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Link Saturday, 10/26/2013
DCU Center, Worcester, MA

Set 1: Party Time, PYITEPunch You In the Eye > BOTTBack on the Train > My Soul, GinBathtub Gin, Ride Captain Ride, Stash, Simple > BowieDavid Bowie, Character Zero

Set 2: Drowned > Light, Sand > ThemeTheme From the Bottom > Mike'sMike's Song > No Quarter > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove

Encore: Boogie OnBoogie On Reggae Woman[1], Possum[2]

[1] Kenwood Dennard replaced Fishman on drums midsong.
[2] Kenwood Dennard replaced Fishman on drums.

Teases:
· No Quarter quote in Weekapaug Groove
· Time Loves a Hero and Sitting in Limbo teases in Drowned

Noteworthy Jams: Drowned (highly recommended)

Average Song Gap: 11.53

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Kenwood Dennard (Guest)

Notes: Prior to the start of the second set, Page provided the score of the Red Sox - Cardinals World Series game. Drowned included Sitting in Limbo teases as well as a Time Loves a Hero tease from Mike. Weekapaug contained No Quarter quotes from Page. During Boogie On, Kenwood Dennard replaced Fishman on drums. Possum also featured Dennard on drums instead of Fishman.

Song Distribution:
2 Farmhouse
2 Billy Breathes
1 Party Time
1 Joy
1 Stash
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Lawn Boy
1 Junta
1 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "2013 Fall Phish Tour."

mattyb5000 , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
mattyb5000 This was hands-down the most impressive Phish show I've ever attended, the most fun - bar none.

First set was perfect from first note to last. Every song made sense where it was played and there were no awkward "filler" moments at all, not even for a second. Each song got a little bit of jam treatment whether it was for a couple of minutes or for more extended journeys like in Bathtub Gin and Stash. A high-octane Character Zero finished off a set that I'd have been perfectly happy with had it been the second set of any show.

The second set? Phenomenal. Rather than recap each song, I'll share some of the thoughts that went through my mind as Trey & Co. lifted the entire arena to another plane of existence.

First and foremost, "tension and release" was the most recurring jam-oriented theme of the night. Segments of pure bliss were interspersed with moments of skull-numbing dissonance before returning right back to the Promised Land. These guys were on fire last night and communicating like a 4-headed beast.

The Drowned>Light opening sequence may be the most beautiful music I've ever heard Phish play. I turned to one of my friends during the jam on Drowned and said to him "this music is so beautiful I feel like I'm standing at the gates of heaven." And I really meant it. I was truly lifted out of body during that section.

No joke. I really had an out of body experience.

For me the most powerful moment came during the initial jam segment of Light, before they broke out of type I territory. The music began to make me feel like I was being hugged. I'm a new dad, and I felt warm and soothed, just like the way my 8-month old baby boy must feel when I hold him in my arms and rock him to sleep at night. And then it hit me - I felt like I was being hugged by my own father, who died nearly 20 years ago but was right there with me last night, happy as can be. At that moment, blissfully swaying on the dance floor to some of the most beautiful music I'll ever hear - Phish or otherwise - I swear I was accompanied by the ghost of my dad, in his own way telling me I'm doing a good job as a dad myself. I wasn't sad at all to think about him. I was completely happy, immersed in the music. I had a smile on my face as wide as you'll ever see on a person.

This is why we love Phish, ladies and gentlemen. Because their music can evoke such powerful emotions, and moments we truly never want to forget.

After that, a filthy dirty funk version of Sand turned the whole room into a dance-a-thon and everything was icing on the cake after that. I'll never forget the huge smile on my wife's face as she felt a deep connection to last night's version of "Theme from the Bottom" dancing like it was her favorite song on earth. (I'll add that my wife accompanies me to most Phish shows I go to despite that she doesn't really listen to them at all. For her to be pulled into the music light that was a sight to behold. Amazing. "Now I get it" she told me. And she didn't need to say anything more.)

Now we all get it. Thanks, Phish. For everything.

And thanks, dad, for being there with me in spirit.
Score: 37
nightwillalwayswin , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
What a great show ... would even rate it higher than H3 based on how they played (not necessarily on song selection, but on execution). The Drowned> Light, Sand did it for me.

Tomorrow will be my 6th and last show this tour ... I'm going sober because of life and shit the next day. If Phish keeps up what they've been doing I'll still be melting nonetheless.

Someone should just create a sign that says "Keep it up," as they have been getting better and better. Screw trying to pick/hear a song. Best tour I've seen 3.0 imho.

I hope Troy reads this and doesn't disappoint. Heroes eventually die but he has been cat like this fall. However, sobriety is always the tell with him.

ATL
Score: 8
dscott , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
What time is it? It's Party Time!!! An upbeat, percussive kick-start before a solid Punch. BOTT brought its usual jangly funk. This was the first of many moments last night when I thought to myself, "someone done put some Bakersfield in that there gee-tar!" My Soul completed the warm up, and then the Gin hosed us down. Too brief for "epic" status, this Gin was liquid fire - Page went bazonkers on keys & stuck the landings, some scat-style vocal improv, and peakage that approaches New Haven Tweezer intensity. Do not skip this Gin!!! Always fun to get a rare nugget like Ride Captain Ride after such a throwdown, even if I don't think Trey does justice to the guitar parts. (I know - blasphemy, downward thumb, etc.) Stash doesn't dangle for long, but it gets weird for a bit, and they really nailed the re-entry this time. Simple was a joyous surprise. Phish tour is grand!!! A little rough around the edges, but a minute or two of bliss precedes the awkward fizzle into Bowie. Trey's fingers might have lost a step or two, and Bowie doesn't get much more type I than this, but they worked the dynamics impressively at the end. Character Zero stomped the set home with authori-tah. Twisted little variation on the guitar solo.

Then, things really got good. Drowned was a mood-shifting journey, highlit by a languid chordal drift down a lazy river - akin to the Coventry soundcheck without the mud or the cows. Jarring intro to Light, but good & tight, and this version crackles. Particles and waves gushing out of a shreddy hose, and then it gets drippy and glurpy for a while before inexplicably fizzling to silence. Sand is redemption. Dirty, snarling Ocedoc madness! The moon people came out to do the techy stomp. If only it didn't end so soon. Theme has some rough spots, but it's energetic enough. Mike's is short, but different. No Quarter has some ugly, deflating flubs, but it still delivers us some evil. Weekapaug gets slap-happy and weird. Mid-register twangy shredding replaces the old-school dizzying torrent of high notes. It works. They didn't quite stick this landing, but no worries.

Boogie On-core!!! Gotta love that big farty bass whomp! Fishman stealthily hands off the sticks to another drummer mid-song, and both Trey and Page seem surprised when they turn around and the drummer ain't dressed like no lady! Awkwardly abrupt ending. Fishman introduces Kennard, and quickly tells him how to play Possum. What a glorious, driving Possum! Fight bell!!! A weird finish, as Fishman never returns to the stage, but mucho fun.

Once again, thank you Phish!!! Hope to see you again someplace next year!
Score: 5
n00b100 , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
n00b100 First set - easily my favorite out of the mini-run. PYITE is full of fire, Gin (with an odd mini-vocal jam) hits a "Classic Gin" groove at about the 8 minute mark and hits a nice peak about 2 minutes later, both Stash and Bowie are reasonable versions (Bowie threatens to break out a few times, but never quite does), and Simple shows up to charm us for the only time all tour. A very fine 1st frame.

Second set - another surprise set opener with Drowned, and this time it's a winner all on its own. The jam starts out pushing towards something more classic-rockish, like the 12/29/95 Real Me jam, but instead gets more downbeat and contemplative, Fish going octopus-style with Mike and Page leading the music downwards, Trey playing more upbeat chords as counterpoint. They stay in this realm for a little bit, Page playing a repetitive chords sequence with loops swirling and Trey matching him with his chord playing, then things open up as Trey switches to riffing as Page goes to the piano, Fish and Mike holding everything together. Things then shift into a dreamier, more relaxed zone, Mike flipping on one of his filters, as Page and Trey continue to balance each other quite nicely. This is beautiful, sweet music, and it all adds up to one of the jams of the year.

Light rolls in next, and the jam starts out in typical big expansive Light fashion before dropping into a minor chord jam, Fish again wailing away, and then things get funky. Page does some damage on the clavinet as Fish latches onto a hip-hop inflected breakbeat, with everyone else creating a dark soundscape and giving the drummer some. Trey starts playing some tropical-sounding notes and Mike begins to really make his presence felt, then (in the coolest moment of the show) Fish starts shouting "hey" into his mic as Mike goes to the envelope filter and Trey alternates between alien notes and weird loops. This is why I think the grooves of fall tour are not simply the ambient era redux - there's more going on here, more to latch onto as a listener, and that makes a huge difference.

Sand gets the call, a very good choice to keep momentum going after that funky jam, and this is a fine Type I jam that serves as a Trey showcase, before Theme enters and gives everyone a breather. The Mike's Groove that closes the set, with some atypically funky jamming in Mike's (I saw the term "anti-solo" used, which I enjoy) and sprightly playing in Weekapaug, makes for a nifty closer to the set (although No Quarter really is butchered, which only means that they need to play that song more than they have been). The encore, with Kenwood Dennard bringing a much tighter (if not as loose and wild) attack to the drums, makes for very interesting listening - Possum, for sure, benefits from a different approach to the rhythm.

Final thoughts - top to bottom, the best show of the run. I'm not sure if it's the best second set, but with 40 minutes of great jamming on one end and a good-for-3.0 Groove on the other, that's certainly nothing to scoff at. One of the contenders for the best of 2013.
Score: 3
nichobert , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
nichobert As much as I like this tour, it's amazing that anyone thinks it trumps either of the last two summers.

It seems like they have regressed big time. Phish regression still lands you in some great places... But they don't seem as ambitious in their improvisation right now. Practicing a whole album is a time consuming process. So I can understand why they don't seem to be locking into that cartwheeling self replicating mechanical amoeba improv that they started crafting in 2011 and rode out through leg 2 of this summer.

I'm interested to see if they get back there, or if this more linear approach to improv will rule the day.

The last few years featured roughly 1 jam every other show that felt so locked in, so restlessly creative that I had a hard time even imagining the Phish of 1997 being able to pull it off. The knotty intricate jams of their early days effortlessly blended with the spacious repetition of their latter years..

This tour hasn't given me that feeling once yet. It has given me a lot of other good feelings though! Phish's improv going through such a phenomenal evolution at this late stage of the game has bought them endless good will from me. If their intent is to tear it back down and build it back up again, I'm on board. If they internally feel like the album practice has knocked their jams down a peg and they can't wait to get past Halloween and get back to forging their late career legacy, I'm ecstatic.

Having Kenwood Denard come out to play Boogie On and Possum is quite a curveball of a choice. A free jazz drummer extraordinaire, I wonder if they kicked around the idea of having Possum launch into an atonal excursion into the outer realms, permanently (yeah right!) shutting up the Possum haters.
Score: 1
zachary , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
zachary This was a great show, with one hell of a second set. First set was the weakest set of the two-night Worcester run, but regardless it was still a good set. The Gin and the Bowie were the highlights of the first set, and the PYITE The Drowned was the best I've ever seen live, and one of the best I've ever heard quite frankly. Light was filthy too.
Score: 1
BigDudeInTheDoorway , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
Best show of Fall Tour in my opinion. First set was great no bad songs and gin and stash were great. Kuroda had some sick effect going during stash that really looked crazy, I saw it again in Hartford but I was side stage and couldn't fully appreciate it.
2nd set though...damn. These guys really threw it down. I've been waiting for that Drowned and when they opened the set with it I knew I was in for a 20+ minuter. Light was great and Sand even better. Theme, what a great cool down song for contrast in energy. This is not the spot I'm looking to hear Heavy Things or Prince Caspian or NumberLine. Mikes > No Quarter > Weekapaug, what do I even need to say about it...just look at it. (No Quarter has always had a special spot in my heart, super ball re-established it and this just brought back great memories of that night)
Boogie as an encore, yes please. Then a Possum, which they absolutely kill. Loved the slightly different rhythm on this. A standard possum wouldn't have killed the night, but bravo to Dennard on his take and the band jumping right on without missing a beat.

A++ show in my book. One of the best I've ever seen
Score: 1
Sivad , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
Nichobert I agree with your well worded post. It seems that the capacity for jams to change direction on a dime is distinctly lacking this fall. It could be the Halloween show. Could it be intentional? Or something else? Personally I don't know.

Drowned hit some sweet spots and the end segment of light was very unique
Score: 0
phunky58 , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
Great show. The Improv was there in full force. The absolute highlight of the evening and of tour (right up there with tweezer-->golden age from Hampton) was drowned-->light. This is the stuff I chase and unfortunately I've picked the wrong shows this tour to attend due to work.. oh that's neither here nor there. This show imo trumps night 1 without a doubt. Just hoping they play an average show tonight so they bring some serious jams to reading on Tuesday. 5 song set (still waiting). anyways dcu2 great show. drowned-->light must must hear. see you all Tuesday on lot
Score: 0
BuddyBrown , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
Lately, I still have not enjoyed a show again as much as I enjoyed MSG 12/28/11 and I hadn't been to anything since 2012 SPAC.
There's nothing I can tell you that you do not already know or want to know, but I will speak for this night:
Page was fierce throughout, providing most of the roiling of the seas.
Each set maintained very good energy, no drop-outs.
I feel Trey seemed to exhibit tentativeness to interject and his phrasing lacked flow/rawness. I don't need to rely on non-stop soaring, but string some notes together -- syncopation is not for every song -- jump in, the water's great.

I hear the same things and unfortunately I'm starting to feel like I am a, spoiled, victim of being around this band when some of these, now, somewhat standard/known jams were coming from somewhere raw, original to-the-moment and not, say: "lets do a jam 'A' here -- in area 'C' -- of this point in the song that is supposed to be long." And I'm not purely longing for the past, either. Of what I seen/heard/know from this band, I respect and enjoy attributes of any and all of their eras/personalities; which give credence to their vibrancy throughout the years.

Overall, I don't like thinking about what should have been my last Phish show.

I come back for the promise of gnarly, gritty exploration with risk, but this, it seems, is a new age and I found myself at the show only once an out-of-town friend decided it was the perfect place to re-connect. I needed a reason ...also, it would've been a shame to miss them in their 30th year.

(Someone in this night's reviews makes the point about the fact that they had to be practicing their album for the Halloween show and that, in hindsight, is pretty admirable and adds a BIG layer -- good point. Also, a lot of folks are really pumped about this fall-run and I'm happy for them.)

Anyway, I liked what I liked and that is enough for me, I guess. At the show I remember really liking the following:
Set 1 -- Party Time, Punch, On the Train (took train to the show), nice to hear Ride Captain, which brought me to the nostalgia of '98, (long lost) Simple trickled into nothing and Bowie.
Set 2 -- I wanted Light (reliable for amounts of creativity and depth), I do not care for Sand (at all) and I was pleased to hear Theme. I am a greatest hits Zep-listener and not sure I've ever heard No Quarter by them, but I know that the Mike'sWeek-tryptych was rad! I know I now have to prey on small moments and I pounced on some inside that Weekapaug.
Fishman-hero on drums made the Possum strange and fetching. Otherwise I felt short-changed on my Fish-factor.
Score: 0
Midcoaster , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
Midcoaster I always love an evocative jam. This Drowned is no exception. I heard the song "Spooky," "In the cool of the evening / when everything is gettin' kinda groovy . . ." That rang me like a bell, clear out of the blue. Then, later, I distinctly remember Trey shifting into a jam which sounded loosely like "Sittin' Here in Limbo." I still stand by that. The transition into Light was just great. Sand? Icing on the cake, and what a cake it was. Bottom thru Groove was tasty. I'm ready to do it all over again!
Score: 0
wombat26 , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
Just started listening to phish in September.This was the First phish show I saw the whole way through(I watched it on Hoodstream) it was awesome, even in low quality, it was great.

Party Time- great version
PYITE- stream was a little off, as it was throughout the first set
BOTT- I really love this song
My Soul- stream was off during this
Gin-Fav of the first set, the sounded great.
Ride Captain Ride Stash and simple- I had to get offline for a bit.
Bowie-Believe it or not, the first time I heard this song was earlier that day. I was happy they played it.
Character Zero- good closer
Drowned- highlight of the show for me
Light- the other highlight
Sand- pretty good also
Theme- first time hearing this also
Mikes, no quarter- stream went out
Weekapaug- nicccceeee
Reggae woman and possum- good encore

All in all, excellent show
Score: 0
dutchbug , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
dutchbug This was a great show. I love Party Time as an opener. The solo is gutsy and surprising. PYITE had this heavy metal feel to it with the crowd chanting. It felt like we were at an evil soccer match in Europe. I felt like I was going to cry or puke during Simple. It really got me. I spoke to great people before the show. I loved watching all these kids dance on this balcony at the DCU that your'e not supposed to be able to access. It took a long time before security got wise and kicked them off. This was a very fulfilling experience.
Score: 0
deceasedlavy , attached to 2013-10-26 Permalink
Trey is still struggling like crazy through most of this show. You can hear the hollow moans of feedback between the notes threatening to undermine everything he does, particularly in...well, the whole first set, and then the Theme and Mike's and encore. However, he does rip a fantastic solo in My Soul, and there's some great group interplay in Simple, and also the beginning of the Bowie jam, until Trey awkwardly fumbles to the climax and then butchers Zero. He seems back on top of things in Drowned; when he plays that amazingly triumphant lead out of the blue and the band turns on a dime to follow him, it's a lump-in-throat moment, but then he just basically stops playing and the rest of the band can't pick up the pieces as he fiddles around and lets it fade into Light, which might be the best jam of the tour so far. Incredible group funk action. Sadly, the whale comes out to ruin Sand, and Mike's is some serious what-the-fuck, serious worst-ever candidate. Trey's playing also in NQ is godawful. Paug is actually pretty nice, not dynamic or anything but mercifully competent. Still, the tour is inching towards decency, or rather, Trey is; everybody else is doing fine but when Trey's this off Phish kinda sucks.
Score: -2

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