And The Room Begins To Spin

3.7.08 (M.Walters)

3.8.09 (M.Walters)

Tucked away amidst a two-hour first set on Saturday at Hampton was one of the dark horse jams of the weekend.  With marathon setlists each night, some moments were inevitably lost in the extended fray- especially “Split Open and Melt.”  Representing the first real jam of the evening, the band took a daring ride down an abstract ally, creating a seething piece of music that was reminiscent of the band’s full on experimentation in ’94.  Leaving groove behind, the band attacked this jam vigorously, previewing the more open-ended excursions of the second set.


3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

Contributing to the early ’90s vibe that defined this first set- and the entire weekend- “Split Open” was the first piece of the night that really got the show going.  Immediately firing up the crowd, the band sat into the introductory grooves of the song.  As they approached the pre-jam break, that rush of anticipation grew tangible, knowing we were about to live the first “Split” in five years.  As we plunged below the water line, between beams to the gloom room, we were soon covered with seaweed and slime- and then it was time to melt.


3.8.09 (M.Walters)

Starting the jam at a brisk pace, the band wasted no time getting into the thick of things, characteristic of most all the shorter jams at Hampton.  Delving into the dense musical canvas, the band almost immediately guided the jam out into more abstract territory.  With Fishman playing a complex and grooveless beat, the other members began adding their interpretations of this experimental plane.  Trey focused primarily on wailing tonality and searing walls of sound, bringing the improv ever deeper with his work.  Mike played a continuous bassline that followed the jagged contours of the jam, while Page added blocked piano chords that anchored the far off jam to the song.

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

As the band got involved in twisting improv, one could have been fooled into thinking they were listening to a version from the mid-nineties.  Trey progressed into his dirtiest tone, playing more distinct phrases, as Fish worked over his cymbals like it was the last time he would ever play them.  Following this maddening path, the band came to a dissonant peak before pushing onwards through the sonic sludge.  At this point, Mike began pounding out a heavier, repetitive line, inviting the band to return to the song’s structure.  Within a minute, they had congealed and completed  “Split,” but the brevity of the jam certainly took nothing away from its quality.  A menacing portrait of the band’s 3.Old-school sound that painted the Hampton shows, this jam was a quick reminder of Phish’s ability to take a jam very far out in no time, and speed back to earth like a fiery comet.

3.6.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

3.6.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

As illustrated by this “Split,” the beauty of Hampton was that it was only the beginning.  Primarily, the band played concise, to the point jams as they got their sea legs back again.  Come mid-summer, shows will assume quite a different landscape.  And by the time summer ends, Hampton will exist as a mystical memory of the weekend when it all started to come back together again.





rspage1In a very candid Rolling Stone article, Phish gave writer, David Fricke, further insight into their upcoming studio plans.  Very exciting was the fact that Phish already has 20 new songs and is prepared to start work on their next album in April.  Teaming up with Steve Lillywhite (Billy Breathes) again, look for a cohesive effort that moves beyond their previous albums.  Trey supported this assertion, saying, “I’m not convinced we’ve made a great record yet.”  Yes, the passion is back!  The article also gives you a look into the band’s dynamic during the break up and over the Hampton weekend.  Although the article is not online, someone scanned it in.  The three pages are below, click on the links and then click on the page to zoom in.  It’s a great read!

Rolling Stone: Page 1 < LINKS
Rolling Stone: Page 2
Rolling Stone: Page 3


8.13.93 The Murat Theatre, Indianapolis, IN SBD < LINKS BACK SOON

8.13.93 The Murat Theatre, Indianapolis, IN SBD < TORRENT LINK


The Murat Theatre, Indianapolis, IN

Continuing our week of ’93 downloads, they don’t come much more classic than this.  A second set of segue-mania features the fan favorite “Murat Gin” as well as incredibly dynamic playing throughout.  A definitive piece of August ’93, this SBD is a must for all collectors.

I: Lengthwise > Llama, Makisupa Policeman > Foam, Stash, Ginseng Sullivan > Fluffhead, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Horn, David Bowie

II: Buried Alive > Rift, Bathtub Gin > Ya Mar, Mike’s Song > Lifeboy, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg

E: Amazing Grace, Highway to Hell*



“Mexican Cousin” 3.7.09 –  Photo: Spencer Short

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243 Responses to “And The Room Begins To Spin”

  1. youenjoy09 Says:

    …because even if you aren’t sold on the lyrics, you have to be able to recognize that once they start jamming, IT’S ON!!

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    i totally get that, but then most deadheads dig China Cat Sunflower too, which isn’t exactly words of wisdom – same for the Eleven, the Other One and many other top shelf Dead tunes – i have called my friends on that one many times

  3. wizzle1986 Says:

    complete list of sit-in’s with the Allman’s:
    9th-Levon Helm, Larry Campbell, Theresa Williams, Brian Mitchell, Taj Mahal, James van de Bogart
    10th-Johnny Winter, Los Lobos (guitarists)
    12th-Buddy Guy!, Trey!, Page!
    13th-Ashbury Jukes Horns, Bruce Willis, Boz Scaggs, James van de Bogart, Joe Bellia
    14th-Randy Brecker, Lenny White!,Robert Randolph!, Adam Nussbaum, Stanley Clarke!!!
    16th-John Hammond, Bonnie & Bekka Bramlett, Susan Tedeschi, Bruce Katz
    17th-Tommy Talton, Scott Boyer, Sheryl Crow, Brian Mitchell, James van de Bogart

    pretty epic so far, though i have listened to the Trey ,Page, and Buddy show and wasn’t really impressed, especially with Warren, likely though it’s hard to find a groove with the constant shuffling of guests

  4. Wilson Says:

    (was in a loong meeting, sorry)
    good points around in my absence.

    sorry to inflame the dad/ph debate with my “folk” suggestion. for the record, I love both bands but Phish is of my time. and whoever mentioned the lyrics, that’s what my older brother always cites as his reason for not digging Phish (he was a dead head). he says the lyrics are just too weird, and get in the way of the tunes. (I’m dragging him to Shoreline, he saw one phish show – in 91!!!!) cant wait.

    I was at the VA Beach ’98 show (a great one, as was the night before at Merriweather Post). You could tell that encore was an important moment for the band and many fans. i got a ride back to Charlotte with a complete stranger that night. He was a converted dead fan, and he talked about the importance of that Terrapin the WHOLE ride home. At several points, the man (older than I) had tears running down his cheeks, trying to convey how much it meant to hear Phish play that song. He was genuinely moved. It’s one of the more powerful memories from my 50+ Phish shows over the years.

    I too will see the Dead this year, at Shoreline, just ahead of my beloved Phish. Exciting times, everyone… the juices are phlowing.

  5. contact420 Says:

    I’ve heard rumors that Bob Weir has cleaned up his act and his facial hair. Apparently people on the PhilZone say he looks and sounds better than the last 7-8 years. I’m not a Bobby fan, but I too am going to see The Dead, and hope they can pull something off.

  6. Wilson Says:

    I got into that Deadheads for Obama show at the Warfield. Bob was almost unrecognizable. not saying the man had problems, how would i know, but he looked like hell.

  7. whole tour! Says:

    OMFG! there is this hillarious animated video over at coventry phish blog about the red rocks ticket fiasco…it puts some humor into a pretty serious situation…plus i love the phantasy tour name drops!!

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    I was at the va beach 98 show and confirmed, emotions were overflowing. And then when we arrived at the Lemonwheel, they played on phish radio and there was another huge group think moment as everyone listened together…seemed sacred somehow.

    the lyrics are what got in the way when I first heard phish .. I’ve told this story here before, but strange design was the first song to get me over that hump. After that tune I heard it all in a new way.

  9. contact420 Says:

    LMFAO!!!!! that is hilarious! Crust the Clown how perfect was that! Coke head oxcontin junkie? Sweet!!!

  10. c0wfunk Says:

    one more thing .. for a while I had a theory that was the reason for all the covers that summer – they wanted to do Terrapin but didn’t want it to stand out too much .. it seemed after that one (and the sabotage the next night which was HUGE in a whole different way – that places was JumPin) the new cover every night thing dropped off a little.

  11. Baxter Says:

    I remember walking around JFK stadium on Dead Tour cranking a phish tape in my boom box, and loads of people were like, “who is that ,they’re great”. I used to try to turn on as many folks as I could to the Phish scene. There was no animosity then.

    On Phil tour with trey, mike and the duo, I met quite a few doods bitchin about how the duo sucked, etc. It was weird to me that so many old dead heads just didn’t get phishy music.

    I guess everyone has their own taste, but people need to listen with fresh ears. I used to always try to get my big bro to see Phish back in the day, and finally, as of like 2003 he has become a huge phan.

    I know that Phish and the Dead will play together at a festival this year. The cosmos are directing it to happen.

  12. Baxter Says:

    ^JFK was in 1989, and I still think I have a splinter in my ass from those fiberglass bench seats!

  13. Cactus Says:

    Great post today Miner.

    Very insightful analogy of trey and jerry and of lens Mr. Completely. Makes a lot of sense to me. One thing I’d like to add to that is to be really truly great at something, especially an art form, you really must submerge yourself and listen and study the best…..and once you learn everything you can from that artist in whichever profession it is, you begin to create your own original style. That’s a concept that every great guitarist/musician/composer must adhere to. Usually the successful ones know this very early on.

    In regards to Miners post, if you want to hear a great Split Open and Melt check out 11-6-98 Madison, WI. One of the better jams you’ll hear.

  14. OlfactoryHugh Says:

    I live two blocks from the Beacon. Seem like people heard about Clapton, there is a larger than normal crowd outside.

  15. Mitch Says:

    yeah, words out about guests. i talked to a dude from sirius today and he was telling me the diff people. i kinda forgot the others after he said clapton.

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^^ @ Cactus

  17. SHIN Says:

    madison split.
    deepest funkiest thing since the invention of the word “shampoo”

  18. zippy Says:

    Madison Split = Birthday show! What a fantastic treat on my birthday. 🙂

    Definitely worth the 17+ hours of driving, each way.

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