Saturday 10/26/2013 by pzerbo

WORCESTER 1 RECAP

The colors on the trees are mostly faded. It’s cold outside. The Red Sox are in the World Series. And Phish is back at The Centrum. Life is good. Short and sweet here, for a blow-by-blow visit the excellent JamBase Skinny.

Shit-show Friday afternoon traffic led to a very late start even for Phish standard time – at a half hour after the scheduled start time the floor was barely half full. Everything about this venue “outside the ropes” (concessions, bathrooms, Worcester as a place) is still a pain-in-the-ass, but everything inside was relaxed, cozy, and happy!

The “Waves” > “Carini” combo is exactly what you want out of the critical third quarter frame, this has it all, 23-minutes that oozes sexy crunchy grooves, and taken as a whole every bit as satisfying as the Hampton “Tweezer.” If “Carini” isn’t the most consistent go-to jam stalwart, I’m not sure what is – so damn good, every single time. The “Caspian” was a soul-crushing moment, and the “Number Line” didn’t help matters. But then every ounce of potential disappointment transformed as our lovable Vermont heroes opened the books back up on the jamming through “Ghost” and the “Disease” > “Sneaking Sally” combo. Everything that came after was gravy, but the sheer quantity of songs gave everyone a hook to hang their hat on. Good points, bad points. Good times, bad times. Sometimes it was hard to get emotional footing through the roller coaster, but that which was good, was great.

More comments from the peanut gallery:

Dan Mielcarz: What set this show apart from so many other 3.0 Phish shows was not the jams to start off the second set, although they were excellent (particularly the dreamlike journey to ambiance and back in "Waves"). What made this show special was the late second set appearance of "Ghost" and "Down with Disease," a time when many other 3.0 shows tend to shift into jukebox Phish and run out the string. "Ghost" in particular featured some soaring major key melodic riffing by Trey that was not unlike the incredible Great Went "Bathtub Gin." A four song encore was gravy on top of one of the best front-to-back second sets I've seen. Must hear.

Chris Bertolet: There is a moment at about 10:30 into Waves when you can hear the band breathe together and pivot. The end result of this pivot -- the face-melting final minute or so of Waves -- is a great payoff. But to my ears, and in this case, the moment when they choose the destination is every bit as compelling as the moment when they reach it.

Classic Phish.

---

Add your thoughts, talk amongst yourselves.… cuz we are rolling out. Let’s go Red Sox!

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Comments

, comment by Doopes
Doopes Please someone let me know if they caught the living after midnight tease? I forget what song it was in but it was pretty prominent by trey... idk? I was pretty much sober (5 beers all night) so I don't think I imagined it?? Lol
, comment by lumpblockclod
lumpblockclod @Doopes said:
Please someone let me know if they caught the living after midnight tease? I forget what song it was in but it was pretty prominent by trey... idk? I was pretty much sober (5 beers all night) so I don't think I imagined it?? Lol
Most 3.0 Suzys have the Livin After Midnight riff/tease.
, comment by JahNuhDead
JahNuhDead Caspian was "soul crushing?" And Number Line "didn't help matters?" Seriously? Wow. While Caspian wasn't the greatest version it was still well placed and played. You could tell the band knew they were gelling big time. And Trey's solo in BDTNL was one of the best ever. Easy top 5 or 10 version. He killed it.

Possible best show from start to finish f
, comment by JahNuhDead
JahNuhDead @JahNuhDead said: [quote]Caspian was "soul crushing?" And Number Line "didn't help matters?" Seriously? Wow. While Caspian wasn't the greatest version it was still well placed and played. You could tell the band knew they were gelling big time. And Trey's solo in BDTNL was one of the best ever. Easy top 5 or 10 version. He killed it.

Possible best show from start to finish this year.
, comment by newbornelph
newbornelph I was thinking the same thing about the depth of Ghost in that spot...VERY pleased indeed!!
, comment by SlavePhan
SlavePhan The story of the Ghosting...

Pretty sure the Jack references have to do with Fish's son, named Jack. "Scared the shit out of Mom," and "cause he was on the road" lines point that way.
, comment by TheZink1
TheZink1 > > > > > Everything about this venue “outside the ropes” (concessions, bathrooms, Worcester as a place) is still a pain-in-the-ass....

Hahaha....lived in Worcester (went to Clark U) from 1991-1995. Total PoS place, but lots of great Phish shows...and perfect placement to see lots of Phish from 1991-1995, which is what I did. I'm in Oregon now, but would have loved to have seen this one. Was in the 2nd row for NYE 93-94 which of course alwasy remember fondly. I always says I minored in English and majored in Phish in college. Glad they kicked down for Wormtown!!
, comment by theothr1
theothr1 re: the Priest tune> > > I remember thinking the same thing while ingesting the "Suzy" @ Darien in oh-nine
, comment by OrangeSox
OrangeSox @pzerbo me like this review. The blurbs at the end are thoughtful and concise, as was the rest of the review. Upon relisten from the proverbial couch, i agree with @JahNuhDead but felt that you are also correct about the second set problem, which was certainly reversed promptly, if it could be cogently argued that Caspian and BDTNL were indeed soul-crushing, which they were not by a standard that bears in mind the set went deep again or that Trey delivered a thoughtful solo in Number Line (Caspian sounds sort of strange, along the lines of a lot of forum reviews that hint that onstage tempos were somewhat incongruent.

Bottom line: Phish is pulling it off Fall Tour 2013, let there be no doubts.
, comment by OrangeSox
OrangeSox Edit feature should be in place in comments, just saying. :)
, comment by nichobert
nichobert I like the interplay in Caspan jams lately. It (like basically everything) has taken a step backwards since 2012, but it's still a lot more interesting than the 10-12 minute endless textural shredfests that eventually shacked up in Bug full time.

Number Line... Well, lets just say I will never understand why people get bent out of shape about songs that haven't had jams in a decade not having jams... While Number Line showed oodles of potential in 09-10 and nobody's gripes ever seem to touch on that. If they're going to play a. 7 minute guitar solo song, I'll take Number Line over the Juliuses and Funky Bitches of the world all day.
, comment by JahNuhDead
JahNuhDead U@nichobert said:
I like the interplay in Caspan jams lately. It (like basically everything) has taken a step backwards since 2012, but it's still a lot more interesting than the 10-12 minute endless textural shredfests that eventually shacked up in Bug full time.

Number Line... Well, lets just say I will never understand why people get bent out of shape about songs that haven't had jams in a decade not having jams... While Number Line showed oodles of potential in 09-10 and nobody's gripes ever seem to touch on that. If they're going to play a. 7 minute guitar solo song, I'll take Number Line over the Juliuses and Funky Bitches of the world all day.
Yup.
, comment by fracai
fracai What about the audience vibes and the first set?! I'd like to hear about those just as much as second set jams and the x amount of songs in the encore.
, comment by jb879123
jb879123 I wasn't there, but totally agree with #line. Aside from Light, no other new song has defined the 3.0 sound. Some GREATTTT versions of #line out there. Spac09 JB10 even MSG10 is a personal favorite.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5BU-y90RvaE#

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tnMIwonbBb0#

On my phone so be advised on the mobile links
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS I thought the show was great fun. Worcester is a blah city but it's not the worst to get around in. Of course I know it well. The renovations to the old Centrum look great. Don't see how they could have improved it much more than they did other than tearing it down and building a new facility.

I understand the dumping on Backwards, and I agree that it shouldn't be in the middle of the 2nd set, where it always seems to find itself. It would be an excellent 1st set closer IMO, but a thought on that...

To say it was "soul-crushing" in it's placement is quite an overstatement. Maybe to you but not to me. I love the song and choose to go with the flow when they play it. It's happy and heartfelt and rocks when the band is on.

I honestly think Trey plays it in the 2nd set so much (and I'm being devil's advocate here) to offset some of the minor key, dark jamming and spacey stuff. In the last couple of years he commonly will rip into a major key straightforward rocker right after an introspective section of the show. I think Backwards is one of the songs he uses to that effect, and I think this is why it jars so many people when it happens, because it always seems to be just when they're going deep that they pull it out.

I don't agree with @nichobert that they have gone backwards since last year. I think they've continued to travel down the same road, honestly.

If I had to make a blanket statement about style at this point, I just don't think Trey is comfortable sitting back and grooving and letting the music dictate where he goes, as he so often was in the late nineties. He seems extremely focused on working out specific phrasings and melodic ideas within the framework of their freeform jamming, and his playing (both his chordings and soloing) is very technical. This limits the length of jams because he's not satisfied these days to just ride a groove with his pals for ten minutes. If he doesn't get resolution and focused direction within a minute or two, he ripcords or abandons the vibe for something else. That's been his M.O. for a few years now, it's just that last year (and during parts of '11) it really WORKED.

I think what we started to see last year was Trey becoming more patient and letting his bandmates develop the sound a little more. This year, he's become a little less patient again at times, so perhaps that's what you're hearing.

I don't think the band as a whole has been as tight this year, though. It seems as though there is some level of discord within the band itself as to the direction of the music these days, but they are still clicking about 50% of the time, to my ears, sometimes within the same show.

I think the last few shows bear this out fully. Glens Falls was good but rather hit and miss in spots. Last night was tighter and really the only critique I'm hearing is song selection, and I've never felt that song selection is a valid point of criticism unless there are excessive repeats.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS I must add as a caveat to my Backwards comments that yes, I realize that Caspian is written in a major key. ;/

BTW I loved the Funky Bitch opener.
, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown @FACTSAREUSELESS said:

I don't agree with @nichobert that they have gone backwards since last year. I think they've continued to travel down the same road, honestly.
Yeah, I'm in that camp too. I don't hear a big bump or a big decline in the quality and intensity of playing. I think the highs are just as high in 2013 as they were in 2012. I think the only argument that can be made for that is Dick's, which was obviously not as good in 2013 as it was in 2012. But that HAD to happen, eventually.

This year has produced the Tahoe Tweezer, the Hampton Carini, the Hollywood Hood, the PNC Crosseyed, and at least a half dozen other jams that rival the very best of 2012. And they're threading together consistent, densely structured, flowing sets at an arguably more consistent pace than last year.
, comment by sfadden42
sfadden42 Great show, got my first curtain , waves, vultures and my mind, energy was high as usual
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @bertoletdown said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:

I don't agree with @nichobert that they have gone backwards since last year. I think they've continued to travel down the same road, honestly.
Yeah, I'm in that camp too. I don't hear a big bump or a big decline in the quality and intensity of playing. I think the highs are just as high in 2013 as they were in 2012. I think the only argument that can be made for that is Dick's, which was obviously not as good in 2013 as it was in 2012. But that HAD to happen, eventually.

This year has produced the Tahoe Tweezer, the Hampton Carini, the Hollywood Hood, the PNC Crosseyed, and at least a half dozen other jams that rival the very best of 2012. And they're threading together consistent, densely structured, flowing sets at an arguably more consistent pace than last year.
Totally agree. The string of shows from (dare I say) Toronto through the three nights at Bill Graham could be considered their most consistent run of quality in a single string of shows since they came back from hiatus. They came out smoking at Hampton and other than Rochester there hasn't been a huge dropoff from there.

Agree that the sets have flowed really well on average, especially the second sets which have been better on average, I think, than last year. They've definitely been sloppier on the technical side of things this year, however. Maybe I'm just paying closer attention this time around, but that's how I hear it.
, comment by jaredprox
jaredprox Weak review. No nuance. Miner owned your ass on this one. Tisk.
, comment by dasheik
dasheik If a song was "soul crushing" and the following song made matters worse, it might be time to find a new hobby. That sounds pretty traumatic.

I'm a long time fan that's disappointed to see that kind of hating in a main phish.net review
, comment by TheEmu
TheEmu @jaredprox said:
Weak review. No nuance. Miner owned your ass on this one. Tisk.
lol
, comment by TheEmu
TheEmu @dasheik said:
If a song was "soul crushing" and the following song made matters worse, it might be time to find a new hobby. That sounds pretty traumatic.

I'm a long time fan that's disappointed to see that kind of hating in a main phish.net review
I won't speak for @pzerbo, but I'm pretty sure that was hyperbole.

If you find criticism to be "hating," then perhaps you might check out some other blogs that engage in blind, slathering praise and proclaim each show the greatest collection of sounds ever produced by humankind. They might be more your speed.
, comment by turtledb
turtledb This first set was one that shows that not all Phish shows have a slow build-up to a frenzy. Out of the gate, the Funky Bitch opener got people dancing. Phish didn't waste any time.

Wolfman's Brother was solid. I almost think Trey was playing with the crowd to see if we were paying attention during Wilson. I know he stated that he repeated himself because "Rog" was in the audience. I tend to think he was having a bit of fun. The energy in the Centrum (I refuse to call it The DCU Center) was high for the first set. For me The Curtain With was a nice surprise. I have not had a chance to re-listen to this show, yet but rest assured, this first set should not be seen as just a precursor to what happens after setbreak.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @turtledb said: "Wolfman's Brother was solid."

Indeed, Wolfman's ripped up the joint.
, comment by Dressed_In_Gray
Dressed_In_Gray Ghost and DWD late 2nd set.

This needs to become a trend.
, comment by elfinito
elfinito "It (like basically everything) has taken a step backwards since 2012,"

I think this statement is absurd. I think this Fall run has been among the best runs of 3.0. I think Hampton 3, Worcester 1 and Worcester 2 are some of the most complete 2nd second sets we have seen in 3.0. No "jukebox" tunes (as they were referred to earlier) in the 4th Quarter.

Deep Jamming, dark and beautiful, to start the set -- busting out into all out dance-parties, funky and rockin', and closing off with a peak or a beauty like Slave.

I'm bias towards this tour I guess, since Hampton 3 is my favorite set of Phish in a very long time.
, comment by dasheik
dasheik @TheEmu said:
@dasheik said:
If a song was "soul crushing" and the following song made matters worse, it might be time to find a new hobby. That sounds pretty traumatic.

I'm a long time fan that's disappointed to see that kind of hating in a main phish.net review
I won't speak for @pzerbo, but I'm pretty sure that was hyperbole.

If you find criticism to be "hating," then perhaps you might check out some other blogs that engage in blind, slathering praise and proclaim each show the greatest collection of sounds ever produced by humankind. They might be more your speed.
Thanks for clearing that up, bro. I checked the meaning of hyperbole in Webster's and I get it now. You Earthlings and your wacky mannerisms!

P.S.
Providing a review of a particular version of a song is completely different than bashing it's entire existence.
, comment by TheEmu
TheEmu Won't somebody PLEASE think of the Caspians!!
, comment by TheFluffiestHead
TheFluffiestHead Um, I kinda have to wonder if the reviewer was even at the show. I mean, not a single mention of anything in the first set, which included The Curtain With and Vultures and My Mind?!? C'mon, man (or lady). And I don't know that I've heard anyone say Phish has taken a step back since 2012. In fact, I've heard nothing but "Phish is on fiya!" or something of the like out of fans, both touring and non-touring, this year. Having been lucky enough to catch more than a few shows this summer, and hopping right back on for the tail end of fall tour, there is nothing to complain about with Phish right now, and certainly nothing "soul-crushing" (hyperbole or not).

From start to finish, this show was about as solid as a Phish gig gets. 46 Days set one closer literally had fans wide-eyed, and when it ended and the lights went up, the crowd would not stop roaring in approval. I think it was the longest I've ever seen Phish stay on stage after a first set closer, and they were grinning from ear to ear, bowing and waving. It felt like the end of an encore, and yet it was still just set break!

And yeah, I get that Caspian into Number Line isn't everyone's cup of tea, but they even made that work this time around! Add in the fun Ghost, a killer Carini, Sneekin' and a four song encore, and it is clear the band gave it their all and the fans truly, truly appreciated every moment of it...just ask the dude next to me who had to take a leak from DWD but couldn't bring himself to leave because the show was just that damn good. I don't think he peed himself, but he ran out of there as fast as he could after the lights finally went up.

I normally dig the reviews on .net, and I'm not trying to rip on @pzerbo, but this was a truly shoddy review, man (or lady). Give a full review or no review at all...this is phish.net, after all!
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