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Link Friday, 07/05/2013
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

Set 1: KDFKill Devil Falls, MomaThe Moma Dance > SampleSample in a Jar, RosesRoses Are Free, BOAFBirds of a Feather, Yarmouth Road[1], GinBathtub Gin, Nellie Kane, Army of One > My FriendMy Friend, My Friend[2] > Cities -> BowieDavid Bowie

Set 2: Energy[3] > Light -> MangoThe Mango Song > 46 Days -> Steam > Drowned > SlaveSlave to the Traffic Light

Encore: Character Zero

[1] Debut.
[2] No "Myfe" ending.
[3] Phish debut.

Teases:
· Light tease in The Mango Song
· Divided Sky tease in Drowned
· Jean Pierre tease in Character Zero

Noteworthy Jams: David Bowie, 46 Days, Steam

Average Song Gap: 7.56

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: This show was webcast via LivePhish. After Birds of a Feather, Page pointed out Ian in the crowd from "Ian's Farm" fame and waxed nostalgic about playing there while also noting that SPAC was one of the band's favorite venues. This show featured the debut of Yarmouth Road and the Phish debut of Energy. My Friend My Friend did not contain the "Myfe" ending. Trey teased Light in Mango Song, Divided Sky in Drowned, and Jean Pierre in Character Zero.

Links:
Photos Official Photos
Audience Recording Audience Recording
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download
Phish.net Blog Recap SPAC1 Recap

Song Distribution:
2 Joy
2 The Story of the Ghost
1 Undermind
1 Round Room
1 Billy Breathes
1 Stash
1 Hoist
1 Rift
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Lawn Boy
1 Junta
1 The White Tape

Songs by Debut Year:

GeerShift , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
Webcasted it tonight. Fantastic 2nd set of phish it was. A few quick thoughts.

First thing I notice: the dudes look in shape this tour (except, appropriately, Fish). Don't underestimate the importance of this over the next few years. Keep in mind The Dead only made it 30 years, at which point Mickey Hart famously said Jerry was the most unhealthy person he ever saw still alive. Here's to many more years of the phish.

Mike looks like Egon Spengler with his short hair.

Page interestingly enough over the last few shows has become the bands spokesperson. Appropriate since he is the one who looks most like Benjamin Franklin. How many bands make references to a tape from 25 year ago with dogs barking? Reminds you of the unique relationship of this band and audience.

The whale call is back and already you can hear fans bitching for the next 2 months. Roses isn't jammed and already I am thinking Worcester 2012 is more interesting than SPAC 2013. Cities isn't jammed long enough although it sounds GREAT. I know, I know...length doesn't matter. Although it does. Phish fans want to get lost in the music...sometimes a few extra minutes does it. A long first set, people often forget that 3.0 plays SIGNIFICANTLY longer shows than the previous incarnations of Phish, and for this we are grateful.

Set 2. Loving the two debuts tonight of Yarmouth and Energy. Breathing new life into the whole thing....they sound new yet still undeniably Phishy. Both have promise.

And then, The SPAC Light. Like the Dicks Light, the BGCA Light, the (fill in the blank) Light this is now undeniably THE song to hear at a show. Remarkable playing, patient, subtle, powerful, virtuoso playing. And Mango is the perfect bed to land on, an awesome segue. Steam continues the newer song trend, and you can already see this set has most likely 3 songs which wil be on the next album. The best Steam to date.

Drowned late set, continuing the 3.0 tradition of the "mini 3rd set". A rocker perhaps tipping its cap to the recent Ventura release.

All in all loved the show, hence the instant reaction to it. See you all in person tomorrow.
Score: 10
n00b100 , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
n00b100 First set: a first set, for the most part. Yarmouth Road is perfectly fine; I don't want to make much of a song on its debut, so I'll wait to see if they grow into it or if it gets cast to the wayside. Still, nice to hear some new material, isn't it? Gin made a nice approximation of a Classic Gin jam - it wasn't blistering like 6/28/00 or the Went, but it'll do in a pinch. Cities -> Bowie is the definite highlight; Bowie's jam touched a bit on the brightness of 7/3's Antelope excursion, which reinforces how much *sunnier* (to use a @waxbanks adjective) they are now than they have been since 1994, if not ever. This is Phish now, for good or ill (mostly good, for sure). But yeah, pretty much every 2012 Leg One show had this first set.

Second set: I love "Energy" and support the Elephant 6 Collective, so I'm a bit biased on that song choice. Phish did it justice, tho. (Quick plug: give Fun Trick Noisemaker a listen if you like good music.) And from this interesting cover choice comes Light, and it's (quelle surprise, this) yet another keeper for the ol' mp3 player. If you want to pick nits, I suppose you can say that they took a bit longer than one would like to figure out where they wanted to go. But (IMO) it's hard to deny that when they DID find where they wanted to go things got interesting real fast, first with an ugly and atonal jam that brought back the spirit of '94, then an (aw, screw it) *enchanting* dip into the pool of bliss that has become a hallmark of 3.0. Trey's guitar playing from the 12 minute mark on will bring a tear to your eye. I love the 8/7/09 calypso Light to death; this elicited the same emotional reaction from me.

The jam strips away, then suddenly turns Hydrogen-ish, but rather than flip everyone's lid with an IAH sans Groove the band gently makes its way into Mango, which is (to my ears) a set lowlight - it wasn't offensively bad, but kind of a weird version, almost like they'd only played it a few times before. Then comes a typically powerhouse 46 Days, which (and here's a sure sign the band is on one) seamlessly transitions into a funk breakdown, Trey wah-wahing away, Mike dropping bombs, Fish doing damage to his kit. And from this breakdown comes the all-too-rare Steam, and this Steam is also a keeper; maybe I haven't listened to enough 2009-10, but the whale calls don't bother me nearly as much as others, and I really appreciated how much the band stretched out and luxuriated in the song's jam, with Page's stately piano/organ accompaniment the glue holding things together. A fine Drowned and very good Slave close out the set.

Final thoughts: This is more like it. I'd be a tad disappointed if this ended up the best of the SPAC run, but there's a lot of meat on the bones of this show, and the second set hangs together extremely well with two thumbs-up jams, nice segues, and great flow. Thumbs up.
Score: 9
nichobert , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
nichobert So the 4th or 5th ever Roses jam in 15 years don't happen tonight? Get out of town!

Amazing and bizarre that everyone mentions how it wasn't jammed every time.

Can anyone confirm or deny if the 3rd ever Mango Song jam happened tonight???
Score: 5
LlamaLover , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
Trey unleashed the evil cousin during that Light jam. But it wasn't the right place. It just built this nasty scene. I love evil Trey, but not when there's no solid background soundscape to display it on.
It took them so long to settle into something. I'll be honest, I was beginning to lose hope. It was somewhat scary for me. I think what happens is that they try to push it so hard at first, and they werent clicking, so they individually tried to step up and take over and lead it, but it just made it more disorganized and unsettling.

Then for some reason, and I need to listen again to see how it happened, but they they just took a giant step back. And out of nowhere, it got very blissful. Like extremely blissful. Heavenly. And Mike dropped a bomb to show his approval. And kicked the little floor bell, basically saying, "fuck ya guys". Oh was he happy.

It was honestly some of the prettiest music Iv ever heard. It sort of reminded me, and I'm sorry to do this, but the heat in the 4th quarter of those close games during the end of their mid season win streak. They just flip an on switch. And in the end only the haters lose. Once the nerves are gone, all the puzzles fall into place. Its like a deranged abstract artist who just violently splotches paint on a canvas. And after a while, he steps back and the canvas is just one big solid mesh of a single, unified color. At which point, he sips his coffee, or absinth or whatever, and starts again but ends up with a beautiful landscape. A scenery of a forest over looking a misty mountain or something. Shit man. Shift of consciousness. And the rest of the second set was like a celebration party.

That was only night 1.
Score: 4
ProfJibboo , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
ProfJibboo Early on in set I, I was troubled. Last year, Kuroda gave an interview and told us to expect big things for year 30. Then Trey tells us that they are recording a new album. Then Trey indicates that we may be hearing some Hands On a Hardbody songs too. Then Bangor came and it was pretty much what 2012 was - solidly played minus a few flubs, some inspired jamming - but for the most part, it was a standard show complete with a set I full of one-offs and a set II comprised of a clear third quarter and fourth quarter. Don't get me wrong - set II in Bangor with the creative Antelope was solid, but all-in-all, Bangor was not a life-altering mind-melting experience of a show from a streaming video perspective.

So when the opening four songs of SPAC night 1 were Kill Devil Falls, The Moma Dance > Sample in a Jar, Roses Are Free....I said uh-oh. Is there some sort of rule that Moma Dance must be played in the first four songs of the set? Are Roses Are Free and Divided Sky interchangeable as THE fourth song of the first set? Are we doomed to more of the same in terms of placing in a set? And where are the new....well...anything? I loved that they've essentially gone back to the 2.0 set up - and I love the new lighting rig which makes every song slightly new - but....seeing these songs as 1,2,3,4 left me feeling - well...uninspired.

But something happened after Roses are Free....Birds of a Feather shredded the house. I never saw it coming mid-first set. And then the in-show debut of Yarmouth Road - a new song, seemingly heavily leaning on Mike - followed by a kickin' Bathtub that wasn't a set closer or second to last song of set I! And a MYFE/Cities/Bowie that felt genuinely exciting and creative. The entire second half of set one - from MYFE on - while still a series of one-offs - was "doing it" for me. I don't claim set 1 was anything remarkable....and the Nellie Kane/Army of One combo really hurt momentum....but they got that momentum back and I found myself at the set break feeling like the band was so so so tantalizingly close to putting it all together and set II might be something special....

And it brings tears to my eyes that - 30 years later - there is still amply room for "special". In fact, set 2 instantly jumped into my top 10 or so favorite sets of the modern era. A debuted cover that I would have sworn to you at the show was a Phish original, into a song that is peaking right now as one of the band's absolute favorite jam launching pads, sequeway-ed masterfully into the rare gem that is Mango Song. And the jams were soaring. Incredible highs. My legs - feeling like lead weights in set one - I couldn't stop moving them during Light.

But that was just the beginning. The 46 Days > Steam combination was some of my favorite jamming since 2000. It may have been only 20 minutes....but I can't remember losing myself so completely into the music. 46 days has become the go-to-shred-the-house-I'm-here-to-party-my-nuts-off song for a few years now. I've seen plenty of 6-7 minute versions that have left me thirsty for me. On this night, I finally got more...not much more....just a couple of minutes....but oh what an amazing few minutes they were. An absolute mind-melter hose down version....but its transition into Steam was....hating to reuse words....inspired. As soon as you heard the opening notes....you just knew that this was the real main event for the evening. Only played once in all of 2012 and the only new song of 2011 or 2012 (except for set III of 12/31), this song not only emerged beautifully - but it was the first one drawn out without a New Years gag in between. It felt new. It felt like the band passed the brink of greatness and soared past it to a Utopia....my personal Utopia....where they could do no wrong and I had no worries in the world. And the craziest part of it all is that this Steam only showed a mere glimmer of how much potential it has - it will be an absolute beast destined to be a showstopper for years to come if they give it that chance!

And then came Drowned. Holy cow, Drowned. Where have you been all of my life? This Drowned was straight out of 1998. It was sick from top to bottom and must hear listening. Even the Slave had something extra.

I read some of the reviews coming out of the show. Mr. Miner trumpeted the second set as the definitive set of 3.0. I wouldn't go that far. But it was an above average set. Tons of unique jams, a new cover song, a bust out, several long-form jams, innovative set list and no true "4th quarter."

This set is highly highly recommended listening.
Score: 3
chrismcguire634 , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
chrismcguire634 The first set was a bit lack luster. Everything was well executed but nothing to get too excited about. The highlight would have to be the debut of "Yarmouth Road" which was honestly, just not that great. The moment the song was over, the expressions on the guys faces reaffirms with my sentiment that it needs work or should be shelved. I really do hope it grows on me and the band as well.

The second set was great although the other new tune played tonight titled "Energy" was not my cup of tea either. However, from "Light" to "Zero" is some amazing music. The highlights would have to be "Light" and "Steam", full on confidence soaked experimental jamming. It's moments like these that keep all of us coming back for more.

P.S.

Tonight Trey convinced me that sometimes the "Whale Call" can be pretty bad-ass.
Score: 2
CreatureoftheNight , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
CreatureoftheNight I am amazed at how fresh the band's jamming sounds (Golden Age, Light before getting cut off and the 46 Days>Steam.) Gone are the cliche licks and riffing. Their sound is democratic, loose, confident and dynamic. All four members are equals. It also sounds like they've been listening to completely different music in their free time. Yes, there's room to grow and develop, but the creative juices are as alive as ever. It's too bad I've gotta wait 3 weeks to see them on the west coast!
Score: 2
oceanbear , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
1st set redeemed a few requests but when searching for mkdevo's vids, look for boaf, gin, and the entire army>bowie segue. It was a great, high energy set, but Cities>Bowie was the one that people will be on the look out for in coming years. See ya with a better review later... love yas
Score: 1
Brandonclick77 , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
Energy is a cover from The Apples In Stereo originally...
http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=0DtxtS9t-ck
Score: 1
Srosen , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
A solid 4.

The 1st set was whatever to me, wasn't great but wasn't bad. Not too much straying from the course. Probably the reason I give the show a 4 not 5.

The 2nd set put me right back into that happy place where I was so often last Summer during the second leg. Easily the most complete set of the early tour.

Light is the titties.

Though they haven't put it all together for one complete night yet, there have been flashes of magnificence during these first two shows. That's something to be really really REALLY excited about.

It's safe to say epic things are to come...
Score: 1
Spirit , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
Spirit Fun show, straightforward first set, and a more experimental 2nd set.

First set:

Nothing too exciting until the Debut of Yarmouth Road, which was soundchecked 2 nights before in Bangor, glad to see it brought out. Bathtub was good but the redeaming part of set 1 was the Army of One-> David Bowie. Cites cut off a little short maybe but, solid transition into Bowie and the Bowie was quite beautiful, but maybe a little screachy or sloppy twoards the very end. all in all, not the most exciting set of Phish.

Set 2:
Wow what a fun opener, set the mood that they were ready to try to venture out of the box a little, Light was a little wandering but had some really locked in moments for a lot if it, with a undecicive yet satisfying transition into Mango, another first for me. 46 days had me worried at first but the crowd was really into it and they added a nice slowed down funk jam on the end which i was hoping would happen, deviating it from the straightforward mid 2set rock solo it is sometimes. Steam had me a little dissapointed because it had potential and it got away from trey imho, rest is the show is beautiful with a really nice and rockin Character Zero.

Fun times had by all
Score: 1
mattyb5000 , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
mattyb5000 Couch tour. I'm still recovering from all the Sour Diesel I smoked at tour opener in Bangor. Overall, a great show. A solid double.

Set I:

Mostly singles this set, no surprise there. Lots of old school stuff. KDF opener was bland, followed by a shaky Moma Dance. Sample and Roses were nice but otherwise not worth revisiting. Birds of a Feather featured some nice in-the-box funk, followed up by a debut of a new original: Yarmouth Road. Pretty bland reggae tune so let's see how often it gets played this summer and what they do with it. Bathtub Gin featured a standard Type I jam. If you've heard them play this live more than twice in 3.0, you already know the jam they played. Cities had some real potential, and it seemed like they were going to jam it into interesting territory, but then Trey pulled the plug early to segue into Bowie, always a great tune but as with Bathtub Gin, we've all heard this Bowie jam before (which is still loads of fun, don't get me wrong.)

Set II:

Okay, now we're cooking. Debut of a new cover, Energy was a nice sounding 4 chord rocker with some real emotion to it. Things really got going with Light, which made it's 2013 debut. The jam went into real ambient territory, getting very quiet at times. They guys traded some ideas and had several significant "movements" within the jam into different keys or vamping on new ideas. Some worked, some didn't, but it was fun nonetheless. Mango song was a fun landing pad, and then starting with 46 days the jamming really took off. Lots of rock licks, with trey blazing all over his fretboard.

I'll note that on 46 days, it seemed like Trey wanted to close the jam early, but the rest of the band relented and then it was back into jam space again. Quiet jamming, then more clav from Page. I love his use of the clav A LOT these first two shows.

Steam was excellent, a song I hope they play more of this tour. Dirty blues mashed up with 1997-style pornofunk equals a wicked good song. The jam on this one became uplifting and inspirational, elation through and through.

Drowned featured some sweet jamming and was my personal highlight of the evening. Everyone stepped back a bit into ambient territory, with more "whale calls" and experimental grooves. It was a bit of an abrupt ending to move into Slave, but that was a nice ending. Blissful, uplifting jamming on this one leaving me wanting more.

Encore: Character Zero. Trey shredfest is always fun, and we got it on this one.

I give this 4 stars - it wasn't an upper echelon type of Phish show, and you can skip the first set to get straight to the jamming of set II. We're still waiting for the start-to-finish throwdown that the boys were giving us every night of the second half of leg II last summer, but something tells me nights 2 and 3 of SPAC have something special awaiting!

Phish on!
Score: 1
tasatter , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
I wasn't there; I did the couch tour thing. So, you have to mostly disregard my impressions, probably. I might be in the minority, but I didn't enjoy the 2nd set. There was just enough flub, flatness, slowness, and uninspired disconnectedness to make me lose interest. They sounded tired after a long night like people in their 40's do, naturally. Also, I don't like The Who, so I can always live without covers of them. Contrary to many, I thought the first set totally rocked. Maybe it wasn't exploratory, but to me it sounded well played, and totally worth the $14.99 for live broadcast. This show is nowhere near worthy of a 4+ rating, though. Totally average at best.
Score: 1
loclay , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
I found this to be a pretty middle of the road Phish show--not distractingly lackluster by any means, but to the level they are capable of taking it when all of the variables come together in just that perfect magical way we've all observed.

Light was the stand-out here, with an exploratory jam that went to interesting places. Personally, I would have LOVED another 10 or 15 minutes of exploration they were doing in the jam out of Light, but I'm not going to say no to a Mango Song any day of the week, as it's always been one of my favorites.

All in all, not a bad rock and roll show, with a little bit of magic in there during the second set. I don't expect every show to be magical. I don't think that's reasonable. You have four men on the stage, each with his own internal universe he brings on stage with him. Sometimes there's a chemical reaction, and amazing musical spaces are created. Sometimes it's just a rock and roll show. This one was closer to the latter, and this is by no means a criticism in my mind, as simply the nature of things.
Score: 1
headyburritos , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
headyburritos Webcasted this show on Friday night. I'm giving it 4 stars for the two debuts as well as the nice jamming in the second set.

Overall I enjoyed couch touring this show and it was a good start to the SPAC run. Being only the second show of the tour I didn't expect anything too crazy, but I'm glad they did debut some songs, since I predicted they would play something new at Bangor and they didn't.

First set: I really enjoyed pretty much the whole thing. Glad to hear Mike singing the new reggae tune. It has a catchy guitar line in it and very Mike/Phishy lyrics. The rest of the set after that was played well. Nellie Cane is one of my favorite covers and I'm glad they took a stab at My Friend, My Friend, even if it wasn't perfectly executed. The Cities -> Bowie is my favorite segment from the first set. Very cool jam out of cities into Bowie.

Second Set: Very unique and interesting song choice. I like that they opened with a new cover ala Golden Age. They have similar themes to them and I'm sure we'll see more of Energy this summer. Then comes Light. Pretty groovy performance. I've listened to it a few times already and each time I hear something new. The last 3-4 minutes are pure gold, but it's a little meandering before that. Interesting transition into Mango Song, but I liked the placement. 46 Days also came as a bit of a surprise to me, but it was jammed out nicely.

Steam. Finally! It has returned in glorious fashion! I've been waiting to catch another one since seeing the debut at Blossom in 2011, and I was bummed not to get one last summer. Drowned seemed an appropriate choice given the weather in Saratoga Springs this weekend. I didn't find anything particularly special about Drowned, but I really enjoyed the patient building and climax in Slave to close out the set. Character Zero encore..pump up the energy at the end of night 1!
Score: 1
Fondue , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
Unpredictable Skies, Unpredictable Music.

Hi gang. As per usual, thereís plenty of reviews on here about the music, but not too much about the rest of the experience. So. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Itís nestled in a big, green wet patch of land in upstate New York toward the southeast ass of the Adirondack Mountains. Despite those adjectives, itís lovely. The Phish apparently like it, and that means I do, too.

This being the start of tour, we showed up early to meet up friends I havenít seen since MSG, and a few since Denver. Having been seeing shows together for nearly 20 years, we tend to try and get in early to stake out a good patch of lawn, which is important at SPAC. Watching Phish from the lawn is kind-of like watching a new movie on an old tv with black bars on the top and bottom. You only see a chunk of whatís happening inside, and if you arenít in just the right part, the columns that support the balcony will be a huge annoyance to your viewing pleasure.

Good spot staked out, we laid back and relaxedÖ only to be told that we all had to evacuate the lawn and go up to the balcony level due to shit-ass weather at a time that was perilously close to Show OíClock. The skies open the hell up. Serious, hard, pounding rain comes down for 15-20 minutes, then they kick us all back out onto the lawn. I was thinking weíd be able to stay up there, but I guess weíre all too nice to fight against The Man. There was a mad dash to get back out, but we managed to find a decent spot regardless.

We heard they werenít letting in anyone not already in the venue when the rain started, so I guess it was better to be shuffled around than crushed and wet at the gates. People started to finally file in. And in. And in. Last yearís first night at SPAC was quiet out on the lawn, but then again, it wasnít a holiday weekend.

The air is just thick. Scooby-doo cut it with a knife and eat it thick. The band comes out around 8.20 to a massive cheer, and off we go into party favors and KDF. Four tunes later, Iím thinking they sound rehearsed, and itís gonna be a Friday night rock show. The air is only getting thicker, by the way. Like the foam in that song by that band. Thereís no breeze. Thereís clouds. The weather apps all show bright red angry patches of rain around us.

We get a new tune in Yarmouth Road, and from here Ďtil the end of the night, itís a show worth picking up if you havenít already. Finally embraced by night, we can see a new lighting set up. No more flashing vagina lights behind the band, rather a silver or white reflective scrim that CK5 paints upon. The lightbanks above the band curve off away from each other like mirror image letter jís, and another lower bank backs the band and points at the crowd. I canít wait to see what the full outdoor rig will look like at a venue like The Gorge.

Set 2 kicks off around 10.15ish, and the skies somehow clear overhead. We can see stars, which is still enough of a novelty to me since I live in NYC. Just above the bandshell is the big dipper. Or maybe the little dipper. Whatever it was, its cup looked like it was pouring into the stage. Listen to this 7-song second set and you might think it actually was. To my ears, it didnít sound like where MSG left off, but more like where the last night of Dickís ended. Coincidentally, also a night that began with rain, and cleared up to a big, dark, inspiring starry sky.

Some time during Steam, a cool breeze blew across us, which was welcome. It was starting to smell like Big Footís dick in there. I heard he re-located to the Adirondacks, so maybe it really was Big Foot's dick we were smelling. Shortly after the cool breeze, we got the biting smell of burnt ozone and static electricity. By Slave we couldnít see the stars any more, but there were plenty of lightning flashes in the clouds behind the bandshell. One of our crew noticed the bandís buses had turned their lights on, which was a downer. I donít think anyone in that rank, triple-decker-toadstool-sandwhich-with-arsenic-sauce smelliní venue wanted it to end. Slave was brutally beautiful. But end it did, with a ripping, crowd-roaring Zero, and off we went to see the Man Mul-ca-hy.

A sprinkle started minutes later. We only just made it to our cars, and it was cats-and-dogs. After a show like that, even the former wook/current leather seat BMW-driving fans didnít care about getting wet.
Score: 1
schnurrpops , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
Highlights for me include army of one > my friend > cities > david bowie... had everything from groovy funk to complete rage. Never thought I would see army of one so that was a nice surprise. Second set was a lot of fun... for me, steam > drowned, that was some serious shit. Glowstick war during drowned was out of this world; absolute madness!! Also, I'm not a HUGE fan of slave, but this slave ripped out my soul - trey shredded that guitar harder than anything i've ever seen - a must hear version.
Score: 1
SkyTrainWand , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
SkyTrainWand My first Phish show @ SPAC, only my third Phish show total, and what a show it was!

We were all wondering what they would open with, naturally, and I had been wanting to hear KDF for a loooooooong time. They rocked it! Solid playing, a little jamming. Twas tasty. Moma Dance was a funkfest where Trey and Page were spraying everyone with their funky meathose. Not too much exciting after that, until BOAF. Great version here, not too long but definitely a good jam with a good peak. Yarmouth Road was a reggae-filled couple minutes of goodness, except some of the vocal parts were a bit off. Oh well. Bathtub Gin more than made up for that. Nellie Kane was a random but great choice, as it is another tune I had really wanted to hear live (woo!).

Now... allow me to preface the next song by saying this:

Army of One is my absolute, hands-down, no doubt about it favorite ballad by Phish. EVER. Just like YEM, the song is so damn good that I will never get tired of it. Confession: when they played this at SPAC, I started crying in the middle of it. Seriously. I am not ashamed to admit it either. The lyrics get me every time- "I got no answer but youíve got no call,
Just canít compete with the weight of it all." Ahhh man. Perfection.

OK back to the review here- My Friend, My Friend was a real treat! Loved hearing that one. They go into a FUNKY Cities from there, right into Bowie- quite a good Bowie if you ask me. Composed section, pretty much nailed. Phish displays their ability to play dynamically here, that is, their use of dynamics in the song is spectacular. Rock solid jamming and gorgeous lines played by Trey against the backdrop of Page's jazzy chords. Awesome (and popular) way to close a set.

SET TWO

*One of the smoothest-flowing Phish sets I've ever heard.* I could have done without the opener, Energy, but I'm not really complaining because pf the amount of sheer musical GENIUS in this 2nd half.

Light proved once again to be quite useful as a jam vehicle, and boy do they drive it well! Mango Song was alright, vocal parts aren't perfect but the song reaches a cool peak. 46 Days exhibits some Type I jamming, and then we get to my favorite part: Steam > Drowned > Slave. Steam was freakin fantastic, I kid you not. Phish spreadin' the phunk yet again! Lots of sweet jamming in this 3-song sandwich, IMO the most lucid jams of the night were contained in that half hour block. They chose Zero as an encore and it raaaaaged!!

I was on the lawn for this show but pavilion for the next two nights. THE highlight of my summer, for sure.
Score: 1
kikikza , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
kikikza So I was at the front of the lawn on page side. The Roses and Birds were not quite jammed out, but the Gin is amazing, as well as Army>Bowie. The 2nd set had an amazing Light, which went into a well placed Mango. 46 Days was just fun. I can't say how good it was, I was too busy dancing. Steam and Drowned were nice, but a GREAT slave and my new favorite Character Zero.

5/5 best show I've been to, of the 2.
Score: 0
skippy11 , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
skippy11 The Boys really brought it tonight!
Score: 0
archibald , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
Really enjoyed the show. The crowd was great and SPAC is an amazing venue. I agree set 1 was so/so... But having actually been there I think it didn't come across that way. We danced like bad and especially seemed like things got cooking later in the set. ARmy, Cities, Bowie was amazing in the venue. I can't remember what I didn't like about set2. I think this show is a solid 4.5
Score: 0
ajcmixer , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
Sorry that my attempt at a witty and glib review was a fail, LOL! All good, hope nobody was feeling that I was trying to diss any of the fellow reviewers as I do read and respect every review and enjoy their viewpoints regardless of whether I ultimately agree with the individuals or not. Carry on!

Peace,
Alex
Score: 0
whatstheuse324 , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
whatstheuse324 I was waiting for my friend Kevin at the Saratoga Springs Train Station since 4:30 when I got to town for the 7/5/2013 SPAC show. He was supposed to arrive on a 6:50 train from NYC, but at 6:40 he called to inform me that his train was stopped in Schenectady and would not be leaving for another half hour. Schenectady, for those that don't know, is about 22 miles from Saratoga Springs. I had to hustle.

As I was driving down Route 50, I saw the lines for parking and signs announcing that lots were already closed. This was not going to be good. I was able to find the Schenectady Station, get Kevin, and get back to the SPAC entrance by 7:50. Good fortune provided us a parking spot in the Peerless Pool Lot, which is the one lot I can always find my way back to without getting completely turned around in the vastness of SPAC. After a really heavy and thorough security check, I put my pants back on and made it inside three minutes before the start of Kill Devil Falls.

For those of you that have not been to SPAC, it is a beautiful place, but the sound and view to the stage are not good if you are towards the back of the lawn. The second tier seating blocks all of the lights and cuts the sound in half. Knowing this ahead of time, I wanted to get a good spot on the lawn early, but circumstances had it otherwise. Although the first set was fun, it was hard to hear because of the commotion of people constantly walking and talking.

It was nice to hear Yarmouth Road, I was hoping that they would debut some new songs that were mentioned from the Bangor soundcheck. Birds was solid, Cities had a little extra dark groove to insulate the end, and Bowie had a deviating tangent in the middle of the outro jam that found its way to a major key. The highlight of the first set was Bathtub Gin. It was type-1 all the way, but carried energy and built to the biggest peak of the set.

For the second set, we were able to meet up with my cousins that had a nice spot right-center-front on the lawn. I could actually see the stage and hear the band! Set two opened with the song Energy. In my opinion, this sounded like a song that should be reserved for TAB. That's all I will say about it. Light continued its outward reaching trend and went in some interesting type-2 directions. I was very happy to have Mango Song magically appear from the Light jam. It started to jam out a little and I instantly thought of the 6/30/2000 Mango-jam from Hartford. This was quickly over though and 46 Days emerged. This song had it going on from square 1, the playing was great, the crowd was totally into it, and the outtro jam was top notch. Steam did not have the floating instruments or audience members to accompany this version, but the playing was fantastic. The band was totally having fun playing this song and it seems like it will begin to stick around more setlists in the near future. I felt like Fishman really was the MVP of 46 Days> Steam, he was crushing it.

I had a feeling about Drowned appearing on this night because of the on and off rain all day, and sure enough it did. The sky lit up with lightning for the whole fourth quarter of the show, and it was additional lighting for a superb Drowned jam. It doesn't compare to the SPAC Drowned from 2004, but it was a raging dance party on the lawn for a while. Slave was a great closer, well played and heartfelt as always. Character Zer0 was a great encore because it was played with power and precision. We felt it for sure.

Luckily the rain held out until the show was over. However, I was completely drenched by the time I reached my car in the Peerless Pool lot. Great times.
Score: 0
CentralScrutinizer , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
More like a 4.5-4.75 but really an amazing show. Hot Moma. Nice Roses, "The land of the brave and free" getting some extra, post independence day love here on the 5th of July. A good, turned great towards the end Bathtub Gin, awesome Light and Steam. I'm not Steam's #1 fan but this is some hot Steam! I think I got burnt. Loved it.

Liked the Army of One Cities and Bowie a lot. First set was very good and flowed right over several potential momentum stoppers like Sample, the unfamiliar debut of Yarmouth, Nellie and Army of 1. But it all flowed very nicely and had a lot to get excited about in very good versions of Moma, Gin, Cities, Bowie and in my opinion a very good version of Army of One that I enjoyed tremendously. The Birds was short but sweet. I enjoyed Yarmouth.Page was great in Cities and they all jumped on beautifully and turned out a very sweet and mellow Cities that was a ton of fun and felt fresh and unique. The Gin was far better to see live, the lights added a lot to the intensity of the moment which felt pretty special to me and all those around me by the end of that Gin. This David Bowie is the first version I've seen since I recently turned 40 on 4-20-13 and it was great with precision passion and creativity on brilliant display from all 4 members throughout the entire version. A great Bowie, but with an only average climax. All together a very fine opening SPAC frame.

Second set started with more unfamiliar territory, with Energy, a far more...energetic debut than Yarmouth. Actually a good place for the debut of Energy, because the anticipation of what must be coming after it, in the second song of second set slot, added a lot of...energy to it, even though it was unfamiliar to most. I enjoyed my first Energy. The Light was awesome and funkier than most lights, with Mike and Page turning it up and getting down, a lot of fun culminating in some phine philthy phunky phun, but not as amazing and uplifting as many Lights of the last 3 years when it got to it's soft n purdy parts. Steam was wonderful as previously mentioned. The other five songs were pretty well done although nothing super.

4th row center aisle. A few jerks really pushing the ushers to have to enforce stricter aisles and rows and get backup. Great view but crowded vibe. Awesome time at the SPAC opener.
Score: 0
MiguelSanchez , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
MiguelSanchez This was my first trip out to SPAC. I rolled up there without tickets, and was a little worried about landing in the infamous SPAC lawn. Well, I ended up in that lawn all 3 nights, and we had a blast!! Anyone that bitches about this lawn needs to go to Alpine Valley. That'll give you something to bitch about!!

Now, onto the music. The front end of the set is ok, but it never really seems to gain any traction. The debut of Yarmouth Road was certainly a nice treat. After being sound checked in Bangor, many were anticipating this Gordo tune at SPAC. This pleasant reggae tune seems like a keeper already and definitely has a summer tour feel to it. Bathtub Gin peeked as it normally does. It's always a welcome first set addition, but like many 3.0 versions, this one is nothing to write home about. Nellie Kane and Army of One kind of kept the hodgepodge feel of this set going. My Friend seemed to pull everyone back into it. On paper, it doesn't seem like it would be a great fit, but Cities complemented MFMF very well. Page takes a nice swampy solo on the back end of this version that made everyone think that we might be going on a little ride here, but it seems to fade away organically before Fishman makes a move for Bowie. They seem to be feeling this song more and more every year since the return. They still haven't churned out a whopper, but every version since 2012 has been very engaging. It always feels like they are one performance away from freaking out on one. As for this version, they all seem to be in sync here as the middle section gets an interesting work out as they build up to the coda. Trey is strong, but as is the norm anymore, they take the middle section into the coda quickly and cleanly. All in all, I would give this set a C, but the last three songs left everyone optimistic for the 2nd set.

Now for my traditional review style:
Energy: As this one started, I honestly thought it was a new Trey soon. It kind of had a little bit of that cheesy Trey feel to it. I didn't know it was a cover until someone in the lot told me post show. Either way, it is a little cheesy, but it is a catchy little tune. This version is very straight forward. If you want a more adventurous version, check out Chicago, Georgia, and BGCA later in the tour. After this debut, Trey cranks up...

Light: Well, we were all ready for our first SERIOUS jam of the run, and this one delivered. They bounced between some serious rock/funk jamming here. It really starts to get hot around the 8:30-9 minute mark. Right as you think they are just going to ride the groove they had built out, Page and Gordo just turn the jam inside out. Mike slams on the space bass effect, and Page comes over the top with some heavy duty synth rock. Trey counters with some brilliant dissonant rhythm guitar playing. This section was HOT. CK5 brought the thunder here too. I'll never forgot those bad ass white lights cutting through the black of night. Back to the music. As this jam settles down, instead of just letting it fade into the evening, Trey leads everyone on an absolutely gorgeous MUST HEAR passage. After working through this, Trey leads the band into...

Mango- This song is not a favorite of mine, but I certainly do not dislike it. When it fits a set, it fits. On this night, it definitely fit. This is a straight forward version, but it compliments the jam out of Light very well.

46 Days- Like Mango, this is not a song I typically root for, but when it popped up, it certainly felt right. Trey, as is the norm, built a powerful solo with a driving climax in the middle section. On most nights, this would be all that I would expect of this song, but the action was not over. What makes this song a keeper is the dirty funk jam that popped up on the back end. Once it is developed, Page drives this one right into...

Steam- Great segue. Great placement. The bridge between 46 and Steam was completely unexpected, and oh so sweetly executed. As for this Steam, it seems to be one of the more controversial tunes of the tour. Basically, if you don't mind the "whale call," you will like this version. If you don't like it, stay away. Personally, I loved it. Trey built up an absolutely psychedelic solo through the middle section. It was a little choppy at times, but I think it still worked very well. Side note, I was very excited to catch my first version of this tune.

Drowned- HOLY CRAP, this was certainly not on my radar at this juncture of the show. With early in the second set being the normal placement, I knew they were trying to line up a ferocious 1-2 punch to close this show down. They were successful. This jam never is not all that long. It does not reach for some high flying climax. That is not what they go for here. As they come out of the back end of this rocker, it is clear they are going to take their foot off the gas. It is like a slow swim deep into an abyss. It is patient and driven. The bottom does not just simply drop out. Mike and Trey control this one all the way down. As they settle comfortably into the spacier realms, this jam finally descends into...

Slave- There we go!! This is the best slave I have seen since the mid/late 90's. You can tell that Trey is done having to think about this song. He is back to just feeing it. He runs a magnificent weave all the way up to the climax. The dude is butter on this. He just melts all over the place. This is the perfect closer to one of the most cohesive well-played sets I have seen in a LONG TIME. Not to mention, from the beginning of Drowned to the end of Slave is like cruising in and out of a gorgeous valley.

Enc:
Zero: This is up there with Loving Cup as one of my least favorite encores. Can't win 'em all.

Overall:
The first set is forgivably shaky. There is nothing to bitch about, but there really isn't much to revisit except for the MFMF->Cities->Bowie stretch. Even that can't be described as "must hear."

The second set, with the possible exception of Light and Slave, does not feature one song that will probably get mentioned as a must hear, but as a whole, it is a brilliant performance. It is engaging from start to finish. I would definitely say this is my favorite set of the '13 SPAC run.

Highlights:
Light, 46 jam->Steam, Drowned->Slave
Score: 0
ajcmixer , attached to 2013-07-05 Permalink
Here's a little quicky for you before I find the 1st friend that has the rebroadcast here at this hotel: Save yourself the reading and f**k whatever the 1st set was about to you, me or the universe. Get/watch the 2nd set and by the end of it you're not saying that it might have been one the most awesome displays of whatever you've seen or heard in your lifetime then we''ll probably wake up sometime afterwards, pretty much the same. But if you felt what I, and apparently most others in attendance, felt then when you wake up (sometime soon. NOT!) after this night in the State Park, I just betcha' you're gonna be waking up with the-damm-right!-I-eat-the-damm-canary-watcha-gonna-do-'bout it look plastered over your face, still left over from the totally indescribable range of emotions that one felt to be privileged to be a part of...so if you're in that group, your day might be looking up to be a lot more sunnier than for most folks...

And for those that might have the hint ( or, one could argue, a pulse... ;) ) how could you not love this...
Score: -3

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