Saturday, August 31, 2013

Phish Dicks 8/31/13: Setlist and Podcast - Saturday

Official poster by Ken Taylor

Saturday night dance party. Second of three shows.

Here is what you missed...
Phish, 8/31/13 Commerce City, CO

Set 1: Buried Alive, AC DC Bag, Wolfman's, Yarmouth,  Fee, Halfway to the Moon, The Wedge, Halley's Comet > GIN, Bouncin', Mound, Gumbo, Antelope

Set 2: Chalkdust Torture, Light > 46 Days > Steam > Free > Joy > 2001 > Tweezer > Backwards

Encore: On the Road Again, Tweezer Reprise


BTW, here's a Wook Patrol Podcast we recorded at the after-party and the morning after...
Episode 13 - Dusty Bubbles - Dusty tells Pauly about how he tried to bring in a giant bubble wand into the Phish show.

Episode 14 - Tough Ticket Saturday - Joker, Jonas, and Pauly discuss the difficult ticket situation for Saturday's show at Dicks. Jonas got lucky and scored an extra after the show began.

Episode 15 - Fire Crotch and Twisted Nipples - Pauly chats with Leslie Fireball and Dr. Scotch about last night's hijinks. Leslie spilled her Fireball in her crotch and Dr. Scotch was molested by a drunk woman.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Phish Dicks 8/30/13 - Setlist, Recap, and New Podcast - MOST SHOWS SPELL SOMETHING

Phish returned to Colorado for the first of three nights at Dick's.

Here is what you missed in the latest "gimmick" show "MOST SHOWS SPELL SOMETHING"...
Phish, 8/30/13 Commerce City, CO
Set 1: Ghost, NICU, Icculus, Heavy Things, THEME from the Bottom, Esther, MoMA Dance, Ocelot, Stash, Lawn Boy, Limb by Limb > Easy to Slip

Set 2: PYITE > Sand > Say Something, Walls of the Cave, Oh Kee Pah > HOOD > Silent > TWIST > SLAVE
Encore: Oh Sweet Nuthin', Meatstick

Quickie Recap: Phish Loves Dicking Around at Dicks
By Pauly

You knew it was coming. Phish set the bar two summers ago with the "S" show. Last summer, they raised the bar with the "FUCK YOUR FACE" show. So naturally, phans were expecting their heroes to step it up with more hijinks. After all, the band loves Dicks because they love dicking around with us.

The hype machine was in full swing. Social media fanned the flames, which created an almost uncomfortable situation. Just like the lyric said, "Sometimes people build you up, just so they can knock you down." I was worried that the hype would backfire because what if the band 1) did not do any hijinks? or 2) what if they went for it... but the prank fell short of the mark?

These gimmick shows involve a huge risk, but I'd rather see the band take a shot at something different, rather than playing it safe.

"Phish is the victim of their own creativity," explained the Joker. "Just like New Years. And Halloween. They're always trying to out do themselves."

So how could they top the last two summers? How about backwards hijinks? Yeah, Phish unleashed  another hidden message with the first letter of the setlist.


Backwards it reveals: MOST SHOWS SPELL SOMETHING. Like "REDRUM" kind of message from the devil. Except Phish is the mischievous devil who fucked with everyone's minds so much that there's a legion of hungover phans sifting trough old setlists to see if there are more secret messages from the band -- backwards or forwards.

Who knows if they can top the backwards hijinks. In one sense, this silly meme has run its course. At least that's my take. They'll have to do something sideways next year.

The Joker said it best: "It's the band saying, 'Listen guys give it a rest.'"

So is this it? Or will there be more hijinks in the future? Guess we'll have to wait until next year.

Is the gimmick bad? Jonas was on the fence about it.

"You're not focusing on the moment, on the song they're playing," said Jonas. "Instead, you're worrying about the next song."

I have mixed feelings about it. I love the unpredictability of Phish. That's why you go to as many shows as possible because you never know what will happen and what you're going to hear next. But at this juncture, the Dicks shows already have a built-in gimmick, so everyone knows something is coming.

So the show... the first set had a couple of tunes they had not played in two years (Icculus and Esther) and the debut of Little Feat's Easy to Slip. My favorite segment of the first set was the thirty minute stretch of MoMA > Ocelot and Stash.

I was shocked to discover that Jonas had never seen PYITE. All the shows he's seen (and we've caught together) and not one PYITE. "I've been chasing Punch my entire Phish career and finally got it," he said. Once again, we were treated with another monstrous Sand. Around the 11-minute mark, Fish was laying down the beat to 2001. It would have been a sick seg, but the band had to stick to the script and instead they reversed their tracks and returned to Sand. Next up was Say Something and Sweet Willy wasn't impressed with it. I like the falsetto. Change100 thought that the song would be better of someone else did vocals... but who? According to, Walls of the Cave did not appear in 2009 and that they only performed it 8 times between 2010-2012, but it got inserted into the rotation this summer (we caught it at the Gorge and Bill Graham). We got faked out with Oh Kee Pa... because the seg did not automatically go into Suzy Greenberg. Instead we got an OKP > Harry Hood. It was an unfinished Hood and small potatoes compared the Hollywood Hood. we got another horse-less Silent in the Morning. Although Twist has "woos" built into it, that was the only Woos of the night (despite Jonas being a wise ass and occasionally yelling "WOOOOOO!"). The "Woos" over-saturated the last four shows of tour (after the Tahoe Tweezer). Good news is that the woo antics seemed to be long gone. Oh, and Slave closed out the set. It's always a great night when I hear my favorite song.

It was cool to get a Velvet Underground cover in the encore, but Page flubbed the lyrics. I don't think too many people are familiar with the song, but I'm a huge Velvet's fan and picked up on Page's miscue. Meatstick ended the show and completed the secret (backwards) message: MOST SHOWS SPELL SOMETHING.

Glad they got the gimmick out of the way so we can now focus on two shows. Expecting a Saturday night dance party and then Sunday is all gravy.

FYI...  watch a video of the entire show here.

* * * *
 BTW... we recorded a new episode of Wook Patrol Podcast....
Wook Patrol - Episode 12 - Dicks Spelling Bee - Joker and Pauly discuss the opening night at Dick's and this year's Backwards gimmick: MOST SHOWS SPELL SOMETHING.
For more Dicks episodes of Wook Patrol, click here. For older episodes of the Wook Patrol, check out the summer 2013 archives.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

You Enjoy My Mix - Summer 2013 - Vol. 1

Our friend Hal Masa from Japan sent us his latest installment of the You Enjoy My Mix series. Introducing... Summer 2013!
Summer 2013 - Tracklist:
PNC Xyed PNC -> SPAC Light -> SPAC Melt -> SF Reba -> HollyHood

Download You Enjoy My Mix Summer 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mellow Sunday in LA with Steely Dan

I would have loved to catch Steely Dan in the early 70s when Skunk Baxter played guitar with them, but my ticket to the show did not include access to the time machine to zap me back to 1973. Shit Steely Dan formed forty years ago. The dynamic duo of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen stopped touring in the mid-70s and focused on becoming a well-polished studio band. Over the next few decades, they brought in dozens and dozens of musicians for each album and pieced together a few gems. Fagen/Becker were accomplished musicians who wrote complex compositions but had songwriting chops to produce a few radio hits. You couldn't listen to classic rock radio for more than a few hours without hearing a Steely Dan song. Like most Gen-Xers, you either liked a few Steely Dan tunes (e.g. Peg or Hey Nineteen), or absolutely hated them.

I had previously only seen one Steely Dan show. Almost 10 years ago at Mohegan Sun Casino. I don't remember too much about the show except for the fact I had a bad seat and they played more stuff I didn't know than I did. I was more at the casino to play poker than to see the show and I got stuck in the back with all the drunk cougars from Greenwich yapping the entire time.

Then again, live Steely Dan was always hit or miss. Steely Dan was all about the precision of their studio albums. Bands like Phish and the Grateful Dead are all about soaking up the "scene" and eating drugs to enhance the live musical experience, so their studio albums never replicated that live "magic." For Steely Dan, the magic was in the studio. Just check out the mini-documentary on the making of the AJA album and you'll understand Becker/Fagen's drive for perfection by using rotating cast of musicians during that year-long recording session.

I finally saw Steely Dan again. Only my second show. They weren't getting any younger, so I decided to catch them one last time before it was too late. Steely Dan played two nights at the Nokia Theatre in downtown LA. It's part of their Mood Swings Tour and they called their backing band the Bi-Polar Band. They were a super tight and versatile crew including four horn players and three back-up singers.

Sunday's show was a totally different experience than my first show. I went in with low expectations this time, but was happy to see/hear Fagen and Becker still hold their own. Plus, a bunch of things happened in ten years and I had become a bigger fan of Steely Dan after I moved to Los Angeles. I felt a stronger connection to the music and lyrics because Fagen/Becker were also displaced New Yorkers living in Hollyweird. I finally had a soundtrack to accompany my frustration trying to adjust to the SoCal vibe. There's a certain level of poetic snark in their lyrics, which I grew more fond of over the years.

I went by myself. My girlfriend isn't a fan. So, I raged solo. Then again, Steely Dan isn't the type of crowd that I'm used to seeing a show with. I'm almost always on the older side when I'm at Phish shows (my Colorado friends make fun at me with the nickname "Brett Favre of the lot"), but I feel young at Furthur and Steely Dan. My girlfriend and I caught Bob Dylan at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this year. Everyone was sitting down. You could smell a few joints being passed around, but it was a mellow crowd. Similar vibe at Steely Dan, except not one joint. I wasn't holding and did not take in a vapor pen. I didn't even drink ($15 for a tiny-sized Margarita made the choice for me). Sober show, except a pain pill for my back, which I barely felt the buzz.

I found a floor ticket for half price ($75). Got it 45 minutes before showtime. Pit tickets were $275 a pop (plus fees). Scalpers wanted $500. No one was biting. At one point that price dropped to $150 for a pit.

Everyone was around me was at least two decades older than me. Lots of older hippies, but with money now. You had to flush. Only way you can afford to buy a pair of tickets, plus booze, plus parking.

Steely Dan (from Santa Barbara show); photo by Paul Wellman

Steely Dan played AJA in its entirety the night before. Sunday's show was designated "Greatest Hits" and performed almost the same setlist they had been playing the entire tour with three exceptions. I was hoping to hear two of them... Do It Again and Deacon Blues (while Rikki Don't Lose That Number was the other). Fagen made several jokes about their ancient age and the death of radio.

"We're playing the hits tonight. Stuff you used to hear on the radio in 1861 through 1871."

G-Money told me to keep a keen eye on Walter Becker. He switched from bass back to guitar full time. He sort of faded into the background some of the non-popular songs, but he tore it up on the "hits" especially Reeling In the Years. He even got to do rare lead vocals on Daddy Doesn't Live in That New York City Anymore. It's a deep cut, but again it one of those Steely Dan songs that has become the soundtrack to my life.

Fagen always did most of the singing, but he needed three background singers to hit those high notes that he once employed Michael McDonald to do (see above video). But Walter sang on one song and he told a story in the middle of Hey Nineteen, about blowing your savings and paying inflated prices to a scalper and then trying to get laid because your cougar wife is all drinky drinky and randy from the music, so you smoke some "cheeba cheeba" that's thirty years old and get some tequila, but you ran out. Which at that point of the story, Fagen and the ladies belted out "Cuervo Gold" lyrics to the song and Hey Nineteen resumed.

The other highlights included... Show Biz Kids, Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More, Do It Again, Josie, Peg, My Old School, and Reelin In the Years. This is a self-aware band that knows that if they want to charge $150 for a floor ticket and $275 for the pit, then they better play the damn hits... and play them well. They billed it as greatest hits and didn't force any "newer" material onto the audience. This wasn't a band trying to sell a new album for the record label. This was a bunch of legendary musicians from the golden era of rock and roll, playing their blend of rock with jazzy undertones.

During Peg, a few drunk ladies stood up to dance. No twerkers at Steely Dan. By the end of the song, a few more ladies had joined them. By the end of My Old School more people in my section had joined in. By the end of Reelin In the Years, everyone was on their feet. I was on the aisle and boogied down for the last two songs, plus the encore. For the last 15-20 minutes of the show, you really felt like everyone was totally into it.

Kid Charlemagne was written about Stanley Owsley. He was the Walter White of the 60s, but cooked up the best LSD known in existence. Good old Owsley, aka Bear, aka Kid Charlemagne. The boys ended the show with a nod to Owsley.

I got a great bargain for half price. $75 for Steely Dan was about right. They have 13 people in the band, so I hope everyone is getting paid real well considering how how expensive the tickets are. I had fun. I went in knowing what the setlist was going to be, and they added couple of songs I didn't except to hear. Nice curverballs. I went to see the hits and Steely Dan delivered. You know what those Danheads say. Never miss a Sunday Steely Dan show.

P.S. Here's a great video of Bill Cosby introducing Steely Dan on the Midnight Special show (circa 1973)...

Monday Morning Key Bumps: (Uncensored) Blurred Lines


Never mind Miley twerking at the VMAs. Let's get down and dirty with this NSFW version of Blurred Lines...

I'm so old I remember watching Robin Thicke's old man on Growing Pains on TV on Friday nights when I was a kid.

I also heard a rumor from a friend of a friend of a friend who buys crystals from a wook who said that he has kangfirmation that Phish is going to cover a 75-minute version of Blurred Lines the second night at Dick's.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Steely Dan Setlist: 8/25/13 Los Angeles

Steely Dan played two shows in Los Angeles. The second gig on Sunday night was a "greatest hits" show. They played one long set and a two-song encore for a total of two hours of music.

Here's what you missed...
Steely Dan, 8.25.13 Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

Set 1: Blueport^^, Your Gold Teeth, Aja#, Hey Nineteen^, Show Biz Kids, Black Cow, Black Friday, Time Out of Mind#, Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More*, Deacon Blues, Bodhisattva, Rikki Don't Lose That Number, Do It Again, Razor Boy** > Band Intros, Josie, PEG, My Old School, Reelin In the Years     

Encore: Kid Charlemagne, Untouchables Theme^^

^^ Bi-Polar Allstars only; without Becker and Fagen
# With Donald Fagen playing the melodica
^ Walter Becker tells a story about cheeba and tequila
* Walter Becker on vocals
** vocals by the Borderline Brats (background singers)
Stay tuned for a recap/review...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Phish Dicks: Invasion 2013

Catwang'd by the Joker
Denver. One week from today. What will the boys do to top the S Show (2011) and the Fuck Your Face Show (2012)?

I have a half-baked theory that Phish pulled off those gimmicks because they weren't doing a Halloween show in 2011 and 2012, so they figured they'd get their ya-ya's out by tweaking the setlist.

With a Halloween show on the slate this fall, I'd like to see something non-gimmicky. How about six sets of pure fire? Then again, it's Phish. You never know what they're going to do on a given night.

The Invasion commences in one week. Luckily we have one of our home offices in Denver and the Joker called in some favors to rent out shelter space underneath the Denver Airport... to safely ride out the invasion with the Elites like the Queen of England, Peyton Manning's family, and Jay-Z/Beyonce's Illuminati child.

See ya freaks in Colorado.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Morning Key Bumps: LCD Soundsystem

I watched the LCD Soundsystem documentary like fourteen times in the last week. At least I finally stopped watching the Eagles documentary, which I've been addicted the last few months.

Anyway, I originally saw Shut Up and Play the Hits at the end of March. It's about the disbanding of the band and their farewell concert at MSG. Chuck Klosterman interviewed frontman Jim Murphy and parts of their chat was weaved throughout the film.

It's easy to quit a band that's on its last licks, but Jim Murphy has titanium balls. He pulled the plug on a popular ensemble. I had an unusual connection with Murphy and I wrote about it here... Shut Up and Play the Hits and How I Killed a Purple Cow.

This is a perfect music to get your ass in gear on a gloomy Monday morning. What more do you need than fresh squeezed, OJ, a bump of crushed up Adderall and Jim Murphy waxing poetically about hipsterdom?

This is LCD's "hit" song All My Friends...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Phish Colorado Flashbacks: Telluride 2010

I'll never forget about the Phish Telluride shows. Destination Phish. Nothing quite like it. In 2000, I flew to the other side of the world with Senor and Beno to catch Phish in Japan. And a decade later in 2010, we headed out to picturesque Telluride for a magical two-night run. The Joker and our friends from Denver rented out a couple of condos at the edge of town and we hosted a three-day long party that got out of control quickly. Tons of fun.

I never wrote about the second night of Telluride because it was my 200th show and I was really couldn't find the right words to describe the emotional night. If my memory serves me right, 8/10/10 was an average performance with a noteworthy Mike's Groove with a smoking Crosseyed jammed into the middle. But the entire show I was bombarded of thick juicy memories of the previous 199 shows, specifically almost every friend I had ever seen Phish with spanning back to high school when I caught my first show and leading up to Telluride (with my girlfriend and the Colorado faction of the Coventry crew). Of course, while swimming through the warm waters of my members banks I could not remember a handful of shows because my past had blended together in one long foggy and groggy memory.

Sometimes, it's all just one long Phish show. But Telluride always stands out.

Someday I'll get my shit together and write about the second night in Telluride and the craziness surrounding my 200th show, but this is not one of those times. In case you were wondering, I wrote about the first night in a post titled... Telluride: The Invasion.

We even managed to record a few Wook Patrol podcasts during the Telluride insanity. I re-listened to them and couldn't stop laughing at the hijinks, from Wildo being the bouncer (because he was the biggest out of all of us) to the Joker cussing out a crabby old lady on the Ganjala. Man, I wish we recorded more episodes. So great to hear the shit going on in the background.

Listen to the Telluride episodes of the Wook Patrol Podcast here...
Episode 18: Telluride: The After Party with Wildo (1:38) - Pauly and Wildo survey the bizarre, yet heady scene at the Coventry crew's post-Phish after-party that the Joker hosted in his condo.

Episode 19: Telluride: No Wooks, No Tour Dogs (2:23) - When it started getting late at the after-party at the condo, the Joker went on an aggressive patrol and encountered a wook trying to enter the party with a tour dog. The Joker was not going to have any of that. Listen in as the Joker explains to Pauly what happened.

Episode 20: Telluride: The Ganjala (4:56) - The Joker tells Pauly about his ride on the Gondola, which the locals refer to as "the Gangala." The Joker ran into the only non-herb friendly person in all of Telluride. Hilarity ensues.

Episode 21: Telluride: Late Night Patrol with Jonas and Wildo (1:39) - Party crashers were the biggest concern for the mellow Tuesday after-party. The Wook Patrol was prepped. Pauly discusses the new security set up with Wildo and Jonas.
"See ya at Dick's!"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Soon Come: Dino Dicks!

Are you fucking pumped? 15 Days until Phishy carnival reaches Colorado.

Thanks to the Joker for the Catwang.

Need a Phish fix? Listen to the 11 episodes of Wook Patrol podcast that we recorded in Tahoe, San Francisco, and Hollywood.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Morning Key Bumps: Wild Belle

What do we listen to when Phish is not on tour? How about Wild Belle and a little trippy-ska-soul. This is perfect pick-me-up music if you're suffering from post-tour blues. Welcome back to another installment of Monday Morning Key Bumps...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Phish San Francisco Recap: Bill Graham's Fireball

By Pauly

Phish kicked the San Francisco run off with Free, and "free" and "freedom" became instant themes for the three-show run at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The concept of freedom stuck with me during my own mind-altering journey on the first night. Phish tour is one of the last true free bastions of freedom in America. The entire Phish scene is a free-for-all with an anything goes anarchist vibe that runs parallel with a specific spiritual quest of enlightenment. Add a hearty mix of neo-punk "fuck-the-man!" angst amidst a backdrop of the entrepreneurial wild wild west, and you have a glimpse of what the founding fathers had hoped we'd accomplish two and a half centuries after the birth of our glorious nation. But aside from Phish tour, there's very few pockets of personal expression and freedom left in America. The freedom window is closing. The band is not getting any younger and it's a matter of time before the federales completely shut down all this Phishy fun and freedom. Freedom to have fun. Soak up every second because it can be gone in a flash.

Friday 8/2/13

So much for a mellow Thursday night. We closed down two bars in Russian Hill. My friend Big Dog owned one and I knew the bartender, Dirty Liz, at the other bar. Whatever you do, don't play dice with her. She got the Joker snookered on kick-ass Margaritas, which is a rarity (I've know the Joker sometime now and he's become a supreme drinker living in Colorado and I've only seem him super drunk a couple of times at sea level). We thought we were easing into the three-night run at Bill Graham with a chillax Thursday night after a crazy Phish twofer in Tahoe. We were still reeling from the 36-minute face meting Tweezer and had no plans to downshift a gear or two.

I woke up on Friday mildly hungover and still recovering from the Gorge/Tahoe shows. But no time to feel sorry for myself with three shows on deck. My girlfriend and I grabbed brunch at one of our favorite joints in Nob Hill. I spent the afternoon running around the Tenderloin, picking up tickets for a friend, and meeting up with schwilly friends, which is like trying to hit a moving target of tripping cats. My friend Lara lived near a whiskey bar, which ended up the main focal point of the pre-party. In front of BGCA, tickets were going for well over $100. Hundreds of fingers in the air, but virtually no extras floating around. We picked a spot on the floor Gordo side in front of the soundboard. I scored some liquid from a friend in Tahoe. He told me it was super mellow, but we have different definitions of what exactly is mellow. He had been doing it all summer, so my first dose was going to hit a little harder, which was perfect. The entire first night in San Francisco had that underwater vibe that sometimes accompanies liquid sunshine. Plus I was sweating more so than usually so it really felt like I was swimming around underneath the sea. It didn't help my mindset that some dude showed up in a scuba suit (although Leslie said it was a speed skating outfit) and was dancing nearby. I forgot about how the space right above the band and right below CK5's light rig is where the "other stuff" goes down. That's the DMZ for the netherworld. If you believe in ghosts and/or aliens, then that's where the spirits and ETs congregate -- at the crossroads of harmonic convergences above the band where the music, lights, and cosmic vibrations collide. I've tried (and failed too many times to count) to write about that specific space, but its really difficult to describe unless you've gone through the rabbit hole and shot out the other side of the vortex. The only way I can explain the "others" is that if you don't actually see something, yet you know someone or something is watching (whether its actual inter-dimensional beings or pockets of energy released by the universe).

The "Others" hover in space above the band
The crowd was jacked up and giddy. Reminded me of how anxious and excited the crowd were during 2009. I also forgot how loud it was at an indoor show. Free opener. Maybe the band finally turned a corner in Tahoe? Are they admitting that they feel free again? Regardless of the subtext, Free was not a throwaway opener.It fit the theme of the run and the entire summer. We're free to do what we want, but can we still have fun? Fuck yeah.

That juicy shredded Meat was super tasty. "They're playing Meat, because we're staying in the Tenderloin," joked the Joker. The first set heat picked up where the band left off in Tahoe. The Latin rumpus in Sand had the vibe of a second set dance party (check out Joker's Sand vine). Doctor Scotch referred to Phish as a gentile giant during Roggae's tender moments. That sentiment repeated itself many times throughout the evening. I strongly felt that Vultures, Roggae, and Circus Comes to Town were a part of Phish's social commentary about us voracious Phisheads. They're the light and we're the darkness when we become an overindulgent, strung-out, ungrateful beast that destroys everything in its path. The circus began in Maine and finally touched down in San Francisco, the freak capital of spaceship Earth and one of the few places left on the planet when Phishkids can blend into the fray and become... invisible. The woos had jumped the shark during Reba when I felt the rowdy crowd really forced it onto the band. Trey embraced it and pandered to the pro-woo audience, but that was the moment when it really sort of disrupted the flow of the music. Reba is when everything I was on had kicked in several notches and Halfway to the Moon is when I got ambushed and dragged down the rabbit hole. If you're on the fence with Moon, then not to fear because it's getting better every time they play it. That's the most important thing with newer material... does the new song improve (gets tighter, or looser) with each version? During Golgi I noticed the trio of girls from the Marina (Change100 nicknamed those types the "brown boot mafia") who were totally bored and not having fun and not afraid to let everyone around them know about how they disapproved of the music and the scene. One of them had their back to the stage and the Joker tried to chat them up at setbreak. Check out the Wook Patrol podcast about the incident: Why Snooty Hipster SF Girls Hate Phish?

7,000 barefoot kids packed inside Bill Graham
I hate to judge an entire run on the opening set, but it's extremely promising when they kick off a 6-set run with a scorcher entwined with a hearty reminder from the band to have fun but don't get too far gone. I can understand why some friends were a little let down with the song choice in Friday's second set, but considering my frame of mind, the boys were playing to my buzz. I welcomed the slower songs (even Caspian, which usually bores me) and constantly changing and shifting in dynamics. Really got the sense that they were purposely trying to see how quiet they could get and then quickly crank up the heat. That's a confident band feeling out the space of the room and seeing how far they could alter the mood of the collective audience. I had put out the Axilla vibes, but were pumped that set two kicked off with PYITE instead of a generic DWD opener. During DWD I had a thought, "Is Phish playing for us, or are we playing for Phish?" Yeah, I had one of those "the zoo is really reverse and the animals gawking at us gawking at them" moments. That was definitely the acid talking. I was one of those greedy heads that wanted 20+ minute DWD jam, but Trey pulled out for a mellow one-two punch with Prince Caspian and Farmhouse. Javier wandered over during Caspian to remind me his big bro Senor loved hearing it. Senor wasn't at these shows, but he's always there in spirit during moments like that. Seven Below was slop city at the start, but it was mere foreplay before we got down and dirty with the Seven jam. One of my favorite moments of the night and of the entire run. Everything was super intense (internally) for me at that juncture, so Theme was a welcomed reprieve before Hood. I was convinced that I should keep my eyes closed during Faulty Plan because CK5 worked for the CIA and he was brainwashing us with specific light patterns. Loved the delicious Leo solo on Coil. He got as raucous of an ovation as I've heard since the first tour back in 2009. Walls of the Cave is better as a non-encore song (because it won't disappoint a lot of people that hate it, or not as familiar with the diverse segments), but I dig it nonetheless. When I caught Walls at the Gorge, I figured that was it for the summer.

Saturday 8/3/13

We spent most of the night in Wildo's balla suite for the after-party (we even heard a shooting at a douchey nightclub around the corner). I was pulsating way into the next morning. I crashed hard around 7am and finally got rest thanks to Mr. Xanax's landing gear. I woke up mid-afternoon 100% refreshed and knew I could stay up the rest of the time in San Francisco (if necessary). We were short on time, so not much of a pre-party. Instead, we hung out in front of City Hall for some people watching (the local homeless population mingling with tour wooks could be its own nature show) and then went inside a little earlier. We posted up roughly the same spot in front of the soundboard (Gordo Side, Roid Side). Fink's crew was visible in the first row of the balcony pretty much right above us. Leslie Fireball truly lived up to her moniker when she smuggled in a couple of bottles of Fireball (she explained her secret in a Wook Patrol podcast "Sneaking in Fireball").

via @change100
First set featured a diverse song selection including stuff I had yet to hear that tour (like Weigh, Lengthwise, Axilla, Alumni Blues and Jesus Left Chicago). Someone behind us had requested Driver because of a dear friend who passed away. Way cool when the band honors requests blindly without really knowing how meaningful the gesture truly was. Most of our crew got the top two or three songs they were chasing this run. Nothing makes me happier than seeing friends get that special tune that makes them jump up and down. I'm spoiled and get to see more shows than I deserve, which is why I get off seeing how happy they get (or watching total strangers go apeshit when Phish plays their favorite song). Those moments extraordinary happened so many times on Saturday night, which made the evening a little extra special. Oh, and someone dropping a half a bag of molly into the Fireball helped too. I thought we'd get Jesus Left Chicago in Chicago, or the Cannucks in Toronto would get the ZZ Top cover. They saved it for San Francisco. Too bad half of it was ruined by drunk talkers and a group of 50-something year old schwilly fucktards that the Joker walked over to and said, "Can you please shut the fuck up?" I love his directness and he said please. I usually just flash a NYC stink eye. One of the soused shitstains tried to give me lip when I shushed him, but Wildo snarled. Wildo is the size of a linebacker and he was rocking the "cop mustache" all tour, which was an intimidating presence (seriously, Wildo freaked out multiple members of the nitrous mafia at Tahoe because they were convinced he was an undercover cop busting them... which is how we got free tanks all weekend). Short-ass Timber Ho! They can't go too deep down the rabbit hole if they don't give it time to drag us down deep into middle Earth. Doctor Scotch and I had put out the vibe for Axilla on Friday night... and it only took 24 hours or so before the boys picked it up. The artist in me gets giddy with CK5's Rothko lights against the blank backdrop, especially delicious during Axilla. Thunderous reaction to opening notes of First Tube. Reminded of how much the venue traps the sound. Leslie passed around the Fireball and screamed "Fire in the hole!" before we each did a shit. Fink even snapped a pic of the Joker swigging a fifth. I'm glad my girlfriend got First Tube, it was one of the songs she was dying to hear.

During setbreak, the Joker handed out fortune cookies with Phish lyrics. He also witnesses a hipster dude fail to pick up a Suicide Girl (The Joker expands on the story in a Wook Patrol podcast - How Not to Pick Up Hipster Chicks at Phish).
The second set was anchored by another monstrous Rock and Roll. Even if you hate the Velvet Underground, you know the first four minutes is just foreplay before the orgy begins. Loved seeing Fink go nuts and jumping up and down in the balcony. Page/Gordo tag-teamed the jam with Leo milking the clav and Gordo juicing big time with some insane "knock the snot bubbles outta ya" heavy thumping. Steam gets better and better. CK5's ribbed lights were super-trippy (considering I wasn't on psychedelics). My only gripe was that Steam jam got ripcorded for a cheese-fried Backwards, which I discovered is a "Joker buys a beer song." Mike's Groove packed a much more prominent wallop than the abbreviated, rushed one in Tahoe (the boys shot their load during Tweezer, which is why 7/31/13 Mike's Groove came up short of the mark). This scintillating version included the classic Hydrogen, which was vastly different considering all summer long they inserted other forms of lunchmeat into the Mike's Groove submarine. I really dug the second set... minus the Joy buzzkill. I can think of 10 or songs that would fulfill the same function (give Fish a breather) without losing the audience's attention. Fluffhead got the crowd right back into the saddle. 2001 dance party (see Joker's 2001 vine) was short and sweet. Last year, my girlfriend missed 2001 because she had to work and skipped the Sunday show when they played it. Glad she got another one on her wish list. Slave? It's always a good night when they play my favorite song. I was so damn lucky to hear it in Chicago and Tahoe, but I felt those were both harried versions and didn't have the same gradual and smooth emotional resonance as Saturday's version. I recharge my soul during Slave. Doctor Scotch described Waste as the "wedding song," which made me chuckle because he was so right yet I had never heard anyone say it before. The Waste encore preceded Suzy master-funk-blaster that included the loudest stop-start woos of the night.

Leslie hearts Phish (during Waste)
I spent most of Saturday night hanging out in the Tenderloin with local (non-Phish) friends (I had not seen them since I moved out of San Francisco last year). We stayed up late into the night catching up and reliving old times. Phish tour is not just about Phisheads, because traveling to different cities allows me the opportunity to spend time with different sets of non-Phishy friends. Best of both worlds.


Sunday 8/4/13

Another night on tour up until dawn. My favorite Sunday morning activity (when I lived in San Francisco) is getting fresh donuts and walking through the Tenderloin. Did it again while everyone slept off their wild Saturday night. We had a much mellower Sunday afternoon. We hit up a dispensary, re-stocked bud supplies (Purple Diesel) and pre-packed for our early morning departure to Los Angeles. Sunday was the last show for the Denver crew and many of us were super rundown by that point of tour. We made a wise decision to get in line early and snag a row somewhere up in the balcony on Page side for our entire crew, plus a few Colorado freaks, along with Carrie's friends from Tahoe. Clutch move. I prefer the floor, but there's no bad spot up in the balcony. Leslie Fireball snuck in three bottles and we were locked and loaded.

Fireball.... the official elixir of summer tour
Indoor versions of Divided Sky always sound spiritually phenomenal for some reason. Bong-rattling Wilson. My ears almost bled. I always think about biker rails of cocaine during Foam. This one peppered with speedy Latin grooves. During Halley's Comet, Leslie made us all do shots and screamed "Fire in the hole!" Another ripcord Halley's in favor of My Soul. Too bad it was not in the same vein as the bluesy My Soul jam they boys unleashed at Tahoe soundcheck. Interesting song choices for the second half of the first set. Clearly they were songs the band wanted to play instead of digging into their bag of repeats. One of the ushers was dancing hard during Ya Mar. I dug the rare Train Song. Leo might have been stealing Gordo's roids? Leo kicked ass on Taste and Gumbo, especially Gumbo. Only complaint? Too short. More thick juicy Gumbo, please! Pebbles ended the set a nifty high point, but the first frame went super quick in real time.

Happy that friends got to hear their first Energy. The second set was anchored by a Runaway Jim that blew me away. I live for those moments that blindside me like that Jim. I know Phish has their shit together when they win me over with a song I was bummed to initially hear. I had a tumultuous love-hate relationship with Jim. It was a top 5 song for me during 1.0, but I felt as though that was one of the few songs that they failed to restore during the current era. I had lost faith in the 3.0 Jims the last few years. But holy shit, they absolutely converted me with the Bill Graham version. I know it's a fantastic jam when I forget what song is playing. [Side tangent... that Jim reconstruction reminded me of what happened to Limb by Limb in Japan 2000 and the Roggae conversion event at the Gorge 2011 when something clicked and every version since then has been superior to those that came before it (although they have yet to match the Gorge's enthusiasm). I'm hoping something magical like that happens with Jim... and something clicks inside the band and they absolutely tear Jim up instead of it being a throwaway opener or #2 song.] Carini was a dark and dirty little whore, just like I like it. After the MSG Carini fuck fest, I can't ever expect to see once with the same vigor and the Sunday version never really had time to morph into its own beast. The Gorge's Light was on a short leash, so I was excited to see it stretched out again. Not quite the same earth shattering version last summer, but it's really hard to top that. Thought Light jam was heading into No Quarter territory, but Fish cockblocked Page's Zepplin tendrils. Fish took over with intro to Bowie. All smoke. We got another solo Silent in the Morning. Yeah, the Horse has been put down and is now dog food for Runaway Jim. For the last year or so, I feel that Meatstick is overplayed. It's good schtick once a tour because then it really means something and everyone goes berserk. Crowd was jacked during Mighty Quinn. Who knew Bob Dylan covers were like a bump of cocaine? Thought it was too early to end the set, which is why they saved the best for last brought out a heavy hitter and YEM (check out YEM tramps vine). Double dip encore with throwback to Sanity (I lost my mind a couple of times this tour) and a Jimi Hendrix cover. Glad those folks with the Axis: Bold As Love sign got their song. Leo always shreds those 60s-70s covers. Javier put it best, "Axis was an appropriate way to end the San Francisco run."


via The Joker

Nothing is better than seeing your favorite band, in your favorite city, with some of your best friends. I'm damn lucky to see any Phish, let alone a three-night rager in San Francisco. I was thrilled to get weird and wacky again with the Joker. It was only five shows, but these were among the most memorable that we've ever seen (and we've been touring Phish and festivals together since 2004). Also special to spend the West Coast run with my girlfriend, who shouldered the burden of driving the entire trip. The TV show she works ended production just in time for the West Coast swing and she was ready for a much-deserved vacation.

The first night was Phish playing to my buzz and taking me along on psychedelic journey with the "others." San Francisco was the perfect location for this cosmic adventure because its considered solemn ground to the guardians and former warriors of psychedelia's past. The second night was a Saturday night fireball dance party and my friends got to hear many of their favorite songs. The last night was all gravy. It's never easy to quantify "fun", but whenever I hear the name Bill Graham, I no longer get the instant recall of the promoter or the Grateful Dead. These days, it's hard not to smile whenever someone says "Bill Graham" because I now get instant flashbacks of Phish's six shows (from the last two summers) at the Civic Auditorium.


You can watch all three (complete) shows here.

Check out other recaps from the time I jumped on tour:
Chicago Night 1: Phishnado Cancels Set 2
Chicago Night 2: Three Set Saturday
Chicago Night 3: Chicago Monsoon
The Gorge: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Lake Tahoe: The Joker Returns
San Francisco: Bill Graham's Fireball
Los Angeles: The Hollywook Bowl
If you enjoyed these recaps, I encourage you to buy one of my books. Help support tour and buy a book, or download one of them to Kindle.

Friday, August 09, 2013

RIP Jerry Garcia

Gone, but not forgotten.

Check out something I wrote over at Tao of Pauly.... Jerry Day Flashback.

Here's the Grateful Dead circa 1974...

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Quickies: Phish Hollywook Bowl Recap

By Pauly

The Bowl was fun because I arrived in LA with very low expectations of the show and got obliterated (last night of tour) so everything was gravy. Sure, the tour closer included a phenomenal Harry Hood, but that was one of the few standouts from an ordinary "greatest hits" show. Hollywood is a company town run by well-tanned show biz mafioso types. Maybe it was the cumulative effects of the encyclopedia of intoxicants I ingested the previous two weeks, but I had this image that the Bowl show was Hollywood's version of trying to put on a Phish show. But Holly-fucking-wood always manages to screw something up and the final product becomes watered down and cheesy. Heck, I wasn't even 100% certain that Phish was actually onstage. Maybe I smoked too much DMT in Tahoe because for most of the show I was convinced that Phish was actually a complex hologram created by George Lucas. The fab four were heading back to Vermont/NY with their families, while their fabricated projected  images were performing a greatest hits set at the Bowl! Hollywood magic meets Phish alchemy. Hollywood suits are amazing media manipulators, which is why many of them are in cahoots with the CIA. Hollywood suits convinced us that Britney Spears could actually sing and that J.Lo could actually act, so keeping schwilly ketamine-eating zombies mildly entertained with a Phishy hologram at the Bowl is like shooting fish in a barrel. However, when the boys shredded that 22-minute Hood, any illusions of Hologram Phish were quickly dismissed. It was a fun theory while it lasted. Welcome to Hollyweird.

 We woke up in San Francisco on Monday morning after four hard nights of partying and three straight shows at Bill Graham. Most of the crew was heading back to Colorado, including the Joker. I snuck out of the city without hitting any traffic. My girlfriend (Change100) and drove the entire way back to LA, which we had done more times than we could count. We made excellent time with Broseph and Leslie right behind us. I had not been home in three weeks and it felt like three months following the circus... LA > Chicago > San Francisco > Mt. Shasta > Portland > Seattle > The Gorge > Methford, OR > Lake Tahoe > San Francisco > LA. We had a brief pre-party on my couch in the Slums of Beverly Hills before we left for the Hollywood Bowl.

We thought we gave ourselves plenty of time (traffic included), yet we got stuck in one of the worst jams I had ever experienced. Figured a Tube was coming... and that we earned a big one. We didn't bring any Fireball for the ride to the show, an oversight on our part. Leslie had an outfit that was not optimal for smuggling in contraband. At one point, we bailed from the car in the middle of traffic and walked up the hill because we had extras to sell. My girlfriend eventually parked the car at a park/ride garage in West Hollywood and took the shuttle up the hill. Highland is the street running in front the Bowl, which has limited parking lots (some with stacked parking) that contributed to a lame lot scene. After the show, everyone spills over into Highland winding down the hill. That's where the balloon mongers were out in full force. When the show ends, you'll see hundreds of wastrels clutching balloons and hugging the ivy-covered brick walls lining the boulevard. 

On the way up the hill, shady scalpers offered me $10 a ticket. Phish sold out the Bowl (17,500 capacity??) but tons of extras were floating around. Easiest and cheapest ticket of the tour, considering San Francisco extras peaked at $150 and Saturday Chicago (three sets) went as high as $150. I waved my extras in Section N and a Mercedes pulled up and they rolled down the window. A girl with curly hair who looked like Maeby from Arrested Development was looking for tix. It coulda been the actress who played Maeby, so you never know. Even Zenmaster Phil Jackson was at the show and I heard Beiber was wandering around backstage in a molly-afterglow with a few glowsticks plugging up his arse.  Maeby in the Mercedes held up traffic on Highland so we could discuss a potential deal. She offered me $100 for both tickets (shocking, I hoped to get $20-25 per ticket) and I snatched up a Benjamin while everyone in cars behind the Mercedes angrily honked at us. I got lucky because Leslie could only sell her extras for an 1/8 of weed.

Jesus... getting close to the Bowl was a total clusterfuck (moreso than usual). The traffic jam ate up at least an hour of pre-party. I had no time to check out the lots or meet up with friends. I got to the top of the hill at 7:30, ran into Leslie near the gate, and found SetlistArt. I miracled him a ticket because he had a headache ticket snafu. He's from Canada and I love the fact that Phish appeals to non-spoiled Americans. This summer whole on tour, I hung out with dedicated phans from France, Japan, India, and Canada.

We had super seats (not benches) but surrounded by dudes who could not handle their liquor and talked the entire show. I expected a restless crowd that would not be as locked-in as the previous runs at the Gorge-Tahoe-San Francisco. I mentally prepared myself to think that the Sunday show at Bill Graham was the real tour ender, so I arrived in LA with an attitude that the Bowl show was like a bonus show. If you go in with low expectations, then you will always have a good show. I also got super-schwilly in order to deal with self-absorbed LA hipsters, plus it was the end of tour and everyone had given me their surplus supplies starting at the Gorge, continuing thru Tahoe, and San Francisco. Friends pulled me aside to gift me whatever they can't/won't fly/drive. I'm always surprised to discover who was the closet cokehead that particular weekend, or who was getting digital.

I was prepared for low key evening with a LA crowd versus normal tour enders at different venues. Yeah, the vibes from the crowd always affect the show. The band feeds off the vibe of the crowd, which felt much more mainstream show biz than intimate psychedelia we experienced at the Gorge or Tahoe.  They couldn't pull off a 36-minute Tweezer in Oklahoma City or at the Bowl, but Tahoe crowd was in the perfect mindset (e.g. the most LSD I had scene on the lot in a very long time) for the boys to experiment with a half-hour jam. With that said, I'm glad they had the balls and willingness to go for it with a 20+ minute Hood.

I forgot about the enormity of the Bowl until I walked inside and tried to find my seat. It was easy to get a ticket, so you had a lot of civilians tagging along that didn't necessarily like the music or the scene. Plus LA hipsters are more image conscious than SF hipsters, which is why they were much better dressed. Then again, a kid behind us wore a three-piece suit, hipster glasses, and sported a mustache. Due to the vast size of the Bowl, there were significantly more hipsters wandering around than at Bill Graham. Seemed like everyone I knew had extra tickets, so this was a show you didn't think twice about bringing friends who were marginally into Phish versus saving tickets for tour rats at smaller venues in Tahoe or San Francisco (where extras were hard to come by and tthe supply/demand pushed prices in triple digits). The upper parts of the Bowl had the atmosphere of the top parts of a typical cookie cutter amphitheater "lawn" from the midwest/south, with significantly more hard drinkers/scensters/casual fans/talkers versus hardcore fans who opted to get as close as possible and fill up the majority of the boxes.

Broseph and my girlfriend arrived at the Bowl via the shuttle and they got to the seats in the middle of AC/DC Bag. I got in five minutes before lights went down. Our old friend Schwilly Meg made a cameo appearance and scored some moonrocks on the way inside, but of course, she lost her baggie of blow by the time Moma Dance ended. Trey attempted a stop-start woo early on, but the prickly LA crowd was "too cool" and too PT sober for mind-control audience participation. Change100 figured only 25% of the crowd was at Tahoe and/or SF and they didn't know the stop-start cues to "woo", which was a valid point. Leo crooned the audience with Lawn Boy and I imagined him trying to woo glassy-coke-eyed chicks from Silver Lake to post pics of him on their trendy Tumblrs. Really felt the band got their groove on by Wolfman's, but they kept their funk vamping on a short leash. Roses Are Free quickly won over the crowd and I always get goosebumps during the "get in the car and cruise the land of the brave and free" part because we drove all of the West Coast swing. Midway through the set, the sun had dipped behind the hills and CK5 unleashed his full gameplan to light the inner skeleton of the Bowl. With the exception of a few songs (Ocelot, Sand, Hood), the boys focused more on presenting fundamentally sound versions of popular songs versus taking a loose jazzy improv approach like they did at other West Coast shows. Leo had a pretty solo during Scent of a Mule (Victor Borgia meets Philip Glass). I'd love to see Leo rage out a 25-min piano solo during Mule someday. That'll never happen... "You can't handle that shit on strong acid man!" Instead of Fishman marimba hijinks during Mule jam, we got all four members hopping on Fishman's kit. It began with Fishman picking up his mallets to bang on Gordo's bass strings. Trey and Page wandered over and the drum rumpus continued. Ocelot was super faded with a nifty Oxy jam. CK5 lit up the shell with rainbow colors... which must've been a nod to his BFF Beiber. Like most Phishy chicks, Beiber loves unicorns, glitter, and rainbows. I felt a Beatles was on the slate, (e.g. Day in the Life encore) but we got a pleasant surprise with WMGGW to close out a short set. Started out sloppy but it finished strong with an emotional highpoint.

via David Huchteman

The lights went up at setbreak and everyone in my crew scattered. Broseph never made it to our seats and he wandered around trying to pick up Asian hipster chicks and angle-shoot against beer vendors (hear more in Wook Patrol podcast episode 11). Leslie Fireball wandered off to meet up with Colorado friends. My girlfriend took off and tried to meet up with work friends. I realized I was alone, without water and a one-hitter (my girlfriend had both), not in the best headspace to talk to neighbors or meet up with friends because my phone was dying. I stayed put and my mind began to wander and I got caught up in my Phish hologram theory. That's when I remembered why I was so schwasted... because we were going 100mph since the Gorge. SetlistArt showed up with a beer for me... something I desperately needed at the time.

Interesting to see a bunch of second set openers tossed into the second set (e.g. DWD, Golden Age). Chalkdust came out of nowhere (expected it early in the first set) and I hoped for something glorious during Golden Age jam, but that seemed to give Phish some hipster credit with the Echo Park/Silver Lake crowd. When Birds popped up, SetlistArt reminded me of the Miami version of Birds > L.A. Woman. He thought we were going to get that Doors' cover, which would blown my girlfriend's mind. Never happened. We got a Sand > DWD one-two punch over the next 20 minute segment. Sand was full-blown dance party yet it never got too dirty. DWD started out deviant and morphed into a mellow fluffball before the band returned to the dark side with My Friend My Friend.

Listen to Harry Hood for yourself and enjoy the heavenly jam out. Those moments are why I chase Phish and it made the Bowl show totally worth the effort (long drive from SF plus hellacious traffic and annoying fucksticks talking behind us). The Bowl Hood was like one of those nights when Kobe drops 50 or 60 points for the Lakers. It had a little bit of everything... peaks and valleys, Phish punched a hole in the time/space continuum, opened up a wormhole to another dimension, melodious four-way conversation, Trey the cosmic trailblazer, Fish's Latin-flavored booty shaking, Gordo roiding, Leo vocoder, Trey "knife/myfe" insertions, and of course the controversial woos. I was wooing along at the end with the hipster in the suit much to the chagrin of Wildo (my one friend who held the most staunch anti-woo hardliner stance; listen to Wook Patrol podcast "To Woo? Or Not To Woo?).

Crowd sing-along with the Stones' cover and Loving Cup encore, the chosen exclamation point to the evening. Hoped for a two-song encore, but the fundamental rule of show biz is leaving the crowd wanting more. Like Lohan hooked on Adderall XL, I'm itching and jonesin' for more Phish. I specifically opted for fewer shows this summer (in favor of saving up time/money for Fall Tour), and can't wait until another three-show run at Dick's. See ya in Colorado.

P.S. I know I never wrote anything about the Bill Graham shows. Stay tuned for a San Francisco recap. Soon come.

Check out the Gorge Recap and Lake Tahoe Recap.

Listen to all of our Wook Patrol podcasts. We've recorded 11 mini-episodes since Tahoe.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Illusion: Phish Architecture and the Freezer Years

This is our bud the Illusion sounding off on Phish and the "freezer years of Phish" and how Trey is trying to wake us up by encouraging us to stop taking government-issued molly...

The Illusion makes a valid argument how the old "drug" paradigm is a dead end, and rhe new sonic direction will lead us to the promised land...

Monday, August 05, 2013

Phish Setlist Hollywood Bowl 8/5/13 and New Wook Patrol Podcasts

Poster by James Flames
Phish ends their west coast swing in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl.

Here is the setlist...
The Phish, 8/5/13 Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles CA

Set 1: AC/DC Bag, Moma Dance, Sparkle, Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan, Lawn Boy, Wolfman's Brah, Roses are Free, Scent of a Mule*, Ocelot, Cavern, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Set 2: Chalkdust, Golden Age > Birds, Sand > DWD, My Friend My Friend, HOOD, Zero

E: Loving Cup

*= with drum solo featuring all band members  

Click here to see every Phish setlist from this summer tour, plus links to vids and recaps.


We posted three new Wook Patrol Podcasts!
Episode 9: Hollywood Bowl Traffic Jam (1:46) - While stuck in a huge crowd waiting to cross the street, Pauly chats with Broseph about their encounter with an eclectic cross-section of people at the Hollywood Bowl.

Episode 10L.A. vs. S.F. and Sneaking in Fireball (with Leslie) (6:54) - Pauly chats with Leslie the morning after the Hollywood Bowl show. They discuss the differences between L.A. and S.F. crowds, along with her secrets for sneaking Fireball into shows. Plus, Pauly pontificates on why Phish has only done 1 show in Texas in 3.0.

Episode 11: Hollywook Bowl (with Broseph) (4:29) - Broseph tellsPauly about his wookery adventures while angle-shooting inept beer vendors at the Hollywood Bowl.

Check out the Wook Patrol archives and listen to the other episodes we recorded at Tahoe and San Francisco.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Phish San Francisco Setlist 8/4/13 - Bill Graham Night 3

Leslie called these "Slinky bubble" lights  by CK5

The Phish completed the final show of a three night run at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

Here is the "Never-Miss-A-Sunday-Show" setlist...
The Phish, 8.4.13 San Francisco, CA 
Set 1: Crowd Control, Divided Sky, Wilson, Foam, Halley's > My Soul, Ya Mar, Army of One, Taste, Gumbo, Train Song, Pebbles & Marbles 
Set 2: Energy > Jim > Carini > Wedge > Light > Bowie, Silent, Meatstick, Quinn, YEM 
Encore: Sanity, Axis Bold As Love

Click here to see every Phish setlist from this summer tour, plus links to vids and recaps.

Phish San Francisco Setlist 8/3/13 Bill Graham - Night 2; Plus Bonus Wook Patrol Podcast

Original Poster by Tyler Stout
One more Saturday night with Phish. It's the middle of the three-show run at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium....
The Phish 8/3/13, San Francisco, CA

Set 1: Grind, Weigh, Alumni Blues > Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, Lengthwise > Maze, Sample, NICU, Mound, Jesus Left Chicago, Driver, Timber Ho, Axilla, BUG, Possum, First Tube

Set 2: Rock and Roll > Steam > Backwards > Mike's > Hydrogen > Weekapaug, Joy, Fluffhead, 2001 > Slave

E: Waste, Suzy

  Click here to see every Phish setlist from this summer tour, plus links to vids and recaps.

* * * *

We recorded a new Wook Patrol podcast the morning after the show...
Episode 8: How Not to Pick Up Suicide Girls at Phish and The Joker's Phishy Fortune Cookies (13:22) - The morning after Saturday's SF show... Pauly wakes up the Joker, who tells two stories. One is about a hipster dude trying to pick up a Suicide Girl... and failing miserably. The Joker then talks about giving out fortune cookies with Phish Lyrics.

Here are the other two episodes we recorded in San Francisco after the Friday show...
Episode 6: Snooty San Francisco Marina Chicks Hate Phish? (5:07)
Episode 7: Wildo's Anti-Woo Stance; To Woo Or Not to Woo? (4:06)
And here are the Lake Tahoe episodes...
Episode 1: What Do You Do During Velvet Sea and the "Phishy Chick or Hooker?" Game (2:53)
Episode 2: Joker the Tahoe Lot DJ (3:13)
Episode 3: Phamily Poker Classic 3 Charity Tournament for Mockingbird - Update (2:44)
Episode 4: Change100 Makes Final Table of Phamily Poker Classic (3:59)
Episode 5: Poop Your Pants (with Derek the Hitchhiker) (1:29)

Saturday, August 03, 2013

New Wook Patrol Podcasts from San Francisco

We recorded two quickie Wook Patrol podcasts at the after-party...
Episode 6 - Snooty San Francisco Marina Chicks Hate Phish? -- Three miserable snooty girls from the Marina got dragged to see Phish in San Francisco. The Joker and Pauly talk about their plight...

Episode 7 - Wildo's Anti-Woo Stance; To Woo Or Not to Woo? - After a mixed reaction from the "woo" audience participation at the first night in San Francisco, Pauly asks Wildo to explain his anti-Woo stance.

Listen to the Wook Patrol archives here, including the Tahoe episodes.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Phish Setlist San Francisco 8/2/13 Bill Graham Night 1

Phish returned to San Francisco for a three-night run at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

Here is what you missed:

The Phish, 8/2/13 San Francisco, CA

Set 1: Free, Meat, Oh Kee Pa > BAG, Vultures, Roggae, SAND, Circus Comes to Town, Bablyon, Reba, Halfway to the Moon, Golgi

Set 2: PYITE > DWD > Caspian > Farmhouse > Seven Below > Theme > HOOD, Faulty Plan Coil

Encore: Walls of the Cave

 Click here to see every Phish setlist from this summer tour, plus links to vids and recaps.

via @Phish_FTR

* * * *
We recorded two quickie Wook Patrol podcasts at the after-party...
Episode 6 - Marina Chicks Hate Phish (5:07) -- Three miserable snooty girls from the Marina got dragged to see Phish in San Francisco. The Joker and Pauly talk about their plight...

Episode 7 - Wildo's Anti-Woo Stance; To Woo Or Not to Woo? (4:06) - After a mixed reaction from the "woo" audience participation at the first night in San Francisco, Pauly asks Wildo to explain his anti-Woo stance.

Listen to the Wook Patrol archives here, including the Tahoe episodes.

Quickies: Lake Tahoe Phish Recap

By Pauly

I'm short on time. I had to make a choice -- friends or recaps. I chose friends. It was an easy choice to make because I don't get to see a lot of my favorite people IRL on a daily basis, so Phish tour is one of the few opportunities I have to catch up, throw down, laugh at old memories, and blaze new ones.

Joker blowing shit up!
The Joker is my brother from a different mother. We don't get to see as many shows together like we used to (funny how life interferes with... life), which is why this Tahoe-SF run is extra special for us. We quickly got back into our old routine like "Clyde and Pearl." Swishing and dishing. Raging and caging. A portion of my friends from Colorado made the sojourn to Tahoe and we kicked it into high gear. Blasting off to 11, on a dial of 10 kinda of trip. Yup, it was one of those shows for me and we got super schwilly before we walked into the venue. Alas, my assessment of the first Tahoe show is turbo-chemically-enhanced. Like most of the stuff I write (especially about Phish), don't take it too seriously. Listen to the show(s) yourself and draw your own conclusions. Phish is what you make of it. For the Tahoe shows, it was all about hanging with an old friend and reliving glory days.

Tahoe 7/30/13

The Gorge and Tahoe shows are not easy to get to, and it requires a significant amount of effort, which weeds out the scensters and fake phans. Tahoe is a much smaller venue than the Gorge, and let's be honest, it's a fucking casino parking lot. I spent most of the last decade working in the gambling biz (poker and sportsbetting) and spent more time in Nevada than any normal human should be exposed to, so the Lake Tahoe shows were two of my opposing worlds colliding. Nuclear.

A mini-Shakedown popped up behind the venue. Plenty of shrooms and acid going around. I knew wed be in for a trippy run. I met up with Zobo (I met him on Japan 2000 tour) and he had a cottage 25 feet from the entrance. We sat on his porch and listened to some bluesy-shredding during 30 minutes of the soundcheck. Zobo is friends with Yasu (the Japhan who sometimes streams the shows) and I forgot I had met him a couple years ago in Alpharetta. I got to check out his gear... truly amazing.

Yasu's tools

My girlfriend and I posted up right in front of the soundboard and somehow most of my friends (e.g. Jesse, Dr. Jellyeater, et al) found us. Sometimes the opener is a throwaway, but a 10+ minute Wolfman's Brah was a positive omen. Funkification from the get-go. Zobo thought it was cool we got Cavern early on. "This is a set closer batting third!" he said. Someone brought their young daughter and she was on her parent's shoulders most of the set and digging the Birds. By Funky Bitch/Cities portion of the show, I had fallen into the mol-abyss and it took several hours before I climbed out. Ziggy hooked me up with some killer party favors and they over-delivered! At the start of Rift, the Joker joked, "So your jaded vet ass hates Rift?"

"Well, only when the fuck it up terriblly," I responded.

"Like now?" quipped the Joker.

The Bathtub Gin was pretty fucking weird. Pretty. Fucking. Weird. I appreciate the fact they took a risk with a dissonant jam instead of playing it safe... but they poorly executed whatever they were trying to achieve and fell flat on their faces (unless they were purposely trying to freak out the acidheads). I'd rather see them try/fail then ripcord the jam for a greatest hits tune. There was an older guy with a plastic-looking face which made him look like he was wearing a mask of some sorts. He was dancing in front of the Joker and kept turning around, which really freaked him out. He had to swap spots and move away from the plastic-face old dude. Tube is getting shorter and shorter. At this point, I'm wondering if they'll do one under three minutes? I decided that the next time I run into Trey, I'm going to go Jedi mind trick on his ass and pull some reverse psychology, "Hey Trey... can you play a shorter Tube?" In hopes that he goes 180 degrees and pulls a 15-minute funk orgy out of Phish's arse. I love Leo covering 70s classics. I'm also a huge fan of Joe Walsh (pre-Eagles and solo career during his stint in the power trio James Gang). I fucking loved every moment of Walk Away, which closed the set.

The second set was a little short for my tastes but they had a curfew lurking around the corner. My take is that the band fell into a time warp for half the set which is why Weekapaug was pushed into the encore. They probably wanted to end the second set with Zero, but due to their miscalculations they had to play Weekapaug/Zero in the encore slots instead of some other hijinks. I dug the earthy jam out of Golden Age, but they kept a short leash on 46 Days and Boogie On, which were songs they could have opened up into jam monsters. Instead, they let it rip during Ghost. I prefer dirty tones and spooky as shit Ghosts. I saw an apparition later that night while walking home, so this Tahoe Ghost was an ominous foreshadowing of some paranormal shit that Phish conjured up. Some nights they're not musicians, rather they're dabbling with the occult as alchemists. Phish opened up another portal to the netherworld and opened the floodgates to alt-dimensions. Carini continued the dark and dirty path, but it was contained on a short leash along with Piper, which bled intoa  Coltrane-like modular jam. Check out the Wook Patrol podcast about what we do during Velvet Sea. I don't think I've ever seen Slave as the lunchmeat in Mike's Groove sandwich. Slave was a lil sloppy and cut short due to time constraints, but it's my favorite song and love it so much that I only listen to it at shows... so anytime they play Slave, it's a good show for me. We got a rare Weekapaug encore and the Zero was an exclamation point on the first night in Tahoe.

In Shakedown after the show, Wildo freaked out the nitrous mafia because he shaved down to a Ditka-like mustache, which made him look like a state trooper. One of the spotters freaked out because they thought Wildo was gonna bust them! Too bad we didn't confiscate their tanks. It would have made the after-party a shade more crazier. At the after-party, I was the spirit guide for some friends who wanted to dabble in DMT for the first time. I was still a little jiggy because I saw a ghost while walking back to the cabin. I was holding my girlfriend's hand and thought someone was walking in the road about 10 yards in front of us until they disappeared! Vanished. Poof. Gone.

Yeah, it was one of those nights.

Tahoe 7/31/13

All you need to know is.... 36-minute Tweezer. That's why I blow all of my disposable income on this band and chase them all over America to catch those rare moments when they break out a half hour of improv. They took a risk... and delivered. I won't go into details. Listen for yourself and enjoy the ride.

I played in the Phamily Poker Classic 3, a charity tournament to raise money for the Mockingbird Foundation (which gives grants to fund music programs for school kids). It's one of the many ways this community gives back and I was honored to be a "bounty player." Whoever knocked me out won a Roxy '93 CD box set. My friend, poker pro Jesse Martin played in the event. If you don't know, Jesse won his first bracelet at the WSOP this summer in Vegas. So cool that he scheduled Tahoe into his vacation after a crazy two months in Vegas. We got 104 players and raised over $7,200 for Mockingbird. I busted in 56th place. Wildo almost made the final table, but was knocked out in 12th. My girlfriend (aka @change100) made the final table and finished in 8th place. She was down to 1 chip late in the tournament and survived with her short-stack ninja skills. Phil from made the final table along with Scotty Berger. His buddy Schwartz won the whole thing. Well done!

Phamily Poker Classic 3 - Winer's Trophy
After the tournament, we headed to Shakedown where the Joker was the lot DJ. You can listen to more about his deft skills in one of our Wook Patrol Podcasts. The boys kicked off the second night with Chalkdust and then leaped right into a lil Tahoe funk with Camelwalk and Back on the Train. First Brian and Robert in two years... nifty bustout. Gordo's reggae vehicle Yarmouth Road is getting better and better. "Is Yarmouth Road a less sketchy version of Shakedown?" my girlfriend wondered. The Joker felt Page was trolling us with Lawn Boy because we were standing on asphalt in a casino parking lot. They played Ocelot and I was not wearing the shirt.

The entire Tahoe run was anchored by that 36-minute Tweezer. I was waiting for that monolith for some time now. It had three major sections highlighted by audience participation with random wooos! If everyone wasn't cooking on psychedelics, they might not have responded the same way. I seriously had not seen a higher ratio of acid/shrooms to molly in the lot since the mid 90s. Did the Mothership run out of molly supplies? The band fed off the trippy vibe and vice versa. Mellow Tela was one of the only ways they could follow up that monstrous Tweezer. With the intro to Twist everyone assumed we were getting a T-set. The Architect saved us from getting  TTE'd. That TAB tune is growing on me. Antelope heat (with wooos) closed the set. Tweeprise also included a few wooos. Check out the Joker's Tweeprise vine. Hell of a show. 36-minute Tweezer is why Phish is one of my favorite bands. That's the kind of hijinks that alienates civilians and music snobs, but it's our fucking wheelhouse. But as our bud Tres joked on Facebook... "What's the big deal? I've seen EOTO play the same song for four hours."

Was it the best jam of 3.0? Was it the best Tweezer of 3.0? Was it a top 5 Tweezer? WHO THE FUCK CARES!

It is what it is... an amazing night with Phish and friends. Enjoy this buzz while it lasts, because it can all be taken away from us in a flash. Someday Phish ain't going to be around and we'll have to masturbate in the dark.

Tahoe is dunzo. The circus migrates to San Francisco.