Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

Phish Halloween 2013 – A Big Dud!

Posted on | November 2, 2013 | No Comments

So I traveled again to see Phish. This time to Atlantic City for the anticipated Halloween run. I saw one of the best shows ever in Hampton that reviewed in my last post, so I was really pumped for Halloween. Traditionally, Phish plays a very special Halloween show which includes two sets of Phish and a surprise cover album in the middle. Such iconic albums have been played in the past like Waiting for Columbus, Exile on Main Street, Dark Side of the Moon, The White Album, and more. So we were really excited to see what the boys had up their sleeves for this show. Turned out they played…their own new album, Wingsuit! Was there a horn section? How about backup singers? No! Just the Abe Vigota dancers and a 92 year old Godfather character waving to the crowd.  Let’s be honest, this was a real bummer. I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts, like Mr. Minor’s Phish Thoughts, where he exclaims:

The decision to play Wingsuit was incredibly brave, daring and risky—characteristics that have defined the band throughout their career, and traits for which we adore them. And for that alone, they must be applauded. But god damn, these songs were amazing.

Really? Just because you are mentioned in a song, doesn’t mean you have to love everything they do. Thank you Mr. Minor…for being such a wuss. This show was a HUGE disappointment and let down. I will admit that part of it was definitely that the expectation was so high.

Abe Vigoda, really?

Abe Vigoda, really?

It was painful, and I will venture to say it was selfish and unfair for Phish to do this to their fans. They need to know that not everyone at the show paid the $65 ticket price. A lot of folks paid $300 plus to see the most anticipated show of the year. Phish sets the ticket prices for face value, Stubhub sets the market price which was WAY higher for this show. What we got were some really new, unpolished songs. Trey even “apologized” afterwards by thanking everyone for listening. Here’s a better idea – scatter a few new songs in your fall tour. Don’t play them all at once! By the time they got to the last set, everyone was frankly too tired to get the energy going again. So if they would have had the 1st and 3rd sets only, I may have thought it was a decent show.

Here’s an analogy. You go to see Book of Mormon on Broadway – one of the hottest shows out there. You pay $500 for a seat because you hear that this Saturday night show is the original cast and a five year anniversary performance. When you walk in, the Playbill says “Book of Muslim” a new play by Trey Parker. Then Trey Parker, creator of Book of Mormon and Southpark, comes out and tells the audience that they want to try out a few numbers from the new Book of Muslim to see if you will like it. Then you hear songs like, Where is My Allah Tonight and Osama the Bomba. Forget that people paid $500 a ticket to see the real deal. Anyway, you get my point.

Phish: I love you guys and I thank you for your music. I listen every day. I saw three shows this tour, and I know you can’t play perfect shows all the time. I know you get paid millions of dollars and may not care, but this was not cool. You can do better.

On a positive note (yes there is a positive note here) the show last night, 11/1/13, was awesome and you did redeem yourself so I will be back!

Here’s what a real set list looks like from 11/1/13:

Set 1: Cavern > Runaway Jim, Sand, Halfway to the Moon, Halley’s Comet, Tube, Possum, When the Circus Comes, Sugar Shack, Jesus Just Left Chicago, David Bowie

Set 2: Twist -> Gotta Jibboo > Makisupa Policeman > Light -> Chalk Dust Torture, Meatstick > Boogie On Reggae Woman > The Wedge, Slave to the Traffic Light

Encore: Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley