Sunday, October 31, 2010

Phish Costume Contest

photo by @taopauly

Vote Here

There are two photo booths at tonight's show. Follow the Phish Facebook page to see the costume contest entries at A/C. Winner's will be chosen by popular vote. contest rules

Recap 10/30/10 AC Night #2: Whole Lotta Zeppelin

Friday's rager and ensuing festivities meant a super slow Saturday morning, but somehow I rallied and sobered up enough in time for a proper diner breakfast before heading to the Trop to play in the Phamily Poker Classic. The guys at Mockingbird Foundation (Kevin and Charlie) hosted a kick ass charity poker tournament. The back of the poker room was filled with familiar Phisheads with proclivities to cards, and for the first time two of my worlds collided. I've played in almost a hundred charity events during my stint in the poker industry, and by far, the Phamily Poker Classic was one of the most enjoyable I've ever been a part of.

Space was limited and the popular event had been sold out for weeks. I was fortunate enough that the gang tapped me to be one of the bounty players. Before the tournament started, I chatted with Pete, Jim, Scotty, and Basher. Luckily, I got to sit at the same table as Benjo and Irongirl. Too bad I didn't last very long. I was not the first player to bust out, but I was the first bounty player to get knocked out. Poker is a bitch sometimes, something I know all too well. Cameron from the Pharmer's Almanac sent me packing. For successfully knocking me out, he won a Live Phish CD and an autographed copy of my book, Lost Vegas. On a cool note, I was able to get a cool poster by Erin...

Benjo and Irongirl didn't last much longer. While I waited for them on the rail, I chatted with Dave "ZZYZX" Steinberg and Mitchell, one of the few British heads who made the journey across the pond for the three-show run. ZZYZX was convinced that the boys were going to cover Little Feat on Halloween, as the swirling rumors shifted from Zeppelin to Genesis and now Little Feat. My buddy, the legendary AlCantHang, made a cameo at the Trop and he was ready to help us pre-party once everyone was knocked out of the tournament.

At the Trump, we noticed an incapacitated guy on a stretcher being wheeled away by paramedics. He was an old fat guy and not an overdosing noob. The lounge area (that had a DJ) just inside the Boardwalk entrance of Trump had been the place to be the last two nights. I ran into a guy from college that I had not see in 16 years. The area was swarmed with heads and more folks were in desperate search of extras with their index fingers pointed toward the heavens. More people wore costumes, which added a bit more flair to the evening. I found Gavin and he was attempting to sell his Saturday ticket for Halloween. He was unable to find anyone to hook him up.

In front of Boardwalk Hall

More undercover cops prowled the boardwalk area, especially the beach, where they broke up a couple of tank mongers and whisked away any other miscreants. In the seaside town of sketchiness, you really have to fuck up big time to get hauled away by local po-po.

We headed inside and about 40-50% of the crowd was in costume. Benjo had a theory that they were folks not going to the Halloween show, so it was their only chance to dress up. I thought he had a good point, but the actual percentages were lower, and yeah, it was definitely cool to see a few creative costumes.

We were rocking the second row of one of the 200 level sections and squeezed Gavin and Irongirl in our row. The lights went down and Phish kicked off the Saturday night show with Kill Devil Falls. They avoided playing a lot of newer material during the Friday show, but kicked Saturday off with one of their more harder-rocking songs from Joy. Unfortunately, my one-hitter got clogged and I had to perform emergency surgery on the glass piece.

Cavern is a turbo boost vehicle usually appearing toward the end of the first set, so this one popped up unexpectedly. I could tell that the techies diligently worked on the sound deficiencies from the previous night. Gordo could be heard in the mix much better in Foam and Trey was turned down a notch (but Big Red was still loud as fuck).

The show finally reached cruising altitude with Guleah Papyrus. The highlight (and one of my favorite moments of the run thus far) was the pause near the end when CK5 killed the stage lights. The crowd took advantage of the pause as the band stood in darkness, and a full aerial assault of glowsticks quickly filled the air and the crowd got louder and louder as more and more glowsticks were hurled around the longer that the band paused. They ripped back into Guleah and the crowd below me trembled.

Chalkdust started off innocent enough before things got really really really interesting. During the jam out, Benjo tapped me on the shoulder when we both heard a Zeppelin tease. I thought it was just that -- a Jimmy Page lick that Trey was taunting us with -- but it ended up a whole lot more as they tore into Whole Lotta Love for about ninety seconds of insane shredding. CK5 lit up the crowd with those bright light crowd lights and you could see everyone reeling in a collective orgasm with a little taste of Zeppelin, before they returned to Chalkdust like nothing had happened.

Ha Ha Ha was up next, which was Phish's way of letting everyone know that the joke's on us. No Zeppelin for Halloween.

Page took the lead with a cover of Walk Away, and he usually is the focal point of the jam out, but the Zeppelin interlude in Chalkdust lit a fire under Trey's ass and he just shredded the hell out of the jam (and dare I say, stepped on Page's toes and sorta nudged him out of the way for a bit of superfluous wanking). Little did we know that vibe would be carried out through the remainder of the show.

The crowd ate up Wolfman's and the usual high-octane funk was replaced with a more of a Latin-samba rhythm accompanied by an odd vocal jam that eventually morphed into Undermind. Fishman let loose his inner octopus and was drumming with what sounded like eight simultaneous arms.

Loved the frantic, menacing Page intro to Gin and the band was met with a superlative reaction to the "we all take a bath" lyric. Gin jam had a few juicy parts that I'm eager to hear again. The set ended with a poignant Squirming Coil. It was a song that I used to loathe in the 1.0 era and I eventually embraced it in 2.0, but now I'm digging it. Coil went from hate > tolerance > love in a decade's time. Fish, Gordo, and Trey snuck off stage when CK5 darkened the stage lights, save for two white spot lights hovering over Page as he pecked away a soulful solo. He took a bow and left the stage to end the set.

The second set kicked off with the funk and a Tube that I had been waiting to hear for a while. I had some phone issues at that point and figured out that the mothership was blasting the venue with an electromagnetic pulse which is one of the reasons my battery was getting drained in a matter of hours.

After a savory Possum (Gordo was the obvious MVP) that included a few more Whole Lotta Love teases, it was time for blast off with a ground-shaking Tweezer. The AC version will go down in Phishtory as the infamous "Zeppelin Tweezer" because of all the teases and medley that was snaked and peppered throughout the song. Unofficially, I had scribbled down Tweezer > Heartbreaker > Tweezer > Ramble On > What Is And What Should Never Be > Tweezer > Stairway to Heaven, but there were plenty of other bits tossed in there (that I also can't wait to listen to again). IronGirl thought she heard a Castles in the Sand tease toward the end of Tweezer just before they explored Stairway. Irongirl mentioned that the guy next to him was in tears during the Zep bustouts.

"Happy Halloween!" Trey shouted after they finished up. "See ya next year!"

If you were hoping for Zeppelin on Halloween, that Tweezer pretty much let you know where you stand. But as Benjo pointed out, "They played all songs that were not on Physical Graffiti. So there's still hope." Yeah, true, but it's a real glimmer of hope at this point.

The Zep stuff was so powerful and unexpected that it overshadowed what I thought was one of the better bits of the second set: Halley's Comet > 2001 > David Bowie. Figured that 2001 would have been saved for the third set on Halloween, but they managed to squeeze it between a ripping Halley's and a sultry erection-inducing Bowie.

They downshifted into a mellow Show of Life, which the guy behind me welcomed because he said that he needed a breather after all of the Zeppelin and the 2001 dance party.

Smoked tuff during Backwards. Trey rushed over to Gordo and whispered something in his ear and then bolted to tell Page. Trey called for another Zep audible, this time with a bong-rattling Good Times Bad Times. Man, talking about a smoking way to end a fantastic set of Phishy Zeppelin. As my buddy Bruce remarked, "Yeah, the Zeppelin songs were sloppy, but who the fuck cares. It was one of the best Phish shows I have ever seen."

The encore included a slow-starting but tension-building Sleeping Monkey, before the conclusion of Tweezer Reprise. Not to be outdone by themselves, Trey whipped his pud out one last time for a final bit of Whole Lotta Love shredding before they ended the show.

Whole lotta Zeppelin is what we got served up on a Saturday in Atlantic City. They definitely through hardcore Zep fans a bone with the Zep-heavy show, so fans won't be pissed (or "too pissed" as Benjo said) when they play something else on Halloween.

As Saturday night bled into Sunday morning, the rumors shifted away from Little Feat and headed towards Frank Zappa territory. I'm still holding out for Hendrix.

Eleven shows down this tour. One more remaining, including three sets for Halloween. At this point, I don't care what they play. It's gonna be a rager/throwdown/asskicking no matter what they play.

New Wook Patrol Podcasts: Saturday in Atlantic City

Welcome back to the Coventry's Wook Patrol podcast. We're in Atlantic City this weekend, and I recorded a couple of quickie podcasts with everyone's favorite French Phishead.... Benjo.
Episode 23: Tough Ticket Saturday with Benjo - Pauly and Benjo hang out on the Boardwalk near the venue before the Saturday show. They describe the festive scene, especially the lack of available tickets floating around.

Episode 24: Whole Lotta Zeppelin with Benjo - Pauly and Benjo catch up at setbreak about the opening set of the Saturday's Phish show. The Whole Lotta Love bustout is all that anyone could talk about. They wonder if the Zeppelin song is an indication to cross them off the Halloween list? Or is it just a teaser of what is to come?
Thanks for listening to Coventry's podcast The Wook Patrol. To listen to older episodes from Phish summer tour, then visit the Wook Patrol archives.

Phish Atlantic City 10/30/2010 Night 2 Set List

‎10/30 - Poster by Nate Duval © Phish 2010.
New Jersey Honey Bee. Limited Edition Run of 550. 18x24

10/30/10 Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Set 1:Kill Devil Falls, Cavern, Foam, Guleah Papyrus, Chalkdust > Whole Lotta Love > Chalkdust, Ha Ha Ha, Walkaway, Wolfman's > Undermind, Gin, Coil

Set 2: Tube, Possum, Tweezer > Heartbreaker > Tweezer > Ramble On > What Is And What Should Never Be > Tweezer > Stairway to Heaven, Halley's Comet > 2001 > Bowie, Show of Life, Backwards, Good Times Bad Times

Encore: Sleeping Money, Tweezer Reprise **

**with Whole Lotta Love ending

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Recap 10/29/30 AC Night 1: Welcome to Atlantic City

Benjo got lost in the Bronx when he took the wrong subway and ended up deep in the hood. I told him that was the perfect workout for hanging in Atlantic City, the land of sketchy, for a three-show run with the Phish. IronGirl drove us from NYC to AC in record time. We settled into our hotel, picked up provisions for a 72-hour bender, and made our way down to the Boardwalk.

No lot scene, which was expected, but even a mini-Shakedown that popped up on a side street was shut down by the local po-po. The scene in front of Boardwalk Hall became a general Shakedown area as heads wandered back and forth on the boardwalk. Lots of extras floating around. Tanks were hissing on the beach, which also became a haven for pot smokers. The nitrous mafia even handed out fliers that offered up hotel-room delivery of tanks. Welcome to Atlantic City.

The venue was massive, and looked much smaller in pictures. The room was sort of a half-tunnel. The large rounded ceilings reminded me of subway stops in London or in Spanish Harlem in NYC. You could fly a mothership inside and have a pro football game on the floor. The moment I sat down I thought, "This would be an amazing place to hear Trey shred Zeppelin."

I popped a party favor before I got in line and it hit me hard.

"Like a ton of bricks," mentioned Benjo.

I was pretty schwasted and the show had not even begun. I barely survived a trip to the bathroom. On my way back, I struggled to stand up straight and confessed to Benjo, "Brah, I'm schwilly. It feels like that scene in Fear and Loathing when Hunter sniffed ether and they can't even walk through the casino."

Benjo knew exactly what I was talking about. I described the inebriated sensation to that amusement park ride that shoots you straight up into the air for a reverse free fall. Before the set started, I hung out with Branden and Dallas Dave.

The light went down and the band huddled in front of Page's rig. We new something acapella was upcoming, but didn't expect the Star Spangled Banner, but should have because of the gigantic flag hung up on the wall at the back of the venue.

My Soul was up next and the bluesy soul song was in Page's wheelhouse. It was evident from the get go that: 1) Page was going to be the man all night, and 2) Trey's guitar was jacked up way past "11" and more like 17. I struggled to adjust to the sound. I couldn't hear Gordo in the mix. We were spoiled with smaller venues the last few shows because Boardwalk Hall is one massive tube where Phish was conducting their mass group experiement.

AC/DC Bag popped up after My Soul. "A first set of show openers," remarked Benjo.

We got treated with an uppity version of Ocelot, compared to more faded ones earlier on tour. And yes, I was wearing an Ocelot shirt. The crowd sang along with Sample in a Jar, before things really got cooking with Light Up or Leave Me Alone. The Traffic cover has been getting lots more airplay in 3.0, and it's another vehicle to let Page let it rip. The layered and enthusiastic jam out was one of my personal highlights of the set that included lots of Trey's machine gun burst of notes.

I smoked tuff during Gordo's Sugar Shack. Seemed like the mix started improving around Timber Ho, and CK5's UFO lights made a triumphant return and Fishman did his best impression of five African drummers. If I had to piss, I would have bailed for Bouncin', but luckily I didn't go and caught a pulsating and ear-ringing Axilla. I really felt as though the show (and the three-night run) really began with Axilla, because everything before that was "spring training" or "pre-season."

A hard-rocking Rift kept up the momentum, which culminated into a trio of smoking tunes to close the set... Moma Dance > Cities > 46 Days. The boys brought the roid funk to AC with Moma, before it delved off unexpectedly into a rushed, yet high-octane version of Cities that included CK5 turning up the house lights along the side walls. A scorching 46 Days ended the 14-song set on a high note.

By setbreak, I sobered up a bunch and had a more calmer time than the frantic insanity that overwhelmed me before the set. Couldn't find any water. Benjo bought me a Bud Lime. yes, I was pounding Bud Lime, the official drink of Guidettes from the Jersey Shore.

We snuck Irongirl into our section and the second set kicked off with a crowd-loving PYITE, which was immediately followed up by a dirty dirty dirty Sand. My only complaint about the song was that I wish Gordo was turned up louder and Trey turned down a bit. A gritty-blues-funk jam got squeezed out of the end of Sand that eventually picked up steam and eventually blasted off into Carini. The floor below me was shaking the hardest of the night for Carini. Phish downshifted with Caspian and an even mellower Corinna. The pace picked up with an explosive Piper into a solemn Theme. Anyone that the band lost during Theme, was quickly brought back to life with Golgi.

Another epic Slave was followed up by a smoking Fluffhead. I don't think they did a doubled up on those two songs in 12+ years. Talk about a 1-2 punch to end the second set. Loud ovation for the boys as they took a bow, quickly exited the stage, and returned for a solo encore of Loving Cup. Benjo was psyched for Loving Cup and he admitted that the Rolling Stones version is the most played song on his iPod.

Overall, the first set had a few ups and downs but mostly the biggest letdown was the spotty sound mix and lack of Gordo's bong-rattling bass. If anything, it was a little too loud. Usually my ears are ringing when I'm leaving a show, but that not-so-fun sensation tingled in my head during the setbreak. The sound deficiency was improved toward the end of the first set and the boys continued the heat the rest of the night.

The first night of three is done. Got off to a smoking start, wish the venue was a little different, but I'm sure the band and sound guys will figure out how to make things smoother for the other two nights.

We made our way through the casino on the way back to our $30 parking space in the Trump. A couple of old people at the slots were freaked out by all of the dirty wooks asking them for spare change or attempting to decipher faint whispers of "molly."

Ten down this tour. Two more to go.

Hulaween Setlists - String Cheese Incident and Disco Biscuits 10/29/2010

The other Halloween Run...

The Disco Biscuits, 10/29/2010 Hampton Coliseum - Hampton, VA

Set: Hope, Astronaut > Spacebirdmatingcall% > Astronaut, Little Shimmy In A Conga Line% > Basis For A Day


String Cheese Incident 10/29/2010 Hampton Coliseum - Hampton, VA

Set 1: Best Feeling > Texas > Daryl, Walls of Time, Yo Se, Got What He Wanted > Black Clouds, Miss Brown's Teahouse > L'il Liza Jane > Miss Brown's Teahouse

Set 2: Song In My Head, Just One Story, Joyful Sound > EOTO > > Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms, Way That It Goes, Sirens, It Is What It Is > On the Road....

Encore: Jellyfish > Jump*

*Van Halen; Travis on Vocals and Cock Rock

Official Photo Gallery

Friday, October 29, 2010

Phish Atlantic City 10/29/2010 Night 1 Set List

10/29 - Poster by Nate Duval © Phish 2010.
New Jersey Eastern Goldfinch. 18x24

Atlantic City night 1! You Excited? We are! Don't forget to follow @CoventryMusic on Twitter for updates.

10/29/10 - Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Set I: Star Spangled Banner, My Soul, AC/DC Bag, Ocelot, Sample in a Jar, Light Up or Leave Me Alone, Sugar Shack, Timber Ho, Bouncin', Axilla, Rift, Moma Dance > Cities > 46 Days

Set II: PYITE, Sand > Carini > Caspian, Corinna, Piper > Theme from the Bottom, Golgi, Slave, Fluffhead

Encore: Loving Cup

Phish From The Road Facebook Photos

New Music From DYSLEXIC

Here is the new track, NORTHWESTAFALLIA from Dyslexic.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Phish - Manchester 10/26/10 - Please Me Have No Regrets

Phish came up to Manchester, NH last night, an easy 30 minute drive for me. I met up with Dr. Pauly (I haven't read Pauly's review yet) and Senor before the show and we perused the wasteland that was the lot outside the Verizon Center. It looked like a filthy tailgate scene - with wookies of all shapes and sizes hawking their wares: sparkly head bands, grilled cheese sandwiches, Nitrous balloons, beer, etc. I was surprised that the notoriously anal NH State Troopers didn't jump on the nitrous sales - I hypothesized to Pauly that they probably didn't know what it was - NH isn't used to that level of degeneracy!

Pauly and I found our seats with time to spare, and relaxed as we watched the arena fill up. "5 guy" was sitting next to us - a guy who wears a shirt with a large number 5 on it, who Pauly recognized from Colorado. The band kicked off at 8:15 with After Midnight, which got the place pumped, and the energy after the follow up The Sloth was sizzling. "Sleep all day, Rip Van Winkling. Spend my nights in bars, glasses tinkling." Sadly, for me, I thought that Phish totally lost their way after this in the first set. They had the crowd absolutely charged up after Sloth, but a constant cease in the flow - they'd stop and discuss the next song after every song, something I've never seen them do to this extent - and a shaky song selection (lots of tour debuts though) crushed the crowd's energy. Alumni Blues was cool, but the Mellow Mood follower had people running for the bathrooms. Things didn't improve with Access Me, but the crowd released pent up fury during a raucous Llama. I didn't think the sound mix was nearly as good as it was in Providence, despite the fact that I had nearly identical seats, and Llama came out sounding like a lot of noise. Between songs, I would make sarcastic song requests to try to tilt Dr. Pauly, fake screaming "T T EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!" and "JOYYYYYYYYYYYY" which made him laugh, knowing I was joking.

Phish crushed the budding enthusiasm again with All of These Dreams, before rallying with The Curtain With, which led the crowd to chant along with the lyrics "As he saw his life run away from him, thousands ran along, chanting words from a song. Please, Me have no regrets." The crowd enjoyed Scent of a Mule, but again, with the sloppy sound mix I found it to be a lot of noise. A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing was long and jammy, and It's Ice was dark and dirty before they closed the set with Walls of the Cave, which took 10 of its 12 minutes to build into a worthy explosion of energy. There was a guy two rows behind us blowing up the kind of balloons you make balloon animals out of, and carefully launching them in a regular stream out over the crowd.

At the set break, Senor came down to sit with us, and he shared my disappointment over the first set. I've seen a lot of Phish shows and the common theme in all of them is frenzied crowd energy. It just wasn't there - a result, I think, of the disjointed song selection. Reading some reviews this morning, however, people are calling this one of the best shows of the tour, so who knows. All I can say is that the first set seriously lacked a strong energetic vibe.

All of that changed in set two. Perhaps the crowd was coiled like a snake waiting to strike - the Possum opener absolutely BLEW UP the joint. A very loud, very intense 10 minute Possum seemed like a relief to the crowd, who finally got to explode in a Kuroda-driven series of halogen-lit peaks. There was no settling down in this set, as Light followed and kicked off a stream of segues that saw the band continue without break for most of the rest of the set. Mike's Song started, as usual, happy and bright, and ended raucous and pounding, with Senor dancing in the row behind us playing multiple air-instruments at the same time. Mike's jammed out before settling into the novelties of Simple and Makisupa Policeman, where Trey sang the lyric "Woke up this morning, all I could do was shrug. Go back in my bedroom and smoke another nug." Makisupa flowed into Night Nurse, a reggae cover, which morphed back into Makisupa, and was then followed by and upbeat Wedge.

Ghost followed, and was dark and searing - 11 minutes of filth - before another novelty, the Mango Song. One review I read today said that Mango only got played because they butchered the opening segue back into Weekapaug Groove, which came out like Mango, so they went with it. I noticed at one point that Trey was directing the band - he said something to Mike, who went to tell Fishman, but Fishman was looking into the crowd and spacing out, so Mike had to stand there for 3 minutes before Fishman turned and finally got the call. At one point a girl in the first few rows got up on a guy's shoulders and flashed Trey.

Weekapaug jammed back into Llama, which closed the set in a firestorm of noise, light and energy. Sadly, Show of Life was a mellow encore, missing an opportunity to put a real stamp on the night.

An insane second set made up for an energy lacking (although rarity bust-out filled) first set, and sent the mass of wooks out into the hallways of the Verizon Center still whoooping en masse. I made it home in half an hour, and settled into bed to a ringing in my ears...


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MIX: 70's Fusion

The usual downtempo electronic jams have been put on hold for the month of October as I have been busy exploring the genre of 70's Fusion. There are several types of 70's Fusion, but I focused mainly on the jazz-funk fusion era from the mid-late 1970's.

I've always been a fan of Herbie Hancock, Al Di Meola, Jeff Beck, etc.. but wasn't as familiar with other artists from that time that were doing similar projects. So I spent the last 6 weeks searching out and exploring the genre of 70's Fusion, and what I found was exactly what I expected: that there is some amazing music from that period that I had never heard before.

The level of playing in these bands is extremely good. Every artist you hear is a true master of their instrument and is also very inspired at this point in their career. Artists like Ahmad Jamal had just discovered the Rhodes, Hancock was experimenting with synthesizers, and they took their jazz training and combined it with the street sound of the funk rhythm, which gave the genre a dance-able rhythm and gained influences from the electric, and some new analog electronic sounds of fusion. The 1970s included many original stylistic creations, and the jazz-funk genre was very representative of this movement.

This mix is 100% instrumental and demonstrates some of the most impressive playing that I have ever heard.


01. Tarantula - Jean-Luc Ponty
02. Misdemeanor - Ahmad Jamal
03. Air Blower - Jeff Beck
04. Scatterbrain - Jeff Beck
05. Le Lis - Billy Cobham
06. Shark bite - George Benson
07. Vulcan Princess - Stanley Clarke
08. Steppin' In It - Herbie Hancock
09. Tambura - Ramsey Lewis
10. Night Crawler - Bob James
11. The Wizard - Al Di Meola
12. Bird Of Beauty - Herbie Mann
13. Space Circus - Return to Forever
14. Gibraltar - Weather Report


Hope you enjoy!

Manchester, NH Recap 10/26/10 - Live Free or Die

Phish had not played in New Hampshire since 1993, slightly odd considering it bordered its home state of Vermont. Alas, weird things like that happen, but New Hampshire made the cut for this fall tour as Phish continued their barnstorming of smallish venues through New England. In Manchester, Phish took center stage inside a minor hockey league arena and played in front of an unusual mix of Boston heads, curious locals, and lots of phamily from Vermont. The result? Another unpredictable night filled with bustouts, classics, deep cuts, and a couple of heavy jam vehicles.

Senor and I drove up to Manchester, or ManchVegas as some of my friends called it. Senor booked us a room at a hotel next door to a minor league baseball stadium. In fact, our room had a view of the entire field. We made our way down to Elm Street and found a sports bar to grab grub and booze up. Senor waited on one of his buddies from Boston and I met up with Nyna, one of the oldest friends of DiscoSis #1. I hooked Nyna and her hubby up with my extras and they were excited to see their first show since Coventry.

I randomly bumped into Kid Dynamite on Elm Street even though we were supposed to meet up. Wandered over to a mini-Shakedown, which had a totally sketched out vibe with tanks hissing in the shadows, Massholes huffing balloons, and lots of high school kids looking to get lit up.

A spaced out girl from Vermont wandered up to KD and said, "You're good looking. You should meet my friend." She darted into the crowd to retrieve her friend, who was just as spaced out. KD didn't know what to make of the aggressive Vermont girls in the lot.

Kid Dynamite scored us tickets four rows off the floor in section 106. Not too shabby, with handful of jailbait high school girls in our rowdy section. The lights went down and the night's journey began with an unexpected cover of After Midnight. I got flashbacks of Big Cypress and the Millennium show. Trey channeled Eric Clapton (yes, I know it's a JJ Cale original, but popularized by EC). The sound mix inside the venue was the most perfect, but Trey's guitar was loud and clear as he ripped it up.

A couple of older heads in my section picked up on Sloth within the first few notes. When it was finished, the audience gave the band a raucous cheer. They were even louder after the Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues bustout. A few friends sent me texts and said that was a sign that they were going to play Zeppelin for Halloween. I dunno if that's the exact case, but the crowd was fired up after Alumni. I have never heard a crowd cheer louder for Phish since the Hampton reunion shows.

Bob Marley's Mellow Mood included accompany background "Ooooooh ooooooooh" vocals from the crowd, even though Trey was a little late on the second verse. After a bit of reggae Phish, Trey consulted with Gordo and Page about what to play next. It almost seemed like a quick negotiation after Gordo apparently shook off one of Trey's songs. They settled on Access Me with Gordo on lead vocals and Trey noodled weird shrieking notes that sounded like dolphins fucking.

The crowd lost their mud over Llama, especially the Penguin Guy who was dancing in the aisle near us. Trey called out "Leo!" before Page delivered a sensational solo. All of These Dreams is a classic 2.0 Pauly Takes a Piss Song that seemed a bit oddly placed, but at that point, a slow song was due up anyway. Dreams was a definite slow down tun compared to the Llama heat. The boy picked up the slack with The Curtain With. I kept thinking about how that was the last song in Coventry...and at the time it was going to be the last Phish...ever. That versions sort of an emotional rollercoaster, but this one was tighter, sharper, and surprisingly beautiful. I dunno why I scribbled down that word (beautiful) in my notes, but that's what popped into my head at the time.

Scent of a Mule featured Page pecking away like madman Victor Borge. Senor went nuts over the Jewish section. The high-powered version did not too have too many flubs.

Light during Mule

I Heard the Ocean Sing cropped up out of nowhere. Had no idea how/why that got tossed into the mix. I wasn't really into the song and bailed for the bathroom. The hallways were super slippery and I took a slight tumble. Yep, I fell, but popped right back up to continue my sprint to the pisser. Fitting that Ice was up next as soon as I returned to my seat.

At the start of Walls of the Cave, one of the guys next to me called the second half of the set a trainwreck. I could understand how some phans would not jive on the disjointed set that included a few deep cuts and bustouts, but, I also understand how some heads could go apeshit over some of the rare songs that were played -- especially all in the same night. That's the beauty about Phish -- it is what it is and more often than not, it's never the same for you and me.

The best part of WOTC is the "Silent Trees" section which has always been the part that I eagerly await as Trey's "borrowed" Rock and Roll-like percolates into some serious thrash jamming. They ended their set (around 90 minutes) with a Silent Trees jam that accumulated into a volcanic eruption to end the first set.

I met up with Eric at setbreak, snuck Senor into our section, which was no easy task considering we had a Nazi for a security guard. He even muttered in a Bavarian accent, "Can I zee your paperz?"

If you didn't like the first set, well then the boys made it up to you after they really smoked the shit out of the second set. I couldn't find any lulls in that set -- it kept going and going -- from the moment they kicked off with a invigorating Possum. The Light jam had a couple of savory moments. KD and I watched the weird balloon guy, who kept blowing up those long ass balloons and releasing them into the air. The Light jam out got a bit funky and I was hoping for a Tube, but it raced right into Mike's Song. The crowd went berserk for a reason -- it was one of the better versions I've seen considering I thought was going to be impossible to top the Charleston smoker. Anyone with a glowstick hurled them as a miniwar popped up. Someone with a bubble machine flooded the air with bubbles, and CK5 lit up the arena with a series of sultry red lights. They didn't stray away from a tested formula and seged into Simple, which was smooth and super mellow with accompanying yellow lights complimenting the subdued jam. The mood quickly switched after a couple of familiar reggae licks that indicated Makisupa Policeman was waiting ahead. Trey made reference to smoking nugs and I wondered if Big Red dragging a little weed these days. Phish gave us a brief taste of Makisupa before they smoothly slipped into Night Nurse, and eventually jumped back into the end of Makisupa.

I got my first non-Colorado Wedge in a while. I'm sure that's not correct stats wise, but it just seems as though I hear it every time I'm at a Colorado run. KD pointed out the flasher toward the end of the song. She got up on someone's shoulders and showed her boobies to Trey. Anyone have a vid of that floating around?

A thick and richly layered Wedge morphed into a faded-funk intro for Ghost. I was really sucked into this gritty version, and I can't really say why, for some reason it just grabbed me by the balls and wouldn't let go. It drifted into a trancey jam and then jumped off into Mango Song. Page was the hands-down MVP of Mango while pounding the ivory keys with such force that I thought his piano was gonna break. The jam out of Mango seemed a bit off. I dunno if it was rushed by Trey or what, but they kinda stumbled into Weekapaug. Bottom line is that they got there. And man, what a stunning version that included more teases than I can remember (I heard "I'm a Man"), a mixture of some Ghost lyrics, and even an unexpected segue into something that was like a Llama Reprise. That jam out of Llama might have been the craziest of the evening. They ended the set on the crest of the highest wave of the evening.

I wondered if the After Midnight opener was an indication that they were going to be rocking out way past 12. Surely they'd try to top the evening with a duo or trio of songs, right? Nope, instead they played a single song encore of Show of Life. Both KD and Senor thought the second sets were incendiary but the encore was a let down. I didn't mind hearing it, but how could I argue against Show of Life along with a second or third tune?

Phish's return to New Hampshire was a mixed gift bag of goodies -- something for everyone -- especially several throwback songs geared towards some of their oldest and closest Vermont phamily. They ended the New England run hitting a dozen or so high marks during the four shows I caught, which bodes well for everyone heading down to Atlantic City for the Halloween shows. Last year, Phish ended a 10-week hiatus with the Festival 8 shows. This year, they are coming off of a slamming tour. I prefer to walk into Phish shows with low expectations, but it's gonna be hard to quell my frenzied anticipation as we all count down the hours til Halloween.

Nine down. Three more to go. Next stop... Atlantic City.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Phish 10/26/2010 Manchester NH Set List

‎10/26 - Poster by Ken Taylor © Phish 2010.
Weston Observatory. Limited Edition Run of 550. 18x24

Phish returns to the Live Free OR DIE! State. Today that means go to a Phish show, eat some pharmies, dance your ass off OR DIE! Stay tuned for Dr. Pauly's commentary and we will have the links here for ya!


Phish 10/26/2010 Manchester NH

Set I: After Midnight, The Sloth, Alumni Blues>Letter To Jimmy Page>Alumni Blues, Mellow Mood, Access Me, Llama, All ofThese Dreams, Curtain With, Scent of A Mule, A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing, Its Ice, Walls Of The Cave

Set II: Possum, Light > Mike's > Simple > Makisupa > Night Nurse > Makisupa, Wedge > Ghost > Mango Song > Weekapaug > Ghost > Weekapaug > Llama

Encore: Show of Life

Amherst Recap Night #2: Yacht Rocking

In Charleston, Otis tossed out a Brett Favre reference when describing how the Carolina crew felt on the morning after the Friday night rager. As much as I wanted to ignore the reality of the situation, he was correct. The one of the most difficult pitfalls to avoid while on Phish tour is the feeling of invincibility while partying in a magical utopia. My age caught up to me on Sunday morning, only a few hours after Saturday Amherst and my seventh show on this tour. I woke up in our Northampton hotel room with a sore back and a searing pain in my right knee (old hockey injury). I popped a Perc, which dulled the pain enough to get me through writing Saturday's recap, and then I settled in to watch football for a few hours. The pain got increasingly worse as the afternoon progressed. I knew that I was flirting with disaster because if I ate any more pain pills and I'd be complete luggage for Phish. I struggled to determine the proper dosage and decided to wait as long as possible to pop another Perc. I gutted it out all afternoon.

Senor drove Irongirl, myself, and his new girlfriend to the show. Once we arrived in the lot, I ate another Perc. Within 15 minutes, we were strolling down Shakedown and I couldn't feel a thing. Senor's new lady friend has only seen one previous show and never got a proper Shakedown experience. She compared it to a foreign market and was fascinated by all of the freaks, puppy pullers, and random girls with butterfly wings.

Shakedown was flooded with booze mongers. The lack of beer sales inside the campus venue forced kids to arrive to the lots early to pre-party, but it also meant that every third person in Shakedown was hawking some sort of liquor product. The marketplace was also saturated with dope peddlers. Lots of paper doses were going around. I turned down a 5-strip for an extra ticket from a pimply-faced kid who looked like he was 16. A shady mook in a green Red Sox hat whispered yay-yo but he looked like an undercover cop. One wook offered up deep discounts on Ketamine, something I had not seen on tour since Colorado. I found the one guy who was slinging pharmies, but he his prices were too high. Even though tickets were being bid for as low as $30, I managed to dump one of Senor's extras for $50.

We went into the show and settled into our seats 12 rows back on the side of the stage. Yep, Senor scored us Page Side Rage Side seats and the four of us sat together. The best part of the view was also getting lots of face time with Trey. In the 3.0 era, he's been spending much more time interacting with Page. There were times when Trey turned away from the audience and got off watching Page rip up a solo, and yeah, it was cool to be so close enough to see his reactions.

I noticed that a roadie stepped out onto the stage a few minutes before the lights went down. He taped a piece of paper in front of Trey's pedals and then slid another paper near Page's bench. I wondered if it were lyrics or the setlist?

Standard AC/DC Bag opener, which is the first one I've caught this tour. In previous years on tour with Senor, it always seemed as though Phish played AC/DC Bag and/or Wolfman's at every other show we attended. I looked around at the floor and tried to piece together the request signs and lots of phans wanted to hear LIZARDS.

The boys brought the disco-funk early on with Camelwalk. I spotted Dave Vann in the photographers well as he side stepped past thick-neck security guards in yellow shirts keep an eye on the stage. He snapped a few photos next to one of the two video guys (I have no idea the reasons why the show was being filmed -- for band's own amusement, documentary, future Phish DVDs?). Dave slowly made his way through the front trench cluttered with balloons only two songs into the show.

After a funky appetizer, Phish delved into the iconic Divided Sky. Indoor versions sound better than outdoor versions, but we don't have the natural soundings to compliment indoor shows. The section around me was calling for Tube, but instead, the band launched into an unexpected cover of Ride Captain Ride as Phish embraced Yacht Rock. Page took charge with the lead vocals and we got yet another cover where Page can let loose all of his chops. Considering that Ride Captain Ride had not been played in a long time, they nailed the jam.

After a bit of fluffy happy shiny yacht rock, it was time to get down and dirty with Stash. A couple of assclowns with laser pointers were on opposite ends of the venue and zapping each other, which drew the attention of security who quickly took out the troublemakers. One of the benefits of being so close to the stage was that I knew Fee was going to be played as soon as Trey wheeled around and bent over to pick up the megaphone behind one of his stacks. Page had a couple super smooth solos during Fee, which wandered off into a trancey jam that included a NO2 tease but eventually morphed into Time Turns Elastic. Yeah, it's my 10th TTE and the only good thing I can say about it is that a few of the stagnant sections sounded like they were played through much quicker. My theory about TTE is that it was played in Amherst because they'd be less angry drunks (with no beer sales inside the venue), so Trey wouldn't be pegged with glowsticks by soused and hostile fans. Whenever I hear TTE, I get visions of the scene in Blues Brothers when the band played the country and western bar and the crowd starts tossing beer bottles that crash against the chicken wire protecting the band from the ornery belligerent drunks in the crowd.

And in true Senor fashion he said, "Yeah, I don't like TTE, but I was still trying to rock out to it."

After the TTE set fart, the band finished up the set with a duo of high-energy crowd pleasers with Cavern and Antelope. I felt the ground below me shaking for both tunes as thousands of glowsticks filled the air. Impressive display.

Setbreak was when things got a little fuzzy for me. The pharmies caught up and I'd spend the entire second set struggling with anything that involved multi-tasking. Don't get me wrong...I was having tons of fun...too much fun in fact, but I could do only one thing at a time and focused mostly on grooving to the music. I shrugged off the commentary on Twitter and stopped taking notes altogether. Too faded to do anything except listen to the music play.

I was excited at the Seven Below opener for the potential jamming that would ensue. Didn't get too sinister like the epic Albany Seven Below > Ghost, and it almost seemed like they were holding back a bit and kept the song under ten minutes. They tossed a crowd a bone with Wolfman's, and Page stepped it up with some monster mashing as a bit of Roid Funk got injected into the crowd.

I got sucked into a blackhole during Backwards and Alaska. I sorta lost time and was falling fast into the abyss. I had never been that faded at a Phish show before (and the closest was the Nassau show in 2003 that included a scintillating Tweezer). Luckily, I got pulled out of the muck by a spirit enlivening Free. I was able to keep pace with a frenzied calypsoish Lizards and a loud raucous Brother, before I fell back into the void during Roggae > Taste > Waste. Once again, just as I was about to drown, I got tossed a well-needed life preserver with David Bowie, which got off to a rough start, but the boys pulled off a vibrant finish.

The Mighty Quinn encore arrived one night too late, but I was happy nonetheless that the Dylan cover is back in rotation. I was hoping for a dual encore, and we got treated to a double dip with a rare and unexpected Chalkdust. The last Chalk encore was at Shoreline with Bob Weir (I was at that show and they busted out El Paso, and think they played Chalkdust in consecutive nights on that tour).

The Sunday Amherst show looks much weaker on paper than it sounded. Despite my schwilly condition, I had a blast despite the bad back and bum knee. Seemed like I picked the right show to get absolutely faded.

Eight down. Four more to go. Next up... Manchester, NH.

Monday, October 25, 2010

PHISH - Ride Captain Ride UMASS 10/24/2010

Phish Yacht Rock anyone? Only the 11th time performed and first time performed since 12/10/99 almost 11 years ago.

I was 10 when this song debuted in 1970. A 1-hit wonder by the group Blues Image it hit number 4 on the charts. Many of the members of Blues Image went on to successful careers with other bands like CSN, Alice Cooper, Three Dog Night and Iron Butterfly.

Magnolia Fest 2010 Photo Dump

A few of my favorites from the weekend...

And...everyone mark your calendars for Spring Fest 2011 (March 24-27th) - The Avett Brothers will be there!!

Check out my other stories and pictures from previous Spring and Mag Fests at Suwannee!

Spring Fest 2009

Magnolia Fest 2008

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Phish Amherst 10/24/2010 Set List (Night #2)

10/24 - Poster by Jim Pollock © Phish 2010.
Limited Edition Run of 625.

Night #2 at Amherst...
Phish 10/24/2010 Amherst, MA

Set I: AC/DC Bag > Camel Walk, The Divided Sky, Ride Captain Ride, Stash, Fee > Time Turns Elastic, Cavern > Run Like An Antelope

Set II: Seven Below > Wolfman's Brother, Backwards Down The Number Line > Alaska > Free, The Lizards, Brother, Roggae > Taste > Waste > David Bowie

Encore: The Mighty Quinn, Chalk Dust Torture

Phish 10/23/10 Amherst Recap - Odd Balls, Screwballs, and Balls to the Wall

Back on the road with Senor. We geared up for the second of four shows that we'd see together thru Phish's meteoric run through New England. I got flashbacks from a decade ago when Senor and I dropped whatever we were doing at the time to chase a musical high, especially when it came to all things Phish. Life is different for both of us these days. After our roaring 20s, Senor opted for a traditional lifestyle (steady job, married soon-to-be divorced, and with two crazy little kids) while I continue the my path on the road less traveled. We live of opposite coasts and it's hard to see each other (LA to Providence is almost as far as you're gonna get in the States), but one of my favorite benefits of Phish tour is that I have a chance to party down with old friends that I would not normally see otherwise. Phish shows are opportunities to have reunions and I can never thank the band enough for hosting these important central gatherings for so many important (yet insanely busy) people in my life.

During the drive from Providence to Amherst outskirts, I was mesmerized by the vivacious colors of fall foliage because the intricacies of seasonal change escaped me after I relocated to Southern California. We arrived in the lot of the Mullins Center a little late due to traffic in/out of Amherst. We met up with Iron Girl, who introduced me to the drummer from the McLovins. He thought that there was a good chance that Phish covered MGMT on Halloween.

I wandered up and down a relatively strong Shakedown with two dense rows of vending mostly specializing in booze sales. The local po-po kept an eye on the inmates via observation towers (almost like a prison yard), but the scene was relatively tame and no one got shanked by a rival gang. I didn't see anyone with extra tickets (aside from a few trying to trade Sunday for Saturday). We ran into Pete (@phanart) hawking posters. I almost stepped on a puppy puller. Lots of angry dogs were roaming around this lot, and we almost saw a vicious dog fight. Gratuitous binge drinking ensued due to zero beer sales inside the venue. Sort of strange to attend a dry Phish show, which meant that anyone slinging jello shots, mixed drinks, or schwilly beer made a killing before the show.

Senor was in rare form and primed for a big night the moment that two lovely young ladies sat down next to us. Amanda was short and feisty and immediately introduced herself. "This is my 12th show and I'm very proud of that. By the way, my goal in life is to become and events coordinator and put on cool concerts like Phish, then get married, and become a real estate agent." She clearly had her shit together and knew what she wanted out of life, but at the time, she was savoring the moment and was elated to be at Phish. She introduced us to her best friend, Liz, who was bubbling over with excitement because she was at her first show.

The two 20-year old hotties were ready to throw down and were smitten with Senor's handsome looks. It was cool that we had a Phish virgin about to pop her cherry in Amherst of all places. Liz sheepishly admitted that her favorite song was Tweezer, and Senor told her the best part of Tweezer was that that guaranteed we'd hear Tweezer Reprise. Amanda wanted to hear "Maze into Ghost" and felt a Party Time coming along with some funky shit on the agenda like Boogie On. I dunno if I freaked her out when I told her myf irst show was in 1989 and she blurted out, "I wasn't even born yet."

Just before lights went down, I gazed up at the retired jersey for Julius Erving aka Dr. J, who played his college ball at UMass. Phish would be sharing the stage in the same arena that specialized in college hoops. They launched into a savory Meatstick to open the show. When Phish encored with Meatstick in Broomfield, it was met with a lukewarm reception, but the Amherst crowd gobbled it up with a jubilant reaction, especially the Japanese lyrics. It was evident from the moment that the band took the stage that they were about to take us on a unusual journey. Yep, this was not an ordinary Saturday night.

Party Time popped up out of nowhere, but accurately predicted by one of the hotties. Senor said he didn't know the song, but I told him to concentrate very hard on the complex lyrics. Next up on the menu was a satisfying Golgi, which perked up anyone in the crowd who was a perplexed with the auspicious start to the show. I always get a kick out of watching animated members of the audience at different intervals of Golgi, especially when Kuroda jackss up the house lights and phans have their arms thrust in the air like converts at a religious revival. Oh, and there's always one random schwasted guy waving a ticket stub during Golgi.

The hotties must listen to the Joy album in heavy rotation because they knew all the words to Kill Devil Falls and playfully sang along. At the beginning of Tweezer, I heard an orgasmic shriek pierce my eardrum. It sounded like the relentless wails from teenage girls who saw the Beatles at Shea Stadium for the first time and spent the entire show screaming in ecstasy at the top of their lungs. Yep, that was how Liz reacted to Tweezer as she got served up her favorite song at her first show. That's how Phish hooks fans for life. The Amherst Tweezer jam included sultry sensual undertones with a slow methodical intense build up, shying away from the slam-funk or sinister darkness of Tweezers past where they rush right out of the gate and sprint the entire way through the jam.

Page stepped out from behind his rig and channeled his inner Frank Sinatra for a tantalizing Lawn Boy. There was not a dry snatch in Amherst and Leo hit an epic high note with an extended "huuuuuuuuuuuuuuues" to end the original "Page Wet Phishy Chicks" song.

Senor's favorite song to see live in concert is Sparkle, a personal anthem for him from the moment he heard the song off of the Rift album. If by chance you loathe the "whoooo-hoooo" guy at Phish shows, well then you were probably bumming out if you were in our section because Senor unleashed a flurry of whooo-hooos during the Sparkle build up.

Big Black Furry Creatures from Mars continued with the oddball screwball theme for the night. BBFCFM is a song that might spook the hell out of you if you're tripping balls and not prepared for the dissonant mayhem. Any of the alien shapeshifters embedded in the crowd quickly stood to attention during BBFCFM and acted as antennas to receive messages from the mothership.

Trey made the "Henrietta" call and Page pecked away at the intro to Hold Your Head Up. That's sort of like hearing an air raid signal because a carpet bombing was imminent. But with HYHU, we knew that a vac solo and Fishman hijinks were to ensue.

"If Fish is gonna sing a Syd Barret song, well hell, he should've done Bike," commented Senor.

As is, Fish sung Love You, but admitted that he would probably forget the lyrics and just mumble his way through the muck. That's exactly what happened before he picked up his vac and went to town. Some phans can't stand Fish hijinks. I admit that sometimes the theatrics kills the momentum of a set, but appreciate the eccentric twist on an artistic level. However, in this instance, the theatrics were perfectly placed in a peculiar set that just got weirder by watching a fat guy in a dress play a vacuum.

A possum was one of the critters on the face of mail order ticket subs for the Amherst shows, so it seemed natural that they would play Possum (although a llama was on the Broomfield tickets and that gem got omitted from the Colorado rotation). The guy with the cannonfetti returned highlighted another high-octane Possum. Although the band reached the pinnacle moment and highest peak of the set, they still had time left over for a song or two and wondered what they could do to top Possum.

Enter a rare first set Tweezer Reprise. I wasn't expecting it until the encore, but Phish blew that fastball right by us. Got caught looking like a chump. Gordo dropped a bomb in the intro and I felt the ground shake below me, which was surprising considering this is not the balcony at SPAC or the bouncy floor at MSG. The Amherst version of Tweeprise featured an insertion of Meatstick lyrics, which bookended the meaty set.

During setbreak, the lines at the bathroom were much shorter due to the lack of beer sales. One spun out guy wandered the hallways screaming, "Who's got my Snooki? Who's got my SNOOKI!!!!??!"

Sticking with their unpredictable oddball shtick, the second set opened up with Down with Disease, which appeared in consecutive nights for yet another shocking rarity. Phish didn't back down from playing DWD again. Besides, we got an entirely different version compared to Providence's first set opener that was more compact and tighter, versus the more looser and stretched out second set opener where they had more wiggle room and leeway for exploratory jamming. Kuroda illuminated the arena with red-tinted hues before a strong presence of UFO lights returned and an ambient jam trickled into the mischievous My Friend My Friend. I have a list of "shroom songs" that have been known to drive people insane and My Friend is near the top of that list. On some nights, Phish's music is so powerful that they suck you down the rabbit hole even though you're not on psychedelics. My Friend is one of those vortexes to the other side.

The majority of the crowd sang along with Caspian, which also featured a bevy of bright lights illuminating the crowd, before the band took it down a notch with Halfway to the Moon. The new Page song has faded intro, which appeals to me on certain nights, but the boys are flirting with dangerous territory when Moon it's piggybacked onto a slower tune like Caspian. (which was one of the trouble spots for that jagged Colorado show). On a good note, the new songs are getting better every time its performed live.

If the band lost anyone along the way, they brought all the zombies back to life with an ass pounding Boogie On Reggae Woman. One of the hotties, Amanda, went berserk at Gordo's delicious intro to Stevie Wonder's funky cover, as the band injected a much needed dose of Roid Funk into sections of the crowd that had lost their buzz due to no booze sales. Too bad it was a quickie Boogie On. Amanda had been calling for a Maze > Ghost from the moment that I met her, and she got the first part of that wish list. Fishman went to his high hat and they ripped into a searing Maze. Page's pecking during a Thelonious Monk jazz-inspired solo was my personal highlight of the Maze jam. Oh, and the triggerman manning the canonfetti displayed perfect timing when he fired his blast at the precise moment that they pulled out of the jam. If I ever see that guy in the lot, I'm buying him a beer for his impeccable timing.

Velvet Sea cropped up out of nowhere, like that creepy friend of yours you've been trying to avoid and didn't invite to your party, yet he showed up anyway with a Latvian mail order bride and proceeded to smoke all of your drugs, drink too much rum, then pukes in your washing machine. I headed to the pissers for Velvet Cheese, but Senor stood his ground and he rocked out to the entire song. Senor disagreed with my sentiments.

"I happen to like all of the 'Pauly Takes a Piss Songs'!!" explained Senor. That tells you all you need to know about him -- he's a true enthusiast of the Phish and not a jaded vet like yours truly. Senor doesn't give a shit what other people think and he's gonna have fun at a Phish show no matter what they play, even if it's Velvet Cheese.

Piper featured a few intense moments with lots of "dirty tones" that would send Jonas into a tizzy. Piper was one of the few songs from Amherst that I wanted to listen to again as soon as the show ended. I got lost during one meandering section, but Fishman's inner octopus took control and he punched his way out of the troubled spot. It seemed like he had eight arms banging away at his kit. These days, whenever I hear Piper, I always think of Wildo's Piper trucker hat that the Joker got custom made (by Pep) for us in Telluride.

The Piper jam abruptly ended when they slammed on the breaks, and Trey teased a few Free licks before they delved off into Harry Hood. A heavy dose of glowsticks instantly filled the air during an uppity version. The guy on cannonfetti also nailed the orgasm part of the Hood jam. Awesome work, brah.

YEM lights

A gripping YEM closed the set. A few minutes into YEM, the foul and all-too familiar odor of vomit wafted by. Buzzkill. Someone lost their cookies, which was unexpected because the lack of beer sales contributed to a more subdued crowd than usual. Alas, one amateur couldn't hold his/her mud despite the booze prohibition. Man, think just how much potential revenue is generated by beer sales at a 10,000 person Phish show?

Trey teased Wilson during the heavy metal jam out and at one point he had put down his guitar and danced a jig while Gordo and Fish tag-teamed a drums-bass jam.

"Never seen Trey so happy," remarked Senor as Big red took a deep bow. In Japanese culture, the height (or depth) of the bow depends on how much respect you are paying to the person you bow to. Trey got down low -- really low. If you're a Phish nerd who reads into little things like Trey's body language onstage, then it was pretty evident that Trey was more than humbled by the Amherst crowd.

I wondered if we were going to get a double dip encore with a random bustout and a cover (like Buried Alive > Mighty Quinn which I had bet on and gotten good odds that they'd play at least one of those two, plus a bonus if they played both). Alas, Phish encored a cover song from Exile on Main Street and unearthed Shine a Light. The soulful Stones song was an appropriate end to an evening where Phish left all their emotions on stage after digging deep into their bag of tricks. Amherst didn't quite fit into the "greatest hits" shows that they had been playing on this tour, but they did not disappoint the crowd and whipped up a show that appealed to old school New England fans (who had been loyal to the band for over two decades), not to mention keeping it fresh for the newer generation and recent wave of fans.

I gazed at the wide smiles from Senor (he has to be closing in on 100 shows by now) and Liz (one of the hotties at her first show), which were a positive indicator and gauge that Phish did not let them down. I had not seen Senor have that much fun at a Phish show in over a decade. When he has fun, it's infectious, and I have fun.

Just when you think you got Phish figured out, they switch things up just a bit to keep you off guard, whether it's doubling up with songs (from the previous night like DWD), or switching up protocol (first set Tweprise closer), or screwing around with Fish hijinks (the band is named Phish after Fish for a reason), or even integrating new songs (Halfway to the Moon) in a set among the heaviest of hitters (Hood and Piper).

It's not easy being Phish trying to conjure up an unique and savory recipe night after night that will satisfy every palate in the audience. But despite those unrealistic challenges, they successfully pulled off a hearty feast in Amherst.

Seven down. One more to go Amherst, and five more shows remaining on this tour.

MAZE - Mullins Center UMASS 10/23/2010

I got the backstage view last night from stage level. About three minutes in Big Red turns to Page and I get full frontal shredding by Trey and Page maniacally playing the B3. All the members took their turns up front last night but it seemed like last night was Page's to shine.

Dr Pauly will have a full recap shortly. I'll provide my noob weekend recap after my 8th show tonight. I got the dark and dirty DWD/My Friend My Friend, Fishman on vacuum, Sparkle and a couple others on video. Stay tuned.

Funky Bitch: 10-22-10

Live from the Dunk!

Special thanks to mkdevo

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Phish Amherst 10/23/2010 Set List

10/23 - Poster by Jim Pollock © Phish 2010. Limited Edition Run of 625.Tonight's poster goes on sale at the South Entrance (on Commonwealth Ave) at 3PM.

Phish continues the tour of Northeast college towns with the first of 2 shows in Amherst, MA.

Phish 10/23/10 Amherst, MA

Set 1: Meatstick, Party Time, Golgi, KilL Devil Falls, Twezer > Lawn Boy, Sparkle, BBFCFM, HYHU > Love You > HYHU, Possum, Tweezer Reprise

Set 2: Down with Disease > My Friend > Caspian > Halfway to the Moon > Boogie On, Maze > Velveeta Sea** > Piper > Hood, YEM

Encore: Shine A Light

** Pauly Takes a Piss Song

Phish Providence 10/22/10 Recap - Funkin Go Nuts

The Phish returned to Rhode Island.

I sat out the last two shows, recovering from the wook flu in NYC, while the boys tore it up in Augusta, Maine and dropped the sleeper of the tour in Utica, NY of all places. I was excited to get back on tour and finish up the last seven shows, including a quartet of shows in Phish's old stomping grounds and returning to their roots by playing college towns peppered throughout New England.

I began my journey in NYC, hopped on a train to Connecticut, and met up with Javier who drove me to Rhode Island. We were meeting up with his big bro, Senor, who has been my partner in crime for over two decades. I caught the 2000 Japan tour with Senor, not to mention countless other Phish and Panic shows in the 1990s. Senor lived in Providence, just one block from the Dunkin' Donuts Center, or the 'Dunk' as the locals called it. You can't ask for a better gift than Phish playing in your backyard. The Dunk was located in downtown Providence, which meant a bunk lot scene -- one of the few downsides to Phish in an urban area. Heads spilled into the various dive and hipster bars on the side streets.

Senor picked Cuban Revolution to pre-party and the tiny Cuban joint was not prepared to be slammed by ravished Phisheads. The scatter-brained waitress and inbred monkey behind the bar sent me on uber-service-tilt and Senor resorted to ordering two cocktails at once in order to catch a buzz. We met up with Worcester Bob, an old school Deadhead with almost as many Phish shows under his belt as me, and we instantly launched into some banter about the Dead. He couldn't stop gushing about the 1979 soundboards that have been circulating, especially the Cape Cod shows.

Shakedown was non-existent with a lot of shady characters lurking in the alley across from La Salle Square, where a band played in a white tent outside of Trinity. It was a bit of a clusterfuck getting into the show and the guy behind me was so schwasted that he puked on his girlfriend's Boston U hoodie. She wasn't pleased. I told her it could have been worse -- she could be standing in line for Dave Matthews with Sam Adams-scented vomit spewed across her hair.

Senor scored us 200-level seats and there really wasn't a bad seat in the Dunk, which held around 14,000 if you included the floor. This was not a GA show and the Nazi-like ushers were keeping the riff raff off the floor unless you had a legit floor ticket. I'm too old to jump over hockey boards when the lights went down, so I just settled into our seats and fired up.

Down with Disease was not your typical throw away show opener. We were treated with an innocent, pristine, and congenial version instead of a gritty mindfuck that they'd cook up as a set 2 opener. Page came out swinging with an eager solo in Funky Bitch. Much like DWD, they kept the Bitch short and tight, but ecstatic. Phish ignited a fire at the Dunk and were not about to let it smolder. They tossed in a kerosene-dipped log with Fluffhead. I had to piss so badly and couldn't hold it. Although I returned in time for the "powerful pills" section, I got ambushed by a guy in a banana suit who wouldn't let me pass him on the stairs unless I danced with him. Once I escaped the grips of schwilly banana guy, I got rare goosebumps as the crowd roared the Fluffhead chant.

I could devour Roses Are Free at every show. It was hard to top the Charleston version of the Ween cover, but the vigorous Rhode Island sampling came close. The only low point of the song (and the overall show for me) was the wook dancing next to me (dancing is being kind, more like stumbling into me) who kept clapping out of rhythm during Roses. That dissonance threw me off a bit and I leaned in and asked him for a favor, "Hey brah, can you not clap out of tune?" And he apologized, offered me a hug as a mea culpa, and then returned to his malnourished clapping.

We got our first curveball of the night with a Rift bustout. The crowd lapped it up as Page tore up the keys, a little foreshadowing that he would be one of the unsung heroes of the evening. Instead of downshifting to a slower tune or a new song, Phish kept up the frenzied pace with a flashflood of lusty funk and Moma Dance -- it swelled up out of nowhere and carried off everything in its path. The boys slightly eased off the pedal during the Ocelot faded-funk jam -- the first time they downshifted and delved into an elongated jam all night. Just think of Sly and the Family Stone on Quaaludes, and that pretty much summed up the deep gut groove.

A speedfreak-reggae induced NICU perked everyone up before a crowd favorite sing-a-long with Sample in a Jar. They appropriately picked Julius to end the high-energy slammin' ass shaking set. From the moment Phish took the stage in Providence, they came out sprinting and didn't let up in the first set from start to finish (with a brief pitstop with Ocelot).

The second set was one of those journeys when I wish I was tripping balls. I was sober for the show, but I was envious of anyone on a head full of shrooms because the second set was geared for anyone that got sucked down the rabbit hole.

Set 2 opened up with Rock and Roll, a Velvet Underground cover which is a dual-purpose vehicle (Allows Page to shine and let's the band jam out for ten minutes). This one was a little on the short side as Trey took a step back and was jamming underneath everyone (as opposed to pulling out his crank and tugging away while everyone else had to catch up). Trippy glitchy jam out of R&R trickled into a sinister Carini, that included a maniacal mind meld and plenty of UFO lights from Kuroda. Talk about a 1-2 punch for all the acidfreaks.

My Problems has improved and is the newest song to get steady play on this tour. Javier called for Mike's > Weekapaug because of Weekapaug beach in Rhode Island that inspired the song, and the band delivered. Glowsticks filled the air during Mike's Song. This Mike's sandwich included a Sanity mystery meat, 2001 tease, and a sinister vocal jam (with more UFO lights), but alas they didn't veer off too far from course and jumped into Weekapaug, therby abandoning any notions of 2001.

The crowd got another bone with Suzy Greenberg that included a mutant funk thrash jam. Light got pushed back deep into the set and I could have sworn that Phish opened up a wormhole to let a legion of aliens into this dimension. See below for proof....

I got juked and thought that Zero was going to end the set. The band had the crowd eating out of its hand at that point and could have easily walked off stage to end the show on a high note, but instead slammed on the breaks and launched into 2001, which definitely caught the crowd off guard with a compact yet ground shaking version. The set began with Page ripping up a cover and ended with a cover. 2001 and Loving Cup were unexpected gems at the end of the set. You know it's an intense set when Mike's Groove isn't the highlight. The top of the set (Rock & Roll > Carini) represents some of my favorite aspects of dark Phish (and yeah, I'll say it again, I wish I was tripping balls for this show), but they ended the second set with three heavy heavy hitters. How do you end a show after a frenzied first set and thickly layered second set? First Tube... of course. Trey jumped up and down as per usual as they tossed the final cherry on top of a well-balanced sundae.

We headed outside and the tanks were strewn in LaSalle square. Hissing sounds echoed everywhere as people rushed to get their hands on hippie crack, on sale for 3/$20 until the cops busted up the party. The random bars surrounding the venue quickly filled up, including a few strip clubs, something that Providence is notorious for. (By the way... remind me to tell you the story about the first time I went on Phish tour with the Joker and we ended up at a strip club in Canada. But I don't have time for that tangent, but I'll definitely include it in the Phish book.)

After the show, we ended up in the back of a dive bar and bore the brunt of one pissed off bartender who was struggling to handle the onslaught of lunatics, aliens, and other escaped patients from the local mental hospital. At that point the night got a little fuzzy and muddled. A few hours later, I woke up on the floor of Senor's apartment. I had to check twitter and my CrackBerry pics to piece together the last bits of Friday night.

On Saturday morning before I sat down to write, I headed out for coffee and wandered across a parking lot adjacent from the Dunk. Here's the aftermath of Phish...

As the song goes: "We're coming to your town...we'll help you party down."

Six shows done. Six more to go. Next stop... Amherst.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Phish Providence Set List 10/22/2010

10/22 - Poster by Marq Spusta © Phish 2010.
Limited Edition Run of 650.

Phish Providence 10/22/2010

Set I: Down With Disease, Funky Bitch, Fluffhead, Roses are Free, Rift, Moma Dance, Ocelot, NICU, Sample in a Jar, Julius

Set II: Rock & Roll > Carini > My Problem Right There, Mike's Song > Sanity > Weekapaug, Suzy Greenberg > Light, Character Zer0 > 2001, Loving Cup

E: First Tube

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Phish Utica Auditorium 10/20/10

*Early View of the stage from my seat the floor filled early.

I started my day with this face book post:

Working till 2:30 PM then jumping in the Santa Fe and driving to Utica for the first of 6 Phish Concerts. I plan on videotaping and will upload to You Tube and Coventry Music Blog. Should be a nice Indian Summer Day in Upstate NY. Hoping to hear a First Tube. Other songs Id love to hear Moma Dance, Split Open and Melt..., Ghost, Cavern, Slave to the Traffic Light, Rock and Roll, Suzy Greenberg, Antelope, 2001.

First Tube is my Golden Fleece. I'm still chasing it but I'm only 6 live shows into my Phish career. And last night, Phish served up some of my requests and a whole bunch of other tasty morsels to digest.

I was raging solo for Utica. I opted to only take a half a day off so I worked till 2:30PM jumped in my car and after a quick stop at Starbucks was on my way. It was sunny and warm and I knew strolling shakedown pre-show would be more enjoyable then the snow squalls I encountered when I saw Furthur at the same venue back in February.

I've been listening to some older Phish by randomly picking out song titles and then watching the videos on You Tube. Coincidentally I listened to McGrupp for the first time on Tuesday night and they played it last night.

I got to the venue at about 4:30PM. I pulled into this big open field right across from the venue where phans were beginning to park and was chased and waved down by the Po Po. "You can't park here" I was told. So i politely asked where and Mr Po Po shrugged and said ' You'll have to park somewhere on the street". I asked permission to drive across the field to the road parallel to the venue and the railroad tracks and was granted it. I found a spot less then half a mile from the doors and an easy exit post show.

Once I got on Shakedown a dude had an extra ticket in the air for Amherst Saturday. I happened to be in the right place at the right time as another phan asked what show it was for and bought it. I looked at him and said I have and extra Sunday for face less the juice and in my first 5 minutes I had sold my extra Sunday Amherst for $60. Weee!!!!

Next stop will call for my ticket. I checked my text messages and had one from Dr Pauly advising me to rage on lot food for him and he felt a Piper a brewing (he was correct). After that it was back to Shakedown and I immediately found China Kat selling her heady rice krispie treats. Kat and I have been twitter friends for well over a year but hadn't actually met yet. She introduced me to her friends Ashley and Mike(?) and we hung out while Kat was waiting for Mountain Laura the correspondent for TWOL (This Week on Lot) podcast to arrive.

*Ashley looking for a miracle ticket. Ask Kat how Ashley got her golden ticket!!

Kat and crew went to their vehicle I went to mine and I decided to go inside a little early to stake out real estate in front of the sound boards on the floor. I got in after bluffing the person patting me down that my flip was really my cell phone (sometimes it pays to be a poker player) and realized the ticket takers had torn off and kept the stub with the bar code for my free download. I went over to tell them nicely that we needed it and was told our scanners aren't working so we have to keep it. I asked nicely again if I could have a stub back so I could get my download and they were discarding them into a slot. So I asked if I could look at a bar code before they discarded it and write it down. Security dude with the ticket takers gave me an annoyed look and made a sarcastic remark about "It looks like this is really important to you" I held my tongue but my eye roll told it all and I said "Yes, it is really important to us" (but you wouldn't understand ahole is what I was thinking but did not say) but he offered up his pen to me and I was happy.

Onto the floor I went in front of the boards. It sounded like a plan on paper and I hung out with two young dudes with the same idea. The floor filled quickly, very quickly. Since I wanted to film I didn't want to be crushed and jostled up front. Two tall dudes planted themselves directly in front of me as usual and I decided to head up to a seat. I had to go higher then i wanted but found a good spot on Page's side between the speakers which you can see in my video. The seat was fine with a great view of the stage, although I found the sound a little muddy inside the venue.

I found a solo seat in the middle of a row with empty space to either side of me for dancing. Two 20 something dudes sat down in front and one of them turned around reached out his hand and said 'Hi, I'm Adam". I introduced myself and we chatted and hung out the entire show. My intention was to write down the set lists. Although, I knew there would be blank holes in it since I don't know the actual names of all that many songs in the phish catalogue (currently 100 distinct songs in 6 live shows). Plus, I hate bothering people during the actual shows asking: "What's the name of this song?"

Lights down at 8:06 PM. I actually did pretty good with the song names until I stopped because I couldn't see where or what I was writing on or over. (Vultures came out as Vutures) The first song was a first timer for me and I wrote down "It's My Soul" (pretty darn close), Stealing Time from the Faulty plan I knew from the opening licks and recorded. I got Vultures after listening a few minutes and realized i had heard it before. I nailed Wolfman's and Cities and then decided to bail on my set list attempts. I didnt realize Guyute was Guyute while dancing. Kuroda was working his magic and I caught the tail end of the lights of Guyute on video and all of David Bowie. The crowd yelling David Bowie in rapid fire staccato was amazing. Then the back and forth almost taunting calls of Wilson by the audience in a small venue were haunting. I danced so hard from Wilson to the set end of Antelope. I was drenched and the auditorium felt like a sauna. If we were human batteries in the matrix we would have lit up all of Utica. The first set clocked in at 90 minutes.

At set break Adam and his shyer buddy and I talked about the upcoming AC shows and the poker tourney for the Mocking Bird Foundation. He had a friend who apparently tried to just buy in to the tourney and it has already sold out. I have not confirmed this but originally they were going to cap the field at 100 players. I'm registered. as is Dr Pauly. I'm not sure if Benjo (our other Coventry Crew AC tour mate jetting in from France to celebrate his birthday on Halloween) made it in to the tourney. If not Benjo can announce the tourney in perfect English !!! We also talked about the musical costume for Halloween. Adam confessed he too was a relative noob and i think he told me last night was his 6th show also. A UMASS Amherst grad, currently residing in Boston he'll be raging with his buddies this Saturday and Sunday. He mentioned a cool place to hang out in the Amherst area called the BookMill with 6 or so craft beers on tap and a good small menu.

After about 45 minutes of break for the band and cool off time for us the Phish came back on opening with Drowned. Mike's vocals were very strong and clear on this cover tune. They then jammed into a very strong Sand. Harmonies were strong on Theme from the bottom and I love Page's piano riff in that tune. I planned on recording the next tune but it was Axilla and i already recorded that at SPAC this summer. I don't believe they play it that often and I've heard it twice!! So I decided to record the next tune which was Birds of a Feather ( posted below earlier today)*****. I took a breather during Tela the only time I sat leaned on my chair. Then I got another of my requests. Split Open and Melt which I recorded as well as Have Mercy (another cover).From SOAM to the end the set raged. Out of Have Mercy into Piper back into SOAM and finally another one of my first time songs I wanted to hear: SLAVE to the Traffic Light aka Pauly's favorite song. The encore Led Zep's good time bad times was an awesome version. Page nailed the song and if they do decide to cover a Zep album for their musical costume, I think Page can pull of Plant's vocals. The encore wasn't rushed at all. It sounded like the guys were enjoying themselves and weren't in a hurry to get off stage. In fact when they took bows at the end it was like they lingered for a few minutes.

There was so much heat in the Utica Auditorium the exterior windows were completely fogged as we exited. In fact I thought it was going to rain inside. I made my way back to my car and was out of the lot by 12PM. I got home uploaded my videos and worked a full day today and feel chipper!!

I'm late to the Phish game but loving every show I see. Sure there are songs I like better then others (I am a funk fan) and I really have to go back and listen to a song a bunch of times before I become familiar with the intricacies of the jam.

Next up two shows in Amherst, MA with Dr Pauly and Senor. Uncle Dave of the McLovin family will be in attendance and I believe my good friend Mama Mcdrumlovin will be tagging along with Uncle Dave Saturday night.

*Me (Irongirl aka Lori on left) and China Kat (right) on lot 10/20/2010 - MEOW!!

***Videos of Guyute lights/Bowie, Stealing Time and Split Open & Melt/Have Mercy are uploaded to You Tube under Irongirl99