26 in 26 #14 07/22/2013 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Dave Calarco, @mrminer) #phish
Selection: “Down With Disease>2001”
From Dave Calarco:
The most poignant and memorable Phish jams become visceral emotional experiences that bypass the psyche and act directly on the spirit. These experiences evoke the most elemental and profound human emotions and they span the spectrum of the human experience. The emotion triggered by Toronto’s “Down With Disease” last summer was utter bliss. “Bliss” appears in the dictionary with two definitions. The first is “complete happiness,” and the second is “paradise, heaven.”
Either one works to describe the sacred rendition of “Disease” that unfolded on the banks of Lake Ontario last summer. A jam that stood out immediately for its spiritually inspired tone, Toronto’s “Disease” put an exclamation point on the first half of tour as the band prepared to embark on their western road.
“Disease” had three signature versions in 2013, Toronto, Reading and Madison Square Garden, but the final section of Toronto’s might just be the crowning music of them all. Following a section of relatively standard, though totally proficient whole-band grooving, the guys collectively found a second, softer feel and the jam completely opened up. Transforming the music within seconds, Phish set out on a path of reverie as they ramped up the piece with stellar, four-part collaboration. Trey played inventive rhythm licks as Page led the way with rolling piano leads and Mike played emotionally driven bass lines beneath them. And then Trey started to solo. At first he alternated between his previous rhythm chops and mini-melodic phrases, but then he set his sights on the skies above.
Trey’s playing in the peak section of this “Disease” was among his most inspired of 2013, and was surely the most aweing display he had dropped in the calendar year to that point. His playing side stepped convention and oozed with majesty. Trey’s playing takes on a different feel when he is totally lost in the music and not calculating his every move. When he plays on straight feeling—much like in the Tahoe “Tweezer’s” “Woo” section, things just reaches a whole ‘nother level of connectedness. These are the times when, to paraphrase his own words, he has gotten his ego out of the way and is channeling music that exists in the universe through his guitar. These are the times that magic happen.
When Trey gets in a spiritually charged zone, his energy takes over not only his band mates and their musical contributions, but everyone in the entire venue. What transpires is a communal bolt of lightning.
These are the moments we gush about after shows and remember for the rest of our lives. These are the moments that motivate us to do what we do. These are the moments that inspire Phish to do what they do. These moments are the reasons why.
A jam that elevates like Toronto’s “Disease” makes an entire show memorable all by itself. There are plenty of nights when Phish plays through two sets and never reaches such a plane of connected, dialed in soul-music. These rare and blissful experiences are not defined by what one hears, but by the emotions with which one is flooded. One may forget how the jam goes over time, but nobody that was present will ever forget the feelings they felt during the Toronto “Disease.”
From Dave Calarco:
Dave Calarco is a smoker, a joker and a midnight toker. Phish addict. Does his own stunts. Wingsuit owner.
Fav Ghost: The Radio City “Ghost” is not the only the best version ever played, it is the ultimate realization of their transformation to a four-headed groove machine. This is not an opinion.
One of the underrated things I enjoy while being on tour, is waking up with a cup of coffee and reading Mr. Miner’s review of the previous nights show. Writing daily is a very difficult task and I am always thankful I have a Miner review to read. Dave is also always willing to help with any crazy project I might undertake and lend any help where needed.