jam out

Phish Falls & Twists Around Hood In San Francisco

WARNING: Phish garble overload in the following blog post.  Apologies if you can’t understand.  If you care enough, you’ll either know, or look it up 🙂 .

All hail the Phish Lords.  What an incredible show!! I only get a few shows a year these days, so I was beyond excited. To add to that, this was my girlfriend’s first show EVER, and on top of that the SF Giants madness downtown at that point just added to the awesomesauce that was these few days of Phish.

I started laughing right off the bat when Crowd Control dropped as last year they pulled the same stunt. What’s up with SF drawing this song out of the band? Well this year it was definitely the SF Giants crowd melding with the Phish crowd in the same few square blocks around BGCA, but last year? SF just has an epic crowd apparently!

You KNEW immediately the show was going to be ‘one of those shows’ when Mike’s got pulled outta the gate immediately after CC. Fairly solid 10min 3.0 Mike’s, and what do you ya know – the only true Mike’s Groove of the year (but maybe not as NYE is still coming) with I Am Hydrogen blending in to the Mike’s finish. This was great as my girlfriend absolutely loves this song. Slamming Paug to finish the Groove, and then the first breather of the night.

I’ve got 3-4 fav’s off the new album, and Wingsuit is definitely one of them being that it is by far the closest to Pink Floyd (especially on the album) that Phish has ever sounded. Besides the silly flub by Mike at the end (which was in no way detrimental to the song), I was in absolute bliss for those 10 minutes. I love the Floyd explosion that is the end of Wingsuit. SO GOOD. I’d recently been singing Water In The Sky in my head a lot so that was a fun rambler to swim in after flying high in my Suit.

Plasma, a TAB original, was fairly unexpected at first as they’d just played it in Eugene for the first time, but it gained a warm welcome by myself, and the SF crowd. I wouldn’t complain about hearing it more often personally, especially if they allow it to get taken for a ride at some point. Check it out for yourself here:

I’m a big fan of most of Page’s tunes so Halfway To The Moon was sweet to hear live and beautifully executed at the same time.  You can just see Page pouring his heart out up there on stage. Poor Heart you can never go wrong with of course (even if it’s oddly placed into a set) and then BOOM:

That Gumbo!!! Damn what was up with Page?! Killed it on the clavinet! Loving Gumbo to begin with and then getting a Page crushed extendo version?! Stoke. Only issue with that was that Trey kept trying to bring in the Sanity that followed and Page just wanted to keep going! TREY…STFU and let the man ride his glory! Great rendition of Gumbo into a mostly clear transition into Sanity (looking like SF may be the new town for Crowd Control and Sanity, both played back to back years in the same show). Sanity is always a fun sing along and gets me laughing my ass off. You could tell the set was coming to a close soon by the end of the Sanity, but they yanked Antelope out of the bag there at the end. Absolutely kickass cracked out rocking Lope. I remember my friend Trevor saying towards the finish line of Set 1 that we just got a full on Set 2 in place of Set 1 this evening. I then attempted to explain that to my girlfriend as the set break music came on and we went outside to puff a bowl.  Highlights of Set 1: Mike’s Groove, Wingsuit, Gumbo, and the Antelope.

Bowl smoking hit the spot, and by the time we got back inside the lights were dimming, so we smashed in the crowd to find our spot more mid-center, a bit towards Mike’s side. In no way shape or form was I expecting the Kills Devil Falls riff to start out Set 2, nor was anyone else. I think this has happened twice now, ever? Can’t say I was stoked at first as KDF is one of those ‘Meh’ Phish tracks for me personally, but goddamn did they once again prove me wrong this year by taking KDF and bringing it up to the Big Boy S2 opener slot and then going even further by diving into it Type II jam style! I often wonder what it would sound like if Phish (esp. 97-99 Phish) made electronic music. The answer to that question is the last 4-5 minutes of the SF14 KDF. Beautiful bliss that as an ambient musician I could’ve listened to for the entire set, but they had a PERFECTLY placed Mountains in the Mist waiting for us to continue the psychedelic chill vibe for another 7 minutes. Those 20 minutes were pure Phish bliss, and then BOOM (again), the Fuego piano notes drop, letting you know it’s about to get slamming again. Here’s the Mountains:

Really tight and crunchy Fuego capping at about 10 minutes. This being another of the few fav songs of mine off the new album, I was giddy that me and my lady got the two big guns off the album in one night. Fuego puts Phish sounding more like King Crimson and on the progressive rock side than anything else album wise I’ve heard from the group. Besides the funny lyrics, the song is a broken up odd rock masterpiece. Fishman loves it! Julius was a bit of a surprise mid-second set (for these days in 3.0), but welcomed as a loud and forward sing along the whole BGCA was ready for.

THEN – Twist. This Twist is it. Another fantastic reason why all of us addicts keep coming back show after show. A track I’d plop down in front of any non-believer and just ask them to attentively pay attention to the magnificent playing before their ears. Twist has always been a personal fav, and this was my first – STOKE. Having seen such great heights in 2013, and not really seeing much of anything in 2014, I wasn’t sure where it would go…but it ended up being the THE Twist of 2014. Intricate, jazzy, fun, and heartfelt, this will be a Twist I listen to until my deathbed. Hints of the electronic gorgeous side of the KDF 40 minutes before poked through at points as well. Page and Trey gently playing off of each other for blocks at a time with Mike and Fish creating the space to do so. Brilliant locked jamming from all four incredible musicians. They don’t even go back into the Twist theme they were so content on where it went. One of the best songs of the year IMO. Here’s the Twist in HD from LivePhish:

Fairly unexpected was the late Set 2 after an epic Twist Runaway Jim. The beginning is one of the softest ever I’d think, and I wish they would’ve played on that a bit, but you can tell Trey was ready to pick the pace back up, forcing Fish to catch on and bang the song out. (Side Note: Can we expect Crowd Control, Sanity, and Runaway all in the same show in SF every year now?) Fun and a jammy Jim it was (no crazy glowstick war this year), ending in more ambient bliss (theme of the night??) and then out of the glitter, another BOOM: Hood.

Being played at the one off earlier this year in New Orleans, 7 times over Summer Tour, and 4 out of 11 shows on Fall Tour, Hood had a big year. You could tell it was definitely one of the classics the Boys were loving all year. I imagine we’ll see a big one over the NYE run as well. Recognizing that we were only six songs into the set those of us in the know had a little feeling this could be a big one, and GODSDAMN, it was. There are a few movements within this Hood that really stand out, but honestly as a whole the entire 20mins moves along seamlessly as one piece, taking you on an up and down journey through multiple builds and even plains of Phishy goodness. Listen to this Hood – cherish this Hood. It is right up there with the other big Hood’s of 2014 (7/1, 7/12), possibly and probably beating them out. Another blissful ambient outro from the depths of the Hood and Set 2 closes. Here’s the Hood:

Goddamn what a night. The thanks and the first chords of Loving Cup from Page put that huge smile on my face and a solid Cup of Love ends what was IMO one of the best shows of the year, and definitely the show of Fall Tour. Sure Halloween night had some crazy new funk tracks in Set 2 from the Boys, but this show is one I will cherish for a long time to come. Download it, buy it, ask me for it, whatever you need to do, but as a Phan – you want this show. I promise!

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