Opening day for sports fans pales in comparison to any organized religion. So for those of us that covet Phish's music with the intensity equivalent to sacrilege, Tour Opener couples the excitement of gorging after a long and spiritually cleansing fast, with the pit of the stomach excitement of the Christmas Day!
      My mind's cogs and sprockets, wound to precision, become a proving ground, and I lurk these battle grounds for memories of past tour openers. I hold the Island Tour Opener as the first of life stand of shows, and while I try to not compare 1.0 with it's ladder day brethren, I will employ the same Logic that helped me "wrassle" my way through a Philosophy Degree: use similar data to compare (so that your thesis can be summed up in less than 100 pages)
      Bethel Woods set the stage for a weekend of improvisation that, we thought, would be a new beginning for our beloved four horsemen of the apocalypse. What a stark contrast to one year ago. Bethel Woods was relaxed, open air, breathable, breathtaking, expansive. If I was to tweak out, this is where I want to lose my shit! Worcester on the other hand: Dark, dank, Cavern-esque, smokey, eerie! (D)ark (C)avern (U)nrelenting!
      Buried Alive set the tone, and throughout, even with the Dark themes presented, the tease factor was in full effect, and these subtle nuances poked fun at what was otherwise a pathway to Mephistopheles. There was a certain context to the music, a maneuver that held as its precept, that once in the thick of the grime and smoke filled caves of the inner reaches of ones own dungeons, out from whence we came was a moment of clarity that then brought the house to its knees with jarring beauty.
      It was later on, walking away from the venue that a new friend made the point, (you don't try to talk when you eat, just chew and enjoy, well I chewed every morsel to it's fullest potential, and wallowed in the musical palette that this show expressed in droves.
      Second Set Focus:
      Carini's opening heavy metal riffs started these fists to raging. I knew I was going to battle for the ability to breath, and the boys challenged my mental and physical stamina by truly weaving the best of patience and unveiling, with brief melodic interludes, that segued back to the sound of fury! Out of Carini came a strategic flight on the back of Falcor. Minutes unwound and engrossed the crowd to a fevered pitch, where in their most intense moments, lulled the crowd to a staggering quietude. When Page sprinkled the opening of Taste, and confirmed the band's next progression, we had come from a vastly different starting point. Moments like this (fluid segue, when that arrow pointing to the next song, is worth its inked imprint) stop me in my tracks. It wasn't an ambient traipsing through one door into the next. I never knew I had been transported through a portal, I was simply at TASTE. Coaxing the jam into a Norwegian Wood Fusion, I found myself yearning for What's The Use. Using the ambiant theme out of Taste as a fitting start to Ghost was a telling sign to the thick mire the band has lulled us into. The thick molasses groove that never quite sped up, was a far cry from the speed racer that had been wound up inside me.
      What stood out this far into the show was the ability for any band member at any moment to stand at the forefront and lead the group in a four part conversation, led by each of them. The intent ear with which each band member listened, was so accessible to the crowd. Plays on notes, and roles down scales were mimicked by each band member. This tease and yet all out assault on every note, phrasing, and song played was what grasped me with such vigor.
      And Mike was next. After grappling Falcor's white shag hair and riding his mythical back through this second set, the groove set in and the dance party was underway. Trey stepped back and presented more patience at letting his band mates lead the conversation, and I found myself second guessing when he might take control. (Where in the past few years, I heard myself, many times, asking him to step back.) When Trey took control, he did with vigor and attention to not be over-bearing. (Midnight Rider and Dead-Esque themes in this section of the show) So when Trey took the reigns and steered the four headed horse to If I Could, it was with my backing that tell us where we were headed next!
      If I Could was the 8 minute display of orchestrated beauty that could be attributed to Trey's off-season antics with conducting. Listen to Page here play a series of notes rolling over each other. Hell F'ing Yeah!
      Stepping from the DCU center after a strong finish, Hood that could do no wrong, with more patience from the crew, and a wonderful nod to the fact that summer tour started in doors with Cavern, I could not find the words at the time. That is because I was still chewing and digesting. My new friend's advice was spun, and only hit home later. Tonight, I learned patience.
      MG Out!


Popular posts from this blog

Aloha Friday Motivation | Fuji Edition| #21

Aloha Friday Motivation | Perspective | POST:090823

Aloha Friday Motivation | Superstitious | POST:101323