For Rane, Penuche's Ale House in Concord, NH was an institution. Like the kind one gets committed to. You almost can't be a legit fan of the band Rane without ever having set foot in Penuche's Ale House. Those nights, in that bar, I think we all felt a little like the inmates who were running entertainment at the asylum. Penuche's was an institution in every way.
We loved the 'Nuche, though, we must have, we kept going back! To the point that it gets hard to match up the road stories that we'll still, to this day, repeat to each other, to the actual shows at which they happened. It's like, with exploits like these, who can keep track?
Each show was different because we always wanted to shake it up for the Concord fans whether it was light rigs or set arrangements or what have you, but at the same time, they all still kind of had the same core principle. For us, Penuche's shows were long nights of Rane surrounded by friends. Some local friends, some that traveled, some that worked there, some that you brought with you, some that you worked road crew for and some that you played with in a band. Depending, of course, on your point of view, that is. But I really can't remember a Penuche's show where I wasn't surrounded by friends from all over New England, and thinking back on it now, that's really what made Penuche's special to us.
Three set marathons, all of them, Penuche's shows were epic and spontaneously directed long nights of drinking and great tunes from my favorite band surrounded by friends of all sorts getting way too comfortable in a back alley bar in downtown Concord, NH...
What's better than that?
From a historical perspective, in 2001 The Disco Biscuits ruled the jam world, as Phish was on their first hiatus. The band was divided on jam music at the time, though all of them respected the musicians in that genre. For this weekend in ‘01 (really the rest of the month), the band decided to take a plunge into the Disco Biscuit mindset of setlist construction which often featured songs that were inverted (End first>Beginning or B>A). By this time in their story arc, Rane was pretty comfortable improvising with each other so this type of setlist made sense.
Here we see the first inverted version of Bownicity, and War split up between the first set and the second sets. Outside of these we see a very fluid second set with the boys giving their all and most importantly listening very well to each other. Castles split up by Circus Ride and a 10 min version of Kyte are highlights, but really, the set should be digested as a whole to get a feel for the cohesion and top notch setlist construction.
10.20.01 Penuche's Ale House :. Concord, NH
Set 1 :. Minutes, NES, Gauge, Center -> Sadness, Broca's, War, H-nut (B)
Set 2 :. Mirage, Bownicity* -> Feeding -> War** -> Color -> Castles, Circus Ride -> Castles -> Improv -> F/O, Kyte -> Long Road -> Center -> Sleep -> Kyte -> Goomba
Encore :. Rule the World
* Inverted arrangement ** Outro, completing version from 1st set