Gordon admitted that he was in "kid in a candy store mode" during the first set, as he tried out different instruments, pedals, and tunes. The only issue with such an analogy is a kid in a candy store should have appeared to be having more fun. But as just the third set of his 2014 tour, jitters and experimentation were to be expected. He was more sure of himself in set two, and it showed. Keyboardist Tom Cleary took lead vocals on "Pretty Boy Floyd," and tossed things back to Gordon for Phish rarity "Spock's Brain. "Morphing Again" was a strange choice for a jam springboard, so its venture into improv felt more forced than organic, but it found its groove fairly quickly, with Mike revisiting the resonator for a bit. It transformed quite nicely into the progressive calypso of "Mrs. Peel," which got a little dreamy towards its conclusion. In Phish, Mike usually spearheads the most danceable moments, and the groove-hungry crowd were finally sated with the cheery "Face," with the projected video imagery evoking the Millennium Falcon going into hyperspace. A darker, dirtier complement to the happy "Face," "555" followed, and really got the crowd moving. "Long Black Line" was announced as the final song, and while it began with an earthy classic rock vibe, things got weirder and weirder as it progressed into alien territory.
It may have been the sense relief of completing his second show of the Overstep tour, but Gordon seemed the most comfortable during the encore. He was almost a different person for "Voices," doing a silly sort of t'ai chi with Scott, and pointing in all directions at people in the crowd. He may have been "uneasy in his skin" in the song's lyrics and for some of the show, but the encore served as his assertion that he's perfectly capable of having fun without his three Phriends.
MIKE GORDON - 03.01.14 - WEBSTER HALL
SET ONE (1 hour, 6 minutes) -
Tiny Little World / Yarmouth Road > Caught Up / Surface / Radar Blip / Loon / Are You a Hypnotist?? / Another Door
SET TWO (53 minutes) -
Pretty Boy Floyd / Spock's Brain / Morphing Again > Mrs. Peel / Face / 555 / Long Black Line
ENCORE (13 minutes) -