The four nights were laced with energy, jams, mostly tight playing, and a New Year’s Eve “gimmick” that deserves its spot on the shelf of really cool things Phish has done to celebrate a holiday. The run was a success.
One of the great parts about Phish, though, is nitpicking Phish, so without further adieu, let’s take a look at some of the things Phish did and didn’t do at MSG.
With a monumental first set comprised entirely of songs that hadn’t been played all year, including a “Col. Forbin’s Ascent” with narration, and a second set that easily stands up with the best sets of the tour to date, the band added yet another notch to the Win column.
Phish returned to Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre for the second time ever to play a beautiful concert that had everyone dancing from start to finish. The first set was dotted with its own highlights before the band came out under the stars to play a nearly seamless second set full of jams that sound like they were plucked out of 1999 because of the tone, style, and the spacey-rock qualities of various jams.
I was particularly engaged during the beginning of Mike’s because I noticed Trey talking to Page for a while before they started the song–what could he possibly have to say to him about such a staple Phish song? Judging by Trey’s body language with his hands, it almost looked like “and then go back in”.
While the show a night earlier garnered largely poor reviews, last night featured a band–and guitarist–that was more focused, creative, and commanding.
With temperatures in the 90′s at the open-aired venue, it begs the question, why was Trey wearing jeans, a long sleeved shirt and an undershirt? Bust out the jorts and cut-off shirts for crying out loud! The band hasn’t played the state of Texas since the ACL Fest in 2010 and Trey apologized for not making it around there more often adding that it is the state he was born in.
Thanks to months of hard preparatory work for his stint with the Dead, Trey’s playing is faster, cleaner, and more lyrical than it has been in years. And after last night’s show at the Forum in Inglewood, CA, he’s now left the entire west coast in flames.
With a first set that had trouble captivating and a second set that ended too quickly and without much improvisation aside from Simple, I’d argue the first night was the better of the two.
Starting with the Sample in a Jar, the band exhibited a clearly laid-back tempo and tone, everyone contributing evenly and thoughtfully. During the 10-minute Sand in the two-hole, Trey played with different creative licks although the song never ventured too far away from its standard structure. 555 played perfectly to the sun-drenched West Coast vibe of the crowd and after a few well played standards the band started with their first debut, “Blaze On”.
There’s many highlights of these shows since these shows themselves are highlights in the the band’s career. The three shows take up eight CDs and are so solid that it’s hard not to be completely engaged at every point of ever disc. Just in time for summer road trips, I’ll briefly go over some specific parts that make me happy they’ve found their way onto high-quality, remastered audio.
It’s no secret that Online Phish Tour hasn’t been keeping up with things. All the current OPT writers are too busy, too cool, or just suck at Phish (at least according to the Facebook comments) and we need some fresh meat to churn out posts to keep this once-epic online publication alive. I guess you could say that it’s time for OPT 2.0?
This weekend Phish will be playing another three-night stand in the Windy City and PhanArt will be there for their Chicago Poster and Pin Exhibition. Click for more information…
OPT can exclusively report that Phish enlisted a roster of artists, ranging from Bon Jovi to Seal, to cover their music – before later calling the whole project off.
JEMP Records is pleased to announce that the second pressing of ‘Junta’ on vinyl will hit stores October 1, 2013. It is available for pre-order now at Phish Dry Goods.
Along with a sample track from this download, read about Phish’s unexpected concert release here plus a blurb about the concert from archivist Kevin Shapiro.
When someone buys a ticket that they have no intention of using, and someone else is left in desperate search of that ticket, everyone loses. And we as a community should do what we can to put an end to this trend.
After 30 years of touring, a hiatus, a break-up, 11 studio albums (12 if you include the White Tape), several New Year’s Eve (NYE) runs, 9 festivals, and 6 Halloween album costumes, Phish is thriving. Four years after the band’s exalted return to the stage, the Phish community is thriving and possibly hungrier than ever. [...]
I get that New Year’s Eve in New York City is prime time to make money, but I think it comes at the misfortune of fans. Many fans will not stop going to shows and will likely buy ridiculously marked up tickets, but many fans will not.
As tour winds and leg two comes to a close capping a stellar summer of Phish, I can’t help myself from thinking about all the shows I missed. Who knew moving to a new city and going through a major life transition would make catching shows so difficult.
We’re now at about the halfway point between the two legs of summer tour. We at OPT wanted to give enough time for the dust to settle after the first leg so we didn’t offer opinions that may be emotional rather than logical.
setlist provided by Phish.net