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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicago On Fire: UIC Review, Night Three

   The last night of Summer Tour 2011 - still refusing to consider the LDW shows part of ST11 - closed the Chicago chapter of the Second Leg and it was the perfect ending to the best three-show run since Charlotte-Raleigh-Portsmouth, which may have been the best three-show run of ST11...possibly even 3.0. NYE MSG '11, Southern Run '11, and Chicago Run '11 are the obvious candidates. Someone told me it was Freshman "move-in" day at UIC...can you imagine? Only two things come out of that situation: Either the student thinks "fuck, this is my college!" or "holy shit, this is my college!", "fuck" being the negative adjective, "holy shit" being the positive adjective. Regardless, they will both end up being wrong, but it's still hilarious to think about it. And if you're a pothead freshman, it might have been the greatest freshman move-in day in college history.
   The most humid of all the days, Wednesday didn't seem like it was going to be any cooler...and it definitely wasn't, although we finally found an AC vent and posted up. Tickets were hard to come by, although we all ended up inside, which made for some hilarious entertainment watching 300 lb. security guards tackle - and in some cases beat down - 125 lb. hippies. The same went for the floor...still can't figure out why so many people cram the rail during indoor shows. In a place like UIC there's about a 10% max on shitty seats, i.e., there aren't many bad seats in the house as far as sound is concerned (although we managed to find the worst sounding- but most roomy and vented). To sum up the show before I even review it I'd say it had ridiculous potential, but then, like so many other times during similar type shows, it took a serious nose dive towards the confused/crammed/custied/choppy/request party/weirdness that has plagued these Second Set Galaxy Tours. You'll see what I mean, but either way it was a rockin' ending to one of the better three-show runs of the year.

Set I: Colonel Forbin's (6:10) > Famous Mockingbird (6:49), Gumbo (4:42) > Possum (9:29), Weigh (5:06) > Divided Sky (17:05), Alaska (8:33), Bathtub Gin (12:27), Maze (10:01), Cavern (4:31) > First Tube (8:31)

   Colonel Forbin's > Mockingbird, only the fifth of 3.0, opened a show for the first time since 11/3/89 at the Tree Cafe in Portland, ME. I say Forbin's > Mockingbird because Mockingbird has followed Forbin's all but twice...just a little FYI. Other then the fact we were section 208 near the top - that 10% sound I talked about - it was magical. But it was terribly unfortunate how bad it sounded up there (at first). The always bomb Gumbo followed, which went > 2011 Joke Of The Year Possum (although this one was sick). One of Gordo's finest in Weigh was next and went > the always amazing Divided Sky, which included the sweatiest Silent Jam in recent memory. The band stalled so long after DS that we all thought they were either busting out or playing a new tune...no dice. Alaska. A ridiculous Gin followed, before another long strange pause...was this the bust-out/newb? Nope, it was a fucking bonkers Maze that had me in my best scan dance of 3.0. Cavern followed, which seemed to be the Set One ender, but Mike's bass line was so deep and groovy that it got Trey off and thinking of one of his personal jams. So Trey asked Mike to keep the groove going and blasted into First Tube, which was out of time on several occasions (because of Trey). I actually love those situations. Someone - usually Trey -  hears something and requests that sound go to new places, even if that new place is a well-known tune. It's still great to see that chemistry and communication in action. Set One had it all and was one of the best First Sets in a long time.

Set II: Crosseyed and Painless (11:30) > No Quarter (9:26) > Timber (Jerry) (4:49) > Tweezer (8:32) > Caspian (3:36) > Piper (8:41) > Ghost (3:48) > Makisupa (5:43) > Sleep (2:01) > Buffalo Bill (2:17), Golgi Apparatus (4:34) > Character Zero (5:35) > Antelope (9:55)

E: Funky Bitch (5:33), Show of Life (5:08) > TweepriZe (3:50)

  I wish I had come up with inter-post titles, like a title for every paragraph. If so, this section would read - Set Two: It Should Have Stopped In Buffalo. Let me explain. The ST11 Second Set Galaxy Tour continued with another bomb C&P opener. It was the seventh such opener of ST11 and the eighth of 2011...and I love it. It also invaded almost every song in the Second Set. By the time the set was over we were still waiting. C&P > the third unbelievable No Quarter of the summer > the Timber we've been waiting on for weeks despite numerous teases > the inescapable Tweezer > a shoot-me-in-the-face Caspian > a sick Type-II-ish Piper > the shortest forced Ghost in history > a Makisupa out of nowhere that included many hilarious pot-induced puns on famous musician's names > the first Sleep in 105 shows (8/7/09 Gorge) and only the third of 3.0 (fourth since 1.0) > an oddly-placed but awesome Buffalo Bill. Then the set fell to shit. It was as if Phish was ending all together and Trey freaked over the fact that some audience cusites weren't getting the Greatest Hits they so desperately came to one show a year to see and would never have the chance to see again. A typical, boring, old, unflattering, hindsightingly predictable, rip-my-heart-out-and-stomp-on-it-like-a-spent-cigarette Golgi > Zero > Antelope ended the Second Set. How terrible. Three overplayed, unnecessary, set ending songs all crammed together to end an otherwise unbelievable show. How gross. Those would be three of the Top 5 "Please Don't End This Epic Show With Any Of These Horrible Boner Beating Songs". Price Caspian had already shit in my ears, so Suzy Greenberg was the only other one left. Now I feared the encore. But the encored kept par with the UIC theme and Phish ended with Funky Bitch, Show Of Life, and TweepriZe. So a three-show run that had "I can die now and be completely satisfied" written all over it turned into a "I have to go to Denver now because three of the last six songs I heard cannot be Golgi, Zero, and Antelope". And don't even give me the "don't go to every show" bullshit. It's what we do. See you in Denver...err, Commerce City.

- Trigger Treinta Uno

Trigger31.com

Thanks to Phish.net & LivePhish for set list help. Thanks to Phish for providing the music and to all the phans for providing the atmosphere. Another successful Summer Tour in the books! See you next Summer Tour for the 2012 End Of The World Tour.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chicago On Fire: UIC Review, Night Two

   We all knew it would be hard to top Monday night's show, but that didn't mean the boys wouldn't try. Everything leading up to the show - weather, the lot, the authorities - was no different. Actually that's not completely true. We did see Harley Davidson clad under-covers (bad news) busting nitrous dealers (good news). And they moved the fucking port-o-potties against the the rail - the only place to sit around Shakedown. It didn't seem to deter dozens of people from hanging there, but I'm straight. So to avoid cigarette-pack-searching teenage security guards we headed in much earlier then usual, with about an hour to go before showtime. We had great seats, but that was an illusion because they were on the aisle and it became a serious shit-show quickly. I was forced into the aisle within seconds and then subsequently surrounded by myriad tools that seem to love being squished against strangers sweating rather than search for space to dance. I hate these people. Act like you've been to a show before, you don't need to be close to the band. They don't care about you and Trey is not looking at you. Get over it. As usual, just when anxiety and frustration was building to the point where I was about to tell these aisle crammers to get lost before they got bundled the lights went out.

Set I: Dinner and a Movie (4:49), Ha Ha Ha (1:37) > Chalkdust Torture (10:00), Mexican Cousin (4:24), Walls of the Cave (10:56), Runaway Jim (7:48) > Foam (8:38), I Didn't Know (4:03), Ocelot (9:58), Ginseng Sullivan (2:49), The Wedge (6:35), LxL (9:45), Let It Loose (6:05)

   We went out to Dinner And A Movie for only the fifth time since 2.0 before the Ha Ha Ha orange sign kids got their request (only the fourth Ha Ha Ha since 2.0). Decent start to the show. Chalkdust came out of Ha Ha Ha and took the wind out of my sail for a minute before the jam began to pull me back in. The boys then blasted into Mexican Cousin, one of my favorite hardly played tunes. The solo wasn't quite as sick as the one I remember from Charlotte ST10 (YouTube it, I'm the guy in the blue hat in front of the dude filming). Walls Of The Cave blasted off - what a sick tune - before Phish went into the archives for an old-school Runaway Jim > Foam, I Didn't Know. Ocelot - which now seems to me more band breather than jam launch pad - followed and then Ginseng Sullivan. The Wedge pulled me right back into the groove before I got my 35th LxL, which according to ZZYZX should be a statistical improbability. An absolutely SICK Let It Loose ended the set.

Set II: DWD (21:27) > Twist (8:28) > BDTNL (7:39) > Theme (7:13) > Golden Age (8:31) > A Day in the Life (4:54) > YEM (22:52)

E: Heavy Things (5:05) > Slave (9:40) > Rocky Top (3:04)

   Second Set lifted the fuck off. Another complete Second Set segue full of the deepest, darkest launch pads. A MONSTER DWD ran nearly 22 minutes before blasting > an UNDENIABLY MIND-BENDING Twist > a rockin' BDTNL > a MURKY Theme (although some of the vocals - one of the best parts of the song - were pretty butchered) > 2011 Song Of The Year Golden Age > A Day In The Life > a RIDICULOUS YEM, vocal space jam included. The Second Sets continue to blow minds. DWD raged mental war with me...Twist was so deep it hurt...Trey ripped Theme like it was 1997...Golden Age continues to send people to the Moon...and YEM went old school like flat top fades and even Walked This Way for a second or two...fucking amazing. The lengthy encores continued as Phish blasted off a Heavy Things > Slave > Rocky Top to end the show. Another gem. It was no Night One, but it rocked just the same. We have a 15-hour drive home tomorrow, so we're expecting something to be talking about the entire way there. See you inside.

- Trigger Treinta Uno

Trigger31.com

Thanks to Phish.net & LivePhish for set list help.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chicago On Fire: UIC Review, Night One

   Phish absolutely destroyed the UIC Pavilion last night. Absolutely destroyed it. From the first note of Back On The Train to the last sweaty, fucking exhausted note of Hood at the end of the EPIC five-song encore Phish blasted every note, shook every seat, drained every ounce of water from every single pore in the place, exhausted vending supplies, and ripped the heart out of every single person in the building. The encore was so epic I thought we were being held hostage...ahh, in a good way. Bad analogy. You get the point. It was bananas. This show will be talked about in 10 years. As in, "Were you at that UIC show in 2011? You know, the indoor show in 90 degree Chicago in the middle of August?" Yeah, we were there. And we're lucky we made it out to tell the tale. Last night was on a different level. There's been a lot of talk about "types" lately in reference to jamming, etc. So much so that 2011 MVP Cacto "Soft G" Gordon (by the way, where the fuck are the Micheal Gordon shirts in Chicago?!?!?!) has dialed in his opinion. So if Type-II is "you can't really recognize the song anymore because the jam is getting so deep" then I'll categorize Chicago 1 as Type-What The Fuck? And that was the entire Second Set. OK, I'm getting  ahead of myself.
   Chicago is awesome. It's like New York with way less people and no attitude. Beautiful buildings, great food, great bars, even sicky hotels. The cab rides are relatively cheap and the walks are relatively short. The rivers at least look clean and the people seem genuinely friendly. Locals, am I getting this right? The lot was poppin', kind of. Most of the normal lot kids were selling their great food, and the cops and security seemed pretty cool. Security getting into the building was a fucking joke, but that could have just been our toolish 19-year-old security guy. He was emptying out people's cigarette packs...literally...one by one. Once we got into the show the energy was building by the second. People packed into the smallish venue, which seemed oversold. It was fucking sweaty. It was like being in a cave, except the cave was 90 degrees. If the show wasn't one of the sickest shows I've ever seen, it would have been unbearable. But it was bearable...how could it not be:

Set I: Back on the Train (8:16), Rift (5:55) > Guelah Papyrus (6:37), Scent of a Mule (7:22), Jesus Just Left Chicago (8:06), Wolfman's Brother (13:24), Anything But Me (5:40), Babylon Baby (6:50), Reba (12:15), Alumni Blues (3:42) > Letter to Jimmy Page (0:56) > Alumni Blues (3:42)

   It was on from the first note of BOTT. Thick, groovy, sick. Rift followed and > an INSANE Guelah Papyrus. A standard Scent followed before a most appropriate Jesus Just Left Chicago. The Wolfman's of late continue to rage. The first Anything But Me since SPAC '09 followed before the debut of Gordon's Babylon Baby. SICK. A pretty standard but still sick Reba followed before some college venue inspired Alumni Blues > Letters To Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues blew the roof off the place. I wish, it would have been a lot cooler inside. The First Set was unreal and it was just the beginning. And I can't stress that enough.

Set II: Sand (12:36) > Light (10:25) > Dirt (4:24), Waves (12:09) > Undermind (13:06) > Steam (8:10) > Fire (8:05)

   It got murky right off the bat in the Second Set with Sand, which blasted > another insane Light before the boys slowed it down and > Dirt, a mesmerizing version. Waves lifted off before slowing to a near stop after a crazy jam, just to blast right back into an even SICKER jam. AHHHHHH!!!! Waves and Sick Jam went right > the best Undermind any of us have heard in A LONG TIME. All of this craziness went directly > STEAM AND IT WAS FUCKING STEAMY AS FUCK! HOLY SHIT THIS SHIT WAS EPIC!! The hot Steam turned > Fire, which about summed it all up. Absolute FIRE.

E: Camel Walk (5:02), Guyute (10:10), The Horse (1:18) > Silent (5:22), Hood (14:57)

   Can you see this encore? I'm leaving it at that. We're headed to the UIC right now and I'm not sure if I can even say more about this show. Download it...listen to it...melt. End of story.

- Trigger Treinta Uno

Trigger31.com

Thanks to Phish.net & LivePhish for the set list help.

I Was Not Inside: Outside Lands, San Francisco Review

   I was not at the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco at the beautiful Golden Gate Park. Several phriends went, although none of them answered the call to review the show for the blog. Then again, I didn't try too hard in asking; I was too fixed on Chicago (and as you'll see, for good reason). If you feel like reviewing this, let me know. Send me some text in an email and I'll post it up, credits and all. But in the meantime, I'm just going to give it to you straight:

Set I: KDF (7:51) > Wilson (4:25), Funky Bitch (6:54) > Moma Dance (6:59) > Peaches en Regalia (3:13) > Sample (4:34) > Possum (7:59), Tweezer (11:14), Mound (7:05), Suzy (5:56) > Axilla (3:22) > Mike's (6:22) > Hydrogen (2:46) > Weekapaug (6:59)

Set II: R&R (8:59) > Steam (8:23) > Piper (7:10) > Roses (5:35), Julius (9:12), Life on Mars? (3:32), Birds of a Feather (5:11) > Fluffhead (14:13) > BDTNL (8:26) > 2001 (4:15) > Chalkdust Torture (7:35)

E: Cavern (4:15) > TweepriZe (3:43)

I smell a Live Greatest Hits album due 2013...I swear I'm not hating.

- Trigger Treinta Uno

Trigger31.com

Thanks to Phish.net and LivePhish for basically letting me copy and re-post the set lists and song times. If there's any legal jargon associated with my previous statement, leave me alone.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jackpot!: Tahoe Review

   So Tahoe might be the sickest place I've ever been to. Strictly speaking in Phish venue terms, I basically consider Tahoe a cleaner, much sicker Atlantic City combined with Telluride. It was the perfect setting for a Phish party. Lake Tahoe, mountains, warm (hot?) weather, dry air, cool (cold?) nights, casinos, intimate venue, plenty of tickets for those brave enough to go out without. It was awesome. Nothing like a Gorge-LA-Tahoe sandwich...city meat bound by natural bread. Oh yeah, and the scene was split between CA and NV, so if you wanted to gamble you walked to NV; if you wanted to puff tough you walked to CA. Paradise. So you can imagine the atmosphere as phans started rolling into this picturesque town to rage two nights before rounding out the West Coast run in San Francisco. By the way, don't get excited for a SF review...not even sure if I'm doing one. Anyway you slice it Tahoe rocked the house. The sound was great, there wasn't a bad seat in the place, and the vending/facilities were convenient. Seldom do I travel to a place that I truly contemplate moving to...Tahoe is one of the few.
   We rolled in late enough to Tahoe night one that we didn't have much time to do anything but trade in our paper tickets for "real" tickets. What the fuck? What is this nonsense? What is the point, can anyone tell me? Perhaps a desperate ploy to at least get you into the casino? Maybe once you're surrounded by the lights, beeps and other noises, and 23% ppO2 you're sucked in. I don't know, it didn't work for me. All the exchange did was annoy me. So we set up camp, collected our friends and brains, and headed out for the short walk to Harvey's. It was party time.

Tuesday, 8/9

Set I: Party Time (6:26), Oh Kee Pa (1:49) > AC/DC (6:08) > Mellow Mood (4:01), Rift (5:55), PYITE (8:53) > Meat (5:39), Bowie (10:55), Bouncin' (3:42), Horn (4:06), Water in the Sky (3:26) > 46 Days (9:43)

   Party Time opener. Obvious shit show. Oh Kee Pa, the first since Bethel (5/29/11) and only the second since ST10 was great and thankfully not followed by Suzy. Instead it > AC/DC before blasting into Mellow Mood, a shout out to the local atmosphere, despite the casino rising overhead. A sick version of Rift followed before the boys blasted  into a mid-set PYITE. BOMBISH. And that was just the beginning. PYITE > Meat, the first meat since Bloomfield (10/12/10) and only the third of 3.0. A great mid-set Bowie followed, then Bouncin', then Horn. Water In The Sky followed and went > a rockin' 46 days to round out Set One. Obviously Phish had an agenda in Tahoe.

Set II: Jibboo (8:56) > Light (16:57) > Chalkdust Torture (7:12) > Slave (9:34) > Free (7:02), Rocket Man (4:24) > Hood (10:26) > Walls of the Cave (13:37)

E: Bug (7:59), Coil (9:59)

   A groovy Jibboo opened Set Two and > a FUCKING RIDICULOUS 17-minute Light that had Timber and Tweezer teases > a Potterish Chalkdust > the always chest-thumping Slave > a rockin' Free. Nearly 45 minutes before the boys set it down, but for good reason. The boys were mentally preparing to award the several hundred - at least it seemed that way - of phans carrying paper rockets on a stick supplied by a few eager phans pushing for the Elton classic. Jackpot. Rocket Man. This blew 50 Ways To leave Your Lover right into the Pacific Ocean, but anytime Page sings a cover it blasts off. He really seems to take other musician's music seriously, especially if it's a piano-heavy tune. And Rocket man certainly is. One of the best (spontaneous?) covers they've played yet, although I don't think anything will compare to the first No Quarter we all heard. But let's not downplay anything here. Rocket Man > the always galaxy-traveling Hood > a SICK Walls Of The Cave to round out Set Two. This song fucking rocks. Walls needs to be put in rotation for the long hall immediately. Listen to the silent trees and accept it. A great 18-minute encore of Bug and Coil put the first Tahoe show in the books. Now we were off into the night...these things don't make blogs.

Wednesday, 8/10

Set I: Dogs Stole Things (5:05), STFTFP (4:46), Poor Heart (2:29), Alaska (9:34), Halley's (5:46) > It's Ice (7:03) > Circus (4:47), Ya Mar (6:56), Stash (11:33), Funky Bitch (6:50), Instant Karma! (4:15) > Antelope (10:37)

   Dog Stole Fucking Things. THANK YOU! FINALLY!! I really wanted to punch 73% of the crowd when Phish blasted into that tune and I could hear crickets at the lake shore. But that would be bringing my East Coast attitude to this Tahoe chill scene. Oh well, but if it happens again...so anyway, Dog Stole Things. The first since the Gorge in 2003 (7/12) and only the third since Fair Well Tour 2000 (thank science that wasn't really fair well). A short STFTFP followed, then Poor Heart for the country folk, then Alaska. Good ol' rock 'n' roll. The Tahoe ship lifted off directly after with a POPPIN' Halley's > a freezing cold It's Ice > a BOMB Circus Come To Town. Ya Mar followed, then a decent Stash, and Funky Bitch. Instant Karma! > Antelope to round out Set One.
  
Set II: DWDSalley (5:44) , Guyute (10:06), Velvet Sea (5:33), YEM (19:08)

E: Show of Life (5:20) > GTBT (5:45)

   Set Two blew minds. A weasely unfinished Disease opened and it was on. DWD > Runaway Jim > Ghost > Golden Age > 2001 > Sneakin' Salley. If it wasn't for the fact that the second half of that MONSTER segue was full of inappropriately short versions I might have claimed it was the best segue I'd ever heard. But I probably say that a lot. Either way, the shit was EPIC. People lose weight during shit like that. And it was still 50 minutes. Guyute followed this journey, then Wading In The Velvet Sea, then the first YEM since Charlotte to round out Set Two. Think about that for a second...that's a 10 show gap, the longest gap since the gap between Charlotte and Cincinnati, which was 8 shows. Trend? Hopefully not, because most of us were raised on YEM. It's a staple, like bread and water. The last 10 show gap was in Summer 2000 between Antioch, TN and Toronto. There have only been eight 10-show YEM gaps in Phishtory and by my count less than 20 eight-show YEM gaps. Those are pretty significant statistics for me, but I guess I'm not really sure why. At the very least it's worth note. Show Of Life and GTBT encored to end the show.
   Yo - Tahoe rocked the house from Sun up to Sun down. The music was fucking epic, we saw many old best friends, and lost no money at the casinos, and partied like it was 2011. We swam the beautiful lake, hopped the rocks at Zypher Cove, chilled on a snowless Heavenly, and decided we might move there. You know a place rips it up if you want top live there after. I guess that's all I can say. We set off for home (a horrible experience I don't feel like blogging about) and prepared for Chicago. We're expecting a fire.

- Trigger Treinta Uno

Trigger31.com

Thanks to Phish.net & LivePhish for the set list help. Many thanks to Colonel Phortin for setting up the Blue Lake Inn and to Henry The Third's Tahoe boys for the hospitality. Also thanks to Adam Icculus' crew for setting us up upon arrival and for racing Chrysler Town & Countries with us. It was nice finally put faces to (cyberspace) names on this West Coast trip. One last thing - sorry to my few fans for flaking on the blog. Internet service was a luxury and we were traveling mightily...thanks for being patient. 

I FORGOT TO THANK DAVE & RENEE AND JOSH & WENDY, AMY AND THEIR CREW FOR THE HOSPITALITY. HOLY SHIT, THAT WAS A HUGE BRAIN FART...THEIR HOSPITALITY MAY HAVE BEEN BEST! THAT'S WHY THIS IS ALL CAPITALIZED!! IN RETROSPECT WE SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN THE HOUSE WITH YOU GUYS...WAIT, WHY AM I GETTING INTO PERSONAL THOUGHTS HERE. THANKS AGAIN...I HOPE YOU'RE PLANNING A SURPRISE VISIT TO DENVER NEXT WEEKEND! (FYI, edited 8/24/11)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Where Palmtrees Sway And Seagulls Swirl: Hollywood Bowl Review

   After an epic ride home on I-90 towards Boston through the Cascades we boarded a plane in Seattle and headed to LA. (Note: Just got told I was actually traveling the opposite direction...I love Boston.) We felt like movie stars. Dirty movie stars. It was as if we had just left the X-Files shoot and were headed back home, to a place I would never actually live. But it was cool to drop down, rent a car, and head to the beach in time to watch the Sun set behind the Transverse Range and into the Pacific Ocean. We got a place on Redondo Beach and pretended to drive around site-seeing, when in reality SeriousLeigh was looking for celebrities while Trigger Treinta Uno searched for dispensaries. What a fucking town. There are more businesses aimed at making you look better than feeding you in this town. We met up with some friends, stocked up on supplies, and headed out to the local launder. My Fishman socks needed to be clean for the next show as I was down to one pair. After a failed attempt to live vicariously through The Dude by searching for a local In 'n' Out, we retreated to our room on the beach...the Pacific Coast HW actually...and waited for the rest of our crew - including local - to arrive.
   The next day we met up with everyone, got our sick discounted Marriot room (thanks, DannyVT), and set out to see the LA we intended on seeing. Success. LA does have it's good points. With the crew intact waxed out we set out to the famous Hollywood Bowl. What a sick venue. Cool seating and a sick shell. Let's just say CK5 was the MVP of this show, but I'm getting ahead of myself.


Set I: DWD (8:43) > Cavern (4:11) > Possum (8:36), Cities (6:11), Peaches en Regalia (3:31), KDF (8:08), Lawn Boy (3:20), Tube (4:08) > Back on the Train (8:00), Wilson (4:18) > Axilla (3:24) > Split Open and Melt (10:30), BDTNL (8:44)

   DWD opener was the first since Providence and > strangely placed, EARLY Cavern, which > Possum. *Sigh* An appropriate Cities followed before Phish's fourth Peaches of the summer. What??? KDF blew the shell into the ocean before the boys mellowed out to Lawn Boy. A standard Tube followed but > a sick Back On The Train. Wilson > Axilla followed and > into only the third Split of the summer. BDTNL closed Set One...again. I still love it.

Set II: Carini (7:34) > Crosseyed and Painless (12:29) > Twist (7:03) > Piper (8:40) > Mike's (7:04) > Joy (5:48) > Weekapaug (6:33), 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (3:51) > HYHU (1:18) > Weekapaug (2:30), Character Zero (5:59), Quinn (6:11)

E: STFTFP (4:26) > Julius (7:37)

   Set Two opened with Carini and blasted > an EPIC - and seemingly nightly - Crosseyed. No Hollywood Jam appears on the set list, but it certainly should have. C&P > Twist > Piper > Mike's > Joy > Weekapaug. Twist was good...and so was Piper. It doesn't matter, the lights were fucking amazing. I wish my pics were better, but we all know how that goes. The lights were bouncing off the shell in every direction and streaming up and down the shell in deep, brilliant arrays. It was amazing. The segue  continued with Mike's > Joy > Weekapaug. Phish debuted 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover next, with Fishman on the mini drum kit at center stage. It was fucking amazing, and perfectly - actually, no it wasn't - played. 50 Ways > HYHU, which included a shorter version of the usual nonsense and back > Weekapaug. It was great and a defining moment for the Hollywood Bowl show. Character Zero followed before the boys closed the set with a rocking Quinn. A somewhat extended encore included STFTFP > Julius. So LA isn't the Gorge and the shows followed suite...but that doesn't mean LA didn't rock, because it did. Like a rock star. Then we went to Matt Damon's house and rocked out to the 7th Annual Masshole in LaLa Land party. That's not true. Want the truth? We were off to make the biggest little mistake of our lives.

- Trigger Treinta Uno

Trigger31.com

Thanks to Phish.net & LivePhish for the set list help and Blue 83...Blue 83 Hutnik for the tour of LA.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Take The Highway To The Great Divide: Gorgeous Review

   OK, so the Gorge is the most ridiculous place on Earth to see a show. Say what you want about Red Rocks, you can't tell me it takes your breath away the way the Gorge does as you walk up over that hill for the first time. And the drive in is almost as sick. Mt. Rainier, which has to be one of the most prominent mountains in the country, seem like it floats above Seattle as you drive away. The Cascades, still covered with snow in the middle of August, are beautiful gray jagged peaks that seem to scrape the sky. Wide rivers flow everywhere. It's like you're in the middle of nowhere 1000s of miles away from civilization, yet you're 30 miles out one of the largest cities on the west coast. Un-fucking-real. Even the bridge to Mercer Island was amazing. So by the time we passed Wild Horse Monument outside of George, WA were couldn't imagine what to expect as far as a venue. It didn't disappoint. We pulled into Wildhorse Camping and met up with our West Coast Crew. After a warm welcome we roamed the grounds and shuttled over to Venue Camping, a festival-like shit show. The rest of our crew, Masshole transplants who obviously got the message before we did - don't worry we're coming soon - were raging already. We ran our errands, prepared for the show, and began looking for tickets. Once everyone but me had their tickets, I went off on my own determined to get a "cheap" ticket for the first time since 1.0. Usually I'm the one blasting these types. The "I've been to tons of shows so I deserve to take advantage of others who ended up with an extra ticket by forcing them to sell it to me for a fraction of the cost" types. I loath these people. Why do some feel they shouldn't have to pay full price for a Phish ticket? Really, I want to know. If you're reading this thinking "I do that", then why? Why should Bobby pay $60 plus another $20-30 because his girl couldn't make it? You guys want to know the kicker? Most of those kids you sell cheap tickets to are also ripping you off on party favors. Don't be fooled, most of those homeless looking kids have more money in their pocket than your parents have in their savings accounts. Consider that the next time you fuck yourself to "help" someone. To all of you taking advantage: Buy your own fucking ticket for $60. Everyone else does. These shows don't sell out. Go to the fucking box office. Oh yeah, back to why I got on this rant. Missing the first three songs of the first night because I was waiting in the worst box office ticket line ever. Thank you, chicks who think they can just go to the first loser in line that will be tricked by their batting eyes and tits. And then these douches fall for it, which makes the rest of us wait three times as long. You guys realize that other ticket is for her boyfriend, who doesn't feel like waiting in line, right? Just making sure. Am I bitter? You better fucking believe it. It's unbelievable how quickly our "community" breaks down when it gets close to show time. So when the wind was strong enough to carry the sound over to the box office, I got to hear snippets of KDF, Wedge (my opener call), and Gin. Thankfully my new buddy from OH and I made it in during the Gin jam...
   And were blown the fuck over by the breath-taking beauty of this place. The Sun was literally setting as we walked in to a sick Gin jam and we just stopped, hugged, sat down - in no rush to find our respective friends - and stared. Unbelievable. Oh yeah, the music...that was nearly as epic.


Friday, 8/5

Set I: KDF (8:04), The Wedge (8:23), Gin (11:43), Nellie Kane (2:48) > My Friend (5:54), Cavern (4:09) > Taste (9:06) > Roggae (11:17) > Walk Away (7:32), Funky Bitch (6:23), Roses Are Free (5:22) > Bowie (11:08)

   As I said, I missed the first three songs, but made it in for the Gin jam. So although I can't say anything about the tunes it had to be sick. KDF rocks, especially as a show opener, and the Wedge was perfectly placed. The Gin jam blasted off. Nellie Kane was perfect and > a great My Friend. A mid-set Cavern rocked the house before they went > into a breath-recapturing Taste and then > the sickest Roggae we've heard in a while > a BOMB Walk Away. Dude, seriously? Funky Bitch got the ladies going before the Phish launched into a Roses so sick I got teared up. Even though it's not Trey's solo, that first solo is just so...you know, right? It's just what it is - metaphysical. Such is Phish. It was that exact moment I finally saw the people I had traveled with and the party was on. Bowie...how would this one turn out? As sick as they come. The Gorge was here and we were about to be taken by aliens.

Set II: BDTNL (6:50) > R&R (19:54) > Meatstick (8:47) > Boogie On (8:42) > Farmhouse (5:32) > Show of Life (5:20) > Julius (8:20) > Character Zero (7:21)

E: Loving Cup (7:15)

   BDTNL opened Set Two, and although short and standard, was awesome. I love this tune. It has a jammy groove and has tons of potential...even though they do play it a lot. The next shit sent people to space. It was unreal. If I wrote set lists it would read as so: R 'n' R > Gorge Jam > Storage Jam > Meatstick What The Fuck* > Meatstick. I'd even go so far to call * Meatstick Reprise, but I don't want to stir the geeks. The music never stopped although the space ship brought us to distant galaxies with Page's theremin and back - and by the time we returned Phish was seguing into Boogie On SEEMLESSLY. I have to say the set did go down hill from our galaxy tour, but it's not as if it sucked. I think most of us were expecting a little more, because the end of Boogie seemed to be bringing us back to space, but Phish decided to back out with Farmhouse. Boogie > Farmhouse > Show Of Life > Julius > Zero rocked just the same. Highlights included my wife and her college friends (now in Portland and Santa Cruz) singing the lyrics to Show of Life in a circle hugging, the first Farmhouse of the summer, and a rocking Julius. I'm tired of Zero although I rock out to it every time they play it. The boys encored with a predictable Loving Cup and my first Gorge show was in the books. And what an epic fucking  chapter. There's a reason why every person I know who has asked if I went to the Gorge immediately says "Dude, that Rock 'n' Roll > Meatstick?" Get familiar.

Saturday, 8/6

   The Wildhorse Campground is one of the coolest places I've ever been to for an off-site camping situation. They had insanely good food; they had a great, fun, fast shuttle service; the staff was cool and left us alone; the showers were great; and they were cheap (same as general camping). It was great. And hot. After a sick breakfast burrito we hit the shade to recover from the night before. Everyone sat around talking about the Rock 'n' Roll > Meatstick. Insanity.What was next? Were they finally going to play YEM? What sick cover were we going to be treated to? What else did this epic place have in store for us? I made sure my ticket was in hand before I even left for general camping...and then saw that the box office had developed a new plan to make sure there was no back up and/or cutting. Fuckers.

Set I: Possum (8:08), Moma Dance (7:57) > Sample (5:10), LxL (7:22), Ocelot (9:27), Poor Heart (3:16), On Your Way Down (7:19), Wolfman's (9:18) > Maze (10:34) > Wilson (4:20) > Fluffhead (15:08)

   Possum opened the set and I had to laugh. An above average Moma Dance followed and > Sample. LxL followed, and then Ocelot. Very standard stuff. Lucky for us it was a back drop to the best venue scene in the country. Layers of weathered volcanic sediment stacked on top of each other representing millions of years, all visible only because they've been cut by the mighty Columbia River since before humans crossed into North America. Orders of magnitude more years. The place is amazing in itself, and the fact that we can see Phish there makes it almost unbelievable. It's a "pinch me" situation. I get it now. Poor Heart stirred the crowd before Phish launched into On Your Way Down, one of the beast versions I've ever heard. Beast was a typo, but I've decided to keep it. An impossibly funky Wolfman's > a long sick Maze > a standard Wilson > a standard Fluffhead. The Sun was setting. The music was about to crank to 11, Spinal Tap style. Text message. Colonel Phortin. It says "get to the pit now or you're a pussy". He was right. Epicness was in the air. We immediately made our way down to the Page-side pit. Good advice. Even better set:

Set II: Chalkdust Torture (7:16) > Tweezer (12:24) > Caspian (5:40) > Sand (12:33) > Tweezer (1:12) > Birds of a Feather (6:58), Waste (5:34) > Golden Age (7:34) > Reba (12:52), Antelope (12:22)

E: Suzy (6:35) > Sanity (5:36) > TweepriZe (3:56)


   Chalkdust opened the set and by the time we settled into our spot, the shit was on. Chalkdust > a deep dark Tweezer > Caspian (Did we need a breather already?) > a SWEATY Sand > Tweezer > an appropriate Birds. Dude, what the fuck??? It was ridiculous. By the time Waste was roaring our wives had found us, and their timing was perfect. Waste was winding down and the jam had been brain-bending. It was slowing down...it was murky...2001 was definitely in the air...but something was different here...what was it...it was fucking Golden Age, blasting into our ears like a distant freight train that had finally pierced our brains as if they were broken down at the George, WA railroad crossing. This fucking song RULES!!! It's the modern launch pad. And it > Reba, a song that never gets old. Ever. A rocking Antelope closed the set. But it wasn't over by a long shot. The encore opened with Suzy, and then the In-Sanity began...literally. The stars did not suck at all that night as Phish blasted off only the sixth Sanity since 1998 before going > TweepriZe. That's the shit Phish dreams are made of and dreams came true on the second and last night of Gorge 2011. My first trip to the place I had yearned to see Phish at for the past 15 years was not a disappointment. It was an enlightenment. Enough said.

- Trigger Treinta Uno

Trigger31.com

Thanks to Phish.net & LivePhish for the set list help, Colonel Phortin for setting up Wildhorse, and Amy & Renee's crew for supplying the goods, all the way from sleeping bags to booze. Your hospitality was appreciated and we miss you guys already.