27 September 2009

And If You Wait Until Tomorrow...
6/2/09 Jones Beach

I'm being transmuted by approaching a retrospective of Phish Summer Tour 2009, and the first three shows at Jones Beach. It’s a downside of stubbornness, or, rather, dedication. One seminal band, on tour again after five years apart, trials endured, three shows, thick with anticipation for myself and others…it’s a fleshy return of Phish in true touring form. And for whatever reason, I'm subjecting myself to a crash course in total immersion. Weeks ago, at the start, I surmised this is all shit that would be going through my head anyway, a snowglobe of impressions, as I would've challenged myself to listen to all Summer '09 shows anyway. But actually sitting down to get it down "on paper" is proving another task altogether.

It reminds me of Page's hilarious, simply foreboding Biblical response to a couple of
Schvice letters back in the day, to phans offering themselves in heady existential endeavors (one offering to be a Phish roadie/lackey, and another challenging herself to dig through Earth's core to the other side):

"You'd be molten," he replies.

"Tsuq" is the Hebrew word for it, "to be molten." צוּק indeed.

Where to start? And, more importantly (for me), where to

Rendered useless by anxiety last week, I sought counsel from my friend Jill, who's a web content producer.

"I'm overcomplicating the shit outta my subject matter," I griped. "I'm being dragged left and right by my theses, and I'm so tired I can't write anything!"

All she said was, "Keep it short, and have a niche focus."

“WHAT?” I thought. “Have you no *idea* the *niche-ness* of my endeavor?" I thought. I've challenged myself to tackle 28 shows in as many days, after not writing well nigh anything outside my personal journals for years, with only a slender rein on my tiring, freeform prose poetics, exhausting even to -- or most of all -- me! "Keep it short" is not in my vocabulary, try as I might to condense my writing, and curtail my zeal for storytelling.

But something happened while whining to Jill. I realized what I really need is a container into which I can pour my impressions, one loose enough to allow movement, but rigid enough to enforce some structure. After all, it's my blog and I can blow it up if I want to. I need something like an ice tray that forms different shapes: hearts, stars, crescents, etc. It's still an ice tray, making solid shapes from liquid, but the shapes are more than just cubes.

I already have one framework, of sorts. I recalled this blog's subtitle: "Carol Wade's School of Phish." Besides being an ancient allusion (school of fish, get it, haw haw), I nabbed it from a Facebook message with a phriend of mine, about the East Coast end-of-tour shows in August 2009. He called one of his emails "School of Phish." When I read that, I flipped the hell out. I imagined a seminar of phans at Cooper Union or something, sitting around in a small lecture hall, with some dude leading a discussion of phiner aspects of Phish music, phandom, Phishistory, and things of that (ph)nature.

I nearly wept with excitement, because since Phish's reunion, that's just the sort of thing I've wanted to dive into, like butter. I’ve hauled out my Pharmer's, my "Phish Book," drooling in anticipation of Parke Puterbaugh's upcoming "Phish: The Biography," fired up ZZYZX’s PhishStats and Phish.net, and dove phace-phirst into an ocean of live Phish both old and fresh-fried. I wanted to elaborate at depth from the bottom of my heart about my understanding of Phish, as a student, scholar, sociologist, and most of all, a person, just another phan among phans.

Unfortunately, his email wasn't about anything like that, just more deliberation on whether we were gonna try for Merriweather or SPAC or not. It ended up turning out to be "or not," a travesty that'll be discussed forwards down the number line.

"I thought you were saying there was some kind of Phish talk or lecture coming up!" I huffed.

"Nah, I was just trying to be creative in my subject line," he wrote. Grr! But it was too late...a seed was planted.

So, here I am, standing on the cliffside, and learning how to leap. This time's gonna be different, because I was sent a plan from the heart of inspiration, and desperation. I'm going to approach the three-night run (and probably the first few shows after that, experimentally) with what I’m going to call a "sycculus."


Yes, a "sycculus."

"What the hell is a 'sycculus'?" you inquire.

As a stratagem, the "sycculus" is like a syllabus, borne of a different stuff. The Great and Knowledgeable Icculus, Sky God, wise…knower of all things...authored a book with so much knowingness about air and earth, moon and stars, heart and feet, head and ass, that humankind can barely comprehend it. A book so massive in its educational content, Harvard and M.I.T. each gave their copies away to Leaders of Atlantis, who now, themselves, puzzle over the tomes (which they keep dry using an elaborate system of silica gel and hydraulics).

THE BOOK, it is said by Icculus himself (which matters because HE WROTE THE FUCKING BOOK, MAN), will utterly alter you forever. Women weep and men beat their breasts upon reading it; children dream and laugh with abandon when their weeping parents read it to them as they fall sleep. And if you, too, come closer, your knowitude will explode...

"...a tree of knowledge in your soul will grow
The Helping Friendly Book will plant the seed..."
-- "Colonel Forbin's Ascent," The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday
, Trey Anastasio's senior undergraduate thesis, Goddard College, 1987

The Helping Friendly Book is THE BOOK of which I speak. For, like its author, The Great and Knowledgable Icculus (at least in occasional moments), "I know why you've come here, and I'll help you with your quest to gain the knowledge that you lack." The ironic truth is: I don't have much more knowledge about Phish than any of you do, even if you've never heard a note of their music. They have been new every time I’ve listened to them. Even when I was disgusted (or horrified in captivation) by their unfamiliar new forays, it was only because I didn't know anything to start, was hit with something I had never heard, and immediately formed a mind-shuttering, self-protective opinion. Even if I show up at the door with a raincoat on and nothin' on underneath, I might not dig the outcome. But I know now that, if I’m committed to reading THE BOOK, I’m a student, and upset expectations are all part of the process.

I'm just another Bozo on the Bus, wacky on the Groove Juice. I have a desire to learn, do, be, create and experience, in a manner I've heard THE BOOK encourage. As I practice this, I learn things, not only about Phish, but about myself, and our humongous world. When I READ THE BOOK, it's not always like being at the library...THE BOOK lives and grows in me the more I read it. The Great and Knowledgeable Icculus highlights it in bright yellow in my subconscious as I sleep, and during daytime, I READ THE BOOK whenever I decide to take a leap off my own mental cliffside, placing myself at shifting angles to what I see around me. I READ THE BOOK by pushing my own buttons, showing up, stretching myself.

For a while, my heart got closed inside THE BOOK as I forced it closed by necessity, squarshed like a rose petal, which over time became flat and dry. I needed to be preserved while THE BOOK taught special lessons in its dark interior. THE BOOK teaches lessons even when it is closed.

However, like an old colorized movie shown upside-down and in reverse, THE BOOK has begun to reopen. I am reading it again with untold abandon. New chapters are being revealed. And a succulent, fragrant red rose petal dodders in the gentle breeze from the window in the wall, on the ivory linen tablecloth from where it fell, in the crease in between the pages of THE BOOK.

Wow. By the way, similarity of the term "sycculus" to the perennial, infinitely creepy, distinctively East Coast phan expulsion, "SICK!!!" is not lost on me. I know that word is there. Worse, I
know even I sometimes say it, and worst, when Phish is seriously tremendous. It's so gross. But what can I say? When in Rome, sometimes the Romans puke on you, and the stink remains. To call Phish music "sick," even at its most dark, wry, amoral, aggressively impish and self-indulgent, has always seemed a sad waste. Their music heals me, in all its guises, even now, having railed against it, been flogged, and coughed up on the beach to soak in the refrain. Their songs have traveled with me to the edge of Sanity, back around, and outside into the Wormhole.

So, it's "sort of" an accident, but yes, the “sycculus,” besides being a delightfully inspired portmanteau sent to me from Icculus to use a syllabus, there's a wispy, begrudging homage to the malignant word so many phans use to describe Phish’s sweet, soul medicine.

Right, then. What shall this sycculus be? Of what is it formed, what is expected, what shall it draw forth from the lode of Phish heaving in my grey matter…?

I'm not going to tell you! READ THE FUCKING BOOK!!!

Or at least, show up here occasionally, and know that, by reading a little of this blog here and there, you’re reading me reading THE BOOK. Reading me reading THE BOOK is like a bit of THE BOOK you can read everyday. And, as you read my writing, which is written while I READ THE BOOK, lo...THE BOOK is written in you!

THE SETLIST: 06/02/2009 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater - Wantagh, NY

Set 1: Runaway Jim, Foam, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Timber (Jerry), Cities, Driver, Reba, Possum, Farmhouse, If I Could

Set 2: Mike's Song > Simple > Wolfman's Brother -> Weekapaug Groove, When the Circus Comes, Kill Devil Falls, Harry Hood, Loving Cup

E: Suzy Greenberg

Phish's Jones Beach 2009 reunion shows hold special significance for me -- yes, even "specialer" than many other Phish shows I’ve seen. It was within that amphitheater, misty, cupped concrete hand of beachside Fate, that I witnessed my phirst Phish show. The much insanely blabbered-about 7/23/93 has been mused upon a lot by me, but not remembered so much, in fact; I was bombed out of my ever-loving 19 year-old gourd! So bombed was I, in fact (on a characteristic salad of "recreational chemicals"), that I couldn't remember how to get home after the show. My phriends, Nile and Phil, drove me around for over an hour trying to get me to my parents' home, which was about 20 minutes away.

Either way, I knew what I’d heard was the same music I heard that first night trickling from a portable boom-box in a dorm room in February 1993, sounding like a robotic koala playing an electrified calliope. This time, though, I felt it in my dancing flesh, elements, those affecting, ephemeral Jones Beach echoes, and other human witnesses abuzz and ablaze all about me. I knew then that there was someplace I wanted to be a lot, that a lot was something I wanted to hear and see, with cars, people, smells, community, and finally, waiting before the stage, then hurtled into high gear. I wanted to feel like a twisted and tingling, numb, nubile, groove-stricken, wonderstruck newbie…

...or as much as humanly possible. Or inhumanly possible. And I succeeded for some years, in my own flimsy right. Now’s my second chance.

I’ll remind you that I didn’t even plan on going to the 6/2/09 show. When the tour opener was 6/4/09, I bought tix for that, then they popped on Phenway and 6/2 much to my dismay. By that night, likelihood of getting rid of my outrageously expensive tickets at a price near what I’d (overzealously but unwisely) purchased them was slim to none. So, I decided one ticket would be sacrificed in trade for last-minute attendance to the show on which I held a grudge.

6/2/09 upholds a tradition of starting off a multi-night run kinda low, tosses a hail-mary to night two, which runs to the line with night three riding high, as opposed to those that start high and end low (such as this year's Red Rocks run, IMHO), or thems that start high, plateau out, and end sort of "meeggh"...or any permutation of those. I’ve yet to survey a run that’s an all-points standout – Hampton 2009 is now doubtlessly a historical example, despite its rusty bits – but I'll get to that at some other time. I anticipate in the (probably distant) future undertaking a "qualitative arc analysis" of the following:

4/13, 14 and 15, 1994 – Beacon Theater, New York, NY, or the weird, 1995 Late Summer "Hydra-Tour" (the “mini tour with many heads”): 6/28 & 29 – Jones Beach, 6/30 & 7/1 – Great Woods, and 7/02 & 3 – Sugarbush. Yes, that’s six shows in a row. Definitely a major nexus of energy-kindling.

However, in repeated careful listening, what I thought was an okay show, with a questionable, laconic disaster of a first set, is actually a mellow, well-tuned stretch back into the idea of tour, with two debuts and a couple of seriously choice bustouts. My overactive, often hyper/hypocritical inner phan mentality missed the deeper psychological significance that perhaps Phish was accustoming themselves to being a live band again, awakening to the fact that (holy shit) they’re
doing it, and they might as well take their sweet-ass time doing it.

By Set II, which I originally thought, and still think, was a smokin’ keeper, stride is caught. The show is punctuated by audience bawling forth lyrics to the songs, a joyous chorus of open arms.

Back to the 6/2/09 opener...a “Runaway Jim” opener is a guaranteed cooker, setting up as it does a (albeit jangly) mechanical convector, which looks a little like this:

With passage of deceptively limping 4/4 time, Mike feeds a steady ascending/descending low-end stream like a thick elastic rope, upon which Trey is hooked, with lateral swings and bouncing dangles. Fish acts as streambed, steady on with solid hi-hat, cymbals and Civil War-style snare. Page circulates repetitive patterns in keys close to, and almost predictive of, the guitars, throwing off an occasional spare flourish. This "Jim" casually sizzles, a deliberate roadside tramp that stops for a drink in the stream, then starts truckin' uphill with that walking stick, ending in a conservatively volatile reintroduction to the sunny mountaintop.

“Foam” was my introduction to the lot. I took the LIRR on a shoestring, then jumped into a shared taxi to tear up the Meadowbrook with a drunk lady and her boyfriend, two kids from L.I., the nonplussed Indian cab driver, and me. Then, I leapt in a VIP shuttle van (since Drunk Guy knew the promoter, lucky that), and shot through the lot along with Tim from Boulder, who had me beat with his phirst Phish by about two months, May 1993, somewhere in California. It would be my first lot trade, tight-ass custy that I am. Shit! I'm finally a
real Phishhead! I just didn't have the courage to trust the Lot Economy, but now I just don’t care – I’m not that smart, it's all bigger than me, and it’ll work out. I’ve wondered a lot lately how much courage it must take just to be Phish! Intimidating, inspiring, humbling...

As heard from a bucket of Latin jazz Lego blocks, the sliding-square puzzle of that night’s "Foam" issued from the amphitheater, as I came upon its castle-like form, rising from the tan beachside. Memories roared forth. Whatever corporate hand-changing goes on behind the scenes (Hilfiger, Nikon, whatever), from Lollapalooza to Vans Warped Tour, Steely Dan to Duran Duran, Jones Beach Amphitheater is forever fused onto my music-mad, Long Island Girl heart. But Phish…I heard Page’s piano and Fish’s mellow cymbals echoing off the walls of the tall bowl of the amphitheater, ripples of light seen above from underwater. Mike’s deep undertones bore Trey’s quizzical lilting with curt but casual choppiness. It was indistinct, but my ecstatically spinning brain labored to reassemble the swirl and come up with a guess at the song.

Tim from Boulder and I charged the gates and split, he off to Will Call, and I peeling off into the lot, hollering to him, “Yeah, I think we got a ‘Foam’ goin’ here! Have a good show! Wooo!”

Remember you this: I hadn’t planned on attending the show, being poor, ticketless and seething with resentment that it was added in the first place. The ticket situation was dodgy at best, and, at worst, alarming. No one sought extras; a sketchy scene of brown, surly heads yelled and shuffled through beer vessel detritus, boiling by the concrete bunker-like bathrooms. I knew my best shot would be to simply give my expensive ticket away to whoever was left that had one for that night to trade. Spotting the nearest obligatory mustachioed, narcky-looking scalper, wearing Nike trainers, Levis and a Dead t-shirt, I offered him my 6/4 extra, and he peeled a ticket for that night off huge stack of that night’s tickets he held in his hand like a deck of fours of hearts. He thanked me, haplessly.

If you’re looking to launch a vibe, following up a “Jim” opener with “Foam” is a good choice. Finally free from the bondage of logistics, I bolted with glee towards the nearest elevator to the nosebleed area, and was reminded of a nostalgic totem, the 8/28/93 “Foam.” It was the end of Phish’s pioneering 1993 Summer Tour, that which also contained my first show at Jones Beach. At the storied Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA, “Foam” 8/28/93 – “The Falling Well Foam” as I like to call it – was damn zippy; a cheerfully circumspect, sophisticated Page solo, tilts Trey into a brief series of high, telegraphic pecking notes, Fish shaking the saucepan beneath, until the guitar begins to fade, then…nothing, but the cheering crowd for about thirty seconds. Peeking up from the silence, Trey chirps out a few high notes, as if soloing in his head. The crowd cheers, then Trey goes under again. Kinda getting it, some of the audience goes “Ehhhh!” as one by one, led by Trey, the band begins to rise up out of the well, and within a couple minutes, Trey takes a brief, tiny, chatty solo into a crescendo of searing, faux-anxious playfulness, shredding into a frenzied centrifugal churn, spinning to the edge of sanity, squashed, and slid down the spiral staircase into the “Foam” outro.

Trey, grinning, thanks the audience, impressed at the ingenuity and sync between himself and his friends, and the audience, which was steadily growing, accommodated by increasingly larger venues first tackled on that ’93 Summer Tour. 8/23/93 “Foam” is a great early indicator of Phish’s ability to pull the stage into the crowd, even at a growing distance. They still work to maintain that intimacy.

In comparison, the 6/2/09 “Foam” is imperfectly perfect, much more leisurely – not sure if it’s not from lack of fleetness of fingers, but maybe as one matures, there’s less of a need to rush…? Fish gets in some stirring cowbell in the intro, Page’s solo is lush and welcoming, almost inviting his pals into the fray. Trey’s solo is luscious, haunting, upward-arcing, buoyed up again by a tumult of Fish snare rolls, tom juggling and Mike’s deep, talky murmur.

Post-“Foam” as the crowd yowls, and into the wordless howl, Page sweeps the piano keys in a merry ascending trill, and, staring into the fray, Trey simply says..."Hey!" and giggles. The audience responds, thousands of old friends glad to see him, too. He introduces, and wastes no time wailing into, the debut of the bluesy lament, “Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan.”

“Timber (Jerry)” returns us to the concept of the "bustout," a seeming inevitability from a band that has 250+ tunes. It was the dramatic backdrop to my ascent, thundering along through the concrete as I got into an elevator with a cute, shaggy-bearded blonde dude holding a green plastic inflatable alien. He held it, but didn't seem to know why he had it. Typical as it would seem for a Phish show, it spoke to my internal Phish “life narrative,” that Phish are indeed a bunch of intergalactic émigrés, just popping by earth to have an adventuresome experience inside the skins of four male humanoids. Those aliens can’t help themselves; they’re so advanced. And, of course, they end up being musicians, music being the most powerful force in the universe.

Either way, “Timber” was a muscular bustout, its seventh appearance in a decade, telling the tale of the ornery, disobedient, butt-kickin’, hard-workin’ ass named Jerry, putting the first set further on a roll.

And with one of the band’s ancient Talking Heads covers, way predating the
Remain in Light era, “Cities” laid down another hallmark of 6/2/09, following "Timber" for a Double Bustout! “Cities” welcomed me through a high cement corridor into the humid night air, the warm blush of Kuroda’s whirling strobes, and the music, a throb in my chest pounding just so, orienting me to where I was, again, thank goodness…I sang, danced, spun, high-fived other dancing stranger. Also, within minutes upon walking up to my humble perch several rows back from the precipice of the theater, I ran smack into an ultra-chill, quietly reclining Evan Leon, old-school Phish buddy, erstwhile taper, and Disco Biscuits historian turned Super-Dad. Can't throw a rock without hitting a portrait of my past at these shows. Good to see him, and, later, Bill "Ill Grill" Stites, another old-school pal (and fellow once-upon-a-time "pinch hitter") who was elsewhere in the venue, wryly soaking up the vibe, as is his wont.

This might be a good time to drop in a "just because" link to very recently-uploaded David Byrne interview with Phish, recorded in 1998 for the public television music series,
Sessions at West 54th (many thanks to Tyler Penn for his efforts here). I find it ironic that I, post-punk-new-waver that I am, began drifting away from Phish just shortly after the Halloween Remain in Light era. I even founded a Talking Heads-esque band with a boyfriend at the time, who fancied himself an ersatz David Byrne, and adored Talking Heads. I have hatched an emotional theorem about this 1997-1998 phenomenon, which is deeply connected to both my fear of intimacy, and my rather practical understanding at the time that, hell or high water, I was latched to Phish in a karmic bond. Things were clicking so hardcore that I was subconsciously afraid Phish would become everything, and I simply couldn’t deal with longing after a group of grown-ass married men. Of course, in my utter genius, I soon began to trail a whole bunch of unmarried, emotionally unavailable dudes, but that’s a story for the counseling couch.

“Cities” contained moments of slow-motion tango the band likes to call "hooking up,” and which punctuated the first set, but set against a laid-back, deceptive somnambulism. Listening now, the band keyed down into a subconscious place, and searched around with their hands, finding the sinews of their connection. This searching, along with the uncharacteristic boon of a one-day rest gap in a three-night run (presumably taken for Mike’s 44th birthday on 6/3/09), I think contributed to the proud beauty of 6/4/09 and delightfully reassuring old-school liveliness of 6/5/09.

Cooling down the funky Page wah-fest with “Driver,” perennial dorm-room favorite, “Reba,” caused an eruption in the audience, and yielded the second best jam of the show (see "Harry Hood" below).

There’s a unique, wistful feeling in me for "Reba." It warmed me as I walked along the frozen white wasteland of Oswego NY, thinking about life in faraway Vermont, which proved not that far, as I’d eventually see four times: first with Phish at Sugarbush, the on tour with David Gans and The Merry Danksters in 1997, in November '99 at Red Square with the New Deal, and earlier this year for my first big ski adventure at Stowe.

“Reba” is a perfect candy-like re-immersion in early 1.0 Phish. Who in the world likes this kind of music? That rhetorical question reminds me of asking a random dude during Gorge II's splintering, eclectic 8/8/09 "Rock & Roll" jam, "So,
how is this rock 'n' roll, exactly?" “Reba” was my Red Badge of Courage in college. As a phan of Phish, anyone who'd confront or inquire would be exposed to “Reba” like a psionic ray, mostly for my own egotistical benefit, in listening to, and watching my victims them helplessly witness that which begins like a mellow country hoe-down then crashed by Chick Correa, Thelonius Monk, Isadora Duncan, a bunch of German mimes, leprechauns, billy goats that won't stop trying to eat everything, and that ballerina from the Degas painting. At the point of crash, it becomes a mutated hoedown. They all work it out amongst themselves, in an astounding apex that brings the harmonious miracle to a triumphant...stop. The whole troupe marches out of the barn whistling, leaving a comic disaster of upraised dust and blinking hoedown attendees.

Brainiacs, geeks, social introverts, scientists, UFO aficionados, the chronically arrogant, hallucinogenic mushroom eaters, sportsmen, soft-spoken musicians, small women in bright natural fabrics, tall women in cutoff jeans, very short guys whose growth was stunted from smoking pot, very tall, plain-looking high-school valedictorians, bespectacled oddballs, more-bored-and-smarter-than-thou skate kids (who are actually pretty dumb), space cadets, those hoping to look smart by association, post-punk-prog-rockers, and the criminally insane, may listen to "Reba," and hear sacred harmony being struck within their minds. Even borne of false desires, by exposure, one is transformed against one's will into someone who has heard “Reba” – course of their lives altered, scarred (maybe scared), but, often, transmuted in places one didn't know one had.

At this point, the band could’ve closed out a mangler of a first set, following up “Reba” by quietly crawling into an accelerating hayride of a “Possum.” Like I said, “they could’ve” closed out the set, but turned the tourniquet by rolling out two guaranteed energy-muting numbers, “Farmhouse” and “If I Could,” to cap the set. I debated a bit about this in
“Intermezzo,” posted here after Trey’s Carnegie night, how mellower Marshall/Anastasio tunes might find excellent staging in the symphonic context, especially “If I Could,” which left not a dry eye in Carnegie Hall.

(As an aside, weirdly, the song “Waste,” which appeared the next night on 6/4/09, does not, in my opinion, have this set-dampening effect. Maybe it’s the swelling, pleading bridge, or (more likely) the helipad outro built for escalating band fusion, via Trey's spinning solo, and a classic, less cloying, arena-ballad propulsion.)

But typically, unless meticulously engineered into sets as sonic scenery, sweat-coolers or strategic mood-setters, some of Phish’s slower tunes can stick a big finger into a carefully-spun web of a setlist. These two songs, sweet and couple-hugging as they may be, long had me fooled into thinking 6/2 was a low-energy "practice show," prep for the next two expected smokin' night. I’ll give them the benefit of adding the songs for tenderness and posterity (who really knows why they choose certain songs?), but they might have served better elsewhere over the three-night run, from a macro perspective.

Either way, onwards, I always stood by Set II of 6/2 as takeaway of the show, which shut down the first set entirely from the jump with a manic, ambitious barn-burner of a segue, “Mike’s Song > Simple > Wolfman’s Brother > Weekapaug Groove.” This "Über Mike's Groove" had to have been Mike’s birthday present to himself, which ended up being a sure gift to us. The closest stab at anything like it was the 8/16/97 Set II opener from The Great Went, “Wolfman’s > Simple > My Soul.” For completeness, historical relevance, and this multi-song event, 6/2/09 is one to have on hand. The commitment to the exercise sounded deeply appreciated by all present.

After that, the rest of 6/2 is gravy. “When the Circus Comes to Town” reminds us what we’re in for over the next month, and “Kill Devil Falls” makes its debut…you can read more on my thoughts about “KDF” here, probably some other day when you’ve got a couple spare hours.

The show closes out on a cosmic plane, a 17-minute "Harry Hood” of sublime space-discovery, with Trey, Mike and Page blurring in and out of focus, rising and falling in a dance of delicately measured equanimity. Unlike some of the more persistent, driving “Hood”s of the past, this takes the basic D/A/G platform, pulls it like a sweater thread, lets it unravel (especially lifted into the air by a mind-bending, late-song galactic synth uprising by Page), into a mound that turns to stardust and just blows off into the ocean.

While the skin on the arms still tingles from the post-“Hood” orbital re-entry they throw a sandy beach blanket over the whole mess with a raging “Loving Cup” closer. The encore? Another sonic deceiver, our ages-old, never-ending refrain, "Suzy Greenberg." In another post, with another "Suzy," I will put forth the discussion of "Suzy" as the ultimate Page vehicle, never to be shunned again, lest one surely be molten. I encourage you, instead, to check out as many "Suzy"s as you can, to get solidified by The Chairman's mighty thunder. So subdued, he's easy to miss, open your ears and know that HE is the neurologist of which they speak, and you are his subject.
Awaken your lethargic synapses!

I swear, after this 6/2 Jones Beach show, I will definitely tone down my weighty “historical significance” angle and just talk about the shows, and any other incipient cross-referential nonsense I may come up with. These First-of-Tour show encapsulations are so girthy because I believe they deserve my true, feeling analysis, especially since I was there, and they mark the first few shows of what turns out to be a reunion tour saga worthy of examination.

Comments are absolutely appreciated…gimme some feedback here, people.
You know what? I didn't start this for "you," and I'm not doing it for "you," either! How could I forget? I'm just camping out here in my little corner of the "blo(w)go(at)sphere" -- the less I care, the better. "Been you to have any *spite* mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaannnn?" (Trey, 6/5/09 "Antelope")


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