Editor's Note: Our good friend Fink offered to write SPAC reviews for us. I thought he was going to write a final recap when he got back to San Diego, but he sent me this review at 4am. Enjoy!! Cheers, Pauly
Guest Review: SPAC 2 - The Heart of the Line-up
Phink checking in again, 3:00 AM in the Saratoga Hilton.
Slept in today until about 2:00pm. Headed downstairs to check out the Phish Art show – conveniently located in my hotel. It was cool, blaring Phish (obv.) and had some really cool posters, pins and shirts. Specifically went to meet a couple of people in the scene and pay my respects. I like AJ Masthay’s art and he had great customer service when I bought his tryptch “The Terminal” for the Barefoot Bob fund-raiser. I also went to Telluride Bluegrass this year where he made the official poster. It sold out in 5 minutes but you still saw it was everywhere – they put the piece on t-shirts and blankets. I also wanted to give a quick thanks to PhanArt Pete for putting the show on and consistently being one of the funniest tweeters in the Phish community. Finally I wanted to meet Mr. Miner. He is a great member of the community and contributes so much, even if he does have a tendency to fluff from time to time. I was one of the contributors to his reader’s picks. He asked my name and knew exactly what I wrote about and was complimentary. Not even close to as complementary as he was about the show – it was fun hearing him gush in person.
I met Adam and Vanessa at the hotel to get them their tickets. Adam is my cousin by family lines, but as an only child he looks up to me as a big brother. He and his finance Vanessa own an awesome restaurant (coming to the world trade center in December!) in New York, Little Munster. I took Adam to his first phish show at MSG 2 years ago. He and Vanessa had fun but Adam didn’t exactly get it (Vanessa had been to a bunch of shows previously). I took them again last year and during the DWD->20YL->Carini (so it was really cool to get the Carini with him again), they finally got IT. Adam and Vanessa were in the lawns last night (flying commercial) but moved up to the front of the spaceship (first class) with us tonight. It was awesome hanging with them – after this run the next time I see them will be at their wedding in Nicaragua in the fall.
I headed over to Jaclyn’s – where they had 30 people staying in a super phat house right near downtown Saratoga. They served delicious burgers, people were hanging out in the “Phish Pool” (otherwise known as turning the sprinklers on) and playing croquet. Fun day, but it was time to rally for the show.
We had the same crew as last night (sans Spider, Adam and Vanessa) and were in the upper pav section (30th rows), but more centrally located. Perfect spot to watch the new lighting rig, of which I am a huge fan. Thanks Biebs!
Early in the day I got confirmation that Phish had never played Tweezer in Saratoga and yet had played two Tweeprises. I told everyone this stat. I really enjoy spreading news to the phans, especially in person. Accordingly, I also predicted a huge Tweezer for tonight.
Fashion update: Adam, one of the most stylist guys I know, showed up like he was ready for opening day at the Saratoga Race Track. I had black shorts but audibled to a breathable white shirt due to the heat. Girls looked great as always in lovely summer dresses and awesome flair (including giving me hair bands to wear on my arm and give to damsels in hair distress). Carmine was rocking a multi-rainbow colored moomoo and sporting a Mohawk he got in town Saturday afternoon.
Reminder, I have not looked at social media since before the show and have not re-listned to the show as of yet.
Highlights included the Wedge but on a more personal level for our crew because Carmine and Lisa own a campground appropriately called The Great Divide. Bug was also a neat personal number for us, causing both Jaclyn and I to give some text love to Stuart who was couch-touring in Colorado (but doing the west coast run with us). Musically, the Tube was tubtacular (seemed like a great version at the time) but the all star of the set was the Melt. For me, Melt can be hit or miss. When its on, its ON. When its off, I get lost. I have been listening a bunch to 7/15/99 Melt released by the Live Bait (those are all great, thanks Phish) – the way Fish starts off with 2001 and continues to play with the tempo is so awesome. Anyway, this Melt, with the stop/start and locked in band interplay, was meltastic.
Not much to report during setbreak other than (my friend) Trey and I talked about 5 songs that were definitely possible (and predicted at least 2 of them would be played): DWD, Tweezer, Sand, Ghost and Carini.
Opened up with a Number Line. Didn’t get us excited (time to put this song on the shelf) however (my friend) Trey leaned over to me and said Tweezer was coming next. Not more than 2 minutes later Carmine guaranteed a Tweezer. The stars were aligning for the first ever SPAC Tweezer that I had been talking about all day. Then the heart of the line-up, the 2 through 4 hitters, came up to bat. And each one of them CRUSHED the ball out of the park. Tweezer, Sand, Carini. Are you fucking kidding me? Three of my favorite songs, three songs we thought and hoped would come out, and they were huge. The last versions of Tweezer (12/28/12) and Carini (12/30/12) and second to last version of Sand (9/2/12) are arguably 3 of the top 5 and easily in the top 10 songs played in 3.0. What was neat, as always, was the juxtaposition of the recent versions of each song and the ones played tonight. Each was so different from the last, most exemplified by the Carini. The 12/30/12 Carini is some of the best and darkest Phish ever and yet this one was as happy a version as Carini could be. 30 minutes of dope ass music later, we get our first Architect (called early by this guy), one of my favorite tunes on Traveler. Well placed, good change up after the heart of the line-up. Wilson was Wilson – crowd interaction and interplay was awesome all night (thank you Phans), loved Boogie-ing down with the Reggae Woman as always (great to dance hard with our good looking crew of ladies) and Possum in the set closer spot. Yes Possum is played a lot, but they crush it every time and love playing it so much. All of the guys seem so happy and comfortable on stage, especially Trey. He is really making an effort to connect with the fans. When Trey is happy, we all are happy.
We again made the decision to bail based on the encore song selection and left during Show of Life. We knew we were giving up the Tweeprise (some thought they were saving it for Sunday but I thought that would only be the case if they played it yesterday), however getting back efficiently is important to us. Incredible show – 100x better than the Blister Saturday SPAC show last year.
I went upstairs, showered and hit up Twiddle at the Putnam Den. Wookie and Lauren rallied, as did Adam and Vanessa. Hung out with Jaclyn's crew (congrats Sparkle!) and had a nice evening at Putnam. The warm-up act was solid and Twiddle was good but a bit one-note for me. Granted I had just seen the greatest band in the world ("that’s like your opinion, man!") crush the 2nd and 3rd shows in the summer tour line-up, and the clean-up hitter is coming up tomorrow.
Never miss a Sunday.
Guest post by Fink... our good pal from San Diego.
Check out Fink's Review of the Friday 7/5/13 show.
FYI... here is the complete setlist and Pauly's couch touch review of 7/6/13.