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”

  1. Frank Rizzo Says:

    In sports, this is what’s called being a “homer.”

  2. Henry Holland Says:

    I got the No Spoilers Set 1 around 11:00 pm, Pacific Time, and when the first notes of Fluffhead came out of my speakers, I couldn’t believe it–the sheer BALLS to start with that! Then to go in to Divided Sky?!?! Wow, mission statement received.

    As one who likes Prog Rock Phish waaaaay more than 20 Minute 2-chord Jam Phish –4 song second sets aren’t my thing– last night was perfect, no long, boring (IMVHO) jams, just a nice selection of songs, some tight contained jams, well played for the most part with some killer Trey throughout; in fact, Mike was terrific all night, Page was solid as usual and Fish was playing some intense stuff. The vocals were rough, but that’s OK. I’ve been obsessed with Theme from The Bottom the last few weeks, I can’t believe they played it (good version too).

    Got set 2+E downloaded just as set 1 was finishing for me. Awesome job, Mr. Miner and crew, what a great great idea to do it spoiler free, the shock of the Fluffhead > Divided Sky was perfect.

    Bring on nights 2 and 3!

  3. Pence Says:

    I wish I had video of me going nuts with my headphones on during Fluffhead at 3:00 in the morning. Dancing as silently as I could. The wife was sleeping.

    Is it just me, or was Page fucking ripping it last night?

  4. Raccoon Says:

    Thanks for the no-spoiler’s thing. I’m sure the marathon show made things a bit more difficult, but you guys delivered.

    got to hear the first surreal notes of Fluffhead with no prior knowledge. Made my heart race.

    way to come through for the fans who couldn’t make it guys!

  5. andrewrose Says:

    Wow, well, where to begin? Thanks so much to everyone involved in the no spoilers session. I stayed up for set 1 and grabbed set 2 this morning.

    I took Mr. Miner’s suggestion and went out and bought the Clifford Ball dvd yesterday and watched that epic Day 2, Set 2, which I probably hadn’t heard in years (and hadn’t SEEN for a good 13…). The Clifford Ball marked my second and third shows all those years ago, and it was hard not to feel a sense of closure, somehow, rather than new beginnings, when listening to Phish 3.0 afterwards. Not that I don’t think they’ll go on playing for years to come, but for me personally, the Ball DVDs juxtaposed with Hampton finally gave me some kind of perspective on what Phish meant to me for so long, and which had lingered in limbo ever since those bittersweet shows in Coventry. It almost doesn’t matter where they go from here…

    I’m not surprised they went old school Phish, and I think the song selections last night were for the most part stellar. Yes, Trey still sound a bit rusty and struggled a bit at times with some tough composed sections throughout the night, but that can be forgiven. I suspect some songs got more practice attention than others. Fluffhead was almost perfect, and when he ripped into that first solo, I can’t imagine there were many old school fans with dry eyes in the room at Hampton. That first part of the night alone made this a special show.

    I thought Page and Mike sounded fantastic (and the sound on the first set especially was pretty impressive, I thought). Loved Page’s new tricks on Suzie Greenberg!

    Of course I would have loved to hear a 20 minute jam, but I’d rather they take their time and get the new dynamic set up than just wank on something for 30 minutes and not go anywhere. And there were signs that they’re working towards this. Stash and Tweezer both went places that seemed like they could open up, but I’m sure the focus last night was to play the songs, and get back in the groove. (Speaking of grooves, Mike’s tonight? Or Bathtub?)

    Another reason that focusing on songs right now is important–one of the things that Phish used to be great at was playing around WITHIN the confines of the composed sections of songs. Often that kind of extra short improv or flourish was what made for an all time great show, on top of the stellar jams and segues. Harry Hood may have been a bit botched in the middle composition, but the whole intro was fressssshhh, and nice to hear. Hope there’s more of that coming.

    I also enjoyed hearing some of those softer pretty songs (love that they played Train Song and Waste) so well enunciated vocally.

    I’m thinking we get some narration tonight, maybe a mini Gamehendge ? Divided Sky and Possum already played, but those aren’t really pillars of the story anyway… Would be nice to know what our wandering minstrels have been up to these past 5 years! At the very least I’m expecting a few heart-wrenching words from the Bad Lieutenant.

    I think we’re hearing Lizards soon (that’s one song I couldn’t believe didn’t get a send off at Coventry). Also can’t wait for Ghost, Bathtub, AC/DC bag, and a ripping Llama.

  6. mcmystery Says:

    Thanks for the colorful interpretation. The show sounded excellent!::goosebumps::
    Can’t wait for tonight!

  7. Worthless Swampy Fool Says:

    @ Pence
    Yeah I noticed too that Page was tearin it up!

    Hope we get some banter tonight.
    It is soooo good to have the boys back!

  8. empire Says:

    I was so tempted to look at a setlist last night, but I managed not to look. So i had some phish dreams that they had other musicians come out with them and play with them, a real cheesy backing band. something that you would see on a tv show or something..anyhow I woke up at 8:00 and went and tried to find the no spoliers link…and tried not to read anything but I saw something about fluffhead..tried to go back to sleep but kept wondering if they played fluffhead did they open with fluffhead, so I could not go back to sleep and listened to the first set…fluffhead and divided sky was a perfect way to open up the show…
    .I forgot that the line is Fluffhead was a man..genius.
    show is pretty good, the YEM was definitely the highlight..not to many crazy jams but they covered a good amount of classic phish..they will bring the heat tonight..

  9. Carl Sagan Says:

    Thank you Mr.Miner! Just for all: already dwnlded the no spoilers, but I am wondering if the mp3s from the phish site will sound better. Any info??

  10. Pence Says:

    I agree with the heat tonight

    I can honestly say that was the first YEW vocal jam that i actually enjoyed. I love the Opera sound Fishman was belting out, and trey got a great resonance in his voice, almost didj like.

  11. Pence Says:

    Carl, honestly get em both cause with the crowd in the no spoiler fluff, and throughout is EPIC. The SBDs are must haves.

  12. Carl Sagan Says:

    Right on, makes sense about the SBDs; the site is currently being difficult–man i wish i could have taken this 3 day vacation with them. I like Jibboo to open II, and Mike’s to open.

  13. Carl Sagan Says:

    By Mike’s I mean Mikes’>Sand>H>Weekapaug, obviously.

  14. anabiono Says:

    i want these SBDs….blah….what crap….i really wanted that second set for the car ride to work

    why do there have to be so many phish fans!?


  15. anabiono Says:

    i am guessing they play antelope…mikes…twist…mango…foam

  16. ramcgl Says:

    All the appreciation goes to the people who made no spoilers happen. i cant be there but shewwwww, it sounds great! Thanks

  17. KRIVRAQ Says:

    NIIIICE ! You hit it Miner, “like a fantasy setlist”. Hittin’ it Old School with the early 90s beats. THEY are what made Phish PHISH and what brought us all together. That era is what catapulted, (maybe a Catapult this weekend?), Phish into the experience we all ooze for once again. The work those boys did in the early 90s got us all addicted and on board. Pulling out classics like they did last night was more than a statement, more like new Phish “Law”, for lack of a MUCH better word. Perhaps a commitment from Phish to be, well, PHISH.

    I’ve been onboard since Summer 95 just after ‘A Live One’ was released. I was hooked. THIS was the sound I’d heard in my head and had been searching for in my 20 or so years to that point. (I was a Jersey kid sucked into the mainstream “music” pumped out of the NYC stations so I had NO exposure to real composition) I listened to as many shows from friends as I could get my ears on. To that point, all we could listen to was early 90s. After being on Tours well into the late 90s, I too noticed the “blending” of long jams, 4 song sets and “arena rock” chords echoing from Trey. I began to miss the sweet NOTES from Trey dancing up and down the frets. Play those NOTES, Trey! That’s what got you here. Many of us noticed the “newer”, to that time, Phish and would find ourselves reminiscing the older days when Trey could play the build-ups during Squirming Coil and Fluffhead. And now that era of PHISH style seems to be coming full circle, hopefully. That goofiness and dedication to intricately structured composition of the earlier days is what we’ve been hearing about for the last 5 months as Tom has mentioned more than once. Last night was a comfirmation for me. To hit them as hard as they did proved the time they’ve put into this next, hopefully ever-lasting go ’round. We’ll have to wait and see what’s next from the boys as far as the “twenty or so” new titles. What’ll be the next Taste or Theme? The classics never get old, keep ’em coming!

  18. KRIVRAQ Says:

    After looking at the setlists, I couldn’t believe the Grind. I was looking for something else the other day and found some old shows that I had shelved about ten years ago because they had a glitch or two here and there. I decided to put 12.30.98 II in my car and listen on a nice upstate NY drive. The Grind – Possum encore was awesome. I had totally forgotten about Grind. Possum was awesome and I figured THAT would be an awesome opener, in reference to Miner’s posts about openers, because of how much FUN that song is. I wonder what energies picked THAT set for me to listen to, but if I were a prophet, then I will say this… it’ll be worth the wait when Jones Beach rolls around! (and I’ll be able to score that extra Creek ticket!)

  19. full tour: Announced! Says:

    HOLY SHIT!!! just listened to the fluffhead….THEY ARE BACK AND SOUNDING TIGHT AS HELL! thought was listening to a show from 98 or something mixed with just a tad of the post hiatus sound. Overall very smooth sounding. Mikes bass sounds nice and chunky, yet very smooth.

    BTW…the downloads are working again. I wish i could have been there this weekend.
    Are there any extras floating around for the sunday show? i might have to get in my car tonight at 1am and do a solo 15 hour drive up the east coast from florida. But i don;t want to go if there are no tickets around. That would suck.

    so anyone up there in hampton know of any sundays floating around?

  20. full tour: Announced! Says:

    its weird…i also had a phish dream last night….won’t go into details because thats for my eyes only…it was surreal. That ESP i was talking about yesterday.

  21. KRIVRAQ Says:

    mp3s zipping down @ 1.4 MB/sec for me. Funny how the entire show size is 420 MB.

  22. CobraCommander Says:

    Thanks Again!

  23. robert Says:

    tonight’s opener call:


  24. gtgwbab2495 Says:

    i call runaway jim.

  25. Billy Breathes Says:

    tweeprize–>2001–>my friend–>bag

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