Sunday 11/02/2014 by lumpblockclod

VEGAS2 RECAP: THE DAY AFTER

Whenever the final Curtain falls on Phish, and fans debate the band's finest moments, Friday's Haunted House set will be a part of that discussion. So how do you follow up a show like that? Do you ride the momentum to even greater heights? Remember, 11/1/13 was possibly the best show of last year. Or are we doomed to Saturday Night Special meets The Hangover? Phish didn't have to play shows on 1/1/96 or 1/1/00. They would get no such reprieve on 11/1/14.


Photo by @hersch

A tight, compact "Fuego" starts us off. Like its other first set brethren, this "Fuego" sticks to the script, but if amount of Trey-face is a leading indicator, we can put away the Advil. He looks fresh as a daisy and Hangover-free. The blues of "My Soul" follows and gives way to the shuffle of "Back on the Train." After playing no Fuego songs on the one year anniversary of their debut, the funk of "555" delivers our second in four songs. The first "Dog Faced Boy" since 6/8/11 (144 shows) provides our first surprise of the night. Moving swiftly from such tenderness to facial copulation, We get the first "Fuck Your Face" since Phish Trucked our Face last NYE. The two-faced combo is followed by a quick "Horn" before we get another rarity in the form of "Frankie Says." The always welcome "My Friend My Friend" is next. So in the space of five songs, we've been dogged, fucked, blown, sucked and stabbed. What other band has that range, I ask you?


Photo by @languagestrange

At least they leave flowers for us, as "Roses Are Free" continues the string of relative bustouts. The Circus Circus is the place for us, as "Roggae" ushers us under the big top. In the past few years, when we think of the typical first set "jamming" songs, songs like "Gin," "Wolfman's," and "Stash." "Roggae" has quietly been at that level, though this would be a fairly tame version, even by first set standards. "Birds of a Feather" was next and featured a quick tease of "The Birds" from Friday's Haunted House set. "Birds" contained a "Birds" tease. Get it? A typically strong "Wingsuit" (love it in this position) closed the set.


Photo by @taopauly

Set two starts off with "Possum." Played a couple of times a tour, "Possum" is welcome pretty much anywhere in the setlist, even as a second set opener. This version would really serve as a table setter for what was to come. First, "Crosseyed and Painless" wastes little time breaking form. A tight little Trey-led groove becomes spacier, and Page's Rhodes hints at "No Quarter," but instead results in a slick segue into "Light." "Light," augmented by all manner of howling, builds to a serious peak reminiscent of "The Dogs" from 10/31, before quieting down into a serene space. For a minute, it seems like Fish is struggling to keep the jam alive, but then it resolves into a brief full band "Lengthwise."


Photo © Phish From the Road

For the second consecutive 11/1, we get a tease-infused version of "Twist." The 2014 vintage features some "Lengthwise" quoting from Fish before hitting on a more severe infusion of "Manteca" teases and good old fashioned, ferocious picking from Trey. "Twist" cools down until it's just Page steering things into "Wading in the Velvet Sea." After "Velvet Sea" does its thing, the alligator mouths continue into "Harry Hood."

This has been a revelatory year for "Harry" and it seemed tonight would not disappoint. There are all sorts of bells and whistles throughout this version (check out Trey at the end of the "Miner" segment and the plinko-y work from Page during the build). The stage was set for an all-time version when it was abruptly cut short in favor of "Golgi." Don’t quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure that's a felony in some jurisdictions. "Number Line" takes the set fully off the rails, but at that point the damage had already been done. A classic Phish case of subtraction by addition. "Waiting All Night," "Sing Monica" and, for god only knows what reason, "The Star Spangled Banner" filled the encore slot. I could go on, but you probably don't want me to. I was feeling good – really good! – though the third quarter, but seven straight tequila shots have left me all sorts of hungover.


Photo © Phish From the Road

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Comments

, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS went to bed after that excellent first set. sounds like it was good decision.

Hood> Golgi is like taking a trip to the dentist
, comment by ckess22
ckess22 Fun show. Some odd set choices interspliced w some really cool moments. Felt like the band was sort of toying w us.
, comment by agelva
agelva Yeah. I bet you had more fun in bed than I did during the 2nd set. Good decision, brah.
, comment by LandoCallrissian
LandoCallrissian You know, some of the set list choices were strange, conceded...but it really worked for me last night: 1st 3 quarters were great, but even the 4th too.. Especially following Friday's mind-blower. I mean, right down to the Star Spangled Banner (totally odd, right?)...but I loved it. And they nailed it, I thought. Typically the Golgi, #line would get me down, but, again, I dug it. Hoods Jam? Loved it. And I have been relatively critical of this tour's flow. I thought the playing all night was quite inspired from all members considering the prior night's output. Instead of seeming hungover, to me, they seemed energized and loosened by 10/31. Looking forward to tonight.
, comment by menoareno
menoareno Complain all you want about BDTNL, Sample, Julius, etc in the second set but Golgi is an incredibly beautiful and inspired masterpiece from Trey's most creative period compositionally. It just all works, it feels like a song you've known since you were a little child and most importantly its a laid back and goofy psychedelic journey through the inner mechanics of your subconscious mind. They've only played it three times this tour and I would take it over any of the Wingsuit songs or other second set distractions in a heartbeat.
, comment by Agentphish
Agentphish This was a great show. 4th quarter was a lot of fun and the crowd definitely dug it. Number line, which I typically dislike, was great. Yes I wish they continued the hood jam but I love Golgi and the crowd did too.

Also, Star Spangled Banner was the right choice. That place went bonkers.

Sing Monica may have been a nod to the 600 or so Sing Monica shirts featuring Denzel Washtington that have been distributed on this tour.
, comment by Suck_My_Dicculus
Suck_My_Dicculus Wait so people hAte Golgi now!?

130+ shows and I still don't get you idiots.

Hood> Golgi = dentist!?

Had this fanbase lost it's fuckong mind.
, comment by lumpblockclod
lumpblockclod @Suck_My_Dicculus said:
Wait so people hAte Golgi now!?
No, I don't hate Golgi. But I don't understand ending that Hood in favor of it.
, comment by joechip
joechip I heard the show as energized and inspired, Trey in particular played a ton of great leads which he hasn't done so much this year. I heard a switch flip during Roggae, which was outstanding with a truly soaring solo (check it out again) and the band was on from there on out.

Yes, the Hood didn't quite live up to other versions from the year of the Hood, but it was still interesting and had some great moments. Seamless 2nd set from Crosseyed thru Hood...this was definitely a great showing for the band despite a choppy ending.
, comment by chalkdustbling
chalkdustbling crab in my shoe mouth!!!!
, comment by Twisted_Julius
Twisted_Julius @lumpblockclod said:
@Suck_My_Dicculus said:
Wait so people hAte Golgi now!?
No, I don't hate Golgi. But I don't understand ending that Hood in favor of it.
I think everyone in the building knew that Golgi was happenning.
, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM Just a random theory here....the thread about which was more important (10-31-13 or 14) to Phish's career arc got me thinking.

Now that we have definitive evidence that, at least for now, the '14 Halloween jams aren't a one-off thing, we can all wildly speculate on what happens if they stick around for real. Having solid instrumentals in the repertoire seems to me like it will be an incredibly valuable tool for setlist flow. If they segue into a new song, then you can pretty much kiss the original jam goodbye (ripcord or not) with rare exceptions like MPP. In terms of setlist flow, if the next song doesn't really have a jam attached then there is the danger of the all too familiar jukebox Phish.

Instrumentals don't seem to entail the same kind of commitment as to what constitutes the next 'song.' Did they play Manteca or just tease it? It seems like instead of an either-or disjunction between original song and next, there could be shades of back and forth where it all helps the original jam find new direction. After hitting the heights of [big jam> jamlet / stop / next movement] in Fall '13 I felt like my kind of Phish was back. This was the most important element of the Phish I grew up on (the consistent 20-minuters), but already we saw past the midway point of the summer's tour that Phish wasn't just going to follow this pattern and remain satisfied.

They were already deconstructing that immensely satisfying setlist pattern, and it was fair game which quarter of the show would deliver the goods. It seemed that they were going after the jamming when it felt right and not when the setlist dictated. They were also toying with a more '93 style seguefest where fluidity was king rather than time jammed.

Last night offered us a glimpse into the possibilities of returning to that style of organic flowing sets instead of us all simply wishing a jam would go big and if it didn't then that was the end of the story. At the tail end of Light (like so many other Lights this year), after they went abstract there were just no forceful themes put forward by anyone until Trey hit the chord that signals the 'Dogs' key. 'Dogs' is not officially listed on the setlist, partially because what qualifies as more than a tease is singing a verse or two in the right key/tempo of a new song. They were playing 'Dogs' to my ears, pure and simple. But was it a new song? The fact that its even arguable suggests that they can bounce back and forth with musical ideas, the instrumental a new launching pad, and maybe even synthesize the original jam with the new instrumental direction, creating a sort of hybrid oozing with creativity.

IF Phish decides to stick with these instrumentals, I think they've unlocked the door to a whole new method of delivering creativity. The Lengthwise/Twist/Manteca craziness seemed to me to be a natural extension of the kinds of possibilities this style of thinking about setlist construction provides. I can't wait to see if this stuff sticks around for good and I'm thinking it will.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @agelva said:
Yeah. I bet you had more fun in bed than I did during the 2nd set. Good decision, brah.
haha! I did!

I'll catch the rest today.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @Suck_My_Dicculus said:
Wait so people hAte Golgi now!?

130+ shows and I still don't get you idiots.

Hood> Golgi = dentist!?

Had this fanbase lost it's fuckong mind.
Yes I have lost what little mind I have left. I acknowledge this. However, to interrupt an epic Hood to segue into Golgi is a mind crime.
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS nice to hear from you @AlbanyYEM
, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM Thanks man, life has been getting in the way of Phish. I hear all the shows while working but .net is kind of a pandora's box of time consumption. But after Halloween I just couldn't help myself. Wow.
, comment by Dressed_In_Gray
Dressed_In_Gray All your Golgi are belong to us
, comment by grapeapplepies
grapeapplepies If only i didn't have to wait until next summer to see these guys again. Chicago seems so long ago....😖
, comment by redhed
redhed @AlbanyYEM said:
Just a random theory here....the thread about which was more important (10-31-13 or 14) to Phish's career arc got me thinking.

...

IF Phish decides to stick with these instrumentals, I think they've unlocked the door to a whole new method of delivering creativity. The Lengthwise/Twist/Manteca craziness seemed to me to be a natural extension of the kinds of possibilities this style of thinking about setlist construction provides. I can't wait to see if this stuff sticks around for good and I'm thinking it will.
I think we've already seen a bit of that new form of playing going on in the third set of 10.31, and further into nights 2&3 of Vegas. It's almost as though they're going meta in a sense of taking jams from the previous 2 years, working them into a structure, and using that structure to form new exploration touchstones from. I wish this tour was continuing to be able to see it play out until the New Years. I only hope that they continue to refine it and actually practice into December or Miami will feel like a regression.
, comment by newbornelph
newbornelph When has Roggae been jammed out like Gin or Wolfmans???
, comment by lumpblockclod
lumpblockclod @newbornelph said:
When has Roggae been jammed out like Gin or Wolfmans???
In 3.0 all 3 songs stay in their respective boxes for the most part. Roggae certainly isn't jammed out as intensely necessarily, but they do interesting things with it and, for my money, it's often more interesting than those songs. 8/5/11 is the most obvious example, but check out Chi2 or MPP1 from this summer. Admittedly, this says as much about my attitude towards the predictability of most recent Gins and Wolfman's as it does about Roggae.
, comment by lumpblockclod
lumpblockclod Also, great post by @AlbanyYEM. I agree, the Haunted House instrumentals have the potential to change the way a Phish set flows. Will be interesting to see how/if they appear in Miami.
, comment by InsectEffect
InsectEffect "Light contained a Dogs jam" per setlist notes seems much more accurate than "reminiscent of 'The Dogs'" -- this was pure gold in the moment, and I imagine holds up on tape. Having just introduced 10 new instrumental elements on Halloween, the kind of quotes, teases and inclusions littered throughout the Sat and Sun shows were arguably to be expected, yet still felt utterly fresh and spontaneous, the crowd reacting with utter delight. I think the band showed admirable restraint with this, and I anticipate that we'll be hearing more of these Halloween treats down the line...

Also, I'm not sure if the band could see it from the stage --possibly blocked by the chandelier-- but the working theory in our section was that Star Spangled Banner was inspired by the huge American flag hanging in the back of the venue.
, comment by Mhappe
Mhappe @FACTSAREUSELESS said:
went to bed after that excellent first set. sounds like it was good decision.

Hood> Golgi is like taking a trip to the dentist
"I have fun in bed as long as I'm not alone" but keep your negative comments to yourself please"
, comment by FACTSAREUSELESS
FACTSAREUSELESS @Mhappe said:
@FACTSAREUSELESS said:
went to bed after that excellent first set. sounds like it was good decision.

Hood> Golgi is like taking a trip to the dentist
"I have fun in bed as long as I'm not alone" but keep your negative comments to yourself please"
Was just having fun. I hadn't even heard the 2nd set yet when I posted. My comment was a gag.
, comment by thumpasaurus
thumpasaurus First off what a weekend. Sunday was my 90th show (1st Lowell 95) and this weekend was one of the phinest in recent memory. The three nights of musical bliss, the revelry, the Saturday night dance party at the Rouge. Many momemts of Phish greatness which has already been elaborated quite well but one moment stuck out for me. Ever since I first heard the 95 UCF show with Manteca flavored Stash, I have been patiently waiting to witness its reemergence. I know there have a decent bunch of Manteca teases but never one with the lyrical quote if memory serves me right. However right when Twist was getting into its squanky Phish tank funk, Trey quote "it." Upon watching this unfold amidst my deepest dance groove ever, I remember looking at the phellowship around me and seeing the biggest smiles all around. I guess everyone has their own idea of the most perfect Phish moment and this is mine.
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