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)

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Winged-music-noteJam of the Day:

Twist” 10.23 II, Glens Falls, NY

Fall Tour’s point of solidification.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/2.04-Twist.mp3] Tags: , , ,

212 Responses to “The Fulcrum of Fall”

  1. garretcorncob Says:

    Wow, so much demand for little old me! Aren’t I just the prettiest girl at the dance.

  2. dorn76 Says:

    Tela’s, heads up. New opinion of the ReadingDwD is about to come down….

  3. DavidSilver Says:

    That LP app comment is so true. That app really fucking blows. Hopefully, that is next after the website revamp.

  4. garretcorncob Says:

    Piper had a good tour too, even without ever going huge

  5. dorn76 Says:

    Oh snap, he said “pleasant listen”.

  6. garretcorncob Says:

    And shit, it’s about time Trey figured out how to use the #Line intro

  7. garretcorncob Says:

    I pull no punches

  8. DavidSilver Says:

    I feel like gc is Danny Noonan standing over the putt and we’re Judge Smails.

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Oh, the Hampton GA/Light thing?? Yeah, I cringed when I first heard that. Haven’t revisited that one..

    Trey playing rhythm was definitely nice to hear throughout..

    Di they play Cavern that much? I just remember the 11/1 opener, which was cool because it was in a different slot.

    Drowned>Light was the shit.. no doubt.

  10. garretcorncob Says:

    And I’m glad they stretched out the Hartford 2001, that’s long overdue, but it’s not a very good jam. Too disconnected. I don’t think anyone was quite sure how long Trey was going to let them go for, then just when they thought maybe they’d get comfortable he’d pull the plug on ’em

  11. garretcorncob Says:

    Really P? I loved that. Didn’t have any stumbles from anybody, and gave Golden Age a new edge. Would it have been cool for them to play out that Light jam? Probably, but what went down was still pretty hip for me. Loved that groove, so hearing it for a couple more minutes was fine by me.

  12. garretcorncob Says:

    It felt like they played Cavern twice a night…

    But I think I’m just tired of it generally. Where’s our Cavern wah jam?

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    If you think cavern gets played too much, try walking in my shoes – which I take very good care of, thank you very much. I see it about one out of every three shows I attend and went two for three this fall. We all have our magnet songs and that is mine.

    That said, I really enjoyed getting it as an opener for some reason.

  14. snow Says:

    Are you saying Hampton Golden Age made you cringe Mr P?
    As in the one from October 20th 2013?

  15. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Gonna go back to that set II opening trifecta from Rochester..

    Cross>Light>Ga… thoughts to come.

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    My bad… I said Hampton but I was wrong. It was Rochester.. The Light>Ga

  17. Gavinsdad Says:

    Good stuff GC…u making nye/NYC?

  18. garretcorncob Says:

    Just don’t tell MiA if you don’t like C&P, Palmer. It’ll break his sensitive heart!

  19. garretcorncob Says:

    Nah GDiddy, unfortunately not. No idea if I’ll have work by then or not, and if I do whether I’ll be working then or not, and all that. Plus the no income thing…

  20. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I remember the Crosseyed being good..

    Mia sensitive? Well, I never…

  21. aj Says:

    Back home, amazing trip… one of the best I have had in China in years. My subgroup was great, kind, inquisitive and polite. Phanner principal guy has become a good friend too. Only one person out of 400 lost their passport (sucks to be them), and no one seriously hurt of died. Very nice to be home, have to go back again in 3 weeks. Have not been on the board at all, hope everyone is well and thriving.

  22. Gavinsdad Says:

    I’m starting to nitpick Fall a little bit…may need to step back

    Was thinking of T3/Mia/GarretC/Voopa earlier for this but it applies to all you students. These past 2 tours are cousins stylistically but Fall stood out more to me for what most of us have noted: treylessness (or lead lite). I’m pretty ok with my years/eras but have we seen a tour as widely lauded going back to, say, ’94 with such a lack of lead playing and a preponderance of groove? For all that Cowfunk brought us from a groove perspective Triz still played lead over much of 97. And 98 with its arena vibes and groove extensions still had forward leads everywhere. It’s pretty wild to me that we are
    Open enough to Basically “love” a tour with such restrained, or laid back, Trisco.

    Not even slightly intimating there’s something wrong with this. Fall is rad as shit. Just wildly different. (And yes I know, trey did play lead guitar this fall. I know.) I just wanna know if somewhere I missed another rhythm heavy tour?

  23. Gavinsdad Says:

    Gotcha garret.

  24. aj Says:

    Must.Stay.Awake.

  25. MiA Says:

    I’m not sensitive.

    Bunch of assholes on here…

    jeez. I’m going home.

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