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.


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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”

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  1. Uncle Jam Says:

    Awesome article.

    Thank you Mr. Miner

  2. lanser Says:

    first off. best last sentence of a phish thought eva!!!! 2. everyone download 8/13/93 my favorite gin. also my 2nd show, and C. what a rollercoaster the last few hours have been. outlandish!!!!! PHISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. lanser Says:

    mystical memory of the weekend.

  4. GunninForYou Says:

    I can’t believe how dark and scary this jam was at the concert. I actually couldn’t wait for them to go to a different song. I was 100% sober too. The craziest thing is relistening to this when I first go back and realizing how it just did not translate to the recording. Just goes to show you how important that weird psychedelic energy is at a Phish show and how it rubs off and spreads. The mind-meld. The ability of the music and energy to lift us out of the time and space continuum to the, or rather, A zone. In this case in the realm of Blue Velvet. At The National this year I could not believe the Tube Top Flop clocked in at only a mere 3:32 . At the show it felt like a lifetime, colors and shapes stretching with the notes as time expands. I can only imagine what Trey feels like playing the music and being the central component. Leonard Cohen sings something to the effect of, “Our heroes live, where we have only been.” Anyway, thanks Miner for all of your hard work.

  5. hairy pood Says:

    killer melt; wish i could’ve been there. back to the topic which has been opened up by many, and remarked on by miner: PAGE. first off, i’m so glad you’re posting 93/94 shows after the last few, becaus that’s what I heard over no-spoilers. but 2nd, and more importantly, page’s mix has been low, and there are new keyboards, but he’s always played that bad-ass. listen to merriwhether 98 or any show from 93 nd before, and it becomes self evident that page has, from the start, always been the band member with the strongest chops. trey has overcome him (by far) as the compose, but page has always been the rage side, and more importantly, the strongest musician in the group. the almost-close second goes to fish, but he’s just a guy in a dress 😉

  6. Al Says:

    Miner, this Murat show is also a LIVEPHISH release. Is that ok with the policy?

  7. hairy pood Says:

    good thing i’m still hosting psychedelic paarties w/ country bands. i know mke would be proud….. still hopin’ for any (if they exist) honky tonk tuesdays, caused they kicked some serious ass. if some of ya’ll are in trey’s crowd, apparently not knoeing the lyrics to “she thinks i still care.” when he was singing along ” she still…. ,” i’ve got nothing against you. but, between george j,, waylon, merle, willie, all the rest and of course, hank,… i’m so close to set. but, of course, these guys put on the greatest shpw on earth. COMPLETELY UNDISPUTABLE. see you on the left side.

  8. hairy pood Says:

    what i mean by hoping for is links to (potentialy) recorded shows of what was happening on tuesdays in burlilngton late ’04- ’06

  9. hairy pood Says:

    ^al: AUD recordings are like socks inside shoes to be distributed legally

  10. hairy pood Says:

    but that doesn’t really apply, does it?

  11. Al Says:

    ^hairy: these aren’t socks, these are shoes as well (SBD);-)

  12. hairy pood Says:

    whatever you do, take care of ’em. me retire to let brain change.

  13. c0wfunk Says:

    word is people are getting cancellations on those orders from last night .. what a trainwreck..

  14. c0wfunk Says:

    this split was probably the moment where the music broke through the barriers I had arranged over the last 5 years and began flowing through my body like natural again .. to use your expression, I think we were all getting our sea legs back on Friday, by Saturday it all started to feel (dare I say) normal!

  15. c0wfunk Says:

    I have to add, this 8-13-93 is one of my favorite shows ever. The vocal stuff that goes on in Bathtub is hilarious (TUB) and the Mikes’ w/ ya mar vocals is great too. mmmm 8-93

    sorry for the spamalot , i’ll be offline most of the day so you won’t have to listen to me all day;)

  16. G-Man Says:

    “3.0ld school”

    Nice. I like that.

  17. Baxter Says:

    Thanx 4 the RS article Miner. We luvs da phish. Looking forward to Party Time (or whatever they call the new album). They have a biography coming out soon, don’t they?

    Sorry your RR 4 day got canceled, but I know you will get there somehow.

  18. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    Great post again, Minor.

    Ran out to hit the head during the song before Split and missed the drop, but the magic came later in ths song.

    Thanks also for the RS.

    What’s the deal with the cancellations folks are mentioning? Lottery submissions have been cancelled? Huh?

  19. c0wfunk Says:

    there was a “glitch” or hacker event on the tm site last night around 9pm that meant red rocks 4 day passes were available for like half an hour .. tons of people got tickets with confirmation emails etc .. around 1am the orders began being canceled, as people found out by checking their accounts online. I believe all of the orders have been canceled by now.

  20. Pence Says:

    I love “Party Time”

  21. Little Buddy Says:

    What a mess this ticket thing is. Last nights glitch was bunk, but I know tons of people (at least a dozen) who were tipped off and got them (plenty of folks that spend time here, including Mr. Miner – see last nights thread). Maybe one of our lawyer friends on here (I’m looking at you, Matso) knows whether or not it is legal for ticketmaster to sell tickets, send confirmation emails, and them cancel the order. I found out too late so I didn’t get any, but I feel bad for those of you who did if the orders are now suddenly being canceled.

    “Phish 3.0ld School” – love it!

  22. Chalkdustin Says:

    Thanks for your coverage of Split. The magic (as you mentioned) was in the band’s ability to launch the mothership into a fury and bring us back home again in a matter of minutes.

    Also, I’m sorry to hear about your and everyone’s snafu with TM.

  23. Wax Banks Says:

    listen to merriwhether 98 or any show from 93 nd before, and it becomes self evident that page has, from the start, always been the band member with the strongest chops.

    I do enjoy busting out the word ‘laughable’ on this site: this comment is that, buddy. Have you ever heard, say, a halfway-decent jazz pianist? Never mind a demon like Brad Mehldau. Page is easily the weakest member of Phish from a strictly technical standpoint, musically the most predictable and repetitive, and – the kicker – absolutely indispensable to the group because of his solid chording and stage-setting.

    I remember reading on the back in 1997 someone’s mom’s or grandma’s review of the 7/9/97 Phish/Flecktones show; she loved it and called out (condescendingly but that’s OK) Page’s ‘naive little one-handed improvisations.’ It took me a long time to accept that when Page solos that is indeed what I’m hearing – a fleet right hand and his left hand more or less left out of it entirely. His soloing is more technically impressive on tunes like ‘Magilla’ and ‘Cars Trucks Buses,’ notably the more explicitly jazz-toned numbers, but even then he comps in a pretty basic fashion in the left hand.

    But then Page’s strength isn’t chops as such – it’s his overflowing empathy, his humility (which is confidence), which makes him such a strong listener and central (often literally central) part of the ‘one big chord’ that is the band. When he freaks out on the break in ‘Ghost’ or attacks the piano (cf. 11/30/97 ‘Funky Bitch,’ that song’s canonical performance) I want to stand up and cheer – those clav-whacking funk breaks and big barroom-blues numbers are his wheelhouse. But I find Page interesting in part because he’s learned to do quite a lot with comparatively limited technical means.

    Page and Mike have improved vastly since the early 90’s – Mike’s a force of nature now and Page is still growing, his playing deepening and becoming more soulful every show. I mean, he’s a super-solid pianist, no question. But ‘chops’? Strictly speaking, nah.

    The best technical player in the band is without question Jon Fishman – the most precise and the most adaptable. There was a period in the late 90’s when the man could play any goddamn thing he wanted, and he wanted everything. Never mind ‘Limb by Limb’: his ridiculous skittering feathery snare-drum funk fills were half the reason I listened to the band!

  24. Wax Banks Says:

    Maybe one of our lawyer friends on here (I’m looking at you, Matso) knows whether or not it is legal for ticketmaster to sell tickets, send confirmation emails, and them cancel the order.

    Sure, and then one of the parents on the board can explain how when tickets go on sale in weeks or a month and a single server purports to be selling them late at night, you shouldn’t email all your friends saying ‘Put your credit card information here!’ just as you shouldn’t take candy from a fucking stranger.

    Seriously, guys. What did you think was happening, exactly? Phish had gotten the world’s largest entertainment-booking company to drop Red Rocks tickets online just for their most devoted fans?


  25. Little Buddy Says:


    Thanks for the condescending reprimand. Thank God the smartest human being on earth (Mr. Wax Banks) is here to set us all straight… We all bow to your superior intelligence.

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