Bowie contained a Beauty of a Broken Heart tease from Trey. Chalk Dust was unfinished. Twist, Reba, and Character Zero included Fuego teases. Character Zero also contained a Wingsuit tease from Trey.
Noteworthy Jams
Teases
Beauty of a Broken Heart tease in David Bowie, Fuego tease in Reba, Fuego and Wingsuit teases in Character Zero, Fuego tease in Twist
Debut Years (Average: 1997)

This show was part of the "2014 Summer"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2014-07-25

Review by kent241

kent241 Phish always seems to bring the heat to Charlotte, NC in the 3.0 era. Both 2010 and 2011 were phenomenal shows (2012 a little less so, IMO). Nevertheless, for those having doubts after Randall’s Island about the direction of Phish tour, last night in Charlotte, NC (CLT) should put those worries to rest. Last night might be appropriately titled the “SegueFest” show of the tour thus far i.e., more → and less >. Keeping with, possibly, one of the more ridged setlist rotations in recent years (everyone gets a Fuego) Phish crafted a highly entertaining and lively performance. This was my sister-in-law’s first Phish show and an old high school friend of mine’s first show as well, so my wife and I got to bask in their wonder for our 30 and 32 shows, respectively. For first time shows, they probably could have not asked for a better introduction. In a number of ways (again, much like CLT 2011), this show defines what Phish is all about.

The first set popped with (another) first set Mike’s opener. It was like 2011 Charlotte all over again! (Mike’s has only opened three shows; I think, ever - 2/3 in Charlotte). Mike’s went to BOTT, only to drop right back into Weekapaug! Probably the best Mike’s Groove my wife and I have gotten since that incredible evening in 2011! Wingsuit belongs in the first set. I thought this placement and Trey’s playing gave this one a particular ‘spark’ if you will. Page had some room to improvise in Possum adding to what would have otherwise been a piss break. During Tube it seemed Trey wanted to ripcord but the rest of the band pulled him back in for a few more second of unadulterated Phish ‘crack’ flowing into the second My Friend of the summer (always welcomed). Surprisingly, I think the highlight of the first set was slightly improvised Winterqueen. I will have to relisten, but it fit the moment well and the placement was spot on. Always glad to hear (an atypical) Bowie. First Golgi of the tour to end a solid first set of Phish.

Keep 555 in the first set, but valiant attempt in seeing where it fits best. I thought Phish would be taking 555 for an extended trip last night, but that was not the case. Charlotte achieved lift off with the third extended CDT of the summer (another keeper), keeping the pace with the Fuego -> Twist -> CIRCUS. Only Phish can make a low-key cover song into, perhaps, the absolute ‘peak’ highlight of the evening. After a crunchy 30+ minute exploratory second frame, the band misfired with Piper -> RiftCORD. To be sure, I have to say that this was a ‘fun’ Rift if anything and the set did not take a nosedive as it seemed their momentarily. Instead, I think Trey and the band realized the ‘mistake’ and went into a solid version of Reba. No complaints. They punctuated the evening with Zero and the first Loving Cup encore of the summer.

As any good Phish fan knows you cannot judge a show by a set list alone. It is what they do with the songs that matters. It is clear that whether it is changing up Possum, or taking CDT into uncharted territory, Phish is having a blast doing what they do. Having saw the SPAC run this year (7/4 the highlight of that run) and last night (to conclude my ‘vacations’ for the year), Charlotte will probably be looked at as a hidden gem of tour. Whether overshadowed by Randall’s, what goes down at MPP over the weekend, at Dicks, or throughout Phish Destroys the West Coast this fall, they came to Charlotte last night and brought the goods. It was grand.
, attached to 2014-07-25

Review by n00b100

n00b100 One of those shows that just has no luck going for it - a midweek one-off show in the middle of the tour that not only wasn't played at one of the big venues, not only doesn't have a signature jam to overcome the elements that would cause it to be ignored, but has the bad luck to be played 2 nights before one of Those Shows. I'm not going to sit here and tell you this is one of the shows of the year or anything, but I *am* going to tell you that the second set is a hidden jewel from the year and deserves more attention than it's received (the first set is fine and doesn't deserve any particular extra attention).

555 opens the proceedings, then comes one of the year's strongest Chalk Dust Tortures (I'd put it 3rd, behind Randall's and Portsmouth's, but ahead of Vegas and Santa Barbara and even Mann's). Page pushes the band into darker territory before we get a decidedly early "woo" segment (it's usually the signal for a jam ending), but rather than close things out there the band enters a more upbeat space, with Fish still keeping the tempo up even while Page goes to the twinkly notes and Trey starts to kick into gear. The jam then goes upbeat and melodic, Fish continuing to shove things forward, and the bottom drops out in interesting fashion with Trey and Page combining particularly well. Mike gets his meatball in and the jam dissolves into a fog of loops and Trey's guitar squalls, then (with Fish still yanking the band forward) we get one more nice jam segment, Trey cranking out some chords and Page laying down a nice bed on the electric piano, before Fuego comes rolling in. This is keeping in line with the "no peak, all exploration" CDTs of 2014, and a very nice and underrated jam.

Then comes my favorite part of the show, as Fuego gives us its usual jam before dropping to a lower boil and Trey picking out some jazzy (again) chords, then suddenly hits on a good idea and gives us a slowed-down take on Twist's opening riff. It's the same basic idea as the (yes, superior) DWD -> Mike's from 7/22/97, and after four bars they snap into Twist proper and give us a nice relaxed version (I guess I'm not going to let this go, but there's definitely a tease of 96 Tears at the 5:40 mark by Page), before the band slows things down, Trey hits on *another* good idea, and they roll into When The Circus Comes with a stately grace. Sure, there's not a *ton* of improv in this sequence, but the attention to detail is right out of the early 90s and that kind of lovely song-threading should be appreciated. A bog-standard Piper gives way (somewhat less gracefully) to Rift and Waiting All Night, then (in a surprise call that Phish should be making more often) a very nifty Reba - I'd petition @TheEmu to give it another shot for the chart, actually - and Zero close the second set.

Final thoughts: this one's definitely gotten lost in the shuffle, but a keen listen will reveal some moments entirely in line with the best of the year. A great start to a darned good 3-show run.
, attached to 2014-07-25

Review by solargarlic78

solargarlic78 Quiet Nights:
Delicate Jams and Lots of Songs in Charlotte

There was a period in 93-95 when Phish would deliberately get really quiet during an improvisation (this culminated of course with the 12/9/95 “Silent Jam” during the Albany YEM). This was both for the band — the quieter everyone is, the easier it is to listen to one another and hear the nuances of all four members. But it was also a kind of test of the patience of the audience’s listening skills. Some parts of the crowd would use the quiet space to hoot and holler, but others would “shhh” them and try to help make the quiet space the band was searching for. Last night in Charlotte, I heard Phish returning to a “quiet” and patient approach to improvisation which required excellent listening and interplay between the members. While the summer shed could never create an equally quiet crowd, Phish seemed to use this quiet delicate approach to create very interesting jams — very quickly. This is the hallmark of their “efficiency” over the last 3 years — it no longer takes them 10-20 minutes to create really deep and ‘out there’ jams. Last night saw them ‘out there’ under the 5 minute mark of a “Piper.” With this efficiency, however, Phish chose again to focus more on songs and less on jams — as there were several moments where jams were cutoff.

The first set was very well balanced. We got the first Mike’s opener since 2012. This version had nowhere near the “fire” and rock edge of 7/20, but it did feature (right out of the gate) what sounded like a “Help on the Way” tease (whether it was intentional is quite another story). Don’t you all think it’s time Phish pay a bit more of a ‘tribute’ to the Grateful Dead (certainly they are comfortable with their stature as Phish to not worry about the constant comparisons)? Since the 80s we have one glorious moment of 8/9/98 and a whole lot of debated “teases” (do you hear that “Franklin’s Tower” jam in the 8/13/97 “Gumbo”? So do I). Perhaps they should do something in 2015 (the Dead’s 50th anniversary). Or, perhaps, they should do something this Friday on Jerry’s Birthday!!! The “Back on the Train” was the first to emerge out of Mike’s and was a standard groovy-blues number. Along with “Ocelot” and “Alaska” this is one of Phish’s one chord blues jams. A blues jam is usually based around chord changes (I-IV-V), but Phish enjoys the “freedom” of staying on one chord to create a more open jam unhindered by chord changes. (on archive.org you can hear recorded rehearsals of “Viola Lee Blues” where Jerry instructs the band to not play the changes in the Viola jam but to stay on the G chord to “make it free.”) “Weekapaug” is probably one of the most reliably enjoyable type I jams going (“Twist” and “Roggae” are others off the top of my head). This one started funky and built to the Trey solo. The “Wingsuit” was perhaps my least favorite version of tour so far. Trey made use of his “whammy” pedal (or pitch shifter — or “whale call”) in the Lydian jam in the middle. Don’t get me wrong, I think at times his “whale call” can be great (I loved the 7/5/13 “Steam”), but this “Wingsuit” jam has proven to be a beautiful Trey solo on par with the “Curtain With’s” and “Reba’s” of the world. The “whale” just makes dissonance in what should be a melodious and beautiful jam. “Possum” and “Tube” brought the energy up in different ways (one blues, one funk) — and this “Tube” was over the 5 minute mark (not by much). After a standardly well played “My Friend”, we got perhaps the highlight of the set with “Winterqueen” (a shocking highlight to be sure). Since the album version came out, I could see the outro jam on this song had potential. This version got to that delicately quiet place with Mike, Page, and Trey literally trading licks in flurry of beautiful textures. Instead of seeing this song as a cheesy Trey ballad — that can interrupt second sets — it could be seen as the next “Roggae”? A 42 show “bustout” of “Beauty of a Broken Heart” felt nice after being beat into submission with “Halfway to the Moon.” A tease of this Page ballad was also featured in “David Bowie.” No one seems to be saying much about it, but to my ear this might be the best “Bowie” of tour. The best “Bowie” jams (when we’re not counting ones between 93-95!) venture out of the Em-D progression into truly really dissonant (or, alternatively, blissful major key) textures for a good 20 seconds before kicking back into the type I jam. This version ventured “out” several times into some really crazy sounding stuff. The first “Golgi” of tour was nice sugar on top after I’m sure many expected “Bowie” to close.

I’m sure when “555” opened set II the hopes of a mammoth version were high. There’s no reason this funky number should not be opened up, but it wasn’t last night. For some odd reason, Mike’s originals (besides his “song” in the olden days) never seem to go type ii. Do you know what’s weirder than a type ii “Wedge”? A type ii “Weigh.” Free Mike’s songs for jamming please! The “Chalkdust” that followed was another monster — competing with “Hood” and “Ghost” for jam vehicle of the tour (I pick the latter btw). This version reminded me of the Mann version in its constant cycling through theme after theme in an almost “stream of consciousness” fashion. In his incredibly insightful essay about 2014 Phish so far, @phishcrit described this as a “mercurial” style of jamming where the band is able to effortlessly weave from idea to idea in rapid (and coherent) fashion. As someone who prefers Phish to eventually stick with a theme and build it to something (see the SPAC Fuego or the Northerly Ghost), this was not my favorite jam of tour. I will admit in a sparse 16 minutes it covered a lot of very interesting ground — from loop jam, to echoplex inflected “woos”, to bliss dead-like rolling jams — but nothing really stuck. Next came the shocking return of “Fuego”, and this one was the most “jammed out” version since the stunning Mann 25 minute one (I’m going to MPP2 and have high hopes for the “Fuego” I will undoubtedly get there). At the outset of the jam, Trey got on the “wah” and then, again, effortlessly and very quickly, Phish had created an ethereal and spacious quiet jam. As it started to build toward “bliss town”, Trey, somewhat awkwardly, started teasing “Fuego”….in “Fuego”. And, then after a nice little chord riff, we are into “Twist.” Don’t skip this 7 minute version because you assume the “length” means it was worthless. This was efficient Phish at their best — once again creating really quiet and delicate interplay between the members (especially Page on piano — just relentlessly filling space with beautiful runs). The segue into “When the Circus Come to Town” was yet another stunningly well done transition — this is true — but then we are stuck with the problem that they abandoned a Twist jam for this kind of cheesy/crappy song (sorry). Next came “Piper” which also managed to really get “out there” in a mere 4:56 time period. In the most ripcordy moment of the night, Trey found himself playing the opening slide into a “G” note of “Rift” and decided to go with it. The rest of the band appeared to play “tug of war” by staying on the “Piper” groove, but Trey would get his way (he always does). This version of “Rift” was a bit of a train wreck as the rhythm fell apart during Page’s solo (I’ve been there!), and then Trey aggressively tried to play the chords to Page’s transition riff, but, alas, once again the chords were wrong and especially jarring due to Red’s aggressiveness. “Waiting All Night” took it down a notch I’m sure and I would prefer they skipped “Rift” and jammed Piper for 6 more minutes to set up a nice “->” into “Waiting.” I’ve often said I really enjoy a “Hood” or “Slave” at the end of a great set II to provide that soaring type I bliss jam to cap the night. Well, “Reba” can perform the exact same function — and it should more often. This one was well played and featured a mid-90s-esque detour into a quiet jam which is really perfect for “Reba” (and a perfect culmination of the quiet jamming all night). Again the band members really patiently listened to one another. Finally, the “Character 0” closer followed by “Loving Cup” encore seemed redundant: it is a bit too much balls to the wall rock one after another, for my tastes, but one has to admit the latter song seems fresh when it is not the encore every 8th show or so.

What to make of this band right now? While Mansfield thru Randalls was truly transformative, epic, monumental Phish, they seem to be in a different mood now. They want to play a lot of songs, create odd/interesting setlist arrangements and professional segues. Apart from the one long jam (last night’s CDT), the jams were tight, patient, efficient, but also objectively short. It is fun and interesting Phish for sure, but I must admit not exactly mind blowing. Hard to believe it, but only 7 shows left until the August lull before Dick’s. Savor it, fans.
, attached to 2014-07-25

Review by cmg348

cmg348 1. This CDT is destined to remain overshadowed by the epic version from 7/13, but—believe me—it squarely holds its own with the latter, 7/10/99, IT, etc. Definitely give it a listen.

2. I haven't yet re-listened myself, but at the show I had the very distinct feeling that this Reba is the tits. I didn't hear any flubs during the composed section (a benefit of its frequent play this tour, I imagine), and the jam is delicate and moving, with a brilliant, uplifting peak.

3. Fuego->Twist->Circus is definitely worth a listen—or two, or three...—as well.

3/5 on the whole.
, attached to 2014-07-25

Review by FreeGhost82

FreeGhost82 This was my 3rd show and it was so much fun! Hearing/seeing a show online is VERY different than actually being there. There were so many different age groups in Charlotte: young kids playing with glowsticks, young teens smoking and drinking and kissing, husbands and wives, singles with friends, and older folks enjoying the ride! Many people I met had birthdays that day or said it was their first show.

Since I had gone to the previous Charlotte show, I was going in with some idea of a few songs I wanted to hear, but I kept an open mind since I knew Phish had been in an experimentation mode this summer!

Mike's for an opener was shocking! I didn't expect it at all! The crowd went nuts! I instantly thought, dang, this is going to be really fun! Then Back on the Train, which was on my list, and was played really well. Fun to dance to! I didn't expect Weekapaug so soon, though. Last time they played in Charlotte, they had more songs in the sandwich, so much that you forgot about the sandwich, so I have to admit, I wasn't too thrilled that it ended so soon. But, it was played really well, the band was tight and locked in with each other. The break during the week really did them some good!

Wow, my first of the new tunes: Wingsuit! One of my favorites on the album, and very interesting to see live. I sang along and felt like I was listening to a movie soundtrack or something! That song is perfect in the first set, too. Mike's drill is really loud! The band took a moment to pause and figure out what to play next. At this point, much of the crowd was calling out what they wanted to hear. One guy near me yelled, "Tweezer Reprise...right now!" Our area laughed! POSSUM started, which was fun. It had a really long build-up and everyone danced. Kuroda's lights started becoming more noticeable. Then, Tube, which was also played in 2012, continued the dancing and had some really great jam moments. People shouted excitingly for My Friend. The lights were really fun on that one, and Trey did the guitar-screaming-from-feedback-on-the-microphone thing.

Oh, but then Winterqueen hit and many people sat down or left to get more drinks. I felt bad for them because Winterqueen is a really beautiful song and it's just as great live as recorded! I saw a couple kissing each other a few times. Trey had a great solo there, too. I didn't really care too much for Beauty. The crowd was feeling anxious and I kinda wish they did something else, but hey, it's what they want to do. People typically really just want to dance around in the first set, and then be blown away in the second. That's usually how it works, but so far, this set had been a constant up-and-down of emotions. I was surprised with Bowie because it seemed too early to close the set, so I knew something had to come after it. They played Bowie last time they were Charlotte, too, and both times, it was flawless. Then a shocker to close set: GOLGI! Again, the crowd was so excited! Many, including myself, held up our ticket stubs!!

My friends and I decided to go on the lawn for the 2nd set so we could hear better and see the lights better. The vibe was weird where we were because it seemed like there was no energy. No one around us cheered, clapped, danced, or anything. I don't know what that was about, I didn't care. My friends and I did our thing.

Second set was really interesting. With 555 starting the set, I began to think, ok, they're really going to play around with placement at this show too. (I think they tend to do that with shows that aren't usually streamed or sold out.) Comparison: Mike started both sets. Then, CHALKDUST. I really didn't expect them to jam on it, but it was amazing! It was the third song with the "back on the train" beat at which I felt was being overdone at that point. But the jam was great, and I was focusing more on what Kuroda was doing, which was MAGIC during the whole 2nd set! The backdrop is such an asset to the other lights, and it really makes a difference with the vibe.

"EVERYONE GETS A FUEGO." My 1st one! I wondered what the 1st timers thought of it. Following CDT was a bit slower that I would have liked it to be, and you can't really dance to it, unfortunately, but I could run to it! I was really glad to hear it. I think Phish is letting everyone have one because it's such a unique song. The lights were really something in it, too. Someone wrote that they heard "Twist from miles away" from within the last min or two. I heard it too and got really excited. Woo! They jammed Twist for some time while I got lost in Kuroda's lights, especially taking notice of the small blue and purple circles that "twist around" within the longer & bolder lights. Phish then slowed the jam down and SEGUED SEAMLESSLY into CIRCUS! Woooowwww. That. was. it. THE first perfect segue of tour and it was totally unexpected and it worked! Any other time, that song would have lost some interest, but that was the right move. At that point, I thought, I think this show's theme is very lovey-dovey. So many slow-dancing type songs. Piper started up the excitement again and I quickly realized, you can't dance to that song! I don't know what you do, but dancing is not easy for that one! But I could easily see myself running or driving to Piper and Rift. I don't know how Fishman plays like he does. I would never be able to play that beat in Rift (or others) for that long without slowing down or stopping completely! That's tiresome!

I think somewhere into the 2nd set, Trey and the band did that start-stop thing and tried to make the audience "Woo" again like last year, but I don't think it quite worked out… I was like, ‘come on, guys, where is everyone at?’

Anyway, then my ultimate favorite song from the new album came to play: Waiting All Night. Man, this song just gets me right in the heartstrings. There's something so magical and beautiful about it. And it was absolutely beautiful with the color choices Kuroda made. I sang out every word, especially the main chorus, no shame.

Reba followed and easily excited the crowd again! It was absolutely flawless! The Zappa-esque rhythms and over-the-bar lines melodies were on point, and the jam was just amazing. It seemed to have lasted just the perfect amount of time, and Kuroda's lights were just breath-taking. In fact, there were multiple times when you saw the signature purple, green, and yellow light set during the whole show, which means that Kuroda is very happy with either the song or what Phish had played musically.

Zero continued the excitement, had everyone sing along and dance, and set ended. I don’t think Zero ends sets usually, so that was cool. Didn’t know what to expect for encore. I heard someone call “Suzy,” which would have been great, but then they came back out and played Loving Cup! Forget the whole no covers thing. I love LC!

Overall, the band experimented and had fun. They played cleaner than they had all tour so far, which led to more fun for them and a happy audience. Solos were good, but sound was bit weird. I really didn't hear Page all that well. Trey's guitar was a bit much, and it kinda drowned out everyone else, and one of my friends said that there was a weird back-n-forth sound delay from the large speakers where he was in the middle center. I don't know if that was the venue or what, but when we moved to the lawn, the view and sound was better.

Now, since I was there, I had a totally different perspective than sitting at home listening to a stream. After listening to the show at home, it was a really solid and fun show, but the experience of being there was really special. Every show is so unique, you have to just be there to know what's it's like to give the band your energy so that they enjoy playing there.

Thank you, Phish!
, attached to 2014-07-25

Review by Cheard

Cheard Dust through Circus would be the first passage to listen to from this one. Successful segues but Piper got curtailed.

Well-crafted Set I but with no mighty standouts. The end of Winterqueen was nice-reminds me of Roggae with a brighter tempo. Myfe through Bowie pretty good.

Solid 4* show--not the bustout fest of 2011 here--but two enjoyable sets.
, attached to 2014-07-25

Review by HHCCCCAA

HHCCCCAA This show is a great example of how the ratings may skew potential listeners' perceptions before they listen to one note ... As I write this review the show's rating is a 3.5ish, something or other, but in my opinion is every bit of a 4.0 (perhaps a tad higher, 4.155ish maybe) show.

HIGH, FRICKIN' HIGHHHH energy from beginning to end, with the Mike's Groove starting the show to kick off an energetic first set (that Possum is a (sort of old) diamond (with rough edges, haha) in the ruff! (rough?)) ... Anyhoot, the second set is also really, REALLY special, and for me is what brings it to (or above) a 4.0 rating. Those segues are the real frickin' deal, especially the one between Twist and Circus (but that Piper -> Rift segue toooo!) ... AWESOME jamming in the Chalkdust of course, but the entire Fuego -> Twist -> Circus segment is just superb and I feel gets often overlooked when people see the Live PHiSH oPHiSHal track lengths at 10:03 and 7:06 respectively. Do not be deterred - this segment is NOT only EXCEPTIONAL (and I don't use that term for anything other than legitimacy (lol what?) for the segues - Fuego and Twist both include jams worthy of more than one listen, for surely.

I feel as though I've used too many capital letters and parentheses, but bottom line is that the band was cookin' in Charlotte on this night and I hope no phans are discouraged from listening to this show due to its ratings. Again, the band WAS ABSOLUTELY COOOOOOKIN' (A.K.A. ON FRICKIN' FIRE), as many of us will recall, for the next two nights in Maryland. Those shows produced absolute PHiSH fire (7/26&27/14), the second night of which was (is) an all-time favorite (Tweezerfest) amongst phans and the first of which is a sick-ill-nasty show consistent with the 2013/14 extended/cohesive-jam-through-a-set theme.

I get on these tangents, but ...

tl;dr :: 7/27/14 is a show remembered by all, for sure, but 7/25 (Charlotte) & 7/26&27 (Merritweather) should be looked at as one STELLAR (and interstellar) weekend of PHiSH.

(Writer's note: This coming from a guy that did not attend this 7/25/14 Charlotte show, but did attend the following two nights in Columbia, MD. A guy that was so curious where and how that Merriweather performance grew up and came to be ... Where it went to high school ... Where it cut its teeth ... Where it shat ... Where it slept ... Who its prom date was and who its friends were ... And, as a self-proclaimed PHiSH detective, the first place I'd checked was, sensibly, the previous show.)
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Fun with Setlists

Mike Gordon: June 27, 2015
2 years ago
The Capitol Theatre

Set 1: Long Black Line, Andelmans' Yard, Spock's Brain, Sleep to Dream, Horizon Line, Are You a Hypnotist??, Take It As It Comes

Set 2: Surface > How Many People Are You > Yarmouth Road > Looking for Clues, Ether, Say Something, How Do I Know[1], Face

Encore: Make Up Your Mind[2], Sugar Shack

[1] Luke Temple on guitar and vocals.
[2] Luke Temple on guitar and vocals; Mike Gordon debut.

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