Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Phish NYE MSG Setlist 12/31/13 Night 4 NYC


The final show of MSG run and final show of the year!
Phish NYE Setlist 12/31/13, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA
Set 1: ACDC Bag, Ocean, Wilson, Divided Sky, Ocelot, Sugar Shack, Halfway to the Moon, Fluffhead

Set 2: Glide, Llama, Forbin > Mockingbird, Fuck Your Face, Reba, Icculus, Lizards, Melt

Set 3: Zero > Auld Lang Syne > Fuego > Light > 20 Years Later, YEM

E: Grind, SOL

Check out other MSG recaps:
12/28/13 MSG - Phish Demolition Squad
12/29/13 MSG - Church of Carini
12/30/13 MSG - Gotta Have That

Monday, December 30, 2013

Phish MSG 12/30/13: Setlist and Recap Night 3 - Gotta Have That


Night three of four. Let's get weird.

FYI... this show along with NYE shall be webcast over at Live Phish.com (with options for HD).

Also, follow @CoventryMusic for Twitter updates... "weather" permitting.
Phish, 12/30/13 Madison Square Garden, NYC, USA
Set 1: Kill Devil Falls, GIN,  Wombat, Yarmouth Rd, 46 Days, Lawm Boy, Heavy Things, PYITE, Sample, Jiboo

Set 2: Chalkdust > Mike's Song > Devotion to a Dream > GHOST > Weekapaug, Simple, HOOD, Cavern, First Tube
E: Slave
****
via @Phish_FTR

QUICKIE RECAP 12/30/13: GOTTA HAVE THAT
By Pauly (@taopauly)

Phish is what you make of it. I've relied on Phish (and the scene) as an emotional crutch for many years. Phish is a healing band; every show offers up a healing experience. Like pious old Spanish ladies trekking across Europe in search of an image of the Virgin Mary on a piece of stale bread, I have made the Phish pilgrimage more times than I could count. Our bud Mr. Fabulous (from the infamous Cincy Deadhead crew) needed a Phish show more than any of my friends. I knew he was coming for NYE but he made a last minute decision and flew into NYC a day early so he could partake in the 12/30 festivities.

My friends engage in silly debates (e.g. who wins a fight -- grizzly bear or silverback gorilla?) and we've often argued about which is (historically) the best show of a MSG run? 12/29 vs. 12/30. My theory is that the band is often rusty leading up to MSG and getting used to the spacious MSG on the first night so 12/28 is often average, but there's too much pressure on 12/31, which is why 12/29 and/or 12/30 are usually the pinnacle of the four-show MSG run.

I really dug the six-song second frame on 12/29, but they whipped up a 9-song course for the second set of 12/30 and anchored by a 20-minute Chalkdust Torture that was so fucking far out into the cosmos that I had forgot what was being played... on six different occasions. Then again, the first set was as sloppy as I had seen in a while and almost felt like a 12/28 show. I dug the song selection and the energy levels were high, but despite the flaws, it was still a fun set. Very few bands can flub a bunch of shit and still deliver an above-average set, which is a testament to Phish's abilities. We've taken for granted how high Phish's musicianship is, so whenever they make an obvious error, it stands out a little more. Sort of like when Peyton Manning throws an INT, or Larry Bird misses a free throw.

Pre-party in our hotel. Lots of whiskey. We found our friend T just before show began. We had good section (minimal talkers) in the next-to-last row of Sec 102/103. Perfect view of the stage in the back. My girlfriend smuggled in more liquor. She had a great mentor in Leslie Fireball.

I had a minor issue before show began and lost part of my stash of Purple Kush.  Hey, only users lose drugs, right? It fell out of my pocket in front of MSG while I was trying to stash my stash. It was an awkward situation too because I know precisely when it fell, but there were five NYPD officers milling around and if I wheeled around and picked it up, then I was convinced I was going to get pinched and spend the next 48 hours in the Tombs, so I kept walking and left it there on the ground and hoped some other head found my Kush. Luckily we decided to go inside on the early side, plus I had plenty more and was staying in a nearby hotel so I could re-load supplies quickly. That minor fuck-up could have been horribly worse. As I told Mr. Fabulous, "If that is the worst thing that happens to me at the show... then I'll take it."

First set started out on a positive note. Mr. Fabulous mentioned how he enjoyed KDF more so than the average fan. The only other time he saw a Phish show at MSG in 2009, he had bought a KDF lot shirt in one of the dive bars around the venue. Someone was slinging shirts inside the bar and he snagged one. The Joker's song Gin was welcomed with open arms, but the jam was on a very short leash, which was the other (meh) theme of the first set. The band could have really blasted off at three or four other moments and really taken off into unchartered waters, but the band showed extreme restraint and kept the jamming short and sweet. I dunno if it was lack of confidence or ADD Trey... or both. I don't need a 4-song first set (although that would be kick ass if we had 80-minutes of just Gin, Wombat, 46 Days, and some other massive jam vehicle like Jim).

Then all hell broke loose. The crowd went apeshit bananas for at the first few notes to Wombat. I can't recall a crowd anticipating a song like that in a very long time. Seems appropriate... Phish funk is one of the most popular eras of the band and Wombat is a quintessential Phish song... goofy lyrics and a sick, infectious hook. I love that Wombat starts off like a Beastie Boys song and then quickly transforms into a funk machine. No Abe Vigoda sightings.

Despite the sloppy first set, Phish regrouped at setbreak and got their shit together. They let it rip second set and we were gifted glistening gems like Chalkdust and Ghost. I can't tell if Hood was really that good, or if I was really shitfaced (relatively sober night, but everything sort of hit me in the middle of Hood when inside MSG got bright bright green... like everything... my entire color and light perspective was green for about 90 seconds I thought someone had dosed me... so when I finally pulled out of that bizarre spin and got back to level ground, I realized that I was fine but totally bummed out that I didn't get dosed!).

No covers. I'm sure everyone had that one guy in their section who kept screaming, "No covers yet! No covers!" This one annoying guy kept shouting out "No covers!"

"Isn't Hood a Justin Beiber cover?" I asked.

The 'no covers at MSG' theme fits the no covers theme from Halloween Wingsuit, but then again they might be saving it up for NYE. At the same time, I dig covers especially those 70s classic rock tunes because it gives Page a chance to really shine. For some odd reason, Page obliterates cover songs but without any covers, Leo is not getting as much love.

Yarmouth Road batted in the 4-hole. It's no Big Papi. 46 Days could have gotten really freaky, but it was also on a short leash. But definitely an underrated moment of the night. Page crooned the crowd during Lawn Boy. Insert boorish joke about wet Phishy chicks here ________. Leo went over to Gordo's side of the stage, but Fish felt a little left out so he joined them. I'm sure they were scouting out the "talent" in the front row.

PYITE was slop city, but the crowd lapped it up. I was pumped to hear the opening licks and they muscled through all the messy parts. Energy truly trumps precision (e.g. every Sex Pistols song ever). Crowd sing-a-long for Sample in a Jar and I was shocked Jibboo closed the set instead of a sizzler like Cavern or Zero. Boo was another happy and fluffy song. First set had a bunch of those.

Second set was all smoke minus Devotion to a Dream, the one Wingsuit song that my friends had dubbed "Dad Rock." It's not quite The National, but it really felt out of place and was more appropriate in the first set. Chalkdust mayhem anchored the second set. Mike's Groove did not include Simple nor H2. Instead we got a little Dream/Ghost lunch meat. Ghost delivered. Big time. But they also kept it on a short leash. Short and sweet. Compact jamiliciousness. Simple was stand alone. I suspect that Simple popped up instead of Cities in order to fit the "no covers" theme, but they still found a way to squeeze in a "skyscrapers" lyric.

Hood? I haven't listened to last night's show yet because I never re-listen before I write a recap, which is probably not the best idea because I'm going off memory, notes, and tweets... and I didn't tweet much last night. Guess that happens when I'm having a good time.

Cavern was going to end the set. Trey had pretty much thanked everyone but Fishman wanted to keep the party going. Initially, I thought Fish forgot they played Weekapaug because that's what it sounded like he was playing... the intro to Paug. Both Gordo and Trey looked surprised and were like, "What the fuck, Fish?" But they quickly figured out what was up and launched into a bong-rattling First Tube. Big Red... full-blown wank machine. First Tube is one of those songs that completely fills up every nook and cranny inside MSG.

Slave is my favorite song. A perfect way to end the night. That's how you end a fucking show! Glad they did not cheese out with a lame ballad or something worse like S.O.L.

12/30 featured 20 songs. And yes, no covers. 59 songs in all (22-17-20) and not a single cover. You figure we got 30 songs coming on NYE. Aside from Auld Lang Syne, will there be any covers?

Three down. One more show to go. Three sets coming for NYE. What will the boys have up their sleeve?

MSG 2013 highlights and power rankings - Top 10... 1) Steam, 2) Carini, 3) Chalkdust, 4) Wolfman's, 5) Ghost, 6) Womat, 7) ICE, 8) 555, 9) DWD, 10) Sand

****

Check out other recaps: 12/28/13 MSG - Phish Demolition Squad and 12/29/13 MSG- Church of Carini.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Phish MSG 12/29/13: Setlist and Recap Night 2 - Church of Carini


Phish returned to MSG for the second of four shows.

FYI... the entire run is webcast over at Live Phish.com (with options for HD for a few extra bucks).

Follow @CoventryMusic for Twitter updates (plus vids/pics... Sorry no lot so no lot prices).

In case you missed it, here's what they played on night 2...

Le Phish, 12/29/13 MSG, NYC, USA, Mothership Earth

Set 1: MOMA, Rift, Roggae, Sparkle, The Line, Stash, 555, Ice, GUMBO, Walls of the Cave

Set 2: DWD > Carini > Waves > Twist , Golgi, Bowie 

Encore: Possum

****

via @Phish_FTR

QUICKIE MSG RECAP: CHURCH OF CARINI
By Pauly (@taopauly)

Never miss a Sunday show, eh? It's not easy keeping every rigid faction happy because of Phish's savvy, yet impossible-to-please fan base. On Sunday, we got another buffet of Phish featuring a limited menu of throwbacks, country hokey, a sprinkling of greatest hits, a couple of new Wingsuit songs, plus a 6-song second set for jaded vets (like this guy) desperately seeking those elongated jams reminiscent of the Oxy years.

My pal G said it best about greatest hits Phish. "I don't mind those shows. You know why? Because the greatest hits are... great." Very zen-like attitude from G.

Wet Sunday in NYC. My girlfriend was convinced Phish was going to open with Drowned. I watched some football at my bro's apartment then we checked into a hotel near the venue so we had the closest commute to a show in a very long time (excluding Hartford). Our French friends rented an apartment around the corner. Michel and his crew are JamCruise vets seeing Phish for the first time. Always fun to share the Phish love with a diverse bunch of people, especially cerebral Europeans. Michel and his friends are in a French funk band, so they adore those blistering moments of galactic groove and deep-fried-Phish-funk. Fantastic that Phish opened with MoMA in their honor.

Michel scored us 200-level seats. My girlfriend (@Change100) and I sat with one of the Frenchies, Adrien, who was seeing his first show. I leave newbies alone and let them experience everything without me interfering with their initial experience. I prefer to be invisible and more there as a guide to answer questions/setlist info, or explain the truly weird things. I love watching new phans soak up their first show and pop their Phish cherry with mesmerizing gazes and wide grins. We sat right above the stage -- Roid-Side, Gordo-Side -- and high up enough we could almost touch Sky Bar, but not quite old-school MSG blue seats (start "Potvin sucks chant" now...). Our section was NOT overrun by schwilly wooks, but it was laid back with lots of tokers and a suspicious wookette who we thought was turning tricks in the last row. She continuously brought up random dudes every 20 minutes, giving hand jobs for heady mothership crystals or organic-squeezed molly. God bless Tinder.

Oh, so how about the music? The first four songs in the line up -- MoMA, Rift, Roggae, Sparkle -- included two from coke-addled Rift album. Although they tried to breathe some life into Rggae jam, it was too early in the show for something truly bizarre to go down.

The Line was the first of two Wingsuit songs on Sunday. As a sportsbettor and sportswriter, I appreciate the concept behind the song's origins. The Line sounds too much like a Wilco song; I couldn't tell if that bothered me or if that was the reason I dug it. During the break-up years, I always had hoped Page and Jeff Tweedy would form a new band together, but then Tweedy would get too insecure and fire Page. A relaxed Stash had those long, loose tendrils tickling the dark side of the force. I prefer those brain-turned-to-mush sojourns down the rabbit hole, but I was fairly sober (e.g. "PT sober") and wished I was cooking on mushrooms, but Stash jam never got too ferocious enough to spook out the rest of the acidheads.

555 won me over. I was on the fence after Halloween, but the second time was a much tighter version (but as Fink pointed out, it lacked the SF Bill Graham jam segment from 2012). Hey, and it's only going to get better. Early favorite Wingsuit song. The intro reminds me of Lowell George and Little Feat. Although I can't wait for a juicy Wombat funk burrito. Gordo has a little more confidence with his role in the band, so this was one of the songs that best symbolized and crystallized his evolving role with Phish.

ICE included an insane jam out that came out of nowhere to ambush all of us. Even the band was surprised. Felt like someone smuggled in a small thermo nuke and detonated it at the end of ICE. When Page stands up to play his clav, then we all get down. Page was channeling something from the heavens. He had become possessed with something. Maybe he broke into Knicks' JR Smith's stash in the lockeroom? Smith is the biggest snowblower in the NBA since the cocaine-glazed late 80s. Who knows how much Bolivian marching powder Smith (and Page) has hidden beneath the bowels of MSG?

Gumbo was a big fat pot of swampy deliciousness. 555-ICE-Gumbo trifecta was the highlight of the first set. Walls has slowly become a reliable set closer over the past year. Instead of the typical "peak" liftoff song (e.g. Suzy or Zero), Walls has taken on a tough roll of the "set closer." It's the one song that is supposed to leave the crowd wanting more. They've played it more and more because Page digs it and Trey loves jumping up and down at the end of Walls (when it sounds eeirly similar to Rock n Roll riff).

Crowd went berserk whenever CK5 lit up the space behind the stage with his small dot-lights that made it look like everything was underwater. Interesting crowd for a Sunday show. Saturday night had a decent percentage of hipsters and BBM (Brown Boot Mafia, a term we use in San Francisco to describe hipster chicks aka LCD Soundsystems\'s 'Drunk Girls' from the Marina). Sunday's show was a much easier ticket, so a lot more wastoids crashing the party looking to have a good time. We saw floor tickets available in front of MSG for face and below! Scalpers took a bath. Good riddance. Sunday was the most extras (for a NYC show) floating around in a very long time.

Predictable DWD set two opener, but you can never anticipate which slippery slope the band will take down the DWD mountain range. It clocked in roughly 20 minutes with multiple peaks and valleys. Trey had led everyone so far out into the cosmos that they sort of got lost until Fish took control and punched a hole through time and space. Good to see Fish keeping Trey honest there... Fish gave him enough opportunity to navigate the cosmos but when it got too out there, good old Fish created his own wormhole and zapped the Phish spaceship back to Earth's atmosphere.

The highlight of the night was easily Carini. Ooooh that dirty little vixen! Carini pulled ahead of Fink's Fight of the Year in its bout against Tweezer. Unfortunately, Saturday's Tweezer started out with tons of potential but before the jam could get really cooking, it was cockblocked and ripcord'd in favor of... Backwards. Yikes. Talk about a Debbie Downer. Carini eventually melted into Waves, but not before some serious thrashing, a Page spooky pumpkin interlude, and a couple of Trey-induced woos to end the woo hiatus. I know Wildo was back in Colorado shaking his head!

Waves completed a three-song run clocking in at 45 minutes. The set lasted six songs total... that's the Phish jammy goodness I missed. Short and sweet Golgi, so the bulk of the set hinged upon five songs. I expected more woos in Twist, but it was rather subdued. A semi-loose Bowie closed out the set, but figured they'd squeeze in one more. The French kid Adrien had a blast. Glad Phish served up a good show to first timers. On the flip side, Phish delivered an edible show for those famished vets with an insatiable appetite for the Phish.

Possum encore. Mixed emotions. Solid version (as per usual). Rather hear it as a popping opener and reserve the encore for a killer cover for the encore (e.g. Emotional Rescue, Sweet Jane, or previous MSG covers like Been Caught Stealing, WMGGW, and who could forget Sneaking Sally Reprise?). With that said... two shows in and not a single cover, yet four newish songs, though.

If I could take my favorite parts of Saturday and mix it with my favorite parts of Sunday, then you'd have one slamming, ass-kicking show. As is, Sunday had a couple of glistening moments including 555, ICE, Gumbo, DWD and of course Carini.

Thus far, my Top 5 moments from MSG 2013... 1) Steam, 2) Carini, 3) Wolfman's, 4) ICE, 5) 555. On the "bubble" is DWD.

Two shows down, two more to go. Actually... four sets down, five more to go.

Check out 12/28/13 MSG quickie recap (Phish Demolition Squad).

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Phish MSG 12/28/13: Setlist and Night 1 Recap - Phish Demolition Squad


Phish returned to Madison Square Garden for the first installment of their traditional four-show holiday run.

These shows will be webcast over at Live Phish.com with options for regular and HD. Yes, HD Trey!

I shall be attending all four shows with the lovely @change100 (follow her for those infamous fashion updates). Also, if you're late to the game and finally caved into Twitter, follow @CoventryMusic for updates (including random vines and Instagram pics). Updates are weather permitting (e.g. so long as I have battery power and don't get too spun. Heh.)

Here is the setlist from the first night...
The Phish, 12/28/13 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA, Earth

Set 1: Wedge, Stealing Time, Mound, Axilla, Birds of a Feather, Wolfman's Brah, Monica, Seven Below, Tube, Free, Julius

Set 2: Sand > Piper > Back on the Train > Tweezer > Backwards, Steam > Silent in the Morning, Waiting All Night, Antelope

Encore: Suzy Greenburg, Tweezer Reprise

From one of the highlights (STEAM) of the night (via Instagram)...


QUICKIE RECAP: MSG Night 1 -- Phish Demolition Squad
By Pauly (@taopauly)

Pseudo hometown show. I grew up in NYC and MSG holds a special spot for me (saw my first-ever Dead show at MSG when I was 15 and that magical evening was the first of many wondrous evenings at the "world's most famous arena").

Good crew: my girlfriend (@change100), Senor, and our pal G. My girlfriend celebrated her 75th show. After working all day yesterday, she flew the redeye from LAX > JFK. Senor and I caught at least 100 shows together including Japan 2000 tour. First time I met G, he had just got back from Europe where he saw Phish in Italy with our mutual friend Gil. I was super jealous and thought that G was bad ass because he went to a foreign country to see Phish. That's dedication. These days, G is a family man and doesn't see too many shows. In fact, he revealed that he only sees two concerts a year. Only two. Both Phish. "I see them once in the summer and again at MSG to end the year." I like his style. If you only had a chance to catch two concerts a year, you bet your ass it'd be Phish for me too.

Preparty at Javier's in the East Village with the Connecticut boys. Even Igor made a cameo. No cactus dust. @change100 smuggled in a bottle of Fireball. She pulled a Leslie, who had snuck in at least a case of Fireball to Phish shows over the summer. Senor scored us all good seats... Gordo side, 'center court' about 20 rows off the floor.

Epic curveball with Wedge opener. Woulda expected that in Colorado, but Wedge was a welcomed change of pace instead of the same half-dozen of highly-popular openers. Wedge jam was an insta-highlight of the set. Axilla was on my Top 5 list of "itching to see rockers." Wolfman's was full blown funk-ragefest. The exuberant crowd couldn't wait to unleash several weeks of bottled-up frenetic energy, which had built up and was simmering since the last show in AC. Page milked some serious boobies in something I referred to as "Total Recall 3-Tit Hooker Funkgasm." Heard several Wombat teases. Where the fuck is Abe Vigoda? We got the first of two Wingsuit tunes with an electric version of Monica. I had set the over/under at 5.5 Wingsuit songs. I think they'll do at least 6. At this rate, we'll get 9. Bummed out with Seven Below. Trey ADD got the best of him and they aborted a potential delicious jam. Too bad short-leash Tube was a four-minute quickie. I wondered how MSG's facelift would affect the bouncy feeling that occurred when the floor was actually moving up and down. It happened a few timesduring Free and Julius. Average first set with Wolfmans and Wedge as the highlights.


A crew of familiar faces were nearby (@PeteLikesPhish, @adamicculus, super-trooper @SoozyGreenberg, and our fellow LA-heads @phortin and @sarahzeee). We couldn't decide if we were getting a DWD opener or maybe a cover (Drowned, Rock n Roll, Crosseyed). We got another minor curveball with a Sand opener. I thought Gordo didn't like it? He was digging it tonight. Gordo was sporting green glow in the dark sneakers and what appeared to be green pants when CK5's lights hit him the right way. Sand had a few rough patches but overall it was a Sandy MSG dance party to kick off the second frame. Piper started out with what Jonas described as "dirty tones." Piper was peppered with a few rough spots but peaked at the right moments. More urban funk with Back on the Train. Thought the boys would save Tweezer for another night but they brought out the GIMP!

[Tweezer side note... Fink was eagerly awaiting a final match up between Tweezer and Carini for Song of the Year. I enjoyed majority of it, but definitely lacked the strength and power of some other versions from this fall and summer. Guess we'll have to see what Carini pulls off. It's coming... but when?]

Backwards is always a buzzkill. But Senor loves Backwards. I mean he really fucking loves that song, especially the backstory. It's hit or miss for me and I was bummed when it popped up because the first four songs of the set were on point until a Backwards ambushed everyone. Senor was wrapped in his own bubble of bliss. When I think I'm about to have a bad time, Senor reminds me to stay in the moment and enjoy every second of every song. The good thing is that Backwards is an ascending emotional ride.

Steam.... delivered. Whatever rust had built up was chipped away by the end of Steam. Started out slow then frantically built up to a wicked cacophony of blissful dissonance. They really tried to blow the room off the Garden. Demolition Men. Welcome to the Phish Demolition Squad.

No mas HORSE. It's done dead. I thought HORSE was going to be part of the NYE gag, which is why we didn't hear it at all this year with several other songs coupled with Silent in the Morning. The second Wingsuit tune, Waiting All Night still needs work. I think they should send it back down to the minors until they shaved off all the rough edges. "It would be better as a TAB song," said @change100. "It would sound better with horns."

Energetic turbo boost Antelope ended the set. Senor thought they'd save Tweeprise til the end of NYE show, but they tacked it onto the encore with Suzy Greenberg. G wanted to hear it badly and he got it. My girlfriend and I visited Strawberry Fields in Central Park in the afternoon and dropped by the Imagine wheel. I had put the vibe out for a couple Beatles tunes.

Fun night with friends. Phish finally got their shit together late into the second set and unleashed a face-ass-tits-cock melting Steam. Go listen to it for yourself.

Oh, by the way.... 12/28/13 was my 300th Phish show. My first show? Wetlands in 1989, so it was fitting to see #300 in NYC. Hope I get to see 400 some day.

One down. Three more to go.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Disco Santa Says... Merry X-Mas!

Merry Christmas to everyone. Disco Santa wants you to be extra naughty tonight!


See y'all at MSG for a four-night throwdown.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Keith Richards Turns 70; Alien or Vampire?

Keith Richards consumed more drugs than any living human. He's still alive. Proof that he's either an alien or a vampire. Maybe both.

Happy 70th birthday, Keith. Holy shitballs. Maybe I'll be able to make it to 50!

Here's Happy circa 1972...


Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday, December 02, 2013

Monday Morning Key Bumps: Phish - Ghost - Prague (1998)

Happy 30th anniversary to Phish! Here's one of my favorite performances of Ghost from Prague circa summer 1998...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Guest Post by Fink -- Song of the Year: Carini vs. Tweezer, Part 2

Fink Magazines Phight of the Year: The battle being staged for Song of the Year between Carini and Tweezer

By Fink


A few days ago, I provided the CompuJam Stats for Carini making her case for Song of the Year (link to Part 1). This week, I will deliver the CompuJam Stats for Tweezer arguing his case for song of the year. Prior to doing so, let me just give some quick rational on why I believe these are the top two songs of 2013. Carini and Tweezer epitomize why Phish is far and away the best band in the world, and why I believe they are at the absolute top of their game right now.
1. Quantity. Counting MSG 2012, there have been 42 shows to date. Carini has appeared eight times, Tweezer ten times. Five of the eight Carinis were over 12 minutes. Every version of Tweezer clocked in at over 9:56, three were over 20 minutes. They are in heavy rotation and extended just about every time played.

2. Quality. There are some great jams in nearly every one these tunes. Phish knows how good these songs are as they relied heavily upon them all year long: They were only in the same show once, every version was featured in a prominent position and all were played in the second set.

3. Consistency. Carini and Tweezer have been tremendous in at least 14 of the 18 versions since MSG 2012. That’s a ridiculously high percentage. Put almost any of them on randomly for a listen and you will not be disappointed.

4. Versatility. Phish showed a tremendous ability to take both deep into Type II. They also can veer in any direction – blissful, dark, happy, dirty, funky, groovy, psychedelic, uplifting.

5. Historical. Each offered up multiple versions that will be listened to forever. My Phish All-Time Crushers playlist includes six versions from this battle.

6. Variety. One of the things that blows me away about Phish right now is that most of these 18 jams are so unique…never going back to the same old jam. Nobody else can do what Phish does. Nobody.

Tweezer CompuJam Stats

12/28/12 MSG. The first 20-minute Tweezer in over nine years…this bad man struts out of the locker room at MSG with a limited entourage, calmly steps into the ring and after taking off his boxing robe delivers a master class of jabs, feints and slips. This Tweezer is intelligent, not trying to win the fight in the first round with wild haymakers instead impressing the judges with his incredible and intricate sounds that get better and better as the song goes on. A Money Mayweather style clinic, if you will, on how to jam. A beautiful four man build-up to the middle and then suddenly this Tweezer is gliding along, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a Yarmouth Road. This Tweezer is a seasoned veteran; he’s confident and knows he’s got IT. Slow and steady for most of the jam and then starts to build towards the end to some great rock n' roll guitar licks and a few stretched notes from Big Red. This Tweezer then takes an authoritative step into the Maze.



7/06/13 SPAC. This is only time all year that Tweezer and Carini are played in the same show this year, separated only by Sand. Unfortunately for Tweezer, Carini dominated this round and his cornerman was trying to use the Sand to heal the wounds with gauze. Tweezer goes nowhere so Trey correctly pulls the ripcord. This was a tiny Tweezer, no future at all. He doesn’t have much to offer, SPAC Carini didn’t give SPAC Tweezer the time of day and just dominated him on this night.



7/12/13 Jones Beach. After a lackluster showing in his previous round, this Tweezer was obviously coached up by his trainer, immediately announcing his presence with authority. One bad round does not a phight make. The relentless rain finally subsided and immediately you can hear the confidence in this Tweezer. Hardly a wasted minute, this Tweezer is played with power and like all great athletes makes everyone around him better as he sets up one of the best segues of the year in Tweezer -> Cities -> Wedge (The Right, the left, the right!). This is a professional Tweezer.

7/16/13 Alpharetta. This Tweezer shows up in the middle of the Heartbreaker set. Phish being Phish, you can hear how much fun this Tweezer is having. This Tweezer is having a good time, roaring with laughter, cracking jokes and buying drinks for everyone at the bar. He probably spotted Carini drinking in the corner booth flirting with some guys, thus the Heartbreaker teases. This Tweezer isn’t perfect or beautiful but hot damn this Tweezer is a good time and great fun to be around. He really starts to boogie down and probably left the bar a bit too early with Silent in the Morning. This Tweezer knows how to Party Time.

7/22/13 Toronto. Due to some questionable choices after leaving the bar in Alpharetta, Tweezer needed to get out of the country. This is a fairly standard Tweezer, nothing memorable here. It holds a nice groove for a minute but not much to report. The boys took the DWD jam huge to open the set and then cruised home. After a big night out in Alpharetta and what was in store the next time Tweezer hits the town, it’s not entirely unexpected that this Tweezer took a slight breather from the freezer and went home early. He was saving his Energy (speaking of, gone for good or just took the fall semester off?) for Tahoe, but went home with Silent for the second show in a row.

7/31/13 Tahoe. The Tahoe Tweezer. I think Mike sums it up best: "That Tahoe thing that everyone likes — the Tahoe 'Tweezer.' Was it 'Tweezer?' Whatever the hell it was. I really liked that night, too." We phans have debated thousands and thousands of hours about the significance of this jam. I have read countless essays about it. My crew has had a huge debate on the Tahoe Tweezer causing a schism in the group (aka the "Tahoe Reformation"). This was one of, if not the, greatest songs I have ever witnessed. At the time I remember thinking it was equivalent to watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel. This was the highlight of one of the greatest summers of my life. Shit, this was one of the greatest moments of my life. WTF Mike? "Was it Tweezer?!?!?" Was he being cool or was he serious or was he just being Mike? Its actually OK, artists obviously have different viewpoints and whatever works for Phish to get them to the zone they are in right now I am all for. Anyway, this Tweezer is the biggest and baddest dude on the block. This Tweezer definitely carries around the bad motherfucker wallet. This Tweezer isn’t comparable to 2013 Tweezers, this Tweezer is comparable to the greatest Tweezers and really the greatest Phish jams of all time. This Tweezer has it all – versatility, beauty, size, length, depth, strength, tension and release, patience, style, substance, a journey out and back with a perfect landing and of course much debated crowd involvement. While I am anti-woo and encourage everyone that woos to buy the woo-x [/wo͝oks/] patch (of course Trey probably needs the patch more than anyone), patient zero woof fit perfectly for that time and place. The only band in the world that can involve their crowd and have that kind of spontaneous interaction in one of the greatest jams of all time is Phish. This Tweezer flows through different themes and movements with precision and accuracy, moving from beauty to darkness to light to joy to bliss to release to the congregation participation. I was so blown away I barely remember the Tela (or anything else for that matter) that followed.



8/31/13 Dicks. It took exactly one month for Phish to follow-up the Tahoe Tweezer. This Tweezer is actually quite good looking in certain lights, at times nearly moving me to tears, but also has some flaws. There are moments where this Tweezer is quite a handsome chap and makes the ladies swoon. However there are other moments where he is just not good looking at all. I think the biggest issue with this Tweezer is that he is mostly a one-man show, all Trey. Granted that playing is beautiful, but I prefer it when the four are moving as one. And getting number-lined after a great jam…well that pretty much always sucks (excluding the previously mentioned 12/30 Carini).

10/20/13 Hampton. This Tweezer emerged from Paul and Silas, finally out of jail and ready to hit the town. He got into some trouble with that super slutty Carini on Friday night in Hampton, posted bail and emerged from the can as cool as the other side of the pillow on Sunday. This Tweezer is so smooth, yet he has a certain edge. After posting bail, he picked up his gear from the police station: no phone – this dude is old school cool, vintage leather jacket, Persol sunglasses, money clip with $2,517, one Tahoe Millward Phish coin, 3 magnum condoms, a handkerchief with the initials T.T. on it, a torch lighter and a personalized pocket knife. This Tweezer immediately heads from the cooler to the bar, grabs a seat and orders a single malt scotch with a splash of distilled water. The waitress can’t take her eyes off this Tweezer, nobody in the bar can. This is the type of Tweezer that everybody notices but is so complex and deep that they don’t really get up the nerve to talk or dance with. People are just in awe of this Tweezer sitting at the bar, sipping his scotch, reading the paper – just as cool as they come. This Tweezer then segued into What’s the Use, I don’t care what Live Phish or Trey say.



10/27/13 Hartford. Meet Preezer the preaching Tweezer, giving sermons on my favorite organized religion, the Rhombus of Phish. Preezer is happy, uplifting, makes you feel good about hood. Preezer makes you want to move. Even if sitting, you instinctively bob your head up and down and side-to-side. You can’t help but move your body to Preezer’s lecture. Preezer is a feel good Tweezer. I really like Preezer – he is kind and caring and loving. The rhythm section (aka the entire band for this jam) lays down some really beautiful music. Four band members working as one to create music that is so damn phresh. I love the beat of this jam, I love Mikes work on the bass, I love Trey’s rhythmic playing and well placed licks, I love Page injecting the keys at just the perfect moments, I love Fishman holding it all together. Preezer leads into (in somewhat of a jarring move after such an incredible sermon) Birds of a Feather. But I digress; this is quality, top-shelf, beautiful Phish and was in the concluding set of the best 3 show run this year. Bravo.



11/2/13 Atlantic City. This is Shaftweezer. Shaftweezer is the cold private dick who’s a sex machine to all the chicks, would risk his neck for Brother man, this cat Shaftweezer has a bad motherfucker wallet, can ya dig it? He is the continuation of the phunky “theme” of the weekend, starting with Wombat, all of the Shaft references, the greatest and funkiest Theme of all time and concluding with Shaftweezer. After the show, Shaftweezer took AC Carini back to his permanent resident penthouse at Caesars where he has a circular waterbed and mirrored ceilings, and made the funk with her. I really dig the way the phunk builds in this song two separate times and then boom, a perfect funky return back into Tweezer. However it actually pains me to talk about what comes after Shaftweezer (what horrific 4th quarter calls by Trey), so lets instead focus on what eventually follows every Tweezer – Tweeprise, aka the greatest four minutes in rock ‘n’ roll. How amazing is it that we get to throw it down one last time with Tweeprise before Phish sends us on our way? The Best. Band. In. The. World. And they are at the height of their powers. We are so lucky to be a part of it.


The Scorecard

We will throw out 2 Tweezers in order to make it 8 rounds for each fighter. Seven runs included both a Tweezer and a Carini therefore those will go head-to-head. The only run with a Carini and no Tweezer was BGA. I have selected the Jones Beach Tweezer for that round. The Toronto Tweezer was easy to eliminate. Selecting Jones Beach over Alpharetta was more difficult however I think it is better than Alpharetta.

Lets see how our judges have scored the fight through 8 rounds:
Special thanks to Pauly and Grant, two of my favorite Phisherman and more importantly two of my very dear friends, for their input on this post on Judges Notes.

This heroic battle between the two warriors will (presumably) come down to the final round at Madison Square Garden in December 2013. Which Carini will show up - happy, dark and dirty or in a slutty mood? Is she clean and off drugs or chasing the dragon down the rabbit hole? Will Tweezer be preaching his sermons to us, will he be kicking back like the cool man in the bar or will he be getting phunky? I am so excited to return to the garden and witness the final round.
Song of the year!
The #1 Contender vs. the Champion!
The Youngster vs. the Seasoned Veteran!
Lumpy Heads vs. Cold Freezers!
Man vs Woman!
Carini vs. Tweezer!
Lets Get It On!!!

ICYMI... read Song of the Year, Part 1 here.

Guest post by Fink... our good pal from San Diego. Check out other guest posts by Fink. He wrote reviews of this summer's run at SPAC and his thoughts on the new Phish songs from Wingsuit.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Judging Notes (Tweezer vs. Carini) by Grant and Pauly


Grant and I helped Fink out with his Song of the Year posts by acting as guest judges in the fictitious boxing match between Tweezer and Carini. Which song will win the title and become the champion? We'll have to see which song dominates at MSG to end the year.

Here's the match that Fink provided...

Round 1: Carini 12/30/12 MSG vs. Tweezer 12/28/12 MSG        
Round 2: Carini 7/6/13 SPAC vs. Tweezer 7/6/13 SPAC
Round 3: Carini 7/30/13 Tahoe vs. Tweezer 7/31/13 Tahoe        
Round 4: Carini 8/4/13 BGA vs. Tweezer 7/12/13 Jones Beach    
Round 5: Carini 9/1/13 Dicks vs. Tweezer 8/31/13 Dicks        
Round 6: Carini 10/18/13 Hampton vs. Tweezer 10/20/13 Hampton
Round 7: Carini 10/25/13 Woostah vs. Tweezer 10/27/13 Hartford
Round 8: Carini 10/31/13 AC vs. Tweezer 11/2/13 AC


Here are some notes about Tweezer by myself and Grant....

Grant's Scoring Notes

Round 1-Listened to 12/28/12 Tweezer first cuz I had recently listened to the Carini 12/30/12 a few days ago.  Tweezer jam has potential, but never takes me anywhere.  I didn't consider the Maze to follow, nor will I consider the number line follow up to the Carini.  Carini much stronger jam to begin...seems they had more of a purpose in this one, possibly reflecting on the purposeless Tweezer the night before.  Carini wins round one  (tbconsidered:  I wasn't at either of these shows).

Round 2-Listened to Carini first even though it falls after the Tweezer on that night in the shed.  Happy happy happy (Carini) to be on the road again.  Love this Tweezer right out of the gates.  That little ditty Trey toys with at the beginning of the jam section.  Start stop (woo forshadowing) this one is groovy...ripchorded for Sand, which is not the worst decision, but I didn't like the switch.  I have to say these two tie....was not in attendance.

Round 3-I'm not a Tweezer Protestant.  I was there, man.  I have listened to this version of Tweezer more than I've listened to any other song's particular version (to be compared with 12/31/10 Ghost or first set of 11/17/97). I  probably haven't listened to the Carini 7/30/13 more than 5 times.  No contest here.  37 mins vs 8 mins (take away 3 mins for song structure at the beginning of each song)  no brainer.  Tweezer fucking rules this round.  Note:  attended both of these shows with both judges to my left as I boogied.  And I'm a woo'er (but only for two shows....7/31 and 8/2...well, maybe 8/4 too).

Round 4-Wow the lead up to Tweezer at Jones Beach was crazy cool, but I'm going to try to rate it solely.  But damn that lead in to Cities was money.  This Tweezer tugs at my heartstrings.  It has that emotional chord progression at the end.  Lumphead!!  What a run.  Hard not to consider the entire run (or the Jim which precedes this Carini)....This Carini stays on the ground and never takes off imo.  Winner winner tweezer dinner....in attendance for the BGCA Carini.

Round 5-Dark tone to Carini speaks to me well.  Trey's reaching, though not in vain (it's a good reach).  Fish is keeping the tempo and not letting it end.  I like this jam a lot....Saw It Again in the same set :)  Tweezer- whoa.  Trey's lick right out of the gate is the same as 7/6/13 Tweezer, but the lick fizzles quickly.  Trance jam.  These were both heady...tie.  In attendance for both of these.

Round 6-Very partial to this Carini, because it foreshadows the entire 13 fall tour.  Though the Tweezer on night 3 is very special because of a conversation I had with WK about the whats the use-ness of it.  Turns out the song Wingsuit was the slow Tweezer jam of 10/20, I think....this was gonna be a tie, but Carini outlasted the Tweezer, but not to discount.  They both fucking rawked.

Round 7-Whoosta Carini is dark and driving (lead by Page to begin), Trey tries to lighten it up, but it doesn't stick...he sinks darker....plinko Page and Trey.  I like this, though they (I mean, Trey) interupt it for you know who....our favorite prince.  I like this Tweezer.  Day of Lou Reed's death...kinda sad tone.  Its another tugger of heartstrings 13 mins in.  Tweezer wins again in my opinion.  Not in attendance for either of these.

Round 8-Tweezer was so damn funky, it'll be hard to top it.  Not necessarily any instrument standing out over the other.  This type of jam was what made the TahoeTweezer so good.  A very good team effort.  This carini wins round 8.  At this point, I've been jamming all morning->early afternoon...I can't pinpoint it.  Not in attendance.

Without playing with any numbers (I promise I didn't), I went thru each and every opponent, each and every round.  the 10/31/13 Carini was the last listened to and the savior.  I had prematurely given the round to Tweezer 11/2/13 because of its funkiness.

**

Pauly's Scoring Notes:

Round 1: Sinister Carini shoulda won, but the split Tweezer/Tweeprise over the duration of the MSG run won bonus points.

Round 2: Boooooo to the Tweeze ripchord, devilish Carini owned SPAC.

Round 3: Carini got crushed by Tahoe Tweezer.

Round 4: Hipsterfied Carini (San Francisco) no match for Hurricane Tweezer (Jones Beach).

Round 5: Compact, serene Carini versus Trey's Tweeze-a-wank-a-thon at Dick's.

Round 6: Nuclear Carini versus a meandering Tweezer at the Mothership.

Round 7: Wicked Carini, but a sizzling Tweeze.

Round 8: Over-confident Tweezer got ambushed by a feisty Carini, welcome to Jersey biatch!

FWIW... I was at all shows mentioned with exception of SPAC and Jones Beach.
****

Check out Fink's posts on Song of the Year, Part 1 and Part 2 (Coming Soon!)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Guest Post by Fink -- Song of the Year: Carini vs. Tweezer, Part 1

Fink Magazines Phight of the Year: The battle being staged for Song of the Year between Carini and Tweezer

By Fink


The battle for Song of the Year is coming down to the last round, staged at one of the most historic fighting venues in history – Madison Square Garden. The list of boxers and classic fights that have been waged in the Garden is staggering, including "The Fight Of the Century" between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. We will be able to conclude one of the greatest phights ever witnessed this December when Carini and Tweezer presumably step into the (freezer) ring one more time for one final round, each we hope delivering yet another Mike Tyson-esque uppercut that will absolutely melt our faces.

This epic battle started at the Garden in December 2012 when Carini and Tweezer stepped into the ring for one last time in 2012. Carini and Tweezer threw enormous punches delivering easily the best two songs played during the 2012 MSG run. Each of those particular versions is in contention for 2012 Song of the Year. That ended up being a precursor of what was to come, so for our Phight of the Year we will consider that the first round. It was a bloody battle with two championship songs delivering dominant versions. And it was only the beginning.

In one corner, you have Carini. Sometimes she is an evil bitch, sometimes she is happy and in love, sometimes she is a slutty whore. Carini has become a go-to jam vehicle this year. Carini is pretty young having debuted in Amsterdam (of course – she has a drug problem) in 1997. In recent 3.0 she has become an important and critical jam vehicle for Phish. It took her awhile to get here, but she has arrived and is a serious contender for the belt.

In the other corner, you have Tweezer. Tweezer is the most consistent, go-to jam vehicle in all of Phishtory. Every single year of Phish (even the dark Oxy ones – see 2/28/03) has at least one amazing Tweezer. Anytime you hear Trey play those guitar licks, the crowd goes nuts. A show is typically made or broken depending upon how the Tweezer goes. Tweezer is relatively an old man, having made is debut in the ring in 1990. Tweezer is a beast. He is a champion. He is Ali. He is the greatest of all time. He holds the belt. He is in the hall of fame. He will be tough to be beat.


Carini CompuJam Stats for 2013

12/30/12 MSG. Such a dark and dirty Carini. Carini hasn’t been played this nasty and evil since MSG. In some ways, I think Phish is almost too happy and in too good a place to play dark and dirty versions of songs anymore. This is an exception. Practicing Black Sabbath really seemed to help them make her an evil bitch again. One of my favorite Phish jams ever. She is in a bad place, her pimp/sugar daddy just dumped her. This Carini starts chasing the dragon. Not only does she do heroin, this Carini is heroin. If you listen just even once, you will be hooked for life. She is so dark and evil we got number-lined afterwards, and it might be the only time it was OK to be number-lined. The abrupt happy song about all of our friends was necessary because we were down the fucking wormhole with Carini, and she was hard-core addicted to smack.



7/6/13 SPAC. Other than the 46 days -> Steam segue, this is probably the best piece of music of the entire SPAC run. This version is almost the exact polar opposite of the 12/30/12 Carini. Such a beautiful piece of improvised yet composed music. A happy Carini, she is outdoors, playful, smiling and running around with a shit-eating grin. She quit the goods, lost her winter weight, sobered up and has been exercising. This Carini is looking good, feeling good, (meatstick) teasing all the boys. This Carini escaped her 12/30 pimp and is ready for summer loving. She is so happy, she enjoys contemplating the Architect and what it all means immediately after finishing up this version.





7/30/13 Tahoe. Carini was so blissed-out after SPAC we didnt see her again for 2 weeks. Lord knows she was having a good time. But when she decided to come out and play, she was still really happy, not as newly happy as at SPAC but very content. She comes out of a great Ghost, she is in a more transitional phase. I believe this Carini was in the midst a relationship. I see her skipping around the playground when I listen to this version. Slow drop and she grabs Pipers hand and they go off to play. Ghost -> Carini -> Piper. This show often gets overlooked and as a complete show is better than the next night, but that was the night of Tahoe Tweezer. More on that later.

8/04/13 Bill Graham. A playful version, totally Phishy. She starts jumping up and down a bit, mixing in Fluffhead-ish lyrics. This Carini is still really happy. She is having a great summer, still hasn't touched the heroin again but is probably partaking in the incredible weed in San Francisco. She enjoyed being outside in her sundress all summer but really enjoyed escaping the heat and coming inside to play for a bit. Shortest version of year but still solid. You can hear a bit of the darkness coming back. Slows down at the end and she starts to get in her car on the highway to the great divide.

9/01/13 Dicks. Closing out her summer of love in style, this Carini was given the vaunted second set opener slot for the final run of the summer. She deserved it. She earned it. And the boys rewarded her with the most important spot in the line-up for the tour closer. Carini still managed to deliver despite this being an overall off night of Phish (to me anyway). This Carini was taking a bow. She had a great, happy and joyful summer and was going to show herself off. She strutted around the stage shaking her ass getting us all off. Just another great version, this one flew into Birds.



10/18/13 Hampton. One of the best Carini’s of the year. Carini broke up with her boyfriend and is now slutting around town sleeping with everyone in site. She is no longer making love, this Carini is downright fucking. She is a dirty whore again. She has a couple of threesomes with the Allman Brothers, fools around with a girl named Piper, makes Quinn fall in love with her and leaves him cold. This Carini is loving her freedom after the summer of (89) love. Trey starts that scratching on the guitar and its Carini, the slut, strutting her camel walk, getting ready to go out on the town, moving her body with rhythmic procession. This is my kind of Carini. But then her dad walked in on Carini and Quinn going at it with the funk and we got number-lined. Worst blue balls ever.



10/25/13 Woostah. This Carini comes out of the best Waves in 3.0. What an incredible pairing. Wine and cheese. PB and jelly. Phish and sex. Coming out of this beautiful, psychedelic, incredible, majestic, rocking Waves maybe Carini found love and happiness again? Not a chance. She is still a whore. This is another slutty fall version. Carini gets dirty indoors. You can move your body to this Carini. You can get down with this Carini. This Carini is seductive. She has us wound around her finger. This Carini is a seductress. Watch-out for this one, if you aren’t careful Carini’s gonna get you. You can run onto the stage, but don’t let Carini get you. No segue on this one, just an after sex smoke with Prince Caspian.



10/31/13 Atlantic City. Similar to Tahoe, she makes an appearance out of Ghost. Similar to Woostah, another great pairing. This is quite possibly the best jam Phish played in 2013 and nobody is really talking about it. I don’t understand why. Possibly because everyone is so focused on Wingsuit from the set before? But seriously this jam is sofa king good. 20 minutes of pure phish greatness. I really love this version. Phish just finished the historic Wingsuit set and a huge weight was lifted off of their shoulders. If we are talking about getting loose and Phish in the fall, then Carini is your girl. This Carini is stunning, even if she is an AC crack whore. I am in love with this Carini. I am chasing her around Boardwalk Hall trying to grab her but she continues to allude me. This Carini has it all. I hear so much Slave in this song. This Carini builds and builds and builds to such a beautiful climax and then brings us down with such gentle precision. This Carini is finishing up her fall tour having whored all around town, leaving a trail of broken hearts behind. However in the end she is still so special and beautiful and amazing and incredible. This Carini is dirty and beautiful. This Carini is a vixen. I truly love this Carini, even after all of the nonsense she still has such a big and beautiful heart. This is my favorite jam from the fall. The boys take a well-deserved break after this Carini, she doesn’t go anywhere. She should take a bow before they start Birds. Thank you Phish. The Best. Band. In. The. World.



Coming soon.... Part 2: Tweezer, his wallet is the one that says bad mother fucker on it.


Guest post by Fink... our good pal from San Diego. Check out other guest posts by Fink. He wrote reviews of this summer's run at SPAC and his thoughts on the new Phish songs from Wingsuit.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Guest Post: Fink on Wingsuit

Editor's Note: Hello all... it's been a week since Phish threw us a curveball and performed 12 new songs for their Halloween album. Our pal, Fink, shared his thoughts on each song. Enjoy, Pauly


Wingsuit Review
By Fink

After multiple spins off Wingsuit, my initial thoughts are below. Note that I loved they played a new album for Halloween, I had such a fascinating and interesting experience listening with everyone to songs we have never heard, love the idea they are forming new music with the audience. It was a very special evening. I also want to note that these obviously aren't complete songs yet. Like all albums, some songs are good and some songs aren't. Not all of these tracks are good. ("That's just like your opinion, man.") I really find it interesting that most of the songs have a poppy repeating-like line. Also all the harmonization I noticed on fall tour was obviously them working on all of the vocals for these songs. There are a lot - like a lot a lot - of vocals.


1. Wingsuit. Will be sticking around for sure. Title track. Needs a lite bit of work. But really a beautiful song/idea for a song. Note that you can win a us open shooting par. Repeating line: Put your wingsuit on / It feels good. This song is sticking around. Excited to see its growth.

2. Fuego. Easily top 3 song on album for me. Jam potential for sure. This will be in the Phish rotation forever. Lots of interesting thematic changes. Repeating line: Inside your Fuego / we keep it rollin. Note that I will be yelling "San" during this song before the Diego part for hometown love. Apologize in advance. Can't figure out where the jams are from. Need to listen closer but any leads would be appreciated.

3. The Line. I like this song. Think it will be sticking around and easily make the new album. Might even have best opportunity for mainstream success based on lyrics, sports analogy. Repeater: Oh oh oh / Circle getting smaller, step to the line.

4. Monica. Another great song. Will be interesting to hear electrically. Like the back and forth lyrics between page and Trey early. Should be more of this. Repeater: Sing sing Monica, sing Monica. Think "Sing sing Monica" will become crowd sing along. Another really solid tune.

5. Waiting All Night. To me, crappy song. Really annoys me. Don't like lyrics, don't like vibe of song. In an album of repeating lyrics how many times do we need to hear waiting all night? What's the point of the mike bass drop? Again my opinion. Repeater: Waiting all night. Meh.

6. Wombat. Phunk yeah. My favorite song on the album upon first listen and only getting better. Love the rap aspect of it. This song kicks ass. Can't wait to hear it phunked out deep. Dance your ass off song. Love it. Love the changes, Phishy lyrics, pages work on this song is awesome. So excited for the MSG wombat. Wished they had dropped it again right after the funky theme on Sunday. Repeaters: Wombat, cuddly but muscular (or very similar variant). The new Tube. And it's stupendous.

7. Snow. This song sucks. I really have nothing good at all to say about it. Just look how it destroyed room vibe post wombat. Already know this is a piss song if somehow it makes the album. But doubt it does. Bee gees like harmonizations are not Phish's strength. Give me sun DIEGO to melt this snow.

8. Devotion to a Dream. Like the beat at the start. Then kind of boring. Not a huge fan of the lyrics. Don't like the it's today (insert phrase here ____) parts. This is a song that I like the music to but not a big fan of the lyrics. Again one man's opinion. However once the lyrics are over the jam part of the song is really good. Where is this from? Totally recognizable. Kind of a back on the train sound. Anyone? Love the jam, meh on the lyrics and singing.

9. 555. Really dig this bluesy number. Been liking the mike songs somewhat lately. Never thought I would say that. Kind of has an old classic rock sounds. Big fan of 555, especially since they bring back 8/19/12 San Francisco jam at the end. Not sure it exactly fits but really love that jam so much. Should the bluesy number end with the 8/19 explosion? Seems a bit tempered here. Side note: apparently 555 was Gordo's voicemail code and that's the inside joke on the title.

10. Winterqueen. I like this song. But it's so TAB. I really enjoy some of the Trey guitar licks later in the song -- again recognizable. Well be hearing this one again. But a bit too mellow for my taste. And so TAB.

11. Amidst the Peals of Laughter. I dont like this song. Sorry. Maybe because it's all lyrics and Trey in the beginning? Maybe it's the lack of music? I love Phish jamming the fuxk out. Trey strumming acoustically? Meh. Good song for the next Festival 8 acoustic set. Or again, maybe TAB? Not a fan.

12. You Never Know. I like this song. Weird knowing what it's about. Catchy/poppy song. Repeater: Maybe that bird needed a cage. Probably right in the middle of the songs for me on this album. Like it, don't love it. Again using the different singers' techniques, doing this quite a bit on this album. Think they will like singing about a dude that stole all of their money? Will it stick?

Thanks for reading. I have nothing but love for Phish, they have given us so much. And some of these songs are already incredible. I for one can't wait to see what the new album eventually becomes and even more so what these songs become live. Long live the Phish from Vermont. Thank you. You are the Best. Band. Ever.


Guest post by Fink... our good pal from San Diego. Check out other guest posts by Fink. He wrote reviews of this summer's run at SPAC.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

New Phish CD: Niagara Falls 1995


Get your red-hot new Phish release!

Let's flash back to 1995 when the boys blew up Niagara Falls. The latest Phish live release will ship on Friday. You can pre-order here. This 3-CD set also comes with a heady download link to get exclusive video footage of that epic night.

Here's the setlist:
Phish 12/7/1995 Niagara Falls, NY

Set 1: The Old Home Place > The Curtain > AC/DC Bag, Demand > Rift, Slave to the Traffic Light, Guyute, Bouncing Around the Room, Possum, Hello My Baby

Set 2: Split Open and Melt, Strange Design > Taste, Reba, Julius, Sleeping Monkey > Sparkle > Mike's Song -> Weekapaug Groove -> Digital Delay Loop Jam, Amazing Grace

Encore: Uncle Pen

And here's a sample video of The Curtain > AC/DC Bag > Demand that Phish leaked:


Don't forget, buy Niagara Falls 95 here.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Phish Setlist: 11/2/2013, Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ


Fall Tour 2013 comes to a close tonight in Atlantic City. Don't forget, the show is being webcast on Live Phish!

Phish - 11/2/2013 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Set 1: Wilson, Rift, Ocelot, Water in the Sky, Sample in a Jar, Funky Bitch, 46 Days, Theme from the Bottom, Yarmouth Road, Limb By Limb, Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

Set 2: Down with Disease > Piper > Roggae > Waves > Tweezer > Julius, Backwards, Zero

E: Sleeping Monkey > Tweeprise

Photo courtesy of phish.com

Friday, November 01, 2013

Phish Setlist and Recap: 11/1/2013 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ


It's Night 2 of the Atlantic City run... don't forget to tune in to tonight's webcast on Live Phish!
Phish - 11/1/2013 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Set 1: Cavern, JIM, Sand, Halfway to the Moon, Halley's Comet, Tube, Possum, When the Circus Comes to Town, Sugar Shack, Jesus Just Left Chicago, David Bowie

Set 2: Twist > Gotta Jibboo >  Makisupa Policeman > Light >  Chalkdust, Meatstick > Boogie On > Wedge, Slave

E: Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley
Photo courtesy of @Phish_FTR

****
Quickie AC Friday Recap by Pauly

No matter what you thought of Halloween, lofty expectations were thrust on the shoulders of the band. if you were dejected by the Halloween selfie by the Phish, then you were anticipating a rager to make up for the controversial Halloween stunt. And if you were thrilled with Halloween, then you figured the band was relaxed and going into the next show with a massive burden lifted from their shoulders. One thing was for certain, when the band is loose and having fun, that infectious vibe spills over into the crowd. That's exactly what went down on Friday night in Atlantic City.

I had a rough first set. A schwilly chick dumped an entire drink on me. Then a bitchy, self-absorbed twat mouthed off to Javier when she stole his seat and he politely called her out. Yeah, location is everything at a Phish show. We had first row (AA) off the floor near the back of the soundboard, but a couple of security guards were posted right in front of us, including one hulking bouncer (who looked like Hank from Breaking Bad) who was getting off busting wooks trying to sneak onto the floor. Despite the added layer of security, both Igor and Josh hopped the wall. One kid paid off a lax guard to sneak onto the floor, only to be tackled by Hank the Hulk. Poor schmuck. The Draconian security detailed finally eased up. I kicked down some dank nugs to this one homie for looking the other way while Javier and I ripped blunts the rest of the show.

Before he jumped the rail, Igor pulled a $5 bill out of his pocket, rolled it up, and offered me a bump. I declined. He buried the Lincoln into a small baggie of Bolivian marching powder and hoover'd half of it in one aggro-snort. "Take another," I egged him on before I told him the coast was clear to jump the wall.


First-set featured an ass-shaking Sand which surprisingly popped up in the three-hole. Too early for a dance party? Never. We got a brief funk orgy with Halley's > Tube yet both were ripcorded. Just when the show was hitting the skids with Circus (Pauly Takes A Piss Song) and Sugar Shack (my least favorite Gordo tune), Jesus saved the set. "Jesus Left Chicago is a much needed catalyst," explained Javier. "Jesus saves!" I proclaimed. My Jewish friends were puzzled with a sudden outburst of the Lord, because I keep my McCatholic upbringing to myself. What can I say... after a weird and uncomfortable set, Jesus and Phish saved me. Finally back on track. Bowie was an exclamation point to the set.

Second set was anchored by a monstrous Twist clocking in at 20+ minutes that included minimal wooing and a corny "Under Pressure" tease with Fishman mumbling Bowie's lyrics. The Twist jam out had a couple of aborted mini-jams, but they kept plugging away until they found a groove they could all agree on. Gotta Jibboo is all about the last two minutes. The enraptured crowd went apeshit. One of those live moments that won't translate to tape. Makisupa Policeman was pure Phish shtick. The keyword was "OG Kush" and Fish/Trey joked around with Kush/Bush inside jokes. Kangfirmed... Trey is a stoner. He's off the Oxy train, but he's sticking to the herb life.

Light is a jam vehicle that has been downgraded in 2013. It's no longer the go-to song for deep space exploration. Sure, there were a couple of juicy versions of Light this summer and fall, but for the most part you never know what you'll get with Light... short and sweet quickie, or some serious sweaty, sultry long-dicking. Chalkdust was all smoke. En fuego. Some shitfaced brah behind us was calling out for "Fuego!" all night. It was funny the first six times and after that I wanted to kick him in the vagina. Meatstick is overplayed but I was so schwilly at that point that it didn't matter. Dug every second of it. I slurped down the Phish Kool-Aid. I'm ready to shave my head, wear flowing robes, and try to convert heathens at the airport to the Church of Phish. The Wedge always reminds me of Colorado and my friends from Denver, especially the Joker (who could not make it this tour, but he was with me in spirit). Last night I heard rapid-fire Slave teases in Ghost, but they saved it for Friday. Ever get that feeling when you think Phish plays a song just for you? I'm sure it was the molly-shroom cocktail, but I got that feeling. A sultry Slave ended the set. A rowdy Sneaking Sally finished off the show. I wandered out to the Boardwalk itching to play cards, but so fucking pumped that we get one more show.

Two down in AC. One more to go.

Don't forget, I recorded two quickie Wook Patrol podcasts with Fink yesterday. We discussed the Halloween shows.

New Wook Patrol Podcast - Halloween Episodes

Wook Patrol returns! I recorded a couple of podcasts with the legendary Fink.
Episode 19 - AC Halloween Wingsuit - Pauly and Fink discuss Phish's Halloween show in Atlantic City, NJ. Phish covered themselves by playing 12 new songs.

Episode 20 - Fink's Favorite 3.0 Halloween Run - Pauly asks Fink about his favorite Phishy Halloween run in 3.0. Fink also suggests we have a 10% chance of Phish covering an album on November 1st.
Check out all of the Wook Patrol archives from summer tour 2013 including Dick's.

Phish Halloween Video (Full Show)

Here's the entire show. All three sets, including Wingsuit.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Phish Halloween Setlist and Recap: 10/31/13 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

 
Spoooooooky poster! 

Trick or treat, Phisheads! Phish is back with their first "musical costume" Halloween show in three years. Will it be My Bloody Valentine? Elton John? Zeppelin? A concert version of Hands on a Hardbody? Is there a clue in the poster? I'm starting to sound like one of those kids on PT. 

Tune in to the webcast at 7:30pm ET on Live Phish where they're offering a three-day pass for all the Atlantic City shows. Pauly is somewhere on the Boardwalk at the moment and will be updating from the show on Coventry's Twitter and Instagram feeds. Don't forget, there are three sets tonight, so if you're like me, a west coaster rushing home from the office on the 405 freeway dressed as an ocelot, you should make it home for the all-important second set. 

Update (6:45pm ET):  Just heard from Pauly who got a look at the Phishbill. Phish is dressing up as... themselves. The second set will be their new album, Wingsuit. 

Phish - 10/31/2013 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Set 1: Heavy Things, Moma Dance, Poor Heart, Back on the Train, Silent in the Morning, Kill Devil Falls, Mound, Free, Camel Walk, Stash, Golgi, Bathtub Gin

Set 2: Wingsuit, Fuego, The Line, Monica, Waiting All Night, Wombat, Snow, Devotion to a Dream, 555, Winterqueen, Amidst the Peals of Laughter, You Never Know

Set 3: Ghost > Carini, Birds of a Feather, HOOD, Bug, Antelope

E: Quinn the Eskimo

****

Halloween Quickie Recap by Pauly

No sleep. Partying. Gambling. Just like the Daft Punk song. "We're up all night to get lucky." Phish is lucky their phans are understanding and open. Sure, lots of mixed feelings all around but as one friend put it best, "I'd rather hear new Phish than get stuck listening to them cover an album I don't like." All fall tour, I wondered where all the new content was... and I guess now we know why they were saving it.

Another wild ride from NYC to AC courtesy of the CT crew (Igor, Josh, and Javier). No traffic on the Parkway and rolled in at 4:20pm. Welcome back to AC, where the sand turns to gold! Thanks to Pat for hooking me up with a Halloween ticket. Hardest ticket of the year. Pat even showed up in my hotel lobby to drop it off. What an awesome dude.Thanks brah!

I caught this show with Senor, my 1.0 partner in crime. Along with his lil bro Javier, we reprised our first-ever Phishy Halloween experience; we saw Vegas 1998 together and 15 years to the exact date we were in another gambling mecca checking out our favorite band's hijinks. Instead of the genius of Lou Reed, we got the genius of the Phish.

I hung out Page Side all night. Decent sound. Good section. Lots of confused folks. A good percentage thought Phish was punking them and that they would do an actual cover album and not their own material, but by the time they opened with Wingsuit, it was evident that Phish was indeed carrying on with an entire set of new material.

First set was a blur. Lots of nervous anticipation from both the artist and audience. Typical greatest hits first set anchored by heavy-hitters Stash and Bathtub Gin. We never really went too far down the rabbit hole with a dark/deviant Stash and I thought it was funny that Silent in the Morning (another Horse-less Silent) popped up in the clean-up spot. Buffet of funk grooves with MOMA, Back on the Train, and Camelwalk.


The second set? Phish has always been a quartet of pranksters so they pulled a fast one on us. They never officially announced a cover set so everyone assumed they would bust out a classic album. Social media fueled the rumors. Everything from ZZ Top to Huey Lewis to Elton John and the Allman Brothers. I dig Duane Allman, so I really wanted Eat A Peach, because who doesn't want to hear Phish shred a ginromous 45-minute Mountain Jam for shits and giggles. Alas, they gambled with a risky serving of new material. It really takes titanium balls (plus lots of trust in us, the blood-thirsty zealots) to pull a dozen untested and brand-spanking new songs out of their ass. I probably dug 1/3 of them (Fuego, Wombat and Monica). Another 1/3 needs work. And the other 1/3 didn't stick. But, kudos to Phish for always keeping us on our toes and for delivering much-anticipated new material.

Barney Miller's Abe Vigoda showed up in a bear costume. That was the "Holy shitballs, WTF?" moment of the night. At setbreak, they showed a mini-film with Page and Abe paying homage to The Godfather.

The third set was more to my liking. The boys were playing to my buzz. Everyone knew Ghost was coming. It was mean and ferocious but didn't quite scare me. Carini was what Fink would call a "dirty little whore." But that's how I like my Carini. This particular Hood had a couple of crotch-tickling moments when the entire crowd unleashed a collective orgasm. Love those peak live-show moments. Part of the crowd grumbled with Bug intro. The boys shrugged it off and rocked it out, especially hysterical to watch a tweaker dude in a pink tu-tu and Minnie Mouse ears get down in front of us. Antelope was pure smoke. Sloppy, but all smoke. I felt like I ran three miles while jogging in place during Halloween Antelope. Senor was let down by a single encore tune (Mighty Quinn), even though he's a huge Dylan fan. He was hoping for a 4-song encore like we got in Worcester. Heck, at least a two song double dip? Nope. Just a single cover and the boys rushed off stage.

I have not re-listened to the show, especially the second set. I expect it's going to take a while for these songs to take root, but the seeds have been scattered about. Eager to see what grows and what withers away. It's sort of like unveiling a minor league team. Which one of these prospects will make it to the "show"?

One show down. Two more to go in AC.

****
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Phish Setlist - 10/29/2013, Santander Arena, Reading, PA


Pauly's on a deadline so he's not at tonight's show, but rest assured he'll be back on tour in A.C. In the meantime, we've got your Reading, PA setlist right here.

Phish - 10/29/2013 - Santander Arena, Reading, PA

Set 1: Cars Trucks Buses, Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan, Ginseng Sullivan, Wolfman's Brother, Sparkle, Walk Away, Divided Sky, Split Open and Melt, Julius
 
Set 2: DWD > Taste, Twenty Years Later > Piper > Backwards, YEM, Grind

E: Bouncin, Reba, GTBT

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Phish Setlist and Recap: 10/27/2013, XL Center, Hartford, CT


Welcome to Hartford, Phishkids! Please keep your arms and legs inside the train. Watch out for flying w00ks and don't spend all your gas money on balloons.

Phish - 10/27/2013, XL Center, Hartford, CT

Set 1: Rock & Roll, Ocelot, Tube, Halfway to the Moon, Fee, Maze, Lawn Boy, Nellie Kane, NICU, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, Walls of the Cave

Set 2: Chalkdust, Tweezer > Birds of a Feather > Golden Age > Halley's Comet > 2001, Fluffhead, Slave

E: Loving Cup > Tweeprise
****

Quickie Hartford Recap by Pauly

 IronGirl and I arrived in Hartford rather early. Short drive from Worcester. We parked in a lot a few block from the old Civic Center, which is my Dead history is correct, it was the last place that St. Stephen was performed. Historic venue where the old Hartford Whalers used to play. Trey even mentioned about how he caught many concerts inside the same building during his high school days (at Taft), so it had a little extra special sentiment for him.

The venue was chill but the cops were herding us around like cattle. Glen Falls was majestic and we were welcomed there, whereas Hartford was the opposite vibe. Usually the lot scene at the Hartford Meadows is insanely raging, but the scene around the venue downtown was unwelcoming and scattered throughout a few smaller lots. I had a homeless dude in an Izod sweater accuse me of being a plain clothes cop. Javier and the CT crew had a room at the hotel attached to the venue, so due to a bunk lot scene, we prepartied in the room. I got a lil schwilly before I even left for the show, so I knew I was in for one of those wild nights. Heck, whenever Igor (aka the infamous cactus dust dude) shows up at a show, I know I'm gonna get blitzed. He even gave me a present... an unknown rock of what he thought was brown mahl.

Lou Reed passed away earlier in the day so it was a given that Phish was going to play tribute to Lou. But what song? The odds on favorite was Rock and Roll (Velvet Underground), but I wanted to hear Sweet Jane or Oh Sweet Nuthin. Javier joked that he'd like to hear Heroin. Phish decided to open with Rock & Roll, which was often a second set opener and something they had played a few shows earlier in Glen Falls. They knew they could play it well, so they went with that instead of something they had never played before (like a non-Velvet's tune like Dirty Blvd. or something they had not practiced like Sweet Jane).

Has it been almost 15 years since the Loaded Halloween show in Vegas? Any chance the band wears the same costume twice? I'm guilty of recycling old costumes. I think I'd rather hear Loaded a second time (albeit 15 years apart by a entirely different band -- 3.0 Phish vs. 1.0 Phish) than see them struggle with My Bloody Valentine.

Rock and Roll rocked. The crowded chanted "Looooooooooooooo!" when the song ended. Then Trey launched into Ocelot, which is a song about Oxycontin abuse, or what is essentially synthetic heroin. So Javier got post-rehab Trey's version of Lou Reed's junkie anthem Heroin. Another quickie Tube, followed by Halfway to the Moon, which gets better with every version, yet still needs a lil more work. Obviously Page digs it. Javier had not seen Fee in what he thought was forever. Maze didn't drag us down the rabbit hole. Lawn Boy was the moment Page locked up post-show booty. Nellie Kane? If we're getting served up country shit, I'd rather hear MMGAMOIO or how about a Johnny Cash cover? NICU was short and sweet. The first set ended with a double dip of 2.0 songs: A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing and Walls of the Cave. ASIHTOS was a little rusty, but brief. I wanted to hear Walls, but it lacked the same punch as versions I caught this summer.

I was sitting on the bend in the middle of the lower section, but I joined IronGirl for the second set. She was ten rows off the floor, but dead center behind CK5. Amazing view and I posted a couple of vines that included the "waterfall lights" by CK5 and 2001.

For a second night in a row, the second set was very strong. Standard yet interesting choice for a Chalkdust set opener. Tweezer was 17+ minutes of unadulterated bliss. Birds didn't really standout much but the set was anchored by an insanely sick Golden Age. Just when I thought they were overplaying that cover, they obliterated the Golden jam out. Halley's got ripchored in favor of 2001, but it was another titillating and ass shaking 2001 dance party. Fluffhead was a high-energy crowd pleaser, while a sublime Slave tickled this jaded vet's soul.

I can't recall how many times I've seen a Loving Cup > Tweeprize encore. I'd say at least a dozen times. But it never gets old. High energy. Full blown wankage. Tons of fun. Much better encore than the previous evening.

Post-show, the lot scene was super weak. I saw a cop screaming at Phish kids, "Go home! get out of here! Go. The. Fuck. Home!" Too bad Phish did not play Glen Falls again. Loved that vibe. Hartford is a sketchy city and phans were like cockroaches were scattering around the side streets the rest of the night.

The quote of the night came from Igor: "It's stupid to do Special K, blow and Molly all at the same time. You can't blast off. That's the kinda shit that killed Elvis."

Eight shows in the books. I'm getting old. I can't handle 8 shows in 10 days like I used to! I'm taking off Reading show, but I'll hop back on tour for AC. See you on the Boardwalk.