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. MiA Says:

    Crosseye’d then light maybe the most jarring transition of the fall.

    I knew that Crosseye’d was going big when I heard Page screw up the baby elephant walk.

  2. Rob Ford Says:

    maybe so gdad, but reading is my fav set of tour and IMO has trey’s best lead guitar playing of all 3.0.

  3. Rob Ford Says:

    Roch Crosseyed>Light transition is so ugly you can’t look away

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Still not a fan of the Rox Light>GoldenAge mashup thing..

    That show has been placed in the incinerator.

    New music rec? I’m tired of Fall 2013 at the moment..

    Love the New Dave’s but seeking a genre change…. Just listening to Pretty Lights… yeah, I know.. bored.

  5. Rob Ford Says:

    palmer, blood orange – cupid deluxe

  6. bob dylan Says:

    License plate in front of me – melmac

    Bethel bitches

  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Mia said that Blood Orange was dreadfully, painful music… something like that..

  8. Rob Ford Says:

    You actually trust MiA’s opinion?

  9. MiA Says:

    It’s horrible. Posted spotify for anyone that wants to kick themselves in the balls musically.

  10. MiA Says:


  11. Rob Ford Says:

    He can’t even get his facts straight

  12. MiA Says:

    Here is coastal grooves

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I’ll try anything.. I’m listening on youtube…

  14. Lycanthropist Says:

    I am really diggin these “deeper looks” Mr. Miner


  15. Rob Ford Says:

    I am not addicted to crack.

  16. Rob Ford Says:

    And I didn’t eat anyone’s pussy, I have plenty to eat at home.

  17. MiA Says:


  18. Lycanthropist Says:

    Mr. Palmer,

    A couple of suggestions for you:

    Laura Mvula: Some very interestingly arranged songs. Kind of pop, but far more intricate and complex musicianship on the album. She has a very ethereal voice and some great tonality

    Two Man Gentlemen Band: A fun bluegrass duo that has a musical sensibility that sets it apart. At least this is the bluegrass I am listening to at the moment.

    Emefe: A group from NY that brings a progressive element to afrobeat music. A lot of fun, super funky and some great horn lines.

    The OneUps: A jazz group that covers old Nintendo and Sega themes. A lot cooler than it sounds. The band is super tight and covers a wide range of jazz textures.

  19. Rob Ford Says:

    Those all sound way worse than Blood Orange. And Phish.

  20. MiA Says:

    Lycan always had great drops on TT.

  21. MiA Says:

    Sun Kil Moon – April

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Thanks Lycan– I went with Ms. Laura…. very nice.

    Just grabbed 5 tickets to go see Disney on Ice… oh yeah… pretty cheap actually. $103 total. Sec 125… Fishman side.. 😉

    Kids will be pumped and I will be superman… Ahh…

  23. Snow Says:

    The new: jonwayne, underachievers, action broson and roc Marciano.

    Everything else I got is is in telas orange. Btw, @telas, mrs snow has been loving the techno. #bb scoring points with the mrs! Well done.

  24. Dorn76 Says:

    Garret has been insufficiently moved by the awesomeness that is the Reading Disease.

    Troubling times on the BB.

  25. Dorn76 Says:

    Gavin’s is bored by Fall Tour.

    Palmer spinning Pretty Lights and MiA is cursing the moon.


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