Monday, April 11, 2016

Pink Talking Fish at the Ardmore Music Hall, PA 4/9/16

Fortunate for us we planned ahead and bought tickets a few weeks ago to this sold-out show.  Once again the Ardmore Music Hall booked a solid band of stellar talent, and I am feeling repeated waves of gratitude for having excellent music so accessible outside of New York.  A ten minute drive from our house with free parking makes this venue a win win all around for any local freak.

A hybrid blend of Pink Floyd, the Talking Heads, and those boys from Vermont, Phish, we enjoyed a real treat last night from talented musicians.  They put on a solid show, and we were treated to familiar Floyd tunes such as "Mother," "Dogs," and "Shine on You Crazy Diamond."  The music was absolutely on point, though as we were getting into the groove, my dance neighbor Casey, a lovely and beautiful woman who clearly knows how it happens, said that hearing David Gilmour perform one particular Floyd tune played would *really* blow your mind. No doubt, but I was really enjoying lead guitarist Dave Brunyak take the music to a contemporary level in front of my very eyes.

Here's the setlist I culled. The official setlist is posted at the end of this post.  But cut me some slack:  Me no misses nice noob, but a seasoned über-educated music fan like Bob Lefsetz or any one of the myriad of kind freaks on Neddy and JR's list or in the greater jam band live music world I am neither:

Set I
very. very. very makeshift.  But, mama tried.  Haven't really done setlists since 1995 but I'm going back to my more youthful days.  Don't love looking at a screen so at the end of the set I can at least go back on my notes and see what I just experienced.  Yes, that did just happen.
totally incomplete but pretty good for not asking for anything except for Dogs, which I of course recognized but didn't know the title of.  Ruff ruff.

The show, which was billed as covering Phish's Gamehenge, was truly for any fan of rock & roll. You didn't need to be a Phish fan to appreciate this show.  If you're a music fan of these genres (prog rock, punk, new wave and plain ole rock) you would likely have been familiar with most of the Floyd and Talking Heads tunes played.  Incidentally, I felt a very personal sense of gratitude towards my brother who introduced me to Pink Floyd.  I likely would never have known any Pink Floyd if not for my big brother. So, thanks dude!  But if it were just Floyd and Talking Heads, that would have been enough. Dayeinu, as they say. 

But oh did those Lizard people gather and that famous mockingbird did fly. What I mean by that is that if you were there because you love Phish (which I am guessing was most of the audience) at many points during this show in suburban Philadelphia, you'd probably be smiling all the way to King of Prussia.  Especially when my new and local mama friend Sam called it when they started the first notes of "Possum."  (note:  even though I knew they played this song, it didn't make it to the set list.  Such is life).

Tela...pretty psyched!  Wilson seemed as if unfinished, and I felt a sense of emptiness with the absence of Mike Gordon's fun "blat boom," (or is it blap boom, feel free to debate) so when they played Dogs then AC/DC with sounded like a M*A*S*H theme song intro (see below:  clearly that was my own idea and not what was played) and back into the classic Wilson ending, the sense of closure was fulfilling. 

Set II

One very special moment at 1:10 (approx) minutes into the intro of Shine on You Crazy Diamond (see video above), I glanced onto the stage and saw keyboardist Richard James do some kind of half moon motion with both arms, as if conducting the group to its next stage in this 10+ minute long song and into the entire Second Set. As if to say, here we go, and we're all in this together.   Right on, Richard!

Phish's "Moma Dance" followed by Pink Floyd's "Mother" was fun back to back, especially since some interpreters tend to think of Phish's tune as having a maternal feel to it because of its name (which if you look at the lyrics doesn't really, and more makes you feel like you are a prep school hippy summering in Oak Bluffs with your Vineyard Vines khakis, or back in the day, Vuarnets).

We are in the throes of a presidential election year, so when they arrived at the lyric "mother should I trust the government" in "Mother" I couldn't help but elevate on a nearby bar stool look out at the sea of fans and wonder if anybody else was thinking about what will happen this November

An added bonus, of course, is that while everyone there comes for the good vibes and tasty tunes, there's always a great communal feel at these types of shows. Either you see people you know, meet new friends, or don't even talk to a single soul but you have the feeling of connecting with something greater than you because of the music.  The question is: what do you do with that feeling when you walk out the door?

Thank you to PTF for posting the official setlist.

April 9th, 2016
The Ardmore Music Hall
Ardmore, PA
Gamehendge concept
Set 1:
Wilson Prelude*>
In The Flesh>
The Lizards>
Psycho Killer>
The Lizards
Have A Cigar>
Esther Interlude>
Crosseyed And Painless
AC/DC Bag>
Wild Wild Life
Colonel Forbins Ascent>
Great Gig In The Sky**>
Famous Mockingbird>
Once In A Lifetime>
The Sloth
Set 2:
Shine On You Crazy Diamond****>
What A Day That Was>
Moma Dance
Take Me To The River>
Down With Disease>
Life During Wartime>
Down With Disease
E: Loving Cup
*w/ Is There Anybody Out There? and Houses In Motion lyrics
**w/ Aly Paige on vocals
***w/ David Bowie tease and "I Want My MTV" lyric from Money For Nothing
****w/ Harpua and David Bowie teases

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