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”

  1. kevin are hollo Says:

    thanks for the responses, guys. it’s really hard to have a critical ear and love these guys so darn much! things would be sounding different i’m sure if i was drunk on 40’s and dancing in the back hallways with my crew 😉

    ^i thought farmhouse was as tender as could be, and would love to hear more ballads.

  2. Cottle Says:

    Whoa. Been away from the computer for a few days… and now that I’ve got it out of my system, maybe I can actually get some work done in the few months before Summer tour. This weekend was worth all of the hype, all of the obsession that I’d focused on it over the last five months, all of it. I just want to big up everyone who made the journey this weekend. I hope yall had as much fun as I did. Phish 3.0 is the absolute fire! I don’t know how many times this weekend I just had to shout, or laugh out loud, or cry, because I couldn’t believe they were playing these tunes. Setlists that are unbelievably exciting and well flowing, but they also performed each piece to, in my opinion, perfection. If not perfection, then as close as I’ve ever seen Phish come to perfection. I got exactly what I’d expect from a Phish show, and much much more…they continued to surprise and delight us time and time again. This weekend felt like my first shows all over again. Speaking of, it was great to meet several younger or newer fans who were experiencing their first shows this weekend. I hope each of them realized just how special thier first shows were. I could keep on rambling for pages and pages, but I just want to thank everyone for such an amazing weekend. It was great to see the boys having at least as much fun on stage as we were having in the crowd. The vibe was right, the sound was right, the shows raged from start to finish, leaving little to be desired. See yall on Summer tour!

  3. Weyoun42 Says:

    Oh, and another thing that made the mistakes sound worse? Because, for the most part, they weren’t making many, so the ones that were there stood out more. I enjoyed all three shows and am about ready to start a second listening from the top. I’m a pessimist, so even with the minor flubs, they blew away my expectations. As soon as all four of them are back on the same page? Back to instinctively knowing where each other are headed now that they have five years of style evolution apart behind them? The mind boggles.

  4. wizzle1986 Says:

    the “Guitar Gently Weeps” is smokin

  5. Crowther Says:

    yo negative nancies, all hippy love stuff aside- take a lesson from thumper “You cant say anything nice, dont say anything at all”. For whatever reason people are saying negative stuff, it isnt cool. obviosuly people that read phish thoughts and comment are here because the quality of the site is phenomenal. Mr. Miner is an amazing person. And also (me personally and im sure others) come here to get away from all that stuff on phantasy tour. And i Feel I speak on behalf of all the phish thought readers – let the negative vibes go. If you have sometheing negative to say please dont. And there is a difference between like negative and something like constructive criticism. Anger is a natural emotion, it just has gotten a bad rap over the years cuz people express it in such nasty ways. Debates are awesome. Conflicts and problems are what fuel evolution. They create a context to arrive at a high understanding. Plus if you ever listened in elementary school, the most essential element to a STORY is a conflict. And i believe the quantity and quality of your stories when you lay down to rest is the mesaurment of how much you enjoyed yourself.

    And One cant judge whats going on with anyones live, whether it be within the phish community or in your own residential community (that could be a reason why someone would be angry, someone could have a bad patch in their life), but most likely if your saying something bogus about phish or the shows or anything, its because you feel bad about something inside of you. One thing my pops always use to tell me was that if someone is knocking sometheing or someone. or if someone is ignorantly criticizing someone, its because they see that very thing in themselves. and they are angry about it. And ultimately they are really mad at themselves. And irregardless of religion or spirituality, we are all connected. And i believe (especially within the phish community that is somewhat of a universal belief). So really if someone is saying something negative its because they are most likely upset at themselves for being arrogant/ignorant towards us(or their selves, since were all one). Its confusing. But its true. And If i know mr miner, and although i have never actually met him (I feel like i have just by reading everyday), I know he would agree with me.

    And i would like to ask everyone on here and Mr. Miner. TO BOYCOTT THE HATERS. If someone says something bogus. Let them have it. Its just words anyway. sticks and stones break bones. Not letters or words or even sentences. Were all ONE anyway so when we “comeback” or retaliate against there comments were just giving into them. They want us to get angry. they want to create a stir up. And many times people give in. Im gulity of it. But We shouldnt even respond to their comments. let phantasy tour have that stuff or whatever else. and im not knocking phantasy at all. Its just not my dig.

    We can at least say something positive to the haters. something to break the cycle of their negativity. PLEASE. I went saturday. It is still hard for me to talk about what i experienced. My brain still hasnt registered what happened. but i can say one thing. I had never seen so much kindness in one place in my life. (INSIDE the mothership). everyone around us where we were dancing were the coolest people ive ever met. I made about a million new best friends just by standing in line for water. or standing in line for the bathroom. o yea and then there was the music. It really opened my eyes to the human potential. no joke. im not being dramatic or corny either. Im being DEAD SERIOUS (grateful dead…haha). HONESTLY THOUGH, IT WAS RIDICULOUS. It was like something out of a dream. Like i said, i still cant comprehend what happened. And then THE BREEZE WALKING OUT OF THE MOTHERSHIP after the show, that was a whole nother level. And anyone who was there, before they came on, there was the coolest FAN WAVE EVER. like the energy WAS INSANE. I could sit here for another hour and geek out and have like a million word post about how fucking insane that was on saturday. It changed my life. BUT Words cant express the insanity and passion and energy. And i know if youve ever been, you know what im talking about.

    SO…that energy lets preserve it. Keep it kind. BOYCOTT The haters. please next time someone leaves a bogus comment. dont even respond. No matter how ignorant. No matter how ridiculous. No matter how mean it is. let them have their thing. Or if you feel the need to respond, at least say something kind. They will learn to be kind eventually. Were all One. were not ignoring them because we dont dig them or because we hate them back. we ignore them so they can begin to understand that happiness doesnt live there. It lives where kindness lives. They are neighbors. Best Friends. Happinees and Kindness go farther backwards down the numberline then any of us could ever imagine, and after seeing saturday i can imagine alot. So please. be the change you want to see in the haters. in the world. dont hate back at them. GET THEM SICK. get them down with disease. take something negative and make it positive. (disease is normally negative—-get them down with it and let it become positive). IM not trying to be on a soapbox. I dont think im better than anyone else. And these words i type are not to be dramatic. Im saying this because i have seen fleeting glimpses of how beautfiul kindness is. And i would love for everyone in the world (even outside phish) to enjoy it. I’m not claiming any great secrets. Im just saying 100% what i feel. I am not saying i came up with any of this stuff either. I just picked it up the emersons and martin luther kings and ghandis and a million more others.

    And the reason i feel so passionate about this is because of Phish. There are very few groups of any kind of art that reach the level of intensity and energy that Phish can reach.

    Pick up any religious book. any new age goop. any spiritual anything. They all say the same thing-


  6. Matso Says:



  7. Crowther Says:

    o yea by the way, in case no one was aware (everyone getting angry might have overshadowed this fact), but that band Phish we all love and the reason were on this website…is Back

  8. Pencilneck Says:

    pencilneck agrees with gills. thanx Miner for the no spoilers! safe journer home.

  9. guyforget Says:

    ^^thats what i’m talking about!!!!

  10. wizzle1986 Says:

    i totally agree,but let the haters hate, if they dont like it they can change the channel, in other words go on another tour, make room for those of us who want to get down, less ticket crunch, phish coming back like this is really gonna make getting tickets a pain in the ass on upcoming tours

  11. MP Says:

    Favorite moments from the past 3 nights? Love minutes 6-8 from the Ghost. Digitize me, its in there.

  12. snigglebeach Says:


    Whoa. Caffeine??

  13. Crowther Says:

    nah brah, i was just at the beach trying to catch the sniggles, but they got away

  14. Asher Says:

    To any and all lamenting any perceived “botches, flubs, etc.” in the music this weekend. I ask you to find me a show that is 100% note for note perfect, no mistakes flawless top to bottom in the history of Phish. I doubt you could. And I have a feeling that if you wanted to get really nitpickey and count the “botches, flubs, etc.” this weekend and compare that number with any given shows from the vaults you would find it would be probably about the same in any era. I always thought the greatest appeal of Phish and why going on tour is so much fun is the fact that they never play the same show twice. The songs change, they IMPROVISE, they play without a net. I don’t think you can ask or expect for note for note perfection from a band who built their legend by taking musical risks. If you want 100% flawless, stay home and listen to the studio albums. I’ll be ragin the show giddy because I don’t know what’s coming next. What you can and should expect from Phish is energy, creativity and honesty. All of which I heard in abundance this weekend. And that’s a much greater abundance than I think anyone’s heard in a very long time.
    Bottom line: PHISH IS BACK!!

  15. dyda Says:

    just a general comment and i’m not singling out any one person even if it seems like i am. also, i’m on a bit of thin ice to begin with saying this (having only been to one show [7.29.03] and being 24) but the generation that was born from about 86 on is pretty fucked up.

    that’s in large part due to the downward spiral the mainstream culture has been on in the ‘age of convience’ we’ve entered.

    example: cell phones. i remember watching star trek as a youth and noting the tricorder/communicators. well, now we all have one. blackberry, iphone/pod, twitter, etc. and most people seem FAR too preoccupied with those mostly useless digital toys. especially when behind the wheel! major pet peeve. (love trey’s message of peace from cypress about staying the fuck out of the left lane unless passing)

    anyway, as this relates to any negative (or too positive and gushing, minor, but we’ll forgive you of that cause i am guilty of wanting badly to be there but not being able to) feelings about this weekend, well, we still have to hear about what the general makeup of the crowd was. were there many young people willing to be raped by scalpers in order to be at the major ‘event’ because that’s the trendy thing to do? i sure hope not.

    i hate to sound like phish is an elite club reserved for the av nerd types, but you can’t really argue that e, molly, nirous, smack and blow were brought in by outsiders and their influences started to degrade the scene in the late 90s and made it difficult for 2.0 to get much of anywhere (although i will strongly disagree with anyone who writes off the whole period as trash). i do not want 3.0 to go the same route.

    i mean i know how i sound being so critical of people only a few years younger than me, but it’s not even really as much a matter of age as it is environment. growing up in the 90 messed up a lot of the next batch of potential phans. i’ve been around enough other shows/festivals to see this firsthand. these people do not have their priorities straight. what is really, truly important is not grasped (that’s youth, but also cultural decline).

    i’d prefer those people stay the hell away or get their asses blown off at roo with 100,000 others. or just stick with the pop mainstream radio-friendly garbage that is the same show night in, night out.

    what needs to be said about the quality of the performances has been said by those who articulated themselves clearly in their posts. i don’t want to rehash. i haven’t even had a chance to listen to all of it yet and most of what i have heard so far was on while watching the pens beat the caps yesterday afternoon. (go pens!) but i did make sure to pay attention when there was actual ‘jamming’ going down. even if it wasn’t of monster length.

    hate to sound cliched, but size doesn’t matter. quality over quantity. and if that’s the case then who the hell could balk at the sheer length of these three shows? epic in that regard. and furthermore, i can think of plenty of old school phish that wasn’t as sprawling as what we’d become used to but was just as tasty. i for one, did not mind that aspect at all.

    there were many good points and also some bad points. that’s life. actually, considering that there were many more good than bad i’d say the net result was quite positive.

    going in to a show with a set of expectations is wrong. we all know what phish is capable of. some nights it may be a different flavor, but it’s still the same four guys. to be pissed because they didn’t cater to your preconceptions is disrespectful to the spirit of IT. i love phish because you never know what you’re going to get.

    next up: dead tour in april, but unfortunately not for me…

    see you all at star lake!

    oh, and here are a few memories from a defining day in my life, 7.29.03:
    -was a bit confused by the vibe at the start of the show because of all the bust-outs. still remember some random hippy doing a ‘camel walk’ dance directed towards my group cause i’m sure we all looked a little out of our depth, but totally caught on by fee.
    -ck5 lights during the crosseyed jam
    -called the farmhouse encore despite only knowing a handful of more pop-oriented phish songs

  16. gtgwbab2495 Says:

    i dont know if this has been mentioned at all on the board, but did anyone else notice that trey, or any of them, didn’t talk very much? Unless the soundboards from livephish cut out early, it seemed like trey didn’t say a thank you to the crowd or anything.

  17. full tour! Says:

    i agree with crowther, this is not the place for hate. I personally stopped going to phantasytour years ago for this exact reason. I got sick of all the name calling and BS and bad vibes over there. Since i found Mr. Miner’s awesome site i have come here daily. I have seen the whole progression from start to now. I have witnessed this phantasytour-esque bad vibe slowly creep over to this site. First it was a trickle, then a stream, and now its raging rapids of bad vibes and hate. Please keep that bullshit off this website. I personally found this place to be an oasis of good vibes away from the sea of PT a-holes.

    If you see someone abusing this site, please don’t hesitate to call them out. I know it will be appreciated to keep these flame wars off the site. I feel as this site gets more popular from internet links and such, it has also began to attract debbie downers and negative nancies. PLEASE KEEP THAT BULLSHIT OVER AT PHANTASYTOUR WHERE IT BELONGS. It actually dosen’t belong anywhere for that matter, but it seems to ooze out of every pore over at Phantasytour. That’s why i avoid that place like the plague and thats a shame because i am a long time phish fan with lots to offer anyone who offers me respect in return, which this place always has.

    That being said, thanks miner for the awesome no spoilers and on the ground reports from hampton. I really wish i could have been there, but with miner’s no spoilers, the reports, and the free mp3s from i really didn’t feel as left out as i could have.


    thanks, god bless, and please keep the immature BS off this great site!

  18. Dave Says:

    I think the best and worst thing thing about Phish is that you can basically listen to everything they have ever done. In that process you develop a version of how the song is “supposed” to sound in your head. Ideally you can pinpoint a version or era where that sound is personified best…and that rocks. What sucks is that when a band takes a hiatus and isn’t continually morphing new versions of the song you become attached to the historical documents and begin analyzing the minutea (sp?). So when a new organic sound is produced it can be jarring.

    As someone who became an uber-phan in the last 18 months I will be the first to admit to over-analyzing their history. I drank the kool-aid, ate the laddle, and swallowed the punch bowl. When I heard the Fluffhead opener I had my ears totally focused on the minutea of everyones playing. Once I backed off and just took in the whole picture (like an impressionist painting), it was beautiful. Imagine being on a basketball team and you take 5 years off. When you get back together you are gonna have to work on stuff for a while before things become second nature. Same applys for the boys, but that said I think they are well on the way to syncing up. Incredible improve requires an almost ESP level of understanding with your partners. What they did in their first three shows isn’t like what they did before but it was organic and unique. I can’t wait for summer and my first true live experience so I don’t have to dance in my living room while dodging furniture.

    Here’s to 3.0 and hopfully me at Shoreline dancing with thousands of my new friends…

  19. skipper Says:

    not to sound like an ass, but camman needs to grow up and learn a little about life b/f spouting off like an expert on everything phish. live it for 16 years and then I’ll listen

  20. Los Says:

    Hampton ’09 was phenom!!!! To all u haters out there…eat a dyck!

  21. Weyoun42 Says:

    You know, if the people on here who enjoyed the weekend’s shows (even if it was only the recordings) are considered fools, then I guess I must be full-on retarded. Moar ples K thx bai.

  22. full tour! Says:

    @cottle….thanks for hooking sprinklerman up with those kimock tickets…i’m sure he really appreciated it! Glad i could help!

  23. VelvetSeaWader Says:

    Ever since I started reading this site a couple years ago, Mr. Miner has given me nothing but hope and would quell my frustration and anticipation that the boys weren’t coming back yet, in a way that left me feeling, at first, shameful that I would ever think about Phish in such a light and then I came to the realization that Mr. Miner has been trying to relay to us since the beginning: THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW!

    We have all of these expectations running through our minds based on past experiences with Phish, but the truth is that they are evolving just as we are evolving. We can only wish that we could stick them in a time machine and press the button and have them come out as ’94 Phish or whatever year we want, and that they will remain that way. But they are changing based on their own experiences with each other, their experiences with their solo projects, and we can’t predict or expect such unrealistic things. We need to let them do their own thing and we need to be the ones to support it, yall!! Phish is here to give us the music, we are here to support them in their endeavors. Man, would you rather not have them back at all??

    This site has always uplifted my spirits and has always reminded me that no matter how upset, disappointed, let down, or depressed you are about what’s going on in the Phish world, at least we still HAVE Phish! Mr. Miner has always been optimistic and there’s no reason to show disrespect with all of the negativity and rude comments. Other sites allow you to say whatever you feel, and that’s fine, but I’ve always felt like Mr. Miner’s is what Phish SHOULD be all about–positive and happy and feelgood..

    I was not at Hampton. I just started a new job and recently got married, so we were unable to make the trip but are really looking forward to this summer (Phish tour will be our honeymoon =)
    I am, however, so happy for all of you who got to see them come back and play with such passion as they did. The shows were unbelievable, and I can only imagine how incredible they were live!! What an amazing way to kickoff their return–playing every song that everyone wanted to hear starting with their first opener! How amazing was that?!?!! The fact that they even played Fluffhead should have shown everyone (especially all you debbie downers) how serious they are about being back and meaning business!!

    Thank you Mr. Miner! And thank you Phish!!!!!! =)

    ps- Having said that, this isn’t a Dave Mathews site so I can definitely say with much fervor that DAVE SUCKS!!!!!!!! and I would really appreciate it if we can keep all the comments strictly to Phish Thoughts (hence the name of the site!). Thanksssss =)

  24. contact420 Says:

    3rd Night – 1st Night – 2nd Night in that order IMO!!!!

  25. voopa Says:

    You gotta admit, cam sure got the discussion going 🙂

    “The most essential similarity between the Grateful Dead and Phish – and the thing that separates those two bands from all their copycats and would-be competitors – is that the music is means to an end rather than the end itself.”


    That is such a beautiful statement, it nearly brought tears to my eyes when I read it. I’ve been trying to explain the link between GD and Phish to any who will listen for almost 20 years, and to see it summarized so well is just awe inspiring.

    “you have to realize, those that were there are still floating on cloud 9 and have not had chance to hear the “flubs”.”


    “I ask you to find me a show that is 100% note for note perfect, no mistakes flawless top to bottom in the history of Phish.”


    You NEVER hear all of the flubs when you’re there. I always catch something I didn’t when re-listening to a show after the moment. My first show was the fucking Crest Gamehenge show, and I STILL catch something out of whack that I missed on previous listenings. To criticize them for sloppiness, especially after 5 years off the road, following a couple years of train wrecks at almost every show, is just ignorant. Like weyoun42 said,

    “Oh, and another thing that made the mistakes sound worse? Because, for the most part, they weren’t making many, so the ones that were there stood out more.”

    “critique must be considered in the context of the work, and the context of these 3 shows doesn’t lend itself to intensive fault-finding.”


    THIS. Really, has there ever been a more inappropriate time to complain than now? I feel truly blessed to have been able to follow these shows song by song, and to listen to them within hours of the shows being over. I stayed up past 3am Saturday night and last night because I had to hear what was happening…and what was happening? GLORY! FIRE! PASSION! PURPOSE! How fucking lucky are we to have this band around?

    And those who must criticize, I ask you: How many times has your band sold out Hampton?

    Thank you Mr, Miner! Thank you to the entire no spoilers crew, row jimmy at week4paug, the shnshare phamily, the coventry blog crew, julia at, c. taylor crothers and his awesome D700, the youtubers, and everyone here who has shared their thoughts…and THANK YOU PHISH!

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