Mike was being annoying as hell….”


  16. fluffpham Says:

    So happy for all who are enjoying SF. I feel obliged to note that last year’s RR left coast tour opener was a dark, dank, and simply nasty 25 and half minutes. Better yet it was followed by a scary Ghost that clocked 13 and a half. Hope tonight brings bliss. See ya at the bowl.

  17. ae Says:

    orange is relatively fresh. happy sunday all.

  18. sumodie Says:

    The Unseen Psychedelia by White Hills’ Dave W

    Quote from Dave W’s short essay:

    “Being a fan of psychedelic music, I wanted to define what I think psychedelic music is. I thought about taking psychedelics and what that experience is like for me, and how those experiences translate into the way I categorize music as “psychedelic.” The definition that I came up with is this:

    Psychedelic is music that is disorientating, visceral, and visual. The key to this definition is disorientating, like what a psychedelic trip is.

    Loving this band’s crushingly heavy psych sound more & more. White Hills’ latest album, So You Are… So You’ll Be, drops Aug 20

    Stream an album track here:

    White Hills opening up for the Cult – tour starts today!

  19. Lycanthropist Says:


    Yeh I gotta agree with your assessment of Mike in RnR.

    And I felt like Mike’s song fell pretty flat. It looked like Trey was trying to start something with Page but it never took off

  20. vegas wolfmans Says:

    White Hills is awesome. (IMHO of course)

  21. vegas wolfmans Says:

    No wooing in the RnR.

  22. voopa Says:

    Check the set list. Crowd wooing right out of the gate during Weigh. They had another chance during LTJP, but chose instead to show their West Coast noobness.

    Some other moments as the show went on, but I think most have moved on now. We shall see.

  23. Nich Says:

    No Mikes 2nd jam since when, 2/21/03?

    Not holding my breath

    Also not letting this Rock and Roll anywhere near 2nd best jam of tour status.

    MPP Stash might not be long, but it’s excellent and firmly in the 2 hole in my mind

  24. Stoney Case Says:

    Standard / Good show with great RnR. Good Timber, nice Jesus Left.

    Friday set one bust outs: Fantastic songs played amazingly well

    Saturday bust outs: neither of the above

    Thought 2001>Fluff was the low point. Fluff outro solo sounds like Allmans. Which isn’t a compliment here. Like Tahoe Tube, Trey offers up nothing for 2001.

    Had great time as usual.

    Compared to Friday, Saturday barely worth 5 hr drive.

    Hoping for that ‘Light fizzle fizzle YEM thing like last year.

    Love Firstube!

  25. Stoney Case Says:

    Worst Alumni LTJP Alumni ever?

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