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. R1 Says:

    highly underrated floyd album – obscured by clouds. much more straight ahead “rock” then other work, but many great tunes. especially highlights gilmour’s playing and vocals, with less concentration on waters.

    gilmour is the man and interesting that you say “97 phish jams esp have a very floyd sound” cowfunk, since this is the time when trey began playing more sparsely, really letting space flow between notes, which i think was gilmour’s greatest talent.

  2. R1 Says:

    much more straight ahead “rock” THAN other work

  3. Chalkdustin Says:

    @Frankie, only ended up bringing a few bottles to Hampton as the first batch didn’t carbonate too well. Not sure if it had something to do with where we stored them or what. Hopefully will brew up some more for summer dates and will definitely share some with ya!

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    Yeah, that sparse feedbacky thing captured in what’s the use and others on sicket is what I mean. That era is also very influenced by miles’ bitches brew and on the corner stuff.

  5. Frankie Says:

    I’d love to try it! My friend is a brewer and he tried a stout one time that was so thick, it was like drinking molasses. Gave you a shroom-like buzz too, he didn’t try that recipe again… 🙂

    I’m trying for Red Rocks, The Gorge and SPAC. And Fenway hopefully if it comes true. Which ones will you be at or hope for?

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    Meddle and Animals is a toss up for me- two best albums…

  7. Chalkdustin Says:

    I did a red amber this time but would like to try a pale ale of sorts…I’m new to this so I figure it will take a couple batches before I come up with something really stellar. Thanks for asking, man!

    Right now I’ll for sure be at Alpine and Deer Creek, have tickets to JB and Knox but don’t think I can swing those, and trying for Chicago for sure, and maybe for RR but not sure if I can do it financially…I’ll do what I can to be there if it means draining my bank account but at this point it looks like A) I’d have to do it solo which I’m hesitant about and B) I’d have to sleep in my car and scrounge for food 🙂 So we’ll see. I don’t know how you tour vets do it.

  8. contact420 Says:

    We’ve gone hungry at times 🙂

  9. c0wfunk Says:

    Bring a loaf of bread and pbj.. Eat for a week for under 5 bux..

  10. contact420 Says:

    I have to have milk with my PB & J’s

  11. Frankie Says:

    Ah sleeping in the car… Bring back some memories… 😀

  12. c0wfunk Says:

    Lot food is pretty cheap. Tho who knows cuz there wasb no food at hampton (wtf did we all just grow up??) A coleman stove and a pot to boil water will get you pretty far too.

  13. Frankie Says:

    I’m going solo for Red Rocks and The Gorge but i asked two tickets for each show… i already promised them to Davey if it works though ’cause he seems to really want to see his first show! *crosses fingers*

  14. contact420 Says:

    Sounds like Brokeback Mountain to me

  15. Frankie Says:

    Ahahaha! You wish!

  16. Chalkdustin Says:

    Yeah, I guess it’s not so much food as the heat out there. I’ve been out there in the summer and it’s brutal. A hotel with AC would definitely break the bank and sleeping in my car alone sounds iffy to me (not trying to be a wimp). I guess I just need to stop psyching myself out.

    @ cOwfunk, I don’t know, I found some good food at Hampton in the back lot where the pseudo-Shakedown was. Not so much after the show, but some sweet burritos and grilled cheeze pre-show.

    @ Frankie, best of luck to both you and Davey! You flying in?

  17. Frankie Says:

    @ Chalkdustin
    Yeah i would be… for Red Rocks and The Gorge… SPAC, i would just drive with some friends. They are just not as dedicated for Phish as i am…

    By the way, i don’t know Davey, and i just offered him a ticket on this board this morning if the lottery works cause he was pissed off yesterday about the early Red Rocks release and he says he’s never seen a show. I just thought it would be fun to put this golden ticket in the hands of a fan who’s really into it.

  18. Chalkdustin Says:

    No worries Frankie, it’s admirable that you’re helping someone out!

  19. c0wfunk Says:

    Yeah I heard about the back lot but never made it around there, glad to hear something went down.. Kidz always improvise I guess and the summer scene will be harder to control. A week on tour with no ac can get to you by the end.. Sometimes there’s great deals in those little coupon magazines at the rest stops and u can get a dump for 30 or 40 in emergency

  20. guyforget Says:

    Great Rolling Stone article. At least they don’t appear to be dressed like a bunch of characters from Technicolor Dreamcoat in this issue.

  21. whole tour! Says:

    there have been several show that i went to expecting to have to sleep in the ole’ car. But i always wound up running into some people i knew who were kind enough to let me take up some floor space in their hotel rooms. They were friends of mine though and i wouldn’t be keen on asking strangers to let me stay in their hotel with them. you never know though! and it’s pretty easy to make new friends hanging out before/during/or after a show.

  22. Davey Says:

    Frankie, you complete me. Let’s ride horseback together. 😀

  23. Chalkdustin Says:

    Just want to say thanks for all the advice and sorry for taking up board space! 🙂 I appreciate the advice as I’ve never done the solo thing.

  24. Davey Says:

    ^^ Jokes up there but thanks for the offer man. If I get SPAC tickets and you don’t their all yours.

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    wax may have not been polite but he is exactly on the ball factually – including re: mike and fish – the biggest surprise for me as I went from casual phish fan to more serious listener over the last several years is how insanely great he is. I think Fish is the finest drummer in rock music, one of hte best there has ever been. He never plays anything corny or halfassed unless he’s doing it ironically & on purpose.

    And Mike is a giant monster of funkiness and completely perfected tone right now. I mean: completely perfected. There is really no room for improvement in his sound.

    @whole tour re: the 2 hands on different keyboards thing, well cheesy ass Rick Wakeman was famous for that in the day, and if you listen to live Meters shows from the 70s (which you should, though decent recordings are hard to find) you’ll hear Art “Papa Funk” Neville playing piano and organ at the same time. But the modern king of that style is John Medeski and Page’s whole Cars Trucks Buses style of funk playing was massively influenced by him. I got burned out on MMW a long time ago, but actually watching Medeski work is amazing. I remember seeing him with a baby grand, a Hammond, a clav, and like a Fisher-Price toy piano perched on top of hte whole thing. He’d play these super-funky 2 handed riffs alternating between organ and clav – like a jazz cutting session against himself – then lay a long run on the piano and finally throw in a little trill on the toy piano – it was just a joke how sick it was. But it wasn’t just technical, it had funk feel and lots of soul.

    Monk’s technical limitations are overstated. Sure there are speed and precision things he couldn’t do compared to the real chop-kings, but he was a sick fucking player in his prime.

    IMO most ppl at the very highest end of technical precision in music are staggeringly boring to listen to. My fav jazz piano/keyboard players are Monk, Tyner and Hancock, none of which is at the very very highest level of virtuosity (tho they’re all super badass). Really the *only* exception IMO is John Coltrane. But then for me Coltrane (especially from 1960 to ’65 or so) is the greatest artist in any genre or medium that has ever walked the face of the Earth – only Picasso is even in the conversation. Trane had absolutely perfect technical control, he invented profound and fundamental new compositional and improvisational techniques, and played with more passion and spirit than anyone before or since.

    But he’s the exception that proves the rule. For the most part I prefer people who are excellent technically but play with feel. I like Miles’ trumpet playing better when he stopped trying to be the fastest gun in the west, for example. Maybe this is why I started loving (rather than just casually liking) Phish more in the late 90’s compared to the shows I saw in 90 and 91, which were fun but didn’t really move me.

    That Miles autobiography is classic and well worth the read. He does have nice things to say about the guys in the Dead, who worshipped him, but his dis of Steve Miller is one of the alltime great smackdowns…I think he calls him a “no-playing motherfucker.”

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