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. gills Says:,0,1347704.story

  2. gills Says:

    this can’t be
    another bullshit story from the phish hatin press

  3. Vultured Says:

    Jeez. You guys all need to chill out. I just got back from all 3 shows and they were amazing. The crowd was great (a couple morons, but nothing to shout about) and Hampton was too. I started at deercreek in 96 and 40+ since then, including fests and this was the best phish I’ve seen.
    There may have been a few ultra-minor mistake, but there were a billion incredible parts. Don’t be jealous you weren’t there. To the bonehead that suggested Trey hadn’t said thank you…have you heard the 3 shows numbnuts, the music was the thank you….and for what it’s worth trey said thanks more than once on Sunday. Get over yourselves. Phish is back and this summer may be one of the best ever. Nearly every song was better than the previous one.


  4. contact420 Says:

    I’m not critical of this nor will I be because I love Phish, but my first love Jerry sold out every time he played there!!!

  5. tubesteak Says:

    Just wanted to thank Mr. Miner and team for their tremendous work over the duration of this momentous weekend! So glad to have Phish back in our lives and am confident that it’ll only get better from here!!

    A also saw that these shows convinced a few of you that you need to check out the band this summer — however you’re ticketless. I know Decent Community is giving away tickets to Mansfield in the near future, so be on the lookout for the hookup:

  6. full tour! Says:

    also…something to keep in mind: Trey is playing SOBER now (i hope!). I give him mad props for having the balls to step on stage sober. Being a musician myself, i know i like to play music in my “comfort zone.” How many years was trey’s comfort zone drug induced? who knows for sure. But for him to even attempt these songs sober, and have them sound so great, is amazing.

    Maybe that is why they moved away from the half hour jams that were clearly drug induced in some way. Its got to be hard and scary to try and find that comfort zone that drugs provided being sober. I give him mad props for taking sobriety seriously (i hope!) and for having the balls to try and make this music again in a new way. Its fucking awesome that he’s not on that destructive path anymore. It’s something that jerry garcia never even considered, and in the end it killed him.

    What ever trey decides to do i’m gonna back him 100%. I feel that he is on the right path again. He hasen’t been in this form since the early days when he wasn’t playing this music on hard drugs…i assume because i don;t know trey personally and i don’t know what he did to find his comfort zone.

    All i’m saying is be supportive, because trying to play this music sober must be a hard thing to do.

  7. hairy pood Says:

    ^gtgwbab2495: he thanked the crowd and said something like “we’ve had such a great time this weekend,” after the second set last night, after slave,before the encore

  8. gills Says:,0,2187164.story
    something i found on the web about you mr miner

  9. Weyoun42 Says:


    You’re the man (or woman, as the case may be). And, not just because I got a pull quote.

    But, that helped. 😉

  10. anabiono Says:

    so, what i have been gathering from months of reading trite comments on this board is that…

    a. phantasy tour boards = real life honesty

    b. this board = a whole bunch of blind devotion and no balanced discourse

    sweet…i think i will head on over to the real deal, never been there, but it sure sounds nice…maybe i can post something over there without people saying don’t say that…life is beautiful…phish is grand…lollipops and buttercup daisies…

    peace out and please remember to keep those good times rolling even when they are bad…

    because no matter what, life is always a bowl of cherries


  11. gtgwbab2495 Says:

    alright, i didn’t mean to be rude or anything, and i haven’t listened to sunday yet, but usually they talk more, and announce set breaks, and i’m just saying, where’s the ‘we’ll be back in 15 minutes’. i didn’t mean for you to get angry over this.

  12. Wilfred Brimley Says:

    I’ve read a few sports cliches in these posts and couldn’t help myself….Keep in mind I live in Illinois and love sports….Michael Jordan retired in the mid-nineties to pursue other things…Phish went on hiatus and called it quits once to pursue other things….Once Jordan realized that basketball was his true calling, he returned to the bulls mid-season playing above average, yet not at his fullest level and they were BEAT in the play-offs that year….Phish comes back at Hampton in 2009, not quite at their fullest level yet to some but still way above average…The next three years, the Bulls dominate the NBA and win the world championship, with M.J. solidifying his legendary status…Phish returns in June 2009 to a level not seen in years….?

  13. keg Says:

    Why do these comment boards always get so bitter and so personal? Isn’t that the whole point of “IT”…that these shows can be so many different things to so many people? Who gives a shit if someone has a different perspective on the shows than you? You dont really need to post comments calling them idiots or defending your position. I doubt the band really needs anyone to come to their rescue and be their knight in shining armor! (pun intended).

    I myself have some thoughts i would like to share…not to be a negative a-hole or to try and rain on anyone’s parade. I don’t know why I think there is ever a chance of insightful discussion on these comment boards, as it is pretty clear anything less than a post stating how the music was simply amazing and mind blowing is met with fierce criticism….which brings me to my first point…..

    that is part of the reason i am even bothering posting my thoughts for perfect strangers to read and respond to….something about all the “amazing” and “unbelievable” reviews compels me to at least touch on the following subject…everyone is saying how awesome everything was with an occasional complaint sprinkled in about how they were sloppy or playing like crap…not much in the way of particulars from either camp? i guess my comments or observations are going to viewed as negative…but like i said i have not seen other reviewers touch on the subject so i feel compelled to make my point in light of all the other reviews that are 99% “glowing” reviews.

    i will not bother precluding my comments with my qualifications such as how many shows i have been to and how long i have been a fan of the band…those posts are always by someone who relishes in the idea that the band peaked back in 97′ and they will never again recapture the magic of yesteryear…and anyone who tries to squeeze out even an ounce of excitement for anything new the band is doing just doesn’t get “IT”. I happened to see more shows in 97-98 than any other years and yes they were magical for sure….but i have seen shows every years since and everyone of them had some mind blowing moments, some more than others…but they happened, often times when you least expected it…a song you did not particularly like or new song you had never seen live. That was the beauty of Phish and the reason I always come back…the complete unknown…the possibilty of feeling “IT” at any given moment at any given show!…which brings me to my topic of discussion….the unexpected…anytime i went into a show the big question always swirling around my head was….where will it come from…what song or songs will they jam out in a completely different way…what out of the ordinary place will they take us to when they step out on that ledge and it all comes together even when it looked like it was so out there nothing could possibly come out of this one! this website has been looking back over the past several weeks since i started reading it on some of those monsters…the natti gin, the nassau tweezer, etc. I have listened to the whole weekend’s worth of music and i personally am having a hard time picking out any “highlights”….on paper the setlists made me drool…and when i saw ghost->piper->birds i couldn’t wait to download that was like Christmas morning! Maybe thats part of my problem….maybe i expect to much…but that is one of the things i have come to count on from this band..exceeded expectations..everytime i thought they were slipping or i gave up on “IT” they found a way to surprise me!

    I swear i am not trying to argue with anyone or just be negative for the sake of being negative….but what the hell happened to the jam? I am not implying that just because they stretch out a song to 30 minutes automatically makes it “epic” or even good….but i am hearing all standard versions, for lack of a better word..and while a 30 minute version doesn’t automatically make it great it does at least give it a viable chance to emerge as a magical moment? i assume not many people have ever had one of those moments when you feel like trey just ripped your face off during the composed section of a song? Here is where I am going to take a lot of heat from the “positive vibes only” group and the one’s who are posting all of the glowing reviews, but i think it is a legitimate point and more importantly it is one of the only ways i know of to put it in words what exactly i am talking about… here goes….. I have a large percentage of my friends, most of which are a bit younger than me, that are die hard panic fans. I have been to many a panic show and they are fun. Although I rarely, if ever, have my mind blown at a panic show. My friends and I go back and forth, they give me shit for all the love i have for phish and vice versa….and when the discussions get heated and i am not so concerned about not being negative and respecting their right to their opinion, etc, etc…if they keep pushing me for an explanation better than simply saying they don’t blow my mind…i try and say in the nicest and most polite terms as possible…look they are fun, i like them…but their jams usually fall flat on their face and right when i think they are starting to really groove they just plateau off and either end abruptly or segue into the next tune…where as when phish kind of go off in different directions and get into some extended jamming, the likes of you have never heard before they often times reign it all end at the end and take the whole thing to this whole other level…yes it takes time to develop and yes sometimes they fall flat on their face too…but the times when it does turn into something magical more than makes up for it all.

    So in summary i am glad as hell the boys are back, i will be at some of the summer shows and can’t wait, phish playing standard versions of their tunes is something i would rather see than any other band out there right now…but that doesn’t mean i can’t wonder about or comment on the lack of the big jam? You guys that were there what do you think? Thoughts on whether or not you think this is a new direction the band is purposefully taking or do you think they had determined they wanted to take things pretty easy this weekend and “warm up”, is this type of show just as magical to be at because you get to see dream set lists 3 nights in a row and it is a not a bad payoff? i dont know about you guys but i dont go to phish shows to hear lyrics or see them lay down a section of bowie without missing a note…so i could care less about flubbed lyrics or missed notes…i go to shows for the energy and to hear something i have never heard before and to have my mind blown by it. Is the energy by the band and crowd there? Someone please give me some good insight.

    I have nothing to go on but the recordings and i know those never tell the whole story….but after listening to them i do know there were no “huge” jams that morphed into something that had a life of its own apart from the song it began and ended with? am i wrong?

  14. full tour! Says:

    @gills…. that article is insane!

    $1.2 million worth of drugs seized in hampton….jebus crist!!!! numbers inflated much???

    i bet most of the people arrested were scalpers and their $1000 bags of herb and $2000 bags of shrooms….?

  15. guyforget Says:

    to those who were there…did you see any tix going for face? were their heads who saved some miracles to give away?

  16. Weyoun42 Says:

    You know, I don’t really go for the whole “everything is always wonderful” approach. I listened to the shows and I heard the mistakes. They were there. That’s a fact. I guess the difference for me is that I followed up hearing them with, “So what?” How many notes did Trey play this weekend? How many did he “miss”? What a miniscule fraction that must be. Did he mess up some lyrics a few times? God, he’s never done *that* before! Frankly, I found that pause of absolute silence while he decided how to handle skipping “God” in YEM before blurting out “GodShit!” to be hilarious!

    It isn’t the mistakes, it the results of them. I forget which article I read it in, but a point was made that some of the mistakes that were made over the last three days would have, in previous–usually 2.0–years, send the band into a funk (not the good kind!) for the rest of the set. This time around, they just seemed to laugh them off and kept pushing forward.

    Huh. I guess it doesn’t matter if any of us care about the mistakes. If those four guys don’t care and can still have fun pushing on and getting better, then that’s all that matters. I don’t forsee a lot of un-sold-out shows in the near future.

  17. dyda Says:

    have fun over at phantasy tour. i can’t stand that site. granted the vibe on this one is generally very positive (sometimes too much so) but i wouldn’t go dismissing it outright just because we don’t bitch, argue and complain like that site. kinda like mainstream news networks constantly creating conflict to move product.

    so how about the last 3 night hampton run in 03. only really jammed out tune was 46 days…

  18. Comrade Says:

    I just wanted to give a shout out to Seth from Conn. THANK YOU for the miracle on Sunday night!!!

    I hit the lottery and had 2 tics each for all 3 nights – it was me and 2 of my best friends so we had to take turns – which was no problem but it meant that the 3 of us couldn’t all go to one night together. Thanks to a kind soul – all three of us got to see sunday together.

    not only did Phish put on one hell of a show – but i got to see it with my friends – and that made it perfect!

  19. Weyoun42 Says:

    ^Full Tour

    It probably went something like this:

    Head: Dude, you’re gonna bust me for this little bit of weed?
    Cop: Well, it is illegal.
    Head: Tell you what, that douch over there in the lot, the one in the white baseball cap on sideways? He tried to sell me enough coke to refilm Scarface.
    Cop: Seriously?
    Head: Yeah, but that’s not what this scene is about.
    Cop: Well, thanks for the tip. Enjoy the show. I’m going to go make a big collar and get a promotion.

  20. full tour! Says:

    ^ lol….scarface: part deux!

  21. HYHU Says:


  22. Comrade Says:

    Did anyone else see the naked guy walking down the road after Sunday night???

    I’ve never ever seen anyone try to get arrested before – i mean lol – after walking the entire street down to the crossroad – just walks up to the cop – who was laughing while he put him in cuffs…

  23. Weyoun42 Says:

    Hey, a question since I’ve only ever heard shows and not seen them: Is Page whipping out the keytar something completely new? Has that ever happened before? Is that par for the course for Frankenstein and I just never knew it?

  24. guyforget Says:

    Weyoun, thanks for reminding me…Did page add something new to his rig? I can’t recall which song in particular, i think it was friday, but i was like “whoa, what the hell is that Page is playing?”

  25. full tour! Says:

    ^ its more common to see a keytar in a MC Hammer video than at a phish show….so yeah…its new…lol

    i think poindexter played a keytar in the grand finale of the first “revenge of the nerds” movie…lol

    keytar is purely an 80’s thing…so it goes well w/ phish…being a band that formed in the early 80’s.

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