Two Meh’d-Week Affairs

7.12.14, Randall's (Chris LaJaunie)

7.12.14, Randall’s (Chris LaJaunie)

After Phish nailed eight straight shows between SPAC, Mann and Randall’s Island, fans were salivating to see what the band had in store as they stepped away from the east coast for the first time this summer. Back in the day, these more remote, smaller market shows brought a welcome respite from the higher profile nights of the northeast. In the past, Phish often threw down spectacular shows in these more out of the way performances. This created a dynamic where fans would not want to miss these hard-to-get-to shows. However, in the modern era, these smaller shows have become something totally different. While the dynamic of less pressure remains the same, the resulting concert often crumbles into an array of jamless greatest hits for a localized fan base. The “skip” shows on tour are no longer the ones fans must quest after, but rather less focused affairs whose moniker is quite appropriate.

Canandaigua Official (J.Soto)

Canandaigua Official (J.Soto)

Needless to say, both Canandaigua and Detroit’s mid-week shows succumbed to this modern trend and the band on stage on Tuesday and Wednesday nights might as well have been understudies for the maestros on stage last weekend in New York City. If Randall’s Island was the culmination of a fortnight that was characterized by artistry and patience, these two mid-week, small market shows were exactly the opposite, crude and rushed. This is not to say there weren’t individual highlights in these shows—there absolutely were, but the overall feel of the shows were far from the refined and cerebral affairs that dotted the east coast, but mildly entertaining rock concerts in which the band seemed more concerned with how many songs they could get through than what any individual piece contained. To put it bluntly, while Trey graced the east coast with his timeless brilliance, Troy brought his ripcord and ADD to Canandaigua and Detroit, crafting more trainwrecks than memories.

Detroit Official (S. Serigraph)

Detroit Official (S. Serigraph)

The highest point of Canandaigua came in a twisting, long form “Down With Disease” that kicked down the doors of the second set with a fury. This jam was certainly on the level of tour’s first stretch, and it seemed like we were in for another set-long journey. But nothing of improvisational significance developed after that and a great “Disease” was hung out to dry. Striking first set renditions of “Wingsuit” and “Wombat” also provided takeaways from CMAC, as the former kept the more whole-band improvisational feel debuted at Randall’s, and the latter got into the dirtiest, loopiest funk jam of its short life. DTE’s lone improvisational highlight came in “Ghost > Caspian” though the “Ghost” jam seemed to have plenty of legs when Trey switched gears. Additionally, the band took “Weekapaug” for an out-of-character spin into abstraction and really had something significant building when the jam was cut inexplicably cut for “Cavern.” And that, folks, is about it for the mid-week highlight reel. On the “Not Top 10” list, Phish played two consecutive late-second-set “Fuegos” in Canandaigua and Detroit, while touching neither with a single improvisational brushstroke. At this point, “Fuego” has appeared far more times without a jam than with one. Interesting. An unsuspected development to say the least.

When it comes down to it, perhaps it’s not the size of the market, the distance from the east coast, the age of the band or the lack of hardcore fans in the audience—perhaps it’s the combined effect of all these elements. And alas, Phish is human. Call me presumptuous, but in Canandaigua and Detroit, the band just wasn’t putting in the same level of effort and focus that was on display for two weeks straight on the eastern seaboard. And when you don’t put in the same effort, you don’t get the same results. Thus, it is not surprising that these midweek shows paled in comparison to the musical events that took place on the in Saratoga Springs, Philadelphia and New York. The band needed an exhalation from an intense two weeks, and they took it in the form of two jukebox shows over the past couple nights. Have no fear, however, the Phish we know and love will be back in Chicago and tell a largely different story. Why? You tell me…

7.12.14 Randall's Island (Chris Lajaunie)

7.12.14 Randall’s Island (Chris LaJaunie)

7/16 Canandaigua—I. Buried Alive > Twist, Heavy Things, 555, Halley’s Comet > Bathtub Gin, Wingsuit, Divided Sky, Wombat, David Bowie

II: Down with Disease > Back on the Train > NICU, Gotta Jibboo, Theme From the Bottom, Meatstick, Fuego > The Wedge, Run Like an Antelope

E: Character Zero


7/17 Detroit—IWolfman’s Brother, Devotion To a Dream, Wilson, Poor Heart, The Moma Dance, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Lawn Boy, Yarmouth Road, Rift, The Line, It’s Ice, 46 Days

II: Mike’s Song > Ghost > Prince Caspian > Backwards Down the Number Line, Weekapaug Groove > Cavern, Piper > Waiting All Night, Tweezer > Fuego > Tweezer Reprise

E: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Possum

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2,348 Responses to “Two Meh’d-Week Affairs”

  1. aj Says:

    Just saw this, pretty funny

    Happy happy Greg my friend
    Throw out elbows once again
    Push the peasants all aside
    Rage a Sand
    And let’s take a Glide
    Front row to my dancing shrine
    Tape a square that’s 8′ x 9′
    Do you know what happens then?

    What is it like to have friends?
    Flailing all these many years
    I punched your girlfriends, tasted tears
    All those pit tix aren’t so cheap
    Over wheelchairs I will leap
    Every time Axilla comes
    Tell a fan he don’t belong
    Or scream it loud into his ear
    Or knock him down
    Step back, listen to Bob Weir

    You decide what it contains
    How long it goes, this thread remains
    The only rule is stay away
    Happy happy, gay for Trey

    You decide what it contains
    How long it goes this thread remains
    The only rule is stay away
    Happy happy, gay for Trey

    All you phans
    Come try to steal my dancing shrine

    And when I’m up front spinning on the rail
    With eyes slammed shut
    No one in between myself and page
    Then I drink a vial
    I’ll never see a different point of view

  2. snow Says:

    Definitely a 60hour time limit in vegas for me. Decision making starts to degrade at that point since culture is 3days deep and I’ve never not felt horrible after 60hours there. Besides, there is so much awesome around vegas.

    anybody have chicago DL codes they want to part with? snowbankbb@g 🙂

  3. jtran Says:

    SB bowl only seats 4500. yikes.

    gotta love 4 outdoor fall shows though. $$$

  4. MrCompletely Says:

    just hit my orange and downsample if you can’t handle the HDs @snow

    there are mp3 links on /r/boardtrades but no flac16s yet

    good one @aj, on point

  5. roberto luongo Says:

    only thing creepier than ole AG

    is dude who takes time out of his day to write a version of #line about him

  6. aj Says:

    ^ haha, exactly. It is pretty right on, though. People love to hate on AG almost as much as the Phish.

  7. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Jtran can I do fall tour with you? Do you have an extra surf board?

  8. roberto luongo Says:

    no doubt AJ. def funny as fuck.

    can’t help but picturing dude sitting at desk working on his second draft.

  9. MrCompletely Says:

    I have a link to download the Voodoonola version of the Beat Club ’72 show if anyone wants to have the file locally. I have been asked not to post it publicly though. Would someone like to email me for the link, DL it and re-host for anyone else that would like the file?

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    V expects that the YT version of the Beat Club show won’t last so if you want it you probably want the hard copy so to speak

  11. MrCompletely Says:

    or @snow if you want the mp3 links I can email you later this afternoon, drop me a line

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    I gotta go explain to a bunch of clients how we’re making hypercomplex grad school admissions app interfaces work on mobile devices here in a minute…if anyone needs linkies for the above email me…

    gonna go Chi twist to the dome again for an energy shot BOOM

  13. MrCompletely Says:

    holy fuck 4.5 gig this is a seriously high rez file wow

  14. jtran Says:


    yes and yes

  15. jtran Says:

  16. jtran Says:

    fall tour bitches!

    10/17 Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, OR
    10/18 Key Arena, Seattle, WA
    10/21 Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA
    10/22 Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, CA
    10/24 The Forum, Los Angeles, CA
    10/25 Sleep Train Amphitheatre, San Diego, CA
    10/27 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
    10/28 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
    10/29 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
    10/31 MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV
    11/01 MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV
    11/02 MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV

  17. marcoesq Says:

    Fall tour announced

  18. aj Says:

    Damn, CA tour looks fun

  19. IrieWalton Says:

    damn, that’s even worse than my worst nightmare.

  20. MrCompletely Says:

    total bullshit. schwag. probably should drop offline for a bit. fuck you phish.

  21. marcoesq Says:

    Weird dates man. 2 nights in Santa Barbara, crazy. Why not drop 3 nights in LA at the Greek or Wiltern

  22. IrieWalton Says:

    that Eugene>SEA drive is gonna be a pain. Don’t know whether or not to just stay over in Eugene or trek back home, Sumo stylee, to sleep in my own bed.

  23. marcoesq Says:

    Or PDX of course. Pretty shitty not to thrown some dates to you cats

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    Wouldn’t want to come to PDX, it’s only been the hippest city on the west coast for a decade. And any venue complaints are nullified by playing Key Arena which sucks donkey balls.

    Worst. Tour. Ever.

  25. Kaveh Says:

    Fall Tour…I mean…CA tour…great for the West Coast phans!

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