“Rock And Roll > Limb”

3.7.09 II (S. Wiltse)

3.7.09 II (S. Wiltse)

In a weekend that oozed positivity on all fronts, some of the specific musical passages were lost in the sheer spectacle of the event.  The three shows carried a very old-school vibe, from song choice to playing style.  Most of the jams were shorter, directed, and concise, following the path of their earlier days.  But, as usual, it’s quality, not quantity that is sought in Phish jams, and multiple segments from this weekend possessed an amazing dynamic.  Over the next while, we’ll take a look back at some of the moments that helped define Hampton ’09, and today we’ll start with Saturday night’s “Rock And Roll > Limb By Limb.”

Ready For Blast Off (J.Kravitz)

Ready For Blast Off! (J.Kravitz)

Coming out for their fourth set of the run, Phish had engaged in minimal open-ended improv over the previous three.  Most jams were structured and tight, but lacked much exploration.  This would change with the onset of this set.  The playing throughout this entire segment flowed organically, with nothing sounding forced or contrived.  The opening chords of the Velvet Underground cover riled up everyone immediately, bringing memories of the band’s late ’90s era of glory.  As Page started to sing, everything felt in place once again.

The lyrics leading into the improv were particularly poignant, speaking of the power of music to lift us out of hard times-  “Her life was saved by rock n roll…Despite all the complications…It was alright.”  A perfect ode to Phish’s present state of affairs, the crowd latched onto the meaning, cheering the powerful words. As the band sailed into the jam, Trey sat into an emotive solo, while Mike and Page created some interlocking offerings that, when combined with Fish’s work, formed a tightly cohesive and thematic jam.

"Free" 3.8.09 (J. DiGiuseppe)

"Free" 3.8.09 (J. DiGiuseppe)

Trey initiated the more exploratory section of improv with some guitar riffs that slowly guided the band out of the song’s structure.  Hopping onto his ideas, the band switched gears into a slowed down and murkier texture.  In a quick moment, they were amidst a separate jam that had nothing to do with the song; flowing fluidly.  Page and Trey complemented each other beautifully here, as Trey began to send guitar cries upwards towards the heavens.  The band congealed around these more spiritual licks, and allowed Trey to lead the improv, which continued down an emotional path until Page’s piano roll wound the jam down to a point where Trey picked it up and segued seamlessly into “Limb By Limb.”

3.6.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

3.6.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

As “Rock And Roll” went unfinished, the “Limb” was the natural continuation and peak to this introductory portion of the set.  Attacking the song with a delicate ferociousness, the band slayed it.  As the jam soared, the band was glued together and absolutely crushing it.  Trey took one of most gorgeous solos of the weekend, and the spirit emanating from the stage was infectious. Moving as one entity as they approached the apex, any separation between the band members was obliterated in their collective peak.  Reflective and celebratory at the same time, this jam served as a destination for the set’s initial climb.

3.7.09 II (S.Wiltse)

3.7.09 II (S.Wiltse)

As the set and the weekend rolled along, Phish would dig deeper into improvisational ground, but this piece of music would remain the first time Phish 3.0 took an open-ended musical risk and succeeded.  “Rock And Roll > Limb,” though not the longest piece in history, was played perfectly, fit right in with the vibe of the weekend, and will always be remembered as the first unstructured improvisational leap of the new era.

LISTEN TO “ROCK AND ROLL > LIMB” NOW! < LINK (Roll over link and press play)



hampton_outsideI should have tracked copies of the AUDs up by this weekend at latest. They will be from one of the No Spoilers tapers, Jesse Hurlburt, whose rig sounded great.  I know a lot of people prefer the AUDs, which is why I am posting them.  But if you have downloaded the SBDs and are into them- I think they are the best yet- save me a buck or two and hold off.  As always, please use torrents when possible.  In related news, I am going to set up a donate button soon for the cost of site / download maintenance with any profit going to charity, so stay tuned!



“3.6.09” Photo: John DiGiuseppe

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114 Responses to ““Rock And Roll > Limb””

  1. Baxter Says:

    over at PT, JerryFreak is saying the tour dates for the west will be out in a couple more days, they are still resolving some conflicts. 4 sure RedRocks about AUG. 1,2,3,4 and Gorge after that, and then Hollywood and shoreline? Seems like JerryFreak had like 3rd hand knowledge, so who knows really. I’m hoping for another festival date.

  2. SOAM Says:

    I heard shoreline then up to gorge

  3. bhizzle Says:

    I’ve been hearing, via the rumor mill, that the last weekend in July being at the SPAC

  4. Chalkdustin Says:

    Hey everyone! I just got back last night from my trip out to see the boys. Stopped in DC and Pittsburgh for a hockey game on the way back. The 19 hour drive was well worth it (as I knew it would be). Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were the best days of my life. Honestly. I feel like I’m starting a new chapter of my life along with the band. I have lots more to comment on and tons of reading to do on this site, but just want to give a quick hello to all!!! And a big thank you to Miner for all you have done. I’m flored by your generosity.

  5. Mr.Miner Says:

    That movie is AMAZING! Just watching the Fluffhead had be in tears and goosebumps….much thanks

  6. Baxter Says:

    Rumored dates are:

    Hartford 7/24
    SPAC 7/25,26
    Red Rocks 7/30,31, 8/1
    Hollywood Bowl 8/3
    Shoreline 8/5,6
    The Gorge 8/8,9

    who will play gathering of the vibes this year on July 24-26? It was awesome seeing Mike play with Billy last year. They are making an announcement of the line-up tonight at 8pm as a webcast.

  7. karel barnoski Says:

    i thought the east coast dates announced are the only ones. SPAC is rumored?

  8. Worthless Swampy Fool Says:

    I am hoping for final show @ Philly Spectrum 9/30. Supposed to be blocked out for “unnamed” concert but don’t know how reilable that is. We know how Trey loves that venue, that would be pretty sweet. I got shut out by a bunk ticket from a local scalper (Yes I was stupid) the last time I tried to see Phish there (12-11-99) so I want redemption!

    I would be glad to help keep this site going. Great content with a friendly vibe, love it.

  9. Pizza Says:

    I think the donation button is a great idea. You run a great site and deserve a little help along the way. Keep up the good work.

  10. SOAM Says:


  11. Baxter Says:

    It’s all just wild rumors as far as I’m concerned, and nothing’s set in stone, or so they say. we shall c what happens in all good thyme :-)>

  12. tyler Says:

    Mikey: that’s an amazingly cool thing to do. I will DL it tonight. You rule.

    The liftoff section of this r&r jam reminds me of the very first one, it has that same shimmery quality.

    I think the band – whether consciously or unconsciously – instituted a One Minute Rule for jamming. As in: “anytime we’ve been doing the same thing for one minute without a natural progression occurring, somebody just DO something – anyone, and anything.” Knowing them it wouldn’t surprise me if it was an explicit exercise. Either way I think it’s a magnificent and very welcome change. I did love the epic trance jams but by the end they were just killing the energy in the room more often than not.

    This way, if an improvised theme leads directly into something cool, great, go with it. If not, shift one step in any direction and try again. Eventually you’ll find a peak, a new melody, or a transition to another song. It’s sophisticated and disciplined – the opposite of the “self indulgent” stereotype of jamming, which was unfortunately accurate in many cases before.

  13. tyler Says:

    that’s interesting, the dates have shifted by a week again.

    Oh well I knew the Bend rumor was too good to be true.

  14. notkuroda Says:

    Tyler I love that theory. I was thinking there was definitely something deliberate to the improv this weekend, as though they were consciously trying to avoid just drifting off to nowhere as they used to do so often

  15. full tour! Says:

    press is having a field day:


    why not hire more cops next time?

  16. c0wfunk Says:

    I was hearing that “one minute” thing too- everytime the jam got stationary at all, someone, often fishman, changed it up completely. Definitely an interesting approach. I have to think another layer of lucidity encoirages that sort of thing. I know when I’m playing sober I have much less tolerance for grooves I feel are repetitive, than when I’m soaring.

  17. full tour! Says:

    ^ couple of those guys look like they got sidetracked from lil wayne tour.

  18. tyler Says:

    most of those folks just look sad, but a few will make nice additions to http://w00ks.org/g2/main.php

    I’m a big fan of the one minute rule, whether it was overt or not. r

  19. Jerrydamule Says:

    You were eight and I was nine
    Do you know what happened then
    Do you know why we’re still friends

    I was absolutely slaying the chorus part this morning to my girls as I’m getting them dressed. Been wondering for a few months whether Tom was writing from his or Trey’s perspective. checked birthdates, and its from Tom’s perspective (in case anyone else was wondering). friggin’ love this song

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    expect an east > west itinerary for late summer….

  21. tyler Says:

    miner if ur going to be posting an existing torrent let me know and I’ll help seed, i have logins most of the usual places

  22. oneshowatatime Says:

    here’s another clip of the R&R>Limb by Limb segue: http://vimeo.com/3523062

  23. WALSH Says:

    I can finally post something after one of the best weeks in a LONG TIME!!! I went to the Disco Biscuits show in Richmond from Raleigh on Wed of last week, wishing I was also going to Hampton as most of my friends there were going to be doing. This is when i first heard the rumblings of possible tickets for me…hmmm, I wonder, nahhhh.

    After returning home Thursday morning, and getting ready to leave for Charleston to see the Disco Biscuis again, I tried to not let my mind wander to thoughts of tickets that i would probably not get. However much i wanted them, I had long ago accepted that i wouldn’t be in Hampton.

    Yet, upon waking Friday morning, I find a missed call from one of said friends who might have extras…huh? I call, talk, and BAM!!! I have face value tickets to Friday Night!!! WHAT? Hop in the Element and I am off to Virginia. I ended up scoring face tickets in my sleep again to Saturday, when a friend had to leave and left tix for me with others…WHAT?!?

    My rank as far as sets go:
    1. Sat 2nd Set
    2. Sun 2nd Set
    3. Sat 1st Set
    4. Fri 2nd Set
    5. Sun 1st set
    6. Fri 1st set

    I cannot believe how perfect everything went…cannot wait until Summer tour.

  24. Weyoun42 Says:


    Fate has smiled upon you. That’s awesome.

  25. vtsnowboarder802 Says:

    two random thoughts from the weekend as was looking at setlists….

    undermind – I hadn’t thought that it hadn’t been played before, yet phish.com doesn’t list it as such.

    I also thought as I was looking through that it was odd Guyute hadn’t made an appearance. Not complaining mind you; how could you with the canon that was set down last weekend. Just thought it was an interesting exclusion.

    ok back to work…

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