Friday, October 31, 2014
It's on. Phish returned to Las Vegas for the first time in the 3.0 era. In 1998, Phish played Loaded by Velvet Underground. What's on the agenda tonight? Rumors ranged from The Band to Genesis to Huey Lewis to King Crimson to Phish.
FYI... entire Vegas run is webcast over at LivePhish.com
Here's what you missed:
Phish 10/31/14, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV
Set 1: .....STAY TUNED
** Poster by Drew Millard
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The final night of a three-night run in San Francisco. It coincides with Game 7 of the World Series, so there might be riots and/or celebrations after the show. Who knows? But Phish is playing their last show before Halloween Vegas.
After a lengthy hiatus, I decided to write recaps of the SF shows. Something about Bill Graham that is inspiring! Here is my reviews: SF night 1 (Monday Night Rager) and SF night 2 (Gordo Gunz). Also, check out BGCA setlists 10/27 Night 1 and 10/28 Night 2.
Here's the setlist....
Phish, 10/29/14 Bill Graham, San Francisco, CASet 1: Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan, Moma Dance > We Are the Champions* > Moma Dance, Free, Back on the Train, Yarmouth Road, Strange Design, Taste, Wedge, The Line, Wolfman's BrotherSet 2: First Tube > DWD > Theme from the Bottom > Split Open and Melt > Heavy Things > Light > PossumE: Contact, Meatstick, Character Zero*= The SF Giants won the 2014 World Series during Moma Dance, prompting a crowd cheer that interrupted Moma. Phish segued into We Are the Champions before picking Moma back up
* * * *
Quickie Recap: SF Champions
By Pauly (@taopauly)
Last show before Halloween. Third and final show of another classic SF run at Bill Graham. Love these three-nighters. Only regret in 2014? The weekday shows meant that my lovely girlfriend was stuck in LA for work and the Joker was back in Colorado. Not the same without them... My sidekick this tour has been Sean W. He's awesome to tour with. Seasoned vet. So easy. No drama. He can manage his buzz and can rage solo if need be... 500 shows between the two of us. We're getting old and opted for seats, necessary for the third consecutive night, especially after being on floor first two nights... Sold my extra for below face again, but everyone wanted to trade nugs, which is the common currency of NoCal. Much different barter method than SoCal, where cocaine is cheaper than air... We watched few innings of Game 7 World Series in front of City Hall. Much bigger crowd than previous day. Giants were ahead 3-2 when we went inside. We knew things would get weird win or lose... Found sweet spot Page Side, Rage Side. Almost identical to where our crew was posted up Night 3 last year. Cool folks in our section. Guy behind us was watching the rest of game on his phone... Crowd started chanting "Let's go Giants!" as the lights went down... Phish opened with Stealing Time. Sean was lil bummed. He wanted PYITE. I was indifferent... The MOMAs this fall have been extra crispy, but halfway the crowd erupted when word got out that SF Giants held on to beat the KC Royals and win the World Series. Phish was momentarily upstaged. When the Trey confirmed a Giants win, the band ripped into instrumental We Are the Champions while the crowd provided lyrics. The band jumped right back into Moma. Spun girl next to me asked, "Did we win?"... Trey threw Page under the bus and said he was a Mets fan who sweated games all summer on his phone... Free sorta breezed by because crowd was super jacked after winning Game 7. The crowd energy in SF was the best all tour, but the World Series win contributed to the mayhem... Funk-train full speed ahead with Back on the Train... I'm convinced Yarmouth was played to keep Gordo happy since he's the only non-sports fan in the band... Strange Design gets all the Phishy chicks moist and randy... Thought they were gonna play Taste last night but Trey cockblocked it in favor of Jim... The Wedge always reminds me of Colorado... The Line is a sports song, but a sad song... Wolfman's funk-wank-a-thon was the highwater mark of the set. As soon as the boys got cooking, they ended the set... Hoping for a Crosseyed (had some big juicy ones in the past) but it was instant energy boost with First Tube and Trey dancing around like my 3-year old niece running around the house with a horsehead on a stick... DWD was in the 2-hole, which is kinda sneaky. I really dug the LA DWD (those crazy ceiling lights) so it was going to be tough to top that one... We got a killer Theme earlier in the tour in SB2, but the boys could not replicate that unexpected magic... I was waiting for a Melt. It was on the path to some Rocco Stiffredi deep dickin', but they pulled out before any orgasmic mind melds... Yep, Melt end rushed in favor of Heavy Things. Yes, Heavy Things. Cheese city. Everyone around me looked perplexed. For a millisecond, I thought we were getting a Punch, yet no dice... Light was sweet. Not too heavy. But it seems like it is in the doghouse for some reason and not played every third show anymore... Love it or hate it, but Possum always delivers the goods. I was more bummed they ended the set so quickly... 3-song encore made up for short set 2... Contact is one of the oldest Phish songs I ever heard, so it evokes halcyon memories of college... Meatstick is a respectful nod to Japhans. I saw Phish in Japan in June 2000 and there's not a day that goes by that my mind is flooded with warm memories from that magical trip to Japan... Reeling and rocking Zero to close the set. Alas, it was another safe and vanilla choice, but like most of the SF run, this Zero was super-charged high energy, which pretty much summed up the SF run... Nine shows in the books. Only three more to go, but the next one is Halloween. See ya in Vegas for a three-night throwdown.
Quick links: 2014 Fall Tour Setlists (ALL) - 10/27/14 Setlist - 10/28/14 Setlist
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Night 2 of 3 in San Francisco coincided with Game 6 of the World Series. It was a potential game-clincher for the SF Giants. The city hosted a viewing party in front of City Hall, which was adjacent to Bill Graham Civic Auditorium... Phisheads and baseball fans mingling together in harmony.
Here's the setlist...
Phish, 10.28.14 BGCA, San Francisco, CA
Set 1: Crowd Control, Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Wingsuit, Water in the Sky, Plasma, Halfway to the Moon, Poor Heart, Gumbo, Sanity, Antelope
Set 2: Kill Devil Falls > Mountains in the Mist > Fuego > Julius, Twist > Runaway Jim > Harry Hood
E: Loving Cup
* * * *
Super Quickie Turbo Recap of BGCA Night 2: Gordo Gunz
By Pauly (@taopauly)
Walking up to Civic Center, we saw homeless woman drop her pants and pee all over the plaza. No one else blinked. That set the tone for the night...SF Giants fans flooded the spot in front of City Hall, too bad I bet the Giants and they were getting crushed... two shakedowns popped up; one for SF Giants and the other for Phish... heavy SFPD (and even homeland security) presence which meant that hard to drink in front of civic center... sold my extra for $50 to hipster girl who was wearing a Lena Dunham-type grandma dress... extras going for $40, which was highest all tour considering extras for all tour were $20 and lower... Crowd Control opener feels like Phish trolling on us... Mike's Song was the "real" opener which sent a message: Monday was Fish Appreciation Night, so Tuesday is Gordo Day... Upbeat start to show, trying to keep up high-octane energy from previous night... I finally fingured out I love the trippy second half of Wingsuit... Plasma? It's growing on me, but feels weird without horns... I dig Moon for its potential. Page wrote it and gave Trey and everyone enough space to noodle around with it, but they are not fully opening it up... couple of transgender locals showed up and one of them was like 6-6 tall and in pigtails. They were really into Poor Heart and Mike's Groove... I love me some Gumbo, which it was in heavier rotation... Sanity was when everything I was on kicked in and I entered the "tripping ballz" stage of the evening... Antelope was standard but everyone around me jumping up and down... I heard FOOTLOOSE teases everywhere, but can't recall where.... KDF Set 2 opener through me off. I expect that as a show opener, but was skeptical until they won me over and crushed it. Unexpected big jam of the night... Mountains of the Mist was rough because we were dealing with annoying, angry girl who kept invading our area and demanded more dance space. Not a fan of those entitled, space-Nazis. Decided to move to new spot with much cooler folks. Sean agreed that your show neighbors can often make/break a show. Luckily, we moved to improve our overall show experience and rest of set was fun... Intense and loud Fuego (in LA there was a drunk SoCal bro who kept screaming "DIEGO! DIEGO!" so Sean and I did the same in SF in his honor)... Julius had a lot more heart in in, and definitely not phoned in. It has become a cheap energy booster (like Twist) that Trey relies on as a shortcut. I told Joker he needed to listen to Julius and he responded, "Dude, I know you're still tripping when you tell me I must listen to Julius!"... Twist had a couple of mini-jams, but it seemed longer and trippier than the other versions this fall.... Jim had some band conflict. Trey really wanted to play it but rest of band didn't. Jim has been popping up late in the second set these days (versus a show opener or early Set 1 filler). I'm conflicted about Jim's late-set insertion. I know the boys shredded Jim last year at BGCA and it was one of my favorite moments of that run, but it lacks a wicked punch... Some wooks were blasting off tuff on deemsters during most of second set, especially Fuego and Hood. I mean, I'm all for mind expansion and DMT, but the middle of the floor at a Phish show does not seems like ideal circumstances... Hood delivered on all fronts. Deep dickin'. Best one I heard this tour... expected a big classic 70s cover (Cup or GTBT) and we got the Loving Cup... high-energy start to show, but set 2 was trippy/jammy. As my bud G-Rob would say, "The boys were playing to my buzz."
Here's my recap for BGCA 1.
Quick links: 2014 Fall Tour Setlists (ALL) - 10/27/14 Setlist
Monday, October 27, 2014
Phish returned to San Francisco for the first-night of a three-night run at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. This is a slightly unusual SF run because these show are at the start of the week (versus a weekend run in 2012 and 2013).
Phish 10/27/14, BGCA, San Francisco, CA
Set 1: Walfredo, Ocelot, Camel Walk, Axilla, Rift, 555, Maze, Brian and Robert, Stash, Party Time, 46 Days
Set 2: Sand > Birds of a Feather > Waiting All Night > Ghost > Bug > Seven Below > I Didn't Know, Chalkdust > 2001 > Slave
E: Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Winterqueen, A Day in the Life
** Official poster by Pollock
* * * *
Editor's Note: Fink hooked us up with amazing tickets for Chula Vista. He asked me if I could write a review of the show. I told him I would, but... I didn't. I got stuck in a bad habit over the last year or so because the last 20 or shows I went to I said I'd write something but when it came down to it, I did not write anything. The main reason is that I got bored writing recaps but coupled with inherent laziness and lack of motivation compounded by the fact I really didn't have anything important to say that I had not already said many times before. The obvious and secondary reason for lack of on-tour recaps is that I'm a known drug fiend who prefers partying with friends (many of whom I rarely get to see these days) than sitting at my laptop cranking out cliches and half-baked inside jokes -- which I do for a living -- but Phish is my vacation and I need a reprieve from writing. But you know, Fink asked me to write a recap and he's such an awesome person that I didn't want to let him down. So instead of Chula Vista (a safe show with solid playing but lacking big jams) I decided to whip something up about the first night in San Francisco and dedicate that to Fink instead. So here it is...
S.F. BGCA1 Quickie Recap: Monday Night SF Rager
By Pauly (@taopauly)
I skipped most of summer tour in order to pull off an entire West Coast fall tour. Dozen shows in the Pacific time zone. It's weird that I currently live or used to live in 4 of the cities on the docket (Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Seattle). So in many ways, I'm experiencing pseudo-hometown shows. Out of all of these cities on fall tour, San Francisco is by far my favorite. I wish SF was not so damn expensive and I didn't blow all my poker money otherwise I'd live here full time.
After six shows in nine days in five different locations, I was pumped for the first three-show run this tour. I'm an old, jaded vet and these one-off shows are a bitch on the body when it comes to traveling long distances between shows. In fact this week is the biggest week of the year for Phish with six shows in seven days including Halloween in Vegas. This is crunch time. The boys shook off the rust in the PacNW, had a couple of rough patches in Santa Babs, but finally emerged from the SoCal bubble seeking vengeance. Enter San Francisco... a vivacious city of redemption and inspiration.
SF run was not over a weekend like previous years, so demand for tickets were very low. Heck, the entire West Coast was the $20 ticket tour with extras floating around for $20 to Eugene, Seattle, SB, LA, and SD. ure, LA and SD were massive venues, but SF's BGCA is small and intimate. Last couple years, extras for BGCA shows went north of $100. Yet, on this tour you could get one for face or a few bucks below face. The masses were focusing on Halloween and the Vegas run, so everyone that wanted to be here... really wanted to be here. You had to make an effort to see Phish in SF on a weekday night. But like I said many times before... I'd rather rage it up on a random Monday in SF than any weekend in LA.
My girlfriend stayed behind in LA because of work and we would reunite in Vegas. Joker and the Colorado crew skipped all of fall tour but we going to hop on in Vegas for the last 3 shows. It was just only me and Sean W for this leg. Sean had never been to San Francisco before. I couldn't believe it. We had a SF virgin who was a huge Deadhead. Upon arrival, we first hit up my former dispensary to acquire Romulan then we headed to the Haight to visit what my Japanese friends dubbed "The House of Jerry" at 710 Ashbury Street, where Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Neal Cassady lived during the height of hippiedom in the 60s. We also wandered around Golden Gate Park, where I saw my first-ever Phish show in SF in 2011 Outside Lands. That where we saw the geese and ducks and they called a Birds opener.
There's no lot scene in SF, but City Hall shares a big lawn in front of BGCA. That's where everyone sort of hung out and a mini-Shakedown popped up. Old deadhead was slinging white fluff (legendary LSD), which I have not seen in over a decade. We went inside close to showtime and settled into whatever pocket of space we could find on Gordo side, hoping to avoid chatty Californians. It seemed like the entire tour was plagued by drunk, coked up, schwilly scensters who loved yapping during the show. Luckily we avoided any overly chatty stragglers. I guess the brown boot mafia Marina girls don't like going out on Monday nights.
Tight space on the floor. Not much room to move. Crowd was an interesting mix of older Deadheads, Burners, hipsters, NoCal wooks, and tour rats. Saw someone carried out during Ocelot. Wow... losing your marbles on the second song? That's rough, but extremely amateur.
Walfredo opener. Saw two Walfredo signs hanging over the balcony. Supposedly Adam Berger, the webmaster from Walfredo.com, passed away and the band played Walfredo in his honor. I caught the Walfredo in Vegas 2000 (Trey b-day show) and much like that version, the band opened with the show with it and took the stage but picking up different instruments: Trey sat behind keys, Page jumped on the drum kit, Fish picked up Gordo's bass, and Gordo was playing the Languedoc. Musically it was what you'd expect but Gordo was the only one who looked most comfortable. I missed Phish hijinks, but on a deeper level, Walfredo was a nod to their past and recognition of their fans.
I'm the only I know who loves Ocelot, but Camelwalk was well received by the crowd. Sean was chasing the desert-funk since Broomfield/Telluride 2010. These days Camel pops up once or twice a tour.
Axilla was all Fishman. Loud as fuck. I love indoor shows because I'm a bit of a sound snob. My ears were buzzing all night. By the fourth song, it was obvious that both the band and the crowd were overflowing and oozing with abundant energy. The crowds in Eugene and Seattle were buzzing mainly because Phish had not played up there in a very long time (sans the Gorge), but the band was still shaking off their own rust, so their energy did not sync up with the PacNW crowd. The band's energy levels felt forced in SB2 and when the band finally got cooking at the LA Forum, they were fighting against a huge wave of tepid energy from the schwilly LA crowd that was gacked up to the gills. Never saw that much blow at a Phish show before and I've seen 320 shows.
Alas, SF was a perfect Tinder match between the infectious crowd energy and the band's delirious energy. We have a symbiotic relationship with the band that becomes nuclear when both parties are fired up. No coincidence that there was plenty of Lucy and Molly going around, which proves my theory that the best shows coincide with high-quality party favors matriculating throughout the crowd. The band picked up on the audience's loaded-vibe right away and they picked tunes to match the raging party atmosphere. Too bad it takes a completely soused crowd to get Phish pumping.
First night in SF was Jon Fishman Appreciation Night on tour. Fish was jacked up. JACK'D UP! I suspect he was hanging and pre-partying with Barry Bonds before the show. Have you seen Phish's backstage rider recently? They feed Fish only raw meet and BALCO. As a result, he was a caged fucking animal that was finally unleashed. The boys brought out the GIMP and he properly fucked all of us.
Maybe it's just me, but I think I'd like 555 more if they didn't play it so much. It was really the only lowlight of the show for me. Ripping Maze, kinda sloppy as per usual, yet fueled by volcanic energy and the tension/release was orgasmic. Brian and Robert is rare these days... only 10 times played in 3.0 but I've been fortunate enough to catch 6/10. Stash jam seemed rushed, but it did not have to anchor the set. Fish was in full-on beast mode. Trey was tossing him chunks of raw meat and he was gobbling them whole.
Enter Party Time. If you had an orange pill, it was time to eat your stash. I took a blue pill before the show began, but doubled down on the orange pill. Holy shitballs, Batman. I was shithoused fried to the tits the rest of the show. The jubilant girl next to us was doing some sexy-ass dancing, dropping it like it was hot a few times. Serious advanced stripper moves including the hippie-twerk a few times. Sean was in love. I was impressed and popped a half-wood.
46 Days jam was all sizzle and no steak. Fishman ate it all. No meat leftover, but it was smoking sizzle. Turbo-charged set ender.
The hipsters in the crowd left at setbreak so we had little more space to dance for set 2. Everyone's party favors kicked in and Phish provided an appropriate accompanying soundtrack. Thumping and pumping opener with Sand, followed by a much tighter version of Birds (versus the abortion in SB1). Even the slow songs were well inserted because sometimes Trey kills momentum by calling a ballad or slow tune that sucks the life out of the room. Yet, Waiting All Night popped up at the right moment and it's been growing on me.
Then came the Ghost that I told all my friends about. I missed the slow, plodding intros of 1.0 Ghosts. Those days are dunzo. But this Ghost started off awkward. Mike Hamad clued us in that they were playing in the wrong key... which is par for the course these days with Ghost. They finally corrected the ship a few minutes in and then it was blastoff time. The last 10 minutes of Ghost is why I chase Phish around everywhere, but they can't get to those moments without some deep-space exploration. They dove into the cosmic abyss and pulled out some fun-psychedelic-astral jams. Ghost works when the entire band wants to play it and not just Trey forcing it on the other three guys (e.g. SB1 and Mann1). Definitely the highwater mark of the show and perhaps all of tour.
Bug is the band poking fun at themselves. Trey might forget sometimes, but at that moment they were self-aware and acknowledged that they are indeed overrated yet cashing their paychecks anyway. But we love them anyway despite their flaws and underachievements.
Seven Below delivered the goods. I forgot what song they were playing, which is always a good sign that the boys have taken the road less traveled. The 7-jam out was neck-and-neck with Ghost but I have not re-listened to it yet.
I love Fish hijinks accented by vac solos. Trey jumped on his kit, which meant that Gordo was the only member of the band not to play drums last night.
Short and sweet Chalkdust was a speed demon. We have been getting monstrous Chalks since it's taken on the role as a set 2 jam vehicle, but I kinda liked the old-school Chalkdust. Viable short cut to injecting much-needed energy into the crowd.
2001 was all echo. Man, if you were tripping balls and having auditory hallucinations, then you were in for a treat. One of the most joyous reactions to 2001 I have experienced in a long time. Felt like a sweaty orgy and the entire crowd was dancing, grooving, and getting down. Raver Phish. Even the stripper-burner girl was humping the floor. It might not translate well onto tape, but you cannot replicate the volcanic energy of being in the middle of the Monday night dance party versus rocking it out n couchtour.
Slave is my favorite song and thought I'd get it in LA or Chula Vista. But Slave always tickles my soul, even though the ending was rushed. But Slave really was the cherry on top of the Phish sundae. Any time Phish plays Slave, I consider it a good show.
The SF Giants are one win away from winning the World Series and Trey never passes up a chance to pander to the crowd so for the encore they busted out an instrumental rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Winterqueen was played for the folks who made the sign. Luckily, we got a Beatles cover to beef up the encore. I expected a big cover to end the show (like Loving Cup or GTBT), but A Day in the Life delivered.
Nearly sprinted out of the show into the cool San Francisco streets where the balloon mongers were waiting. One of the mafia capos was screaming "Pump it! Pump it!" That's how I felt about Phish all night. They were pumping it all night. I usually wait a day or so to let a show sink in before I can determine it's significance, but Sean and I were in agreement... SF BGCA1 was the best show this tour (albeit a 7-show sample). This bodes well with 2 more shows in SF and Vegas Halloween looming. Alas, as Fink put it best... we all know what Phish is capable of doing yet they still have not brought the heat. For whatever reason, they are holding back. Hoping that Monday night in SF was a large leap forward.
Quick links: 2014 Fall Tour Setlists (ALL)
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Phish headed south to Chula Vista (outside of San Diego) for a Saturday night throwdown and last show in SoCal before they embark on three-night runs in SF and Vegas.
Here's the setlist...
Phish 10/25/14 Chula Vista, CA, Sleep Train Ampitheatre
Set 1: Devotion, AC/DC Bag, My Sweet One , MOMA, Halleys, Funky Bitch,Wolfmans, Destiny Unbound, Timber, Tela, Wingsuit
Set 2: Free, Golden Age > Jibboo, Carini > Piper > Caspian > Tweezer > Rock & Roll > YEM
E: Suzy, Tweeprise
* Poster by LandLand
Friday, October 24, 2014
Phish returned to the re-vamped L.A. Forum. They last played there on Valentine's Day in 2003. Kinda cool to see Phish play in the same venue as all those magical Lakers teams from the 1980s. Wonder if Magic Johnson will sit in for Lawn Boy? Maybe Beiber returns?
Pseudo-hometown show for us, since our west coast base is in Los Angeles. We're expecting both Tube and Slave.
Follow @CoventryMusic on Twitter for lot prices and random updates
The Friday night setlist....
Phish Setlist, 10/24/14 L.A. Forum, Los Angeles, CA
Set 1: 46 Days, Tube, Train Song, Ghost, Sparkle, Sample in a Jar, Divided Sky, The Line, It's Ice, Kill Devil Falls, Bathtub Gin
Set 2: 555, Backwards Down the Number Line, Down With Disease > Fuego > Twist, Bouncin', David Bowie, Character Zero
E: Harry Hood, Grind
* poster by Jeff Soto