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Toronto Recap: Thirteen Years, Thirteen Days Later

Posted 1 year ago by jugglerswithfire - 36 comments Link: http://phi.sh/b/51ee6e3d

Disclaimer, I am one of the people who was originally scheduled to attend Phish’s originally scheduled Toronto appearance on 7/9/13, and went to the show. I sadly did not have an opportunity to make it back to tonight’s show. Thanks to LivePhish for the live music sharing capabilities.

Phish love water. Are you wet yet? If you have been seeing shows this tour, you have no doubt been affected in some way, shape or form by water. You might have experienced this in the form of showers, humidity so thick that to dance in it causes those who don’t sweat to sweat buckets, cold torrential rain, rain on steroids, and even floods. You might have had a set cut short, or an entire set cancelled, or an entire show cancelled.

Phish had completed soundcheck in Toronto on 7/9/13 ready to make its first performance outside of domestic borders in 4752 days (13 years 4 days). The show was postponed from its originally scheduled date due to "insurmountable transportation and public safety issues resulting from the power outage in Toronto after severe downpours in the city." It would be 4765 days (13 years, 13 days) until Phish could make IT happen. So the Canadian phans and those who are dedicated enough to make a return trip across the border are wet and they’ve been waiting a long time, so tell us, Phish, what’s for dinner, eh?

First sets this tour have not often exuded inspirational playing. Phish kicks the show off with “The Moma Dance” in rare opener slot (first since 10/4/00). A standard “Chalk Dust Torture” follows, followed by a short, sweet “Undermind." “Army of One” is a song I always enjoying hearing more during the fall or winter, but the arms of the arctic do unfold in Canada, so this seemed like more natural placement. The first set continues with fairly standard versions of “Halley’s Comet," a “Twist” with “Oye Como Va” teases, “Bouncing Around the Room” and a good version of “Stash." Then Phish serves up Gordon/Murawski ‘s “Yarmouth Road” which made me get off my couch and dance. Too predictably, a short “Tube” follows. Clearly, it is not as stupendous without a funky jam. Where did “Ocelot” go? I’m not sure, but it was the highlight of the first set. Always a crowd pleaser, “Suzy Greenberg” closes the second quarter and it’s halftime.

After a short setbreak, Phish comes back and begins the third quarter with heroic strength. Trust me, put on some headphones and listen to this “Down with Disease." Clocking in at 18:57, this “Disease” has the extra spicy delight of Canceaux Sauce all the way through. From the moment you hear Gordon’s chill inducing bassline you could tell it would not be a standard “Disease.”

It’s moments like these that keeps most fans coming back to the water. 2013 has been a hard weather tour for everyone, the fans, band and staff included. The band certainly showed IT still can happen! Containing teases of “Piper” and “Undermind," this “Disease” doesn’t disappoint, heading into type II territory at the 4:50 mark, you can hear the “2001” coming in from the 17:07 timepoint, and a free funk dance party erupts. “2001” gives way to a standard rocking “Free” which fell into a second beautiful gem of the evening, a short, but every note intense “Piper” that was teased in the “Disease.” The “Piper” ends rather abruptly, but falls into a soulful little “Tweezer” which almost had an old-school ending feel.

Silent in the Morning” appears again without “The Horse." Is “The Horse" dead? This is the third consecutive “Silent” appearing with no “Horse” in 2013 (7/3/13, 7/16/13). “Silent” yields yet another “Backwards Down the Number Line," and the fourth quarter loses a little steam. A standard “Cavern” follows, and then gloriousness ensues. Put those headphones back on and tighten your headbands my friends, because this “David Bowie” delivers. You could not ask for a better set closer, arguably one of the finest “Bowie’s” of 3.0.

Page has been the spokesman of the tour, as even Trey acknowledged in Chicago. So it was only appropriate he continue the role as speaker as he gave a warm shout-out to the phans, band crew and staff. Doing what they do best, giving all they can, Phish gives Toronto a triple encore beginning with “Loving Cup” – what a beautiful buzz indeed! They keep the party going with the first “Squirming Coil” played this tour, and of course end the show with the typical ragefest of “Tweeprize."

So how about it, Toronto? You had a very standard first with a lot of crowd pleasing tunes. Set two provided type-II delicacies in “DwD," “Piper," “Tweezer," and a crushing “Bowie." So happy for better weather and some time off before this happens once again. For those of restarting or beginning your celebration in the West, I wish you amazing shows! There is not a finer place to kick start the dry tour than in the beautiful place they call the Gorge! See you kids in Tahoe, and don’t forget to support the Mockingbird Foundation’s Tahoe Phamily Poker Classic on Wednesday, July 31!

Comments

ADAWGWYO Reply
ADAWGWYO Sounds about right.
Score: 0
a_jay Reply
In my opinion, a very weak first set with few highlights other than Stash. The playing was standard, and tunes like Ocelot replaced with a "Reba" or "Fluffhead" could have changed the scope of this show.

The second set was much stronger, with some solid jamming in DWD, Tweezer, and Bowie. However, with YEM, Fluff, and Reba noticeably absent (again), I feel the show was average at best.

Encore was excellent however.

Score: 1
nichobert Reply
nichobert Phish will one day realize how much of an early 1st set Number Line is, I'm sure of it. No disrespect to the line, or to trey wanting to add that sweet summer solo deep in the 2nd, but it screams "daylight, shed" to me.
Score: 6
andrewrose Reply
andrewrose Here's this Canadian's review:

Well after 13 years and an extra two weeks following the first of many weather fiascos to plague this (strange?) tour, Phish finally make it back to Canada. It was my third show in my native land, following my only hometown (and first ever) show on 7/6/94, and the band's smoking appearance on 7/20/99. (I was sadly out of the country in 2000). But I wasn't going to miss this one. In fact I was lucky enough to enjoy the show from the front row, where I could get a pretty good idea of how things were unfolding for the band.

Before I dive into other details, let me say this: The 19 minute Down with Disease is a serious keeper! Definitely a must hear and a contender for jam of the tour thus far alongside the Crosseyed and Painless from PNC. After a somewhat shaky start to the actual song (and a bit of feedback) the band wails on the DWD theme for a bit before settling down nicely into exploratory mode and they just go off, weaving in and out of some beautiful themes and peaking with some glorious true hose two or three times before settling down.

Other than the Disease, I will say that I think we saw a pretty tired band this night, Trey especially. It's entirely understandable given what went down in Chicago, and the rescheduled show, but if anyone thought that Phish was going to roll in here all fired up and ready to bust things out and go wall to wall all night (ok, so I thought there was maybe an outside chance of a Foreplay/Longtime opener), they were sadly mistaken. Though I'm not one to dwell on it to much after the fact, I do find it strange just how small a palate they're working with in terms of song selection on this tour.

That said, it was great hear Undermind again, and was one of the first set highlights along with a pretty nice Stash and Twist. Nothing went too far out of the box but the band seemed patient, and Trey especially looked like he wanted to find his ground instead of just wailing (though he did fall back on the bluesy tension release jamming a few times at other points, as he often does these days). Tube and Suzie were also firey.

There's some pretty skippable stuff in Set II following the Disease. The Free is nice enough but 2001 and Piper are both four or 5 minutes with the latter basically aborted in favor of Tweezer after Trey decided he didn't know what to do with it. There were more than a few fatigued frustrated moments on his face where he just didn't have an idea or vision and just wanted to move on. This was a nice, if in-the-box old-school Tweezer, and the first I had personally seen since 2003 somehow, so I was pretty happy to hear it. The Backwards Down the Number Line was probably the weakest version I've seen.

The Bowie was terrific, however! Really great stuff that goes well out of the Bowie theme into major territory, and swirls around confidently. I'm not sure where the band pulled the energy off to execute that but it was a nice surprise after a pretty deflating late set sequence.

You could see the Loving Cup encore coming a mile away, but it was nice to hear Page chat a bit about being happy to be back in Canada, and about the difficulties of the tour regarding weather. It was even nicer to hear Trey finally break his silence following Squirming Coil and dedicate it to the newly born Prince in England, complete with reciting the relevant lyrics:

The muscles flex the mother's ring
She fastens children to her king
And sends him down the crooked street
When he returns, the birth's complete

And then suggesting they call the baby Kong. Presuming that he'd be a King someday. Har har.

This was probably one of the weaker start to finish shows of the ten I've seen in 3.0. But the Disease jam was one of the best I've seen in that span, so there you go. Strange and wonderful times with this band, as always. Happy to just watch them age, really. Thanks for coming back to Canada, boys. How about a return to Montreal in 2014? It'll be twenty years next July.
Score: 12
Birddog Reply
Am I the only one hearing the China Cat/Rider teases in the Bowie?
Score: 1
phootyjon Reply
phootyjon @Birddog said:
Am I the only one hearing the China Cat/Rider teases in the Bowie?
no you are not....they are gonna bust a China Cat at BGCA.
Score: 2
ledzepmaster Reply
ledzepmaster "This DWD doesn't not disappoint." lolwat
Score: 1
bertoletdown Phish.net Staff Reply
bertoletdown @phootyjon said:
@Birddog said:
Am I the only one hearing the China Cat/Rider teases in the Bowie?
no you are not....they are gonna bust a China Cat at BGCA.
I will eat a bug if this happens.
Score: 8
Time4420 Reply
To say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement! I was defiantly in the minority in Toronto, cause everyone was loving it and I was mildly annoyed. I've been touring pretty heavily in the 3.0 era, and last night was my 8th show of 2013. I've come to realize that there isn't a need to tour anymore when this band is playing (for the most part) the same rotation of songs every other night! I'm sick of Possum, I'm sick of BDTNL, I'm sick of 3 minute Tube's and 4 minute 2001's! I just don't understand it? With a depth of songs that spans almost 500 why keep on playing it safe so often? Sadly it feels like the shows are regressing from even the 2010/2011 ones. 7/4/10,8/14/10, 10/20/10, 10/30/10, 6/3/11, 6/4/11, 8/5/11, 8/15/11 blow away anything from this year. With Gorge, Tahoe and BG shows as well as Halloween in AC, a fall tour and thankgiving weekend in Hampton there are many chances to change this course and I pray it does!
Score: 3
tweezyebineezy Reply
i loved it loved it loved it!!!! the 2001 was amazing, so glad that they changed up the setlist, it was a pleasant surpirise. i was glad to see silent in the morning and the undermind as well, and a stash is always a pleaser. im just so glad theyre begining to change it up a bit! cant wait to see whats in store for the gorge!!!
Score: 0
AlbanyYEM Reply
AlbanyYEM @Time4420 I have to agree with some of what you say, and you certainly won't take any shit from me demanding you enjoy every note at all times. The rotation has become severely problematic. Severely. That being said, I think they've definitely regressed from last year but are still quite a bit beyond '11. There are now a plethora of decent Bowies, Stashes, Hoods, etc this year and last. It was slim pickings on the minor jam tunes in 09-11.

Though they've certainly started off weaker than last year, they've hit the same midtour lull. Remember Portsmouth? I would expect leg II to be significantly better a la last year. Ha Ha Ha> Possum from Chicago certainly indicates they are aware of the rotation concerns, though the recognition is a bit ambiguous. As far as the jams go, you have to remember you're comparing an entire year ('11) to essentially half a year. I'd say the first leg last year is slightly better jam wise but not enormously so. For better or worse the first leg seems to be about finding their jamming feet (lame pun). I think they will definitely respond to near universal (and legitimate at that) complaints concerning the rotation. If not in leg II, then certainly by fall or next year.
Expect better things to come.
Score: 3
TheEmu Phish.net Staff Reply
TheEmu @Time4420 said:
To say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement! I was defiantly in the minority in Toronto, cause everyone was loving it and I was mildly annoyed. I've been touring pretty heavily in the 3.0 era, and last night was my 8th show of 2013. I've come to realize that there isn't a need to tour anymore when this band is playing (for the most part) the same rotation of songs every other night! I'm sick of Possum, I'm sick of BDTNL, I'm sick of 3 minute Tube's and 4 minute 2001's! I just don't understand it? With a depth of songs that spans almost 500 why keep on playing it safe so often? Sadly it feels like the shows are regressing from even the 2010/2011 ones. 7/4/10,8/14/10, 10/20/10, 10/30/10, 6/3/11, 6/4/11, 8/5/11, 8/15/11 blow away anything from this year. With Gorge, Tahoe and BG shows as well as Halloween in AC, a fall tour and thankgiving weekend in Hampton there are many chances to change this course and I pray it does!
I definitely hear what you're saying about the shrinking song rotation. I would argue that they are still laying down some quality music night after night, though. Down with Disease, for example, goes different places all the time. I, for one, wish they would ditch a song like Free or Tube once in a while if they are not going to do anything with it to make room for more jamming. Then again, there are plenty of people who still want to hear those songs.

I think the one of the biggest issues is that they don't live together and practice constantly anymore, so it's not like they can just whip out a song on the fly like they used to. If they do, it's likely to get butchered, because they haven't played it in so long. Just a thought.
Score: 6
funkbeard Reply
There is little that is standard about this show.

Mike is at his creative and brillianr best. Trey works hard to bring the synergy all night. Moma Dance Chalkdust Undermined is the most pumped up opener of the tour, and it's during Haler's Comet that Trey really steps up for the other guys in the band to hold an egalitarian type of role in the musoc. Even the standard fare is jacked up with firemost creative invention, and the whole set just crackles with life. Anypne calling this standard due to setlist concerns is typically jaded. This Toronto show contaims the triumphant spirit of a band that has finally made it through the worst summer storms in recent memory. This is a return to the solid musicianship we witnessed at Merriweather Post Pavilion, but with a greater strength and resilience from the first note.

Opening the second round with Down with Diseaae, Trey spends the first several minutes digging deeper than usual with each ensuing phrase, while laying back and working hard to allow the entire band's sound to emerge into that egalitarian focus. The ensuing jam is must-hear material. The following 2001 is a flawlessly executed, down and dirty dance party. The Free that follows is one of he most inventive in recent years, with Trey choosing a different-than-the-usual path through the composed parts, and Mike literally indulging in one of the finest nights of bass playing in his career.

Piper is another great version, a song the band has rediscovered this tour, figuring out how to bring its heat night after night. A hell of a lot of jamming is contained inthese five minutes, and the shift into Tweezer is turn-on-a-dime to a ridiculous degree. Those calling this Tweezer standard fail to see that this is the second great Tweezer of the year, and the first complete version in years, with a newly perfected better-than-old-school slow down ending. I can't relate the debauchery that goes down in thisjam. This is a headphones show, or the type of show you want to really pay attention to. The strength of the night is powerful, creative, integrated musicianship, and the band play it out to way above average results. The ensuing Silent in the Morning, in my opinion, is the first "nailed" version of the tour, with good pacing and delivery on all fronts, and Page offering the song a virtuostic piano part through the peak.

At this point, the band is tired, and they take a bit of a more standard approach on Number Pine through Cavern, playing with a lot of love but not necessarily going the extra mile. And yet, on Bowie, they go the extra mile once more. Trey plays the composition with extra care, once again, and opts for melodic phrases that bring out the band's uncanny improvisational potential through the well above average jam. Easily the finest Bowie delivered in 2013, thus far.

The encore boasts a great Lovin' Cup, a near perfect Coil, a shout out to the birth of the Prince, with Trey recommending the name "Prince Kong", and an abbreviated Tweezer Reprise ( probably due to time constraints).

Like Alpharetta 2, this show stands alone. Where Alpharetta 2's second set boasted a rock and roll symphony presentation, this shpw featured some of the finest spontanious improv contained within songs of recent years. Forget the setlist. Listen to these guys talk to each other with their instruments as they bring you a classic that won't soon be forgotten.

Quality-wise, this may be, overall, one of the finest Phish performances in recent years, a best of 3.0 contender, and even obliterates much of what the band has accomplished in the past. West Coast look out! A Phish is coming to a stage near you!
Score: 2
HenryHolland Reply
HenryHolland I think the one of the biggest issues is that they don't live together and practice constantly anymore, so it's not like they can just whip out a song on the fly like they used to. If they do, it's likely to get butchered, because they haven't played it in so long. Just a thought.

Totally agree. I've had that happen to two of my favorite Phish songs, Pebbles & Marbles and Scents & Subtle Sounds: they'd been on the shelf for a while and when they did bust them out, they were sloppy and kind of a chore to listen to. To be honest, those "OMG! They've played 280 different songs this tour" segments felt like a baseball player padding his stats just because he can. It also helps to look at setlists from 1993-96, they were pretty standard a lot of the time (ten straight 2001 set 2 openers anyone?). Of course they have more original songs and covers to work with now, but I'll *always* take better playing over novelty.
Score: 7
preyingmantits Reply
@Time4420 said:
To say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement! I was defiantly in the minority in Toronto, cause everyone was loving it and I was mildly annoyed. I've been touring pretty heavily in the 3.0 era, and last night was my 8th show of 2013. I've come to realize that there isn't a need to tour anymore when this band is playing (for the most part) the same rotation of songs every other night! I'm sick of Possum, I'm sick of BDTNL, I'm sick of 3 minute Tube's and 4 minute 2001's! I just don't understand it? With a depth of songs that spans almost 500 why keep on playing it safe so often? Sadly it feels like the shows are regressing from even the 2010/2011 ones. 7/4/10,8/14/10, 10/20/10, 10/30/10, 6/3/11, 6/4/11, 8/5/11, 8/15/11 blow away anything from this year. With Gorge, Tahoe and BG shows as well as Halloween in AC, a fall tour and thankgiving weekend in Hampton there are many chances to change this course and I pray it does!
If the major concern is with a limited rotation then I'll take that over the mailed in 2010 stuff that go nowhere. They are working with a new sound , Trey has an old/new axe. Give them sometime.
Leg 2 plus fall tour means lots of time to stretch their legs out.
Score: 0
JOgden Reply
It's time. It's time for people to levy some objective comments about Phish and the recent spat of shows. I know it's blasphemous in the minds of some that not only drink the Kool-Aid, but live on it, to talk about the band objectively, but it has to be done. I wasn't @ the Toronto show last night, but I'm glad I wasn't. The whole point of seeing this band over and over and over is getting a new show everytime - and that's simply not happening anymore. You can call me a "hater" (whatever that means) or a "setlist snob" but you can't deny that we're dealing with the same batch of songs at this point. DwD, BDTNL, Possum, Bowie, Tweezer/Tweezer Reprise, Chalkdust, Rock & Roll, Free, Piper, Golden Age, Twist, Loving Cup - there's every second set/encore in the last two years. SPAC was a huge disappointment and frankly - so was Chicago. Gone are the mixed up setlists, improv'd music, and fun jams that made this band a joy to watch. Yes they sound good and are having fun, and that's wonderful for them on a personal level, but the fans have been left with the short stick lately and if you can't admit the rotation is an issue, you probably are incapable of thinking independently about Phish.
Score: 7
Hooperman Reply
I'll preface this by saying I'm a local.

This show (like most really) was a case of the setlist not telling the whole story. From '92 to '00 Phish played Toronto, and Montreal and Vancouver, fairly regularly. And then after '00, they just stopped. We know some of the reasons why, but to people here who could always count on seeing Phish live and all of a sudden couldn't, it changed things.

While Phish (and HORDE, later jambands) never had the same following in Canada as in the US - we don't have the network of college towns that nurtured these bands in the early days - during the '90s and early '00s in some pockets of Toronto (North Toronto, Thornhill, York Mills, Western U, certain summer camps) Phish were absolutely huge. But the fact that Phish stopped coming here was a contributing factor to the band just kinda falling off the radar to a lot of people around here. There were a ton of people last night at the show in their 30s and 40s for whom Phish had once been an enormous part of their lives growing up, but who had not been to a show in a long, long time.

I include myself in this group, and to us last night was special. It was nostalgic, it was a reunion. You could tell by the blank stares and checking of phones during the Undermind tunes and Yarmouth, that not everyone had been keeping up with the band the way they once did. But when CDT, Stash, Suzy, heck even Bouncin' were played, it was as if time had stood still.

Objectively not a great show, although a pretty good one still. The Stash was an early highlight, and Set I ended on a huge high with a (short) Tube, a great Ocelot and Suzy. Set II was much better, really worth listening to, even with a couple "breathers" (needed if you were actually there in that heat dancing) thrown in. The DwD, Tweezer and Bowie were the highlights for sure. And the surprise Coil thrown into the middle of the encore I think was actually the highlight of the night for many. The only true "surprise" of the night, and always a sweet way to wind down.

Now hopefully it won't be another 13 years til they're back. By then I don't think my legs will be able to hold up.
Score: 9
funkbeard Reply
Alpharetta 2. The second set that night had the compositional quality of a rock and roll symphony. The last few shows are kinda song to song linear studies.

Trey seems to be struggling with the compositions again. I find myself missing the elegance of the Ocedoc. Trey approached with great respect. Will we hear symphonic-quality Trey this tour? Return to mastery of technique and balance. I hope.
Score: 0
chazzer Reply
Say what you will about the song choices. Myself, just got my very first Lizards and Harpua so I couldn't be happier with their selections, at least on that particular evening.
Score: 0
Butters Reply
Had a great time. This was my first show, so it's going to be impossible for me to be objective. It was more just an experiance in and of itself. Seeing what a Phish crowd is like and being with that many people who love this band like I do, it was something I'll never forget. It was like being in an alternate reality. Today I told my girlfriend on the phone that being at the show was like being on a differant planet, and although I've never had jet-lag, I think today I was experiancing Phish-lag, totally worn out and empty but somehow full of joy and happiness.

The music, well, obviously not the greatest setlist on paper, and sometimes the band did sound a little tired. They performance though is nothing to sneeze at and I think they brought it as best they could. Highlights for me were the Moma Dance -> Chalkdust -> Undermind trio opener, Twist, Stash, Ocelot, DWD, Tweezer, and Bowie. Ocelot and DWD especially brought it in my opinion and these are two songs I gained absolute new appreciation for last night.

Such a great time, I'll never forget it.
Score: 3
preyingmantits Reply
@JOgden said:
It's time. It's time for people to levy some objective comments about Phish and the recent spat of shows. I know it's blasphemous in the minds of some that not only drink the Kool-Aid, but live on it, to talk about the band objectively, but it has to be done. I wasn't @ the Toronto show last night, but I'm glad I wasn't. The whole point of seeing this band over and over and over is getting a new show everytime - and that's simply not happening anymore. You can call me a "hater" (whatever that means) or a "setlist snob" but you can't deny that we're dealing with the same batch of songs at this point. DwD, BDTNL, Possum, Bowie, Tweezer/Tweezer Reprise, Chalkdust, Rock & Roll, Free, Piper, Golden Age, Twist, Loving Cup - there's every second set/encore in the last two years. SPAC was a huge disappointment and frankly - so was Chicago. Gone are the mixed up setlists, improv'd music, and fun jams that made this band a joy to watch. Yes they sound good and are having fun, and that's wonderful for them on a personal level, but the fans have been left with the short stick lately and if you can't admit the rotation is an issue, you probably are incapable of thinking independently about Phish.
Funk jams ended in 1998
Score: 0
SoStupendous Reply
SoStupendous @Time4420 said:
To say I was disappointed would be a huge understatement! I was defiantly in the minority in Toronto, cause everyone was loving it and I was mildly annoyed. I've been touring pretty heavily in the 3.0 era, and last night was my 8th show of 2013. I've come to realize that there isn't a need to tour anymore when this band is playing (for the most part) the same rotation of songs every other night! I'm sick of Possum, I'm sick of BDTNL, I'm sick of 3 minute Tube's and 4 minute 2001's! I just don't understand it? With a depth of songs that spans almost 500 why keep on playing it safe so often? Sadly it feels like the shows are regressing from even the 2010/2011 ones. 7/4/10,8/14/10, 10/20/10, 10/30/10, 6/3/11, 6/4/11, 8/5/11, 8/15/11 blow away anything from this year. With Gorge, Tahoe and BG shows as well as Halloween in AC, a fall tour and thankgiving weekend in Hampton there are many chances to change this course and I pray it does!
Remind me to upload this to the Urban Dictionary for definition of jaded noob. @Butters you have been warned.

/ballbustin'
Score: 0
Brandonclick77 Reply
This Disease was in a word "subdued" I thought... Definitely a headphone jam and not an all out rager... Still good though
Score: 1
pyite9 Reply
Once again an excellent and balanced review of the show. Haven't listen to the whole show yet but that Tweezer was absolutely sick. Mike owned that one.
Score: 0
Diagonal_In_My_Bed Reply
@Butters said:
Had a great time. This was my first show, so it's going to be impossible for me to be objective. It was more just an experiance in and of itself. Seeing what a Phish crowd is like and being with that many people who love this band like I do, it was something I'll never forget.
Well man, if you enjoyed the Toronto crowd, I'd definitely encourage you to see them in the states somewhere, especially in the Northeast. I thought the Toronto crowd was awful - no shakedown st. - lots of hipsters - lots of older square people. If you dug that environment, then you'd totally love somewhere else... Here's to many more shows on your journey :)
Score: 0
PTJams Reply
Nice positive summary of the show--way to keep it real. We may have had a lot of rain, but that rain could never take away our spirit. There have been some sweet Type II jams over the first leg of tour and I think the best is yet to come!

Safe fluff travels for everyone heading west. Rage, crush and repeat.

~L&L~
Score: 1
waxbanks Reply
waxbanks re: the incredible shrinking songlist...

it's been pointed out that trey obviously likes Number Line more than anyone else in the world, and that he doesn't really need any other reason to call for a song. i think that at *some* level, most fans understand this. they like playing Song XYZ, they're gonna play it, and everyone will have a good time because it's a pleasant song well played by a great band.

but what the 'jam-chasers' seem to overlook, pretty consistently -- i include myself in this indictment -- is that 'trey likes it/they like it' doesn't just refer to the song as such, it's about the jam too. the band obviously loves those 'deep space' moments which were the whole point of turn-of-the-century(!) phish...but they clearly also love the 'type 1' jams that setlist-parsers dismiss as 'standard.' trey gets off on the Mike's Song guitar solo. this is obvious. he likes the way Piper crests, tumbles, hisses as it crashes against the shore. this is obvious. he likes the joke of Kill Devil Falls and the whisper-to-wail trajectory of the jam (which is like a less maniacal Chalkdust). this is obvious.

phish enjoy a conventional tweezer jam as much as you do -- not least because they listen to a lot less phish than you do. one difference is: that's enough for them, because they have the power to just make more phish if they want, and you can't -- you have to rely on your supplier. but you shouldn't begrudge them for privileging one kind of experience (everyone having a good time at the show) over another (tallying up the scoresheet the morning after).

the point is, i'm willing to bet that from the band's perspective, a tightly-played 'type 1' jam (even in a sometimes-'type 2' vehicle) isn't missing anything, no matter what the fans say. a jam that doesn't leave the confines of the song is never a failure or a disappointment except to the fan who thinks his idea of the show is more important than the show.

so...the songlist has shrunk.

i imagine this has something to do with the band enjoying playing the songs on the list, not feeling any strong pressure to play new stuff yet, and feeling (correctly) that there's still plenty of juice left in those old songs. mike, page, trey, and fish aren't sitting around comparing this weeks' shows to jams from 1998, because that's a ridiculous way to spend one's time! it's one thing to study, another thing to go looking for ammo for complaints. 'the songlist is too short' doesn't quite rise to the level of analysis, even if plenty of people are feeling it, even if it's true for you and you and etc.

if you aren't enjoying phish's music right now because the setlists overlap too much, listen to less phish, which doesn't mean 'fuck off,' it just means that refreshing your ears will let you come to the music not as a collector but as a traveller.

there are plenty of reasons to criticize this music, if we want; that's fun too sometimes. but 'the songlist is too short' is a matter of taste. that seems worth remembering.

btw, the theme > weekapaug jam from chicago is a great little in-the-moment variation on the usual weekapaug opening, leading right into a swell version. an unexpected pleasure!
Score: 10
imdano Reply
Funkbeard's claim, re: Toronto, "Quality-wise, this may be, overall, one of the finest Phish performances in recent years, a best of 3.0 contender, and even obliterates much of what the band has accomplished in the past" is humorously naive. In his defense, these matters are all highly speculative and subjective, so we won't rake him over the coals too much, but come on dude; "obliterates much of what the band has accomplished in the past?" What planet are you living on? Individual Phish shows are not in competition with one another, for one thing, and to say one musical accomplishment "obliterates" another is to dramatically miss the point (and joy) of seeing this, or any, compelling live band. Each show, even one out 1500+ in a 30 year career, has the the potential to be great, average, or mediocre. The more shows you attend, the easier it becomes to distinguish a great show from a mediocre one. These guys have been at it for a long time. They can't possibly create magic every night; they are human. People should allow for this reality and find ways to enjoy the experience during a mediocre or average show. Accept that 50 year old guys with families cannot be 25 year old hungry musicians that practice furiously. Between their age, changing lifestyles, and the enormous number of concerts these guys have performed, the likelihood of every show being a gem is not high. Enjoy it for what it is.

And give the Went, Cypress, Omni Halloween, 12/6/97, et al. a listen before you get overzealous about any shows from summer 2013 and make ridiculous claims.
Score: 5
NipseySlicer Reply
@JOgden said:
It's time. It's time for people to levy some objective comments about Phish and the recent spat of shows. I know it's blasphemous in the minds of some that not only drink the Kool-Aid, but live on it, to talk about the band objectively, but it has to be done. I wasn't @ the Toronto show last night, but I'm glad I wasn't. The whole point of seeing this band over and over and over is getting a new show everytime - and that's simply not happening anymore. You can call me a "hater" (whatever that means) or a "setlist snob" but you can't deny that we're dealing with the same batch of songs at this point. DwD, BDTNL, Possum, Bowie, Tweezer/Tweezer Reprise, Chalkdust, Rock & Roll, Free, Piper, Golden Age, Twist, Loving Cup - there's every second set/encore in the last two years. SPAC was a huge disappointment and frankly - so was Chicago. Gone are the mixed up setlists, improv'd music, and fun jams that made this band a joy to watch. Yes they sound good and are having fun, and that's wonderful for them on a personal level, but the fans have been left with the short stick lately and if you can't admit the rotation is an issue, you probably are incapable of thinking independently about Phish.
Score: 0
NipseySlicer Reply

I enjoyed your piece Wax .Phish could play the exact same set list every night and it could be a completely different show , if they chose to work within those confines. I for one would welcome that.They could also chose to play one song for each set and make me even happier. Mr. Completely - First Set Carini - Second Set

it's been pointed out that trey obviously likes Number Line more than anyone else in the world,
He also wrote Traveler and not one of those songs need to sneak into the Phish lexicon. Where the hell has Sneakin' Sally gone ?
I have cherry picked shows in 3.0 . I was at the Mother Ship for the return (No need to listen to it ever again but being there for that 20 song first set is a feeling I will have total recall of for the rest of my life).
I was at the Gorge for the Rock and Roll that opened the door to the coming amazement. The lights and the jam were obviously coordinated. Planning and forethought are required to work that kind of wizardry.That seems to be what is lacking right now. The spark to make something unique each night. A theme if you will. When the threw down Heart Breaker set we all had fun.

but what the 'jam-chasers' seem to overlook, pretty consistently -- i include myself in this indictment -- is that 'trey likes it/they like it' doesn't just refer to the song as such, it's about the jam too. the band obviously loves those 'deep space' moments which were the whole point of turn-of-the-century(!)
I was at Dick's for what was for me , perfection. Consciously playing 12 songs , F.U.C.K.Y.O.U.R.F.A.C.E. ,fully exploring each one because there is no hurry, on the contrary , the band was forced to jam and stay in the songs (without sounding forced at all), got me exactly where I want to be with this band.

if you aren't enjoying phish's music right now because the setlists overlap too much, listen to less phish, which doesn't mean 'fuck off,' it just means that refreshing your ears will let you come to the music not as a collector but as a traveller. NOOOO!!! NOT TRAVELER!!! JK

I believe that the west coast swing will lead to what we are seeking . That Dick's will again be the culmination of the summer tour.
Score: 1
mmbyem Reply
If anyone who cares that can send this feedback up the food chain and as for us...I am just looking for more mistakes to happen and this can only be done by taking more chances. Again as the great Duke Ellington said, "a mistake can turn or become a beautiful thing!" I know this quote is off but my point is I want more risk reward show? Is this possible with the place and time the band is in? IDK, but it sure would be fun! My buddy makes the comment often.."I dig 4-5 song sets" why not pending they don't happen due to weather! Thanks for reading if you got down this far and see you chicks, dicks, and maybe chickswithdicks at DICKS!
Later y'all
pS
Had a great first few shows less weather at JB and PNC. Totally pumped for the next few weeks and FALL. If any of you want to make mmbyem a happy man see me on COT and let's get tickets to AC but maybe more importantly GlenFalls CIVIC!
Score: 0
mazed207 Reply
Wanna know whats really weak? All of the "phans" reviewing shows and calling any of them "weak". Who died and made you judge and jury? If you dont like the band dont come to the shows. of course not every show is going to be the "best" in 3.0... Seriously. And the other thing just as annoying is when the review includes " saw my first show in 09 " all of you complainers dont have a clue what the band and the music is about. Maybe u should start reviewing DMB shows instead.
Score: -2
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
@bertoletdown said:
@phootyjon said:
@Birddog said:
Am I the only one hearing the China Cat/Rider teases in the Bowie?
no you are not....they are gonna bust a China Cat at BGCA.
I will eat a bug if this happens.
Better chance of hearing a Max Creek song (which will never happen) than of hearing China Cat.
Score: 0
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
@JOgden said:
It's time. It's time for people to levy some objective comments about Phish and the recent spat of shows. I know it's blasphemous in the minds of some that not only drink the Kool-Aid, but live on it, to talk about the band objectively, but it has to be done. I wasn't @ the Toronto show last night, but I'm glad I wasn't. The whole point of seeing this band over and over and over is getting a new show everytime - and that's simply not happening anymore. You can call me a "hater" (whatever that means) or a "setlist snob" but you can't deny that we're dealing with the same batch of songs at this point. DwD, BDTNL, Possum, Bowie, Tweezer/Tweezer Reprise, Chalkdust, Rock & Roll, Free, Piper, Golden Age, Twist, Loving Cup - there's every second set/encore in the last two years. SPAC was a huge disappointment and frankly - so was Chicago. Gone are the mixed up setlists, improv'd music, and fun jams that made this band a joy to watch. Yes they sound good and are having fun, and that's wonderful for them on a personal level, but the fans have been left with the short stick lately and if you can't admit the rotation is an issue, you probably are incapable of thinking independently about Phish.
Not to dismiss your comments because your perspective is shared by many, but Phish is more creative on their most average day than Dead were any time after 1974. Check the Dead's set lists from 1977 on and you'll find the same basic song rotation over and over again. Repeats constantly. Tired jamming that went nowhere but the predictable place. The Dead would add a few new covers every year (usually Dylan tunes) and routinely leave huge portions of their catalog untouched for entire tours. It took the formation of Phil & Friends and Ratdog to resurrect some of the tunes. I agree with some of the frustration regarding the tight song rotation, but it really is only an issue for those of us who follow them show by show and tour by tour. Someone who sees them once a year is not going to be disappointed. They're playing is tight and there is a lot of variation within the songs that gets hidden in the setlist. I, for one, will echo the sentiments expressed above by saying that I'd rather have a tightly played song that is a repeat of last night, than a "bust out" that flops and is cover-your-eyes-awful.
Score: 0

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