Thursday 10/25/2018 by phishnet

NASHVILLE2 RECAP: BETTER RUN THROUGH THE JUNGLE

[phish.net would like to thank Alaina Stamatis (@farmhose) for this recap -ed]

Back in 2016 I was hanging out in the park next to Ascend Amphitheater during the day before the Phish show. It seemed like the only place in Nashville where you could charge your phone and buy weed from a homeless person. I met someone named Fish Taco (F-I-S-H T-A-C-O tattooed on his knuckles) who promised to find us some grass. As we waited long hours with him for his dusty connection to arrive, I became skeptical of anything he had to say. He bragged that beautiful women buy him fifths of whiskey and cuddle in hammocks with him, and I struggled to mask my disbelief.

“Man, you should have been here at 7 this morning,” Fish Taco announced. “This big tour bus drove through the park, pulled up right over there. And Bob Weir poked his head out the window and said, ‘Hey, kid!’”

The weed, the whiskey, the women had all seemed fabricated. But deep down I knew that if anybody was going to call Fish Taco a “kid,” it would be Bob Weir. And as we all know, Fish Taco rewarded my faith in him with a surprise appearance from Bobby that night!

Photo used with permission, by Andrew Grooms
Photo used with permission, by Andrew Grooms

Now, for 2018. If “Soul Planet” is a sweet and pure little sugar cube, last night’s “Soul Planet” had 10ug dropped on it. The heady version alluded to a future evil which the band has been developing at every tour stop. Hints of Halloween, perhaps? The whole opener chunk of “Soul Planet”->”2001”->”555” had all the nerds flopping forward and humping around on bended knees, doing their funkiest chickens.

Don’t even pretend to think about whispering something disparaging about “Farmhouse” in my presence, as I hold a ferocious affection for it. The band always gives it the old college try and it tackles me every time. Friends may have spotted me on the free webcast flapping around during “Farmhouse” like the cluster fly to a flame.

“Halfway to the Moon” was next in honor of the psychedelic moon. “Waste” encouraged folks to come ‘waste’ their Halloween in Vegas. “My Friend, My Friend” followed but this year Bobby didn’t materialize during it. “Maze” brought the energy all the way up and had a nice peak. “Bathtub Gin” was particularly nasty. It had four distinct parts: Exploration, Progression, Menacing, and Buttery. I’ll have to consult my biographer but I’m pretty sure that was the best “Gin” I’ve ever seen.

Photo used with permission\, by Christian Stewart
Photo used with permission\, by Christian Stewart

“Down With Disease” was essentially a tutorial on How to Summon Satan Himself to this Earthly Plane. What started out as exciting and invigorating, curious and inviting, carefully revealed a seething chasm from which light cannot escape. Anyone wearing a Make Phish Evil Again hat can go ahead and eat it because MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

At nearly the same moment that the band began scaring me, a small, sweaty person who was spinning on an untethered trajectory kept bumping into me. With each undesired slap of physical contact, I felt a wetness, which I initially assumed to be sweat, but I had to wonder: did my hand just enter this person’s mouth? Did I graze an eyeball? Was there pus? “Run Through the Jungle,” teased Trey (in “Scents and Subtle Sounds”), a song about escaping from the Devil, already knowing full well that we’ve lost it, we’ll never get out of this Hell maze. “Scents and Subtle Sounds” also quoted “Crosseyed” and “Party Time” in rapid succession before becoming a small funkfest of spooky proportions.

“No Men In No Man’s Land” was dedicated to all the vendors who couldn’t catch a dang break with the Nashville PD to vend their art in a central location near the venue. Watching them pack up for what was purportedly the third time made me want to cry but they were still dancing and blasting Michael Jackson and for that I salute them. Be sure to support a heady enterprise on “Lot Business Saturday.”

I spent “Crosseyed”->”Scents And Subtle Sounds”->”No Men’s” second row in the pit on hard Mike’s side, the sweet area between Mike’s zone and the part of his rig that is so deafening that you cannot bear to be near it. I found myself next to a tall bearded guy whose strategy was to scream, “MIKE!” at Mike until Mike would look over as a reflex response to his name, only to find that a tall bearded guy was screaming at him.

Photo used with permission, by Joel Gee
Photo used with permission, by Joel Gee

The whole rail in front of me consisted of middle-aged dudes caught in a loop of trying to film and livestream the set instead of just enjoying the concert from an amazing proximity to the band. When the boys dropped into “Boogie On” I finally turned to one of them and yelled, “You don’t have to film! They’re doing a free webcast tonight!” And you know what? He put his phone away and started doing the ol’-bro-in-a-fleece-vest-and-expensive-watch shimmy.

We’ve gotten “Harry Hood” in every city and it always satisfies the phans that want to yell random requests at the band because they’re worried they aren’t going to get their money’s worth with the song selection. By “Antelope,” we were done pretending to be fancy railriders and headed to the walkway in front of the lawn to be with our spinner pham. My husband and I are often complimented on our groovy Phish-er-cising (and occasionally a bloated drunk chomper will call out, “Your dancing sucks!”) so a nice aisle with lots of room in the company of people who want to burn off calories or their drug combination with an astounding view of CK5’s bounty works well for me!

There was a small field recorder on the stage, and listening back to the webcast I can hear myself howling like an injured dog after every song. And, as with all Phish concerts, the band helped me over the rainbow bridge.

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Comments

, comment by Icculus
Icculus **stands and applauds**
, comment by Tando
Tando Even a rough Farmhouse is still a Farmhouse!
, comment by ontape
ontape Yay Alaina!
, comment by big_rune
big_rune Did you ever get your weed?
, comment by RTinVA
RTinVA Speaking as something of an ol’-bro-in-a-fleece-vest-and-moderately-expensive-watch shimmyer, I really enjoyed this wonderfully in-the-moment review. Nicely done.
, comment by jtesch1
jtesch1 Cosmo's Factory would be a cool costume album. Already thinking of how epic a 20 minute heard it through the grapevine would be
, comment by justino
justino "He bragged that beautiful women buy him fifths of whiskey and cuddle in hammocks with him..."

Outstanding characterization! Love it.
, comment by farmhose
farmhose @big_rune said:
Did you ever get your weed?

Nah his friend eventually showed up and said “oh! I think I know a guy!”
, comment by ForgeTheCoin
ForgeTheCoin One of my favorite .net reviews in recent memory! Followed along on the webcast last night - Definitely enjoyed the opening SP>2001>555 immensely, and then was rather perplexed by the song selection for the rest of the set. The Gin had ambition - I felt as if Trey tried taking the jam in a number of directions, from major key bliss to a funk groove, to spacy darkness, none of which really found solid footing. That being said, one can only applaud Phish when they are pushing boundaries, and diving deep into that mysterious place of improvisation where nobody quite knows where they'll be when they come up again for air.

The second set was a different story, highlighting the band's current propensity for both funk and darkness which has been on display ever since the Albany tour opener. Perhaps it's Trey's rebooted guitar rig, with an almost sluggish, growly tone as well as the use of the Leslie that just begs for a dark and brooding place to work its magic. Disease through NMINML was a fantastic exploration. The Antelope encore had a phenomenal jam and an energy that made it one of the highlights, if not the highlight of the evening.
, comment by experiencechuck
experiencechuck great write up!!
, comment by G0NEPHISHING
G0NEPHISHING The author has removed all of the text from their comment
, comment by conormac
conormac Nice one! LOL'd a couple times, and related directly more often than that.
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten Great review from the headiest n00b I know. As your biographer I would say the best Gin you’ve seen was at Magnaball.
, comment by dueyv9
dueyv9 I like reading the reviews and all but I was hoping that the reviewer would not overlook this version of Maze. This version in my opinion was a very noteworthy performance.(if in a bad way) The transition between the first solo and keyboard solo was botched by Trey. Page couldn't get the band to hit the peak C chord twice during his solo. Trey's second solo was brought to a quick completion with little tension....THEN during the outro Trey couldn't land his delayed chords in the right place. This version was so weird to me that I was almost wondering if their whole monitoring system had gone out during the song.

I love this song and I have heard so many versions that I can safely say that it was the worst I have ever heard. The fact that one song being botched can be a dealbreaker for me speaks volumes at how much I love this band.(or how much being a hardcore fan can be a detriment sometimes.)

All of the reviews I have read have not brought this song up. So I felt it had to be said.
, comment by ckess22
ckess22 @dueyv9 said:
I like reading the reviews and all but I was hoping that the reviewer would not overlook this version of Maze. This version in my opinion was a very noteworthy performance.(if in a bad way) The transition between the first solo and keyboard solo was botched by Trey. Page couldn't get the band to hit the peak C chord twice during his solo. Trey's second solo was brought to a quick completion with little tension....THEN during the outro Trey couldn't land his delayed chords in the right place. This version was so weird to me that I was almost wondering if their whole monitoring system had gone out during the song.
Amen!
I love this song and I have heard so many versions that I can safely say that it was the worst I have ever heard. The fact that one song being botched can be a dealbreaker for me speaks volumes at how much I love this band.(or how much being a hardcore fan can be a detriment sometimes.)

All of the reviews I have read have not brought this song up. So I felt it had to be said.
, comment by ckess22
ckess22 Meant to say ‘amen’ to @dueyv9
, comment by jsauce
jsauce by my count, we only need a Beatles, Who, and Bowie cover in Chicago in order to have at least one song from each of the past Halloween albums before we get to Vegas.
, comment by BuddyBrown
BuddyBrown Lose one writing gig
...gain another.
Way to be, Alaina "EvenSteven" Stamatis:
, comment by tmwsiy
tmwsiy "The whole rail in front of me consisted of middle-aged dudes caught in a loop of trying to film and livestream the set instead of just enjoying the concert from an amazing proximity to the band."

Perhaps that's how they just enjoy being in an amazing proximity to the band? Or was it more a knock on their age?

"I finally turned to one of them and yelled..."

Fuck. I would hate to be yelled at during a show.

"the ol’-bro-in-a-fleece-vest-and-expensive-watch shimmy..."

I'll be sure to check the dress code and dance requirements at Rosemont to make sure I don't offend anyone's sensibilities with my chosen attire.
, comment by makisupamikey
makisupamikey You've seen 90 shows since 2015? Holy moly that's new age dedication.
, comment by phaqew
phaqew "The whole opener chunk of “Soul Planet”->”2001”->”555” had all the nerds flopping forward and humping around on bended knees, doing their funkiest chickens."

if that's not a reason to love this band I don't know what is. I know I was doing mine.
, comment by OrangeSox
OrangeSox So happy to see you do a review @Farmhose! It's fantastic!!! It's the best of the tour hands down imo and hopefully far from your last. Hopefully, now you can get @TwiceBitten to do one as well...

I feel like the second set is already getting swept under the rug somehow. Mike's use of the drill at the end of DwD was absolutely crazy, and i imagine there were a few people slackjawed for that minute or so, if not a little scared, and you are right about the jam that preceded that. Crosseyed could have gone for 30 minutes easily, but they were able to find a solid spot to transition. Everyone has to hear how well Fishman hits the high note in the "Hospital" line of his first verse. The Scents was my personal highlight, thoughtfully weaving all those themes quite seamlessly, with short jams that effectively tied them together. I expected at least one break, and if that's what someone calls Boogie On then damn. To close it out with Hood and Antelope was over the top!
, comment by dscott
dscott Fun review, @Farmhose!
, comment by question_mark_jones
question_mark_jones One of the best reviews I've read on anything ever
, comment by Nomidwestlove
Nomidwestlove I demand more reviews from this chick!
, comment by Slewfoot
Slewfoot @dueyv9 said:
I like reading the reviews and all but I was hoping that the reviewer would not overlook this version of Maze. This version in my opinion was a very noteworthy performance.(if in a bad way) The transition between the first solo and keyboard solo was botched by Trey. Page couldn't get the band to hit the peak C chord twice during his solo. Trey's second solo was brought to a quick completion with little tension....THEN during the outro Trey couldn't land his delayed chords in the right place. This version was so weird to me that I was almost wondering if their whole monitoring system had gone out during the song.

I love this song and I have heard so many versions that I can safely say that it was the worst I have ever heard. The fact that one song being botched can be a dealbreaker for me speaks volumes at how much I love this band.(or how much being a hardcore fan can be a detriment sometimes.)

All of the reviews I have read have not brought this song up. So I felt it had to be said.
Totally agree. This Maze was such a trainwreck all throughout that I couldn’t help but laugh several times while listening...luckily the rest of the show was very well played throughout. Imagine it would have been a blast to be there!
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten Already ahead of you @OrangeSox... I'm recapping tonight.

Trey, Mike and @Slewfoot laughed during that Maze, why couldn't you @dueyv9?
, comment by DKerwin3
DKerwin3 Nice review. No Hood @ Hampton though
, comment by GratefulDane
GratefulDane Currently cheering loudly while howling like an injured dog for that review. Well done! Keeping it FUNky
, comment by curleyfrei
curleyfrei Great review with some very quotable moments!

He put his phone away and started doing the ol’-bro-in-a-fleece-vest-and-expensive-watch shimmy.
...until Mike would look over as a reflex response to his name, only to find that a tall bearded guy was screaming at him.
lulz

(Also, sorry you got body-slapped by a sweaty guy). :-(
, comment by FAHTAPES
FAHTAPES @Tando said:
Even a rough Farmhouse is still a Farmhouse!
A Farmhouse is a Farmhouse until it becomes a Dicks12 FarmhOse!
, comment by pureguava
pureguava @jsauce said:
by my count, we only need a Beatles, Who, and Bowie cover in Chicago in order to have at least one song from each of the past Halloween albums before we get to Vegas.
So now it's down to the Who. 'Drowned' tonight? Or better yet 'The Real Me'?
, comment by TnJedHead
TnJedHead Technically... A Day in the Life is not on the White Album but I think we're all definitely picking up on a pattern of past Halloween songs getting dusted off for this tour. Mix Tape of Halloweens past for this year?

Enjoyed the review
, comment by jta10
jta10 Anybody else hear the "Tired of Waiting for You" tease in Trey's Bathtub Gin jam? Happens around minute 13:30 on the Soundcloud recording that I am listening to. The Kinks album 'Kinda Kinks'. Phish dressing up as The Kinks for Halloween?! I'm calling it!
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