JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

July 5, 2013
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Saratoga, NY USA
Review by Davis Marret
Photos by Dave Vann

Phish - A Three Night Stand

A Three Night Stand

One ~ Friday, July 5th
Well I found myself a city to live in, and that city was Saratoga Springs for Phish's three night run at SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center). This was the second show of the summer run and you could hear the excitement in the fans' voices as they shared what songs they would like to hear.

What started as Trey Anastasio's college thesis called "The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday," turned into the basis for their first dozen or so original Phish tunes. These psychedelic tall tales based in the imaginary land Gamehendge, tell of King Wilson, combative llamas, and a land of lizards practically extinct for doing things smart people don't do!

Rolling into Saratoga Springs for show number one was a breath of fresh air, followed by a patchouli-drenched sea of noodling hippies. Anastasio, lead guitarist, has a way of putting the crowd in a trance yet communicating with them the entire time. One can tell by his easy sway of body, gaping mouth, and thousand yard stare, that he is without a doubt speaking directly to each and every one of us through his plucking on the fret board.

Set one was filled with some great classics, funky covers, and a new Mike Gordon song called "Yarmouth Road." Following the cover of Talking Heads' "Cities," a lengthy and mystic jam ensued that certainly pleased the masses. A brand spanking new cover of The Apples in Stereo, called "Energy," fired up set two. Each song seemed to perfectly fit into some sort of larger puzzle that was forming around us.

Set I
Kill Devil Falls
Moma Dance
Sample in a Jar
Roses Are Free (Ween cover)
Birds of a Feather
Yarmouth Road
Bathtub Gin
Nellie Kane
Army of One
My Friend My Friend,
Cities (Talking Heads cover)
David Bowie
Set II
Energy (Apples in Stereo cover)
The Light
Mango Song
46 days
Steam
Drowned
Slave
Encore
Character Zero


Night Two ~ Saturday, July 6th
Started off a little slow, minus their always upbeat "Chalkdust Torture." The blues driven "Funky Bitch" changed the gears a bit and reminded everyone just how technically diverse this band can be. Whatever your poison, the boys all seemed like witch doctors to me that night. Their only radio-friendly song "Bouncing Round the Room" came halfway through set I, and led perfe

You know when you hear "Tweezer" somewhere in a Phish set, you're going to get a badass encore with "Tweezer (reprise)" somewhere down the (number) line. Lumpy heads, Beatles' references, and scaring the shit out of rams are all too commonplace for their next choice "Carini." Another new song, "The Architect", was debuted Saturday night and it was from Trey's new solo album The Traveler. They ended with the obligatory "Tweezer (reprise)" and marched off into the darkness once again.

Night two was certainly one for the books and we left grinning from ear to ear.

Set I
Crowd Control
Chalkdust Torture
The Wedge
Funky Bitch
Heavy Things
Bug
Bouncing Round the Room
Tube
Julius
Split Open
Melt
Set II
Backwards Down the Number Line
Tweezer
Sand
Carini
The Architect Wilson
Boogie on Reggae Woman (Stevie Wonder cover)
Possum
Encore
Show of Life
Tweezer (reprise)


Night Three ~ Sunday, July 7th
Our last show of the run was songwise my favorite show of the weekend. One specific song named "Meatstick" is a highly sought after meat-themed sing-a-long that has only been played 37 times in 30 years. It came late in the second set after a clue during "Run Like an Antelope." Trey slyly changed the lyrics to "Set the gearshift for the [highgear] Meatstick of your soul. You've got to run like an [antelope] Meatstick: out of control."

I was enthralled and wouldn't have traded places with anyone, anywhere in the world that weekend.

One of the great things about going to see Phish is that their fans are diehard and lovingly enthusiastic no matter which mound, maze, or farmhouse you hail from. Our camping neighbors and temporary best friends said it best after one night of amazing music, "Dude, it was awesome!" Yeah dude, it was. Thanks for sharin' in the groove.

Set I
AC/DC Bag
Back on the Train
Divided Sky
Free
It's Ice
Mound
Maze
Limb by Limb
Walls of the Cave
Set II
Down with Disease
Story of the Ghost
Piper
Wading in the Velvet Sea
Run Like an Antelope
Meatstick
You Enjoy Myself
Encore
Loving Cup (Rolling Stones cover)