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. nonoyolker Says:

    Check this:

    A new study on how brainwaves for musicians match up when they play together. Pretty interesting.

  2. DC Says:

    Trey has a long battle.
    I’ve been clean for about 5 years from similar demons and it is still tough.
    Trey was pushed in to sobriety by the law.
    Jerry was allowed and enabled to continue with his addiction.
    Growing up on tour I felt that drugs were fun and had no downside.
    Kind of upsets me to see all the younger tour kids that are falling into the same traps we did on tour in the 90’s.
    Keep to the psycs and jah herb and the scene will flourish but smoking and shooting powders only leads to one end.

  3. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    mmw is def one of my fav bands. they keep it real and still play tiny venues. i’ve seen them over 25 times. first time i saw them, i got to meet them backstage. i’ve hung out with illyb several times. in 2006 they came to my school and hung out with the jazz students all day, then played a gig there that night where they requested everyone to sit up front in the orchestra pit. it was the only time it was quiet enough to hear their acoustic front of stage antics with medeski on that kazoo keyboard thing.

  4. Little Buddy Says:

    The thing that always got me about JG was the tone in both his voice and guitar playing. It was like this strange combination of hope and despair all at once. I think that relates directly to the fragility and vulnerability that many of you have been discussing.

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    @DC – kudos to you – thanks for speaking up – best of luck

    @ Little Buddy I always think of the word “bittersweet” and that’s what life is like for a lot of us. Why Stella Blue is my favorite ballad.

    @nonoyolker – thats fascinating, thx for link

    @WHOLE TOUR! – the mmw guys are quality. story: the tools that ran the Wild Duck in Eugene got pissy about hte band smoking out a little backstage in 96. This was when everyone thought they were just a groove/dance band. So they locked the door and smoked it up like Spiccoli’s van in Fast Times, then came out and opened the show with a solid 15+ minutes of pure, grooveless avant-garde noize skronk. Just a huge blast of chaos. At least 1/4 of the crowd walked out and demanded money back. Those who stayed were treated to a great show after the band settled down.

  6. Wilson Says:

    also had a backstage time with MMW back in college (mid 90’s). very cool guys, indeed. very sincere.

    While there are many differences, Trey and Jerry seem to share that dual path empathy/power thing. sweet/sad, uplifting/warmth at the same time. The big difference: JG did it with what was essentially a folk band. TA does it with what amounts to a progressive, arena-rock band.

  7. Frankie Says:

    @Whole Tour
    It’s a melodica… great instrument! Check out Augustus Pablo for great melodica dub music. Brian from Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey used to play a lot also. There’s a cool site about it here:

    Thanks for the article, can’t wait to check it out! 🙂

  8. wizzle1986 Says:

    i goin solo to everything i can get tickets to from the Rocks to Chicago, i will be eating ramens and hot dogs and camping out, and selling $1 keg beers to pay for gas, all the while having a great time

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    uuuhhhh @wizzle “essentially a folk band” – no. that was one of their original influences but not a defining one – they had no single defining influence. Both a strength and a weakness. agree with everything else you say so its a nitpick, this isn’t the forum for extended debates on the Dead obviously so I’ll shut up

    @wizzle did u say ur in bend on some earlier thread? oregon represent!

  10. Frankie Says:

    @ whizzle
    Sounds like a plan!

  11. Chalkdustin Says:

    Phish addresses TM RR issue on their news page.

  12. nonoyolker Says:

    “The high demand for the tickets on Phish’s return has overwhelmed the prevailing ticketing systems and revealed their flaws.”

    Now that’s an understatement if i’ve ever heard one. Does any other band have issues w/ tix selling out this quickly? Maybe the Stones?? I can’t think of any other band where you enter a lottery for the potential to even buy tickets. Granted, they are the best band ever and so on and so forth.

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    Bruce did something. Phish is all talk, IMO. But they sure play great music!

  14. R1 Says:

    Anyone know when we can expect to hear back on our ticket requests?

  15. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    request window closes sunday…..probably get an answer tues, or wed….

  16. Chalkdustin Says:

    That’s why they’re musicians and not orators…..

  17. Little Buddy Says:


    “you will be notified of your order status by 11:59 PM on March 24th.” That’
    s what my confirmation email said.

    BTW – thanks for the kind words this morning. Peace!

  18. SOAM Says:

    whoa miner-like the touch of abrasiveness

  19. guyforget Says:

    Miner, correct you are. Bruce took action, and Phish’s bigwig management company should be doing the same thing. Something has got to give with them TM/LN/Ticketsnow monopoly/rape going on.
    I wouldn’t count on very much from the federal gov’t, however, as this type of business model seems to be right up the alley of this new administration. Sucks, and i’m sorry to say it, but i think it’s true, IMO.

  20. Chalkdustin Says:

    I still feel bad for those people who got passes last night only to have them taken away. Did TM ever explain what actually happened?

  21. R1 Says:

    “as this type of business model seems to be right up the alley of this new administration”

    how so?

  22. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    anyone ever use stubhub? they charged my paypal but sent me an email saying the seller dosen’t have the ticket yet… have summer tour leg 1 mailorder tickets shipped yet? should i be worried?

  23. SOAM Says:

    This ticket thing is getting to be god damn ridiculous. I don’t feel bad for those cats-when shit is too good to be true-it’s too good to be true.

  24. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    i hate the scalpers btw. i feel dirty for supporting one, but it was my only hope for asheville.

  25. Chalkdustin Says:

    @ whole tour, haven’t gotton any of my summer pt. 1 tickets yet from mailorder, only the LN ones. I wouldn’t worry just yet.

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