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Phish Ramps Up the Tension with Another High-Octane Outing Last Night. By: Greg Heffelfinger
So far this fall tour, it has seemed to be one on and one off as the band has wound its' way through the south to Vegas for Halloween. After a good show the second night with one soaring jam at the beginning of the second set, they came out last night and laid down a solid show that was so hot even the normally weaker songs were solid.
Hopefully, the one on, one off trend stops tonight. All the money is on a Bowie album but it's so obvious that anyone that knows anything about Phish knows that the obvious is exactly what not to expect. "Space Oddity" isn't even on Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and they've played "Purple Rain" way more times than "Space Oddity". Everyone who has read Trey's recent interview about hanging at the Purple One's house knows how much respect they have for him. But guessing the album is for another article. How cool would it be to see Europe 72' though? They are also due to play something from the 90's. They've hit every other decade before so I'm just putting that out there.
Following the trend set so far, they opened with a cut from last year's Halloween album, this time the call was "The Dogs". Maybe a Pink Floyd reference? They then dropped into a short but deep "Ghost" that got the crowd ready to lose their minds when the distinctive first notes of "Funky Bitch" rang out. Mike threw out all he had vocally and Trey was bending those notes so hard I thought he was gonna break a string. The energy was already bouncing around the room and this blew the lid off the pot. Everything from here on out was quality. A short "Chalkdust Torture" led into a heartlfelt rendition of "Army of One" and Mike led the band through a very well-played "How Many People Are You" that went hard through the changes. This song was the candles on the cake that was "Stash". This song has gone through some changes,with Trey flubbing notes and a lack of exploration over the summer but since Dick's this song has been full-steam ahead. The Atlanta version and now this are at the top of the list as far as 3.0 "Stash" versions rank in my book. I didn't catch any flubs and the jam coming out of it was dark and dissonant and the tension and release that is the song's bread and butter had Trey and the boys toying with the energy in the room. They chose to take that energy and put it into a good "Theme from the Bottom" and even though I would've chosen differently, that's why they are on stage and I'm writing about it. A standard, rocking "Suzy G" finished an uneventful set on paper but an energetic, well-played and enthusiastic set at the show.
The standard call of a "Down with Disease" is nothing out of the ordinary and it's almost just that, a standard opener now. However, this version went so deep and far out that it felt like a disease that creeped up my spine and into my brain. The band was so tight and each member took each other's idea and ran with it and they played it so well that it made me sit up and take notice. I'm not a huge DWD fan but this one is smoking and then it flowed right into "Birds of a Feather" without missing a beat. They moved so far out during the DWD that they made the transition look easy. The intro to "Birds of a Feather" is not very melodic on it's own but the DWD jam just let it slide right in. After a few stutter steps from Fish and teases of the opening, the band jumped on it and it sounded as natural as any segue should. Although I never thought I'd hear a DWD->BOAF. It was one of my favorite jams of the night and I don't particularly like BOAF. Probably because I when I was touring it seemed like they played it every night. Still, this was a killer combo and a great way to start the set.
After a short "Fuego", Trey sang Bob Weir's new song, "Miss You". Sorry but that is a Bob Weir song now. Then came the second of the second set highlights. The "Harry Hood" moved through all it's composed pieces and fell into the jam with easily and without any flubs and the whole band decided to jump into the jam and it was developing at a fierce pace and you could hear the boys cooking up something special. It just had a feeling that there was more going on behind the curtain and maybe that's why there were no "woo's". By the way, what's up with the woo's? The crowd did it at Nashville during Hood. Is that the thing now, whenever the band slows down or has a syncopated jam the crowd feels the need to woo? The band swung from the out-there Hood jam into the rare "Have Mercy" that has only been played fourteen times, including last night. They only seem to bust into it when they are in the middle of some other huge jam, like last night. It's shown up in Antelope and SOAM as well as Hood and I thought it was a welcome treat after a five-year hiatus.
"Harry->Have Mercy->Hood" 10/30/16
They then dropped back into Hood for the closing segment and went right into "A Day in the Life" to end the show. After a perfunctory but fun "Character Zero" the night was over.
So now it's time to find out what the band has cooked up for us for Hallow's eve. All the interviews with Trey just say, "I'm so excited" but that guy has to be the most optimistic guy on the planet. I've met him several times and the only time he's not smiling or talking excitedly or energetically is when he's got his "O" face on and is on stage playing. They always say don't meet your heroes but Trey is one of the nicest guys ever. So now that night three is in the books, it's time for the unveiling of the cover album. Last year will be hard to top but I have faith that they can do it because this band is on fire and it's going to be a great night in Vegas on Halloween.
This show was webcast via Live Phish. DWD was unfinished. The Birds was quoted after Birds of a Feather. Fuego contained Birds of a Feather and The Birds teases. Have Mercy was played for the first time since June 4, 2011 (221 shows).
Amazon Announces the cast for their Upcoming Grateful Dead T.V. Show.
This was my April Fool's Joke!
Amazon just released the cast members that will play the Grateful Dead band members in their upcoming show about the band's life. I am not an acting coach but I must admit there are more than a few head scratchers. Before we announce the cast, one odd moment actually delayed the production team from casting the respective roles of the show. When executive producer and GD member Bobby Weir insisted on playing Jerry Garcia. The uncomfortable week of dealing with this unrealistic request came to an end when Bill Walton pointed out to Bobby that he has in fact been playing that role already since Jerry untimely death in 1995. One thing Bob was adamant about was picking the actor to play him. He insisted on 80's child star Corey Feldman, Bobby was quoted of saying "Just watch "Dream a Little Dream" 1 threw 6 if you think he does not have the chee…
Some As#hole Screamed "Free Bird" at a Recent Bob Dylan Show. The only actual news is Bob obliged and played a note-perfect rendition of the dueling guitar solo in Lynyrd Skynyrd's Rock Anthem. Watch!
Bob Dylan has never met a cover he did not like. He has incorporated countless tunes by many artists in his live shows since the early sixties. Ironically, the Never Ending Tour is supporting Dylan's latest release Fallen Angels which is his second installment of Frank Sinatra classics. I have had the pleasure of seeing Dylan live well over a hundred shows and witnessed him cover everybody from The Grateful Dead to Warren Zevon and all genres in-between. But I never thought I would hear the Great One cover " Free Bird". Of course, some asshole yelled to hear it or be funny. Hell, maybe he was trying to impress a date and had a low I.Q. Whatever the reason he yelled it, is less fascinating than why Dylan played it. I think he finally got sick of hearing song…
Bob Weir fronted an all star band last night in a private backyard. Watch the entire show and get the 411
Last night in Mill Valley, California a slew of talent gathered in a private backyard for a benefit show for Heroes Rock. Their one goal is to help our nations veterans. Bob Weir starts the show out solo, before he is joined by Steve Kimock, Oteil Burbridge, and plenty of other musicians. Thanks to Deadheadland you can watch the entire show. Kevin Video (Captured by Deadheadland Films) SetlistHeroes Rock Benefit House Concert – Mill Valley, CAWith Bob Weir, Steve Kimock, Eric Krasno, Leslie Mendelson, Nicki Bluhm, John Morgan Kimock, and Oteil Burbridge.Set: Walkin’ Blues (Bob Weir solo), Blue Mountain (BW solo), Easy to Slip (with Steve Kimock), Only A River (with SK, Otiel Burbridge & John Morgan Kimock), Happy Birthday (sung to Steve Parish), Friend of the Devil (w. SK, Leslie Mendelson & Niki Bluhm), Deep Elem Blues (w. SK, OB, JMK, LM & NB), Blue Bayou (w. SK, OB…