From Andrew Hitz:
I originally chose to write about the excellent “Light” from the second set for this post. It is a fantastic jam and was the clear highlight from that night’s show for many people. If you haven’t heard it yet, it will put a big smile on your face.
After thinking about it, I decided to audible to the “Stash” from the first set instead. This is a rare jam from a 3.0 first set that I have listened to over and over again. That just doesn’t happen too often these days. While first sets have not been without merit in recent tours, they rarely (with some obvious exceptions) have had as much to offer as this set did. Stash preceded a “Scent of a Mule” that featured Fishman debuting the Marimba Lumina which had the entire band smiling from ear to ear. And that was followed by an “It’s Ice” that contained a random minute of some serious extra mustard. This was a first set that had everyone buzzing at setbreak and the best part was the “Stash.”
The jam starts off in the usual key of D minor with some beautiful interplay between Trey and both Mike and Page’s right hand respectively, all while Fishman holds down the fort with a pretty standard “Stash” drumbeat. This “Stash” is a great example of Mike seamlessly alternating between two different styles: relatively straightforward bass lines and melodic flourishes. He does this frequently to great effect and that is all because of Fishman’s willingness to keep things simple. That is until he doesn’t, which we’ll get to later…
The jam then slides into F major, the relative major of D minor. With Page and Fishman playing the role of rhythm section, Mike and Trey begin a beautiful, melodic back and forth. This blissful, surprise major section was brief but had everyone in the audience smiling and making that “This is awesome!” eye contact that friends make during great moments at Phish shows.
Trey hints at the original key of D-minor in his solo and just like that both Page and Mike meet him there as the form comes back around.
This section begins as a standard “Stash” jam with Trey and Page soloing melodically over Mike and Fishman in the more traditional rhythm section role. Eventually Trey switches to a more rhythm guitar-like role. The space he opens up led to all three other members stepping to the foreground.
Trey then does a little foreshadowing of the spectacular “Light” jam that I mentioned at the top of this piece. He briefly plays a two measure pattern of strongly hitting chords on beats one and two of the first measure and then playing only rhythm for the next six beats. This is the same rhythmic pattern that the peak of the “Light” jam uses over and over again to such great effect in the second set.
Shortly after this section Mike leads the jam in an awesome and odd direction for a “Stash” jam: the key of B flat major. Trey immediately starts soaring above the band with Page pounding out chords on the grand. This is why we drive long distances to see this band. This jam is just oozing creativity and had everyone there wondering where the hell it was headed next. I could have listened to them play this section for 20 minutes without getting bored.
Finally, the jam settles back into the original key of D minor and this section is all about Fishman bringing it home. He is at his melodic best here as he leads the charge to the end. There is some spectacular interplay between Mike and Fishman in the last two minutes. It ends by Trey very gently dropping into the closing riff.
The MPP “Stash,” going minor>major>minor>major>minor, is a great example of the creative place this band found itself in 2013. More jams like this in the first set please. Thanks in advance!”
Drew is one of the happiest Phish fans in the entire community. He brings big energy to all forms of media where he has a chance to talk about Phish. He is also the Michael Jordan of Phish fan Tuba players