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Link Monday, 07/22/2013
Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Set 1: MomaThe Moma Dance > CDTChalk Dust Torture, Undermind, Army of One, Halley'sHalley's Comet > Twist, Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, Stash, Yarmouth Road, Tube > Ocelot > SuzySuzy Greenberg

Set 2: DwDDown with Disease[1] > 2001Also Sprach Zarathustra > Free > Piper > Tweezer > SilentSilent in the Morning > BDTNLBackwards Down the Number Line > Cavern > BowieDavid Bowie

Encore: Loving Cup > CoilThe Squirming Coil, TweepriseTweezer Reprise

[1] Unfinished.

Noteworthy Jams: Down with Disease (highly recommended), David Bowie

Average Song Gap: 5.63

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

Notes: This show was postponed from its originally scheduled July 9, 2013 date due to "insurmountable transportation and public safety issues resulting from the power outage in Toronto after severe downpours in the city." DWD was unfinished. Trey dedicated Coil to Prince William and Princess Kate's son born that day, recited some of the song's applicable lyrics, and recommended they name him "Prince Kong."

Links:
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download
Phish.net Blog Recap Toronto Recap

Song Distribution:
5 A Picture of Nectar
3 Stash
2 Joy
2 Undermind
2 Farmhouse
2 Lawn Boy
1 The Story of the Ghost
1 Billy Breathes
1 Hoist
1 Rift
1 Junta

Songs by Debut Year:

andrewrose , attached to 2013-07-22 Permalink
andrewrose Well after 13 years and an extra two weeks following the first of many weather fiascos to plague this (strange?) tour, Phish finally make it back to Canada. It was my third show in my native land, following my only hometown (and first ever) show on 7/6/94, and the band's smoking appearance on 7/20/99. (I was sadly out of the country in 2000). But I wasn't going to miss this one. In fact I was lucky enough to enjoy the show from the front row, where I could get a pretty good idea of how things were unfolding for the band.

Before I dive into other details, let me say this: The 19 minute Down with Disease is a serious keeper! Definitely a must hear and a contender for jam of the tour thus far alongside the Crosseyed and Painless from PNC. After a somewhat shaky start to the actual song (and a bit of feedback) the band wails on the DWD theme for a bit before settling down nicely into exploratory mode and they just go off, weaving in and out of some beautiful themes and peaking with some glorious true hose two or three times before settling down.

Other than the Disease, I will say that I think we saw a pretty tired band this night, Trey especially. It's entirely understandable given what went down in Chicago, and the rescheduled show, but if anyone thought that Phish was going to roll in here all fired up and ready to bust things out and go wall to wall all night (ok, so I thought there was maybe an outside chance of a Foreplay/Longtime opener), they were sadly mistaken. Though I'm not one to dwell on it to much after the fact, I do find it strange just how small a palate they're working with in terms of song selection on this tour.

That said, it was great hear Undermind again, and was one of the first set highlights along with a pretty nice Stash and Twist. Nothing went too far out of the box but the band seemed patient, and Trey especially looked like he wanted to find his ground instead of just wailing (though he did fall back on the bluesy tension release jamming a few times at other points, as he often does these days). Tube and Suzie were also firey.

There's some pretty skippable stuff in Set II following the Disease. The Free is nice enough but 2001 and Piper are both four or 5 minutes with the latter basically aborted in favor of Tweezer after Trey decided he didn't know what to do with it. There were more than a few fatigued frustrated moments on his face where he just didn't have an idea or vision and just wanted to move on. This was a nice, if in-the-box old-school Tweezer, and the first I had personally seen since 2003 somehow, so I was pretty happy to hear it. The Backwards Down the Number Line was probably the weakest version I've seen.

The Bowie was terrific, however! Really great stuff that goes well out of the Bowie theme into major territory, and swirls around confidently. I'm not sure where the band pulled the energy off to execute that but it was a nice surprise after a pretty deflating late set sequence.

You could see the Loving Cup encore coming a mile away, but it was nice to hear Page chat a bit about being happy to be back in Canada, and about the difficulties of the tour regarding weather. It was even nicer to hear Trey finally break his silence following Squirming Coil and dedicate it to the newly born Prince in England, complete with reciting the relevant lyrics:

The muscles flex the mother's ring
She fastens children to her king
And sends him down the crooked street
When he returns, the birth's complete

And then suggesting they call the baby Kong. Presuming that he'd be a King someday. Har har.

This was probably one of the weaker start to finish shows of the ten I've seen in 3.0. But the Disease jam was one of the best I've seen in that span, so there you go. Strange and wonderful times with this band, as always. Happy to just watch them age, really. Thanks for coming back to Canada, boys. How about a return to Montreal in 2014? It'll be twenty years next July.
Score: 22
feckless_animus , attached to 2013-07-22 Permalink
feckless_animus With this being the end of a 13-year Canadian hiatus, the venue allegedly undersold (looked pretty full to me), and the cancellation/postponement, expectations were pretty high that there would be some crazy craziness. You'd think the previous night's antics might have quashed some people's fantasies, but anyone hoping for a Forbin/Mockingbird or Rush's 2112 played in its entirety, a la 11/02/98, were likely disappointed.

If, however, you were hoping for two solid sets of tight and energetic Phish, then you probably went home happy.

This was my first show in almost fifteen years. And while I admit to being a little dismayed to hear that a certain fat sweaty bulldog had made his appearance in Chi-town, I was not banking on anything wildly out of the ordinary. I just wanted to hear the Phish. And, to my ears, the band was locked in and determined to give the fans a good show, ready and willing despite just coming off what must have been a physically and emotionally exhausting three night run to give a little (or a lot) extra when the moment called for it.

From the very first notes of Moma there was an intensity, a fierce energy that continued throughout the show. First set highlights included Twist and Ocelot; the former briefly dipped its toes in uncharted waters, and the latter was more than a little ferocious. Undermind and Stash, while neither departed for distant vistas, were both well-played and enjoyable. And the only "ballad" in this set, Army of One, was heartfelt and on point.

The second set included a DWD that is well worth a relisten and that segued nicely into a tight, mid-90s vintage, 2001 that likewise segued smoothly into Free. One of my few complaints about the night was a frustrated desire for this Free to stretch its legs but, like 2001, it was on the short side. Piper followed (also worth hearing again) before deferring to Tweezer.

I'll have to relisten to this Tweezer, but in the moment I felt that, while it flirted with a TypeII sort of thing, it stayed mostly within the boundaries of what we've come to expect from a Tweezer jam. But that is not, in any way, a criticism; in fact, after the show last night I was contemplating a .net thread entitled "Toronto Tweezer: The Case for TypeI." This was, as the kids say, a rager. I was especially blissed out by a certain section toward the end of the middle, or the beginning of the end, or wherever, when Trey is playing these really choice syncopated licks on top of everything, one of which kept hitting this perfect peak and then dropping down before taking another syncopated stab. Even if it did go full-on TypeII (again, I need to re-listen), they stayed close enough to home that they could return to the main theme for a completely satisfying (and possibly old-school?) slow-down, wind-down before another smooth segue, this time into SITM.

BDTNL was next, followed by a Cavern that I'm sure most in attendance thought would be the end of the show, especially because of what felt like an extra-long pause before crashing into the final note. But when the smoke cleared, there was that familiar high hat, signaling a very special bonus round. Bowie! The composed sections were tight (not quite flawless, but close enough), and the energy was there. The jam featured some of the Major/minor fluidity that has been a feature of recent shows, and while it was true TypeII for a while, they still brought it back to the main theme to cap off the set with a bang.

I was really hoping for a Golgi (or an Axis!) for an encore, so Loving Cup was a bit of a letdown. But the boys were still playing their hearts out. And, anyway, there was a Tweeprise coming, so it wouldn't be all bad. Of course, little did we know there would be an extra special cherry on top in the form of Squirming Coil (the first of tour). During Page's solo the audience started clapping to the beat (which normally aggravates me), but they managed to keep it in time, and Page played off of it nicely, maintaining a sense of rhythm and syncopation through to the end of the solo. It was nice to hear Trey speak a bit (especially to recite a bit of the lyrics to Coil) before slamming into a reprise to end the night.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable show. I was at that show and, let me tell you, people were having a _great_ time.
Score: 6
AdROC , attached to 2013-07-22 Permalink
AdROC Well the 3rd time was the charm for me with Phish shows in the great City of Toronto ('99, '00, now)! I figured when I came on the original cancelled date, that if I didn't get back for the rescheduled show - I'd probably always regret it... I can say now after the fact - that I surely would have... hot damn!

First of all, I give credit to the boys for taking one more deep breath and letting it all hang out after a pretty tough run from the south, into Chicago, and quick run to Canada. The Moma Dance opener was an awesome call, to fire everyone up - including themselves probably - for what would end up being a Monday night throw down.

After warming things up further with Chalkdust, and Undermind - Army of One cooled things down, and reminded us of the setting... the arms of the arctic extended in the Canadian breeze, as we sat in a circle facing the sun(-set, as it were)... Halley's stoked the dance party up again, and the chilled out crowd was fired right back up. Stash brought the real heat of this set, with Trey digging deep to deliver a huge gem of a solo.

After a solid, yet a bit - up and down first set... the course was set for performance bigger than the CN Tower. You will read and hear much of the DWD > 2001 that would unfold. Absolutely nasty. Things really rolled from there, capping with a knockout one-two punch of Cavern > Bowie that left everyone flying high into the rare triple encore.

Loving Cup was a nod to the love that was felt for all - particularly the crew as Page made a point to mention. What a beautiful buzz indeed. Squirming Coil was a real treat, a call made by Trey as an ode to the new Prince of Great Britain (see other comments here about that). Of course the Tweezer reprise was the obligatory finishing piece to what was truly a thriller in north of the border.

Overall this show should stand as a tour highlight - a real reward for the fans who made sacrifices to make it to. This was my 16th show, in 16 years of Phish (for me), and as long as they can turn out performances like this and reward their fans the way they do - I'll keep coming back.
Score: 6
Trempkin , attached to 2013-07-22 Permalink
Just a brief note - there was a full-on Rosemary's Baby/Tannis Root joke in the performance of Squirming Coil. After playing the song, Trey told a story of how it was played in honor of today's royal birth and quoted the stanza:

The muscles flex the mother's ring
She fastens children to her king
And sends him down the crooked street
When he returns, the birth's complete

This indeed implies that those goddamn English monarchs give us Satanic spawn.
Score: 5
funkbeard , attached to 2013-07-22 Permalink
This show is a perfect crystalization of what Phish have been working towards all these years. Actually makes many of their previous great performances drop into the shadows of obscurity. I don't believe I've ever heard them achieve this level of creative lucid clarity at any previous time in their career. A monumental musical achievement here. Way to go!
Score: 2
Spirit , attached to 2013-07-22 Permalink
Spirit Don't know how much I can trust myself on this one, but I heard a pretty killer show last night. A little weird at times , awkward almost but GOD DAMN , they were spitting fire . Face still on the floor somewhere in the amphitheater .

Disease, if usual , weird at first then it got reaaaaal comfortable . 2001>free>piper was good, again a little weird sounding to me but still solid. AND THEN, here it is folks , the tweezer I've been waiting for my whole life , it was monster , epic yatta yatta I could talk till the sun comes up(it is) I've been really into silent lately so a the landing pad from tweezer was real nice. BOWIEEEEE was really good, and I'm not the hugest Bowie guy but it was perfect. Encore felt good, you could see that phish was diggin it , and the squirming coil commentary along with the Prince "Carl" was it? Top notch added bonus , sprinkles included.

#line fan here and could be show goggles but was that number line tight or was it just me?

My tour is rapped up , it's always a pleasure Phish, thank you
Score: 1
skr213 , attached to 2013-07-22 Permalink
skr213 Listened to some of this streaming in real-time and then just gave the rest a listen. I know that there is always a tendency for people (myself included!) who attend a show to come out of it thinking "wow, that was amazing!! Best thing ever!!" or "best show of the tour!!" even when the show does not come anywhere close to being a great show or the best of the current tour. However, it does kind of seem like that sentiment has really been thriving this summer.

This was a good solid show with a couple of real highlights. I think the DWD was obviously a really nice version - and Trey even kept the ripcord firmly in his pocket! The Stash was very nice, although very "contained." In a surprise to no one Ocelot was really firey. I'm definitely giving this song the Dark Horse award for this tour - they've been knocking it out of the park every time they bring it out. Coil in honor of the new prince was interesting and nice, but not particularly amazing.

Unfortunately, other than those highlights, this was fairly middle of the road stuff (not that I blame the band - they're not used to 4 stressful nights in a row with travel these days!!). They've been giving 2001 real short-shift lately - not letting it breath or go anywhere interesting. BDTNL is a fine little first set song but I have NO IDEA why they're trying so hard to fit it into the second set rotation. It breaks up the momentum every time they play it this tour. Many others were fine, but short and/or uninspired (Tube, Twist, Suzy, Tweezer, etc.).

So overall, I think this was solid, but nothing particularly special. Just my two cents. Looking forward to the West Coast swing!!
Score: 1
FACTSAREUSELESS , attached to 2013-07-22 Permalink
Average-great show....but a little extra great considering they had just finished an exhausting and (I'm sure) extremely frustrating 3 nights and days in Chicago. In that light, this show is simply amazing.
However, to be purely objective (if that's ever possible), I think this show is worth the download primarily for Disease and Bowie, which are both exceptional, and a couple home runs in the first set, namely Ocelot and Suzy. Other than that, run-of-the-mill-best-freakin-band-on-the-planet average.
Score: 1
funkbeard , attached to 2013-07-22 Permalink
This show is a perfect crystalization of what Phish have been working towards all these years. Actually makes many of their previous great performances drop into the shadows of obscurity. I don't believe I've ever heard them achieve this level of creative lucid clarity at any previous time in their career. A monumental musical achievement here. Way to go!
Score: 0

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