“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. buffalo bill Says:

    “2 tv sets and 2 cadillac cars our parents will be the death of us all”

    It is hard to believe Lou Reed wrote this over 30 years ago.
    Pretty much a sound track for the current environment.
    The accessess of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s has finally hit home as we enter the scariest economic prediciment of the last 100 years.

    The way he mocks modern societies fascination with material objects is so ahead of its time when it was written adn holds so true today.

  2. SOAM Says:

    I am dumbfounded that there will potentially now be 2 mini east coast tours-one in june -one late july/aug-its that being conveyed here or am i tripping.

    I assumed the west leg would start west of Alpine. East dates a second time in one summer -c’mon-that is fucking beautiful

    miner-give me your inside dope-I need to know

  3. guyforget Says:

    whatever SOAM you greedy bastard, how about some west coast love for a life long east coaster on the west coast.

  4. SOAM Says:

    forget-I should hook you up with my bro in SF-Where are you ?

    I had the intention of skipping Alpine to do Shoreline /Gorge but if I get a double shot summer east coast kickdown (‘you gotta kickdown to getdown’) I may not have to remortgage my families entire savings.

  5. Jeff Says:

    listening to the Disease>7 Below, then later the Twist for the 4th time. So so so dope. Page and Mike just turn this Twist the f out.

    but as I was listening, my mind wandered to Mike (becasue he was dropping bombs most likely) and I realized he was the only one not to utter a non-sung word at Hampton. Then I thought about Coventry and I really don’t recall him saying anything from stage there. Then I really got to thinking, of all the shows I’ve listened to and the ones I’ve been to, I don’t ever recall Mike banter of any kind. I’m sure it’s out there in the 80’s and early 90’s, but where? Anyways, banterless Mike, just a thought that crossed my mind..

  6. SOAM Says:

    Freaks of nature tend to be quiet-he speaks to ghosts dude!

  7. Jerrydamule Says:

    I just got word from an old friend re: an “appearance” at tonight’s Allman’s show at the Beacon. Seems pretty random. But if it turns out to be true and you’re going, enjoy!

  8. guyforget Says:

    i’m in AZ kid. will be doing any and all west coast gigs, excluding RR, for sure Shoreline and Gorge. SOAM, you gonna be at the Fox?

    BTW, listening to set 2 Friday, Tweezer is sick and unless i’ve missed a rant, not getting my love on this board…….yet!

  9. guyforget Says:

    ^meant to say “not getting much love”…

  10. full tour! Says:

    “its been a wild for many years”….mike at coventry

  11. Jeff Says:

    SOAM – standard theory, but its amazing he can hold out. I guess I’ll forever have to cherish his Rocky Raccoon story for the next best thing.

  12. full tour! Says:

    *wild ride

  13. SOAM Says:

    No for fox-first 4 east coasts-no tix yet but “I’ll walk right..through the door”-not worried and then either second east coast date or shoreline/gorge.

  14. SOAM Says:

    Did you notice mike went on roids-sporting guns

  15. voopa Says:

    “2 tv sets and 2 cadillac cars our parents will be the death of us all”

    Buffalo Bill, those lyrics resonated with me when I was re-listening last night too. I had pretty much the same thoughts as you…good stuff.

  16. gho2it Says:

    YES! Please send some summer love out to the west coast folks. I was loving the Outlands Festival idea, what about another run at the Fillmore since the boys are mixing up venue sizes?

    Heck with all the phatty places to play in SF we could be in for a treat. I get Shoreline, but come on wouldn’t it be much tighter to see them play in the Presidio like they had MMW and other bands set up for the Slow Food festival this past October???

    What about Howell Mountain(?) winery, plenty of lot space, some delicious vinos, and more stars than the eyes could see. It would be like Pima County Fairgrounds 1999 all over again (minus the wine and beautiful scenery)…..

  17. SOAM Says:

    Look at all these duchebags who watched TV and sat on their boring , lazy fat asses all weekend waiting for Prince/Jimmy Buffet tour drinking ass lites-puffing dirt bud-now they can’t get enough of the freaks who got popped at phish-Jerk offs smoking gun toolbags-leave a brother alone for god’s sakes

  18. Elihu Says:

    I remember a show – I think it was Atlanta in 97 or 98 – between songs Trey goes, “now mike is gonna banter.” That was funny. I don’t think Mike said anything. Maybe that was at Shoreline? Mike did a sweet Ginseng Sullivan. “my muddy water Mississippi delta home…”

  19. full tour! Says:

    ^werd up on that….fuck smoking gun….we should set those guys up and plaster their douche mug shots on the net.

  20. SOAM Says:

    Damn straight beeatch.

  21. full tour! Says:

    it was atlanta 2000 with mike banter about his fight bell…..i never missed any lakewood shows….saw em all since 95…

  22. c0wfunk Says:

    Glad to see mike still had the bell in full effect.. I love that thing

  23. SOAM Says:

    me no want no nice guy

  24. full tour! Says:

    @cowfunk…..pretty sure i scored an asheville ticket!

  25. tyler Says:

    Man, mike talked all kind of shit at the green sparrow gig we saw. He literally gave instructions on forming a group-mind and led us through an exercise in doing so during Radar Blip. It was more fun than I just made it sound, it sounds like going to gym class when I read that last sentence, but it was a fucking hoot. It worked like a motherfucker too, ppl were tripping balls when he was done with em

    And his band introductions were priceless, it was like calling his hotline recording but longer

    classic surreal catcus shizzle, very enjoyable

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