Monday, January 4, 2010

Video: Furthur "Time" (Pink Floyd) 12.31.09 BG Civic Center

Video: Furthur "So Many Roads" 12.31.09 Bill Grahm Civic Center Phish's Four-Night Run at the American Airlines Arena, Miami

Better Than: Langerado? Not so sure, but Phish's comeback in March may or may not have contributed to the demise of South Florida's beloved festival.

The Review:

Phish's triumphant return after a five-year hiatus culminated this past week with a four-night run at American Airlines Arena, ending on New Year's Eve. This set of gigs also marked the 10-year anniversary of Phish's Y2K Big Cypress party that brought roughly 80,000 fans to the local Seminole reservation, an event Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio has called the peak of the band's career.

To review a four-night Phish run in a city as exciting as Miami would first need to include some commentary on the scene around and after the shows. Across Biscayne Boulevard from the arena, a temporarily erected fenced-in lot was dubbed "the Rage Cage" by concertgoers, and provided temporary residence to fans crashing in vans and RVs. (For many others, it was a place to pregame.)

As we've reported on this blog, there were also a number of afterparties around town, including a three-night stand at Tobacco Road by local favorites the Heavy Pets, as well as the "Black Curtains at White Room" series which included national jamtronic acts Break Science, Boom Box, and EOTO. There was also a daytime auxiliary art event on the 30th called the Mock Show, featuring poster art from Phish legends Jim Pollock and David Welker, as well as other pieces by fan favorites such as Ryan Kerrigan and Tripp. The Heavy Pets appeared at that event, too, playing their first ever all-acoustic live set.

But for the Phish shows themselves, AAA proved once again to be a great venue, allowing many from around the country to celebrate the end of another decade in shorts and flip-flops. The arena's East Plaza, overlooking the bay and lit by the neon skyline of South Beach, made for a "water in the sky" effect, and provided a place for friends to meet during set break. For a year full of highlights for the band, Miami certainly was the exclamation point.

The energy and attendance grew for each show. There weren't too many fingers in the air outside the arena for long the first two nights, with tons of extra tickets floating around. In fact I felt lucky getting $40 for two tickets extra that originally cost $50 each.

The shows, however, didn't lack musically. The first night's set list included a slew of classics, with the first performance of "My Soul" since 2000, this year's premier of the lullaby-like "Roggae," and new tunes such as "Backwards Down the Number Line" and "Beauty of a Broken Heart," the latter from keyboardist Page McConnell's debut solo album). The crowd was small, so with friends I settled into a spot directly across from the stage to fully soak in lighting director Chris Kuroda's dynamic mind-expanding displays, especially during Mike Gordon's bass-heavy reggae progressions during "Makisupa Policeman" into "Harry Hood."

On night two, empty areas were harder to find, but we ended up 10 rows back, behind the stage, watching the crowd's reaction during a strong second set. This was when Phish melted fans' faces with a series of their trademark segues: "Gotta Jiboo" into "Wilson" back into "Gotta Jiboo" into "Heavy Things." Read more

Winter 2010 Trey Anastasio Band Dates Begin To Leak

As expected 2010 Winter Trey Band dates have begun to be leaked through Ticketmaster and Livenation. The overall direction Trey takes with this band should be interesting one. Will he use the outlet as a songwriting tool; debuting and reworking new songs or revive old Trey Band classics? I do hope to see him continue his mini solo acoustic sets as they were the highlight of the Trey solo shows I attended among 2005-2008.

Unconfirmed Dates:

Feb 8 – Jefferson Theater – Charlottesville, VA
Feb 9 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
Feb 11 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
Feb 12 – House of Blues – Boston, MA
Feb 13 – Oakdale/Chevrolet Theatre – Wallingford, CT
Feb 16 – Terminal 5 – NYC
Feb 14 – Count Basie Theater – Red Bank, NJ
Feb 18 – Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI
Feb 19 – Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL
Feb 20 – State Theatre – Minneapolis, MN
Feb 21 – Uptown Theater – Kansas City, MO
Feb 23 – Pageant Theater – St. Louis, MO
Feb 25 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
Feb 26 – Fillmore – Charlotte, NC
Feb 27 – Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
Feb 28 – Tennessee Theater – Knoxville, TN

Live Rehearsal Setlist: Furthur 1.3.09 142 Throckmorton ~ Mill Valley, California

One Set: On The Road Again, Stagger Lee(jk), King Bee(bw), Hurricane(jk), Women Are Smarter, They Love Each Other(jk), Maggies Farm, Stella Blue(jk)> Throwing Stones> Brokedown Palace(bw), Loser(jk)

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