Tag: Phish (page 2 of 3)

Phish 08/06/11: Gorge Amphitheatre – George, WA

Phish 08/06/11
Gorge Amphitheatre, George, WA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

Note: As with part one, this was written on the trek from Spokane to Los Angeles. Pardon any and all typos. 

For night two we decided to start the first set up on the lawn so I could see the sun set/get a different appreciation for the venue. Phish came out just as the sun snuck behind the ridge and played the worst set of the weekend much to my delight. It’s not that the music was bad, they just happened to play the songs that myself and many others are sick of. “Possum”, “Moma Dance”, “Sample In A Jar” the boys were playing it safe. Hell I even got my bathroom break songs “Limb By Limb” and “Ocelot” back to back. The reason this was perfect (besides the chance to pee) was that I could worry more about soaking in the surroundings of the Gorge instead of focusing just on the music. A safe set of songs I have seen a million times was the perfect musical backdrop for enjoying a sunset with friends. We eventually made our way down to the floor during “Ocelot” and found a sweet spot Page Side Rage Side (a theme for this tour) just in time for a standard run through “Poor Heart.”

In my opinion the band found their groove during the last few songs of the first set. “Wolfman’s Brother” is always great, especially when the band teases “Heartbreaker” by the mighty Led Zeppelin. “Wilson” had the unapologetic energy of Led Zeppelin rocking the crowd hard late in the set. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Fluffhead” is the new “Guyute” as I witnessed my third 3.0 version of the classic Phish number. No complaints here as I love the song and it served as a perfect close to the first set.

We headed down to the main pit at setbreak and watched the set from about 20 feet away. I was a bit shocked with a set II “Chalkdust Torture” opener as I assumed it would be saved for the Hollywood Bowl. Well that and the fact I told my pals I would buy them each a Pizza-dilla if the band didn’t open with that “I Don’t Like Reggae” song that I got stuck in everyones head over the course of the weekend. Much like night one Set II started with the second song of the set this time with a raging “Tweezer” which sent glowsticks flying and folks high fiving. The jam out of “Tweezer” built nicely before winding down and finding its way into the soft intro that is “Prince Caspian.”

Coming out of “Caspian” was the nights best jam “Sand.” Not a huge fan of this song, but the jam is always good and this one was beefy. I really loved the fact that they ended the section of songs by going back into the tail end of “Tweezer.” Judging by the thunderous ovation from the crowd I am not the only one.

An unexpected highlight in the second set was the bands cover of the TV on the Radio song “Golden Age.” I’ll be honest I don’t know much about TV on the Radio but hearing just how amazing they sound when performed by Phish let’s just say I’m a bit more excited to catch them headline the Hollywood Bowl next month.

The way the final set of the weekend ended is why I go see Phish time and time again. Once again I wore the right shirt as the band busted into “Reba.” The bands playing on the composed sections was superb, but as anyone inside of the Gorge would tell you the highlight was the return of the whistling section at the end of the song. The song eventually gave way to one of my all time favorites “Run Like An Antelope.” Within the first few minutes of the song, Anastasio managed to tease the whistling of “Reba” as well as parts of “Tweezer”, “Sand” and “Golden Age.” After a main build up jam that truly felt more intense than most Antelopes we made it to the lyrics where a playful Anastasio changed Marco Escondolis to Mike-O Escondolis before allowing Mike Gordon a few seconds to lay down a little low end groove. This is easily the most intense Antelope I’ve seen and a perfect end to the second set.

The encore kicked off with “Suzy Greenberg” which made me happy not so much for the song but because thenaturalstoner (who was robbed of the Festival 8 version) finally got his Suzy. However what happened next shocked us all. I thought for sure we would head straight into “Tweezer Reprise” but instead we were treated to the rare gem “Sanity.” Perhaps the band read my open letter because the left coast usually doesn’t get something so epic. When it comes to song selection, this was no doubt was the highlight of the weekend.

As Gordon dropped massive bass bombs during the closer “Tweezer Repise” I took it all in for a final time. The venue, the friends, the fact thenaturalstoner found the Jeff Winston beach ball at the end of the set. It was a lifelong dream to see Phish at the Gorge and that dream finally came true.

As I fly above Sin City in my return to Los Angeles it’s hard to believe my trip to Washington is over. I met some amazing folks including our own Grateful Coug. I got to reconnect with old friends like LeRoy Winston, Phishbeard and RV. I made many new friends too numerous to list. Thanks to Skate for letting me crash on Thursday night and a very special thanks to our own thenaturalstoner who has gone above and beyond the call of duty as tour guide to both myself and Jay Porks the last two weekends. You are an incredible man. Oh and if you’re name is Pete and you call the state of Illinois home, we get it, you fucking hate Dub Step.

Next Stop – Hollywood Bowl.

Phish 08/05/11: Gorge Amphitheatre – George, WA

Phish 08/05/11

Gorge Amphitheatre – George, WA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

Where I usually write reviews from my computer, we will make an exception and type this from gate B5 at the Spokane Int’l Airport (That’s my way to say excuse typos/grammar cause I typed this on an iphone). You see, this is not a typical Reverend Justito confession. This is a dream come true because I can now say I have seen Phish throw down at the Gorge.

99% of the time you hit the show, park, get inside the venue, rock out, buy the shirt and then head home. For this experience I got to Washington late Wednesday. Before the Subaru was packed for George, WA I had two days with the likes of thenaturalstoner, Phishbeard and ebrother on their home turf. I saw the campus of WSU, ate at Fazzari’s, took my first two visits to the state of Idaho and was chased by an eel in the Snake River. Ok so there was no eel, thenaturalstoner just wanted to get a good chuckle by scaring the shit out of the city boy and it worked.

We headed out from Clarkston, WA for the Gorge at 10am sharp Friday AM. For just about everyone heading west from Washington/Idaho border, this was their first time seeing Phish since Festival 8. During the three hour ride, fantasy setlists were dreamed up, past shows discussed and inside jokes that would carry through the weekend were born. For me, I enjoyed checking out the rolling hills and breathtaking canyons of Eastern Washington while laughing about Phishbeard and his hate of the song “Julius.”

We managed to set up Camp Jeff Winston in about 45 minutes giving us ample time to crack open a few beers and avoid the oppressive desert heat (shade tents are a good thing). We made new friends (word up Travis from Santa Barbara), took the lame jokes of neighbors too far (I’m sorry but if you offer used anal beads for $2 you better deliver) and anticipated face melting action from the boys.

Making the 45 minute walk from the campground to the venue on the first night, my heart was racing. I have wanted to see a show at the Gorge since I first heard about it during my first Phish show (07/31/97). As we finally made our way in, within seconds I agreed with every single person who shared with me the fact that photos do not do the venue justice. We hit the pit Page Side Rage Side and as the sun set beyond the Columbia River the band opened night one with “Kill Devil Falls.”

I was impressed at how deep the first set of the weekend was. “The Wedge” in the number two hole was a welcome treat and a final warm-up for the first extended jam of the night “Bathtub Gin.” When it comes to Gin and I they tend to be hit and miss, but this take was money. With this being my 21st show, it’s always nice to get to hear songs you have not heard the band play before. I got my first two of the weekend with “Nellie Kane>My Friend My Friend.” Nellie was fun but the treat was the “My Friend My Friend.” Decked out in my Iron Maiden inspired My Friend shirt, I was ready to start a pit as Phish mastermind Trey Anastasio conjured a devilish tone moments before the songs climax.

The first set continued to rage with “Cavern>Taste>Roggae>Walk Away.” I tend to feel “Roggae” is a boring song, but on this particular night it featured a slow smooth jam that I can’t recall ever hearing in the song. This unexpected jam made “Roggae” highly enjoyable. “Walk Away” was deeply discussed on the way to the Gorge so we all had our fists flying through the air as the foursome kicked out the rocking jam.

I assumed set break would follow “Walk Away” but we ended up with three more songs. “Funky Bitch>Roses Are Free>David Bowie.” I had to travel over 1000 miles, but as a rabid Ween fan it was about time I got to see Phish cover the pride of New Hope, PA. Set I ended with a raging “David Bowie” as the last sliver of light hung along the edge of the cliffs beyond the stage.

On paper, you will read that Set II kicked off with “Backwards Down The Number Line.” While it’s true that the band played it, anyone not celebrating a birthday on this weekend will inform you that a cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll” kicked off set II. Not sure how long the jam stretched, but I can tell you that it may very well be the most insane bad ass jam that I have ever witnessed the boys play. From Page McConnell rocking a theremin to “Moma Dance” teases, this is Phish at their best.

Most of Camp Jeff Winston claims “Meatstick” had “Fire on the Mountain” teases but I don’t buy that. I do know the band once again sang the final section in Japanese and jammed effortlessly into “Boogie on Reggae Woman.” Then it all fell apart.

With the energy level high Anastasio dropped the band into “Farmhouse.” I enjoy the song, but you could feel the energy shoot out the venue and right up the Gorge. “Show Of Life” followed and where a dance party once raged, folks took a seat always keeping an eye out for those dead hookers.

While Phishbeard would disagree, “Julius” picked the energy up a bit. “Character Zero” is a balls out rock and roll song meant to fill big venues, however on this night it never took off. Perhaps if the band had a mid-level song between “Boogie” and “Farmhouse” (“Theme From The Bottom” or “Slave To The Traffic Light”) it would have worked. “Loving Cup” was the lone encore of the first night at the Gorge. After the amazing Festival 8 version, I feel as if I’m chasing the dragon on Cup and I’ll never see one as good as that again.

On the long walk back to camp, most fans seemed to agree that “Farmhouse” killed the momentum, but in no way would it ruin the weekend. There were pizza-dillas looking to be eaten just off shakedown, and we had a lot of partying left to do.

Click here for a recap of Day Two with Phish at the Gorge.

Phish Friday 10 June 2011 @ Camden, NJ

Phish usually stops by Camden to lay down some killer jams and funky grooves.  Last Friday night was, at times, no exception.  The band delivered a stellar first set and finished with a somewhat lackluster second.

The first set opened with Rocky Top, but not before Trey plucked out the Rocky theme song while the others assembled themselves.  Rocky Top is a countrified lamentation of the simple life in a small town in Tennessee, originally from the banjo-slinging, beard-wearing Osborne Brothers.  Surprisingly, this is one of the tunes that has stuck with me since the show – I just can’t get it out of my head.

After Trey’s last wail on Rocky Top, the band switched gears and launched into Mike’s Song.  This was the song when things got serious.  Everything clicked.  Trey’s solos were nicely structured and Page wailed on the organ like it was nobody’s business.  I was surprised at how the Mike’s>Hydrogen>Weekapaug sequence showed up so early in the night, but I was not complaining.  I just hoped it was a harbinger of more good things to come.

When Weekapaug Groove began, it became very clear very fast that we were in Mike’s House, which is part of an ongoing joke from the Makisupa Policeman that happened in Bethel, NY earlier on the tour.  The magic music continued for almost ten minutes – there was no stopping these guys.  Mike’s metallic basslines artfully peeked through exciting guitar solos.  When the words came back, everyone busted a groove and sang along.  It was like we had stepped into the end of an excellent second set.

Stash gracefully let down some of the energy that resonated from Weekapaug.  A dynamic and semi-exploratory jam followed that led us through points of contemplation, exhilaration, and everything in between.  It was definitely a high point of the set.

A short and sweet Tube picked things up and reminded us that we were still invited to Page’s House… and it seemed there was a very funky party going on.

Scent of a Mule continued with the rockabilly theme that began with Rocky Top.  Mike flubbed the lyrics in first verse, but overall it was a good ole’ foot stomper that ended with a jazzy interlude-turned traditional Jewish tune led by Page.  It slowed the tempo down, but not the energy.  Mike (who, as well as Fishman, is Jewish) picked things back up into Mule with a long-winded wail.

Trey butchered the guitar intro of Sloth after a quick Cavern, but once he made it to the verse, things improved.  I had never seen Sloth live before, so it was quite a treat.  Know what was even better?  The Curtain With (which, unbeknownst to me, is actually two songs carefully segued together, sort of like Horse>Silent).

Check out this cool HQ video that Phish released after the show.

The first set of Friday night was shaping up to be the best I had seen or heard (via LivePhish.com) the entire tour.  A cool setlist, high energy, and some hella good jams (I’m lookin’ at you, Stash).  I suspected that if the band was delivering at such a high point in the show already, then the second set would be even better.  That’s the way it usually works, right?

Not so.  The second set, while it had some good moments, turned out to be an utter disappointment.  The energy level took a nosedive right halfway through, right around Golgi Apparatus.  Blame weird placement, blame overkill, hell, blame my personal taste, but from there on in the vibe was killed.  It sounded like they couldn’t decide when to end the set, so they just kept tacking on noncommittal song after song.

I tried to ignore the feeling of déjà vu that I faced when the band opened the set with Down With Disease and then went into Free.  Both were exciting, but the leftover energy from an awesome first set may have had a hand in that.  It seemed like it was too soon to do another DWD opener – it was Bethel all over again.

I hoped that Possum would save this setlist faux pas by injecting some novelty and continue the fun of the first set.  Combined with Big Black Furry Creature From Mars (which I had never seen in its entirety at a show), I had hope.  Halfway through the song, Mike sat down with his bass onstage and finished the song from there.  (Do I hear another Rocky theme tease at 1:15?)  Trey adjusted his microphone way above his head and sang the rest of the song looking up.

Swept Away slowed things down and allowed the band to tone down the goof.  A meaty David Bowie (and another Bethel repeat) was a welcome addition to the set list.

When Golgi hit, it was time for a bathroom break.  When Fluffhead began, I stood at the side of the lawn and chatted with friends.  When Joy closed the set, I was bewildered.  Joy?  I thought shows were supposed to build energy to the end of each set and leave the audience blown away and wanting more.  I usually complain when Joy is thrown into the second set because it’s a buzz kill.  Ending the set on Joy was really, really lame.  Perhaps they did it for shock value, perhaps for novelty.  Either way, it shouldn’t have closed the second set.

When they started the Hendrix song Bold as Love as the encore, there was no saving the vibe for me.  The show wasn’t over, but I was over it.  I guess the reason I was so disappointed with the song selection in the second set is because the first set blew me away.  Sometimes I guess it’s too much to ask for everything.

Win Free Music By Checking Out Our Plans for Summer 2011

Win Free Music By Checking Out Our Plans for Summer 2011


It’s going to be an action packed summer for us all at Concert Confessions and to get everyone fired up for some great coverage from Coast to Coast we are giving away a $50 iTunes gift card. Before we tell you how to win the gift card, allow us to share with you some of the shows you will see covered here at Concert Confessions

Kicking things off is our man Jay Porks. While he is still debating a return to Jersey for a lil Flaming Lips action, he will get his summer started this Friday as he takes in Rise Against & Bad Religion at Terminal 5 in NYC.


Moving to the middle of the nation, Brad has an action packed summer. While he may hail from the Show Me State, Brad is crossing state lines to take in the Wakarusa Festival as well as making his first trip to Red Rocks for Railroad Earth and Yonder Mountain String Band. Don’t worry Missouri; Brad will be covering his home state as well, taking in gigs from Primus and Fleet Foxes.

Speaking of crossing state lines, when our founder Reverend Justito is not enjoying Southern California tour stops from Dolly Parton and Rammstein, he will be making his maiden trip to George, Washington (aka The Gorge) where he will take in two nights of Phish with fellow Concert Confessions members Phish Beard and thenaturalstoner. A week later, he will return to his hometown of San Francisco to cover all three days of the 2011 Outside Lands Festival.


Hailing from the northwest corner of America, thenaturalstoner he has already spent and arm and a leg in ticketmaster service charges. In addition to Phish, he will be enjoying the 2011 Sasquatch Festival at the Gorge. When not in central Washington, look for two nights of Eddie Vedder action in Seattle and a trip down south to Oregon for the mighty Ween.


So now that you have a sample of what we are up to this summer, we want to know what you have planned. Anyone who leaves a comment with their 2011 summer show plans (even if the comment is that you have no concerts planned) by 9 pm PST on 05/05/11 will be entered into a contest for the free $50 iTunes gift card. Reverend Justito himself will pull one lucky winner out of his sweat stained San Francisco Giants cap and we will post the winner right here on Friday. The contest is open to any and all US residents who have not submitted reviews to Concert Confession in the last 24 months. Good luck and thanks for supporting Concert Confessions

Phish Finally Returns To The West Coast (and Chicago)

Phish Finally Returns To The West Coast (and Chicago)

Yes, we are a tad late in posting, but with most of us out West we had to get our plans together. It’s finally going down – Phish is returning to the West Coast.

Many of your favorite members of Concert Confessions plan to hit The Gorge, Hollywood Bowl and Outside Lands, so look for plenty of coverage right here. We ask that you don’t click here and request mail order tickets for the tour, because we have waited way too long for some West Coast love. We kid of course….kinda.

Complete Phish 2011 Tourdates A/O 04/11/11

5/27 – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
5/28 – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY – SOLD OUT
5/29 – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
5/31 – PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
6/01 – PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
6/03 – DTE Energy Music Theater, Clarkston, MI
6/04 – Blossom Music Center, Cleveland, OH
6/05 – Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH
6/07 – Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA
6/08 – Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Darien Center, NY
6/10 – Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
6/11 – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
6/12 – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
6/14 – Verizon Wireless @ Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA – SOLD OUT
6/15 – Verizon Wireless @ Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA – SOLD OUT
6/17 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC
6/18 – Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion, Raleigh, NC
6/19 – Ntelos Pavilion at Harbor Center, Portsmouth, VA – SOLD OUT
7/01 – Super Ball IX, Watkins Glen, NY
7/02 – Super Ball IX, Watkins Glen, NY
7/03 – Super Ball IX, Watkins Glen, NY
8/05 – The Gorge Amphithetare, George, WA
8/06 – The Gorge Amphithetare, George, WA
8/08 – Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA
8/09 – Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s, Lake Tahoe, NV
8/10 – Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s, Lake Tahoe, NV
8/12 – Outside Lands Festival, San Francisco, CA
8/15 – UIC Pavilion, Chicago, IL
8/16 – UIC Pavilion, Chicago, IL
8/17 – UIC Pavilion, Chicago, IL

Arcade Fire, Muse & Phish Top 2011 Outside Lands Lineup

Arcade Fire, Muse & Phish Top 2011 Outside Lands Lineup

Returning for its fourth year, Outside Lands is set to rock San Francisco for three glorious days in August. Headlined by Concert Confessions favorites Muse, Arcade Fire and Phish, the initial lineup also includes such beloved artists as The Black Keys, MGMT and STS9.

Check out the full lineup below, as well as a sweet YouTube trailer put together by the festival. For all other information, including ticket details – check out the festivals official page here.



Phish Set To Rock Watkins Glen July 4th Weekend

It’s official pholks – more East Coast love from Phish

Phish “Super Ball IX” A Three-Day Festival from Phish on Vimeo.

The best part of the video of course is 2010 NL Rookie of the Year/2010 World Champion Buster Posey from the San Francisco Giants brief cameo.

Official Press Release:

Sensational. Mind-blowing. Fantabulous. 

These are all words with the same amount of letters as SUPER BALL IX. 

It’s Phish’s biggest. Ball. Ever. So big we can’t. Contain it. In one sentence. Super Ball IX, Phish’s ninth festival, will take place July 1-3 at Watkins Glen International. Located amidst the rolling hills of central New York’s Finger Lakes region, the site offers an abundance of campsites and is just a short drive from numerous Northeastern cities. Super Ball IX will mark Phish’s first-ever festival performance over July 4 weekend, and the first major music festival held at Watkins Glen since 1973’s legendary Summer Jam. It is also Phish’s first-ever performance at a facility with “Watkins” in its name.

Tickets for Super Ball IX go on sale this Monday, April 4th, at Noon ET at http://superballIX.portals.musictoday.com. Onsite camping is included in the price of admission. Like previous Phish festivals, the event will include numerous activities, attractions and art installations in addition to a series of performances by the band. Camping and travel packages will. Be. Available. (Sorry, hard habit to break.)

Super Ball IX continues a tradition that began with The Clifford Ball in August of 1996. Rolling Stone observed, “It was definitely groundbreaking…there was a real story; that in an age of corporate sponsorship, this completely home-grown thing happened that was different from any other concert.” 

Anyone purchasing Super Ball IX tickets will receive a free MP3 download of each set the band plays during the weekend from livephish.com, where they’ll be available shortly after Phish finishes lip-syncing steps off stage.

SuperBallIX.com and Phish.com will be your main source for all things Ball. We’ve posted the first wave of information about the festival and will continue to update with Travel info, FAQs, Guidelines, Event Info, the hottest celebrity news, and much much more, so keep checking back.

Note: Super Ball IX is pronounced “Super Ball Nine,” not “Super Ball Icks.” You’re welcome.

Mike Gordon 03/05/11: McDonald Theater – Eugene, OR

Mike Gordon 3/5/11

The McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR

Words by thenaturalstoner

Since this would be my third Mike Gordon show in a few months, you would think I would know what to expect heading into the venue. Problem is the last two Mike shows I saw were like Jekyll and Hyde. I had a blast at the Portland (Aladdin Theatre) show in November, while my expectations for the next night in Seattle fell a bit flat (the Crocodile Cafe sucked that night). So obviously I was hoping for more Portland than Seattle this go around. And I got what I wanted…


Photo Credit: @mike_gordon

The whole show last night was fun. A long first set with tons of jams led to a great 2nd set and an unexpected Mound encore. Funky Bitch > Andelmans’ Yard was a blast to open set 2 and the whole night was just great. The venue was cool (this is only my 2nd show in Eugene, first in probably 10 years) and you can’t beat getting Ninkasi beers while watching Gordo jam!!

Videos from Eugene:

Mike Gordon – She Said, She Said

Mike Gordon – The Grid

Mike Gordon – Dig Further Down

I’m still in Eugene for a couple of days so I have to cut this review short. If Mike Gordon is hitting your town this spring, you have no excuse to miss him.


Thanks Mike for a good time in Oregon!!!!


Set One
Horizon Line*
Middle Of The Road
Traveled Too Far
Willow Tree
Sailin’ Shoes
Be Good And You’ll Be Lonely
Babylon Baby**
Set Two
Funky Bitch
Andelmans’ Yard
The Grid
Cruel World
Crumbling Bones
She Said, She Said
What Things Seem
Dig Further Down







Show Notes:* included n’goni and kanjira intro, with Craig and Todd
** first time played
^ first time played 







Trey Anastasio 03/04/11: Music Box @ Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Trey Anastasio Band 03/04/11

Music Box @ Fonda – Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito

The only thing more shocking then a rare appearance from Trey Anastasio on the West Coast is where Anastasio decided to play on the West Coast. With the ability to sell out Air Force Bases with his day job known as Phish, Anastasio booked the intimate Music Box for the Southern California stop on his Acoustic/Electric 2011 Winter Tour. Usually reserved for up and coming hipster acts, the 1300 seat Music Box was the hottest ticket in town on the first Friday in March. Thankfully I was able to secure a balcony seat during the Goldenvoice pre-sale and witness my fourth Trey Anastasio Band show. So with my 40 hours in a cubical in the rear view, I blasted over Barham Blvd into Hollywood excited for a night with the Phish mastermind.

With a front row spot right behind a “luxury box” reserved for Anastasio (no one claimed it, so I ended up moving into it myself during the second set) the energy level was high in the quaint venue before Anastasio took the stage alone at 8:25 pm. For the next 45 minutes, the ginger Jedi strummed selections from the vast catalogue of music Phish has created over the past 25 years. The night opened with the hard rocking “Chalkdust Torture” that got the main floor moving as if he had been joined by fellow Phish band mates Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman and Page McConnell. From there Anastasio moved the capacity crowd with “Bathtub Gin>Prince Caspian” proving that he could segue from song to song with or without his friends from Vermont.

One could argue that the highlight of the first set was not the music, but the hilarious banter that came before a wonderful re-imagined “Theme From The Bottom.” Anastasio informed the crowd how the bus had driven past the apartment that Phish had once shared just down the street from The Viper Room. Declaring the year was 1989 and that the band was in town to record the record Hoist, many audience members informed Anastasio that Hoist had been released in 1994. Clearly embarrassed, Anastasio questioned the crowd as if it truly was 1994 (My vote was 93 based off the mention of the Malibu Fires) and told us to Google it. At the conclusion of “Theme” it was decided that 93 was indeed the year the band called West Hollywood home for three months, because Rift had come out out in 1996. Oh Trey, I don’t care if you have no idea what records came out when, I just wish you would come visit your temporary home more often.

I felt that the musical highlight of Anastasio’s time alone on stage was a jazzy take on the Phish classic “Cavern.” It was clear that Anastasio has put a lot of time into re-working phan favorites for the acoustic setting and the results are phenomenal. While it has been clear for years that Anastasio is a totally bitching rock star from Mars; in the event anyone had forgotten they were no doubt reminded with a raucous solo rendition of the Gamehendge classic “Wilson.”

Anastasio welcomed his six piece backing band to the stage towards of the end of the set. “Gotta Jiboo” was grooving so hard that fellow jam rocker Ben Harper had no choice but to stand up and boogie down.  With the smooth “Liquid Time” in the bag, the set eventually wrapped with a smoking version of “Push On Til’ The Day.” As he did a few times this past summer in Berkeley, lighting mastermind Chris Kuroda managed to kill my video camera with his seizure-riffic visual skills during the sets final number. With a few hundred videos now taken with this piece of equipment, Kuroda is the only person who has been able to make it freeze, and I am really starting to hate him for it.

After a brief intermission, the Trey Anastasio Band returned for a set of Adult-Contemporary jam juggernauts along with a few choice covers.  As well dressed ushers had a field day busting peaceful wooks for consuming cannabis and dancing in the aisles, TAB got things underway with an impressive one-two punch of “Cayman Review” and “Burlap Sack and Pumps.” The band had the energy level well beyond the boundaries of the room by the time they wrapped up the sets third song “Ocelot.” Perhaps I will understand this better when I hit my 40’s, but it seems that over the past few years, once that energy is raging, Anastasio loves to kill it. That’s exactly what happened when the soft and rather un-exciting “Valentine” followed “Ocelot.” The same folks who had just shaking the venue by dancing as hard as they could were now motionless as they used “Valentine” to chit-chat or catch up on the latest tweets from @charliesheen.

Thankfully the energy was brought right back up with a somewhat sloppy yet fun cover of the Charlie Daniel’s Band classic “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” While Anastasio may not know when he called the Thirty Mile Zone home, he sure is hip to the week Charlie Sheen is having. I couldn’t 100% make out what he said, but WINNING was indeed mentioned by Anastasio after the band wrapped “Devil.”

One could argue that the covers TAB decided to play were better received then some of the originals. While I doubt Trey and company could hear him, I was excited when they busted out the Levon Helm number “It Makes No Difference” for the simple fact that the old man behind me got his wish and would stop screaming for it. Yet, when it came to covers, the clear high water mark was a take on “Clint Eastwood” by the animated outfit Gorillaz. I’ll be honest, I despise this song, but watching Anastasio and friends tackle it was a true treat. Trumpet player/vocalist Jennifer Hartwick nailed the versus originally laid down by Del The Funky Homosapien while Anastasio did a fine job playing the role of Damon Albarn.

After solid takes on “Nights Speak To A Woman” and “Shine” (which I don’t mind, but many used this as a chance to hit the bathroom) the band blessed the west coast with some “Sand.” While many of the songs on this particular evening had some improvised jams, this was the only moment where the band truly let loose and went deep into the unknown. It finally felt as though the band was warmed up, yet sadly it was the conclusion to the second set.

The group of course returned for an encore. Fulfilling the request of an individual who had begged Anastasio for it all night, the first song was “Dragonfly.” Granted it was my first time hearing the song, I am not sure why someone would have requested the number. It wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t anything to write home about. The energetic Anastasio (I have never seen the man move so much in my life) closed the night with another perfect take on “First Tube.” I swear to God every time I hear this song live, I am convinced it will collapse the venue. The high soaring instrumental can be summed up with one word: WINNING! As my camera once again fought death via Kuroda, Anastasio chanted Charlie Sheen’s million dollar catchphrase at the tail end of the jam. A perfect Hollywood ending if I do say so myself, it was truly great to see a healthy and happy Anastasio rock the Music Box.



Phish 2011 Summer Tour – Round 1

Phish 2011 Summer Tour - Round 1

We will get excited once Phish announces their “additional Summer plans” but for now, here is a video that lets you know all the shit holes (Detroit, Cleveland and Jersey) Phish plans to visit during the first leg of their 2011 Summer tour.


Phish Summer 2011 Tour from Phish on Vimeo.

Phish also mentions via their Vimeo page that “following the summer, the band has no touring plans for the remainder of the year.”

5/27/11 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
5/28/11 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
5/29/11 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
5/31/11 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
6/1/11 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
6/3/11 DTE Energy Center, Detroit, MI
6/4/11 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
6/5/11 Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
6/7/11 Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA
6/8/11 Darien Lake Amphitheatre, Darien, NY
6/10/11 Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
6/11/11 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
6/12/11 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
6/14/11 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA
6/15/11 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA
6/17/11 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC
6/18/11 Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion, Raleigh, NC
6/19/11 Ntelos Pavilion at Harbor Center, Portsmouth, VA

Trey Anastasio Takes On Outkast In Maine

Trey Anastasio Takes On Outkast In Maine

The ginger Jedi himself – Trey Anastasio kicked off his 2011 Winter Acoustic/Electric Tour last night at the State Theater in Portland, Me. The Phish front man closed out his acoustic set with a cover of the Outkast smash hit “Hey Ya.” A healthy looking Anastasio was all smiles as he led his band through the Grammy ® award winning number. Check out some great footage of the song below, as well as a complete setlist from last night.

Acoustic Set: Theme From The Bottom, Cavern, NICU, Bug, My Friend My Friend, Horse > Silent in the Morning, Gumbo, Suzy Greenberg, Kill Devil Falls, Water in the Sky^, Spin^^, Liquid Time^^^, Hey Ya^^^^

Electric Set: Cayman Review, Mozambique, Gotta Jiboo, It Makes No Difference, Acting the Devil*, Alaska, All That Almost Was, Words To Wanda, Push On Til The Day, Birdwatcher, Sand, Wherever You Find It, Plasma, Tuesday

Encore: In The Wee Wee Hours**, Dragonfly

^with Jen Hartswick and Natalie Cressman
^^with Jen Hartswick, Natalie Cressman, and Ray Paczkowski
^^^with Jen Hartswick, Natalie Cressman, Ray Paczkowski, Russ Lawton, and Tony Markellis
^^^^Outkast original. First time played, with all of TAB
*last played 11/01/02 The Tabernacle ~ Atlanta, GA
**last played 11/02/2002 Pompano Ampitheatre ~ Pompano Beach, FL

Setlist is unconfirmed and may contain errors

Big thanks to OhKeePahBlog for the heads up on the video & setlist. Keep an eye on Concert Confessions as our very own Reverend Justito will be checking out Anastasio next month at the Music Box in Hollywood, CA.

Mike Gordon Announces Spring 2011 Tour Dates

Mike Gordon Announces Spring 2011 Tour Dates

Phish bassist Mike Gordon has just announced dates for his 2011 Spring Tour.  In support of his recent solo release Moss, Gordon will once again tour from coast to coast.  Gordon returns with the same five-piece lineup as his fall tour which featured Scott Murawski on guitar, Craig Myers on percussion, Tom Cleary on keyboards and drummer Todd Isler.

Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased by clicking here:

For a sneak peak as to what you can expect from Gordon, make sure to check out our reviews from Gordon’s fall shows in West Hollywood, Seattle and Portland.


03/05 – McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR

03/06 – Van Duzer Theatre, Arcada, CA

03/07 – Crystal Bay, Crystal Bay, NV

03/08 – The Rio, Santa Cruz, CA

03/09 – House of Blues, San Diego, CA

03/11 – Orpheum Theatre, Flagstaff, AZ

03/12 – Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, CO

03/13 – Belly Up, Aspen, CO

03/14 – Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO

03/15 – The Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS

03/17 – Pageant Theatre, St. Louis, MO  w/ Galactic

03/18 – Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN

03/19 – Center Stage, Atlanta, GA

03/20 – Orange Peel, Asheville, NC

03/22 – Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY

03/23 – Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY

03/25 – The State Theatre, Falls Church, VA

03/26 – Higher Ground Ballroom, Burlington, VT

Trey Anastasio Announces Winter 2011 Tour Dates

Trey Anastasio Announces Winter 2011 Tour Dates

Phish mastermind Trey Anastasio has announced dates for his 2011 Winter tour.  The trek kicks off February 18th in Portland, ME and will feature Anastasio using the acoustic set/electric set format for the first time since 1999.  The electric set will feature the same players from his last solo outing in 2010.  Anastasio will be joined by Tony Markellis on bass, Russ Lawton on drums, Ray Paczkowski on keyboards and a horn section that includes Jennifer Hartswick, Russ Remington and Natalie Cressman.

The 12 date tour will travel from coast to coast and includes stops in Boston, Chicago and a two night stand in Denver.  The tour will wrap March 5th at the Fox Theatre in Oakland, CA.

Ticket pre-sale begins January 14, 2011.  Click here for ticket information.

02/18 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre
02/19 – Albany, NY @ Palace Theatre
02/20 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
02/22 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5
02/23 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
02/25 – Pittsbugh, PA @ StageAE
02/26 – Columbus, OH @ Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
02/27 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
03/01 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
03/02 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
03/04 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Music Box
03/05 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater

Phish at Madison Square Garden 1.1.11

Generally, I have found that shows will crescendo in energy level and song selection throughout the first set to set things up for a stellar second set.  I’ve really gotta hand it to these guys: Phish did not fall privy to such an archetype for their first show of the year.  The pleasure plateau sustained and remained, if you will.

My Soul set the tone for a rockin’ start to the evening, while Tube provided a healthy dose of funk before a clean departure and rebound into the rock vibe.  A meaty Runaway Jim followed.

Mike laid the bass line down thick for the opening of Foam, as to illustrate the properties of the opaque (and apparently overwhelming) substance.  I love this tune because it’s almost erratic while it maintains a sense of cohesiveness.  Parts sound like a demented Latin groove.  Parts sound like an updated jazz standard while Page hoofs it on the keys.  And sometimes parts just sound like Phish.

Any way, I dig it.

And apparently the crowd did too.  The ground was absolutely shaking after it had ended – a sweet reminder that we were more than five stories off the ground.  Thanks for bringing me back to reality by scaring the shit out of me, MSG.

But it’s cool.  Guelah Papyrus helped me get through it.  The catchy fan-favorite went into a quirky, nonsensical jam and ended on an upbeat, followed by silence – well, would-be silence if the crowd hadn’t gone hog-wild.  Trey began the chorus once more and pulled it all together just in time for one of my personal highlights of the first set: Divided Sky.

Except for the long pause before the closing of the main phrase, the entire thing was sublime.  But I must pick the bone with this one: the pause is positively too long.  I understand and appreciate the artistic desicion to use a pause in the music, but leaving us hanging for a minute or more?  I’d rather not.

I like my melodies just as I like my 80’s pop: straight up.

In the name of Paula Abdul and all things holy, let’s just get on with our lives.

Anway, the lullaby segment continued softly, purely, sweetly, until Page broke in with an insistent key change that gave way to a rippin’ solo.

Round Room broke out of its 2003 capsule and paid tribute MSG’s oval shape and the Eagles made a guest appearance through an incredible Walk Away.  It was high energy, an engaging solo, and totally authentic-sounding.  I’ll bite.

A thunderous Reba and Walls of the Cave closed the first set with little shenanigans involved (well, on the band’s part).

Crosseyed & Painless opened the second set, and man, did it rock.  I recently just got over listening (and re-listening) to the Coral Sky release, but now it seems I’m back where I started.

Not only is this song fast-paced and fun, but it’s by one of my (other) favorite bands. If there’s a match made in heaven, it’s Phish and the Talking Heads (sorry, Little Feat).


Simple morphed into a light, ambient jam as if to say: and now for something completely different! For a while I was thinking maybe there would be a segue into Piper, but to no avail.  I’m pretty sure no one really knew what was going on, but I’m also pretty sure no one cared.  The sound was rich and new and beautiful.  Does anything else matter?

Next came Makisupa Policeman, a tune that seemed to hit home with quite a few members of the crowd.  I love how Trey always seems to come up with entertaining new lyrics (this time’s?  Went home late last night after doing the New Year’s stunt/Laid back on my couch and I rolled myself a bl– well, you know).  The audience collectively lolled.  It was marvelous.

Suddenly, the fast-paced tapping of a certain cymbal emerged through the murk – which meant David Bowie was about to go down.


And it was a great one.

After a truly unremarkable Fee, Page whipped out a keytar and decided it was time to rock.  It was Frankenstien that resonated with me for the rest of the night (maybe cause I couldn’t get over the keytar?).  The energy that had been displaced by an out-of-the-blue Fee reappeared, and everyone went home happy.



(Photo and video credits go to mkdevo, Dave Bayne & Dave Vann.)

SaucerfulofSecrets Top 11 Shows of 2010

Photos and words by: Bradley Darby

Anymore it seems though every average Joe has to come up with their Best Of… list for the end of the year. Well, I’m no exception! This list started at 21 shows and I was able to knock it down to 10. I then decided I couldn’t make this list without including Split Lip Rayfield. So 11 it is!

2010 was a great year for me in terms of live shows. It all started off in February where I attended shows 4 consecutive nights including State Radio, Split Lip Rayfield and back to back nights of Yonder Mountain String Band. Three nights later it was Trey Anastasio. Instrumental jam bands like STS9, Galactic, and Perpetual Groove. From The Dead Weather and Flaming Lips to the legendary Furthur, Phish, Chuck Berry, Dave Matthews, Mark Knopfler and The Eagles….it seemed like night after night it was a different show. I decided to exclude the 2010 Wakarusa Music Festival, and the first annual Yonder Mountain String Band Harvest Music Festival, otherwise shows from those two magical weekends would have taken up a majority of the list. I think I’ve seen approximately 45,256 shows this year including somethings I never thought I’d see such as Jamie Lidell and Chiddy Bang, both of which I really enjoyed.

So here it is, my Top 11 Shows of 2010.

Click on the links throughout to link to a YouTube video, some are from the show listed, some are just ridiculously good live videos from other shows. Some also feature links to full reviews for said show. And most of all support these great bands and all (good) live music.

Honorable Mentions: Cornmeal @ 2720 Cherokee, North Mississippi All Stars w. Hill Country Revue @ The Pageant, The Bridge @ Old Rock House & Off Broadway, Stephen Kellogg @ Old Rock House

11. Split Lip Rayfield 2/18 Blueberry Hill & 5/12 Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

Split Lip Rayfield - Old Rock House 5/12/2010

Split Lip has become one of my favorite bands over the last few years, and their live show is a big reason why. A three piece band from Wichita, Kansas consisting of banjo, mandolin, and “Stitchgiver”, a standup bass made from the gastank of a 78 Grand Marquis, a piece of hickory and strung with one piece of weedwhacker line. They headlined at Blueberry Hill in February and opened for Reverend Horton Heat at the Old Rock House in May. Throw in a few shows at Wakarusa and Yonder Mountains Harvest Festival and I had the chance to be amazed by this band 7 times this year…..and can’t wait to see them again!  Every show is dedicated to fallen former guitar player Kirk Rundstrom who passed away in 2007.

10. Furthur 11/11 – Chaivitz Arena – St. Louis, MO

Furthur 11/11/2010 - Chaivitz Arena

Maybe it was because this was my first Phil Lesh / Bob Weir / Dead experience, or maybe it was because they did a cover of one of my favorite Ryan Adams songs of all time, “Magnolia Mountain”, but something magical was in the air on this November evening on the Saint Louis University campus. There were quite a few open seats and I went to this show ticketless, hoping to score one on the lot. No problem whatsoever thanks to a man also selling hippie crack on the open lot that was Shakedown Street. The show started with “Uncle Johns Band”, ended with “Attics of My Life” and included “Stella Blue”, “Cumberland Blues”, George Harrisons “Any Road”, and “Eyes of the World.”

9. Umphreys McGee “Monster Mashup” 10/30-10/31 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO

Umphreys Halloween STL

Umphreys McGee as Paul Stanley Cup, Dr. Evil Knivel and Mini Me, Larry David Letterman, Yoko Bono

Halloween weekend with Chicagos best and one of my favorite jambands, Umphreys McGee. What more could I ask for? How about mash ups including Rage Against the Machines “Bulls on Parade” with “Mark on The Bus” by Beastie Boys. Guns N Roses “November Rain” mashed up with UM’s own “Cemetery Walk.” A mashup being called “The Way You Make Me Rule The World” (Tears for Fears/Michael Jackson) “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve mixed with another UM song. And you better believe, Journeys “Don’t Stop Believing” mashed up with “Spirit of Radio” by Rush. Throw in a sold out crowd full of mashed up costumes including Curious George Clinton, Alice in Wonderland in Chains, Lady GaGarth and Lil Waynes World and you have the makings of one of the best shows of the year! As for me, I was Abrahamburglar Lincoln.

8. Jackie Greene 2/6 The Pageant, 3/10 & 10/22 Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

Jackie Greene - Old Rock House

Jackie first played in St. Louis this year opening for Gov’t Mule in February, then came back to headline an acoustic solo show at Old Rock House. But when the FULL BAND show was announced for October, I went from 6 to 12! Jackie has an amazing voice, and is a great talent. He will be around for years to come and seems to channel Jerry Garcia on his “Grateful EP” featuring covers of “Sugaree”, “New Speedway Boogie” and “Brokedown Palace” available for download here. FREE! Also, heres a video, great quality, of Jackie with Gov’t Mule from the show at The Pageant playing “Don’t Let Me Down”

7. Avett Brothers & Grace Potter & The Nocturnals 9/24 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO (Full Review)

Avett Bros - The Pageant

Avett Brothers is a band I had been waiting to see live since I first heard them last year. Grace Potter is my make believe girlfriend. When I first heard the two were paired together for a tour, and The Pageant was on the agenda, nothing short of death would stop me from attending this show. GP&N opened the show and dominated the stage for roughly an hour, not long enough. She performed songs from all of her albums, including “Apologies.” The Avetts came out and played a killer nearly two hour set that featured 20 songs including “I and Love and You”, “Kickdrum Heart”, and a three song encore that started with my favorite song, “Murdered in the City” For a 3 (sometimes 4) piece band to do what they do, is impressive.

6. Trey Anastasio & Classic TAB – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO (note: all links are high quality audio/video, do yourself a favor and click them!)

Trey & TAB

Whats better to tide me over until the Phish summer tour than a TAB show at The Pageant? How about a Trey show that featured “Gotta Jibboo”, acoustic versions of “Kill Devil Falls”, “Bathtub Gin”, “Backwards Down the Number Line” and “Wilson.” That was just to close the first set. The second set featured a cover of Zeppelins “Black Dog”, “Liquid Time”, and ended with “First Tube.” Thanks for melting my face Trey!

5. Dirtfoot 5/13 – Ciceros – St. Louis, MO

Dirtfoot at Ciceros

Never heard of Dirtfoot? I’m sorry! You need to! Dirtfoot is the only Front Porch, Whiskey Swillin, Foot Stomping, Gypsy, Punk, Country, Grumble, Boogie band in the land. They are pretty much the Mulberry Mountain house band for Wakarusa and Harvest Music Festival, typically drawing large dedicated crowds at their infamous late night sets as well as their 9am set at the Chompdown, a free communal breakfast put together by and for the festi-folk. They claim Shrieveport, LA as home and use guitar, banjo, drums, percussion, washboard, upright bass and sax to create their sound. It’s tough to find a band similar to Dirtfoot, and even tougher to find one that can duplicate the energy of a Dirtfoot show! This marked their first trip to St. Louis as part of the Wakarusa Pre-Party Tour with Mountain Sprout. They pulled out a cover of “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, and played a nice mix of their own tunes, most of which involve crowd participation. Favorites of mine include “My Girl”, “Cast My Plans”, and “Little Bit of Rum.”

4. Widespread Panic 5/1  – BOK Center – Tulsa, OK

Widespread at BOK Center, Tulsa

This was my first time seeing JB & the Boys live, and well worth the commute to Tulsa to see great friends and great music. I was going to be seeing them in a month at Wakarusa and wanted to see what I was getting into. There is no surprise as to why Panic has been as successful as they have over the past 20 years when you see these southern rock / jam band giants live. The lightshow is one of the most spectacular things I have ever witnessed (see: The highlight of the night was during the second set during “Chilly Water” when the entire crowd seemed to scoop up every bottle of water in the building to make it rain. Seriously, you couldn’t find a bottle to purchase ANYWHERE. Also played were “Hatfield”, “Surprise Valley”, “Lets Get The Show On The Road” and “Impossible > Makes Sense To Me” to close it out.

3. Roger Waters 10/29 – Scott Trade Center – St. Louis, MO (Full Review)

Roger Waters - Scott Trade Center

My favorite band of all time is Pink Floyd. I have never had the opportunity to see anything other than Pink Floyd tribute bands, including Aussie Floyd, Think Floyd, and St. Louis heroes El Monstero. Roger Waters announced his “The Wall 2010’ tour and I was unable to get tickets up until a week before the show. $115 later, I was wishing I had paid $250 for floor seats. The production of this show alone was worth the ticket price, but throw in the fact I got my first actual Floyd experience and this show is damn near impossible to top. I knew it was going to be nothing but “The Wall” but I didn’t care. “Mother”, “Goodbye Blue Sky”, “Young Lust”, “Comfortably Numb” they all sounded amazing and I had goose bumps for a majority of the show. Now I just need to keep my fingers and toes crossed for a Gilmour tour next summer or a Gilmour/Waters/Mason reunion (yeah right!)

2. Phish 8/14-8/15 – Alpine Valley – East Troy, WI

Phish - Alpine Valley

Photo by : K. Soncasie

Last summer was the first time I had gotten a chance to see Phish, as I had taken their break as my chance to really get into them. Stupid, yes. Worth the wait? Also yes. Last summers Chicago stop was a great show, but was lacking something. Whatever that was, they found and brought it along for Summer 2010 tour. The weekend not only ended up being recorded and released on DVD/CD, but also was considered by many to be some of the best shows of the tour. We had lawn for the first night, and some amazing seats for night two but it didn’t matter. Set lists from both nights rival any other Phish sets I have listened to. Night one started with “Tube” and included “Fuck Your Face”, “Lawn Boy”, “Gumbo”, “Down with the Disease”, “Mikes Song”, and “Sneaking Sally” into “Weekapaug Groove”. Night two was bookended by “Tweezer” and “Tweezer Reprise” and also included “Divided Sky”, “Farmhouse”, “David Bowie”, “2001”, “You Enjoy Myself”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Character Zero.” Thank you Phish, and no matter what most say, you are back!

1. The Black Keys 6/10 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO (Full Review)

The Black Keys - The Pageant

I have had a small obsession with The Black Keys for a few years and had been dying to see them for the same period of time. I was granted the chance twice this year, both within a week of each other. They played at Wakarusa in June, and just a few days later trekked through St. Louis to play to a sold out show at The Pageant. We had arrived early to get a premium spot. All the stars had aligned finally and I was going to get my eardrums exploded by the 2 piece monster that is The Black Keys.

The beginning of the set featured favorites like “Girl is On My Mind”, “The Breaks” and “Stack Shot Billy”. They ripped through songs off of the ‘Brothers’ album, my vote for Album of the Year, with highlights including “Next Girl” , “Howling For You”, and my personal favorite, “Ten Cent Pistol”. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney closed the night out with “Everlasting Light” and “Till I Get My Way” before leaving the capacity crowd on their feet, and scraping their faces off of their shoes.

This show lived up the every expectation and made me forget about seeing them days earlier at Wakarusa. From “Thickfreakness” all the way through “Til I Get My Way” the energy never stopped. Not only did they release my top Album of the Year, but this show was far and away my favorite show of the year, and a show I will remember forever.

The Black Keys - The Pageant

Phish at Madison Square Garden 12/30/10

Last night began with a feeling of foreboding as the stereo system buzzed, popped, and crackled ten minutes before the band went on stage.  With luck on our side, however, the set began without trouble.  In fact, it wasn’t until Camel Walk that there was a problem… but that’s a story for later.

Things kicked off with a nice bouncy Cities – appropriate for the fact that we were in the Big Apple!  The Chalkdust Torture that followed brimmed with energy, as did Gumbo.  I always love it when Page takes that sweet solo towards the end, lending an authentic ragtime feel to the music.  I have a suspicion that the boys were warming up their Creole chops for the dose of Little Feat that they delivered later in the set.

It was during Camel Walk that things got interesting.  The sound fizzed out for maybe a minute at the end of the jam section.  Trey and Mike looked at each other and kept on going, despite the fact that only those within a thirty-foot radius could hear them well.

But you know how people always tend to come together in the worst of times?  This was one of them.  When the time came for the end chorus, the band was joined with a resounding “Camel walk!” from the crowd.  Phamily phorever?  I think so.

While not my favorite Trey song (Mr. Completely, anyone?), Driver cooled things down with some soft bouncy sound after a meaty Maze.  A notable Bathtub Gin followed (made so mostly by Page’s excellent intro); the jam picked up intensity as time passed, leaving us with enough to get really excited for Fat Man in the Bathtub.  I mean, really excited.

I’m so glad I brushed up on my Little Feat this fall in preparation for hearing the Halloween show.  Not only did I realize that I actually really like their music (even though I’ve seen them live three times and they never grab me), I also realized that I really like it when Phish does their stuff.  I mean, really like it.

After a hot Golgi Apparatus came a Character Zero that couldn’t be beat.  Although I genuinely like the song, I think there’s not much to it – rather, not as much to it as some of their other tunes (read: YEM, Tweezer, Ghost).  I found myself lost in the jam just as much as anything else – and that’s always a good thing.

A transcendental Tweezer kicked off the second set.  This morning I was surprised to see on LivePhish that it was almost nineteen minutes long – it should have been longer!  The jam crept to a really interesting and different place, fueled by some offbeat rhythmic stuff that morphed the sound.

Tweezer also means the promise of a Reprise, which always makes me excited.

My Friend My Friend was short and sweet; everything was on, made apparent by the agile segue into Axilla I.  I really dig some of the darker Phish tunes (Carini, Guyute, Ester), and MFMF is one of them.

Fluffhead came next, and while well-executed in every way, I seemed to fade during the tune.  I used to get really excited when they played it, but I suppose all the sharply calibrated orchestration gets old after a while.

And then came The Funk.  The band began with a sweet Boogie on Reggae Woman which riled up the crowd… in a good way.  During the jam, Trey laid a non-diatonic chord on top of everything else, and the rest of the band slowly adjusted their way around it.  It’s always cool to see how they can react to each other’s moves.

After a slow segue into 2001 (which, apparently, was originally called Also Sprach Zarathustra; I guess 2001 is easier to pronounce.  But I digress…), things got funky.  Mike was jamming on those basslines and Page ever so gently rocked the organ.

Suzy Greenberg brought the rock and roll kind of energy back to the night which very nicely transformed into a steaming Antelope.  Hungry, anyone?

Tweezer Reprise was a stellar way to end the night by bringing back the memory of the even more stellar Tweezer that I had enjoyed so thoroughly.

Night one of my New Year’s run is over.  Next up?  Instead of ringing in 2011, I’ll be stepping back in time tonight to 1976 to hear the Grateful Dead do Cow Palace, courtesy of Dark Star Orchestra.  1/1/11 will bring me back to MSG for another night of Phish – the only way to start the new year off right!

Don’t let the security guard take your sandwich,


Phish – 12/30/10 Madison Square Garden, New York City – Webcast Review

Phish 12-30-10 Madison Square Garden Webcast Review

Review and screenshots by thenaturalstoner

I wasn’t sure if the idea of writing a review of a webcast was a good one or not. But after some thought I said what the hell and decided to write this up.  I had a lot of fun tonight watching this stream. Thank you Phish.


Well I certainly was not planning on staying at home tonight and watching the first Phish webcast since 2000 all by myself.  However, when life hands you lemons, you gotta make lemonade.  So when the local Doc. diagnosed me with pink eye this morning and I became stranded by myself here in Pullman, Washington, I immediately knew what my new evening plans were.  PHISH.

I don’t have a laptop computer, so initially I planned on watching the show on my small Samsung desktop computer monitor.  However after trying out the Livephish video feed on my Playstation3, I discovered I could watch the show on my 42” plasma and have the audio come through my home stereo setup as loud as I want! Party on!

I didn’t get a chance to see Phish at all in 2010, something that burns inside (damn you West Coast!).  But this webcast HAS to be the next best thing.  I could not believe how nice the general feed and audio/video quality was.  I think the feed skipped only once for like 2 seconds all night. And being able to watch in the comfort of my own living room, while drinking my own beers and fun, makes me hope this becomes a regular option for all Phish shows! It had to be a money maker for the band I assume as well. The clean sounding bass and clear pictures exceeded all expectations.

The 1st set was long, close to 90 minutes I would guess, and solid. You can’t go wrong with a Cities opener and that Maze was super tasty. There were several of my favorites played, Quinn the Eskimo, Timber Ho!, Camel Walk, and Madison Square Gardens first ever Bathtub Gin to name a few. They finished the set with a rippin’ Character Zero and off to setbreak we go.

Instead of dead setbreak air on the stream, immediately following the bands exit of the stage a video montage began.  This clip showed behind the scenes footage of the crew setting up, the band at setbreak, fans before the show, and other misc. experiences from earlier in the day.  The audio was set to a solid Mikes Song (reportedly from 12-31-95, MSG) and lasted a good 10 minutes or more.

Set 2 started with a mini gag for the viewers at home and finished in classic Phish rock fashion. Clearly someone told Trey that people could hear him calling out songs on the stream, so to start Set 2 Trey came out and said “Okay Jennifer Dances, one, two…”  After referencing the not so loved Phish song, they decided to bust into a nice Tweezer > Light instead (whew!).  Theme from the Bottom and My Friend My Friend followed as a super start to the set.  A couple of other favorites would follow, Axilla and Fluffhead. Boogie On Reggae Woman got the crowd pumped, which jammed into a 2001. A monster Suzy Greenberg would finish out the set in huge style. What a blast I was having from the seat of my couch, relaxing!

A rare Antelope (really nice!) encore would cap off a great night of Phish in New York City.  Tweeprize would close us out and send everyone home on a high note.  A great show for us tonight, and I can only imagine what the next 2 nights will bring!

If you are considering ordering the webcasts the next 2 nights, I strongly urge you do so.  If I am still stuck here at home alone for New Years Eve and January 1st, I can thank the heavens that Phish in New York is there to keep me and my pink eye company.

I’d like to thank the Phish organization for making these webcasts available to us fans.  I had a blast and would pay to do it again anytime.  From what I have been reading online, others share the same sentiment.  Kudos.


Madison Square Garden
New York, New York
December 30, 2010

Set I: Cities, Chalk Dust Torture, Gumbo, Quinn the Eskimo, Halley’s Comet, Camel Walk, Maze, Driver, Bathtub Gin, Fat Man in the Bathtub, Timber Ho, Golgi Apparatus, Character Zero

Set II: Tweezer-> Light, Theme From the Bottom->My Friend My Friend, Axilla (pt.1), Fluffhead, Boogie On Reggae Woman > 2001, Suzy Greenberg

E:Run Like an Antelope, Tweezer Reprise

Reverend Justito Presents: The Top 5 Concerts of 2010

Reverend Justito Presents His Top 5 Concerts of 2010

I have been attending concerts non-stop since 1996.  2010 has been a wonderful year of music.  Not that I have the time to keep track of such a statistic, but I do believe that I have seen more shows in 2010 than any other year of my life.  It was not easy to narrow down my top five shows from this year, and chances are this list would be different if you asked me to pick in three months.   So enough of my mindless introduction; It’s time for my top five shows of 2010.

Honorable Mentions:

Allegaeon 11/12/10 Cat Club – West Hollywood, CA

USELESS KEYS 09/10/10 Spaceland – Silver Lake, CA

#5 Local H 06/18/10: BriXton South Bay – Redondo Beach, CA

Truth be told, I made the thirty minute trip to Redondo Beach on a cold Friday night because of Jay Porks.  I had forgotten all about Local H, but reading his review got me fired up about a band that I managed to catch at both Kamp Kome gigs back in the 1990’s.  The night was what shows are supposed to be all about – letting go of the bullshit and having a great time.  From the band allowing a fan to pick a record out of the hat to discovering my favorite new music venue in Southern California the night was just perfect.  Most important it has restored my love for Local H who I hope return to the road in 2011.


#4 Joseph Arthur 01/23/10: Troubadour – West Hollywood, CA

If you count Fistful of Mercy, I saw Joseph Arthur five times in 2010.  I am not exactly sure when Fistful of Mercy formed, but looking back at this show, I was fortunate enough to see the project in it’s early stages.  From Arthur opening the night with a haunting version of Restore Me to guest appearances from members of his Lonely Astronauts band and Ben Harper it was a truly inspiring night.


#3 Arcade Fire 10/08/10: Shrine Auditorium – Los Angeles, CA

I was fucking angry walking into this show.  Bad traffic, poor venue planning and my Giants had just blown an important home game against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS (as you may be aware, things worked out ok for my beloved Giants in 2010).  To be honest, I was not even sure why I had agreed to go to the show as the band was over-rated in my eyes.  Then the band hit the stage and changed my life.  I understand how douchy of a statement that is, but it’s true.  The Arcade Fire are that powerful, they suck you in and steal your soul.  You can’t stop it no matter how hard you try.  It’s very rare that a band can emote a certain feeling inside of me.  It’s a feeling that I can’t describe; the nirvana, bliss, floating on a cloud emotion.  On October 8th, 2010 the Arcade Fire took an angry Angelino and got him to that place.


#2 Faith No More 11/30/10: Palladium – Hollywood, CA

When I was a freshman in High School, I found $5 on the ground out front of my school.  I ran down to The Record Man and picked up a banged up copy of Angel Dust by Faith No More.  It is amazing that the disc will still play today, yet it does.  If I had to pick three albums to bring onto a deserted island, this would be one of them.  Sadly I was not old enough to drive into San Francisco and see Faith No More on their last hurrah.  I made sure I was online with ten minutes to spare to get tickets to this show.  I was not going to miss my chance.  As luck turned out, I got to see both Faith No More shows here in Hollywood, and it was truly a dream come true.  Not a bad moment over two nights, I got to see Faith No More kick all kinds of ass on stage.  Between this and the earlier mentioned Giants World Series trophy, let’s just say I can die a lil happier.


#1 Phish 08/06/10: Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA

Who are we kidding, all three nights at the Greek come in 1/2/3 on this list.  I will spoil every top shows list from here till the day I die right now.  If I see Phish, there is a 99.8% chance they will be the top live band I see in any given year.  Nothing can top Phish.  Yet to give some other bands a fair shot, we have picked this as the best  Phish show that I witnessed in 2010.  This show just dominated and is no doubt in my top three shows of all time.  Cities>The Moma Dance>Bathtub Gin>Stealing Time from the Faulty Line just can’t be beat.  Unless of course you look to the second set that kicked off with a high energy cover of the Velvet Underground’s Rock and Roll, featured a beefy “Mike’s Groove” and crested with the trampoline stunt during the set closing You Enjoy Myself. I think just about everyone knows I expect some serious West Coast Phish love in 2011, here is hoping the boys don’t break my heart.


Confessions of Phishing Barney

The Adventures of Phishing Barney 2010

Words/Photos by Barney the Purple Dinosaur (and his ghost writer Reverend Justito)

For those who are not a member of my immediate family, allow me to give you a brief history on the family tradition that is Barney the purple dinosaur.  I was in my early teens at the height of Barney-mania.  As a gag gift, my parents threw a Barney Doll (marching band outfit, filled with bubble mix) into the stockings of my brother and I.  My brother and I took great offense to “the purple one” in our Christmas loot, and our anger brought many laughs from the older generation.  The next year on Christmas Day, my brother and I each had a very large box.  We were instructed to open them last, and after getting through tons and tons of packing peanuts we each discovered that my parents had given us the same Barney once again.  I made sure to grab both Barney’s and the following year we got revenge upon my parents.  The following year, my brother and I got revenge upon our Aunts as they received packages with the dreaded Dinosaur.

The following year, Barney went to the next level.  Actually, he went to Portland, Las Vegas and Chicago and was passed along with a hilarious photo album.  Since that time, Barney dolls have gone onto such locations as Yosemite, Japan, Bosnia, London and Tom Jones house.  While one of the two dolls has “gone missing” Phishing Barney came into play in 1998.  Barney had returned to Portland and witnessed a Phish concert so grand that the band released it on compact disc.  As part of the gift, a tiny Barney with full fishing attire was presented with the photo album.  In 2009, Phishing Barney gave his family live updates from Festival 8 with Phish.  Having caught the bug, below you will find what Barney did in 2010 as an assistant to Concert Confessions founder & spiritual guru Reverend Justito.  Thank you for checking this article out and sharing in my families holiday tradition.  I hope it brings you as much joy as it brings the seven of us on Christmas Day.

The goal was simple. Take a bunch of Barney photos with celebs here in Los Angeles. Then it occurred to me that I don’t want to be that guy. When you see Marsha Cross eating lunch with her family, the last thing the Desperate Housewife needs is me bugging her for a photo with Barney. So after a conversation with the fine folks in Whitechapel, the plan changed from Barney with celebs to Barney rocking out with some of the best live acts of 2011.

The first artist Barney met was Joseph Arthur. I apologize to Mr. Arthur that the photo came out so poorly.

In June, Barney cruised up the coast to Ventura. There he spent the day at the Vans Warped Tour. It was on this day that Whitechapel just suggested he take a photo with them on stage.

As you know, we got busted by a YouTube user in the act.

Later that day, Barney rocked out with The Dickies.

The highlight of the day was Barney meeting the lead singer of Angry Samoans – Metal Mike. A fan for 15+ years, it was a dream come true.

A few weeks later, Barney hit up the Cool Tour. While it may have had a terrible name, the package tour had some great bands. That day, Barney rocked hard with…

Cancer Bats

The Acacia Strain

Between the Buried and Me

As I Lay Dying

Barney tried real hard to get a photo pass for Phish. He was denied, but that didn’t stop him and his pal Cookie Monster from rocking out for three days at the Greek with his favorite band.

A few weeks later, Barney was handed a photo pass for another favorite act – Coheed and Cambria. Sadly at the Wiltern, the photo pit is 25 feet from the stage. So ummmmm maybe next time Claudio.

In October, Barney hit Amoeba to check out an in store with Alain Johannes. Not only did he get to watch the man perform songs from his debut album, but he got to meet him as well.

As an added bonus, Barney ran into his old friend – comedian Steve Agee.

Shortly after Halloween, Barney snuck into the Key Club where he watched Helmet close out their lengthy North American tour. Barney and Helmet main man Page Hamilton were able to discuss how disgusted they were with the 49ers after the show.

Barney’s magical tour of 2010 ended on a high note. Sold out in under an hour; Phishing Barney snuck on stage with Mike Gordon of Phish at the intimate Troubadour.

All in all, 2010 was a great year for Barney. Who knows what 2011 has in store?!?!?!

Mike Gordon – The Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA – 11-10-10

Mike Gordon at the Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA 11-10-10

Review and photos by thenaturalstoner

When I first planned my current week long vacation, I was excited by the thought of coming home and writing a great review about the Mike Gordon show at the Crocodile Cafe in Seattle last night. Unfortunately things do not always go as planned, and I will have to shift my main focus towards the PACKED venue instead of the musical act in this write-up.

I hope last night was an abnormality, because things did not seem to be running very well by the Crocodile Cafe staff.  Making people wait until after 9pm (lines were formed at 7pm in expectations of getting in) to get inside was just the start. The club was oversold by what felt like 100% and the crowd was in essence a pack of sardines.  Minimal crowd dancing/involvement (due to lack of space), long lines at the bar and restrooms, and a general rudeness in the crowd made last night one to forget.

This is extremely unfortunate because the music on stage was great!  Similar to the show two nights before in Portland, the band came out and had a great energy.  The crowd was enjoying it as much as they could in the little space allotted, and Mike was taking leads and dropping bombs.  Sadly many in the crowd, and most in my group, didn’t stay long enough to really enjoy it.
The first casualty in our group left after the 3rd song, and the others all followed, trickling out one after another.  These aren’t casual music fans either, these folks go to lots of shows and enjoy good music, but the venue and crowd last night was unbearable. “I’ve had enough, had to bail” was a text message I got about 25 minutes into the show.

You know the feeling when you have an aisle seat and are always shifting your upper body to let folks around/through? Well it was like that continuously throughout the entire venue no matter where you went.  There was no relief of sweaty bodies or any space to dance, even in the back.  It was mainly this reason that my friends, and many others, left early.

Mikes two sets were terrific, but I can’t help but think back two nights to the Portland gig at the Aladdin Theatre, which seemed like a much better fit venue-wise for this kind of show.  I left thinking how much I wished Mike had booked one of Seattles many Theatre venues instead of the Croc (which certainly has its place, but seemed like an odd pairing on this night).  I can only imagine tonights show at the Wilma Theatre in Missoula will be of the “Great” variety instead of what we got last night, and hopefully the Crocodile Cafe will get some things figured out for the future.  I firmly plan on going to another Croc show to compare and write another review and hope to have a blast!

Phish vs. The Philharmonic – Another Open Letter To Phish

Dear Phish,

On Monday I had to go to the dentist and get my teeth cleaned which resulted in me taking a different route to work.  Along that route was The Troubadour where I was lucky enough to see Mike Gordon just shy of 48 hours earlier.  However, it was another legendary Southern California venue that not only caught my eye but gave me an amazing idea that I think you are going to like.  Because after all, I know you guys don’t have anything to do then read open letters from a bitter West Coast fan who wishes you guys played my time zone multiple times a year.


Rumor has it that you guys had a hold on the Hollywood Bowl (for what they call a lease event) for your Fall 2004 tour.  We all know what happened there and why you never made it.  Since you have returned from your break up, multiple “rumors” have pointed to you playing the historic hillside venue.  Clearly this has yet to happen.  Then again, you have yet to play Los Angeles county since your return, not that I am crying or anything like that.  Yet as I drove past the venue on my way to work Monday, a huge WHAT IF sunk into my head.

 What if Phish not only played the Hollywood Bowl, but played it with the LA Philharmonic?


Now let’s look at the benefits of this truly epic idea.  First off and most obvious, is the fact that the Bowl is an amazing venue where everyone who is anyone has graced the stage.  In my decade in Southern California I have seen the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Gnarls Barkley, Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin and Willie Nelson perform.  I could name hundreds of artists who have graced the stage.  Hell they even let Vampire Weekend perform at the Bowl, so why not Phish?  They can clearly pack large venues and can you imagine the Kuroda light show inside of the band shell?  I know I don’t need to mention how much nicer the hills of Hollywood are versus the hills of Irvine, Chula Vista or San Bernardino where those other outdoor music venues are located.


Now, for those who live outside of Southern California, here is something you may not know about the Bowl.  When a show is sponsored by the Bowl, you are encouraged to bring in your own food and drink (beer and wine only, sorry no hard alcohol).  Could you imagine sitting there under the stars with a nice red wine and some organic vegan snacks while the sounds of Moma Dance tickled your ears?  Then again, this could also be used as an argument as to why Phish should not play the Bowl.  So remember wooks, hippie crack addicts and other scum of our community – if this is to happen, this is a privilege.  Respect it.


While an open beverage policy and historical landmarks are indeed important, the main point is the music.  Each year a few contemporary artists (Death Cab for Cutie, Faith Hill etc) come to the Bowl and perform songs backed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Perhaps the band could perform alone during Set I, but invite the LA Phil out for Set II.  Sure, you may not have any massive “Mikes>Simple>Light>Weekapaug” jams, but could you imagine songs like “You Enjoy Myself” “The Divided Sky” and even “Time Turns Elastic” backed by some of the worlds most respected musicians?  I am sure Trey can and I am sure the thought would send his ADHD into overdrive.

So let’s do it!  Phish – it gives your loyal west coast fans not only a chance to see you, but a very special event.  It gives Fishman a chance to rock a suit like it was 1997 all over again.  It gives Trey the chance to use his immense talent once again to transcribe Phish classics for strings and horns and other fine orchestral instruments.  Most important, the band has a chance to not only take their music in a new direction, but prove themselves to a whole new set of fans (as the Hollywood Bowl crowd is often made up “subscribers” whose whole point is to discover new music).  Phish, meet the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Los Angeles Philharmonic – please meet Phish.  I am ready to have my mind melted in an all new way (may I suggest July 4th weekend 2011).  After all, if Raphael Saadiq is going to perform your songs at the Bowl, you may as well do the same.

Thanks for your time,

Reverend Jusito – concertconfessions.com

CC: Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Mike Gordon – The Aladdin Theatre – Portland, OR 11-8-10

Mike Gordon at the Aladdin Theatre, Portland, OR 11-8-10

Mini-Review and Photos by thenaturalstoner


Mike Gordon at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland was a truly great experience for those lucky enough to get a ticket to the sold out performance.  From the Andelman’s Yard opener to a raging cover of Cities to the Takin’ it to the Streets encore the tiny Aladdin Theatre was bouncing and shaking all night long.


I didn’t know what to expect at my first Mike Gordon solo show, I had seen him play with Leo Kottke at Horning’s Hideout but never his solo band, but my expectations were high. One of my favorite musicians of all time playing my favorite big city in the United States makes one eager for a great experience.  The band definitely did not disappoint.  The guitar and keys were fantastic all night and Mike rocking the bass had the crowd very into it. Fun covers and great versions of Mike tunes were aplenty and everyone was having a blast.

I thought the show really took off towards the end of the first set and the energy built all the way through the encore.  The Crocodile Cafe in Seattle is up next for Mike and I will be at that show as well.  After what I saw last night I can only say I wish I was going on to Missoula and farther, as this tour is heating up!

Thanks for the great night Mike, see ya up the road!

Mike Gordon 11/06/10: Troubadour – West Hollywood, CA

Mike Gordon 11/06/10

Troubadour – West Hollywood, CA

Words/Photos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com

As some of you may recall, I wrote a rather nasty open letter to Phish a few months back.  It’s not easy being a fan of the band in the Pacific Time Zone and I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that my coast has been largely overlooked.  So when news broke that Phish bassist Mike Gordon would kick off his own fall tour at the tiny Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA I made sure to get my tickets right away.  If this was the only live appearance by a member of Phish in Los Angeles County for 2010, then there was no way I was going to miss it.

It’s a good thing I did get those tickets right away as the show sold out moments after going on sale.  All up and down Santa Monica Blvd fans did their best to find an extra, however from what I could tell there were none to be had.  My goal was to get into the venue early and grab the front row of the balcony; however after some box office confusion I ended up in what would be the second row of the main GA floor.  This was a blessing in disguise, as I realized during the nights first song “Sound” that I was less than three feet away from the man often referred to as Cactus.

Supporting his most recent release Moss, the night featured a few songs from the new record as well as classic Gordo cuts and a plethora of covers.  Gordon and guitarist Scott Murawski synchronized jumping during “Dig Further Down” got the crowd pumped up early on.  In fact, I was shocked at how energetic the usually reserved Gordon was.  One Cactus outburst came during the Beatles cover “She Said, She Said.”  With an unusual device that I can only describe as a drum machine meets a bomb detonation device, Gordon allowed fans up front to take a quick solo during an extended jam.

I personally feel the highlights of set one were the two new covers Gordon debuted.  The first was the Tower of Power classic “Down To The Nightclub.”  One couldn’t help but smile when Gordon sung the opening lines “It’s Saturday night and I’m just hanging out – looking for a place to party.”  However it was a cover of the David Essex one hit wonder “Rock On” that not only took the crowd by surprise, but was the hands down highlight of set one.  Gordon and company gave the song a cold almost mechanical feel and stretched it well past 10 minutes as it morphed into “Susskind Hotel.”  The set closed with a rocking “Idea” as many fans snuck off the crowded GA floor and marched back to the bar to get a head start on drinking during set break.

The second set got off to a great start with the opening track from Moss called “Can’t Stand Still.”  Many fans pogoed and bounced as Gordon lead his backing band through the melodic number.  As the set progressed, we witnessed the live debut of “I Sure Miss My Mind” featuring keyboardist Tom Cleary on lead vocals.   The song was enjoyable, but it stuck out like a sore thumb compared to the other bass heavy jams.  Any momentum lost was quickly recovered with the Phish song – “Sugar Shack.”  With fans cracking Mike up with chants for “Fuck Your Face” and “Harpua” all night, “Sugar Shack” was the lone Phish song blessed upon Southern California this year.

The covers continued as the band performed both a moody version of the Gillian Welch song “Time (The Revelator)” and a funkified cover of the 70’s instrumental “River Niger.”  Where covers were the highlight of the first set, the musical highlight of set II was the closing “15 Step>Another Door.”  Anyone who knows anything about music is aware that Gordon is one of the most under-rated bassist in rock music.  Since the return of Phish, Cactus has really upped his playing to a whole new level and to stand two feet from the man upon such a tiny stage was an amazing experience.

Before chants of Cactus could really take off, the band was back on stage for an encore (no joke, I think they were off stage for about 45 seconds).  Playing the lone song from his solo debut Inside In the crowd was treated to funky version of “Soulfood Man.”  For one final time the So-Cal jam fans that were lucky enough to make it into the intimate venue got their fix of 1/4th of Phish.  With Gordon going slap happy on his 5 string bass, smiles were plentiful and all who made it in were thankful for a wonderful night of music.

Fuck Our Face For Once: An Open Letter To Phish

Dear Phish,

On behalf of your West Coast fans, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my rotten heart for once again dicking us over. I get it, you have families, you want the easy paycheck, but for the love of God would it kill you to give the West Coast a little love? If my count is right, at the end of this fall tour, Phish Version 3.0 will have played 125 shows. Of those 125 shows, only 9 were held within the Pacific Time Zone. Of those 9 shows, 5 were in locations that were at least 2+ hours from a major airport, 3 (and the only known shows in the PST in 2010) were in a venue that holds under 10,000 people leaving many West Coast fans shut out (but hey, at least all those trust fund phans from back east were able to come out and enjoy the left coast) and then we had 1 show mid-week last summer leaving us non Bay Area fans who work for a living out in the cold.

Even if you throw Colorado into the mix, that brings the total to 18 shows. Keep in mind that of the 9 shows Colorado has gotten, not a single one has been held within a venue that can hold over 10,000 phans.

If my arguments for a lack of shows is not strong enough (I can already hear the east coast trust fund kids crying/mocking this post) let’s talk about set lists. Three nights at The Greek and our big bust out is The Lizards? Don’t get me wrong, it was much better than my 9th Limb by Limb in 20 shows, but let’s look at your undersold North Carolina shows from this summer? Two shows, big venues and plenty of extras to be had, you not only give those fans the first Fuck Your Face in over two decades; it comes moments after The Lizards.  I know, lets reward that region with two shows in South Carolina this fall, but skip Portland, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Seattle, Sacramento, San Diego and Phoenix.  Same thing for Alpine Valley – plenty of extra tickets and boom you bust out some serious guns. Hell, most of your East Coast summer run was undersold, so hey why not award that region with more shows.  Fans begged for Prep School Hippie at the Greek, we wanted our bust out, our special moment and you failed us yet again. But hey, at least you spared us Time Turns Elastic.

Let your east coast snobs run to the potty when you close set 1 of your 6th New York State show this year with that giant turd of a song.

Of the 9 shows in the Pacific Time Zone, I will thank you for last years Festival 8. I doubt many bands could draw 40,000+ fans a day to the Empire Polo Fields, and everyone from mainstream press to this angry phan sang the praises of your three day 90+ song Halloween spectacular. But what have you done with that positive reception and energy coming out of Festival 8? You left it out in the desert to die a slow death. You have left all your West Coast fans to suffer, and I have to ask why? I would suggest perhaps you hate our crowded freeways, but judging by your cute lil viral video (which features a ton of our freeways despite no tour dates here) that’s not the case. Is it jet lag? Is Trey afraid of falling off the wagon after rocking a sold out Hollywood Bowl (you know, the venue you were supposed to play in Fall 2004, only to dick us out of those memories by breaking up)? So what gives Phish, where is the west coast love?


Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com


PHISH FALL TOUR 2010 from Phish on Vimeo.

Phish 08/07/10: Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA

Phish 08/07/10

Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA

Words/Photos/Videos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com

Before we really get going, I need to thank a few people for making this entire weekend possible.  I was shut out via mail order and ticketmaster.  Chad and Eric came to my rescue with one ticket for each night and I didn’t have to pay a cent for it.  You guys are incredible.  I would also like to thank James and Kelly for letting me crash for two nights.  You guys rule and so does your cat Javier (he is the softest cat I have ever touched).  I would also like thank my Mom and Dad for letting me crash for a few nights as well.  I know you kinda have to let me crash, but it’s still appreciated.  So a big thank you to EVERYONE who made this the highlight of my summer!

Now let’s get to the part about the final night of Phish at the Greek.

I spent a good part of Thursday in Berkeley, and was shocked at the length of the line to get in when I got to the venue around 3:00 pm.  Friday, I left 90 minutes later than I had planned before I knew of line issues, and somehow managed to get a better seat (thanks Kobe).  Saturday, I drank beer all day with James and Kelly in Berkeley.  Enjoying time with my good friends, let’s just say my plan was to enjoy night three from the venues back lawn section.  Then I met Mar Vista (name changed of course) an attractive, but chain smoking pixie type with Bono-esque shades and a large wedding ring.  Since we live about three miles from each other, she insisted I join her and her crew about 25 feet from drummer Jon Fishman.  How could I say no to the best seat all weekend?

The show started with my fourth “AC/DC Bag.”  I don’t think I will ever get sick of this one – such a fun song.  On this particular night, the song didn’t get too wild, just did it’s job by getting our final night off to a rocking start.  Personally the highlight of set I for me was the second song “Foam.”  I am a huge fan of Gordon’s bass line in this one and getting to witness it live for the first time was amazing.  Here’s hoping it’s not another 20 shows before I get another one.

“Gotta Jiboo” is a song that has grown to annoy me over the years.  The highlight was Cookie Monster dancing in front of me.  “Reba” however picked back up my personal energy level.  I was really hoping we would get some whistling at the end, but that was not in the cards.  I will say with my last two Reba’s being flubbed by the band, it was nice to hear the band finally nail it.


With energy high from both the crowd and the band, I felt Phish shot themselves in the foot with their next two songs.  More power to you if these songs do it for you, but “Sleep Again” and “Army of One” killed the vibe for many.  If there is any positive out of this, it’s that “Army of One” started a nice run five song run.  “Poor Heart” followed the two soft adult contemporary Phish jams and that was the perfect quick boost of energy needed by the audience.


I was shocked when “Poor Heart” found it’s way into “46 Days” but the band made the transition is fine fashion.  “46 Days”  is already a rocker but guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio really managed to send this one into overdrive.  From there, it was time for my first “Tube” (not to be confused with “First Tube”).  Yes folks, it took my 20 shows and a trip to Berkeley, but I finally got it.  To make the moment perfect, some guy in a Bo Jackson Raiders jersey walked right past me as Anastasio sang on a freeway in Los Angeles.  Cheap trill perhaps but it made me smile.  The set closed with “Character Zero.” where I was hit by one of two crowd surfing blow up dolls.  “Zero” is a perfect set closer and sent the crowd into break on an up note.


With everyone around me doing massive amounts of cocaine, Berkeley on Saturday Night felt more like Hollywood, which made for a strange vibe.  It got to me a bit during the first set, but I moved where I was right at the start of the second set and never looked back.  If I had one more set back home away from the lame LA scene, then lord knows I was going to enjoy it.  I decided to tape one song and that was the Gamehendge rocker “Wilson.”  With an audience call and response and just rocking licks by Anastasio this was the perfect way to start set II.


“Light” is a monster and coming out of “Wilson” the mood was high.  Another track from Joy called “Twenty Years Later” managed to come through from the ridiculous jam that was “Light.”  I thought “Twenty Years Later” sounded great and was stoked to hear it.  With some of the newer material out of the way, it was time to enjoy some classic.  The first being “Harry Hood” a song that’s broken into three sections and dares to question where Harry goes when the light goes off.  It took me 17 shows to get the bass-heavy “Theme From The Bottom” so getting number two during the next run of shows was a nice surprise.  Once again the band nailed the song and the crowd already high energy level only continued to rise.

The highlight of the show is a toss up between “Light” and “Also Sprach Zarathustra > Suzy Greenberg > Slave to the Traffic Light.”  “Zarathurstra” (aka the theme from 2001) is always an epic event and the insane fog & light show only benefited from the cement wall that makes up the back of the stage.  It was super quick switch from “2001>Suzy Greenberg” which made the energy going into Suzy that much thicker.  We even got a tail end jam out of “Suzy” that was on fire.  “Slave to the Traffic Light” wrapped the set and that feeling of “oh no it’s almost over” hit my gut hard.

The encore was a blast.  Holy smokes, they played “Lizards” it was amazing.  Anastasio had to cheat off some lyrics posted for him, but the entire band sounded as if they play this song all damn day.  We may not get crazy bust outs like “Fuck Your Face” out west, but hey at least we got “Lizards.”  “First Tube” gave us one last dance as the band rocked the hell out of the instrumental.  The final night at the Greek was Anastasio’s night to shine and “First Tube” is built for maximum Anastasi-ass-kicking!  A perfect send off for a perfect weekend; thank you Phish for three wonderful days at the venue where I have seen everyone from the Butthole Surfers to Ben Harper.  You now hold the fondest musical memories of mine at the Greek Theatre.  Now where the hell are those fall tour dates?

Phish 08/06/10: Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA

Phish 08/06/10

Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA

Words/Photos/Videos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com

Note:  This is the second review I wrote while taking BART from Berkeley to the penninsula.  I wrote this on my iPod, and as I edit/put this together on Sunday I think it holds up rather well given the condition I was in.  Special thanks to Katy Perry for some inspiration on this one.

I tried an experiment tonight.  What would happen if I rocked my Lakers/Lizards t-shirt and $4.99 Lakers cap at a Phish show by the Bay?  You see I was born in the Bay Area but migrated south just shy of a decade ago.  I could give a rats ass about the NBA, but as a Bay Area sports fanatic I know what it’s like to wear Orange and Black to Dodgerstown USA.  As it turns out, wearing the purple and gold to night two of the Phish summer 2010 run at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA was an amazing idea that only helped to fuel my miracle weekend.

The band kicked the night off with a warning shot – “Chalkdust Torture.”  Appropriate for a venue located on a major college campus, the no BS rocker set the pace for what would become a rocking night.


“Guyute” reared his ugly head once again, and eased both the band and crowd into the wild ride.  One benefit of Lakers gear was free beer.  The parking lots at Phish shows often turn into a flea market where fans can purchase/trade goods.  With a mix of many fan taking mass transit and a lack of parking lots at the Greek Theatre, the Flea Market came to those waiting in line to enter the intimate General Admission venue.  Thanks to my killer fashion sense, I scored four free beers on top of my tasty Monster/Vodka.  Why am  I telling you this?  Because with 16 total stalls inside the venue for 6000+ dudes, “Ocelot” was tinkle time.

I made it back to my slab of concrete just in time for my very first “It’s Ice.”  I say my slab, but really it belonged to a few kind souls who allowed my fat ass to sneak in, but more on them later.  “Ice” was a nice treat lead by keyboardist Page McConnell the song served as the bridge between foreplay and straight up skull fucking.

With the over-sold venue in the clutches of the jam kings the group got all kinds of nasty with “Cities>Moma Dance>Bathtub Gin>Stealing Time From The Faulty Line”. The crowd cheered loudly as front man/guitarist TreyAnastasio sang the line about the ancient Greeks from “Cities.”. As sweet as that was, the highlight of the foursome was the funky jam from the Talking Heads original/Phish stable into “Moma Dance.”  I often find myself skipping over “Mama” on my iPod, however live it never disappoints.  This one worked so well coming from “Cities” and had everyone grooving hard.  “Gin” is the type of song I can take or leave, but with the energy coming in from the last two songs mixed with the tightness the boys are playing with – well let’s just say that was the best damn gin I have ever tasted.

The set closed with my favorite song from the bands most recent release Joy – “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan.”  With the chorus Got a Blank Space Where My Mind Should Be being belted out by Anastasio, I just had to chuckle as it summed up my feelings at the half-way mark of the weekend.


So let’s use set break to get back to that Lakers/Phish experiment.  I want to give a shout out to Moorpark Marty, Hunter uSc Thompson and Fuck Stanford.  Yes, names are changed to protect the fine folks who allowed me to crash into their space.  You see this is the beauty of a Phish show – you can go solo and make 15 new friends just like that.  I knew Hunter was my key in, because of his USC Trojan sodomizing a Cal Bear shirt.  Fuck Stanford wearing a LA Kings hat only soothed my nerves as I decided to beg for a little bench action.  I offered cash, drugs and seat protection in exchange for 1/2 the aisle seat.  These fine folks took me in free of charge and within seconds we had bonded over our love of sports and the west coast.  I know for a fact, you would not find this type of love/respect and community at Ozzfest or a U2 gig.  This is just another reason why Phish fans are the greatest.

So let’s get into set II.  All I have to say is that I am at a lack of words it was so damn mind blowing.  The set kicked off with a cover of the Velvet Underground classic “Rock & Roll.”  This is a number that the band has performed numerous times since their Halloween 98 cover of the Loaded album.  For me, this was my first “Rock & Roll” and in person it kicks much harder than on disc.  For as much as I have praised Mike Gordon so far, it is really important to praise the Phish version 3.0 vocals of McConnell.  His voice sounds stronger and more confident than ever and got the second set off to a great start.

“Ghost” was the opener of my first Phish show and will forever hold a special place in my heart.  This did a good job of setting the funk, and the jam out of it was smoking.  In fact it was so good that the one major oops of the night couldn’t slow the band down.  Yes Trey pre-ejaculated the segue from “Ghost” into thenaturalstoner favorite “Mike’s Song,” but once the band locked in and picked up speed the song was heavy like Katy Perry titties.  The song flowed right into “Simple” which was the highlight of set II.  The song was solid, but the anti-jam that followed caused the hair on your back to raise.  I am pretty sure the fine folks who are on this BART train coming home from the Crystal Castles show in Oakland would have dug this.  (Side note, watching some hippie upset a hipster by pulling on his tie – priceless).

While the next few songs were not where I wanted to go, the trip didn’t suck.  I feel that “Backwards Down The Number Line” is a tad cheesy but that’s just me.  The new song “Show of Life” was just too mellow from what the band had going, but it gave me a chance to take a seat.  I will say that after the first two thirds of the song, the mini-jam and last third has potential and at least the lyrics seem motivational?!?!?!?!  The smile on Anastasio’s face while performing “Show of Life” makes me think this one may end up in heavy rotation.  I have nothing nice to say about “Seven Below” so let’s just pretend that never happened and get back to heavy-Katy-Perry-tittie-Phish-jams (can you tell the gal next to me is reading the new Rolling Stone?).

I was robbed of a “Weekapaug Groove” last fall at Festival 8 (which in it’s own way is kind of special) so I was glad the band busted it out here.  It’s always been all about Gordon on this one and with his new beefier tones, I was ready to start a most pit vs. noodle dance (a bit hard to most on stairs I suppose).  I actually figured the set would end here, but I was dead wrong.  What I feel is the quintessential Phish song – “You Enjoy Myself” followed.  From it’s massive build up, trampolines, highly deep lyrics (Boy, Man, God, Shit) and ending vocal jam, this really is the perfect reflection of what Phish is.  Oh and watching Anastasio do his silly white boy dance while Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman funk out only to flow seamlessly into the vocal jam is worth price of admission alone.  Rumor has it YEM (as fans call it) has only followed “Weekapaug” once.  With that happening in 1989 in Vermont, I am stoked I got to see that craziness go down in 2010.


The band came out and closed the night with a cover of the Led Zeppelin classic “Good Times, Bad Times.”  My first time seeing the band cover the song, once again McConnell rocked the concrete stage hard, doing his best Robert Plant howl all while holding down the keys.  Even with the band performing Mike’s Groove (Which is “Mike’s Song through “Weekapaug Groove”) McConnell was the MVP of night two at the Greek.  Can’t wait to see how the boys top themselves for night three.


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