It’s Only Getting Better

3.7.09 (C. Jones)

3.7.09 (C. Jones)

With a show that brought the fire from the “Sanity” opener to the “Tweeprise” encore, Phish left the audience in awe and salivating for summer tour.  With a setlist that reads as a joke, Phish created a “perfect” show.  The band absolutely left no doubt in anyone’s mind or heart as to who their favorite band on the planet is again.  After nearly twelve hours of emotional and enthralling Phish music, I’m spent.  I will absolutely write about the show in detail, but it is going to have to be after a day of transit back to the west coast.

In a nutshell, the band took their final step from somewhat structured jamming into completely free flowing improv with a 22 minute exploration of “Down With Diesease.”  And the fantasy setlist became a joke when the combination of “Twist > 2001 > Moma” dominated the second half of the set.  Phish is back.  Miner is out.

No Spoilers is up for all three nights!!

264 Responses to “It’s Only Getting Better”

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  1. Al Says:

    Miner, take a rest, sleep well – and then keep on writing! Thanks so much for your effort in keeping us up-to-date. One Question: Are there gonna be tracked versions of the No Spoilers to be downloaded from this site??
    Concerning the shows! I had hoped that they’d be good. But they were better….

  2. verno329 Says:

    “Phish is back. Miner is out.”

    What a great line. Wow, sums up my whole weekend. Thanks to all

  3. russ Says:

    no spoilers was fucking awesome! please do it for summer tour.

  4. Gregor Says:

    I hear you man, I’m not looking forward to this 13 hour drive back north, I’m exHAUSTED after this weekend. Can hardly stand my calves are so sore from dancing hahaha. best weekend of my life, didn’t want it to end but I’m ready. Summer tour here I come!

  5. HYHU Says:

    Last night.

    I have no words.

  6. Mitch Says:


    Have – Camden pavilion (front row upper)
    – all 3 house posters
    – cash

    Need – Hampton pollock

    Let me know if interested so we can trade instead of eBay.

  7. camman Says:

    Phish is not back, and i will not be attending the summer shows. I have heard both Fridays and Saturdays show, and it was a complete slop fest. i had high expectations, but the band didn’t even play as good as post hiatus

    and Fluffhead was botched…. their wasn’t any energy to these shows…

  8. camman Says:

    i will hold out for the SUnday show though and listen to is this afternoon as a no spoilers show like i did the otehr two. Hopefully they can salvage this weekend and show some resemblance of a reason as to why they came back

  9. showhe Says:

    Fluffhead was botched? Dood…that’s one of the most perfect fluff’s every played. Haven’t listened to last nights show yet but I’m def. excited for the summer, just a little more practice and a few more shows under their belt and they’ll be in top notch form.

  10. Matt Says:

    i want to say camman was being sarcastic. =)

  11. camman Says:

    i listen to the mp3’s for LivePhish.. and the shows just didnt have much life to them…. i’m not gong to blpw hundreds of dollars to see Phish paly like this. Maybe in a Tour or two…

  12. camman Says:

    no sacram matt, just complete total utter disapointment

  13. R1 Says:

    camman – your attitude certainly has changed. you cannot expect the band to sound exactly like they did 10 years ago – i.e. before you had even heard of them let alone heard them. if you can’t appreciate these shows for what they are (and they are certainly NOT sloppy or lifeless), then perhaps you’re right and you should stay home and let others have your tickets.

  14. Matt Says:

    Did you expect Island tour, or New Years run 95 camman? That only comes after years of touring, dude. Good thing is, they’ve already got those years of touring under their belts. They just need to find IT again, get that chemistry goin. Won’t be long before these guys are the hottest band on the road again. Not too long at all. They definitely played better than post-hiatus. And what mistakes that were made, were made sober, which means memory loss won’t allow them to make the same mistake over and over =P

  15. RobAins Says:

    Camman? What’s up man? You were like the great shining of hope of your generation for a while on here….. and now you’re not even going to go to any Summer shows? I felt bad for you when you whined about not posting on this site anymore because the negativity and all, but now I guess I’m happy you’ll be going to Dave Matthews Shows this summer, and leaving tickets for people who want to see Phish. What were you expecting? Fall 97? December 1995? I know I was hoping Friday would be the exact 12.30.95 show, Saturday should have been Europe ’97 and if last night could have been A Live One, complete with a nice Montana (without the Tweezer) then, THEN, I would have considered them to be good shows. Your comments could end up being a major blessing in disguise though. I’m all for having new/younger fans attend the shows, as long as their into it. But if this means there will be more and more tickets for Summer Tour becoming available, then great, I’m glad you hated Hampton!

  16. Wilfred Brimley Says:

    Here’s my take after listening to Friday/Saturday’s shows all the way through a few times…I was ecstatic when they busted out near flawless versions of Fluffhead/Divided Sky to start the run…They didn’t really take any song too far from the normal structure except Tweezer and Stash and really concentrated on playing alot of songs…. Saturday, they played a number of songs pretty tightly [Reba, Ice, Gumbo] and didn’t take things too far out there, but overall was a pretty quality show… I’m not going to be like Camman and give up so quickly on the band [Trey] for some flubs here and there just yet…give them more time to practice and more then 3 shows and I think the jams will come and the rust will hopefully wear off… Listen people, they are never going to sound like pre-hiatus phish again…period. The sooner that people can get over that and embrace the present and future sound of Phish, the better all will be…I don’t think we really know what the new Phish sound is yet because they didn’t jam too much this weekend….Sure, when Trey completely butchers a segment in PYITE, I was irritated for a second but quickly got over it and embraced the fact that I was even listening to Phish in 2009….I personally can’t wait for the Alpine shows to come around because i think that they will be hitting their stride around then…

  17. Matso Says:

    No Spoilers was brilliant and is the single best antidote to being jaded about setlists, shows, etc. Even though I caved in and checked the set list for Saturday’s show after listening to the first hour and a bit (I have a baby at home and knew I wouldn’t get around to finishing it all off until the end of the day), I think having the music in one track is such a simple and effective way of bringing back the patience and appreciation for the songs themselves that was fostered through all those years of listening to tapes. Please do it for summer tour!

    I haven’t listened to Sunday yet, but I’m excited. The first two nights have a really special feeling about them: long sets to dust off all these songs and short punchy versions with nothing but the highest level of energy. Yes, at times, the boys were rusty, but at times they were also super tight and played some beautiful, incredible, revitalised music. If you think of the last comeback and the amazing playing that followed those shows, then this summer could be absolutely sick and feature some of the best Phish ever.

    Page is most certainly the MVP for nights 1 and 2 – Thank you to the new soundman for bringing him up in the mix! (this is more noticeable on the AUDs than on the DSBDs) – listen to the way Page comes in on the piano at various points during the Divided – awesome!

    Trey, however, reminded us all of why he is the Jedi Master during Saturday’s Set II. Trey played some good solos on the Northern Exposure tour, but it was all the stuff of mere mortals. It’s in the context of Phish – and only Phish – that he transcends. To paraphrase a well-known politician, if you had any doubts about why they were coming back, this is your answer. And if you ever stopped believing, then this is where to renew your faith.

    @ Showhe – I totally agree about that Fluffhead being one of the tightest I’ve heard. It was beautiful and you could just feel the energy get more and more intense for the band as they nailed section after section. Wow.

    @ camman – I’m sorry to hear that. But give these shows another chance. I don’t want you to miss out on something special because it wasn’t what you expected. Trust me: set II, day 2 is IT. Phish never does what you want, so let go a little and surrender to the flow.

  18. RobAins Says:

    I just read that all you’ve listened to are the Sbds!?!?!? You need to at least listen to an Aud source to if you want to try to hear what it was really like in there. I know that when I cranked the Friday nospoiler at 2:30 am, I was smiling like a pig in shit as they played Fluffhead. Hearing the crowd drown out the music is something the Sbd recordings don’t really capture. This is too funy! I can’t believe how quickly you’ve given up on them! You’ve never even been to a show!

  19. nonoyolker Says:

    Camman, what happened to you!?!? Truly the death of wide-eyed optimism… You listen to 2 shows and are off the band forever?? For Dave!?!?!? Wow….
    The boys had some rust at times, which is of course to be expected, but were dead on and tight as ever at others. Wasn’t there, but it sounds like Hampton was a fucking party on tape.

  20. Dub Says:

    Camman- good idea of skipping the shows this summer. Maybe you should spend the summer going back to school and taking some english classes. Your spelling is atrocious.
    The shows I downloaded and listened to had tons of energy. Dont know what you were listening to..

  21. dyda Says:

    you have to keep in mind that this was a big welcome back party and as such the band wasn’t as interested in all-out jamming. the jams that i have heard are quite good, imo, even if they aren’t monster length. overall it sort of had a 93 feel in that they were tight and focused. i was a little surprised seeing only 10 min versions of bowie & antelope, but they were concise and to the point. in the songs that did jam some, i caught feels from several different eras and it gave a hint at what to expect the sound to develop in to.

    from what i’ve heard the negativity is not warranted. the song selection speaks for itself given what all was debuted and broken out. shows that they do mean business but still retain the old playfulness.

    summer tour will let them stretch their legs. closing out roo and a friday late night. are you kidding? those are gonna be EPIC. that juxtasposed with those tiny theatre shows. no worries here. the changing venue size should be quite interesting.

    i really like the bottom of the lake segment in it’s ice.

  22. donny b Says:

    sickest light show on earth! wow!

  23. dyda Says:

    my advice is give the dwd a listen. i haven’t yet, but it was clearly the longest jam of the weekend and should be a good indicator of what the 09 sound may be.

  24. notkuroda Says:

    From what I heard so far 3.0 is better than I had hoped for. I’m hoping it signals a return to the days when they paid attention to detail and showed the work ethic that got them where they are. I think Trey was off in spots this weekend, but he was also in control, and had more focus in his jamming. Page and Fish sound fantastic. I have nothing but optimism for where this is going.

    I think there’s something fishy behind the canman attitude shift

  25. R1 Says:

    Camman – in all seriousness and truly not meaning to be insulting, it seems to me that you might be in the grips of some psychological turmoil. The drastic change in the tone and content of your messages, from ecstatic, perhaps even overblown optimism to severe negativity suggests to me that your opinions and feelings may be influenced by more serious concerns than the music. I only say this as a means of reaching out and suggesting you seek some help if you feel any of this is true.

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