Phish Puts ‘Everything In Its Right Place’ On Night 11 Of Baker’s Dozen
Words by Jeff Scott
It’s night eleven of Phish’s Baker’s Dozen and the home stretch of this epic run is upon us. The evening’s donut of choice: lemon, glaze with poppy seeds.
The bass funk immediately rings out with Trey Anastasio wailing on the guitar, and asks one favor of us, “See that my Grave is Kept Clean,” by Blind Lemon Jefferson, a slick cover for the opening spot, a tune coincidentally also covered by the Grateful Dead way way back in 1967. On deck is the choppy signal of “Punch You In The Eye.” Did anyone forget about this classic number yet? After frantic transition with drummer Jon Fishman getting aggressive on the snare, It’s “Party Time,” a nice early set dance number where everyone takes a turn in the starring role.
As the party rages forward we get a “Big Black Furry Creature From Mars,” the bands most metal of tunes. They have shown some aggression during this first set, sort of the opposite of the calm feeling of lemons but perhaps it is a call to the sour side of life, when life you gives you lemon (doughnuts)? Now we get to go out to “Dinner and a Movie.” The jazz stylings of Phish are displayed here to contrast the metal of the previous tune, leading us into the slow swing of “Ocelot.” The many tempo changes of this set so far have kept things interesting so far, but “you never listen to me anyhow,” as the band goes into the first jam extension of the night. Here we go into “Poor Heart” to add a little country to the genre variety that this first set has been so far.
A quick jaunt through those proverbial woods steers the set onto the path of the “Winterqueen,” she is a beauty too, and she looks up and sighs as the band pauses and lays into Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold as Love,” a rare set placement for this gem! As Page’s vocals ring out, yellow in this case is not so mellow, we all wait for the epic climax built into this classic Hendrix cover, which Trey delivers to perfection. The pounding of “First Tube” drives the set up onto the peak, whirling around and landing what was a trip of a first frame to the set break.
In a twist of tradition, typical of this Baker’s Dozen run, an a cappella songs kicks off the second set in the form of “Dem Bones,” just to remind everyone how they are put together in case anybody had forgotten. Trey tries to find his footing and finds it in “No Man In No Mans Land.” This piece lays back for awhile trying to find its launching point, with the bass patiently waiting for it to happen. With each bar run through, layer upon layer of texture is adding on like coatings of paint on a wall adding different hues with every stroke. The screeching of Trey’s guitar is what really ties this jam together like the rug in the room. A nice yellow aura colored the transition into “Everything In Its Right Place,” a Radiohead cover that many had called for when the flavor was first revealed; a trippy little number where Page McConnell can really have fun with his synth effects and a little echoing drummer sing, sucking on a lemon.
But “What’s the Use?” anyway, another uniquely placed number, the interplay force of the guitar and bass is strong in this one. Playing back onto the previous song in the space provided, maybe the most psychedelic set of the run. The more upbeat “Scents And Subtle Sounds” follows into a new direction with winds lifting you up into the sky. “No Mans” makes a surprise appearance in the vehicle of this jam continuing the run of teases, this set has produced so far, and leads into the most frenetic pace the night has seen to this point. Page and Mike find a way to play together nicely in the extended transition part and launch into the sea of “Prince Caspian,” some nice soaring guitar work in the jam section of it. Another ambient section slips us out of the waters into some more space like sounds and “Fluffhead” emerges from the primordial ooze much to the delight of the Phaithful!! Fluff’s travel featured some more of the signature interplay between the boys to close it out.
For the encore, Edgar Winter Group’s staple, “Frankenstein,” was the order with the keytar getting some more work in on this run alongside some more space, not to mention a great drum solo. 11 out of 13 in the bag, let’s see how the weekend closes out on this historic run!
Phish @ Madison Square Garden, New York, NY — 8/4/17
Set I: See That My Grave Is Kept Clean , Punch You In the Eye > Party Time, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Dinner and a Movie, Ocelot, Poor Heart, Winterqueen, Bold As Love, First Tube
Set II: Dem Bones, No Men In No Man’s Land > Everything In Its Right Place , What’s the Use? > Scents and Subtle Sounds > Prince Caspian > Fluffhead