Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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

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

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

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

E: Grind, SOL

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

Monday, December 30, 2013

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

Night three of four. Let's get weird.

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

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

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

By Pauly (@taopauly)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

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

Phish returned to MSG for the second of four shows.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Encore: Possum


via @Phish_FTR

By Pauly (@taopauly)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Encore: Suzy Greenburg, Tweezer Reprise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One down. Three more to go.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Disco Santa Says... Merry X-Mas!

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

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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Keith Richards Turns 70; Alien or Vampire?

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

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

Here's Happy circa 1972...

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday, December 02, 2013

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

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