Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
Average Song Gap: 18.75
Notes: This show was webcast via LivePhish. Ya Mar contained a London Bridge Is Falling Down tease from Trey. After Ya Mar, Page said that Trey played his entire solo on one string. Train Song was last played on August 13, 2010 (120 shows). Runaway Jim was unfinished. Meatstick was teased in YEM.
Songs by Debut Year:
This show was part of the "2013 Summer Tour."
The other shows had their moments, but this was the only meaty swath of the psychedelia that keeps me coming back. WHOOOO, indeed!!!
First set was nothing remarkable it is nice to see them dust off a few classics though. Foam was a bit choppy but I would take a choppy Foam over another Ocelot, Possum, Gin, or some of the others they wore out first half of tour.
Still waiting on that jam out of Halley's Comet that has been ever-elusive in 3.0. Taste was the real stand out in the first set, very on-point.
Of course the magic began in set 2 with Energy opener, I'll be the first to admit I was a little skeptical on Energy at first, and was there the first night they explored with in Alpharetta, but with each outing I'm becoming more of a believer in this as a spring-board for some special jams.
When the transition went to Jim I was a little worried with it's set placement, but all that went away really quick. By-far if you are going to take away anything from this show or the three nights at BGMC listen to this Runaway Jim. Carini seemed rushed into the wedge but it was a good jump-off point from the darkness of "jim" jam. Light was pretty straight-forward until the ending when they busted out some "plinko" like jamming, into a blazing Bowie.
After a breather of Silent>Meatstick>Quinn. We were awarded with the YEM that has also been a rarity this tour, seemed kinda rushed but I never complain about a set-closing YEM.
Sanity was a nice bustout for the encore.
Very much enjoyed this one 5 stars! Thank You Phish for everything you do, thank the folks at livephish for bringing these shows to our living room!
This is definitely the best night of the 2013 BGCA run, but this run as a whole left me pretty underwhelmed. Of course, following Tahoe 2 is a tall order, but I don't even think there was much in these shows that surpassed the Gorge. It's not to be forgotten that all three of these shows have absolutely stellar first sets; all of which show us that "the boys" knew they needed to deliver something. And to that end they delivered inspired setlists filled with rarities and the sweetest of sounds. With the possible exception of MPP 2, I can't think of a first set this tour that beats any of these three.
However, everybody knows (lets not kid ourselves here) that the real money now-a-days is in the second set. Unfortunately, delivered fully the goods were not in these second sets (random Yoda appearance, deal with it). None of the second sets were particularly bad (though I am still scratching my head at the whole Caspian > Farmhouse pairing), but none of the second sets were particularly great either.
This night was closest to reaching greatness. The Jim jam wandered for a little bit, found a rocking groove for a bit, found a really nice ambient section for a bit, and then got promptly rip-chorded by Trey. Now, even though I personally would have loved five more minutes of ambient-town, I wouldn't care if we only got twenty more seconds in which Trey just let the ambience fade out and come to a conclusion before he started up Carini. Carini was odd to. The beggining sounded like they were on it! And then it just fell apart like dominoes. It was pretty weird. The Wedge appeared out the remnants of Carini and I proceeded to dance my little tush off.
Then Light! This is an interesting Light. First of all, the whole thing is much more mellow than normal. Second of all, the big build is actually all within the Light framework and Light proper is even reprised for a little bit afterword. Third of all, the build dissolves into a loop jam! Trey uses loops all the time, but I don't think he's actually used the loop in such a prominent role for a long time.
Here's how the loop jam played out: loop jam -> Trey creates a nice ostinato rhythm within the loop -> loop continues with nice new textures and things from Page and Cactus all while the nice ostinato is still going strong (this whole time Fish isn't doing anything, by the way) -> Trey gets antsy and ditches the rhythm just as Fish decides to come in -> so we get a Bowie hi-hat intro. The only thing I wish is that Fish had come back in with a little groovy groove under the loop jam. I love me some Bowie and I'm not too dissatisfied, but I felt gold was so close. All in all though, I really dug this Light!
Bowie = cookie-cutter. Silent, Meatstick, Quinn = cookie-cutter. But hey, nobody should be expecting a marque jam in the latter half of the set these days, it's just not the way it is. Next up? YEM-town! Fuck yeah! Dance partay! Gettin' down! I do find it odd, though, that both YEMs played at BGCA feature Trey throwing in the towel when it comes time for his solo. This one at least had a nice little plinko section, but I don't care how cookie-cutter it is, I want my blues-licks fueled Trey build/peak!
I realize I wrote quite a few not so positive things here. This is a good show, it's just nothing super great.
P.S. To my back: why'd you have to be aching the entire show? That's not cool man!
P.P.S To the people behind me during set two: you don't need to buy tickets to a concert if all you're going to do during the set is just talk about non-concert related things. I'm all for hoots and hollers and leaning over to a friend to exclaim how fucking awesome that jam was, but nobody around you wants to listen to you bitch about your job when a shows going on... Sheesh!
So, I'll just say that this BGCA run was something special to behold. I believe they played each and every song as long as needed for in depth precision. Because depth is where they are at in San Fran.
This show: The transitions were exquisite. Couch tour is being kicked up a notch because the camera director is blending each camera angle in a most professional manner reminiscent of some of the best GD filming. I suppose there were not screens at the BGCA but for Dick's, the video work is going to blow your shoes off (take care).
Crowd Control is a nice opener. Divided Sky and Bowie in the same show is a gift. Trey had a good time holding the Sky note extra long tonight. Mike performed a consistent echo tonight at the end of three songs: My Soul ("Soul!"), Pebbles and Marbles ("Mind!) and, oh, the third wasn't Mike. The third fantasmo ending was Fishman to end Sanity with the super devilish mumbles. That was one of the best Sanity's I've heard. I am purchasing this show. The Sanity and YEM vocals are two reasons why.
It was Trey's grandpa, we learned during Yamar. Maybe we already knew that.. The Army of One isn't my favorite Page song but I thought he completely nailed it tonight in a way that Velvet Sea disbelievers believe after Phish nails Velvet Sea. I always forget what Taste is. I remember Waste, I remember Strange Design and Limb x Limb but I always ask, "How does Taste go?" I won't ever do that again after tonight's Taste. I learned a lyric that I never knew tonight. The last chorus Fishman says, "Obstacles are stepping stones". I could never figure that out. I love the feeling of figuring stuff out. Don't you? ( I don't look lyrics up online. I prefer to grow into them).
The second set, indeed, had some seriously heavy (Type 3, or what-have-you) jams. Energy is coming together well. Page pulling out that Frankensteinian organ has threaded many of the best sets this tour. It was good placement for Energy. The Energy transition was great. Somewhere in the depths of that second set Fishman performed a clomping, like a horse clomping, that served as the Horse before the SitM. It wasn't out of Light though, it preceded Wedge or Light. Then later, I think during YEM or Bold as Love, Page made a mimicking clomping which, at first sounded like Fishman's clomp but clearly became Page's. Fishman responded to it. During YEM Fishman's cymbal intro was a double syncpation. That was really cool. He went back to the regular three-time rhythm and then blended it with the stepped up sync. It felt good.
Bold as love is one of my fav encores. Sanity? Well, speaks for itself, right? (Woooooo, I hope this is long enough..)
We got a respite with Silent in the Morning, Meatstick, and a rocking version of Quinn the Eskimo. Then, an album-perfect YEM to close out the set pre-encore. I loved Sanity and Bold as Love as the encore - nice to get a couplet of unexpected show-closers!
The first set was a typically good-not-great one, save for excellent versions of Divided Sky and Gumbo (which had me dancing like crazy). It was nice to get a first set full of songs we haven't seen much of lately, plus the first 2013 appearances of Foam and Train Song. No complaints here.
Despite some issues at the beginning of tour (like when Trey had issues remembering parts of certain songs, and his "ripcording" of several notable jams,) all that was gone by the time West Coast tour started. Each show improved upon the previous one in some way. All in all, summer 2013 has given us an entire highlight reel of all-time moments. And everyone's going to be talking about the Tahoe Tweezer for, like, ever.
Here's hoping the momentum they built in California carries over to Dick's at the end of the month!
SET 2 Energy brought the Energy (not my fav cover but ill tell ya well done). Runaway Jim exceeded it's usual time ( a sick slowly space like jam during the conclusion was unique). Carini followed ( couldn't rate this one because of some internet trouble that occurred). The Wedge > Light. Light was great followed by a ripping David Bowie and then Silent in the Morning. Out of nowhere Meatstick hit and the lyrics when Japanese which was great to hear again. Quinn the Eskimo followed ending the set, so it seemed. YEM closed the set and left us awe struck. I found this set to be rather exciting and musical from all angles of Phish shows this had a little of everything. The Encore was Sanity!!!! place, message boards on .net went insane. This was the 5th Junta song played this evening, so a rare treat for all phans. Followed up by Bold as Love (very good show, worth the download). 4-5
The Energy has such a positive vibe during the vocals and then some classic Trey rifts in the first parts of the jam before going into a 97-like jet-funk segment with Gordo gas bombs. It is a good sign to see Runaway Jim mid-second set......psychedelic into some nice bluesy fast/slow with page dropping some theramin space at the end. Crisp Carini, Light, and David Bowie channeling Jerry-like confidence. We got Meatstick (Fire on the Mtn) and Mighty Quinn rather than a true dead-tune...Mighty Quinn is great. YEM has a 1999 feel. While not the longest solos by any band member. This YEM is possible the best I've heard in 3.0.
Sanity....a good choice for SF...Bold AS Love...a good choice for SF as well....was making fun of the guy who had the sign Sat. night...then after hearing it felt guilty as this nothing is more bold, than love....
OLD school antics were in effect...waiting for prep-school-hippie when a polo-clad frat boy came running down the balcony throwing cardboard boxes like frisbes and paper-airplanes into the crowd below screaming....
ahh...what a good time in San Francisco with PHISH!!!!