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. jdub Says:

    Obvi

  2. sumodie Says:

    Ok, so they can’t make the set flow last tonight

    But the front half made the entire show for me (& I missed most of set 1)

    Now Lukas gets his YEM….!

  3. jdub Says:

    Gonna pull another DF.

    Why not go Light>Bowie>YEM like Lukas suggested and screw the meatstick, Quinn?

    Either way, I’m having a blast. And it seems like folks in house are too.

  4. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Sumo I think you just described last year’s third show set 2

  5. sumodie Says:

    I’ll take all of NRG >> Silent thank you very much

  6. sumodie Says:

    Wait, so am I really watching the 2012 run now, or was I in fact experiencing the 2013 run last year when I was in the room?

    #metaphysicallychallenged

  7. sumodie Says:

    WTF Cameramandude, you totally missed the stick off the tramps!

    #webcastrefund

  8. sumodie Says:

    Mmm….yummy juicy fruit in that funk jam

  9. negev79 Says:

    Trey dances like a muppet

    And that’s a compliment coming from me. I love muppets

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Ride captain ride.

  11. Stoney Case Says:

    Shine a light > Ride Cap”n

  12. negev79 Says:

    I really liked this one, start to finish. Not perfect, no Tahoe Tweezer, flow wasn’t perfect, there were some flubs – but still, song selection and tons of great playing.

    Very much like

    #ienjoymyself

  13. voopa Says:

    BOOM POW

  14. Selector J Says:

    Jimmy Buffett cover FTW.

  15. jdub Says:

    Consudering the Jim>Carini this makes sense

  16. sumodie Says:

    Trey is a muppet. Sometimes I swear his fingers stretch before my eyes as they furiously fly across the fretboard

  17. voopa Says:

    Ahhhahaha

  18. jdub Says:

    Love the curveball encore.

  19. MiA Says:

    I’ve been calling Sanity last 5 shows. Nice

  20. Frankie Says:

    Nice choice to send people into the night…

    Good night!

  21. negev79 Says:

    Good night everyone – it’s been grand!

    See you at Dick’s if not tomorrow night!

    Thanks for sharing the couch with me

  22. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    I wonder if miner still thinks the LA show will be an “afterthought”. I don’t.

  23. sumodie Says:

    Today’s show easily validates the financial lashing I’m begging PTBM to inflict on me later this week

  24. phishm Says:

    That was some amazing Phish. Night all.

  25. MiA Says:

    The more Hendrix Trey plays the better.

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