Like A Dream

"Grind" (R.Layne)

"Grind" (R.Layne)

So much for warming up.  In one of the most surreal evenings in history, Phish came shooting back into our lives at a million miles per hour.  Transcending anyone’s wildest imagination, the band leapt to life with a a sacred party that was a virtual antithesis of their their previous comeback in 2002. Words could never quite express the myriad emotions and feelings that painted the masterpiece that was last night, but one can only attempt.  Clearly practiced and coming out to prove so, the band played a show that exceeded any possible expectations from anyone in attendance.  A showcase of their intention, the band ran through sixteen first-set songs in most impressive fashion, proving a two-hour welcome home soundtrack.  Tackling expectations right out of the gate, Phish came out and slaughtered “Fluffhead” in a statement that conveyed not only enthusiasm and preparedness, but a reconnection to the spirit of old-school Phish.  In what was certainly one of the most dreamlike moments in the band’s history, the entire crowd was whisked away within two notes.  After ignoring the “Fluffhead” for the entire 2.0 period, opening the next phase of their career with the song couldn’t have meant more.  And if that statement wasn’t enough, they came right back with another one of their most difficult and cathartic songs in “Divided Sky.” Every selection throughout the extensive two hour set was played precisely and emphatically, but it wasn’t until “Stash” that the band took their first dive into improvisational territory. In a jam that slid into play under the watchful command of Mike and Page, the band created a contoured passage that moved from dark psychedelia through several minutes of bliss, and back into an exciting peak of the song.

3.6.09 (B.Lee)

3.6.09 (B.Lee)

The entire night felt like an out-of-body experience, as if we were watching something out of a dream- and it couldn’t have been more real.  Every song played with precision and emotion, the band took a ride through many early ’90s  classics before landing in “David Bowie” to end the set.  With a concise, yet ripping version, Phish punctuated a marathon return. At set break the overwhelming feeling was that of awe. People spent the entire time catching their breaths, legs, and minds from the inconceivable. Almost unable to think, and absolutely speechless, many basked in the feeling that had been absent for so long, and came back into our lives like an anvil. Catching me off guard, the lights were all of a sudden out again, but everything seemed a little bit more normal this time through.

As the band stood on the precipice of their first second set, they decided to bring a taste of what is to come with the first new Phish song, “Backwards Down the Number Line.” Staying within the template of the song played on Trey tour, the band busted out what is sure to be a huge new jam, and a song whose lyrics couldn’t be more appropriate for the occasion.  The new quickly merged with the old as the playful song poured into the opening of “Tweezer.” The first licks of the haloed song brought everything back again. Like a shaft of light poured into The Mothership, every note sounded better than the next as the band set up their first dive into off of their deepest platform. With intricate and massive dance grooves that brought echoes of the raunchiest funk of yesteryear from the rafters of the Coliseum, the band doused us with some of the best feelings that any of us had felt in years. The path of the jam turned from an experiment in excessively gooey funk into some stunning improv from the band that reminded each and every one of us why we love being alive. Bringing the jam to a plane of majesty, Phish took their time building down from this phenomenal section of jamming and settling to the melodies of “Taste,” completing the connection of the symbiotic pieces.

3.6.09 (B.Lee)

3.6.09 (B.Lee)

Channeling every bit of emotion into a soaring “Tatse,” the band crafted one of the most intricate and exclamatory jams of the night. Collectively killing the polyrhythmic improv, the band was off and running into the next phase of their lives with all the intensity and potency possible.  Yet, the most sublime moment of the show came after Phish had blasted their way through one of the most energetic “Possums” in recent memory, taken a blissful sail on the oceans of “Theme,” and shredded a “First Tube” to bits, when they dropped into “Harry Hood.” Like a rebirth for all of us, as individuals and as a community, the unveiling the epic piece crystallized the entire evening with a tidal wave of emotion and amazingly interlocked improvisation. If this entire experience wasn’t overwhelming enough, Kuroda broke out a disco ball effect during the climactic jam creating a blissful mash-up of aural and visual pleasure.  The sheer power of “Harry Hood” showered us tonight, as its revelation was an reminding affirmation of all that is beautiful out life; this was the ultimate.

3.6.09 (R. Layne)

3.6.09 (R. Layne)

In a quintessential moment of reflection, Phish spun a gorgeous, seemingly set-ending “Waste,” allowing us to think about the flood of magnificence we that had absolutely washed us under. But they weren’t quite over.  As if springing from some fantasy setlist, the band dropped right into the beginning of “YEM.”  Making fun of their last, not-so-hot, comeback shows at Hampton, the band intentionally botched the opening much like did circa ’03.  Yet after their joke, the band restarted the opus with ferocity, and delivered us to the promised land ,while providing the most up tempo dance music of the night.

A welcomed “Bouncin’” encore, saw the large balls that had decorated the top of The Mothership drop and begin to- in fact- bounce around the room! What seemed set up for a classic “Bouncin,” “Reprise” encore was diverted into a celebratory romp through “Loving Cup” to the delight of all. Bringing the heat far more than anyone could of imagined, the entire experience was like being shot directly back into the middle of a raging Phish with no time to acclimate to the surroundings. Thinking of the future is now dizzying, let alone tonight!  Taking the music deeper and deeper as the show moved on, one can only imagine what they have in store for the next two. We are living the dream, folks- welcome home.




hampton_outsideThe first No Spoilers is in the bag!  Set one was up at 1:30 am, 90 minutes after the show ended, and set two followed two and a half hours later, at 4 am (mind you the show ended around 12:30.)  Thanks if you participated – we hope you enjoyed them! We learned some lessons – the main one being that decent bandwidth (in The Mothership and in nearby hotels) is very hard to come by in Hampton!  We’ll try have it go a little faster for Saturday night.

Big thanks to:
Jamie L aka Jerryfreak (for crazy service way above and beyond the call of duty Friday night)
Jesse H
Mark H

The crew that brought you set 2:
Dave F
Scott G
Greg L.
Mikey K.
Carrington C.
Steve F.
Jim P.

And all the other tapers at the show.

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217 Responses to “Like A Dream”

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  1. jdub Says:

    How long was set 2? They went all out the first night. How bout some gin tonight, maybe a tube or two.

  2. Matso Says:

    Beatiful. Just Beautiful.

    Thank you SO MUCH to you Mr Miner and all the people who made No Spoilers posssible, especially Jerryfreak – seriously, thank you all – it is massively appreciated. Those opening notes of Fluff totally caught me off guard and I had a massive smile on my face as I danced around the living room this morning. 🙂

    It really was the next best thing to being there. When I saw how long Set 1 was – 1 hr 54min!!! – I thought maybe you’d put the whole show in one MP3. When Set 2 appeared clocking in at 1hr 51min, I knew something incredibly special must have gone down.

    Get some sleep and enjoy the next few nights.

  3. dude abides Says:

    Been up all nite,this shit is tite!!! Thank you all sooooo much!!!

  4. MM Says:

    Thanks for the review Miner. I just grabbed the LivePhish mp3s (amazing turnaround on that too!).

    I wasn’t there, wish I could have been, but words cannot express how happy I am that the band is back and locked in.

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. DavDav Says:

    Thank you so much for the no spoilers… it was hard as hell to stay off the internet and ignore my phone calls but as soon as I heard the opening notes of Fluff I knew it was on.

    THANK YOU to everyone who helped… you made my year.

  6. Al Says:

    I sat down in my little room over here in Germany and listened to the no spolier on my headphones!!! Miner – your service goes all around the world. Thanks to all guys who helped!

  7. Absher Says:

    Thank you so much!!!!

  8. Congressman Says:

    Hey.. A bit tired.. Gonna lay down and relisten to the theme, THANKS TO MY BEST BOY, MR. MINER!! I Will see you When You wake uo with Kadafi in your bed and we can smoke a joint with him:) when I wake I wanna hear the love on here.. MINER DESERVES IT!! ALSO GO TO THE EPIC FAIL THREAD ON PT ABOUT MINER, PLEASANT SURPRISE!! ONE KID BASHESW MINER AND 85 KIDS BASH HIM!! GREAT PT SHOWING… GET ON THERE!! WE LOVE YOU MR MINER!! RAGING WITH KADAFI IN A FEW! PEACE!

  9. Crowther Says:

    Mr. Miner. I will be there tonight. and as always, Thank you. in all seriousness you have no idea how much happiness you have brought into my life just by rapping about four goof monsters everyday. Thank you. and may you set the gearshift for the high gear this evening (they didnt bust that out last night, hopefully we can run tonight). My first one ever. And may many stories be danced this evening. see you on the mothership…

  10. Billy Breathes Says:

    I feel religiousized. Hah. Almost undescribable. Thank you Phish and everyone involved in this glorious time of our lives.

    What bad economy?!?!

    What a night. Wow. And so much left in their arsenal!

  11. Jaime Says:

    Thanks for the early morning post. Other than just completely being glad to be alive on the floor last night, This was one of the best nights of my life.glad to be alive, glad to be in Hampton, glad the phamily is back together. Hope everyone rests up, where we go from here is anybody’s guess. Btw, the “god, shit” part in yem was hilarious.

  12. cason Says:

    show were good but not without flaws

    lots of songs but very little jamming. it felt like they were more interested in playing a lot of songs as opposed to building a jam and seeing where the music took them.

    i loved the show and i am exhausted after the 4 hour marathon of music, but the boys still have a ways to go in my opinion, trey more than any one else.

    and the YEM flub was not a joke. Trey fucked it up along with intense part of Hood right before the “thank you mr miner” lyric.

    glad they are back and well rehearsed but the boys have a long way to go get back to where they were in the 90’s.

  13. lucyo912 Says:

    wow, what an incredible review… i got goosebumps just reading it…

    thank you thank you thank you for putting words to this historic evening, just wish i could have been there!!

  14. david.schwarm Says:

    Amazing Review!

    Thank you so much for putting this up so quickly–your descriptions are awesome. I am looking foreword to your review of tonight’s adventure!

  15. tyler Says:


    the no spoilers project was a real gift, thanks to everyone involved.

    What a staggering show!

    cason’s gonna get flamed, eh? not by me tho. but thats pretty nitpicky, dude. the straighforward playing was probably a conscious choice and a statement, which sems pretty obv. based on setlist. As for mistakes there are plenty of old school classic shows with one or 2 clams in them.

    While your points may (or may not) be valid this show is obviously an Epic Win so to come in here focused on the negative side is kind of strange. but, whatever – peace, dude.

  16. RebaReba Says:

    Thank you Mr. Miner!

    What a great feeling all this is.

    Downloading LivePhish now. ALMOST done!

  17. Al Says:

    Having listened to the No Spoiler, I noticed that so many people were talking while the band was playing. I don’t really get that!? Also, somtimes inbetween the songs the audience noise level seems quite low. I was expecting that the roof blows off at any time…but people obviously had very high expectations and were really in awe….Treys vocals are not quite up to par, and he plays a lot fewer notes while howling many notes. Anyway, a VERY good comeback show. Am I wrong or was TREY extremely nervous in the first half?? His singing sounds really like as if he is not quite happy and secure – maybe I am so wrong – you guys were there – I was not. Stash and particularily Tweezer had a promising Jam. YEM was (except for the butched beginning) also great

  18. Billy Breathes Says:

    Everyone needs to lower their expectations a bit! Let Phish 3.0 be as it may and just evolve.

    @cason – of course that is what they did! I think it was 29 songs or so’ish????!!! Jeez….sounds like you were not happy to be there. So Sad. I hope this is not the case.

    They are obviously having a BLAST playing so many songs together, the jamming will come with more time.

    It’s been a while, and we need to give them room to breathe.

    Surrender to the phlow….and just go with it.

  19. telecaster1 Says:

    Mistakes maybe, but the band that pained me to see in 2003-2004 is gone. I’ve seen a couple hundred shows and I know these new kids will want to site some epic 2003 or 2004 show cause that is all they saw, but that band was not why I got into Phish and this band was. Of course there were some flubs, but the vibe, intensity, and fun of the show was something Phish has not put out since pre hiatus. The boys are back and these shows will only get better. Tweezer and Taste absolutely ripped this is the new band. Can’t wait for tonite.

  20. c0wfunk Says:

    pretty sure fishman fucked up YEM more than anyone .. I didn’t think it was a joke at the time either, but the other 2 people in the room here did — > but deep jams certainly weren’t the point of last night. It was a virtuoso performance a la 91 or 92. The boys were jumping up and down all through the first set during fluffhead, divided sky, etc… but the jams that did occur seemed to have a point, a direction, and an appreciation for each individual song. And like the jam in say Suzie G. had a sick synth solo from Page that was deep in the funk and nailed..

    Trey seemed nervous but nervous excited, I think we all felt that way. As far as the noise level, I find it hard to scream too much and was just in awe mostly all night. Just before they came out I was just stunned to be where I was standing, and in awe by the whole. Definitely a dreamlike vibe all around, as we were all surrounded by friends we hadn’t seen in years, and the weird empty lot, and all of that…

    sorry for dropping setlist info into the thread last night, I thought the no spoilers action was being handled from another site, and above I had seen people commenting on the length of the sets and all that.

  21. dr. k Says:

    Great work my phriends. Last night was a truly wonderful evening. I admit, I couldn’t wait to find out what songs they were playing. Instead, I followed along and played other versions of the songs (many of which came from you Miner). Keep the great coverage of the shows coming. I consider your site to be the best phan-based site in existance.

    Phish sounds GREAT. Taking a break and playing with other musicians has clearly improved the band’s skills.

    I was at the last Hampton come-back run in 03. No comparison. This time THEY ARE BACK.

    Backwards Down sounded great, having a Phish feel makes the song so much better than Rothbury or Trey band versions.

  22. keefa Says:

    For everyone who thinks it will be ’94 all over again you are wrong…

    These things take time to develop and it’s hard to get back on a HUGE stage and Improve like you never took a break…

    I think the next 2 nights will be more jammy… they have to warm up to the room… practicing in a small rehearsal space and jamming in a Colosseum are two TOTALLY different things… It just takes some time

    As for them phucking up songs… It’s phish… Would you expect anything less?

  23. Gregor Says:

    I wept during flulffhead. Seriously.

    Cason is right though. Not to say I wasn’t groovin and this wasn’t the best night of my life, but I want to see some Phish Jamz, very little of it actually happened. Set list for last night was out of this worl though, out of this world.

  24. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    What a memorable night. What a truly memorable night. I don’t think I’ll comment on the music until the end of the weekend. But what a memorable night.

  25. Richie Says:

    My apologies, I was the first to say they are coming back for a quick buck, they clearly are not. This is an apology to there fans and to themselves for a post hiatus of weak shows that were clearly on auto pilot. Got bless phish for bringing purity and respect back to this amazing music.

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