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Link Saturday, 07/06/2013
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

Soundcheck: It's Ice, Architect, 20 Years Later

Set 1: Crowd Control > CDTChalk Dust Torture, WedgeThe Wedge, Funky Bitch, Heavy Things, Bug, Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, Tube > Julius, SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt

Set 2: BDTNLBackwards Down the Number Line > Tweezer > Sand > Carini -> Architect[1], Wilson > Boogie OnBoogie On Reggae Woman > Possum

Encore: Show of Life > TweepriseTweezer Reprise

[1] Phish debut.

Teases:
· Meatstick tease in Carini

Noteworthy Jams: Tube, Split Open and Melt (highly recommended), Carini (highly recommended)

Average Song Gap: 5.16

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

Notes: This show was webcast via LivePhish and featured the Phish debut of Architect. Carini contained a Meatstick tease from Mike.

Links:
Photos Official Photos
Audience Recording Audience Recording
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download
Video "Tweezer" > "Sand" Official Video
Phish.net Blog Recap SPAC2 Recap

Song Distribution:
3 Farmhouse
3 A Picture of Nectar
2 Stash
2 Lawn Boy
2 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday
1 Joy
1 Undermind
1 Hoist
1 Rift

Songs by Debut Year:

PhastPacker , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME?

Mine ears have scene the coming of the lord and I havent the faintest clue where the rest of the reviewers of tonight's show are coming from.

From Chalkdust on I thought this show was one of the best of the modern era. I felt the energy, execution and free flowing vibe of the both setlists were just what the Dr. ordered. 'Melt' should be in the conversation with the Dicks 'Undermind' as best Set I jam in years and the triumvirate of Tweezer, Sand and Carini floored me. I'm not going to attempt to describe what I heard because frankly, my brain is not up to snuff at the moment but was anyone else cloud surfing through a Pandoran forest towards the end of Carini? Fuck my face

Why must all today's Phisheads have a 15 or 20 minute type II jam to see the beauty in what is going down? The 2012 MSG Tweezer is an example of the emperor's new clothes... well i'm ranting and not very well indeed.

Show reminded me of night 1, Worcester '12. Stella got her groove Back. I'm Stella.
Score: 36
n00b100 , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
n00b100 A few disjointed thoughts to match a disjointed show:

1. The Tube was what I want Tubes to be - funky, meaty, and interesting enough to separate it from the other funky and meaty Tubes. Mike, in particular, did some fine work.

2. You guys all remember the 11/22/97 Tweezer, which gets ripcorded (if we're gonna use that term for 3.0, we damn sure should use it for 1.0) for BEK because it doesn't quite go anywhere? Yeah, this is the opposite of that. The Tweezer jam here is milky-smooth and melodic like Charlotte's last year, and it feels like it might take off MSG style, but then Trey slams on the brakes (the rest of the band's still going with the Tweezer jam for a few seconds, so abrupt is the shift) and we go into a (quite good, but still) Sand. Quite the buzzkill.

3. Everything felt a slight bit off all night, like the entire band was playing at different frame rates from each other at certain points. I'm fine with flubs in the composed section of songs, but if the band's sliding away from each other like tectonic plates, that's way more jarring.

4. Just a lovely Carini. Just lovely. I wrote in my entry for @LawnMemo's 33 for 33 series (you can find it on his website, I'm not going to plug myself in a review) that Phish can play a jam that mutates 4 or 5 different times, and that's what we got here. Every weapon in the arsenal gets pulled out - upbeat bliss, tempo shifts, a Page/Trey/Mike triumvirate of spiraling solos (with Mike teases aplenty - at least Meatstick, probably something else), semi-threatening rumbling (as opposed to the MSG Carini's just plain threatening rumbling) - and all in less than 10 minutes. This is why pulling out the stopwatch for jams now is such a waste of time - they may not go 20 minutes, but they can do a TON in 12 minutes. Nifty segue into Architect, too.

5. And finally, the SOAM, which is probably forever going to be the calling card of this show (and maybe a flashpoint for the whole summer, depending on how things shake out). @Slothberries pointed out in the show thread that it sounded like they flubbed in the regular jam and sorta lost their way, and I think I agree with him, but I love that instead of just rolling back into the regular jam they decided to take the road less traveled. I don't always love the path they took (see point 3 - there were moments where the band's on one track and Trey's on another), but I *really* liked that they started throwing things at the wall instead, opening up the jam, switching keys (check out what Page is doing), speeding up and going for pure rock, then finally sloughing off the fat and puddling the jam before reassembling itself for a more cohesive finish. The 6/7/12 Ghost tried a lot of different things, like this jam did; I'd say that tour turned out all right.

I also liked the supposedly butchered finish - Fish's huge grin at the end shows that they were just having a laugh, if the 200 different fakeout endings wasn't enough of a tipoff. And, most of all, I *love* that all of this happened in Set 1. They could easily have bailed on all of this and played Suzy, but instead they went for the gusto. MORE OF THIS, PLEASE.

6. Lots of smiling and fun to be had from the band on stage (other than when Page was getting into the Boogie On jam, Trey makes a left turn into Possum, and Page just stands there looking nonplussed). That's just as important as anything I blathered about above.
Score: 12
mattyb5000 , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
mattyb5000 SPAC couch tour, night two.

A tale of two sets - both with wonderful attributes, both with wonderful flaws. Let’s begin.

Set I

Up until the opening chords of Split Open and Melt, I would have said this: if you’re suffering from depression, all you need to do is mainline the entirety of set I and you should come out happy and elated on the other side, no Prozac necessary. Except that “split” came along and harpooned any chances of me making that recommendation. In fact, it was a diabolical version, one that might make you want to jump off a bridge, or go on a mad rampage. Don’t get me wrong – it was actually a brilliant version with an extended jam that is a tie for jam of the evening – it’s just that the placement as the final song of what was otherwise a blissful, cheery set was awkward to say the least.

Everything else up until then was “happy, happy, happy.” All singles for the most part, no segues save for Tube>Julius. Well played versions, all of them, with only a few points taken off for a bunch of choppy playing on Trey’s part during Bouncing Around the Room. Trey, what’s up with that? It’s such a great song, and an easy one to play. Oh well, even the best have their sloppy moments from time to time, and this one was Trey’s.

Set II.

Backwards Down the Number Line set opener – interesting choice. One of several songs repeated from first night of the tour in Bangor (along with CDT, Sand, and Possum.) Gotta give Trey credit for giving the solo on that song some glorious sounding build-ups. There are naysayers for this song all over the place, but I’m not one of them. This song is straight-up beautiful, and has my favorite lyrics of any Phish song.

After that fairly standard version of Number Line, into Tweezer we go – the first ever played at SPAC, from what my friend told me. Unbelievable but true. What a letdown. Everybody has been waiting for Phish to unleash a 15+ minute beast of a jam for this tour and if ever there were a song to make that happen, Tweezer is it. Why on earth Trey pulled the plug on a jam that was really beginning to take shape is beyond me. It’s a trend over the course of all three shows thus far: an interesting jam takes place and Trey jumps the gun and moves on to something else. Please, someone tell Trey to start taking Ritalin and just chill. Anyhow, that Tweezer was well played, it was just shorter than anybody expected.

Sand, however, made up for that and then some. This was 100% gooey chill-funk to get all over your hands and lick off like frosting. All Type I jamming through and through, but with that level of funkitude happening, who cares? It killed. That segued into a Carini with a surprisingly uplifting jam that only temporarily ventured into evil territory a la this past winter’s MSG run.

Architect, a new-ish song featured on Trey’s recent solo album, was neat and clean, straight out of the package. Nothing groundbreaking here, just a nice little ditty to make way for a fun version of Wilson.

Boogie on Reggae Woman seemed a bit lackluster to me, with a jam that didn’t really go anywhere. Actually, at this point I found myself feeling like they were just going through the motions at this point. It’s a fun song that gets the crowd dancing, but if it gets a little slow, as this version did, it can be a little dirge-like and kind of kills momentum.

Possum to close out the set, a nice but brief contained jam.

Encore: Show of Life, then Tweeprise. I have to say; didn’t Trey look like he was having the time of his life finishing off the show with Tweeprise? It’s like someone spiked his drink with ecstasy, Prozac, and amphetamines all mixed into one. Lots of energy in this Tweeprise, and it was quite welcome.

Overall, this is a 4 star show. A solid double. Eminently listenable, and very representative of Phish 3.0.

My personal favorites: Split Open and Melt jam, Sand->Carini
Score: 7
yodadoe , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
TL;DR: Tube, Melt, Sand, Carini, Boogie

Night 2 of SPAC 2013 turned out to be MUCH better than Night 1. The first night was a generally discombobulated show with a few nice jams here and there. This show, however, was tight and highly energetic the whole way through. Everyone played well and sang well most of the night and there was excellent communication between members. Even some of the 1st set bathroom break songs were pleasers; Heavy Things was long and well done, for example.

Anyway, the highlights..

Set 1 started out nice enough. Nothing special, really, besides good vibes. The Wedge was a nice version and played well. The real joy began with Tube. The only bad thing I have to say about this is that it was over too soon. I felt like I was on Summer Tour 1998 again. I was hoping they'd drop back down into the fast funk after the last verse, but 'twas not to be. Julius was Julius, then comes the best Melt I've heard in a good long time. They very quickly dropped the standard beat-skipping meter and descended into some really wild type II jamming, here. I can't really describe it; you'll just have to listen to it. It sort of faded away into nothing in a weird way and the band really didn't know what to do at that point. They sort of limped back into the main Melt theme and ended it. It was so weird it was kind of funny.

Set 2 started with a standard BDtNL and into a fairly standard, but pleasant Tweezer. I'm a hopeless Tweezer snob, so I could be wrong. I'm not saying it was a bad version, because it wasn't. It was just a standard "good" Tweezer for 3.0 -- nothing fancy. The Sand was a really nice one, though. Fishman kept the tempo very fast on this one, and it wasn't nearly as spacey as those I remember from 99-2000, nor was it overly long. Just a great, upbeat version. Carini, as expected these days, veered off into uncharted territory immediately. You could literally jump into the middle of this Carini and have no effing clue what song you were listening too. It was strangely mellow and delicate in places, in complete contrast the the beginning of the song. Just very cool. Architect was a new Trey song... better than the average new song, IMHO. It was nice, with some good harmonies, but nothing mindblowing. The last real gem of the show was the Boogie on Reggae Woman. I guess it wasn't groundbreaking, it was just nice and funky for a nice length of time. I just love hearing Mike go to town for a whole jam like that.

In summary, pretty much the entire show was great... and I'm a jaded old fan from the 90's who's been to 50+ shows. I've learned that setlists aren't as important as the mood and feel of a show. The boys were feelin' it tonight. Fantastic!
Score: 6
makisupaman , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
makisupaman A day on the lake can make all the difference
Score: 6
jrb1000 , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
Couch tour tonight. Thought the show was disorganized, sloppy, and weak. The band didn't really attack any of the songs with good pace or togetherness. A few pacing issues, no real chances to sure up the jams with all four guys on the same page. I thought every time they tried to do some good improv they just moved on and changed directions without ever really getting in a good groove.

Chalkdust was super slow and not aggressive. SOAM was just weird with an open-ended extended ending where no one really took any lead and no one really ever tried to work together.

Just overall kind of a disappointing show I thought with little that impressed me. Band didn't look tight. They looked like they were practicing and very unsure of themselves.

I hope they pick it up by the time they get to San Francisco!

Just trying to be objective here. I've seen just as many bad shows as I've seen amazing ones. I just wasn't impressed with tonight.
Score: 4
fluffhead108 , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
fluffhead108 Happy to say I had my first positive experience on the SPAC lawn. Who would have thought that there are places to boogie down out there, in full view of the stage? The world is a wonderful place.

The show itself was also excellent. Set I moved along very nicely, without (what I considered to be) the more-than-normal sloppiness of the night before. Heavy Things is when things really picked up, with a surprisingly excellent and blissful jam and fine work from Page and Trey.

The rest of Set I is very fine listening, and your #1 go-to-listen-now is the Tube. To my ears this is probably the best Tube of the era, though there have been a number of good ones. Put it on, crank it up, and dance it off. #2 go-to-listen-now is the Melt, which is going to get all of the attention on the message boards, but is overall a mixed bag. You have to hear it primarily because ZOMG THEY JAMMED THE MELT! I mean that too. Thank you Phish for jamming this song. It made me very happy to be there for it. The jam is a bit scattered, hitting some incredibly fine and choice moments, but not without the occasional hiccups. Listen, analyze, discuss. That's why we're here.

Set II is defined by the Tweezer>>Sand>>Carini sequence, which is by a very wide margin the best part of the evening. Just great stuff on all fronts. The shorter-than-desired Tweezer is only a problem if the only thing that gets your rocks off about Phish is long open ended improv, and if that's the case than I can't imagine you take very much joy from these concerts anymore. I would have preferred 4-6 more minutes on it, but hey, when the result in its stead is the funkiest, most dance-able jam of the entire night, I won't ever complain. This Sand is amazing. A perfect counterpoint to the masterful 2012 Dick's Sand exploration. This one doesn't go deep, but it reminds us all that there is just as much fun to be had in the shallow end.

And then, oh yeah, the best exploratory jam of the night drops next, with a fantastic Carini. Like the Sand, this one is a perfect counterpoint to the last noteworthy version on 12/28/12. Last time they mined the depths, this time they reached the summit. Listen to it now, because you will love it.

Better yet, start with the (well above average) Number Line, and go straight through to (totally decent) Architect. Because honestly, if that sequence doesn't do all sorts of great things for you, you might not have a pulse.
Score: 4
therealburnham , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
therealburnham To me, the show was about highs and lows. First set highlights were for sure tube and melt (was I the only one who kinda liked the weird syncopated ending?) but the set felt a bit disjointed. But wow that melt...went all over the place in a good way.

Second set, Carini was phenomenal and blissful...really the polar opposite of he NYE 12 run. Architect had a nice segue too. But it did feel like the band was moving a bit fast at times and could have let things develop a but more. But really that's all small potatoes because overall the show was good and more importantly the boys seemed happy. Between this show and last nights, 2013 seems primed for a year to remember.
Score: 3
Fondue , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
More Unpredictable Music, Less Unpredictable Skies

New night, new mood, same crew. Once again, here’s a bit of the skinny on what went down in the venue.

Getting out of SPAC isn’t more of a shitshow than any other venue, but it ain’t pretty either. The weather report looked clear, so we parked on the far side of the venue for free and walked our way in after some mild lot shenanigans. No idea where Shakedown’s been set up, as it wasn’t where it was last year. But we didn’t need Shakedown to find a party favor…

Just before the odd collection of buildings outside the main entrance to the venue, we found a full, unopened box of blue surgical gloves. Needless to say, this had to come in with us. We get to the ticket gate, and the patter-downer person asks us why we have a box of surgical gloves. “Have you seen the men’s room here,” I ask. She looks at me non-plused. “I have… um… diabetes?” Says my friend. To his credit, he pronounced it like Wilford Brimley, which apparently got us the pass and in we went.

If it’s even possible, tonight feels more packed than last night, tho we got to the venue considerably later. After staking out a semi-decent section of lawn on Rage Side, we hunker down with our surgical gloves and get ready for the show.

My crew and I feel slightly taunted at the Crowd Control opener. We’re out on the sloped lawn of SPAC, after all, so I guess we felt like the fools staying on the hill. Our only retaliation was to blow up our surgical gloves, tie knots in the hand, and send ‘em off into the crowd. We were laughing ourselves silly at the reaction we were getting. Around us it was a mix of anger and confusion. Come on. We were surrounded by 20-year olds. We’re nearly twice their age, and having more fun without the aid of a vaporizer…

The show feels a little like a Phish playlist left on random. CDT (um, again?) didn’t really rip, but oddly enough, Heavy Things and Bug were both really fun. It’s finally dark, and we started loading the gloves with glow sticks and sending them bounding into the crowd. Tube catches fire, and my attention. It stretched, strained, found it footing, and kept on keepin’ on. I think one more outing like that and it’ll go full Type II and it’ll be in our playlists for a good long while. Julius is up next, and I’m thinking we’re getting an hour-long set. Apparently, so did CK5. White lights came on for a split second before the stage went dark. The music went dark, too, with SOAMelt. Sloppy-ish intro led to a way far out there exploration.

I don’t get the complaints about this version. Jam is another word for improvisation. It’s not a scripted thing. It shouldn’t always be clean and beautiful and flowing. It should be scary and unpredictable. And I’m glad they tried something different. For me, this was the highlight of the show.

Set two starts with the gigantic wet fart also known as number line, which felt like eating leftovers every night for a week. Tweezer’s next, but I can’t even tell you if it was any good. Glow stick wars was in severely full and fun effect where I stood, with some guys on the balcony showering us with them. A guy next to me started breaking them open, spraying everyone with glow stick juice. This really ticked off a bunch of people, and I felt bad that their show was affected by it. My crew laughed it off. This dude was practically christening people with glow sticks.

Carini kicks off with its red-light darkness, and this guy is yelling, “the power of carini compels you,” while spraying glow stick juice. This version was a stopper tho. Packed with ideas, everyone fell to a dull head-nod. We were watching some special music, albeit covered in weird glow-y juice that probably will take a few years off our lives.

Then… I dunno. It’s like the band lost the thread. Wilson was sort-a fun, Boogie On was packed with MikeBombs, and then a Possum ender? Hm. People literally started packing up when Show of Life’s first chords rang out. I had to remind one of my pals that Tweprise is the best three minutes of rock music ever, so he stayed.

Guess what? It was. Trey stomped about the stage like he was hunting big game, but the night was over. Erratic night? Sure. Special show? Maybe not all the way to ‘special,’ but fucking hell, it definitely had its moments. I can’t wait for tomorrow.
Score: 2
shelbs226 , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
Tube>Julius followed by SOAM was pretty fun because it felt like the set was going to end after Julius then the boys threw Split Open at us, extending the set a bit. At that point I had a huge feeling we'd get a Sand>Carini just for giggles second set possibly between a tweezer and sure enough, we did. (the boys like phucking with us!) I also feel that while Trey sounded forced at times, it fit perfectly with the theme of the night, which was clearly a little low blow gag to big phans, a 'forced' never ending first set, followed by the much hated BDTNL, then a gnarly Tweezer>Sand>Carini with a 'forced' possum to end the second set seemingly short! A lot of phans were either completely blown away and accepted this humor, or they were offended and hated the show along with Trey and Mike's playing (the completely intentional tension exercises sounding slightly off). A 4 overall simply because I can understand how this show phucked with fans, but its so hilarious, truly. In truth it deserves a 10,000. listening to the burnt out kids and custies bitch about trey's playing in the lot after the show was priceless!
Score: 2
FoxmansBrother , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
FoxmansBrother Alright, let's get down to the nitty gritty.

There seems to be a lot of criticism about this show. Tweezer ripchord, bad first set song choices, blah blah blah. Don't listen to that negative "noise".

This show is phenomenal IMO.

Let us begin with the best Funky Bitch version that I've heard in a while. Page KILLS IT. I don't think there was a single bad note that came off the keys. I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Next, we've got ourselves a 6:20 funky Tube that stands strong with any other 3.0 rendition.

SOAM is what I believe to be the centerpiece of the show. This is potentially THE MELT of 3.0. Clocking in at 19 minutes this version goes VERY type II, and is extremely experimental. It also features an interesting unconventional ending.

I'll preface my discussion of Tweezer>Sand with this: we just heard the longest 3.0 Melt ever in the first set. The band may have hit their desired quota for exploration for the night so give Trey a break on that ripchord. The Tweezer featured some really nice melodic playing from Trey. Additionally, the up-tempo Sand was great. Mellow Type I jam with some sweet rhythm guitar work.

Then there's the Carini. This is a particularly positive and happy version that reminds me of a hybrid of the 7/10/99 Chalkdust and the 6/7/12 Worcestor Carini. Very good version with a sweet -> into Architect, especially considering that Artchitect was a Phish debut.

Boogie had potential, but I think may have been disrupted a bit by Trey getting hit with a water balloon.

All in all, great show that has been heavily over-criticized.
Score: 2
kevinb311 , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
kevinb311 Decent show. Highlights we're Chalkdust crescendos and up to par Heavy Things. Not sure what happened at the of Melt, but apparently Trey didn't either. Found myself confused at the second set with a 10 minute SPAC debut of Tweezer and then random changes in Sand and a cracked out Boogie and Possum. Page was about the shred the vocoder and Trey flipped into Possum randomly. He seemed amped up to change tunes too quick while the band was just settling in. Decent show and energetic Reprise definitely.
Score: 1
mcgrupp81 , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
Go listen to the Carini from this show. If you don't want to listen to the SOAMelt or if you don't like a trio of Heavy Things/Bug/Bouncin', just listen to that Carini another four times.
Score: 1
dutchbug , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
dutchbug Damn this was good. Props to the Korean kid Jason from Chiago! Man, you were a trip!

See my post about this show for details:

http://forum.phish.net/thread.php?thread=1373263915

By far the best show I've been to. Crowd control solo beamed into my brain like a lazer. Chalkdust was suspenseful. Felt like I was on a roller coaster. Melt rearranged my brain. Tweezer? Carini? Boogie? Yeah, man. It was all there. Sweet sweet times.

I'd been fighting with girlfriend over the weekend. By second set we were all made up. So good.
Score: 1
NagleK , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
Seriously if the first thing you after a show is come on here bitch stop going. Most of you guys are just trying sound smart by criticizing them. So far they killed both shows at SPAC. Two new debuts , insane energy , great shows.
Score: 0
SCHOOLofPHISH , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
SCHOOLofPHISH I don't know how some of you can bash this show. I understand couch tour isn't the same. Even lawn doesn't get the full show...but let me tell you, the energy inside the pavilion was unbelievable. The setting inside was so intimate, they had the entire crowd hanging on every note. I was a bit under impressed with the new lights from what I saw from videos from Bangor and the lawn Friday night but after seeing them up close and personal they are so much better than the past couple years (ill have a forum post with my full take on the lights.)

Anyone who sits here and complains about any shows, all I have to say is: relax, stop worrying about hearing that one song you want to hear and enjoy the gift of music this amazing band is giving you.
Score: 0
pilschnurr , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
First set was the greatest set i've ever experienced... never felt energy like that before. The placement of every song was perfect. Words truly don't describe what it was like being there in person; tube > julius and split open and melt was a highlight of my phishing career... split open and melt left me speechless for the rest of the weekend, never experienced anything like it. BDNL held a crucial spot in this show, would have liked to see something else; other than that this show was truly unforgettable.
Score: 0
zachbosch , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
Best show of my life. All you downers out there need to find better drugs or something..

If anyone can help me figure out the tabs for the jam that starts at minute 4:50 of tweezer, they would be super radical.

I will jam out to this show all summer.
Score: 0
zachbosch , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
Best show of my life. All you downers out there need to find better drugs or something..

If anyone can help me figure out the tabs for the jam that starts at minute 4:50 of tweezer, they would be super radical.

I will jam out to this show all summer.
Score: 0
skippy11 , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
skippy11 I thought this was the weakest show of the 2013 SPAC run even though it was still a badass show! I've heard a lot of mixed reviews on tis SOAMelt, I personally thought it was awesome! kinda reminded me of the Big Cypress Melt as far as the place they took it even though at the end it kinda got "lost". I gave it a 4/5 although I think it deserves more of a 3.8/5
Score: 0
pikepredator , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
I brought a musician friend I've known for almost 30 years to this show. What better place to pop his cherry than saturday night at SPAC?!?! What's that you say, Sunday night at SPAC? Not fair . . . I tried to guide him to help him understand what he was about to hear:

Crowd Control: phish pop, I told him.
Chalkdust: standard Rock
Wedge: Phishy fun
Funky Bitch: Blues

These tunes were the very definition of average Phish. I told him "OK there's your warm up. now buckle up!" It felt like the right time for a Maze, a Reba, maybe Divided Sky . . . nope. they decided to save all the good songs for Sunday.

Heavy Things: More Phish Pop

Maybe NOW they'll kick it into gear?

Bug: Phish Ballad. He liked how much they could peak a ballad. looking at Bug like that, maybe it's not so bad . . . now it's time to bring it??

Bouncin': Brought even More Phish pop and the set is falling flat.

Again, all reasonably well-played but not a single MOMENT in the set. No Phlow. He goes "this is more normal than I was expecting".

Finally, Tube (keyword: Funk!) breaks the mold with a couple of minutes of Real Phish and the crowd goes absolutely bananas. He was totally digging it when they abruptly returned to Tube. Too short was his assessment. he should've been with us 15 years ago . . .

When they started Melt I told my friend "OK finally, this one's dangerous" and he looked at me "Dangerous?" Sure enough, not only is the improv challenging and unique (I enjoyed the whale calling here) the band got so far out that I was thinking they'd either dial up something like Golgi or Cavern or maybe just fade out to end the set. Instead, we get the joking "we'll just fart through the ending" ending. Not exactly a train wreck, since I don't think they were trying to do it "right" at all.

At setbreak I was really glad I was watching this show with noob eyes, because otherwise my old jaded self might've reared it's head. Instead I was able to find fresh appreciation for the little things that phish does and give thanks for the effort they put forth in split open (much better than the standard version at merriweather).

When they broke into Tweezer I told him this was "Essential" phish. He loved it but recognized the ripcord. Sand was well-played Type 1 and then Carini finally brought a set II highlight. They immediately move away from scary carini into melodious carini. adventurous, new, and then after a nice segue into architect a very standard set-1 closing run brought us to the velveeta-covered encore.

For my only show of this tour, I admit I wanted more. the moments that were good were excellent, but the setlist pretty much tells the story of this show. Not even that great of a show for a noob, no real progression or flow. Check out Tube, melt, carini, and then move along. nothing to see here, except perhaps the embryonic forms of what will likely be killer jams in another week or two!
Score: 0
MiguelSanchez , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
MiguelSanchez This was an inconsistent effort, to say the least, but there are some SERIOUS highlights in the show. I mean SERIOUS.

Set 1:
Crowd Control- After the KDF opener the night before, I was hoping for a better opener tonight. I had to wait a night...

CDT- This was a fairly standard version. It stepped things up after Crowd control, but there's nothing to write home about here.

The Wedge- This is always a favorite of mine. Straight forward but well-played.

Funky Bitch- This was VERY GOOD. Page owns one of the jammier versions of this song in recent memory. There were moments this summer where Page's work with the Meters was evident. This was one of those moments. He had absolute control of this song. Another moment came a few songs later.

Heavy Things- Good solo by Trey. Fairly standard though.

Bug- Let's get this one out of the way in the first set. Fine.

BATR- Ditto the bug statement.

Tube- After running through some songs I find to be less than desirable, this one got me back in the game. The middle section was HOT. Much like Funky Bitch, Page owns this one. After a dirty nasty funk solo, Trey starts like he's going to answer the call. It would've been beautiful if he would have, but he opted to go back into Tube. Either way, this is one of the stronger 3.0 versions you will find. The funk is thick here.

Julius- Standard. Kept the energy up after they smashed Tube.

SOA Melt- While Tube and Funky Bitch were great, overall, this set was pretty lackluster...until this dropped.

As soon as they enter the jam, they immediately start pushing outward. There are moments where this one seems to unravel a bit, but every time that starts to happen Trey or Gordo push it forward with a new and focused idea. They travel into some serious acid rock/deep space/ambient territory. Then there is a glorious moment. Trey shoots Fish and Mike a look that just screams "Where the hell do we go now?!?!" Mike makes a little bass slap. Fish hammers a quick beat out. Then they join up, and next thing you now, we reenter Melt. Granted, that reentry was more comical than it was musically stimulating, but hey, it's Phish!! Sometimes it's funny. If this ending ruins this Melt for you, I am so very sorry for you.

Set 2:
BDNTL: I had the great pleasure of meeting @pawkfliedlice at the water station during set break. We were discussing the nastiness of the previous set's Melt when the house lights dropped. We both shot each other a look that said "It's been nice meeting you but..." Then Trey started BDNTL. Looks like we have a little more time to chat!!

Standard version BTW.

Tweezer- At this point, @pawkfliedlice and I knew it was time to part ways. This version had some nice melodic playing by Trey and Page. Fishman and Gordo anchored a pretty decent groove. When it all came down to it, they just couldn't quite lock in. It was kind of a let down being the first version of Tweezer at SPAC. As the jam dissolves, Trey starts...

Sand- Good/standard version. After a Tweezer that meandered before being axed, I think they needed something they could get into and slay. Sand is a good candidate. This version won't stand out as an all time keeper, but it did it's "dance party" thing very well. Trey, backed by Page, got everybody moving. Sand was a nice set up for...

Carini- Like Melt in the first set, this is a MUST HEAR. The jam in this Carini is uniquely positive. Just when everyone is thinking they will soon be embarking on a dark journey, Phish throws a curveball. There is some serious major key jamming hear that seems to borrow heavily from "I Know You Rider" and ABB's "Revival." Trey and Page soar through this version. At about the 9-10 minute mark, Fish appears to signal for a drop into Maze. He doesn't make it very far before Trey starts going off on a fresh new idea. He jumps all over this snappy new lead he found. He expands upon this for another 2 minutes before a very clean segue into...

Architect- This was solid. I won't be rooting for it in the future. Plus, after Carini, who's complaining?

Wilson->Boogie->Possum- Many people seemed to be griping about this stretch of tunes post show. There was zero jamming, but it sure isn't the first time they have ended a show with three consecutive non jam songs. Personally, I enjoyed this ending trio. All three songs worked well together. The energy was good. I love all three tunes. That said, this stretch of music isn't really high in my listening rotation. I guess where I'm going is, is it a great ending? Not really. Is it a bad ending? Certainly not. I've seen much worse. It's a rocking Phish ending. You don't have to rave about it, but it's easy to embrace.

Enc:
Show of Life->Tweeprise- Pretty strandard encore. Openers and encores were not strong up to this point in the SPAC run.

Overall:
The first set had some serious flow issues. They couldn't maintain traction, but the songs that delivered certainly delivered. The second set was not BAD, but the only thing I would say is worth really checking out is the absolutely uplifting Carini jam.

Highlights:
Tube, Funky Bitch, SOA Melt, Carini
*I wonder how many reviews i've done where my highlights are 3:1 first set songs?
Score: 0
sma326 , attached to 2013-07-06 Permalink
Watched the show on livephish in its entirety. The first set was the standard 10-12 songs with nothing real special. Tube was the highlight and had potential to go to "that place", but was cut short by Trey. I don't understand why he does that! SOAM was "different" in that it had an extended jam. But the jam was NOT good. I couldn't believe that I was watching one of the greatest guitar players around (my opinion) sound that bad. Throughout this show, I often wondered if Trey was listening to the same band everybody else was. He was so off...and a lot. Bouncin' was hard to listen to especially at the end. It sounded like Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future playing at The Enchantment Under the Sea Dance when his hand started disappearing.
Second set was like the first...nothing special. BDTNL was ok. Tweezer was going nowhere when Trey comes in and just aborts the song and starts the first notes of Sand. It seems like they don't ever segue into anything anymore. It sounds terrible IMO when they do this. I will say Architect sounded much better live than the studio version. I thought they did a good job for the debut. Boogie On had potential, but once again it was ruined. Trey sounded like he was playing with an entirely different band. He sounded awful and judging by the look on his face, I think he thought it sounded good. Possum is fun, but when you played it two shows ago, don't close with it. I'm pretty sure they have about a thousand other songs they could have played. Encore was typical.
I love Phish, but tonight just wasn't the greatest. I always enjoy myself when I get to see them play. But, I sure hope they are playing more together and are more on when I see them at The Gorge later this month.
Score: -1

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