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. Mr. Completely Says:

    @R1 speaks truth


  2. c0wfunk Says:

    destroying the economy eh? Seems destroyed already to me…

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    but yeah .. no politix anyway eh?

    wilson I love your phish v dead description, thats” great!

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    is this old news? The band released a statement about rr:

  5. DC Says:

    Obama and Pelosi have no idea the damage they can do pushing their liberal agendas in the face of the worst global economic disaster ever.

    I understand they hold the power right now, but they have to realize this is not the time or place for the major reforms they are trying to push through.

    Also the way they and the media are perpetuating class warfare in such a terrible time is just wrong.

    Vote libetarian in 2009. Two party system sucks.

  6. DC Says:

    my mistake topic gets me a little excited that would be 2012.

  7. guyforget Says:

    fair enough. opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one.

  8. guyforget Says:

    For somebody who claims Abe Lincoln is his favorite president, he certainly doesn’t follow his beliefs.

    “You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
    You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.
    You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”
    Abraham Lincoln

  9. contact420 Says:

    I hate to tell you people but J. Garcia was the best bluegrass banjo picker in the bay area. His roots was bluegrass not folk. Garcia states, “I wasn’t talented enough, couldn’t sing well, that was for the folkies”

  10. DC Says:

    amen fellow comrade
    welcome to the united states of socialist america

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    @contact lol yeah I wasn’t even going to get into the bluegrass vs. folk thing.

  12. guyforget Says:

    Nice pull 420 on the JG quote. Just read that recently, but i’m not nearly enough of a deadhead to weigh in on this debate, but i remember that quote.

  13. DC Says:

    Jerry was def a picker.
    He did not like singing in the early years.
    Influenced by Traditional American roots music like I Know You Rider yes, but a folkie in the realm of Guthrie or Dylan, no.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    and sorry if I get worked up about all this. back in the day there was a real brutal split among my friends between deadheads and phish fans. it was right about the time the Dead were declining and Phish was rising and there was a lot of really bad blood about it. There were actual asskickings handed out over Dead vs. Phish arguments if you can believe it. I was just about the only person I knew that liked both bands & I’m definitely the only one from my old tour crew to seriously get into Phish. so i get twitchy and knowitall on the subject. sorry about that.

    both bands awesome. completely different but the same. Phish is here, the Dead are gone. yay phish.

  15. contact420 Says:

    We talk about the love for Trey, and I do love Trey and the rest of the guys. But my love for Jerry is greater. First tours I did, first tapes/collection. I miss my Jerry Licks!

  16. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    dark star, other one, and PLAYING IN THE BAND = what GD were all about 🙂

  17. c0wfunk Says:

    it’s an interesting dynamic .. I’ve got a bit of the same vibe going with some widespread people around here – I’m not a big fan and people get all upset about it and feel the need to attack the music I like..

  18. contact420 Says:

    @ Mr. Completely. When I first started seeing Phish in ’92, through the first 3 or so years NO GD music would or could be played on the lot, that went on until JG passed I believe. Anyone else remember this?

  19. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    drums > space never hurt either….

    phish and gd
    gd and phish

    i love them both and feel bad for people who don’t!

  20. wizzle1986 Says:

    I’m going to see the dead in 2 months, i rage widespread panic all the time, i grew up listening to allman brothers and clapton, then evolved into 90’s and rap for a brief stint, heard Pink Floyd and started listening to phish subsequently, now I’m basically working my way backward to the roots of all this. I am definatly a Phishhead, but i love Widespread, the Dead, Allmans, and Govt Mule….and guess what, i can see them all and enjoy the different aspects each has to offer…never got all the bickering….like it or leave it

  21. contact420 Says:

    Yeah, and the WSP vs Phish thing. See the problem here is that WSP has no argument, they just blow chunks, even if you get one of the best players ever (Jimmy Herring). They still suck WSP never had a chance.

  22. contact420 Says:


  23. c0wfunk Says:

    the scenes certainly felt parallel when I caught on to phish in 96 .. the terrapin in 98 kinda loosened it up a little and then the phil n phriends blew it wide open. I like it that the two worlds merge, cuz I love each band for completely different reasons probably about the same – depending on my mood. There’s nothing better After a crazy night at a phish show than putting on a Dead show in the hotel afterwards! It was my main weapon in the battle against nitrous dealers at hampton! When things get especially weird some 70s jerry band always does the trick!

  24. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    dickey betts once said it best: “there is no ‘keeping score’ in music”

    i’m a firm believer in that statement…..

  25. c0wfunk Says:

    word to that! Biggest issue with music phans is when they try and turn it into a sport with winners and losers! That’s the whole point – everyone wins.

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