Read my rapid-fire review of Leg 1 of 2012 Phish summer tour here.
I caught 10 out of the 13 shows on the second leg, which started out West, dipped into the South, and ended in Colorado. Let's hop back on my groovy time machine and flashback to last summer's Phish tour. Here is a quickie, machine-gun Trey inspired review of Leg 2 (originally plucked from my show recaps)...
Long Beach, CA.... Almost a back-yard show. Nicky (a.k.a. @Change100) and I arrived around 4:20pm. Dead bootlegs blasting. Cool ocean breezes. Hung out with Mr. Jack Straw and his wife. Extras: $50 floor and $30 upper level. Ran into Fink and the Wookie in the middle of a 10-day long bachelor party. Indoor show. Decrepit venue. Walking back in time 25 years. Tiny bathrooms. Long lines. We had 100 level tix right off the floor. Half-empty upper deck. Trey injected energy into sparse crowd with Suzy, Cities and KDF. Random Velvet's cover of Cool It Down. Trey tried to ripcord the Gin jam, but the band vetoed him. Justin Bieber and his "girlfriend" Selena Gomez were at the show. Biebs wanted to hire CK5. He checked out Set 2 from the floor. He liked the lights and glowsticks. Thermonuclear Rock and Roll jam blew up a hole in the space-time continuum. Sober show, but felt like I was on acid during RR cosmic chaka-chaka jam. Bombastic Ghost. Showing off for the Beibs? Flashback to 97-98. I miss 7-song sets anchored by heavy jamiliciousness. Phish hit the ground running to start Leg 2. Post-show, a wook in Kobe jersey with an arm in cast clutched three balloons, huffed another balloon and dragged a puppy through Shakedown.
San Francisco, CA - Night 1... Didn't get my ticket (traded an extra Sunday for Friday) until a few minutes before the band took the stage. Madhouse in front of Bill Graham. Hundreds of desperate phans offering $100 for tix. No extras. Toughest ticket of tour. Ghosts of the Grateful Dead and Bill Graham were everywhere. Packed us onto the floor. Somehow found my girlfriend. Intense energy radiating everywhere. Electric vibes. Crowd felt giddy like the 2009 shows. Another ripcord Halley's. Gordo full-throttle en fuego with Funky Bitch. Gordo was doing PEDs with Melky Cabrerra again. Floor was super slippery. Dance-sliding. Trio of coked-up hipster chicks in high heels yapped at 100mph. They offered me a dippie, but gave me wrong bag (my mouth went numb). Ambient fog DWD jam. "Trey had no direction. Mike was frustrated and took the lead," said Jonas about Tweezer jam. Trey dropped a pong-loop. Velvet Cheese-Joy tag-team killed the momentum. "At least they got those songs out of the way," said Nicky. First Tube explosive encore, but unexpected curveball. No Tweezer Reprise?!? Saving it for the final night in SF? Nitrous mafia lurking in alleys surrounding the venue. Balloon mongers spilled onto Market Street. Phisheads invaded the Tenderloin with runaways, homeless junkies, tweaking twinks, smack dealers, pill pushers, and other miscreants.
San Francisco, CA - Night 2... Pre-party at tweet-up arranged by @Grill_Meister at a Tenderloin dive bar. Met Sail-Fly-Jen and @TourTweet for the first time. Ran into Capt. Funk Max and @TweeterReprise. Smoked a doobie with @TourTweet on walk to venue. Super-Wook with three dogs on a hemp leash slung cheap molly to a friend and scampered away screaming: "Don't eat anyone's face off!" The Dead's sound engineer, Dan Healy, was at the soundcheck. Sparked rumors of a Phil Lesh sit in. We found great spot Fishman side. Max's bud gifted me a pot brownie. We smoked tuff all show. Got hit up for uppers. Melange of greatest hits. 28 songs. Set 1 was 13 songs plus a vac solo. Fog funk in Wolfman's. Shirtless noob in bright orange pants ate waaaaay too much molly. He got the Heisman when he tried to rub up against hipster gals during Ocelot. Brownie hit hard during I Didn't Know vac solo. Trey gave Fish a new nickname: "Moses." CK5's Maze authoritarian-blue searchlights induced paranoia. Turbo Tube had trip-funk'd whale call. Closed my eyes for most of the chaotic Melt melty-space jam. Band got lost in the jam too. Lost in space. Sucked into a black hole. ADD Trey rushed through more greatest hits in the second set. Disappointed with brief Golden Age and Piper. Other worldly Simple jam. Ethereal. Dead-like. The Wheel tease? No Phil Lesh sit-in. Just a rumor. Cosmic Simple jam was foreplay for 2001. Disco-fog-funk rumpus. Lame Show of Life encore. Barely made up for it with a rapturous Zero.
San Francisco, CA - Night 3... Sunday Scorcher. Found optimal spot with @TourTweet next to tapers. Last show in Frisco. Ingested the rest of leftover stash. Pinnacle of fuckedupness. Reba nerds went berserk. Soft mood lighting from CK5 made silky Reba jam sound like a soft-core porn soundtrack. Hipster girl having a bad trip sat on floor with her hands in her face. Rare, yet sloppy Mound. Joe Fucking Walsh would be proud of the boys during Walk Away. All Heat. NICU featured the emergence of "Leon" (Trey called Page that instead of Leo). Smooth Roggae like cocoa buttah. Crosseyed and Painless was like Godzilla destroying Japan. Page snuck in plenty of No Quarter teases. Shifted dynamics in Light jam. Swimming underwater again. Powerful crescendo and orgasmic seg into an explosive Sneaking Sally. Volcanic Sally-funk slipped back into Crosseyed. 45-minute beast = Crosseyed > Light > Sally > Crosseyed. Gordo wanted to punch Trey in the nuts when Trey ripcorded the Boogie On funk-a-thon in favor of a self-indulgent Meatstick. YEM blowout set closer. Double dip encore with Ride Captain Ride cover. Crowd went nuts whenever Page mentioned San Francisco. Everyone expected Tweeprise and it nearly blew the roof off the civic center. Drenched in sweat. Couldn't stop vibrating. Never miss a Sunday show.
Atlanta, GA... Skipped Kansas City and Alabama shows. Flew from LA to Atlanta and jumped back on tour for Atlanta-Charlotte run with Disco Sis and the G-Vegas crew. Otis busted out Moscow Mules at pre-party. Gave my soccer mom-friends the new Mother's Lil Helper (a.k.a. Adderall). Uncle Ted scored tons of BBQ and arranged a van to take 8 of us to the show. Clutch move. Horrendous traffic to venue. We took back roads to Lakewood. Tripping balls on shroom caramels before show even started. Phone ran out of juice in the lot. Pav seats with Disco Sis. Page side rage side. Security guard impressed with the high quality of weed. "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn. You crackers smoke some good shit." My last show at Lakewood? July 4, 1999. Disco Sis annoyed when crowd clapped out-of-tune during Jim. Gordo slap-funk reggae and breezy Page solo during Ya Mar. Schwasted redneck banged on the backs of the seats during KDF. Thought he was gonna molest the chairs. Fell into a funji-hole during Light jam. The 400th version of Chalkdust? Wow, I'm getting old. Chalkdust > What's the Use favorite segment from Lakewood. Super long cosmic jam. Forgot what they were playing. Wooks behind us smoked DMT during Joy. G-Rob bribed a 400-pound van driver for a ride back to hotel for 8 of us. At the post-party, Uncle Ted's alternative personalities emerged; it was 2085 and he conducted a business meeting for his global Chicken Salad empire.
Charlotte, NC... Disco Sis drove from Atlanta to Charlotte. Recharged at Waffle House for breakfast. Funky lil Shakedown scene. $5 empenadas and pulled pork sandwiches. Lawns $40. Hip soccer moms raging hard and melting faces at Phish. Sad wook got merch confiscated by copyright police. He sold me old-school pressed "yellow smiley sun" roll. Page side again with Disco Sis. She blurted out, "Heavy Things reminds me of a washing machine." Wore Ocelot shirt for first time this leg. They played it. Faded-oxy jam lathered in hot sauce. More Gordo roid rage during Funky Bitch. Slippery Gin jam. Ruptured eardrum during Fluffhead when crowd screamed "powerful pill... oh yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" Stage banter followed Alumni Blues. Trey revealed Fish's crappy 0.0036 GPA. Fish was reluctant to give in-depth background on My Sweet One and Page issued an ultimatum: "Start the song or tell the fucking story!" Latin-funk grooves in Crosseyed and Painless. Roaring Axilla. Loaded up with heavy hitters: Mike's Groove, Tweezer and Hood all in same fucking set! Rowdy Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars encore. Trey shredding guitar behind his back. Big Red wank-o-meter off the charts for Tweeprise. Definitive exclamation point. In Shakedown, I tripped over a leashless tour puppy. Tanks galore. Fireworks exploded in the skies. Never miss a Sunday show.
St. Louis, MO.... I flew from Atlanta to St. Louis. Scored a first class upgrade. Johnnie flew in from Seattle. My friend Chilly, a St. Louis local, went to his first show. He went in totally blind; never heard a Phish song before the show. Crashed in hotel across street from FBI office. We crushed Pappy's BBQ. Crazed and festive lot scene. $1 vodka shots. $10 balloons. $5 llama/bacon wraps. St. Louis is lawless. Never saw a single cop. Scored homegrown Kush from an old hippie. Bumped into St. Louis Tommy, who took his father to the show. Band fed off the schwilly energy of crowd thanks to hip lot scene. Johnnie and I scored 100 level tix off the floor. Intimate college arena. First set = old school delights. Mound, The Curtain (minus the With), I Didn't Know, Sloth, and crisp Peaches. "The John Coltrane of the vacuum cleaner" said Trey after Fish's solo. Ocelot played two shows in a row. Didn't wear the shirt. Chilly blown away by Quinn the Eskimo. Laid-back Trey let jams evolve. Silky seg into Frankie Sez. Love Latin-flavored Undermind. Outstretched psychedelic darkness in Sand. Sober show for me, but Sand jam made it feel like I was tripping. Limb By Limb monster defined the show. Fish drum clinic. Forgot what song they were playing. Twice! Dance-orgy with Julius and 2001. Thought set was over, but YEM set closer was like forty molly-dipped cherries on top of a sundae. Soulful Shine A Light encore. Uber-sketchy Shakedown post-show. Grisman look-a-like hobbling on a cane offered me methadone. Spun-out wookette almost beat her lot boyfriend with a painting. Nitrous mafia cleaned up. Again.
Denver, CO - Dick's Night 1... Skipped OKC and flew directly from St. Louis to Denver. The Colorado Crew rented a Party Bus for the weekend. Raging in style. Golden Rule #1: no shitting on the bus. Nicky flew Burbank > Denver and arrived less than an hour before show. She got stuck in clusterfuck line to get inside. I found her just as lights went down. Grooved on floor, Fish side. The infamous FUCKYOURFACE show. Knew it was going to be a different night with a First Tube opener and a spooky blue moon. Carini jam went from straight-up nasty evil to a soothing, bubbling-brook jam. Screwball with YEM. Crowd enthusiastically chanted "We Want Dicks!" I wore the Ocelot shirt; they played it with special faded Oxy jam. By Undermind, we figured out the set spelled out FUCK YOU. Assumed the 8-song set was a coded message to the haters. Jonas and I joked they were gonna play Jim the entire second set. I bet Jonas that Axilla would be the A-song. Instead it was Alaska. Forgot what song they were on during Chalkdust jam. Butchered the hell out of Emotional Rescue. To complete the meme... Grind and Meatstick. At the after-party, the Joker's cat was talking to me in German.
Denver, CO - Dick's Night 2.... We drank half the keg while waiting for late party bus. Arrived super late to lots. Thought I lost my stash, but Tres found it! Too spun on Pez to tweet. Floor again, Fish side. Another Dick's screwball with Antelope opener. Really the 400th version? Heat from the get go. 90-minute set anchored by Tweezer-Fluffhead. First 3 songs of set 2 took up 50 minutes. Golden Age layered with 2001-like teases and Page-Trey tag team Pumpkin jam before abruptly forcing Caspian. Grandiose Light jam. Phish bent time/space again. Sucked into worm holes. Conversed with aliens. Beamed to farthest edge of the universe. Feet went numb too. Jam shifted gears -- ethereal to bluesy in seconds. Page snuck in "Mercy Mercy" teases. Trey ripcorded Boogie On jam. Gordo was not impressed. Thought I was sobering up until I lost my mud during No Quarter. Perfect lunch meat in Mike's Groove sandwich. Fish almost passed out at end of 2nd set. They gave him a banana to keep going. Party bus back to Denver could have been its own Terry Gilliam film. Katie bit Nicky at one point. Everyone got digital at the after-party. Felt like I stepped out on a veranda and peered out into the universe.
Denver, CO - Dick's Night 3... I got high score on Pac-Man at bar during pre-party. Bus arrived on time. We had plenty of time for lot shenanigans. Traded 2001 stickers for a grilled cheese and a h3tty crystal. Finally ran into SnailTrax and the Hilljack boys. Last night of tour was a hearty gumbo of every intoxicant available. Super schwilly on Pez, Franken-pharmies, and unicorn dust. Took over back of floor with the entire Colorado crew. Tons of space to dance. Schwasted Tres kept head-butting my chest during AC/DC Bag. Rose kept fucking with spunions, when they stepped over our pile of stuff, she'd scream "You stepped on my baby!" And they'd freak the fuck out! DWD and Gin batted third and fourth in this lineup of greatest hits. Subdued jamming, did not go off deep end with heavy hitters. Kept short leash on each. Page MVP of Gin jam. Maze mental mayhem. Another ripcord Halley's. Second set was old-school jam rumpus with a 6-song orgy. Sand > Ghost > Piper... not fucking around!! My favorite hour of Phish all summer. Sand jam touched on several genres. Started out funky, then turned avant-garde jazzy, before blasted off to the cosmos, then sucked underwater and back to a funk orgy again. Intro to Ghost was friggin' sick. Someone emptied the rest of their molly into a lemonade and passed it around during Lizards. Sublime Hood was the exclamation point to the show... and the run. Joker raged so hard that he puked during Zero encore. Ride home on party bus was a blur.
Epilogue... Survived Dick's run. Caught 10 shows on Leg 2 (only missed 3!) and 24 total. Hell of a summer. One of the best if not the best summer tours in 3.0. Chuck Klosterman was on my flight back to LA. I never sleep on planes, but after the Colorado run, I was drained. Out cold. Thank you, Phish.
If you have not read 2012 Summer Tour Part 1, you can find my rapid-fire review of Leg 1 here.
Visit this special page for links to setlists and videos from last summer.
Here are extended recaps of Leg 2 shows I attended (minus the Dick's run because I was too inebriated to file a proper report)...
Long Beach: Wednesday Night BieberIf you enjoyed these show recaps, please help support my summer tour by purchasing one of my books.
SF #1: Touch the Magic
SF #2: Lost in Space
SF #3: Sunday Scorcher
Atlanta: Return to Lakewood
Charlotte: The Church of Phish
St. Louis: Turn My Brain to Mush