Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Coventry's Weekly Round Up: Phish Fall Tour, Avett Brothers Recaps, You Enjoy My Mix, and Phishy Videos
Mixes:That's it for now.
You Enjoy My Summer 2010 Mix by Hal Masa
Background Beats - August Edition by Jonas
Live Bait, Vol. 1 by Phish
News & Rumors:
Phish Fall Tour Dates Announced
Charity Auction for Shawn
Jimmy Herring to Leave Widespread Panic?
Born on the Wrong Planet Plates Stolen
Weekapaug Groove - Jones Beach
Trey and Billy Late Night Telluride Condo Jam
46 Days > Tube - Greek Theatre
Gotta Jibboo - Alpharetta
Starwberry's Avett Brothers Recaps:
8/19/2010 - "This night's too good we gotta take it slow, you know?"
8/20/2010 - "We love you, too! Love of course, is not to be ignored."
8/21/2010 - "A final hug before we part!"
Pauly's Phish Summer Tour Recaps:
Mellow Thursday (Berkeley, CA)
Friday Rager (Berkeley, CA)
The Invasion (Telluride, CO)
Redemption and Make-Up Sex (Deer Creek, IN)
Phish Recovers from Hangover; Smokes the Shit Out of Deer Creek (Deer Creek, IN)
The Circus Comes to Wisconsin (Alpine Valley, WI)
The Mothership Returns (Alpine Valley, WI)
It's No Easy Road (Jones Beach, NY)
The Last Grope (Jones Beach, NY)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Last October the LOST/Phish tshirts went international when I shipped a shirt to Tokyo. Turns out Hal Masa from Tokyo not only has some great taste in tshirts, but also knows how to use a mixer. I got an email from him the other day with these mixes attached. They are nothing but bad ass jams from summer 2010 and flow seamlessly. The mixes are in 1 big track, here is a guide:
Sand Jam (8/9 Telluride #1) >
Cities/Berkeley Jam (8/6 Greek #2) >
Tweezer Jam (7/3 Alpharetta #1) >
Gotta Jibboo Jam (8/12 Deer Creek #1) >
Bathtub Jin Jam (8/12 Deer Creek #1) >
Ghost Jam (6/27 Merriweather #2) >
Wolfman's Brotha Jam (6/11 Toyota Park) >
Boogie On Reggae Woman Jam (7/1 Raleigh) >
Chalk Dust Torture Jam (6/25 Camden #2) >
Light Jam (8/7 Greek #3) >
Bowie Jam(6/24 Camden #1)
Download You Enjoy My Summer 2010 Mix Chapter 1
Weekapaug (CMAC 6/29/10)>
Carini Mothership jam (Telluride #2 8/10/10) >
2001 ~Michael Jackson~ (Camden #2 6/25/10)>
Simple Jam (Greek #2 8/6/10)>
Reba Jam (Alpine #1 8/14/10)>
Hood Jam (Greek #3 8/7/2010)>
YEM Jam (Charlotte 7/2/2010)>
Split Open and Melt Jam (Camden #2 6/25/10)
Download You Enjoy My Summer 2010 Mix Chapter 3
About the artwork, created by Masa: "鱸 means "Summer Fish" > Phish Summer 夏 means "Summer" 旅 means "Tour"
Masa shares a little about himself:
"I'm a DEADHEAD for many years, of course I'm a Phish Phan, and also I am the Captain of BISCO Local Crew Tokyo. I have a wife (she is pregnant with twins! Will be born in April of next year) and 3yrs-old loving son. Summer of '09 was a great summer for me. Bisco Ogden > BISCO INFERNO Red Rocks > Jones Beach #1 > Bisco Lupo's > Jones Beach #2 > Jones Beach #3 > Fuji Rock Festival. Check out the "Encore Break" from Lupo's- Brownie mentions me."
Be on the lookout for 2 more mixes coming soon. Enjoy! And thanks Masa!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Here's what Row Jimmy at Row Knows wrote...
Two weeks ago, en route to the Telluride Phish shows a friend of mine and many in the Phish community Shawn (aka whyweigh, aka liquidgoggles) was in a terrible car accident that has left him with a broken neck, pelvis and hand. No one else was seriously hurt but shawn is in a Denver hospital far from his home near Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, this is not Shawn’s first brush with serious medicinal issues, back in 2003 he was diagnosed with Relapsing Polychondritis, a condition that he continues to deal with today, and which is probably at least partly responsible for the severity of his injuries sustained in this crash, due to brittle bones caused by side-effects of high doses of prednisone.Do what you can. Spread the word.
I’ve met Shawn at some shows and have known him for years now. He’s as nice a person as you’d hope to meet and very generous to the community. Several times last year I featured his photographs here on rowjimmy.com (and we’re doing so again today) and now I’m hoping that I can use this site to spread the word.
Two of the online communities that Shawn frequents have come together to raise funds to assist Shawn with expenses as well as to supply him with internet access as his laptop was destroyed in the crash and, due to his injuries, he is mostly stuck in bed. As a joint effort between members at phishposters.com and week4paug.net, a series of Phish-related posters (more than one Pollock!) have been donated to be auctioned for Shawn’s benefit. More posters should be going up later this week, so keep checking back. All funds from these sales will be going to Shawn.
Check out the auctions here.
If you aren’t into collecting Phish posters but would like to pitch in, head over to paypal and send what you can to whyweighfundraiser AT gmail.com. And, even if you can’t help out with a few bucks, please, spread the word.
Susie Q and I had a fantastically wonderful time gallivanting around Myrtle Beach: we hit up the shoreline, drew Avett-love sand art, took some goofy pictures, and then checked out the local outlets.
Now, you are probably asking, why didn't we speak to him further, get a picture, say, "We love you!", or ask for an autograph? Well, the answer is quite simple actually - They already hold a special place in our hearts as dear friends. Why do we need to fawn over our boys when we already know them? They give us so much of themselves; their passion for life and genuineness do not go unnoticed. They are just people, having life experiences as we all are, trying to make the best of this crazy place, and doin' it full of love!
Before we knew it, Susie Q and I were back in the line awaiting entry. Saturday's line was definitely the longest, extending all the way around the side of the venue and behind it, too! We listened to the banter from other fans, decided to start a variety of "counts" and giggled at people's stories of knowing the band "before they got big".
We were lucky to snag just the perfect spot for the show, as we had the previous nights. Susie Q got in the merch line and picked up an adorable shirt for her 4-year old son. I, of course, was chatting with more fans. Pretty soon a large group corralled right below the rail where I was standing. They were a group of 30-somethings, mostly coupled off, from a small rural town in South Carolina that I can't recall the name of. They had been in the sun all day, drinkin', and were slamming '5-Hour Energy' shots. Ross, one of the overly friendly chatty guys, deemed Susie Q and I "his girls" because we offered to let his wife stand up on the rail next to us so she could see. They were nice folks and just at the show to have a good time.
The crowd was getting anxious and ready to see what the boys would bring on their final night! Ms. Mayfield took the stage and everyone cheered as Scott Avett and Joe Kwon appeared mid-way through her act to perform For Today with the band. What a treat!
I thought the boys would come out sooner so that they would have time to play a longer set but they appeared right on schedule. They were LOUD and let THEIR COLORS SHOW!
Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise
I Killed Sally's Lover
Pretty Girl From Cedar Lane
My Last Song To Jenny
Pretty Girl From Annapolis > Is This Love > Pretty Girl From Annapolis *
Die Than Grow
Pretty Girl At the Airport
Will You Return
Late In Life
Slight Figure of Speech
I and Love and You
The Traveling Song
Murder In The City
And It Spread
Pretty Girl From Chili **
E) Kick Drum Heart, If It's the Beaches
* Is This Love - Bob Marley
** Serious rockin' out and head banging
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I am making the trek out to Burning Man for the first time this year. I am going with some like minded friends I met on Jam Cruise.
I was excited to find this .pdf of the 2010 Burning Man Music Guide. Not that I will be wearing a watch, but I thought it was nice to have a general idea of when and where certain DJs will be playing.
If you are making the trek out to the playa, I hope we run into each other. I'll be sporting my trademark disco ball helmet and dancing to sunrise each night. I will be sure to report on my experience when I return to "normal" life the week of Sept 6.
Phish kicks off their 2010 Fall Tour on October 10th with a three-night stand in Broomfield, CO and wraps with three shows on October 29th, 30th and 31st at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ (including a very special Halloween show). Stops along the way include Amherst, Charleston, Utica, Providence, Manchester and Augusta. Phish will also headline the sold-out Austin City Limits Festival on Friday, October 8th.
A limited number of tickets are available directly through Phish Tickets' online ticketing system at http://phish.portals.musictoday.com/. The ticketing request period is currently underway and will end Friday, September 3rd, at Noon Eastern time.
Tickets go on sale to the public beginning Friday, September 10th at 10am ET, followed by more public onsales on Saturday, September 11th. For complete ticketing info, please visit www.phish.com.
For the first time, included in the ticket price for each specific date, is a free MP3 download of the entire show (a fully mixed soundboard recording), redeemable at LivePhish.com, often within a hour of the band stepping off stage.
PHISH 2010 FALL TOURDATES
10/08 - Austin City Limits Festival, Austin, TX - SOLD OUT
10/10 - 1STBANK Center, Broomfield, CO
10/11 - 1STBANK Center, Broomfield, CO
10/12 - 1STBANK Center, Broomfield, CO
10/15 - North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, SC
10/16 - North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, SC
10/19 - Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, ME
10/20 - Utica Memorial Auditorium, Utica, NY
10/22 - Dunkin Donuts Center, Providence, RI
10/23 - Mullins Center, Amherst, MA
10/24 - Mullins Center, Amherst, MA
10/26 - Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH
10/29 - Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ
10/30 - Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ
10/31 - Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ
Friends of my friend in Washington State have had personalized "BOTWP" (SCI reference to the song Born on The Wrong Planet) plates on their car for years. They are really good people and obviously big fans of the String Cheese Incident.
The BOTWP plates were a bit of a freak flag for otherwise "straight" looking hippies. They loved pulling into parties or shows with those plates. It was fun driving in their car and getting the occasional thumbs up from a passer by.
Anyway, some "fan" stole their front plate while the vehicle was parked at Horning's Hideout. It is likely the thief didn't really consider the consequences of nabbing the plate- they probably thought it would just be a cool souvenir from an amazing weekend in Oregon.
Unfortunately, due to Washington State regulations, the original owners now have to forfeit their plates. No getting around it- they have tried.
I get why someone would think this is okay, but it's not. The only reason someone would be able to take these plates would be if they were an actual alien visiting earth, which is possible I suppose. If you happen to know the human who left Hornings Hideout with this plate, would you please let them know that they screwed over a couple of really good people? If they would be willing to return the plate, I am sure we can come up with some incentive.
If you can help in this matter, please email at scubacon at hotmail dot com.
Monday, August 23, 2010
After lunch with my buddy, Steve, at a groovy little sushi joint, I headed over to the Super 8 to see if I could get an early check-in. The hotey was quite close to the venue and had a Huddle House attached to it. The woman at the front desk was warm and very friendly, "Let's go ahead and get you moved in, honey", she said with a southern draw. I then received a hot fuchsia pink armband to wear as an indicator that I was a guest at their Super 8. "We had limos and carloads of people comin' in after the Widespread Panic show a few months ago and like 20 people to a room, we just can't do that anymore," Ms. Super 8 said as she fastened the armband.
I was marked.
As I was unloading my stuff, I happened to recognize a few people I had seen the night before. They were members of the opening band. I noticed the bassist's hair in the sun - yep, a ginger! Just the first of a few others I happened to see throughout the weekend. I also met a cute young couple from North Carolina who were looking for tickets. I advised they get to the venue early and they'd find some. I thought of the Joker and how he always says to have faith and you will get a ticket so I passed that onto my new friends as well.
Susie Q arrived around 4:30 or so and we both squealed with excitement! We headed on down to the venue and decided to eat at the House of Blues diner. I was sportin' the twirly skirt that Discosis1 passed onto me. It has the phases of the moon on it and I got a lot of compliments from the ladies.
While we were having dinner the sky opened up and unleashed the fury! Tons of people scattered and a few kids even remained in line despite the tsunami. Getting completely soaked for the sake of being close to their favorite band was a small price for these fans to pay. During all of this, I ran into the couple I had met a few hours earlier at the hotey. They were still in need of tickets and started to get worried that they weren't going to get in. I told them I'd keep my eyes out and no more than a few moments later was I approached by a man selling 2 tickets. I told him to check with the couple as I pointed them out. SCORE! My new friends obtained tickets! The man came back over and gave me a $5 tip, to which I then turned around and handed back to the couple. They were happy, to say the least, and I got a huge hug from them both.
After the rain settled, Susie Q and I got in line and the waiting began...again.
Once inside, we secured another great spot, elevated so we could see the stage straight on. Susie Q ordered a cocktail and I ordered my Shirley Temple. The lights went out and Jessica Lea Mayfield and her band took the stage again around 8:00. Susie Q leaned close to me and said, "They sound very much like Mazzy Star." Spot on description. By Friday night, the band began to grow on me and I decided that when I got home, it wouldn't hurt to check out their album.
And It Spread
Pretty Girl From Cedar Lane
Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise
Ten Thousand Words *
Denouncing November Blue
Will You Return
Ill With Want
Backwards With Time
Down With the Shine
Slight Figure of Speech
Murder in the City
Talk On Indolence **
Kick Drum Heart
Living of Love
I and Love and You
E) Incomplete and Insecure,
That's How I Got to Memphis (played by sign request from a fan), Laundry Room
* Bob Crawford on the mandolin
** Scott crowd surfed!
We felt it and gave it back tenfold!
I was extremely overwhelmed (in a good way) by the end of the night. Did I really just see Scott jump into the crowd, not once, but twice during Talk On Indolence?
Susie Q and I were tuckered out.
"I am so tired and feel so good. I feel like I just had sex for like, 5 hours." Susie Q stated in the car ride home.
Indeed, and I was ready for round 3.
"Phish: Live Bait Vol. 01," a ten-track Phish Summer sampler, is available for download now at LivePhish.com... for free.
Phish is giving away "Phish: Live Bait Vol. 01" fresh off Summer Tour, as a thank you for fans' continued support. Share it with your friends, pass the link around, trade the MP3s freely. The tracks were cherry-picked from the band's first leg of their recently completed Summer Tour, and are fully mixed soundboards from LivePhish.com.
Click here to stream "Phish: Live Bait Vol. 01" now or download MP3s - absolutely free.
Phish: Live Bait Vol. 01 Tracklisting:
1. Alumni Blues > Letter To Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues
2. Backwards Down The Number Line
3. Swept Away > Steep
4. Gumbo >
5. My Sweet One
6. Kill Devil Falls
7. Tweezer >
8. Slave To The Traffic Light
9. Show Of Life
10. Tweezer Reprise
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I got a text from JW from Colorado last night. Out of all of my friends, he's the biggest Spreadhead that I know. He sent me a text last night suggesting that Jimmy Herring is quitting Widespread Panic...
"Clusterfuck at Brown Cat. Panic fired guitar and drum tech. Jimmy went off the hook. NYE is looking like the last. Sam Holt as poss (sic) replacement."I checked the boards and this is the only PT thread I found... Jimmy Leaving the Band.
I have to admit, that when Phish was dunzo, Panic picked up the slack for me. If Trey Band was methadone for my Phish withdrawal, then Panic was me getting sloppy on whiskey and coke. I haven't seen too many Panic shows since Phish returned, but if Jimmy Herring is no longer in the mix, I dunno if I can get pumped about seeing them again...
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
To put it simply, the show was incredible. We were all completely blown away. It was one of the best small shows I have seen all year. I loved Moore's vocals and the music was an original yet familiar rock/folk sound. There were moments of incredible guitar and keyboard work as well. Surprise Me Mr. Davis is officially my favorite new band (to me). Im going to download all of their stuff and also check out Nathan Moore's stuff. If you are in Breckenridge tonight don't miss them playing at 320 South.
Listen to music on their MySpace page.
Check out a video from last year to give you an idea of the sound:
What a great adventure I'm on; a special treat for myself!
My trip up from Florida was nice; uneventful and smooth. I took my time and even stopped once I crossed into South Carolina at a rest stop and had a little picnic. In the words of Broseph, Queen Victoria was "clutch" and got me safely to my destination.
I decided to go directly to the House of Blues and check it out and possibly get my tickets and commemorative lanyard if the box office was open. I got a sweet parking spot and walked in. There were already people in line with their tickets waiting for the doors to open and it was only 4:30; doors were at 7:00. The woman at the window was super friendly and even let me bring in my bath stuff to freshen up after my 8 hour drive.
I was getting pumped!
My friends Steve and Lisa met me at the venue and we exchanged big hugs! They are from Ocala and have lived in Myrtle Beach for a few years now. Steve is planning on checking the boys out with me Saturday night. We went and had a bite to eat and wandered around a few shops nearby before they dropped me back off at the door.
By the time I got in line, it was all the way around the side of the building. I really didn't mind too much because I just wanted to enjoy the music; I wasn't geeking out about getting in the front row. Of course I made a few friends in line and one couple was personal friends with the boys. The lady, a cute curly ginger named Dixie from outside of Raleigh, was telling me about how they performed a few years ago at her sister's birthday party. Her husband was chuckling saying, "Yeah and Adam, their sound guy is taking Dixie's brother-in-law fishin' tomorrow." I smiled.
The line moved rather quickly, I chatted with some more people, one lady complemented my tattoo as our tickets were being scanned, and before I knew it, I was inside. I wandered around for a bit scoping out a perfect spot for me to enjoy the evening. I had only been to the House of Blues in Orlando and the layout was the same inside. I decided on standing against a rail, directly in front of the stage near the back right bar. I stood next to 2 nice women who were fortunate enough to grab stools. One of the ladies was here with her son, who she pointed at down front near the stage, "He's an Avett fanatic and this is his last show before he starts back at college." I thought that was cool of her to come with her son and it turned out the woman next to her was her daughter. At the same time, I turned and recognized the woman from the line who complemented my tat and she said, "Don't think I'm stalking you or anything," and I laughed. She asked if she and her husband could stand next to me and I said sure. They were a nice couple, Carissa and Dave. I had one of Joker's Coventry cards left in my wallet and passed it on to them and told them to drop by our site! (HI guys!) Dave was a huge fan and even stated the "teenage girl" in him may cause him to run down to the front of the stage at some point....I told him to go for it!
Carissa offered to hold down my spot as I went back to pick up the "event t-shirt". The tee totally reminded me of an old 1989 Spring Break air brushed shirt you would find at any beach tourist shop, so much so that when I got to the front of the line, I asked for the shirt just as such and got a huge grin and hearty laugh from the dude working the table.
Then the waiting began. The joint was fillin' up, lots of younger kids, A LOT of plaid shirts, beards and bandannas. The pre-show music included Alice In Chains and Rodrigo Y Gabriela, to which everyone was clapping and stomping their feet. A few more people piled in next to us, including a mother and her 7-year old son who was attending his first Avett show. He had some ear plugs in and I leaned down to ask what his favorite song was and he said Kick Drum Heart.
At 8:00 p.m. the opening act came on stage, Jessica Lea Mayfield, with her band. Carissa and Dave pre-warned me stating they saw her open for the boys at another show recently and that her music made them want to "slit their wrists." I thought their description may have been a tad exaggerated because what I had heard and seen of Ms. Mayfield was that she was a folksy chick just strummin' her guitar. Well, I didn't want to "slit my wrists" per say but I did jot down, "heroin chic", very "indie fabulous" and mellow. Some of it actually reminded me of The Velvet Underground. I enjoyed it but their music brought a super different vibe than the rest of the night. The crowd was stirring about and she even hushed everyone stating, "Y'all are rowdy tonight." She performed one song I knew, For Today, which the crowd recognized as well because The Avetts have covered it.
At last, around 9:00 p.m. my beloveds took the stage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Immediately, I put my hand to my chest and felt the intense pulsating beat of my heart. A huge grin was plastered on my face and I was leaning forward against the rail as if to stop me from flying up and forward! Everyone went crazy, the energy was so HIGH! The whole building came alive as every single person joined in on a sing-a-long. I did have a fleeting thought that Seth Avett needed to eat a cheeseburger; he looked skinnier than usual. AH! I was in Heaven.
Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise
Pretty Girl From Raleigh
The Ballad of Love and Hate
Kick Drum Heart >
Tear Down The House
Die, Die, Die
Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms *
I and Love and You
And It Spread
The Perfect Space
E) Go To Sleep
* A cover of a traditional bluegrass song
All of sudden, I noticed a new figure on stage for Tin Man. Who is this tall, slender dude with a tan cowboy hat sitting at the drums?! I was enamored!!!! Later on in the show, Scott Avett announced Mr. Jacob Edwards as the newest addition to their band, stating he was 26 years old and 5 months ago today marked the first time Jacob had ever smiled! Scott then walked back towards Jacob and came back to the front of the stage and said, "Oh, he's 25 not 26," to which the ladies just whooped and hollered.
Personal highlights included The Ballad of Love and Hate, Colorshow, And It Spread, and Kick Drum Heart segueing into Matrimony. I, of course, enjoyed the banter between the brothers, some dueling of instruments during Pretty Girl From Raleigh, a comment about rockin' so hard, Seth lost his belt and having to slow down the music because they were just havin' too much fun!
Today, my friend is coming in from Charlotte, NC to go to tonight and tomorrow night's show with me. She has never seen them perform and man is she in for a treat. I'm glad I get to share in this experience with her.
In the words of Dr. Pauly, "1 night down; 2 to go."
In case you missed the Wook Patrol podcast, here are the episodes that the Joker and I recorded at the Greek and in Telluride. Special guests include Jonas, Wildo, and Benjo.
Episode 15: The Greek: Cows and Discoball Hemlets (1:14) - The Pauly and the Joker return with a post-show episode. They chat about the Joker's encounter with the cow people while he and Carrie were rocking the Disco Ball helmets.Thanks for listening to Coventry's podcast The Wook Patrol. To listen to older episodes from Horning's and Phish summer tour Part I, then visit the Wook Patrol archives.
Episode 16: The Greek: Wook Patrol Update (1:34) with Benjo - Pauly asks Benjo to give him the run down on the wook trying to jump the fence in the back of the Greek, and the cops who were busting them.
Episode 17: The Greek: Setbreak Convo with Benjo - Pauly and Benjo chat during setbreak of the Saturday Greek show. Pauly quizzes Benjo about the funny snippets of conversations he's heard around him while waiting in line.
Episode 18: Telluride: The After-Party with Wildo - Pauly and Wildo survey the bizarre, yet heady scene at the Coventry crew's post-Phish after-party that the Joker hosted in his condo.
Episode 19: Telluride: No Wooks, No Tour Dogs - When it started getting late at the after-party at the condo, the Joker went on an aggressive patrol and encountered a wook trying to enter the party with a tour dog. The Joker was not going to have any of that. Listen in as the Joker explains to Pauly what happened.Episode 20: Telluride: The Ganjala - The Joker tells Pauly about his ride on the Gondola, which the locals refer to as "the Ganjala." The Joker ran into the only non-herb friendly person in all of Telluride. Hilarity ensues.
Episode 21: Telluride: Late Night Patrol with Jonas and Wildo - Party crashers were the biggest concern for the mellow Tuesday after-party. The Wook Patrol was prepped. Pauly discusses the new security set up with Wildo and Jonas.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
With the end of Phish summer tour and the festival season winding down, I wanted to take a moment to extend a few THANK YOUs.
First of all, I think Dr. Pauly deserves an enormous round of internet applause and appreciation for keeping us up to date with the recaps of Phish shows and diligently updating Coventry's twitter feed. Pauly does this all for the love of writing and music. Even when I am by his side at a show I always look forward to reading his thoughts and takeaways from the shows. Amazing job Pauly!
Second, thanks for being part of our blog and community. Thanks for reading Coventry. I was blown away at how many of you I got to meet on tour this summer, and ALL of you are very good and positive people. I can honestly say that we must have the coolest and most genuine readership on the planet.
Third, 2010 has been the best year of my life in many ways. I could never have done it without my friends. I feel like things are only getting better, and I am fortunate to have such a rockstar family. A special thanks to Jonas, Katie, Wildo, Change100, Benjo, Strawberry Shortcake, DiscoSis1, Broseph, Uncle Ted, Andrew, GRob, Carrie, Lord Farquha, Gavin, Fink, Meesh, Mr. and Mrs. Beal, Ritzer, JT and of course Pauly for lending a hand when I needed it this summer. I love each and every one of you. Thank You.
"Where does all this molly come from?" asked a curious friend.
"The aliens obviously," I blurted out before I realized that I unwittingly revealed an untold secret. It's been urban legend in the lot since the Year of the Funk -- that an elite group of aliens, aka the Moon Wooks, are the ones responsible for the manufacturing, processing, and distribution of the beloved molecule.
I said too much and glanced over my shoulder to make sure no galactic agents were on my tail. I quickly changed the subject... "Oooh! look at the pretty rainbow!"
If you don't believe in life on other planets and never smoked enough DMT to see the aliens, then you might be skeptical of the link between Phish, life from other galaxies, and the vortex of energy released by 2012. However, if you caught a couple of Phish shows this summer, then you probably saw many extraterrestrial references sprinkled throughout the show. Chris Kuroda's lighting display is the most obvious indication that something not-of-this-world is going on, and that the music Phish performs is indirectly involved in communicating with the beings occupying the celestial heavens. Trey didn't hide his agenda when was noodling the notes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind during the Alpine Valley Piper. No coincidence that strange lights lit of the Wisconsin sky on the same night with hundreds of unidentified flying objects reports flooded 9-1-1.
Phish completed their second leg of summer tour, 11 shows in all spread out coast to coast over 14 days with a mere three travel days in between. You could not have done this tour in a vehicle. You needed a spacecraft or enough cash to fly to a few shows. If you did the entire tour in car, then you definitely earned your stripes. I have no clue how I was able to survive the entire tour considering I let it all hang out in Telluride when I actually had a conversation with myself when I said, "This is not such a bad place to die." That's when you peer into the darkened abyss, hear the never ending echo, then jump anyway. I was on vapors once Alpine Valley rolled around, and barely had any energy for the Jones Beach shows. But I dug deep and rallied. Phish is magical that way -- the love of the music makes you do things that make most Americans shake their heads in utter disgust. That's when I know I'm doing the right thing. As the anthem goes, "Can't I live while I'm young?"
I woke up on Bruce's couch in Brooklyn and rushed outside to re-park my car after being unable to find a proper spot at 2:30am a few hours earlier. I was five minutes late to the metered spot and penalized with a parking ticket and an annoying fluorescent green sanitation stickers that one of the surly douchenozzles in the Sanitation Department attached to one of the windows. I spent most of my morning scrapping off minuscule pieces of the sticker while humming Carini. The parking citation and the cleaning supplies I had to buy to remove the sticker are just more miscellaneous expenses that I incurred on summer Phish tour. I'm eventually going to write a book about my Phishy experiences spanning 200+ shows. I wonder if I can write off the ticket as a legit business expense?
I escaped the city and drove out to the Island with Bruce trying to beat the rush hour traffic, when I got a text from Jesse in the lot. He overheard the soundcheck and sent me a text: "You Can't Always Get What You Want." He also informed me that the rest of the soundcheck included Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe." So the boys are dicking around with the Stones, but where's my Torn and Frayed?
We drove up to the parking lots and heads wandered up and down the road with their index fingers pointed to the skies. When we pulled into the lot, we were greeted by hundreds of ticketless fans seeking out the toughest ticket on the tour since Telluride. Extras for tour closers are never easy. Alpine Valley's massive lawn meant that those shows were not sold out. Lawns to Deer Creek were available for face with some legwork. But I didn't see too many extras at the beach for either night. It was a hot ticket and fans stood at the entrance to the parking lot and praying for a miracle. Some held out cash ($20s will never suffice, you gotta flash a few Benjamins to get someone's attention) while few amateur artists whipped up snazzy signs hoping to catch someone's eye. A few hopeless heads scribbled their pitch with a sharpie on the back of an empty beer box. I doubt any of them got inside.
Upon my arrival in the lot, I attempted to repair the damage that the mini-flood had caused after the top of our cooler popped off on the drive to the show. A few inches of standing ice water in the trunk had seeped into the floorboards. At least Bruce's beers was still cold. I went to work selling the last of the Dharma patches, while Bruce had leftover t-shirts that he designed from 2004 summer tour. I can't believe we both still had stuff left over. I wandered through densely packed Shakedown and unloaded the last of the patches. Bruce traded for a Led Zeppelin shirt. Significantly more illicit wares were being hawked than food stuffs. The thirty-yard stretch of parking lot transformed into a bazaar of dope pushers dangling old-fashioned rolls, overpriced and under-weighed grams of molly, dried-out headies, and shrooms. It was a virtual fire sale of all products because it's the end of tour. Every other person who whispered the druggie passwords to me were sketched out -- either a tough-guy shyster, shady informant, undercover officer, and/or tweaker. I got a mixed vibe from the lot on Wednesday. It was a festive yet tense scene with state police busting random tards for being stupid. Sometimes I wonder how many people show up just for the party favors?
I made my way to the other side of the lot, where Phan Art had set up shop for an "everything must go" sale on all of his posters and t-shirts. I ran into the Phishy Twitter Mafia including a few familiar faces (UNOolker and Mountain Laura) slinging beers to help pay for tour. The Dharma patches don't really fund my adventures. That's why you have to buy my book, Lost Vegas. Anyway, I also ran into a few familiar names in the twitterverse that I was meeting for the first time IRL: EricWyman, AdamIcculus, tmwsiy, and TenaciousTJ. Even though we've been raging at the same shows the last year or so -- we never actually got to meet prior to the Jones Beach lot. Ah, the magic of Twitter. And yes, those folks on Twitter are some good people. They were all asking about the Joker's disco ball helmet. That kid is a rock star.
Matt hooked me up with tickets to both nights and he arrived in time for a beer or two before we prepped for the potential wet show. Scattered showers were in the forecast as a light drizzle began around 7pm. Last summer, we experienced some of the worst weather I had ever seen on tour including the monsoon that struck Jones Beach. I brought my rain gear and an empty plastic baggie -- a safe and dry refuge for my CrackBerry if the skies opened up and pissed on us. My phone got toast last summer during the lightning barrage at Deer Creek. I vowed never to make a rookie mistake like that again.
It took several minutes and discussions with three different ushers to figure out where our seats were in 7L. Very confusing considering that I was having a second sober show in a row. Anything I had ingested in the weeks before was flushed out of my system, yet, I still struggled to make sense of the unusual seating arrangements. I wonder how spun out heads expected to find their seats under duress?
And that's when the rainbow appeared. Everyone hoisted their cellphone cameras while the guys behind us were mocking the now infamous YouTube video of the wook who discovered the double rainbow. And yes, for a while we got two rainbows. Supposedly there were rainbows at Jones Beach last year, which I don't recall. However, one rainbow that will always stand out for me happened during the 2000 Japan tour. It was the only outdoor show in Japan, located in Hibiya Park in Tokyo on an afternoon. It had been raining all day, but stopped before Phish took the stage in the first set. A rainbow appeared at the end of the second set. The locals called it "niji" as I quickly learned the Japanese word for rainbow. This rainbow appeared moments before the encore. The crowd went nuts because they don't get to see too many rainbows. As Phish re-took the stage, a few band members looked up to see what all the fuss was as they launched into a sensational Character Zero. The Niji Zero.
The (dual) rainbow over Jones Beach dissipated and the late-arriving crowd made their way into the theatre while a few Draconian security guards heavily policed the rows in front of us bouncing the few wook seat jumpers who invaded the section. We actually had row T or the last possible row in the first section off the floor. A small stone wall separated us from the walkway. As soon as the lights went down, a dozen people hopped up on the wall and danced to the Down with Disease opener.
I've been critical of the throw-away openers that's why I don't mind the standard Jim or Bag opener to shake off the rust and get the party started. The Telluride DWD opener was wasteful because everyone was too busy gawking at the surrounding mountains and snapping pictures rather than getting down and dirty. I prefer my DWD as a set 2 opener where they can open it up and let it rip. The Jones Beach show opener was by no means a throw-away; it was tight, powerful, and concise. It was definitely short, clocking in at eight minutes. I called it the "Hemingway of DWDs" in my notes.
A couple of cute Phishy chicks danced on the wall behind us and they happily joined in the sing-a-long for Sample in a Jar. The schwilly girl hovering over my right shoulder was out of tune, but she nailed the first verse. In a drunken howl, she butchered the second verse. Normally, singing incorrect lyrics out loud is a violation and warrants a wook ticket, but since she got a pass because she was adorable and braless.
The funny spastic leg dance in Guelah Papyrus always makes me chuckle. The heads with the cannonfetti were back in position along the rail and let the canon rip. Poor Heart gives me flashbacks of popping Picture of Nectar into my CD player in my fraternity house. The album came out in 1991, when I was starting college. I was still a few steps removed from methheads in the early 90s in the wake of the crack epidemic and on the cusp of the heroin-chic grunge era. We called song like Poor Heart "cocaine-bluegrass" in those days, but shit, these days Poor Heart is easily labeled as tweaker-bluegrass.
I wore my green ocelot shirt yesterday and waited a day to play my favorite song off the new album. They jammed out Ocelot longer than DWD and it's become a rare jamming vehicle in set 1s. I'm digging the slowed-down faded-start as Ocelot builds to a frenetic jam. Hey, any song about Oxy abuse is something I can wrap my mind around.
Chalkdust Torture wasn't anything out of the ordinary. As a thirty-something with a watchful eye on my 40s around the bend, I always shout along with "Can't I live while I'm young?" The older I get, the more that lyric gives me goosebumps. When we were chilling out at Iggy's baller suite in Indiana, someone in our group looked up my PT stats and noticed that I had seen at least four songs 50 times or more. Chalkdust topped the list.
I usually love "people watching" during Bathtub Gin and take note of everyone in my vicinity who is grooving and singing along during different intervals of the song. For this show, I focused on the lights. Never underestimate the importance of a single white light. Kuroda knows how transform something so basic into a showstopper.
Everyone knows I'm a funk guy and want to hear Tube at every show. I got three this tour and only expected to hear it once, so many thanks to Phish. Tube openers are fun (that definitely set the tone for the monumental Alpine Valley show), but openers don't get as funky as they can get cooking later in the set. In this instance, Tube was well-placed but we were served up a super-abbreviated version coming in at barely four minutes. What happened to the elongated stretched-out, dance your ass off, Tube-funk jam a la the historical Dayton show?
The guy next to me from Rochester was an old head and racked up most of his shows in the late 90s. He had never seen Destiny Unbound. "This is my first," he gleefully admitted with his jaw on the ground while dirty-dancing with his girlfriend. Shit, the boys only played it seven times in Phishtory. I missed the first one in 1990 (I was only 18), but I caught the bustout in 2003 at the Nassau show. I was there with my groovy friend Molly from Texas and she was only 8 when they first played Destiny. I missed the Fenway version last summer, but caught versions at the Gorge, Alpharetta, and in Telluride. I'm a lucky duck -- I witnessed five of the seven times Destiny got played. It gets better every time. The Jones Beach version was highlighted by Gordo's scintillating throw down on the bass during the purple pants/light jam. Seems as though whenever Gordo gives us a clinic, Kuroda illuminates the stage and crowd with purple lights.
Matt has an amazing ear and can pick up a Phish song before they even begin the first note. He had to piss for most of the first set, but since the boys were keeping up a frantic pace, he was unable to leave without any lulls. Alas, he knew Joy was coming before Trey plucked the first note and he hopped over the back wall and bolted down the stairs to the pisser. If I had to pee, it would have been a "Pauly Takes a Piss Song." Alas, this instance it was a "Matt Takes a Piss Song." I engaged in paraphernalia maintenance and putzed around with my one-hitter. I successfully cleaned out the congestion with a paper clip and the end of my shoelace. I smoked tough the rest of Joy and can't recall smoking more herb at a show that I did NOT see with DJ Ocean. When you see a show with DJ Ocean, you're in for a Cheech and Chong smokeout. He's constantly rolling blunts, packing finger hash on bowls, and puffing nonstop -- which means so are you if you're within in a ten foot radius. DJ Ocean was only at the Greek shows, but I was holding the torch for him at Jones Beach with my own version of a beachy smokeout.
"The Antelopes have been amazing this tour," said the guy next to me as the boys invigorated the somnolent crowd after being put to sleep with Joy.
I caught four versions of Antelope this summer and they all passed the litmus test. The Tellur-a-lope was epic until I was floored by the intricately layered Alpine-a-lope. The Beach-a-lope was a bit formulaic but until the monster crescendo. Trey gave a shout out to "Mike-O Esquandoles." Antelope ended the 76 minute set. I vaguely recall last summer's Ghost-a-lope being one of the standouts from the Jones Beach run.
A scary scene unfolded during setbreak. Within moments of the house lights coming up, everyone was turned around and looking at the far section on Fishman side. Whispers flew around that apparently someone fell off the upper deck at the end of Antelope. Security and paramedics carrying a stretcher raced down the walkway behind me. The crew from This Week on the Lot found out from a security guard that supposedly the guy jumped from the upper deck. The guy next to me told his girlfriend not to look. In one way, it's natural to rubberneck at horrific accidents, however, no one wants to ruin a good buzz by focusing in on the stupidity of others. Who knows what happened for sure, but when in doubt, you should always follow my basic principles for drug/psychedelic usage...
Dr. Pauly's Rules of Tripping:If you stick to those rules in life, you should have a safe show/trip.
1. No one knows you are tripping until you actually tell them.
2. It's cold outside -- bring a hoodie.
3. No matter what you think, you CANNOT fly.
The guy was alive and got carried out on a stretcher, as the crowd gave him a warm applause. Just before the second set began, someone launched fireworks in the lot as Phish unleashed a hard-rocking Axilla set 2 opener, which came out of left field. During setbreak, Matt and I joked around about the impending setlist: Tweezer opener with Light up second not to mention 46 Days and a YEM wedged in there. Light has become the consummate "second set second song" jamming vehicle. In this instance, the coaches bumped Light down in the batting order. Whoever bats third in baseball is the best hitter... and that distinction went to Light for the tour closer. The second song was Timber Ho or as the guy from Boston in front of me pronounced "Tim-baaaaaaaaaaaaah Ho!" It was a quickie and Phish opted to wait until Light to let loose and drag us down the rabbit hole.
Kuroda's cones and funnels of light during Light were tripping me out -- and I was sober. I'm not that much of a fan of the first few minutes of Light, but as soon as they are done with the semi-ghey lyrics, I hitched up my belt and prepped for a mental journey. The Light jam at the Gorge is still one of my favorites in the 3.0 era (along with the Albany Seven Below > Ghost). The pulsating UFO ring of lights returned, a hearty reminder that the Mothership was due to pick up all of the freaks, spacekids, and other curious souls after the show. The jam morphed into a helicopter jam with blades/propeller-type bluish lights whipping around. The seg wasn't pretty as they hobbled into 46 Days. I was impressed with the Berkeley version as 46 Days has become a go-to song for some heavy lifting. I'm digging how they stretched out and explored different corners of the universe with 46. They eventually headed into murky territory as a veil of darkness descended upon us with a transition into My Friend My Friend. As per usual, it was a haunting, spooky, cooky version. I circled it in my notes, so it must have really struck a nerve.
Gordo tore it up with a bong-rattling bass intro to Hood. Most of the jam was soothing as they down-shifted a gear before revving it back up. Tweezer was a surprise because I never thought they'd toss it into the mix at the end of the second set. The UFO lights returned during yet another attempt at contacting the Mothership. The Close Encounter lights flashed continuously and I finally figured out those were signals to the aliens in the crowd to pack up their mobile molly labs and head to lot 3 after the show for immediate extraction. Yeah, the aliens have been cooking up batches of molly all summer in the back of a beat-up RV.
I had mixed emotions about Horse > Silent in the Morning, but they won me over by the end of Silent. YEM ended the set. Not as incendiary as Alpine or as funkified as Telluride, but they brought a beachy version of the heat. The vocal jam no longer features those white lights twirling around which often made me nauseous. Kuroda has been going to the UFO lights all tour. He's in on the conspiracy. If you're a fan of the X-Files, then Kuroda is the proverbial "Cigarette Smoking Man."
I have a theory about the vocal jam out of YEM -- Phish pre-records excerpts and embeds subliminal messages. No wonder why we're so hooked, because the band has been brainwashing us for years. To go a step further, the CIA or other alphabet intelligence agencies are also using the Phish's YEM vocal jam as a weapon of mass destruction to program us. I have no idea what their messages are, but we'll soon find out. And lastly, most of the aliens speak Mayan, so I'm fairly certain a few Mayan chants are often included in the vocal jam to pay homage to the ETs who fly the friendly skies above Phish shows.
The encore was predictable Suzy Greenberg > Tweeprize. The Suzy funk jam at Berkeley still holds up as one of my favorite bits from this tour. Trey was jumping up and down as per usual at the end of Tweeprise, and that song is fucking loud. They really crank it up to end the show... and the tour.
And just like that, the fab four took a bow and exited the stage. They rushed to their individual tour buses and got the fuck out of dodge. The rest of us wandered out into the lots gossiping about the stops on fall tour. Phish achieved the most basic rule in show business -- leave the audience wanting more. I dunno about you, but I can't wait until the announcement about fall tour.
Yep, 11 shows and an entire tour in the books. This has been a remarkable run for me starting out in Berkeley and then being a part of the magical Telluride destination shows with Joker, Jonas and all of my Colorado crew, before the boys scorched the Earth in Deer Creek and Alpine Valley, before ending the tour with a double-dip at Jones Beach. Thanks to everyone who hooked me up with tickets (especially the Joker for Telluride, not to mention Kari for Alpine Valley #2 and Matt for both Jones Beach shows). And thanks to the folks who acted as designated drivers on a few nights including Mr. Fabulous, Iggy, and especially my girlfriend Nicky.
The party is over and the psychedelic circus has come to a close. Go home hippies and spacekids. See ya in a few months.
You can read my recap of Jones Beach #1: It's No Easy Road.
Also, Alpine Valley recaps are here: Night #1: The Circus Comes to Wisconsin and Night #2: The Return of the Mothership.
Deer Creek recaps: Night #1: Redemption and Make Up Sex and Night #2: Phish Recovers from Hangover; Smokes the Shit Out of Deer Creek.
Telluride recap: The Invasion.
The Greek recaps: #1 Mellow Thursday and #2 Friday Rager.
The Phish, 8/18/20 Jones BeachThanks to me for the setlist. Stay tuned for a recap.
Set 1: Down with Disease > Sample in a Jar, Guleah Papyrus, Poor Heart, Ocelot, Chalkdust Torture, Bathtub Gin, Tube, Destiny Unbound, Joy, Antelope
Set 2: Axilla, Timber Ho > Light > 46 Days > My Friend My Friend, Hood > Tweezer > Horse > Silent in the Morning, YEM
Encore: Suzy Greenberg > Tweezer Reprise
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I wasn't supposed to be at these shows. I booked a flight out of Milwookie airport for Monday and intended on heading back to LA. My vacation was supposed to be over and I was going to be rocking the couch tour for the last two shows, however, something magical happened during Alpine Valley, in which I was compelled to make an impulsive decision and say, "Fuck it! I'm going to Jones Beach."
I'm my own boss and have a cool girlfriend, so the decision was an easy one for me to make. Nicky is awesome and when I told her I was going to Jones Beach to extend the party a few more days, she said, "Have fun!" I worked my ass off the last six years as a freelance writer and poker player to put myself in positions like this -- and seize the day when life offers you up something that's impossible to pass up. In this instance, it was two more Phish shows. To be blunt, if Phish sucked cow balls in the Midwest, I would have skipped these Jones Beach shows, but after bringing the heat for the previous three shows (Deer Creek #2 and both Alpine Valley shows), I felt like the lyrics in Down with Disease. I couldn't stop.
The Jones Beach shows came to fruition in a very short time. My buddy Matt from Brooklyn responded to my plea on Twitter for extras and within minutes he offered up tickets to both nights. I grew up in NYC and have family to crash with, so my brother was more than accommodating. Probably the best part of this trip was getting to see him because we don't get to spend much time together these days. It was even cooler than we watched the Jets/Giants pre-season game. As I told him, my last Dead show was at the former Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands circa 1995. Bob Dylan opened for the Dead that tour. I had no idea it would be my last. And to make things even juicier -- my old weed dealer owed me money from a previous gambling debt, so I actually had local produce waiting for me upon my arrival in NYC. As I said, this leg of tour came together so easily considering I pulled the trigger at the last possible moment while standing in the lot at Alpine Valley.
I have to admit something: when I booked my Milwookie to LA ticket, I opted for a refundable ticket and spent a few extra bucks. I usually don't do that, but deep down I wanted to give myself the option to fly to NYC at the last minute -- just in case. I'm glad I gambled correctly and paid extra because sure enough, months after I booked my flight, I drastically changed my mind.
I traveled to the shows with my old Deadhead buddy Bruce. I went to my last Dead show with him in 95 and since then I had been trying to convert him to the church of Phish. I took him to his first show in 99 (Camden, NJ at the old "E Centre") and after a handful of shows, he officially got hooked during the Miami 2003 NYE run. Just as he started to really get into Phish, they pulled the plug in 2004. During the down time between 2.0 and 3.0, he transformed into a bigger Phishead. He swallowed the Kool-Aid and he's hooked.
I picked up Bruce in Brooklyn. My rental car had a fucked up window, one of the minor obstacles to overcome. My old man was in the Marines and he taught us to adapt and/or overcome anything blocking our path. We skipped rush hour traffic and headed out to the Island at 3pm. We made a few stops for supplies and smoked a blunt in the parking lot of a random Friendly's. I got to the Jones Beach lot, ran into Phan Art, and saw my buddy Jesse on Shakedown. Jones Beach is half the size of Deer Creek, but most of the people at these shows had jobs in the city, which meant it was a late-arriving crowd. Party people in the lot were mostly binge-drinking college kids in search of mind-altering substances. I kept getting hit up for molly, even though I'm not a dealer and it's not my drug of choice. Initially, food vendors were up and running with many of them at the end of "prep" mode before the state police came in and shut down all of the food operations. Selling bongs and doses were cool, but food was not kosher.
I met up with Matt, who had my tickets, and we headed into the show. Compared to last June, the weather in August was warmer and less wet. Yeah, I survived a monsoon one night last year. Phish is the only band that I'll stand in the rain to see. Bruce made a killing that night on Shakedown selling $1 ponchos for $5.
Matt scored pretty good seats -- the fifth row off the floor on Fishman side. Access to the floor area was a clusterfuck. You needed a wristband and to show your ticket if you were in the orchestra. Because the JB show featured a late-arriving crowd, a massive traffic jam of people backed up the entrance to the lower level. The walkway in between sections could barely fit two people and the tunnel leading into the stadium contained a frantic mob of people trying to get onto the floor. They missed most of the Fluffhead opener while security slowly let people in one by one. Our seats were right above the tunnel, so I watched as this madness unfolded.
The Midwest shows had lots of drunks, where as my section at Jones Beach were filled with potheads. I hadn't smelled an overwhelming stench of weed since Berkeley -- just not as aromatic. Everyone fired up once the lights went down. Fluffhead was rushed but well received. The section around me was thrilled with Kill Devil Falls. I still think of what Daddy called it the first time he heard KDF... "Chalkdust Torture's little brother."
I was all smiles during Cities, but it was rushed and they never allowed a deep funk jam to develop. They played it at Jones Beach last time.
"They kept it pretty basic," explained Bruce, a drummer by trade.
A hard-bluesy version of Funky Bitch was next up on the menu for back-to-back covers. The gem of the first set was Wilson, a trashing version with a dash of Trey the class clown. He busted out a mini-guitar, or a kid's learning guitar, for the solo. He dipped into that bag of tricks twice during Wilson. I gotta say, it's much better than when he used to noodle around with that mini-keyboard many moons ago.
An exceptionally adequate Reba kept the crowd reeling. I hope that doesn't come off too harsh, but it's the truth. Exceptionally adequate is really the best way to describe the entire evening. I dunno what was wrong. It wasn't anything major, but something was slightly off that I couldn't put my finger on. I went into the show with zero expectations and was simply happy to be there. It was a good show overall but nothing really blew me away. I jotted down in my notes that Walk Away was one of the highlights of the set. Maybe that better explains what I'm trying to say.
A perky Wolfman's kept everyone grooving, but as Matt noted, it seemed as though Page and Mike had gotten bored and were trying to end it, or push it in a different direction, but Trey was having none of that. I was trying to curtail the masturbatory references, but in this case, Trey was playing a little too much with his wiener.
High-energy Possum closed the 80-minute opening set. It was yummy and included the return of the Cannonfetti. By itself, it more than served it's purpose. Compared to the other three this tour, it's second to Deer Creek.
For a two-show run, I look at each set as a "quarter" in sports terminology. Phish just finished the first quarter. They looked strong and played well enough to win, but they weren't exactly blowing out the other team. The sound was a bit muddled at times. I chalked that up to the wind that occasionally whipped off the bay. If you've seen shows at Red Rocks you know that the sound could get caught up in the swirling wind. Wilson, however, was eardrum-shattering loud. Guess they turned up the amps to 11 on that one.
I caught up with my buddy Zig at setbreak. He was surfing in Long Beach prior to the show and strolled on in. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday, eh? Surfing and Phish. I told him he's on the wrong coast and needs to move to California for the surfing, but Phish is partial to the East Coast, so it would be tough to get that frequent combo in SoCal.
The sound was mixed better in the second set. I was expecting a Rock and Roll opener, but it seemed as though Trey called an audible as he stepped on stage. He conferred with Mike, then Page. Fishman embarked on an acapella Lengthwise, something that we got during the Phish "Storytellers" segment in Asheville last year, when Trey admitted that he wrote many of Phish's earlier songs after flipping through Fishman's journal. Lengthwise (along with Tube and Gumbo) was one such journal tune. Toward the end of Fishman's vocal offering, he started up the high hat. Everyone knew what was coming... and the band ripped into a scorching Maze. The other Mazes I heard this tour were led by Page's magnificent soloing at different sections, but this version was all Fish. He seized control of the bus and the rest of the band was following him down the rabbit hole.
I knew we were getting a short Halley's Comet, so I wasn't pissed when the boys got cooking and Trey abruptly stopped the jam, to hasten to Mike's Song. Mike's was like a big fat burrito with shredded pork (Trey's playing) and lots of hot sauce (Mike's playing). The only curveball in the Mike's sandwich was that we didn't get a curveball throw to us. Instead, the boys threw a fastball right down the pipe with Simple, a soothing yet sultry version, which included plenty of UFO-riff teases and Kuroda's Close Encounter-ish lights. Simple seg'd into Backwards. Initially I resisted the song, but once the lyrics and verses were over, they boys blasted off into the jamming comos. The first half of Backwards was uneventful, but the last six minutes were filled with a rich and creamy celestial jam. Ever get a fresh canoli for Little Italy or Arthur Avenue in the Bronx? Well, that's what it felt like, except you are eating it on one the moons of Jupiter.
The epic Backwards Jones Beach jam stumbled horribly into Prince Caspian. The seg wasn't pretty, sort of like when the town drunk stumbled out of the pub at closing time and violently puked on the curb. Caspian is a song that can outperform expectations or completely underwhelm you -- depending on your state of mind and the version they played. In this instance, it killed any momentum that the Backwards jam had conjured up from the altered spirits. I was thrilled when Trey dragged them out of the muck and into Rock and Roll. Instead of the set opener, we were treated with a mid-set version in the middle of a Mike's Groove sandwich. Page always shines on the Velvet Underground cover, but this version had a devastating jam. Using a derivative of sick as an adjective for "awesome" -- this jam was terminally ill. It eventually morphed into a spacey jam with the "Alright" vocal part as a primer.
And then came the Weekapaug. I dunno if anything can touch that Sneaking Sally > Weekapaug (or what Daddy called "Sneakapaug"), but this one had plenty of its own moments to savor. Gordon was at the top of his game, but stepped aside for the set closer -- Loving Cup. Phish nailed all of the covers tonight, including this oldie from Exile on Main Street. Am I the only one who wants to hear a Torn and Frayed every once in a while? I also wonder if they will play Shine a Light some point in the second set on the tour closer?
The encore was Show of Life. I dunno why I thought it was a Tom Waits cover. Matt corrected me and said it was a Trey/Dude of Life joint production. Benjo mentioned in a text message that he's been getting into that song. I've seen it a few times and it gets better every time played. Some of the crowd thought otherwise. I had never seen so many people head for the exits before (at a non-Velvet Cheese encore). I assumed that they were not fans of the new song or they actually had jobs and had to get up early for work the next day. Perhaps, they were both?
Show of Life finished strong, but Golgi saved the day. The crowd-pleasing high-energy fan favorite ended the show on a zenith, as Trey blurted out, "See ya tomorrow night."
As Matt said it best on Twitter, "I say it every time... Phish is good. Really good."
We headed out to the lots and within seconds the sounds of evaporating brain cells filled the air. The tanks were out in force and the crackheads rushed towards the hissing sounds. Within seconds, my row was filled with brain-damaged tards clutching balloons and stumbling into oncoming traffic. You can't sell grilled cheese at Jones Beach, but nitrous is perfectly acceptable.
Overall, a fun night. Phish played good enough that I was happy that I extended my vacation. If you want me to be honest, well, they fell short of the mark set by three Midwest shows. Phish scorched the Earth in both Deer Creek and Alpine Valley. There's a brush fire burning at Jones Beach. We'll see if they can ignite that into a raging inferno to end the summer tour.
Ten shows down, and one Jones Beach down with one more to go.
The beginning of the end of summer tour...
The Phish, 8/17/10 Jones Beach, NYThank to us for the setlist!
Set 1: Fluffhead, Kill Devil Falls, Cities, Funky Bitch, Wilson**, Reba, Walkaway, Wolfman's, Possum
Set 2: Lengthwise > Maze, Halley's Comet > Mike's Song > SIMPLE > Backwards > Caspian > Rock & Roll > Weekapaug, Loving Cup
Encore: Show of Life, Golgi
** Trey on mini-guitar