The Fulcrum of Fall

11.2.13 (George Estreich)

11.2.13 (George Estreich)

One of the dates everyone had circled before Fall Tour started was October 23, Phish’s return to Glens Falls Civic Center. The intimate venue in the small New York town had played host to only one Phish show before and it was one of legend. This would be the second. Close to Burlington, Vermont, Glens Falls would also be the “friends and family” show of Fall Tour—an event that often comes with added demands and pressures on the band. Atop all that, after a torrid Hampton weekend, Phish showed signs of fatigue in Rochester the previous night, dropping the ball in their shakiest performance of the year. These multiple variables had their long-awaited return to Glens Falls up in the air.

A fierce opening set seemed to set the arrow straight for the band, but it was the second set’s more creative endeavors that had given them problems in Western New York. The vibe inside the Civic Center was electric from note one, and it certainly felt like Phish could ride this energy to victory, but the truth would be told after setbreak.

10.19.13 (A. Nusinov)

10.19.13 (A.Nusinov)

In each of the first four shows, the band had opened the second set with a significant piece of improvisation, thus when they kicked down the doors of Glen Falls’ main event with “Rock and Roll,” fans strapped on their seat belts for a long-form ride. It felt like the guys had something going when Fish dropped the rock jam into half-time, but not long after the tempo slowed, they wound down into a quasi-natural ending with no real ground covered.

Very rarely does Phish start a second set with two jam vehicles without taking one of them for a ride, thus when “Seven Below” started, it seemed that the post-hiatus tune would provide our adventure of the night. Perhaps a bit hesitant from the fact that “Rock and Roll” didn’t get anywhere, the band didn’t try to bring “Seven Below” outside the box, favoring a contained and very fiery exchange. The band wove a good amount of creative playing into this anchored rendition, building back their improvisational confidence that they had lost over the past night plus a jam. And upon “Seven Below’s” conclusion, Phish crept into “Twist.”

As soon “Twist’s” first notes whispered into the arena, one knew that here would lie our gem. Phish had opened Hampton’s first second set with “Twist,” and with it sculpted a Pink Floyd-laced ambient soundscape—a clear sign of intent to resuscitate the song’s creative edge. This Glens Falls version would not only help that cause, it would become the pivot point of Fall Tour.

11.1.13 (A.Nusinov)

11.1.13 (A.Nusinov)

This time around, Phish built right out of the song’s Santana-esque jam instead of bringing the lyrics back and launching off a second jam a la Hampton. Trey accelerated the pace of this “Twist” early on and Page stuck right with him, as the band’s jamming sounded far more locked than at any point since Hampton. Minutes later, Trey and Page led a break from form, and once Fish and Mike switched up the rhythm, Phish shot into the stratosphere with a high-octane and quite atypical, mid-jam climax. And as quiet dreamscape emerged out of this peak, “Twist” oozed into its most transcendent section.

Atop atmospheric textures, Trey began playing a heart-tugging melody—a week later discovered to be from “The Line”—that came to define the final portion of the jam. As the rest of the band carefully constructed their offerings around Trey’s melody, a breathtaking exchange blossomed. Building off this thematic sequence with layers of ambient effects, the guys took their time to descend from a truly blissed out trip.

To close this set, Phish absolutely slayed an old-school version of “Harry Hood,” a piece that, unquestionably, continued the band’s now-righted improvisational path. As “Hood’s” blistering peak brought the tour’s smallest crowd to it’ highest high of the night, Phish had made it through their slight stumble and came out of Glens Fall’s with a rocket strapped to their back heading for New England. After the subsequent weekend, with only Reading and Atlantic City to go, it became very clear that Phish wouldn’t falter again. And when looking back over tour’s first week, there was no doubt that things had shifted for keeps with the Glens Fall’s “Twist.”

Boardwalk Hall (George Estreich)

Boardwalk Hall (George Estreich)


Winged-music-noteJam of the Day:

Twist” 10.23 II, Glens Falls, NY

Fall Tour’s point of solidification.

[audio:] Tags: , , ,

212 Responses to “The Fulcrum of Fall”

  1. little umbrellas Says:

    @Mr. Miner. thanks man. Nice to have the perspective essays.

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    ” scored some whip-it’s, and bought a 3ft plastic binger. Snuck it in and rocked it up in the 300′s. ”

    MSG was the first place I ever saw that stuff in a show. First night of the fall 87 run I saw a guy hitting a 3 foot graffix. Asked him how he snuck it in and he gave ne a noo yawk sneer and said he just gave the door guy a ten spot. I was like oh man new york is the BEST! so we brought shit in for the rest of the run. classy!

  3. dorn76 Says:

    10/25 was one of those nights when the electricity in the room is a palpable thing, drove the band and crowd all night long.

    Set 1 closing with Vultures, 46 Days?! That’s just pure intent to rip faces off, I’m sorry.

    Set 2 gave us a top shelf Wavesarini, I’ll let Miner color that one in for ya. Jams in Ghost/DwD then a rip roaring run through Sneakin>Cavern>Lope. Cap with a 4(!) song encore. No one wanted to leave, least of all the band.

    Tired just thinking about it.


  4. Shred Says:

    When I would go see the dead in 1989/90/91 MSG I would buy tickets for Tuesday night and use them on Saturday and Sunday. No one checked.

  5. ren Says:

    Yeah C!!! Plenty of champagne bottles and other fun stuff too back in the jnco jeans era.

    Now that I think about it I can probably disguise the wombat as a wook…but ge’s gonna need a ticket

    Great cliff notes on 10/25 there dorn…agree 100%.

    gC-time to review some shows from the frontlines! Get your ass to MSG…take out a loan. Time off should be easy 😉 ps:good luck on your job hunt

  6. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Sup gang? Great read Miner. TY. Racked out w stomach bug today, same one Spaz Jr. had Monday. Just puffed and feeling a tinge better. Golf from Dubai helping a lot.

  7. Spasm Waiter Says:

    GD MSG is the only place I have done nitrous inside the show.

  8. MrCompletely Says:

    Autzen was another place you could get away with major shenanigans

  9. Ulysses S. Wingsuit Says:

    Tomorrow I can cross the border
    It’s today a new world order
    Yesterday my will was broken down

  10. ren Says:

    Your daily wingsuit footage…these guys are IN-SANE

  11. Spasm Waiter Says:–golf.html;_ylt=A2KLOzIVGYVShEQAiRlEDex_
    Inspiring story for golf enthusiasts among others…

  12. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Wing suiting is not for me.

  13. Kaveh Says:

    Autzen was another place you could get away with major shenanigans

    ^ Agreed…only saw the 94 mid-day summer shows.

  14. Kaveh Says:


    ^ 08.22.93 is my favorite Days Between. $$$$$

  15. Ulysses S. Wingsuit Says:

    Fuego tease by Page at the tail end of Tahoe Slave.

  16. jtran Says:

    was listening to the DCU waves for the fuego tease yesterday but not exactly sure yet what a fuego tease sounds like

  17. Ulysses S. Wingsuit Says:

    jtran- What I’ve been hearing from Page while listening back this year is the ascending piano line that kind of sounds like a classical piece; he plays it at 0:29 and 2:03 on the LP 10/31 Fuego. Not sure if that’s the same thing that’s teased in Waves, will add to this afternoon’s playlist.

  18. DavidSilver Says:

    Slow day at The Time Factory, eh?

  19. btb Says:

    Anyone on here build websites? I need a new one for my company.

    Got a budget and shit!

    btbuckeye AT THE G-MAHL

  20. Spasm Waiter Says:

    I cannot overstate the degree to which I enjoy the “Fishing Hotties” page on FB. It makes me really want to… Uhmm… go fishing?

  21. phishm Says:

    Thanks Ulysses for that TAB from 2003 that you linked up late last night. Total fire. How come they don’t jam like that anymore? Didn’t get through the whole thing, but the night speaks to a woman was amazing. Looking forward to listening to the entire thing after getting back from picking the kids up from school.

  22. little umbrellas Says:

    Went to pick up a case of Enjoy By’s at my local spot but not in yet.
    I did pick up a couple American Beauty’s (1 at $14.99, yikes! [most expensive single beer i ever purchased]) and also a Bitches Brew. Both by Dogfish. Bitches Brew has gesho root, what Ethiopians use to make beer.

    Anyways thought it was a little special for me to pick up beers by my two favorite groups (Grateful Davis ftw!) and that my favorite album’s beer has a tinge of ethiopian culture connected to it. Mulatu plus Bitches Brew, also a winning combination.

    -listening to Glenn Falls Twist, first respin. very nice.

  23. little umbrellas Says:

    Glenn Falls Twist accompanied by muted wingsuit footage. another great combo

  24. little umbrellas Says:

    Phish thought –all the best jams usually find their special spot at 9 minutes–

  25. little umbrellas Says:

    Joe Russo interview:

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