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”

  1. Wax Banks Says:

    Thanks for the condescending reprimand.

    Y’know, in this case a little condescension seemed appropriate. Maybe I got the balance wrong. The fact remains: you know tickets go on sale weeks from now. You’ve put in your preorder. You’re waiting patiently because patience is a virtue. And then you put your credit card information into a site that’s only open for an hour or something in the middle of the night, forgetting that ‘too good to be true’ actually does mean not true.

    Hey baby I’m sorry to anyone who had a bad night because of a TM fuckup – the first fault was definitely on their end – but in terms of legal action and so forth, it seems right to chalk this one up to experience and walk away. You didn’t get what no one in the world expected you to get, ticket sales get cancelled all the time, and if you plunk down enough cash I’m sure you’ll get your shows somehow. As it’s always been.

    That’s all I’m saying.

  2. Wax Banks Says:

    Thank God the smartest human being on earth (Mr. Wax Banks) is here to set us all straight…

    Though I do appreciate the compliment. 😉

  3. tba Says:

    Thanks Miner. I agree with Trey, they still need to make a great album. people always say The Beatles made the best albums, and it is fact. People say Let It BE is not one of their best, but there is so much emotion in that album. The best is Lennon joking around about Get back, and goes something like Sweet Lorreta…. then rymes it with she wishes she was a frying pan. Fucking hilarious. No one not even Dylan had the gift of writing words like Lennon in a catchy way. Across the Universe may be the best song ever written in the sense of a freed up consciousness song. If you have not shed a tear whether happy or sad to that album or song, you are either on heavy amounts of H, or have no emotions. So ready for new Phish Songs.

  4. SOAM Says:

    Does sober mean nothing or just no hardski’s ?

  5. R1 Says:

    Wax Banks,

    You’re a prick.

    That’s all I’m saying.

  6. Matso Says:

    @ Wax Banks and Little Buddy –

    Here’s me being the parent on the board: Play nice. If you want to be nasty to each other, take it over to that shithole otherwise known as the Green Board.

    Re: RR Tix – I’m not qualified to advise on US law, much less internet contract law. I didn’t see last night’s thread, but sounds like a scam rather than a technical glitch to me.

    Re: Page’s playing – If Page could play like Mehldau, I think he’d overwhelm the band. None of the band save Fishman arguably has the chops to play comfortably in the same idiom as the jazz heavyweights (Has anyone heard those improvisations between Trey and Herbie Hancock? I think they were on Trey’s site for a while. Trey is way, way out of his depth).

    But that’s all beside the point. Some of my favourite jazz musicians are technically limited (limited being an extremely relative term here, both in the context of Phish and these musicians): Horace Silver, Monk, Miles (I don’t care what Dave Douglas or anyone else says – he was limited and you only need to listen to Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, etc etc, to hear that), Jimmy Smith and so on.

    Michael Ondaatje once said (something along the lines of): great writers are those who know their limitations and work from within them. WaxBank’s hits on the right elements of Page’s playing: empathy and humility. Mehldau sometimes sounds excessively cerebral and can leave you feeling underwhelmed even if you’ve watched nothing but a blur of hands all night. The same can never be said of our dear Page. If his Squirming Coil solos or furious organ work in a Maze don’t leave you praising the beauty of life on this earth, you’ve got no soul.

  7. SOAM Says:

    Did Trey say “I say a little prayer and hope I can help someone who might be having a bad day”-I don’t think I have seen many phreaks at gigs having bad days….Most people who are having bad days are outside.

  8. Chalkdustin Says:

    Wow, I guess I didn’t know the extent of Trey’s sentence and the work he had to do until I read the RS piece. In my eyes, the boys have always been like gods. I know Trey made mistakes and went through a tough time, but I never considered what it took for him to realize he needed help and what that help consisted of- gods heal quickly and that’s all I assumed from Trey. Hearing about Trey’s experiences and what he and the rest of the band went through really brings them back down to earth. Call me ignorant, but once Phish broke up, I didn’t follow the news that closely and wasn’t aware of the journey Trey went on. Not that my appreciation for the band can get any bigger, but they seem a little more “human” now. My thoughts of the day.

  9. c0wfunk Says:

    once again what mr. banks lacks in tact he makes up for in content .. Page by no means stands up to the great jazz piano players .. his strength to me is in being the best Rock Keyboardist around .. Some guys here or there may compare (Richard Wright comes to mind) but Page’s blending of tones, and breadth of skills, and ability to hold it down no matter what chaos occurs around him, along with his passion and empathy, are why he’s so special. The way he can flow between instruments without leaving a hole is amazing ..

    And as you said when he busts out one of those organ fills or clav solos it sure as hell makes me want stand up and go “woo!!”

  10. Pence Says:

    THe Allmans Beacon run is being streamed on 15 shows for $125. How much would you pay for the 25 phish shows?

    $100.00 and so on…

    id probably pay $125

  11. SOAM Says:

    Did Richard Wright pass away recently? More importantly-What Trey did was the complete opposite of what Garcia did. He is either mentally tougher and/or has people around him whose love was able to tear down the wall of denial that is life on Poland Spring (ie. Hard Drugs).Easy to get in ..Hell to get out. You gotta give shaggy some credit for having the balls to make it right-it just ain’t easy

  12. SOAM Says:

    Boycott all profiteering off of live music trading. This shit was meant to be spread around and to be free.

  13. c0wfunk Says:

    Wright died recently, yes, naking my 17 year old decision to skip division bell tour that much more craptastic.

  14. SOAM Says:

    That is a band that can never ever get back all the good music they could have been playing if Roger and David weren’t like two broads catfighting.
    Can you even contemplate how incredible Floyd would have been, intact-all these years. Yeah for Waters solo and floyd without waters but to me it was always incomplete.

  15. Lastwaltzer Says:

    Matso: Some of my favourite jazz musicians are technically limited (limited being an extremely relative term here, both in the context of Phish and these musicians): Horace Silver, Monk, Miles (I don’t care what Dave Douglas or anyone else says – he was limited and you only need to listen to Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, etc etc, to hear that), Jimmy Smith and so on.

    Great point, many of the “greats” had stylistic limitations. Many of those limitations defined their sound i.e. monk. Monk has got be my favorite jazz pianist but he definitely doesn’t fit with everyones style, i hear miles hated playing with him.)

  16. c0wfunk Says:

    Lol miles hated everyone. Read his autobio- it should be subtitled “miles talks shit”.. Monk is one of my favorites. Professor longhair is another fav

  17. Mitch Says:

    “And then you put your credit card information into a site that’s only open for an hour or something in the middle of the night, forgetting that ‘too good to be true’ actually does mean not true.”
    hey wax,
    fyi people scored hampton packages after the super bowl. it happens and yes we could all go for enough money. the point here was that people were getting them for face without scalpers.

  18. contact420 Says:

    I’m reading the posts from this morning at it seems to me that everyone who got tix last night is bitching. Hey guys, it wasn’t fair, stop crying like babies. We all want a fair opportunity to get tix. I don’t wan’t to read law suit shit or any of that. It was wrong last night so you people in the in crowd that got the word from up above, I say good it’s about time. I’m tired of this have’s vs have nots

  19. dyda Says:

    get some recordings from when floyd was touring ‘wish you were here’ and/or ‘animals’ (the original ‘in the flesh’ tour) for the best examples of what could have been. gilmour/white (snowy) trading solos in shine on (part II) is pretty awesome. one of the only examples of extended floyd improv jamming i can think of.

    as much as i like division bell it is pink floyd lite and i have to be in an 80s mood to listen to momentary lapse. then again, waters solo stuff is a bit heavy handed. good, but once again, you have to be in the correct frame of mind to fully get into it. the 70s were hands down their decade. cover bands i’ve seen forget the roots though. gotta be able to break out that 60s syd psychedelia too…

    great article. didn’t realize fish retired to a farm in maine and that trey was forced to live alone (rs needlessly creating drama – like he couldn’t arrange to see his family) in upstate ny and work at a county fair

  20. dyda Says:

    and what’s all this to do about bunk tix?

    oh and about the floyd jamming, obviously i’m not talking about the early days with syd and then shortly thereafter when the band was finding its footing. clearly they were heavily into improv then. i just meant what could have been in the 70s era if ego hadn’t driven the band apart

  21. dyda Says:

    and who’ll deny it’s what the fighting’s all about

    sorry couldn’t resist after seeing the ‘haves vs have nots’

  22. dyda Says:

    never mind, i went back and read up on what happened.
    does not make me feel confident about this next round of release dates.
    piggy piggy piggy fuck piggy pig (as lewis black would say)

  23. c0wfunk Says:

    Early 70s floyd to me is IT.. The man and his journey suite- cymballine, atom heart. Early performances of dark side had some great jamming too..

    Dr strange is always changing sides!

  24. SOAM Says:

    At the County Fair-I heard that Trey also had to roadie for a Foghat/Marshall Tucker reunion and during green grass and high times forever he had an ephiphany

    it was ” FLUFF OPENER-09″-Then foghat tore into american band and he just knew “it” was to be retrieved, reprieved and released.

    Vote no on Texas and Yes to a Traveling Riverside Blues cover

  25. SOAM Says:

    Fish gave up drumming and concentrated on being a lyricist for that other worldly band-Pork Tornado

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