26 in 26 #18 07/31/2013 Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s, Stateline, NV (Eamonn Kress, @i_shred_pow) #phish
From Eamonn Kress:
First off, I was lucky enough to attend this run for two reasons:
a) Because my job had decided to conveniently send me to Sacramento for work Monday morning after the Gorge shows for two weeks!
b) Because I got hooked up with tickets by Stew and Jax, thanks for making this show possible for me!
So, for this show and the previous, I packed up after work around 5pm and drove like a maniac
through the Ponderosa Pine forests of the Sierras to Harvey’s.
I am just guessing that most of you are pretty familiar with this jam… You probably know it by heart (or mostly) and realize that it is certainly one of the most unique jams the boys have had in quite some time. Its 36 minutes (its not the size that matters), its a type 2 bomb of a “Tweezer” that delivers with quality playing. The cohesiveness, the communication and improvisation between them is unreal and this jam, like many, contains the core elements that make us all keep coming back to shows.
So, fast forward to the second set… and BOOM the opening riff of “Tweezer” gets everyone pumped up! Right off the bat Trey hits a nice dramatic chord and then into the chorus. At 3:50, Trey gives a few whale calls before dropping back the the last verse. Around 4:55, the “Tweezer” riff starts meandering into bliss land with Mike and Fish taking control of this jam right off the bat and leading it for the next 5 minutes. During this time, Page and Trey melodically weave blissful notes in and out of the groove.
At the 8:30 mark there is a shift and ambiance > Trey busts out the wah and gets funky > at 9:25 Mike goes crazy and solos on this pattern that honed in all of the energy that was previously building in this jam O.O > 10:15 lost in space floating > i have a feeling this is going to > into something else, but no! This ambiance with Trey/Page having some nice interplay gets the cactus treatment! Then at 12:00 Mike drops bombs and resurrects the energy, making the bass pound!!
12 min, ohhh shiiiiiiiiit, Mike/Trey start building and building. I am have the chills. Cowbell time > page 13:20 min. And now all 4 members are riding that wave of energy…. light speed motherfucker!
At the 14 minute mark, Trey hammers some power chords, which sets the band off into a 3 min “we are just getting this thing going” jam, Trey hits a few powerful licks, and you can feel the patience that the band has. Mike changes it up and puts on his envelope filter at 16:35. The wave is still traveling, it almost seems like its getting more powerful now and Trey starts ripping it up 17:40 with wah over Mike’s envelope.
They are a unit, they are jamming type 2, dont you dare take a piss break and listen up, this ride ain’t over yet!
The 2nd ambient section is at 18:15. “OK, now this is probably going to > into ??…” “is this still “Tweezer?” This is the trough of the beautiful wave of energy they are riding this is the period between the waves in this set. Back to floating out in space for a few minutes. Its time for another wave in this set… At 21:30, the next wave of energy starts to surge and they turn the hyperdrive back on. Trey and Page have some really brilliant harmonies in this section. Thirty seconds later Trey takes it away with a little lick that starts like a surfer paddling into a wave and then stands up and starts carving, jumping around, spinning and shredding! Ohhh the grin on my face. I have forgotten about all other things in my life at this point except for this “Tweezer.” This is so raw and organic. Trey takes this pattern and just exploits it and bridges back to another progression with great work from Fishman!!
Back to 24:50 with chords, harmonies and that riff again. At 26:00 CACTUS and Page steppin in it with beautiful melodies and Trey starts a chord progression which evolves into (at 27) the start/stop “woo” jamming, weeee!!!! [now some of you might say “ugh wooing”] The woo’s happened very organically, the first ones of the tour and the best!!!! It started here and fit the mood, this venue was so happy, rocking out, and pepole were so focused on this jam. We were tied into the band and the band was tied into us!! At 27:58, The lick Trey has out of the woos gives me serious chills and makes me feel like I’m floating.
Trey focuses his energy, which pierces my soul and guides me to a surreal place. A few more call/response from the band before blasting back into that purely energetic jam, its another series of waves that they have built, Fishman is insane… 29:10 woo return. Trey takes it away again and Mike pushes and pushes
this transitions with Fishman controlling the beat and changes the entire dynamic of the jam “is this really still “Tweezer?” This 29:30 section of the jam sits back in the comfort of the wave that they are on.
Patient build again around 31 and here with nice work from Page. About a minute after, MIKE pounds on the bass with Trey doing some great melodic strumming. At 32.44 whoa this just shifted gears again, one of the last waves in the set it upon us. This one one though, breaks slowly and strongly back to shore.
A bit more call and response before a perfectly executed jamming back to Earth and taking you on a ride back to the Milky Way. At 33:50 we are sailing back though the solar system, the wave is starting to crash on shore this is the final peak!!! So tight and so dialed in, this is too good to be true! At this point i was standing there, jaw agape, mind open wide, and BOOM “Tweezer” riff…. holy shit… I need a cigarette. Everyone was looking around at each other in disbelief, this was just the 1st song in the 2nd set. Speechless, the opening notes of “Tela” started without a minute to reflect on that 36 min uber jam.
Upon review, its obvious that with the addition of good weather on summer tour and being about 75% through the tour they were so comfortable up on stage and willing to surrender to the flow and just jam. This whole jam feels like a harmonious set of waves being driven by a storm. Each wave having a trough and a peak and being driven by the energy of the 4 men that call themselves “Phish”. Its obvious to see at this point, also, that this jam is not just good because its 36:45 min… Its the patience, the 30 years of musical genius, the comfort, the confidence and the crests and troughs and the energy that make this one of the best musical moments of the summer.
Sweet, and now the 2 hour drive back to Sacramento!
Eamonn works tireless for the Phish community. He listens to Phish non stop and is upload tracks, teases, replays all the time. He did all the audio for the 26 in 26 project!