An Off Night

10.22.13 Rochester, NY (Jesse Herzog)

10.22.13 (Jesse Herzog)

Even Phish has an off show from time to time and last night in Rochester, New York was most definitely one of them. Unable to rekindle the magic of Hampton, the band slogged through a performance in which they never truly hooked up. They certainly gave it a valiant effort at the beginning of the second set, however, pushing through a lull in “Crosseyed and Painless” to find some interesting ground, but both “Light” and “Golden Age” were cut noticeably short as the band couldn’t find a solid groove. Finally, Trey threw up the white flag of surrender in the form of “Birds of a Feather,” and put the band on cruise control for the rest of the set. Showing signs of their age and fatigue, Phish were just never able to gel last night and played a totally flat performance in their anticipated return to War Memorial Coliseum.

10/22 Official (Fug Screen)

10/22 Official (Fug Screen)

Fully standard songs filled the first set with the exception of “Scent of a Mule,” “Timber” and “Halfway to the Moon,” though nothing really popped off the stage. One had to figure the band was exhaling after their three night run and torrid final set at Hampton, and that big things would surely follow setbreak. Or would they?

Opening the main event with “Crosseyed”—a move that had produced highlight-reel results at both PNC and The Gorge—the guys seemed primed to slaughter their third second-set opener in a row. The rock jam out of the lyrics went off just fine, but when band opened things up, one of the band members—I think Trey—slowed the jam down considerably and threw everyone else off. The band meandered for a bit, but persevered instead of bailing out and was able to salvage a final segment of “Crosseyed” that provided show’s most impressive moments. The entire excursion, however, was kind of went all over the map and featured much looser, sparser jamming that we heard over tour’s opening weekend. Go figure, Phish are human too.

10.22.13 (Jesse Herzog)

10.22.13 (Jesse Herzog)

When the band started up “Light,” it was a sign they would to go for it again, but as soon as the jam heated up into a mid-tempo groove, Trey decided to sing the opening to “Golden Age” over this texture, thus eliminating any chance of Fall’s first “Light” jam. The guys stuck with the slowed down tempo, giving “Golden Age” a more infectious, funky feel, but when the jam started, they—once again—couldn’t find a thing. Vamping over some funk chords for a while, the band gave it a shot but in the end never were able to cohere and bailed on the idea entirely. And then came the flag of surrender.

10.22.13 (J.Herzog)

10.22.13 (J.Herzog)

A harmless set of singles carried the show to its end, including one of the least impressive versions of “You Enjoy Myself” you’ll ever hear. Phish just flat out didn’t have it last night in Rochester, and now the immediate question becomes Glens Falls. This is a show that is carrying a lot of hype and will be attended by plenty of the band’s friends and family—two factors that don’t always, historically, produce the best results. With a monster New England weekend on the horizon in Worcester and Hartford, I could see this show going either way—explode or fizzle. I’m certainly pulling for the former.

I: AC/DC Bag, The Moma Dance, Axilla, Meatstick, Kill Devil Falls, Scent of a Mule, Timber, My Friend, My Friend, Halfway to the Moon, Maze, Character Zero

II: Crosseyed and Painless > Light -> Golden Age > Birds of a Feather, Halley’s Comet > Possum, Bug, Heavy Things, You Enjoy Myself

E: Joy, First Tube

10.22.13 (Jesse Herzog)

10.22.13 (Jesse Herzog)

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632 Responses to “An Off Night”

  1. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Was I the only person who saw that whole set break sports thing? I realize it may mean it is not happening, but interesting none the less.

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    That was nice

  3. xpun Says:

    RnR petered but I’ll take -7. still never caught that fucker live

  4. [an unrelated] wilson Says:

    Looped Whale.

    $$$$

  5. Slicksasquatch Says:

    http://campl.us/dasWfBibS1i
    ^ check out this t shirt my wife gifted me today.
    SPACE SLOTH ftmfw

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    this is going to be the shit..

  7. bob dylan Says:

    holy moly space sloth!

  8. bob dylan Says:

    Good to see ladies in the front row.

    Cept I can’t tell if dude in the flyers jersey is a giant or the girl is small next to him.

    Oh yeah phish thoughts – damn trey. Tear it up.

  9. phishm Says:

    That was fun. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    The guy with the glasses wasn’t enjoying the seven below jam for my tastes

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Ha ha

  12. ElJefe Says:

    Looped Whale? You just blew my mind then I blue myself…
    Keyboard Mini-set Looped Whale!!

  13. phishm Says:

    Now, that’s funny.

  14. dorn76 Says:

    We’ve been punked by a big ole ‘Laskan mama.

  15. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Lots of whales in alaska

  16. Berkeley Head Says:

    They’re playing AK in this slot especially for Miner

  17. Berkeley Head Says:

    Trey must not have liked his review this morning.

  18. BooVT Says:

    Bright side: It is very likely there will be no “Alaska” played in Worcester now.

  19. Berkeley Head Says:

    20 minute AK

  20. ElJefe Says:

    Are they playing Alaska the right way?

  21. frot Says:

    y’know sometimes it feels like alaska is like 80% of a great little fun song and 20% basically a hemorrhoid

  22. MiA Says:

    No repeats. Next Reba!

  23. dorn76 Says:

    Whales in Alaska get harpooned.

  24. phishm Says:

    I look at this as a chance to take a piss. Get a new beer and pack a new bowl. First part of the set was killer. This jam will probably be good, and the last part will be killer. I’m good with it.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I feel like the band is so close to perfection.. Just a little more tinkering needs to be done to dial it in. Not complaining, don’t get me wrong. Crisp as hell tonight for the most part.

    I think by the time the weekend rolls around, Phish will begin a week of musical destruction that will be talked about for a while. AT least that’s my story and how I wee it playing out…

    My predictions have been shit tonight, so grain of salt should be taken.

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