Mound, a Gordon-penned tune Phish debuted in 1992, had new life breathed into it by the MGB’s “extended” arrangement. Though the audience appeared unfamiliar with many of the first set songs, once the Mound closer kicked in the crowd enthusiastically responded and a full on dance party ensued ending the set on a high note.
Wednesday night’s second set had more of a focus on improvisation with a Traveled Too Far which contained a dark, dissonant jam that led into a reprise of the You’re No Good chorus before the quintet delivered their “phishiest” improv of the evening. Murawski was on fire as he peaked the pretty, major-key jam over and over again to huge applause from the crowd. By far, this version of Traveled Too Far was the exploratory highlight of the concert and showed how connected this band has become. Next, Mike dedicated the Moss track Flashback to his creative partner Jared Slomoff. The MGB segued Flashback into a raucous version of Funky Bitch featuring a potent solo from Cleary that found the keyboardist jumping up and down for extra effect.
A funky take on What Things Seem led into a cover of Alanis Morrisette’s Hand In My Pocket that was met by smirks, laughter and applause. A group sing-along took hold with many of the ladies in the crowd singing the words to their boyfriends as Murawski filled the vocals with the venom found in the original. As they did with all of the covers on this night, the MGB made Morrisette’s song their own. For the second set closer, Gordon treated the audience to the only song of the night off his first solo album, Inside In, a fiery Couch Lady before sending the masses on their way home with a fun cover of Takin’ It To The Streets by The Doobie Brothers.
All in all, the Mike Gordon Band didn’t pander to the crowd too much and gave fans a taste of material from each of Gordon’s albums along with the occasional cover and song from Phish’s repertoire. The five-piece has a sound that fits firmly into the jamband genre, something you don’t see from many up and coming acts these days, yet they still break new ground such as on the masterful Traveled Too Far jams. While it didn’t appear as if many in the audience were looking to jump on Mike Tour, the MGB provided a fun experience and a chance to see Gordon in his element with no one to answer to but himself.