Tonight Phish concluded a three-night stand at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA to start Fall Tour 2013. The first two shows of the run each featured a number of highlights including a centerpiece jam of note, namely the “Carini” at Friday’s tour opener and last night’s “Ghost.” This evening’s performance contained a number of centerpiece jams, a cover debut that sent the crowd into a frenzy, a pair of 2013 debuts and overall was an impressive show of force by a band 30 years into their career.
“Julius” opened tonight’s show, its first time in that slot since a June 25, 2004 performance at Alpine Valley. Mike Gordon’s voice was put to the test early on “Funky Bitch” and sounded much better than last night. Both keyboardist Page McConnell and guitarist Trey Anastasio made the most of their “Funky Bitch” solos. The pair were also on top of their games for the “Back On The Train” that followed. While the first three songs don’t look all that impressive “on paper,” each tune was played particularly well with creative soloing from McConnell and Anastasio. Even “Roses Are Free” had a delicious, albeit short, jam tacked on to the end of it. After “Sample In A Jar,” Gordon had to strain to reach some notes in Phish’s first take on “Ginseng Sullivan” of 2013 (Last Time Played -August 24, 2012).
As the set continued, a raucous version of “46 Days” saw Anastasio scream and shout the title of the song before beginning his frenetic second solo. A memorable moment took place during “the pause” in “Divided Sky,” when many in the audience lit their lighters. LD Chris Kuroda turned off the lights in the room leaving only the flicker of the lighters. Each first set Page seems to get one opportunity to front the band and on this night he used his turn for Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold As Love,” which ended the opening stanza.
Phish opened the second set with a cover of “Paul and Silas” in honor of a few fans dressed in stripes. The band thought they were dressed as prisoners (“Paul And Silas” has many jail references), but they were actually dressed like “Waldo” from Where’s Waldo. This was the group’s first version of “Paul and Silas” since July 6, 2012. In fact, the last “Paul and Silas” second set opener took place way back on October 3, 1991. The quartet quickly established a dirty funk groove as the starting point for the “Tweezer” that followed. McConnell came up with scratchy rhythms on his clavinet that Anastasio seized upon. All four members patiently explored a few different jam spaces. Eventually Page landed on a powerful progression based on Joe Zawinul’s “Mercy Mercy Mercy,” as the band continued searching for direction. At the 20-minute mark, Phish settled into a blissful section of the “Tweezer” that would fit perfectly on their Siket Disc compilation of studio jams. Just as the music faded to a stop, Trey kicked in to “Golden Age.”
Page continued to make a case for Hampton MVP with outstanding work on a number of the keyboards within his arsenal during “Golden Age.” McConnell pounced on his clav throughout another lengthy jam, emerging as more of the leader on the wildly psychedelic segment than Anastasio. The highly-exploratory “Golden Age” devolved into a groove-less beast before finally petering out. You’d be well served digging in to the “Tweezer” > “Golden Age” segment after reading this recap for two very different but very impressive jams. Trey turned in a guitar clinic on “Piper” by weaving one potent lick after another into each other. Page wasn’t content to play sideman and asserted a fine organ solo. To add to the magic of the evening, Phish segued the “Piper” jam into a debut cover of Bachman-Turner Overdrive 1973 hit “Takin’ Care of Business.” The band shared vocals for a rollicking take on the BTO classic, as the crowd went wild over the unexpected treat.
More post-song spaciness connected “Takin’ Care Of Business” and yet another cover -“Also Sprach Zarathrustra” aka “2001.” On this night it seemed everything the band touched they turned to gold and “2001” was no exception thanks in part to the intricate drumming of Jon Fishman. Just when you thought it was time for a breather, Phish upped the ante with “Sand.” Whereas the set’s previous jams were more about patient exploring than building to a peak, the Vermonters built “Sand” to a frenzied finish. The relentless set continued with a gorgeous “Slave To The Traffic Light” that also built to a massive climax. On a night with more covers than any other Phish show in 2013, the quartet threw in one more in the encore slot as “A Day In The Life” (The Beatles) and “Tweezer Reprise” brought the show to a close. At the end of the show Trey reached out and grabbed a hat from the Waldo gang which he then donned, while Page received a pair of Page Side, Rage Side panties that he proudly held up for the satiated crowd. Next up, Rochester on Tuesday night.
Here’s The Skinny from Phish’s first of three 2013 shows at the Hampton Coliseum…
- Venue Capacity / Type: 13,800 / Indoor Arena
- Previous Shows at Venue: 17 Shows – 11/25/1995, 10/25/1996, 11/21/1997, 11/22/1997, 11/20/1998, 11/21/1998, 12/17/1999, 12/18/1999, 01/02/2003, 01/03/2003, 01/04/2003, 08/09/2004, 03/06/2009, 03/07/2009, 03/08/2009, 10/18/2013 and 10/19/2013
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 9 / 8:17 p.m. -9:30 p.m. (73 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 10 / 10:05 p.m. -11:42 p.m. (97 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 19 / 9 / 10
- Biggest Bustout: Paul and Silas -47 Shows (LTP -7/06/2012)
- Tour Debuts: Entire Show
- Average Song Vintage: 1995
- Debuts: Takin’ Care Of Business (Bachman-Turner Overdrive)
- Weather: 53° and Clear at Showtime
- Average Song Gap: 9.83
- The Spread: Junta -1, A Picture Of Nectar -2, Hoist -2, Farmhouse -3, Round Room -1, Misc. -1, Cover – 9
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Tweezer 23:47 / Ginseng Sullivan 3:00
- Audio: Live Phish
Phish From The Road Photos…
Serious about last night’s encore pic.twitter.com/jeBb6hXfRe— Phish: From The Road (@Phish_FTR) October 20, 2013
Funky Bitch pic.twitter.com/2V828Y0FBT— Phish: From The Road (@Phish_FTR) October 21, 2013
Clap your hands pic.twitter.com/T7hilFVXPH— Phish: From The Road (@Phish_FTR) October 21, 2013
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