There is nothing quite like Fall Tour in the North Country. It's hard to blow off Thanksgiving Steam without some live music and I was psyched when The Phish announced NorthEast dates-- especially cuz moe. took this holiday season off. The only thing that could have made Friday night in Albany sweeter would have been some crunchy snow to stamp through on the walk to the Knick.
On the drive up to Albany we got to see some colorful characters, including this dude**, who will be arrested as soon as the cops dig up his backyard and find all the corpses:
There's a moe. sticker on my car's rear bumper.
And then we passed a line of traffic that was stuck behind The Saddest RV In All the Land, doing all of about 50mph in the right lane on the Thruway. Once we had passed Sad RV, Hern begged to go back and take a picture, but that wasn't gonna happen- we had a pregame to get to. Well, apparently our rest stop pee break was timed perfectly cuz when we got off 787, the crooked little camper was right in front of us and we got our precious pic!
We pregamed at McGreavy's Pub across from the Palace Theater (great recommendation from Greg Bell). Our waitress was awesome, the screwdriver was mixed perfectly, and the food hit the spot.
From there we met up with Marty and made the short walk to the venue. Pearl Street was closed off and a Mounted Unit*** corralled the gen-pop into the Times Union Center. Marty suggested using Eric Cartman's diamond-tipped Hippie Drill. It would have worked.
Ahhh, Phish in Albany, it's been too long. Marty and I were in section 122, el herno and Candice in 119, Jackleenz up in 242, Sontags on the floor. Sara was also on the floor and when I went down to say 'hi' I got the good omen of the evening when none other than MCCHICKEN SANDWICH came running over and gave me a hug! WHAAAT? It was gonna be a fun fun night! FALL TOUR, BETCHES!
The Phish hit the stage and we got an energetic AC/DC Bag opener. But the best part--- maybe my favorite part of the night-- was when I heard Fishman tapping and then the bass--- AAAAAAAGH!!!! MAZE!!!! MAAAAZE! FINALLY!!!!! I've been waiting ALL YEAR to hear Maze and they ripped the shit out of it! Page tore it a new #sshole! It just blew everyone in the venue away and energized the room for the entire night. Just fucking stellar. Totally made my night and it was only the second song! My Mind's Got a Mind of It's Own, Gumbo, Ice, Timber, Cavern. Great stuff. Two Versions of Me started and I couldn't not laugh. I apologize. I'm sorry Trey.
We went upstairs to say hi to people and the 2nd set started, so I snapped some cool shots before we headed back down.
Highlights: My Friend, Piper, Suzy, Squirming Coil. They played TV On the Radio's Golden Age, which I'd never heard before and would like to say I enjoyed it but frankly, I don't remember (thinking back, might have taken a bathroom trip when this happened). Page stayed out to finish Squirming Coil but the rest of the guys left the stage. Once he finished, they came back out and Trey asked Page, "We all went backstage to wait for the Encore, but you never came back... Hey Page, Where You Been?"... Cue the piano! -> I Been Around. Cute. That song makes me smile. THEN they went back for the Encore, which ended up being Fire.
High energy all night from both the band and crowd. Speaking of which, more smoke than I've seen in a looooong time at a show. Actual plumes of smoke were rising in the shape of circles from the floor. Fucking smokestacks. Amazing. Well done and done. We went outside and tried to collect the running crew to head over to Savannah's for Dirty Paris and Timbre Coup (also Greg Bell recommended).
Savannah's opened up the entire back half of the bar- it's pretty nice in there w/ an open floor and a zillion beers I can't drink on tap. So they made me a screwdriver... In a pint glass. I felt like Barney Gumble when Duff Man shows up to party with him. Why don't establishments serve me this when I'm not the designated driver? Tough times.
Dirty Paris didn't blow me away**** but Timbre Coup was pretty good. I will check them out again. Then Mike McKinley and his shiny Santa friend Andrew, entertained me for a while.
Hern's not allowed to choose hotels anymore. He's lost that privilege. The Days Inn on Wolf Road did him in.
EXHIBIT A: Cardboard room # signs.
EXHIBIT B: Our swipe key reader was duct-taped together.
EXHIBIT 3: The same destination as the Saddest RV In All The Land.
The face of Food Bloat. Stare at it, America.
My Mind's Got A Mind Of Its Own
Bouncing Around The Room
Two Versions Of Me
Limb By Limb
My Friend, My Friend >
On Your way Down
The Squirming Coil
I Been Around
* Still better than the "Pepsi Arena".
** I'll bet he loves "real America".
*** HAHAHA, horses.
**** HAHAHA, burny.
***** The Maine setlist is absolutely unreal. My head asplode!