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.


Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



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

Tags: , , ,

243 Responses to “And The Room Begins To Spin”

  1. Little Buddy Says:

    @Whole Tour

    I have used Stubhub many times (10+) and they have never failed me. Although they have charged you, the seller does not get paid until you have signed off on the Fed Ex confirming receipt of the tickets. If you do not have your tickets within a week or so of the event (doubtful) they will just have some other seller send you their tickets and then the guy who was the original seller is forced to pay any price difference between the tickets you originally paid for and those that you ended up getting. Their customer service has always been very good IMO. Call them anytime and they’ll give you info on the seller like how many times that person has sold through stubhub before, etc. Don’t worry, you’re fine.

  2. wizzle1986 Says:

    eugene…GO DUCKS…from tennessee, go to U of O

  3. Little Buddy Says:

    I too hate using the scalpers, errr, uh, brokers but its become a necessity. Used them for Hampton Phish (04 and 09), Yankees tickets last year, Radiohead a few times, etc. At least they’ve always come through even if I’ve paid through the teeth for some of this stuff.

  4. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    ^thanks lil’ buddy….that eases my troubled mind a bit!

  5. bhizzle Says:

    Apologies for chiming in so late on the Floyd discussions, but I am amazed no one mentioned Obscured by Clouds, Free Four? Childhood’s End? Stay? In order – animals, meddle obscured by clouds, wish you were here, dsotm

    Also, some one ganked my radio from the car last night. Have mercy.

  6. Wilson Says:

    @Mr. Completely:
    I stand by my “folk band” comment. No, it doesn’t sum up the entireity of the Dead’s identity, but I think it sums up their core self. Think “Uncle John’s Band,” “Ripple,” etc. They where a 60’s-styled folk band, with a folk band following. Someone I know who is a die-hard Dead guy explained it to me that way a long time ago, and as the years went by, I’ve become more convinced that it’s an over-simplified, but important truth.

    It’s what makes the Dead & Phish very different. Two different eras, reflected in very different music. While I don’t mind the old-school hippes (hell, they’re certainly more tollerable than some of the newer phans), I always thought that real throwback hippie thing seemed a little out-of-place/time at Phish shows. I grew up on the east coast, with Phish as something of a prep-school neo-hippie band. at this point, let me say “thank god i allowed myself to became a phan.” The phish era seems to make the patchwork dresses and wookie thing seem like something of a different time. This is not a complaint, just an observation when noting the fundamemtal differences in the two bands, their following, and what they “mean” in the scheme of music lineage.

    to blatantly stereotype (and ignore many exceptions):
    Dead: 60’s-era hippes who liked to spin around listening to pastoral, psychadelic folk rock, fueled by feelings of love, peace, and communal hippieness.
    Phish: generally open-minded, post-60’s neo-hippies who understand the love & peace idea, but approach music in a more utilitarian, 21st century mode, plugged into very intense jam rock band that reflects american society after circa 1990.

    just some thoughts after lunch (with a beer) watching the tourney, which sucks without Davidson this year. 🙁

  7. SOAM Says:

    one two free four-great tune

  8. R1 Says:

    ^bhizzle – I most certainly did mention Obscured by Clouds. Go back a few pages.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    they havent been mailed….

  10. ub40 Says:

    i have to agree with mr. miner that “phish is all talk” when it comes to this ticketing chaos.

    phish and their management have the opportunity to be creative and come up with a better system to get tickets to phans and not to brokers. I realize TM has exclusive contracts with most venues, so phish only gets a certain amount of tickets, i just hope they can come up with a solution or this is just hows its gonna be for phish 3.0 tickets.

    why can’t phish take control or at least take a stand? PEarl Jam, SCI, and now Bruce stood up to ticketmaster and its about time phish follows their example.

  11. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    gilmour has by far the most bad ass guitar collection on the planet. he owns the first known fender strat, serial number 0000000000001!

  12. hairy pood Says:

    ^^”Think “Uncle John’s Band,” “Ripple,” etc.”
    Those songs are from the workingman’s/ american beauty era.
    Citing only a brief era of their 30-year career to prove your point is like saying all apples are red, because you happen to have two red apples. Or all wine is sweet, all beer is piss water, etc.

    Look at what they were doing in the years leading up to that era, which was a return to their roots. Live Dead. Anthem of the Sun. ’nuff said

    Or the post-hiatus years with Blues for Allah. Is Slipknot folk music? Terrapin Station suite on side 2 of that record. At a siding. Live shows from the terrapin era often went the route of a funky disco dance party.

    I’ve said too much.

  13. guyforget Says:

    R1 – all i’m saying is IMO, Obama is destroying commerce and nationalizing everything. pretty soon, we’ll get buying our phish tickets from him, because he will have total control, or to quote him ‘the buck stops with me”. Great. Sorry other board members for the political talk, but i promise, that is the last one.

  14. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    i wonder if gilmour has a langudoc in his collection…lol

  15. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    and slashed from gnr has a collection of over 500 les paul’s!….like every version ever made, including the double necked jimmy page versions…ect….

  16. WHOLE TOUR! Says:


  17. wizzle1986 Says:

    first production* strat, given to him by Leo Fender

  18. Wilson Says:

    (sigh) you’re right. but i only said the “folk” thing is very much their core. Hell, the Rolling Stones cut several albums that almost ammounted to disco & punk (Some Girls, Emotional Rescue, some of Tattoo You). That doesn’t mean they are not – at their core – a rock band.

    I knew people would freak at the “folk” thing. But I’m convinced there is truth to it, especially when drawing that stark line betwee the Dead & Phish.

  19. Lebowski Says:

    I don’t have the time to review the entire PH/Dead augmentations, but IMO it is very different. The music, the crowds, the experience.

    I think wearing a tie-die at a PH show is weird. Always will think it’s weird. That has gone the way of the dodo

  20. hairy pood Says:

    “….because he will have total control,”

    The president hasn’t controlled anything in decades. its bankers and other special interests.

  21. wizzle1986 Says:

    not to fuel the fire, but the Dead were at their core a folk band gone electric…they evolved; much the same as phish was a jazzy rock band….and has evolved

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    @bhizzle – I namechecked Free Four specifically. love it.

    @wizzle – love Eugene, lived there in the 90s, visit every cpl months to see my freaks

    @hairy pood – great answer – the folky parts of the Dead are significant but IMO the two Dead songs that say the most about what them are Dark Star and The Other One. And more than any song, the music that best captures their true identity is usually either labelled “jam >” or just “>”

    I heart Ripple, etc, and a lot of people get into the band from that side of things. But that’s really a small segment of what they were about.

    Most of the ppl I went to Dead shows with went to get their faces melted. By the time we were on tour the melts weren’t as frequent as they once were, but they kept happening now and again. For me the last true facemelters were in Spring ’91.

    Basically the Deadheads I toured with were (and still are) more or less EXACTLY like all the phish fans I know. Which is lots, ’cause this is my scene now. The party scene on tour is the same. The bands are *completely* different on the surface but are both about the same thing underneath all that.

  23. Mr.Miner Says:

    “The bands are *completely* different on the surface but are both about the same thing underneath all that.”

    ^^ Exactly…

  24. R1 Says:

    @guyforget: “all i’m saying is IMO, Obama is destroying commerce and nationalizing everything”

    Oh, that’s ALL your saying?

    I’m reticent to even comment on this because I think most everyone will agree that this isn’t the place for political discussions, but I feel the need to at least point out that this is some seriously misinformed and misguided nonsense. I feel your concern guy, and it’s well-founded given the state of the economy, (specifically our banking infrastructure) but let’s not be reactionary and downright ludicrous about it.

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    even if you are going to go back to original influences for the dead, folk music was on equal footing with pure blues. that was the original model: electric jug band meets early Stones style blues covers fronted by Pigpen.

    Interesting that Phish added bluegrass to their styles in the early/mid 90s.

    I would never wear tie-dye to phish show. so that is another surface difference. but the action is all exactly the same.

    and yea in both cases its all about evolution

Leave a Reply