The Best Is Yet to Come

12.28.13 (Jake Silco)

12.28.13 (Jake Silco)

This past run at Madison Square Garden completed a modern maturation process of long form jamming that started in Long Beach 2012 and crystalized at Dick’s two weeks later. Until their Long Beach tour opener of August ’12, Phish had spent the three-plus years of their comeback getting their improvisational skill sets back up to speed. During this period, the band focused their improvisation in small stints, contained mostly in jams of 10-12 minutes. Upon completion of Summer Leg One in 2012, Phish was ready for the next step—a step that their fan base had been drooling for since their return. It was time to stretch things out into the adventure-filled excursions that had made them famous. This past weekend at MSG, Phish culminated this contemporary re-evolution, leaving themselves in a place of utter musical glory from which to turn the next page on their career.

12.28.13 (J.Silco)

12.28.13 (J.Silco)

When Phish came back in ‘09, many saw the band’s move as nothing more than nostalgia on the coattails of a hall of fame career. Very few fans foresaw this type of improvisational evolution; very few fans believed that the band would return to place of musical dominance. Well—those people were sorely mistaken, as Phish has now ascended through their initial five-year burst—from their reunion to their anniversary—and are now armed with new sounds, new effects and a slew of new material in preparation for the Wingsuit era.

Comparing the runs of Dick’s 2012 to MSG 2013 would seem like a legitimate debate, but such an argument would be blind to the continuum that Phish has been traveling for the duration of this time span. If Long Beach cracked the door and Bill Graham’s third night of ‘12 wedged it open, Dick’s Rocky Mountain revelation provided the gateway for the band to pass through, embarking on a musical journey of growth that has brought to the here and now. The jamming of New Year’s ’12 flowed directly from the style of Dick’s, while Summer ’13 built upon all of that with an infusion of new approaches. In Fall ’13, the band continued to polish their jamming as Trey stepped to the role of rhythm we all love so much, boasting their best modern tour to date. And all of that led up to last week’s stand at MSG that capped this process of redevelopment with the most prolific four-night affair we have seen in ages.

12.28.13 (Jake Silco)

12.28.13 (Jake Silco)

Were it not for each and every step of this evolutionary path, Phish wouldn’t be where they are now. While fans will always argue for their favorite shows and favorite jams, it’s high time we all took a step back to see the forest from the trees—Phish has not only reclaimed their past virtuosity, they are pushing forward and forging new musical paths, all while on the brink of the next chapter of their storied career.

Madison Square Garden was, simultaneously, a sentimental celebration of all that has been and an anticipatory explosion of all that is yet to come. For those of us that have kept the faith and believed in this band through all the bumps in the road, we have reached the promised land. 2013 delivered us to Gamehendge, that special place in our minds and hearts where all is right with the world and we share common bonds of bliss and redemption. Where will 2014 will bring us? Nobody can tell. But with our hearts firmly in the right place and thirty-year smiles plastered on our faces, the sky is the limit.

12.30.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

12.30.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

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1,572 Responses to “The Best Is Yet to Come”

  1. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Sleep Again- like that one too. A TAB song , no? I believe the lyrics are about his addiction issues. Thought I had read that.

  2. bob dylan Says:

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    No way dude! 2013! Heavens soundtrack!

    In addition, I declare Jamnesty on all 2013 whale relations. So it is written, so let it be done.

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Lol @ Bingos. Cool.

    I don;t know what it is or how to describe it, but a majority of these ’13 shows just have a “pop” to them.. Brightness? Shit jut jumps out of the speakers, for me. Shit, it could just be technology, who knows?

  5. stapes Says:

    bob d – got one of those dfh ipa glasses. i like. but not my fave glass for ipa to be honest. prefer more of a tulip or something with a stem. just my thoughts of course.

    telas- great driving and soundtrack. love that ac tweez but too bad trey did not shred the ending.

  6. bob dylan Says:

    The hop in the bottle can make the beer flat relatively quickly. I make sure not to fill the glass too full. First drinks are cold. Hand warms the beer better than in a tulip and the last drinks are warmer.

    While we’re (I’m) talking about songs sitting out: what gives with no scents and subtle sounds? Does anyone have any honest insight? Who cares if it’s from 2.0. It’s a great fracking song.

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    Dead serious about that Carini. Heavy metal space funk. I can dig it.

  8. chris Says:

    don’t get why they don’t play sass ..they’ve played it what? 2-3 times? and no big versions

    i love that song (with intro of course)

  9. chris Says:

    maybe it brings back bad memories for trey ..i dunno

    gone is a beautiful song too

  10. bob dylan Says:

    I get gone being more about bad memories than S&SS.

    03 versions – msg 09, super ball. That’s all I remember.

  11. bob dylan Says:

    ^The hop in the glass. I meant the etched hop at the bottom of the glass to cause carbonation bubbles.

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    scents dick’s 11, best of the 3 from 3.0

  13. bob dylan Says:

    I caught all the good 2.0 versions. Spoiled n00b.

    It’s just one of the many things about the band the world may never know. Or like other things it may not even be on their radar.

  14. RicksFork Says:

    Bob, good to know on the hop at the bottom of the glass. Always say the end of my beer out of that glass is a little flat. Now I know why. Thanks.

  15. little umbrellas Says:

    ahhh. indeed Bobbie D. I think in the house at the actual show the bass was pumpin. So how come the board doesn’t reflect that? mergsz

  16. little umbrellas Says:

    Jamnesty has been given! hurraa!

  17. mayhem Says:

    Df is right. Dick’s scents is the best of 3.0. That one really tugs at the heart strings. No jam but you still like it, awesome. Such a beautiful version. And S was for Scottie

  18. chris Says:

    did any of the 3.0 versions have the intro?

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Chris, SBIX

  20. Stoney Case Says:

    555 from 12/29 was banging.

    more scents please.

  21. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    scents- bring back the intro!

    df- love the s show scents- great placement in a wonderful show

    support your local distillery and dispensary

  22. bob dylan Says:

    Who went to this venue? From the pic is looks cool. Oh yeah, and the jam is worth your time too.

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