Last night was the first of three nights of Phish here in my stomping grounds of San Francisco, and without really skipping any beats that would have been leftover from the two nights in Lake Tahoe, the band delivered a triumphant first show with tons more 2013 debuts (“Seven Below” was unique song #151 so far in 2013) and solid playing front to back. The light show looked fantastic indoors and by the end of the show it was a sweaty, humid mess in the venue — always a sign of a good show.
Setting things up for a rock show with the “Free” opener, I was happy to get a version of “Meat” which is becoming too rare for my carnivorous tastes. And when song three came as “The Oh Kee Pah Ceremony” my friends started throwing out way more wild predictions than the standard “Oh Kee Pah > Suzy Greenberg” combo that’s an old-school Phish staple. Maybe Aaron is just that dialed in with how the band is hearing the show — last night was his 100th show — but he was the one to call “AC/DC Bag” next, and sure enough, his prediction came true to wild applause from our friend group. “Vultures” is always a treat, and this is where the energy in the room became really apparent: the crowd started doing the “Woo!”‘s again referencing back to The Tahoe Tweezer. Everyone in the audience had likely heard the “Tweezer” a few times over the days off between Tahoe and Bill Graham, and it just seemed to continue right into this show just like it was sets three and four from night two in Tahoe.
That was quite a moment; haters be damned, this might just be a theme of the rest of the tour and I personally have no problem with that.
Other highlights of set one for me included, well, all of it — the setlist choices were all right in my wheelhouse and how often can you say you’ve got a “Sand”, “Reba” and “Roggae” all in the same set. “Golgi Apparatus” closed the set and put everyone in a heightened state of anticipation, and we all caught our breath and waited for set two to happen. And BAM, it continued right where set one left off with a solid “PYITE” opener that got a little spacy before leading into a confident “Down with Disease”. Big highlight for me came after a bit of a slow down with “Prince Caspian” and “Farmhouse” – the first “Seven Below” since 6/23/12. I need to re-listen to this and get a sense for everything that went down but at the time it was perfectly placed and really got everyone moving. And don’t sleep on that “Farmhouse” either; it was stretched out and got into some great “pretty Phish” territory.
“Theme > Harry Hood > Stealing Time > Coil” finished the show, which really was just top-notch Phish and really a great four song close out to a fantastic show. Then, the audience was blessed with the first ever “Walls of a Cave” encore and while I still didn’t get my Cactus-slaps-da-bass moment to enter the jam section of the song, it was a great close out to the show and a perfect encore song.
The LMB crew was rolling deep for this one and we’re all there again tonight, so expect some updates as the weekend goes on.
Check out a gallery of photos from the Pete Merriman:
Phish @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco 8/2/13
Set I: Free, Meat, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > AC/DC Bag > Vultures, Roggae, Sand, When the Circus Comes, Babylon Baby, Reba, Halfway to the Moon > Golgi Apparatus
Set II: Punch You In the Eye > Down with Disease* > Prince Caspian* > Farmhouse > Seven Below > Theme From the Bottom > Harry Hood# > Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan > The Squirming Coil
Encore: Walls of the Cave
* – Unfinished
# – Dixie tease.
Notes: This show was officially webcast via LivePhish. Harry Hood included a Dixie teases by Trey. Prince Caspian and Down With Disease were unfinished.
[Setlist and notes via Phish.net]