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. wizzle1986 Says:

    i beg to differ, i wish more people hated phish, then maybe i could get a ticket, jimmy herring started off great in panic but now just shreds like steve vai, which is cool for about three songs, it has become wsp w/ jimmy herring…last off topic post from me

  2. contact420 Says:

    Phish vs GD never made sense, since there wouldn’t be Phish without there being the GD first, it’s evolution like someone said up ^ there. Jerry was/is one of the best players in history just like Trey will be remembered as. They’re legends. MH although he was a nice man and his sickness was a tragedy MH is not in that category IMO. MH was not an aficionado

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    honestly, and I’ve gotten in trouble for saying this, houser was the biggest weakness in that band the whole time .. though th

  4. wizzle1986 Says:

    very true about houser, panic however as a unit can get down hard, IMO..JoJo boogies hard, Schools lays it down consistently, and JB is just awesome….and while this cycle pisses some people off I can’t not respond…I just cant put Trey on Jerry’s level

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    whoops .. was going to finish with that doesn’t make me like them more without him!

  6. wizzle1986 Says:

    weakness, no…..redundancy, yes

  7. c0wfunk Says:

    hm I can’t put trey on jerry’s level either but I can’t put jerry on Trey’s level ..

    they’re almost as different from each other as is possible for guitar players .. which is what makes it so interesting how much the fanbases synch up… it’s IT that is the thing here.

  8. contact420 Says:

    I can respect you for not putting Trey up there with Jerry, looking at it objectively… I would agree with you wizzle1986

  9. contact420 Says:

    it’s the IT you mean!!!

  10. c0wfunk Says:

    The IT is The Thing

  11. Mitch Says:


    dunno if this has been posted but tonight and tomorrow, clapton is sitting in with the allmans.


  12. nonoyolker Says:

    Cowfunk, with you pal. Neither are on each other’s levels. Totally different styles. Both are Gods and both can give you the improvisational ‘IT’ day in and day out in abundance, just in different ways. Love them both. Both at the absolute tops in the field.

  13. c0wfunk Says:

    star studded beacon run eh? who else besides page, trey, and buddy guy have they had?

  14. Mitch Says:


    just got an email from ticketbastard that says they are giving me $50 for their screw up with red rocks.


  15. nonoyolker Says:

    my buddy saw them friday and Bruce Willis played the harmonica with the E Street band. Fucking AWFUL. Talk about chosing the wrong night…

  16. Mitch Says:

    sheryl crow last night, robert randolph, john hammond, and some more

  17. c0wfunk Says:

    wow 50 bux? Is that a coupon or cash money?

    I haven’t heard robert randolph’s name in a long time .. is he still doin the march? The Lee Boys have taken his place around here..

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    it does my heart good to see the love for both bands here. Even before Va Beach in ’98 it started though, with Happy Birthday Jerry lick played at midnight 7/31 -> 8/1 at Shoreline. I was just getting heavily into Phish and was still conflicted about it due to those bad old feelings. That was a cool moment for me, the first plain statement from Trey that Yeah, we loved him too, we’re not running away from that.

    I get why Phish tried so hard to not sound like the Dead and Trey tried hard to not sound like Jerry – and totally succeeded. Shows real wisdom I think. For me the innermost essence of the Dead trip was Be Yourself so to try to copy the Dead would be to miss the actual point completely.

    trey’s and jerry’s strengths as guitar players complement each other like puzzle pieces. But they are doing one thing exactly the same and it’s the thing that separates them from everyone else. To speak plainly, they are (or were) each the lens that brings everyone’s energy into focus. Twenty thousand separate lights become one single laser beam, which we ride up and out, whether it’s the highway through the Great Divide or rising & falling & climbing to Terrapin

    up the rigging, take in sail, mind the skipper, we’ll not fail…

    that’s what’s the same. There’s a million great guitar players but so far only two that can really act as that lens. the surfaces, the methods are completely different, and I love them both. but the destination is the same.

  19. Frankie Says:

    @ Mitch
    Ahahaha! Right on man! Make the fuckers pay! 🙂

  20. c0wfunk Says:

    forgot about that happy birthday jerry thing!

  21. Frankie Says:

    Amen Tyler! Cheers to that!

  22. c0wfunk Says:

    nice thing with the lens .. I used to say Jerry’s lens was like a crystal always turning and showing you a different facet .. trey’s is more like a magnifying glass.

  23. bluebirddaze Says:

    $50 credit email here also

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    ooooh @c0wfunk niiiiiiiice

    that’s sharp dude, very on point

    trey has learned to show more sides over time than just the hyperspace thing – nothing wrong with that vibe tho, I digs me the hyperspace

    I live for that feeling when the laser beam condenses. That long pure moment.

    I feel deeply sad for anyone that lives a life without feeling that. And even sadder for my old deadhead friends who won’t give phish an honest try and once again feel the feeling – they have truly forgotten it – and now they’re just staring at their walls.

  25. youenjoy09 Says:

    Phish is just too weird for some people (even Deadheads)…. I think maybe some people (especially after loving GD) crave stronger lyrics than what Phish provides…. That was my first hang-up on their music…. Though, I agree, it is hard to understand how someone could love the musical adventures of GD and yet not get Phish at all….

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