Phish In Atlantic City – Night 1 Review

Phish spun the wheel and won big with their 3-night Atlantic City run this summer. These shows began building momentum that has continued to grow and grow over what is shaping up to easily be the strongest tour of 3.0. Here’s some random musings, thoughts, pictures, and more from Welcome To Now as we were lucky enough to be on the scene soaking it all in at all three nights. Below is a night one review, with thoughts on the second two nights to come soon!

While there hasn’t been a lot of action on the blog recently, be sure to ‘Like’ the Welcome To Now Facebook Page where we are keeping the love phlowing all summer long!

Phish in Atlantic City – Night 1

Phish came charging out of the gate with bust-outs, energy, and a very fun and playful attitude for set one on Friday night. First set highlights included an always welcome and jovial My Sweet One bustout and a long awaited It’s Ice. While the latter was not flub-free, the band made a great group effort at one of their more complicated originals, and came out with a strong and united effort. The two big standouts of the rest of the set were a sublime Simple -> The Wedge and downright shredded Stealing Time. A beautiful Squirming Coil (right after sunset) put the end to a well-rounded and solid opening set of the weekend.

Bader at Sunset

Bader at Sunset

The second set, however, was another story altogether. Throwing caution to the wind, the band laid down by far the most impressive set of the summer (up to that point) with some stunning and impressive group improvisation and fiery jams. The My Soul opener got the party started in style and then the band got serious and dropped an all around jam-fest 15-minute Birds Of a Feather that really got people moving. Following up this awesome Birds was the set’s only slower points of BOTT and Heavy Things – which featured precise playing and chill jams – but nothing to write home about.

What came next, however, was an adventurous Twist->Piper that showed that the band came to AC to play for keeps. This two-song smoker featured great playing from all of the boys and started the fun summer ‘Woo!’ chanting that has continued throughout the tour. The rest of the set flowed like butter, featuring a beautiful and welcome Billy Breathes bustout (a personal favorite), a danceable and energetic Sneaking Sally, and a David Bowie set closer that featured teases galore from Trey before a raging peak. A First Tube encore nearly blew up Bader Field – an exceptional version worthy of a re-listen for those not there or those who were there whose faces had already melted to the ground.

The Ferris Wheel and Crowd at AC

The Ferris Wheel and Crowd at AC

All in all, night one was the kind of Phish show you walk out of and have a hard time contemplating how much fun and musical exploration is to come over the next two nights. The band came out firing and made it clear this was going to be a weekend to remember. It was arguably the best show of the summer tour so far, until night 2 (review to come)…

Night 1 setlist courtesy of

Set 1The SlothMy Sweet One > 46 Days > Camel WalkTube > Cities > It’s Ice,Ginseng SullivanStashSimple > The WedgeStealing Time From the Faulty Plan,The Squirming Coil

Set 2My SoulBirds of a Feather[1] -> Back on the Train > Heavy Things > Twist >Piper[2] > Billy BreathesSneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > David Bowie[3]

EncoreFirst Tube[4]

[1] Unfinished.
[2] “Woo!” quotes from Twist in intro.
[3] Stash, It’s Ice, Birds of a Feather, Simple, and Ginseng Sullivan teases. Wedge tease from Fishman.
[4] “Woo!” quote from Twist.

For those of you interested in summer tour recordings, follow Welcome To Now on Facebook and send us a message and we’ll help point you in the right direction ;)

We’ll Miss You Levon

The music world lost a great this week – we’ll miss you Levon Helm – may your backbeat roll on forever. Here’s some vids to enjoy and look back on the musical journey of one of the greats.

The Weight from The Band’s Last Waltz:

Levon and his All Star Band do Up On Cripple Creek in 89:

Levon Helm Band doin’ Tennessee Jed on Letterman in 09:

Levon Helm, ‘When I Go Away’ Studio Track from Dirt Farmer:

Levon Helm Band w/ Bob Weir pickin’ on Deep Elem Blues at GOTV 2011:

Midnight Ramble performance of Ophelia in 2012:

Conspirator – The Independent – 3/24/12

This past Saturday night, San Francisco’s trendy, intimate club ‘The Independent’ hosted a serious electronic gathering including Conspirator, Orchard Lounge, Wyllys, and NVO. Suprisingly, the club wasn’t packed to the gills and the crowd was in good spirits for a serious EDM dance party with lots of bay area freaks in attendance. Unfortunately, WTN didn’t make it in for NVO or Wyllys, but we caught both OL and Conspirator and can report that both threw down hard for the SF fans. To get a taste of Wyllys, check out this full set of his + J-Ha and Chainsaw at Sullivan Hall.

Orchard Lounge laid down a spirited high-energy set that saw the three-DJ team tag off and on and even tag team on a few tracks, rarely stopping the music. For the most part, they kept the beats upbeat and accesible, with mid to fast tempo bass-heavy house and funk grooves. After a very, very solid set that warmed everybody up, OL introduced Conspirator round’ midnight. Brownie, Magner, Michetti, and drummer-for-the night KJ Sawka took the stage, Brownie spoke about his love for SF, and they launched into an all out, nearly 2-hour long assualt of banging beats, slick guitar riffage, and some solid jams and comical banter from a clearly ‘loose’ Brownie.

OL at the Indy 3/24

OL at the Indy 3/24

The focus this night was on rock and guitar heavy ‘bangers’ (including a take on Tom Saywer), with a little less Biscuits-style jamming then I’ve seen in the past. This seemed to mesh well with OL’s set and kept the energy high throughout their time on stage. The performance was energized by the dynamic and impressive drumming of KJ Sawka – he really got down and dirty and wasn’t afraid to show off. The band as a whole definitely seemed to be locked in and excited about the music they’re writing and performing these days, and Michetti looks to be getting a lot more comfortable letting go and shredding. The MVP of the performance, however, had to be Aron Magner, who really seemed to be running the show and directing the band at many points throughout the night.

Conspirator - 3/24/12

Conspirator - 3/24/12

All in all, a sick night of EDM madness in SF! You can check out Conspirator on tour this spring/summer or pick up their new live DVD.

7 Walkers – Slim’s SF – 3/23/12

Bill Kreutzmann and Papa Mali rolled through San Francisco this past Friday night for a big bay area appearance of 7 Walker’s at Slim’s Music Hall. This swampadelic GD offshoot also features George Porter Jr. of the meters on bass and Matt Hubbard on keyboards. The bluesy, gritty foursome has matured in big ways since they formed a few years ago. Their sound is bigger, bolder, and way more defined now (not to mention they’ve upgraded their light rig a ton as well). Friday night’s show included a bunch of cuts from their studio album such as an extended and exciting take on their self-titled Seven Walkers track. The band also offered up seriously jammed out and heavy-hitting dead classics, especially in set 2, like a rollicking Eyes (George Porter on vocals) and a jaw-dropping Rider that Papa Mali took down with serious emotion.

7 Walkers - Slim's

7 Walkers - Slim's

7 Walkers ~ Slim’s SF ~ 3/23/2012

Set 1: Jam -> Sue from Bogalusa, He’s Gone, Bird Song, Just Kissed My Baby*, Death Don’t Have No Mercy, Hey Bo Diddle, Smokestack Lightning

Set 2: King Cotton Blues -> Eyes of the World -> For the Love of Mr. Okra -> New Orleans Crawl -> Seven Walkers, I Know You Rider

Encore: Wharf Rat

* – w/ Zigaboo Modeliste on Drums, no Bill

Recording coming ASAP

7 Walkers - Slim's

7 Walkers - Slim's

Check out more great pics from the show over at

Camp Bisco Lineup Released

This year’s Camp Bisco lineup was officially released today. Topping the bill is three big headliners: The Disco Biscuits (with their first shows since Holidaze), Bassnectar, and Skrillex. As Marc Brownstein said on Facebook, “the lineup is deep“, and there really are a ton of great mid-sized and smaller names on the bill. To name a few exciting acts making an appearance, this year’s fest will feature Sphongle, Lotus, Brothers Past, Orchard Lounge, Future Rock, and Amon Tobin.

There is, however, a significant uproar in the Biscuits community over bigger names like Skrillex and Bassnectar appearing at Camp. The complaints are two-fold: first, these large acts make the festival bigger, less intimate, and less Biscuits-centric. Second, the younger ‘bro-step’ fans that these acts bring in are generally unwelcomed by the Biscuits community. It is always hard seeing a small, unified festival blow up and embrace bigger names and other scenes, but the festival is a business, and big means more money for the promoters. Also, by adding big names like Skrillex, the festival makes it clear that it IS more than a Disco Biscuits festival, it is a premier EDM festival that can propser and go on even if the Biscuits don’t.

Camp Bisco Initial Lineup

Camp Bisco Initial Lineup

In addition to this big news, The Disco Biscuits also announced the next Holidaze festival yesterday, which will move from January to December of this year and also move locations to Tulum, Mexico. While the month and location are changing, this year’s event will again feature The Disco Biscuits, Umphrey’s McGee, and STS9. This is big news in the Disco Biscuits community as the band had fans fearing that this year’s Camp shows would be the last from the band for some time. It still reamins to be seen if 2012 will see any other tDB shows, but one has to imagine a NYE run building on the momentum of Holidaze is likely to go down. Check out the Holidaze website for all the details.

WTN Picks – NYE

Returning now to our WTN Picks series, a retrospective on Phish’s 2011 NYE run, today we highlight a rocking and raging two song sequence of Sneaking Sally and 46 Days from NYE 2011. This rambunctious duo got laid down mid-way through set two and is full of serious peaks, some dirty funk, a nice vocal jam in Sally, and all-around solid and tight playing from the whole band. Many would agree the 46 Days is the (if not one of the) highlights from the NYE show. You can check out both in this multi-cam vid:

The honorable mention for WTN pick from 12/31 is a tie between Steam, which traversed some out there and exciting territory, and Light, which also went off nearing epicness before it was prematurely steered into Golden Age. Both honorable mentions below:

Also be sure to check out the other WTN picks from Phish’s 2011 NYEMSG run here.

Today in Grateful Dead History

Let’s revisit our old ‘Today in Grateful Dead History’ series today with a look back to 45 years ago to the day! March 18th, 1967 – San Francisco, CA — The Winterland Ballroom — a young, acid-fueled, primal Grateful Dead take the stage and offer two sets of blues, jug, rock, folk, and traditional music. This show highlights the band’s divergent tastes during these formative years but also their ability to mend all these different styles together into a unique and cohesive style all their own.

3/18/67 Poster

3/18/67 Poster

The Grateful Dead
March 18th, 1967
San Francisco, CA

Set 1: Me & My Uncle, Next Time You See Me, He Was A Friend Of Mine, Smokestack Lightning, Morning Dew, It Hurts Me Too, Beat It On Down The Line, Dancin’ In The Streets

Set 2: The Golden Road (to Unlimited Devotion), Cream Puff War, The Same Thing, Cold Rain & Snow, Viola Lee Blues, Death Don’t Have No Mercy

Stream via

The Dead in March of 1967 (via

The Dead in March of 1967 (via

For more historical adventures into Deadheadland – check out the ‘Today in Grateful Dead History’ archives

Phil Lesh and Friends – Terrapin Crossroads Opening

Tonight, March 17th, was the official opening night for Phil Lesh’s new Terrapin Crossroads music venue in San Rafael, CA. The opening gig featured Chris Robinson, Jeff Chimenti, Jimmy Herring, Joe Russo, Phil’s two sons — Grahame and Brian — as well as special guests Bob Weir and Jackie Greene sitting in. This is the first of a 13 show run to bust open the new venue with a bang! Rumor has it that Phil will retire from the road in the next couple of years and settle down with frequent local gigs at the new venue, following the Levon Helm ‘Ramble’ model.

Terrapin Crossroads Opening

Phil greets guests (via

For the legions of Bay Area Phil phans, this venue is truly a blessing and tonight’s opening is a big moment in the west coast deadhead scene. Expect lots more show announcements for this year, and a full-on review of the venue when yours truly makes it up there one of these days! Here’s the setlist from the first official Terrapin Crossroads gig:

Phil Lesh and Friends
Terrapin Crossroads Opening Night
San Rafael, CA

Set One
Terrapin Station (Studio version over the PA) ->
Inspiration (live band enters)->
Uncle John’s Band
Ship of Fools
Sail on Sailor (Beach Boys cover)
It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
Whiskey in the Jar
Seven Drunken Nights (Irish Jig)
Wharf Rat
Viola Lee Blues



Set 2*
St. Stephen->
The Wheel
Thorn In My Pride
Scarlet Begonias->
Don’t Play With Fire->
Cryptical Envelopment->
The Other One->
Fire On The Mountain->
Playin’ In The Band
Terrapin Jam->
Playin’ Reprise->
I Know You Rider

Encore: One More Saturday Night

* – Set 2 with Bob Weir

3/17 Setlist

3/17 Setlist

Jam News

Hey WTN fans, here’s a quick look at what’s new in Jam this week:

1. Warren Haynes Band Tour

Warren Haynes will hit the road with his solo band for a mini-tour in April in support of his new Warren Haynes Band DVD coming up. Check out this great interview with Warren where he talks about ABB, Warren Haynes Band, Gov’t Mule, the recent Phil shows, and all things 2012.

2. High Sierra Lineup Announced

The High Sierra Music Festival announced their initial lineup this week. Topping the bill is Ben Harper, Galactic, STS9, Railroad Earth, Toots and the Maytals, ALO, Lotus, and Soulive. Take a look at the announcement vid below:

3. Allman Brothers Band Beacon Run Underway

The Allman Brothers Band annual Beacon Run has kicked into high gear and runs until March 25th. This year, the band has decided to open the second set of each show with a special mini acoustic set during which they will dust off old gems and offer new acoustic takes on classic ABB songs. Check out this comprehensive review and setlist from Saturday night’s show.

4. All Good Adds Bands

The All Good Music Festival, which is re-locating this year to Thornville, OH, just added some new artists to the growing lineup today: Yonder Mountain String Band, Conspirator, and ALO are the biggest new names to join the fest. You can check the full lineup here.

5. Phil Lesh Opens Terrapin Crossroads

Phil Lesh opened his Terrapin Crossroads this past weekend with a series of ‘casual’ shows featuring a number of phriends such as Bob Weir, Jackie Greene, members of Railroad Earth, the Bluhms, Mark Karan, Phil’s son Grahame Lesh, and many others. Phil and Friends will have a massive run coming up from March 17th to April 1st with tons of guests.

3 Years of 3.0

Today marks the three year anniversary of Phish’s triumphant 3/06/09 Hampton, VA reunion show. The opening notes of Fluffhead rang out, shocking the arena and making an affirming statement to the phan base of “We’re back”. For those in attendance including yours truly, this is a musical moment and event that has few, if any, parallels. That evening, we all felt the feeling we’d forgot, and remembered the joy and magic that is the live Phish experience.

                              Hampton Fluffhead jam

Over the past three years, Phish has grown and matured, albeit with some bumps in the road. 2009 saw a regaining of musical chops and the initial integration of Joy material into the repetoire. In 2010, the band had settled in and began to loosen up by extending some jams, adding new covers and originals, and creating some memorable gimmick shows like Guyutica and MPP II’s Saw It Again fest. While 2011 saw repetitive song selection and lack of new material, there were musical highs last year that were not nearly matched in 09′ or 10′. Superball, UIC, and Dick’s were top-notch Phish  – shows that had phans in resounding agreement that ‘They’re back’. Unfortunately, this 3 year story ends with a lackluster MSG 2011 run that faltered likely due to lack of practice and no warmup shows. 

Dick’s Roggae, Ghost->Guy Forget masterpeice

What’s in store for 2012? It’s hard to say, but I think the fanbase is demanding a couple of things: new material, practice, and extended jams. This is the year that the Phish 3.0 story can take off and continue to thrive, or could begin to stagnate. Here’s to hoping it’s a magical year full of the highest highs and fewer lows. Regardless, we can all rejoice that, despite your opinion on 3.0, the band that got away is back, and we can all feel good about that.

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