The Significance of “Fluffhead”

"We're Back" (John DiGiuseppe)

"We're Back" (John DiGiuseppe)

In the most surreal moment of Phish’s career- and many of our own lives- they opened with “Fluffhead.”  Who’d have thunk it?  After months of rampant speculation as to how Phish would start round three, they took it back to where it all began.  I couldn’t help but seeing this as a new beginning.  I thought immediately back to the opening of Boston’s 20th anniversary montage that started with four funny looking kids in a dorm room playing the open chords of “Fluffhead”.  Symbolic for so many reasons, the opener was like a lucid dream- it couldn’t be happening, but you were seeing it with your own eyes.  Chapter three could not have started with a more stunning introduction.

"Fluffhead" (J. DiGiuseppe)

"Fluffhead" (J. DiGiuseppe)

People were a bit awed by merely being inside of Hampton once again, and the pre-show feeling was one of excitement, yet overwhelming anticipation bordering on anxiety.  We had all been brought back to The Mothership to bear witness to these events, and the impending reality was overpowering.  On pins and needles, people mingled, chatted and found ways to kill time; everyone awaiting the moment.  Gazing around the circular portal, the feelings that flooded were of surreal disbelief.

3.6.09 (B.Ferguson)

3.6.09 (B.Ferguson)

As it usually does, the moment the venue went dark took everyone by complete surprise.  Much closer to 8 pm than the band used to take the stage, the venue turned to black with a pristine turquoise cloud of smoke on stage.  As the band emerged from the left corner of the stage, everyone’s emotions overflowed into a massive ongoing roar.  As if out of a fairy tale, the members emerged from this cloud of smoke and back into our lives.

Awaiting the first notes like a five-year old on his first truly conscious Christmas morning, five months of intrigue had built to this moment.  After Trey and Mike briefly exchanged words, the members stepped into position.  Through raucous cheers and floating dreams, the last notes one thought they’d hear emanated from the stage- they were playing “Fluffhead!”

3.6.09 (B.Ferguson)

3.6.09 (B.Ferguson)

“They’d never open with “Fluffhead.”  It’s too hard for their first song and they’ll be too nervous”- so the theories went.  A handful of empty years made people forget who they were talking about- this was Phish- masters of the universe.  And as they hit the opening rhythms of the song, as loud as everyone felt inside, a more focused silence overtook the room as everyone wanted to hear the song’s first performance in over eight years (9.29.00,  Las Vegas.)  And just like that, Phish restarted.

3.6.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

3.6.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

Knowing that the band put extensive thought into these setlists, a “Fluffhead” opener carried so much meaning.  After ignoring the compositional opus during the less precise but improvisationally heavy period of Phish 2.0, starting out with “Fluffhead” was a powerful statement of intent.  Having practiced for months before Hampton, the band immediately let us know that this time would be different.  Recomitting to the drill-bit precision that helped carve their legacy, the band used one of their most complex song’s to deliver this message.  If people had any trouble receiving that message, the band soon sent a PS. in the form of a “Divided Sky.”

3.6.09 I (S. Wiltse)

3.6.09 I (S. Wiltse)

Starting round three with one of their oldest and most hallowed pieces, the band also reconnected to their Phishy roots that had been diluted during ’03 and ’04.  While the band certainly created lots of amazing music during the post-hiatus period, their fun-loving, old-school prankster spirit wasn’t always there- a spirit that “Fluffhead” virtually embodies.  The smile on their faces as they opened up Hampton spoke volumes to this reinvigorated gusto.  Phish was back- and they meant business- things couldn’t have been better.

3.6.09 I (S. Wiltse)

3.6.09 I (S. Wiltse)

Listening to the band work though the methodical composition was like watching a miracle happen.  Phish resurrected themselves after five years and the first song they played was the song everyone wanted to hear.  The majesty of the moment was undeniable, and the resulting emotions were like a tidal wave of goosebumps, adrenaline, tears, disbelief, and ultimate gratitude.  Just hearing any Phish, let alone the intricate patterns of “Fluffhead,” would have been the fulfillment of our dreams, and this elevated the experience to a whole different level.


3.6.09 (S.Wiltse)

As Phish progressed through the six-part epic, everything crystallized when they reached “Bundle of Joy.”  Considering all of the bumps, hurdles and obstacles we all had to overcome to reach this moment in time, the melodic affirmation that “Life is just a bundle of joy,” reminded us of how simple it can be if we just allow it to.  As the climbing refrain spiraled towards “The Arrival,” we felt emotions that hadn’t touched us for half a decade.  Awakening spirits, the band built towards the massive release…and then it came- “FLUFF-HEAD!!”

Shot like a human cannonball into heaven, a rejoicing flooded the room; we had collectively arrived.  It was really happening, and we were all a part of it, whether standing in Hampton, listening with friends across the nation, or listening with headphones by yourself- and we knew it.  “Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy Head!!”  We made it!  We had all been transported to a place where dreams come true and music reigns divine.  We were back on Phish tour.

LISTEN TO 3.6’s “FLUFFHEAD” NOW! < LINK (Roll over link & press play)



The Moment the Lights Went Out(Justin Ciandra)

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

More Extensive Footage – (stormchasingmonkey)

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

“The Arrival” – EPIC !! (Wendy Rogell)



4.17.93 Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor, MI SBD < LINK

4.17.93 Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor, MI SBD < TORRENT LINK

phish-florida-theater-93Though it seems impossible to stop listening to the three Hampton shows, I thought I’d start this section going again.  Due to the old-school vibe that permeated the weekend at Hampton, I figured we’d go back to a nice 1993 SBD.  You’ll notice more than a few similarities in the setlists.  Enjoy this old school nugget as we prepare for the new.

I: Llama, Foam, Bouncing Around the Room, Stash, It’s Ice, Glide, My Friend My Friend, All Things Reconsidered, Golgi Apparatus, Run Like an Antelope

II: Wilson, Reba, The Landlady, Halley’s Comet > You Enjoy Myself, Lifeboy, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Big Ball Jam, The Squirming Coil

E: Sweet Adeline, Big Black Furry Creature From Mars

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322 Responses to “The Significance of “Fluffhead””

  1. Davey Says:

    There’s an HYHU>Cracklin’ Rosie>HYHU in the middle of the download and I can’t figure out where the Can’t Explain, I Can See For Miles, Substitute, L.A. Woman are from.

  2. Davey Says:

    Ya, they always do. That’s the one thing people CAN control as soon as an announcement comes is room reservations. It gives me a sense of gratification when I can’t do anything about my ticket situation but I can set up where I’m going to sleep that night.

  3. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    @ davey….the la woman is from a 93 soundcheck

  4. wizzle1986 Says:


  5. OlfactoryHugh Says:

    Where are folks trading tickets online? I’m not interested in selling, but I ended up with taper tickets to Jones Beach and I was hoping to trade with someone who would prefer to bring their gear and got stuck with regular admission instead. I’m just not that into it after all.

  6. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    There was a whole torrent of just 93 soundchecks that featured that LA woman and the who tune. i’m not sure the date of it. might be from that michigan show, i’d assume?

  7. Davey Says:

    Ya, its the soundcheck from that show but those other 3 tunes are from the Roxy. The tickettrade board is still up Olfactory. Ask Miner for a link/password although I don’t think you need it anymore.

  8. Davey Says:

    There’s the link to the Tradeboard.

  9. dermacular Says:

    4/17/ and 4/18 93 were my second and third Phish shows respectively. First show was the same venue on 12/11/92. Interesting choice….

  10. Henry Holland Says:

    Further correction, the equator of the Milky Way relevant to us. No need to be harsh

    If someone came on here and wrote “Hey guys, I love The Phish, their song Casey Jones is one of my favorites of theirs, what album is it on!!!”, think what the reaction would be. Since I spend hours each week on astronomy and physics sites learning about Higgs bosons and super string theory and the Casimir effect and the like, that’s what your comment was the equivalent of to me.

    Sorry if I harshed your mellow, I’ve had a horrible day and should go to bed now. 🙂

  11. Davey Says:

    Dude, the sun passed through the center of our Milky Way galaxy relative to the earth in 1997. Fact. You aren’t harshing any mellow. These are facts. As an a connoisseur of the stars you should know that. I don’t buy into any 2012 theories or any of that stuff but I do know that, looking into the sky, from Earth, the sun went through the center of the “dark rift” of the Milky Way in December 1997. The Mayans were close in their calculation and surprisingly so because they didn’t have the technology that we posses today and were only 15 years off. But you gotta understand, I don’t take this stuff seriously and was only stating that the 2012 “end of the world” rumor is bunk because this “pass” through the dark rift of the Milky Way already happened. It seemed you took my comment as that of an astrophysicist but really it was a “comment”. No offense taken.

    I don’t know how this ended up how it did honestly. Do you have an E-Mail so I could discuss this further with you and maybe you could enlighten me about some of this stuff? Because it seems like you’re aching to do so.

  12. Davey Says:

    And about the harsh day. I’m sorry dude, everyone has harsh days. I just don’t claim to be a pro about anything. I’m just discussing what’s on my mind and in my mind at a given point in time. That’s all.

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ WHOLE TOUR. I don’t think he hacked your name. the email he sent was similar, but not the same as yours. I think he used a slight alteration of your screen name to make it seem like you, b/c w/o the exact email, I’m not sure they could generate the same screen name. Maybe I’m wrong.

  14. Davey Says:

    I think you’re right Miner although a lot of people’s email’s are on the ticketboard. it isn’t a Huge problem now but hopefully they just cut it out.

  15. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    thanks for deleting those posts miner! whomever it was wasn’t to bright and wrote some pretty idiotic things. It’s just kinda weird and it freaked me out when i saw my name associated with some pretty assineine statements. Anyone who was on here at the time was probably pretty dumbfounded as to why in one post i’d be excited and happy, then a sudden “mood change” and spewing hateful comments. just not my style.

    i definately know now not to post any personal info such as emails on these pages, as that was probably just asking for trouble.

  16. los Says:

    I just Got a Four day pass for RED ROCKS!!!!!

    My boy got on ticketmaster and was able to purchase four 4-day passes!!!

    Dont know much but he swears he got them from ticketmaster and got confirmation email and numbers

  17. clark Says:

    Henry Holland is a douche

  18. Lambo Says:

    order cancelled

  19. Dr SF Jones Says:

    Thanks for the Soundcheck NUGS. Man…. I am sooooo loving Sparks and the rest.

  20. Cleeetus Gazebo Says:

    love how trey is like “now check this out” at around the 9 minute mark before they go back into the lyrics. he says it twice, almost like to himself.

    Listen carefully to Junta … that’s part of the song!

  21. fslnuwr Says:

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  22. Steve Says:

    That Ann Arbor show was my first. The Antelope at the end of the first set cemented my allegiance as I almost jizzed in my pants (for real).

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