Phish’s Halloween Weekend in AC Surprises, Amazes

Anticipation mounted on the day of Halloween. As thousands of people stood in line to get into historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, people took to Twitter to see if there was a leak for what Phish would play as its musical costume on Halloween.

Around 6:38, just eight minutes after the doors opened, pictures and reports of Phish’s second set were officially made known, and it was a curveball. Since Phish never really promised a costume of some over-played classic rock album, they decided to take the ballsier route and debut a set’s worth of new music – an album called “Wingsuit.”

Phish hasn’t even tested the new material in the studio yet but they wanted to do something special for the fans who have followed them loyally for 30 years. The new music was fun, and a lot of respect has to be given to the band for doing something so risky. Some are still disappointed – many who didn’t even go to the show and have no right to complain – but the consensus in that arena that night was love for the new material.

The first set was fast and a little rushed, which was obvious with the band nervous heading into their second set. “Heavy Things,” the band’s only radio hit, “Moma Dance” and a rushed “Poor Heart” started things off. They were followed by “Back on the Train” and a “Horse”-less “Silent In the Morning.

The band finally fired up when they went into “Kill Devils Falls,” which brought some serious heat. They rode that into a good “Mound” and “Camel Walk” before a very neat “Stash.” “Golgi Apparatus” was destined to close the first set but the band ripped into a “Bathtub Gin” that was absolutely incredible and one of the show’s highlights.

The new album was next, and it did not disappoint. “Wingsuit,” the title track, kicked off with an airy Pink Floyd-like sound. That was followed by the album’s best song, “Fuego,” which is going to be a show highlight every time it’s played. It’s that darn good. That was followed by a solid song dedicated to Memphis basketball alum Darius Washington Jr. (story) called “The Line.”

The first of three acoustic songs made it’s debut in “Monica,” which sounded like a 60’s single. “Waiting All Night” and “Snow” sandwiched the other show highlight, “Wombat,” which hilariously featured Abe Vigoda dressed as a wombat and the Abe Vigoda Dancers. (The dancing wombat was not Vigoda, who came out after the song in the same costume as a joke.)

The rest of the album was “Devoted to a Dream,” “555,” “Winterqueen,” “Amidst the Peals of Laughter,” and “You Never Know.” 555 was a funky jam that will turn into another album highlight, and Amidst… will turn into a gorgeous acoustic duet between Trey Anastasio and Paige McConnell.

The band, finally free of the jitters it had going into the second set, exploded during a fire-heavy third set. They kicked off with a 35-minute combo of “Ghost” and “Carini,” which brought some serious energy to the crowd. “Birds of a Feather” kept the crowd rocking before another show highlight, “Harry Hood,” soared with McConnell’s fantastic keyboard work.

A fantastic “Bug” followed before the band ended the third set with a high-octane “Antelope.” Then encore was short and sweet with the Bob Dylan-penned “Mighty Quinn,” a fun song that needs to be paired with another song.

I did not attend Friday’s show, which was the consensus best show of the weekend. The setlist can be seen here. The show featured a fantastic second set with a soaring “Chalk Dust Torture” and excellent encore of a jammed-out “Sneakin’ Sally.”

Saturday’s show didn’t disappoint either. “Wilson”-int0-“Rift” kicked off the show. A standard but nice “Ocelot” followed with a fantastic “Water In the Sky.” “Sample In A Jar,” “Funky Bitch,” and “46 Days” kept the energy up before the highlight of the night, a “Theme From the Bottom” that oddly turned funky as ever.

“Yarmuth Road” and “Limb” were nice set additions before the triplets of “Mike’s Song,” an airy “I Am Hydrogen” and “Weekapaug Groove” ended the first set.

The second set continued to keep the crowd happy with a nice, long “Down With Disease.” That carried into a beautiful “Piper,” excellent “Roggae,” and “Waves,” before getting the crowd ramped back up with a fantastic “Tweezer.” As Tweezer concluded, “Julius” got the crowd back into a dancing mood before “Backwards Down the Number Line” soared with Anastasio’s solo. Backwards was oddly placed at the back-end of the second set, but it’s a great song and people enjoy it.

“Character Zero” ended the second set. “Sleeping Monkey” kicked off the encore with drummer Jon Fishman leading the crowd during the chorus. After a misfire on the home stretch, the band fired off the ending solo before ending the show with a “Tweezer Reprise.” The placed absolutely exploded when the band kicked into the main jam of the song, leaving everyone sweaty, tired and happy with how the mini Fall Tour ended.

The Who Reign O’er Atlantic City With Quadrophenia

Who front man Roger Daltrey famously swings his microphone chord. (Photo by Ben Fogletto/Press of Atlantic City)

The Who front man Roger Daltrey famously swings his microphone chord. (Photo by Ben Fogletto/Press of Atlantic City)

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of their 1973 rock opera “Quadrophenia,” The Who brought their album around the world with them.

On February 22, they stopped in Atlantic City to play the historic Boardwalk Hall, a very appropriate venue for the beach scenery of the second half of the album.

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend, the two surviving members of one of Britain’s greatest rock acts of all time, took old Who fans on a trip down memory lane while bring one of their greatest albums to life for a newer generation of Who fans.

The show started off with the classic crashing of the waves and little teases from the rest of the album. It then spun into a bit of a Who highlight reel with “My Generation” and a couple other 60’s Who songs playing in the background before Daltrey screamed, “Can you see the real me, can you? Can you?!”

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40 For Lent returns for 2013

Hey guys, wanted to let you all know I will be doing a third installment of my “40 for Lent” project.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, and I will be listening to a different album each day. It will be either new music, and album I haven’t touched in a long time or something requested by you, my readers and friends.

I won’t be doing any long, extensive posts on the albums this year since I’m so busy with running TCL Flyers. I will created a page later today and start filling in the days for each album.

Today’s album will be “Boys and Girls” by the Alabama Shakes. The album came out last year.

Have a great day everyone. Off to get my ashes!

2012 Concerts In Review

March 29 – Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

My first Bruce show. Such a life-altering evening seeing the legendary E Street Band and one of the greatest song writers in rock n’ roll history. Bruce rocked the house, and the E Street Band gave me an experience I will never forget.

June 15 – Phish
Bader Field, Atlantic City, NJ

My second Phish show (Camden 2010 was my first). It was a very groovy night. Atmosphere was so fun, and the amount of good beer consumed by me was great. The first set was very spontaneous and weird, but the second set was possibly the highlight of the weekend. A sick Twist > Piper as well as a memorable David Bowie with all the teases made the second set one of the best 90 minutes of music I ever witnessed.

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DMB’s Last Stop in Philly Should Be Their Norm

DMB in Philly on December 22, 2012 (Photo via deandmb.phanfare.com)

DMB in Philly on December 22, 2012 (Photo via deandmb.phanfare.com)

After over two decades of touring, a certain standard is held in the eyes of the Dave Matthews Band fanbase in regards to their beloved band.

Philadelphia’s show was that standard.

On December 22, DMB finished their mini 15-show tour in the City of Brotherly Love, finding a perfect combination of new and old songs that fans hope would be the norm heading into 2013.

The tour was in support to their eighth studio album, Away From the World, which came out in the fall. Six songs from the new album were a part of the 20-song set list.

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Neil Young and Friends Rocked AC for Sandy Relief

Neil Young and Crazy Horse on Nov. 28 in New York City. (Photo by Gretchen Robinette/Brooklyn Vegan)

Neil Young and Crazy Horse on Nov. 28 in New York City. (Photo by Gretchen Robinette/Brooklyn Vegan)

The past month has seen numerous artists taking the stage to do what they do best to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Last night, it was Neil Young’s turn to join the cause and he brought his band Crazy Horse along with him. They were in Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino, taking up shop in the 5,000-capacity Event Center that was filled to the brim.

But before the Canadian rocker and his band of misfits took the stage, Young had a pair of opening acts that set the evening up right.

Everest started the show out, playing a bunch of songs from their latest album “On Approach.”

Following up the young-and-upcomers was the legendary Trey Anastasio from Phish. Anastasio played an all-acoustic set featuring Phish staples “Wolfman’s Brother,” “Back On the Train” and “Chalkdust Torture.”

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A Fall Journey: Mumford’s “Babel” Kicks Off Autumn

The new album by Mumford & Sons, “Babel,” can be played on a loop while traveling down a tree-outlined road with colorful leaves falling all around.

It’s the first impression I got when the new single “I Will Wait” was released and it’s the same impression I got throughout the whole album.

The new album released today in much of Europe, will release next Monday, September 24 in the United Kingdom, and on Tuesday the 25th here in the States.

A problem with Mumford’s first album, “Sigh No More,” was that the whole album tended to blend together, leaving the listener wondering if anything stood out at them. Don’t get me wrong, “The Cave” was a smash hit single and “Little Lion Man,” “Awake My Soul,” and “Roll Away Your Stone,” absolutely moved and captivated a bunch of new Mumford and folk fans.

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