Patchogue, eh? I doubt I've been out this far east on LI since my prom afterparty, which was at some fleabag beachfront motel some 18 years ago. But since I was already out on Long Island anyway, and since I had absolutely jack shit going this weekend (counting down to Dicks......), I was able to cajole myself into making the 80-mile (!!) round trip drive to see The Next Best Thing.
Rolled up to the venue 10ish, early on in second band Jebus' set. (Totes missed opening act, The Grateful Girls.) Before I knew it, Jebus' singer was shouting the lyrics to "Kung," which, needles to say, the crowd loved. This wasn't Jebus' only nod to the many heads in attendance; they also played a nice cover of the Velvets' "Rock and Roll." Solid, rockin' bar band set overall.
Have to admit that I was a bit worried about what the crowd situation would be like at this show; after all, Phish fans are generally widely hated by pretty much everyone, and Long Island is full of brainless steakhead douchebags. Throw alcohol into the situation and you're basically at the mercy of whomever wants assert himself as the alpha douche. Fortunately, the number of non-heads in the crowd seemed limited, consisting mostly of bemused oldsters, not orange-tanned, stilt-haired shitheads.
The Lawn Boys took the stage a hair past 11, and, as I've discussed the other twotimes I've seen this band in '13, they're truly something special, easily the best cover band I've ever seen live (and I've seen a bunch of 'em). I'm not going to go through the whole setlist song-by-song here, but suffice it to say that a band needs to really have their chops together if they're going to cover Phish without falling flat on their asses and embarrassing themselves. At this show, they totes nailed uber-challenging stuff like "Reba," "Oh Kee Pa" and "Rift." The Lawn Boys got the goods.
Of course, nothing in the world matches the awesomeness of seeing a real, live Phish show (disclaimer - I just got back from the BGCA shows a few days earlier), but I should say that there are a couple of things that The Lawn Boys do which are, in fact, better than Assface. First off, the song selection at a Lawn Boys show can't be beat (see below for the setlist) - you're not going to get any "Alaska"s or "Joy"s or "Show of Life"s or "Army of One"s or "Mexican Cousin"s or whatever at a Lawn Boys show. In fact, the only two songs that they played at this show that I don't absolutely love were "Train Song," which went out as a request to some chick in the audience, and "Circus Comes," which served as a welcome late second set pissbreak.
Second, they give the "full workout" treatment to several songs that Phish seems to have retired from Type II duty. At this show, highlights for me were "Funky Bitch" and "Twist," both songs that Phish really doesn't put much effort into fully fleshing out these days. I also appreciated the extra attention given to songs like "Timber," "Tube," and "46 Days," the latter of which featured some daring on-the-fly modulation.
Alas, I didn't make it through the whole show. My legs were already in rough shape from a lengthy session on the elliptical earlier in the evening, and as such I totally lost steam during what seemed like a pretty sweet "Disease" jam late in the second set.
Oh, yeah, almost forgot - this was the final show that Lawn Boys bassist Brad Weiger would be playing as a member the band, as, according to the Lawn Boys Facebook page, he's "moving out of NYC and doing some travelling/adventuring." Best of luck to Brad in his future endeavors, and to the band in finding a replacement to fill his "very funky shoes."
THE LAWN BOYS - 8/9/13, 89 North, Patchogue setlist:
Wolfman's> Timber Ya Mar 46 Days> Poor Heart> Rift Train Song Reba* I Didn't Know** Cavern Slave
II: Oh Kee Pa> Suzie G.> 2001> jam> Bitch*** Twist*** Tube# Tweezer> Circus Comes Boogie On Disease
[at which point I left]
*with "WOOO!" from the crowd. **with vacuum solo ***with Type II jams #crowd sang second verse