Tahoe night two started out fair enough and the Stash happened. This is the song that gave birth to my poetry series and now Science Friction website theslopingcompanion.com and this one delivered. It was stretched out the way I liked it and could not come at a better time to get me more interested in the set. The Sloping Companion. Those three words mean so much to me. Maybe some other time.
The Funky Bitch is always a phamily pleaser and this one got the job done with no real leap into that place that we still have yet to give a universal name and definition. However, Phish was not running on idle. They were all invested the entire time.
Instant Karma was fun and notable.
My stream for night two is cutting out a lot more than night one. Do I blame comcast or do I blame Phish? I blame myself for being so obsessed.
I write notes about Phish shows while Phish is playing. Why? Because I can. I don’t do it everytime but couch tour makes it easy as pie but not American more like a nice rhubarb.
Second set of Tahoe night two opened strong with “Disease” Stop Stop Stop...No Phish...Keep on going. It might sound cliche but so far this has been a tour of second sets for me and I don’t say that about every tour. The jam at the end of “Disease” was strong and to the point. Trey’s sustain then broke into a short stated series of 16th notes the was reminscient of machine gun Trey of old but let’s not get bogged down in technicalities. Let’s talk about the feelings that those technicalities create in any number of people with any number of backgrounds....Shit...Machine gun Trey. It’s one of his elder tricks and he has learned apply it tastefully over the tours instead of banging you over the head with it to the brink of almost having an anxiety attack 1.0 style. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy that brink in my youth..Hell...I chased it... but I am in a much more relaxed anti manic stage in my life and have learned to embrace the whole that present day Phish creates and when he brings out the machine gun then I stand ready to be shot by it.
It’s these same tasteful applications of their entire tool box that has marked the maturity of this band into present day American venue icons and I don’t use the word icon casually. “Disease” went on until it melted into an abrupt rest and then back up again into “Runaway Jim.” Plinko Jam became the theme of this meandering “Runaway” for the intro into the second verse. They have been using that tastefully as well this tour and I actually am embarrassed to even use the term publicly but there you go.
The second chance for the band to improvise was again straight ahead Phish and created a second story beyond the plinko....beyond the jam....beyond any competition. And then we went there again...Phish took us there again as the song concluded. Where did they take us? They took us to that place that we still haven’t been able to universally define or put our finger on exactly because it keeps wobbling off every time we get closer to the one. However we wobbled for quite some time before they busted out the arguable song of the Summer for me personally. We are truly living in a Golden Age. Sell now!!!
The impromptu vocal jam out of Sallie made the song unique and obviously had the crowd shaking their collective asses.
Fuck...Guyute. I have often said that I could hear “Guyute” at every Phish show and never complain. Do I really need to explain why? The short answer is that this song rang through my head almost every time I lined up to the assassination range while I performed in The Dupage Symphony Orchestra. We were playing Brahms or some god awful rehashed Christmas spectacular...but in my head...everytime I picked up a stick or a mallet....I was playing “Guyute.” That’s the short answer. The long answer? Let’s not go there.
Trey grinning before going into the final verse left me fleeing all cares and worries of the day while we were getting ever closer to that one thing. Mike also was grinning ear to ear during the final musical phrase and it’s always good to see him lose the poker face and smile like he probably smiled when he figured out his first scale.
WATSIYEM? I had been secretly waiting for this without going gaga about it on any of the boards. It’s one of the songs that unify everyone involved because in this song we see set up after setup after setup after setup and then....the vocal jam. It was my secret wish since The Gorge launched this leg and I was lucky enough to see it in High Definition. How many set up’s are actually in a standard “You Enjoy Myself?” Then again, this is Phish. Is there anything ever standard about a live “You Enjoy Myself?” The trampolines came out and Fishman was clicking away on his hi hat in perfect sequential order and then the debatable hose for a brief moment. Then, back into Fishman’s seqeuncing which turns into the kilter/off kilter accents on the snare then the debateable predetermined hose again as a whole note just sits in your belly then....then....Boy.Man.God.Shit. Then, the lyrical mind fuck that can only come after listing four basic words that are powerful enough on their own but when stated together and in that order....well...What exactly are they saying in this song? It’s something bigger than we could ever know. It’s something bigger than the four guys on the stage for that matter. It’s the gateway to that one thing. It’s the subconscious wobble that makes itself conscious multiple times when everyone is dailed in...The Mike solo that was the punctuation mark on the end of the first part of the song magically propelled Trey to dance like nobody was watching but we were all fucking watching and if you weren’t smiling then you should just give up right now. Then, the vocal jam.
Phish quickly went into what I call their Nightmare Before Christmas harmony. There were spiders crawling up my keyboard and then onto my hands and into my various orafices to only lay and hatch more eggs inside of me. Then, they started shouting in some sort of other worldy chant...Not to the mothership but to the thing that controls the mothership. Was that thing answering back? Well...we live in a society that refuses to look up so we may never get that answer. One thing is for certain. Things are certainly looking up for the second leg of this tour for sheer historical record.
“Show of Life” concluded the evening. Lyrically it’s always a powerful message and is one that I am glad to have reiterated by Phish when they choose to share the message. You know some lives were changed forever in Tahoe. Some for the first time...Imagine having that transformation and then rounding it out with the message that “Show of Life” affords?
Some of us can remember that first moment....right? Isn't it our responsibility to give that moment to as many people as we know?
Boy.Man.God.Shit...I’ve learned what it takes to be a man and I don’t have to wish I was at home because I am on couch tour 2011. Boy...God...Shit? The other three? Again, it’s a long story. Let’s not go there. “Good Times Bad Times”. End of story.