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. ae Says:

    fresh orange in about an hour. check back if you’re thirsty.

  2. marcoesq Says:

    Last night looked like the heat! thanks ae

  3. RoosterPizza Says:

    Great set to these ears through light. By the way, the boys seemed to forget how to play light. Jim>Carini was the business!

  4. marcoesq Says:

    Anything going down in Indy tonight? Looking for some mon night trouble to get into

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Indiana State Fair, yo.

  6. marcoesq Says:

    Didn’t they open up last sun bgca with crowd control?


  7. marcoesq Says:

    YES. fairs

  8. marcoesq Says:

    Bloodhound Gang trying to stay relevant?

  9. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    No review yet?!?!?

  10. marcoesq Says:

    RIP Art Donovan. Baltimore legend gone at 89

    One of the first true NFL stars, max salary was $22K throughout his career

  11. kenny powers Says:

    So Phish is pretty much carving the west coast a new asshole, huh.

  12. kenny powers Says:

    I mean, holy crap.

  13. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    It’s gonna be a long day!

    Woke at 4:30 hitting the road to HB at 11:30.


  14. plord Says:

    Fuck me. The Orb announce a U.S. tour for their 25th anniversary, and the only dates even remotely close to me are straight up in direct conflict with fall tour 🙁

  15. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers…hope everyone had a great weekend.

  16. TheSloth Says:

    that caspian has some of the longest sustain i’ve heard from trey in a long time. smooth seg out of DwD as well.

  17. BingosBrother Says:

    Hollywood Soul!

  18. sd Says:

    PB – If you’re in SF, I’d hit the road a little earlier to get down here to LA. It’s normally a six hour drive, but you’re going to hit a ton of traffic once you get close. If it were me, I’d start the trek closer to 9:30.

  19. MiA Says:

    Back to Babylon.

  20. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    thx, sd.

    Moving out from PHX.

    I plan on being on-site in time for the show.

  21. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    psyched for the HB Possum! 😉

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    Didnt make it too far into set two last night – I’m wiped out from just webcasting, cannot imagine how tired I would be if I was coming back to the real world today. I’m ready for a little Phish break now, but cannot wait until Dicks.

    If people are looking for something different to listen to, please grab this mix I just did – I think the bb’ers will like it – dancefloorish but with a heavy dose of “musicality” in it. If you liked the new Daft Punk, Classixx, etc. you will like this one. Probably my favorite dj mix I have done to date.


    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

  23. plord Says:

    Message for AJ and other Chicago peeps: The Orb, Sep 27th @ the Concord. Get some.

    Thinking about heading down after Worcester to my parent’s place in VA to see them in D.C. on Oct. 30th. All other nearby shows conflict with the Rochester->Woosta week.

  24. plord Says:

    hah. timing. I was thinking you’d be around later AJ 🙂

  25. angryjoggerz Says:

    Who is touring with the Orb these days and what is their live sound like?

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