PHISH Summer 2012 in SAN FRANCISCO
- By Andy Magnes
- Published on August 22, 2012
|Photo Credit: Andy Magnes|
As the preeminent jam band in the country ventures off on their 2012 Summer Tour, various fans, Headstash staff writers and even some random, first-time Phish-goers will submit reviews of each night. They'll tell you their favorite songs and segues, how the crowd reacted and whether this show is worth buying, downloading or skipping altogether.
Read out previous Phish tour reviews below:
June 7 and 8 – DCU Center – Worcester, MA
June 10 – Bonnaroo 2012 – Manchester, TN
June 15 – Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ
June 16 – Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ
June 17 – Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ
June 19 and 20 – nTelos Pavilion – Portsmouth, VA
June 22 and 23 – Riverbend Music Center/First Niagara Pavilion – Cincinnati, OH/Burgettstown, PA
June 28 and 29 – Klipsch Music Center – Noblesville, IN
June 30 and July 1 – Klipsch Music Center – East Troy, WI
July 6-8 – Saratoga Performance Arts Center– Saratoga Springs, NY
Sean Wilmsen's Top 10 Songs of Leg One
August 15 – Long Beach Arena – Long Beach, CA
For a complete list of tour dates, check out Phish's official website.
August 17 – Bill Graham Civil Auditorium – San Francisco, CA
Set I: AC/DC Bag, The Moma Dance, Possum, Corrina, Sand, Halley's Comet, Funky Bitch, Sample in a Jar, Roses Are Free, My Friend My Friend, Slave to the Traffic Light
Set II: Down With Disease, Birds of a Feather, Tweezer > Twist, Wading in the Velvet Seam Chalkdust Torture, Joy, Run Like An Antelope, Shine A Light
Encore: First Tube
Crowd Atmosphere: As the birthplace of The Grateful Dead, San Francisco remains Phish's most popular West Coast destination. All three shows sold out in under a minute and were scalped for hundreds outside the venue and on StubHub. The venue itself was buzzing from the moment doors opened. Crowd energy remained high - much higher than Long Beach - in the tiny auditorium and there was not a bad spot in the house. The BGCA is definitely one of the best indoor venues I've ever seen Phish play.
Best Song: Tweezer - The first of leg two was hopefully a sign of incredible things to come. It started off with a very thick dance groove before giving way to some more trippy and spacey textures. In short, it was exactly what you want from a "Tweezer" and ranks very high on the playback scale. Gordon commandeered this jam for the most part before the band segued into "Twist."
Best Jam: Down With Disease - As it has in all in all of 3.0, DWD provided much of the meat in a very improvisational second set, abandoning the fiery guitar solo for some deep exploration. Phish really took this one everywhere before reigniting the fire with an energetic "Birds."
Best Segue: Roses > My Friend My Friend
Sloppiest Moment: "Tweezer" kind of lost its rhythm as it segued into "Twist," but we're just picking hairs at this point.
Rating out of 5: 4. Although the first set was better than Long Beach's, the second set, while still great Phish, didn't eclipse the opening night's odyssey.
Buy/Download/Pass: Buy. Phish is on top of their game and this show stands as a great reason why.
|Photo Credit: Andy Magnes|
August 18 – Bill Graham Civil Auditorium – San Francisco, CA
Set I: Runaway Jim, Wolfman's Brother, Nellie Kane, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Ocelot, Maze, I Didn't Know, 46 Days, Tube, When The Circus Comes To Town, Sugar Shack, Split Open And Melt, Cavern
Set II: Golden Age, Piper > Mike's Song > Simple > Backwards Down The Number Line > Carini, Wilson, Weekapaug Groove, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Fluffhead, Loving Cup
Encore: Show Of Life, Character Zero
Crowd Atmosphere: This show was the most crowded and hardest to get a ticket for. The merchandise table had a 500-person line a minute after the doors opened and the floor quickly filled up. The crowd was buzzing with anticipation, especially with the first two shows inflating expectations.
Best Song: Sugar Shack - Although not normally a crowd favorite, this version was the cleanest one ever.
Best Jam: Simple - Elegant and beautiful, this "Simple" saved a pretty vanilla version of "Mike's" and featured some delicate interplay between Trey, Page and Mike.
Best Segue: Golden Age > Piper
Sloppiest Moment: The wheels kind of came off toward the end of "Split Open and Melt" as the band just kind of lost the song. Ultimately, Trey said "fuck it" and began the ending sequence out of the blue.
Rating out of 5: 3. The playing was right, which is (thankfully) the norm these days, but it fell into the "Saturday Night Rocker" category that plagued both AC and SPAC three-night runs.
Buy/Download/Pass: Pass. The "Simple" is worth a listen, but with Phish playing as well as they are right now, a "good" show just doesn't hold up.
August 19 – Bill Graham Civil Auditorium – San Francisco, CA
Set I: Crowd Control, Party Time, Axilla, Reba, Free, Mound, Walk Away, NICU, Back On The Train, Gotta Jibboo, Roggae, David Bowie
Set II: Crosseyed and Painless, Light > Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley > Crosseyed and Painless, Theme From The Bottom, Rocky Top, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Meatstick, Bug, You Enjoy Myself
Encore: Ride Captain Ride, Tweezer Reprise
Crowd Atmosphere: This show was by far the easiest to navigate. Phans could literally go wherever they wanted. Regardless, there were more diehards in attendance, so the energy was still there in spades.
Best Song: "Ride Captain Ride" - The first encore choice by Blues Image provided the perfect punctuation to the weekend in San Francisco, especially with its local references. It was a semi-bustout, having been played 14 times overall and only four in 3.0.
Best Jam: Light - This one was a tough choice with so many to choose from, especially in the second set. It all started with Trey at the lead until he backed off and allowed Fish and Mike to transform the groove. In a jam that saw teases of "Crosseyed" and the inevitable "Tweeprise," Phish did what they do best - melt faces and blow minds.
Best Segue: Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley > Crosseyed Reprise - The funk never got especially filthy, but Mike and Fish helped guide Trey seamlessly back into the "Crosseyed" groove at half-speed, bringing the opener back home.
Sloppiest Moment: Your guess is as good as mine. Phish was absolutely killing it tonight.
Rating out of 5: 5. From start to finish, this is as complete of a Phish show as you can get. Everything they played turned to gold and everyone in attendance left the show glowing. Not a single song felt out of place, as the setlist and playing were top-notch.
Buy/Download/Pass: Buy. There's no risk for hyperbole here - this is as good as Phish gets. They started strong and never let up in one of the longest and strongest two-set shows in years.
- Andy Magnes
If you want to win tickets to future Phish shows and other merchandise and prizes, head over to CrowdsEye and upload your pictures, reviews and stories from tour to be eligible.Stay tuned as we continue to publish quick-hit fan reviews from each night of Phish's Summer Tour 2012.
What did you think of the San Francisco shows? Let us know in the comments below . . .