Undecided, Undefined

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

Out of the 84 songs we heard over the three nights at Hampton, only three were new to the Phish catalog.  Though the band has over twenty demos recorded for their new album, they broke out only three “new” songs.  But the choice of these three songs placed amidst the sacred Phish canon fit congruently with Trey’s assessment of the weekend in Rolling Stone- “Let’s take a step back together- and simultaneously a step forward.”

“Backwards Down the Number Line,”  “Beauty of a Broken Heart,” and “Undermind”- the debuted triumvirate- all carry a common thread of reuniting and moving forward.  As carefully as Trey worked over these setlists, you can be sure that these three songs were specifically chosen to communicate a message; one of re-found happiness, reunion, and redemption.

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

“Backwards Down the Number Line” opened the first second set of chapter three, and placed in this significant slot, its meaning cannot be ignored.  Originally, the song was a birthday poem that Tom Marshall wrote to Trey while he was living alone in upstate New York.  In Rolling Stone, Trey referenced the first time he got the poem from Tom.

As soon as I read it I put it to music.  It summed up how I feel not only about Tom but the band and our audience.  It’s about getting younger.  Let’s take a step back together- and simultaneously a step forward.  That’s what these shows feel like.  I had to play that song.

Reuniting and moving forward; remembering the past with our sights set on the future- that is what Hampton was all about, and Trey couldn’t have summed it up better.  “The only rule is it begins,  Happy happy oh my friend.”

Page McConnell (hiddentrack.com)

Page McConnell (A. Kaufman)

“Beauty of a Broken Heart” was the biggest surprise of the three debuts, coming from Page’s self-titled solo album released in 2007.  Written as a reflection on Phish’s breakup, there couldn’t have been a more fitting song for the band to adopt as they came back together.

Immobilized I realized
misjudged the situation’s size…

A love supreme, an ancient art
a finely tuned piano part
that plays its notes from stop to start
and hinges on a broken heart…

Though seasons change and seeds may start
the beauty of a broken heart
cannot be seen but in full view
the colors can come back to you.

These lyrics, written as a musing on something that had ended grew new meaning now that Phish is back together.  Most literally, the colors have come back to us.  This was not only a poignant moment of the show, but also a rare addition from Page to the Phish repertoire.  Seeming like the band may try to incorporate their diverse solo material into the collective mix, this could be the beginning of a pattern.

3.8.09 (P.Lucks)

3.8.09 (P.Lucks)

Perhaps the most symbolic debut of the weekend was “Undermind.”  The long awaited title track made its appearance in the first set of the last show, foreshadowing what is to come in the Phish world.  Tweaked musically, the performance featured crunchier grooves than we were used to hearing on the album.  Downplaying melody in favor of rhythm, the song adopted a funk-reggae feel.  But as infectious as the grooves were, the lyrics painted a playful picture of where the band is at right now.

Undecided, undefined
Undisturbed, yet undermind

Relocated, not retired
Reprimanded and rewired

Mystified and mishapen
Misinformed, but not mistaken

Reinvented, redefined
Rearranged, but not refined.

With the repetitive line of “Undecided, Undefined” leading out of the jam into the end of the song, the message was clear- the future is wide open. A song that seems like it was written and shelved just for the band’s comeback, the synchronicities between its lyrics and the state of the Phish scene are remarkable.  Perhaps the most exciting debut, musically, fans immediately foresaw this groove-based vehicle going places come June and beyond.

3.7.08 (M. Walters)

3.7.08 (M. Walters)

While new material may not have been the focus of Hampton, the carefully selected debuts conveyed a powerful message.  Between the three songs, we can infer a genuine enthusiasm for the band’s reunion and a commitment to forge a new path for Phish.  As we move in to summer and will hear more of what “the new” has to offer, understand that it represents where the band is coming from now.  Don’t be that jaded fan to knock a song because you never heard it before and it’s not “Tweezer”‘- even “Tweezer” was a new song once too you know.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

8.4.96 Red Rocks, Morrison, CO < LINK

8.4.96 Red Rocks, Morrison, CO < TORRENT LINK

Red Rocks (Hidden Track)

Red Rocks (Hidden Track)

With all the Red Rocks madness engulfing the scene over the last 24 hours, I figured we would revisit the epic four night stand that got the banned in the summer of ’96.  Here’s night one, with others to follow.  Again, please use torrents.

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Funky Bitch, Guyute, Fee, Split Open and Melt, The Mango Song, The Sloth, Maze, Loving Cup

II: AC/DC Bag,  Reba, Scent of a Mule, Sample in a Jar, David Bowie, Sweet Adeline, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Star Trek Theme*, Rocky Top

*Page, solo on Theremin.

***

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3.8.09 – Photo: Marc Walters

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177 Responses to “Undecided, Undefined”

  1. Frankie Says:

    @Mitch
    😀 Reminds me of the Isle of Wight footage with the huge closeup on Jimi Hendrix’s face while he’s soloing… not necessary…

    About Red Rocks, if the passes were indeed open for sale for the scalpers to buy, that would be the sleaziest thing i ever saw but then again, why would they give everyone 50$ in refund… these guys are so shady, i wish i could hear their conversations behind closed doors…

    @ SOAM
    I was wondering about that too…

  2. nonoyolker Says:

    @b-h, thanks man. good to know. wouldn’t want the whole tour shot because i request some hard to get tix.

  3. RobAins Says:

    SOAM: I’m worried about the same thing. I just requested RR tix (can’t even go but will sell for face to someone on here if I get them. Front runner is likely to be someone who likes quoting Police Academy) 😉

    But I also put in for SPAC which I can go to but am worried that getting denied the RR tix will screw my chances for SPAC.

    I wonder if they fill requests by show, or if they pull a name and fill all the requested dates.

  4. nonoyolker Says:

    @ Rob, what’s the name of the gay bar that Proctor gets stuck naked in? Blue Oyster? I get your RR tix??? Daa Daa Daa Daa Daa Daaaaaahhhhh. Daa Daa Daa Daa Daa Daaaaaahhhhhdaaaaahhhhh!! Eh?
    @ Cowfunk – nye ’98 is way underrated. My Favorite Mike’s, period.

  5. SOAM Says:

    same boat-I hope I didn’t pork myself

    yolker I am in Marlboro , you?

  6. Chalkdustin Says:

    @ SOAM I requested 4 different summer pt.1 shows and only got 3, so they do fill partials.

  7. nonoyolker Says:

    @soam – Boston man. In the north end/little italy, right downtown. Got 150 Italian restaurants in a mile radius, mobsters everywhere, no police and a sick-ass rooftop setup w/ tits view of the city. Hit me up if you’re in town.

  8. Little Buddy Says:

    I’ve gotten partial lottery order filled a couple times. I think they just pull a name and fill whatever they can in that order then move on to the next one – just a guess.

  9. Mitch Says:

    My understanding is if you are pulled you get all the tix you requested that are still available.

    I know a guy that won the lotto so to speak and got front row fox, dc, burgettestown and 7th row center both nights alpine.

    Then if you are toward the end and say you wanted RR and SPAC and RR was gone but SPAC was still there, you would have SPAC.

  10. Los Says:

    pHISH is like crack…back to work

  11. SOAM Says:

    no doubt -love a spot-other than hiding in my back seat for a little 4:20–Your place will be rockin if they do fenway….

    Duster-thanks for the heady heads up. Good news-

    “embarrassed with failure I try to reverse-the course which my tread has already traversed.” of alll the songs that could relate to treys situation -when I heard this I at hampton I dug it haarrd.

  12. DC Says:

    That is the problem with the 4 night run.
    Everyone will only get filled on one night.
    The odds of getting filled on all 4 nearly impossible.
    Then all of these people with one night need to find tickets for the other 3 which plays right into the scalpers hands.
    I unfortunately believe we will all be shocked at the prices these tickets start getting scalped at.

  13. Chalkdustin Says:

    @ Mitch, damn your friend is one lucky bastard with those seats.

  14. Little Buddy Says:

    RR tickets are already on stubhub for $250…

  15. Frankie Says:

    @Nonoyolker
    Word on that Mike’s Groove! That little mellow jam they start before Hydrogen is one of the most beautiful improvs i ever heard period.

  16. Pence Says:

    Mitch I think I saw that mentioned from you in the last couple days, I was just saying that PHISH just found out that was the real reason for the “error” and was taking steps to stop that. Im just glad they pointed it out in their note.

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    “That is the problem with the 4 night run.
    Everyone will only get filled on one night.
    The odds of getting filled on all 4 nearly impossible.
    Then all of these people with one night need to find tickets for the other 3 which plays right into the scalpers hands.”

    ^^ they will try to avoid this..I bet there aren’t many partially filled Red Rocks orders

  18. c0wfunk Says:

    are there 4 night passes through lottery or just ticket master?

  19. Little Buddy Says:

    Passes are only through TM. You must select individual RR days for the lottery (not that many folks will be shooting for less than all 4)

  20. DC Says:

    Miner do you have info on this.
    I know they fulled everything for Hampton, but typically shows are filled separately.
    Most people I know got one night Alpine and not both.

  21. Pencilneck Says:

    Where does one Hotel when at the Gorge? Really hoping to make my first trip oot there this summer, but don’t wanna camp. Any suggestions for a brother? merci en avance!
    I lucked out and scored both nites alpine btw. I have a working theory that distance can factor in to the selection process as it pertains to the lottery. I’ve had every order filled from Nunavut, and the last one I put in from Scotland. All my orders from Toronto have been shot down.

  22. whole tour! Says:

    @ rob – today when i was laying pallette after pallete of fresh sod on my lawn, i had a monent of clarity and a certain song popped in my head. now, i know we are all lovin the lamar led “rotn”(revenge of the nerds) finalr song that helped them lay the alpha-beta’s ass on the ground….

    but today as i was working, a certain montage popped into my head. It involved a run down house that just needed a little fix er upper type love…as i was laying sod in my head i heard:

    “put one foot in front of the other, gonna lay it down down down down….you gotta put one foot in front of the other….gonna lay it down down down”….lol

    now i’m not sure if that is the exact lyrics, but you gotta admit…in the fast paced world of 80’s montages…the “ROTN” house fix up montage is an all time classic. From dusty run down shit hole…the boyz put in an all out team effort. Poindexter dusting, louis’s robot helping out with the sweeping as well as some much needed comic relief by trapping poindexter in the corner….lamar and the young kid putting up wall paper. By the end of that classic montage (everytime i saw montage i think of that southpark episode “MONTAGE! MONTAGE!) the boys of the soon to be tri lamda took that shouse and tore it a new one…

    anyway…lol…back to pallette after pallette of laying sod on the lawn…

    “i’m gonna put one foot..in front of the other…gonna lay it down down down”

    🙂

  23. whole tour! Says:

    ^ said “young kid”….i remembered…his name is WORMZER! lol

  24. nonoyolker Says:

    @ wholetour – PRICELESS. Whenever I have do something that is going to take a long time and serious effort, I always pray for 80’s montage music to kick in and for the job to be magically completed in a matter of a minute. The song I always go to: “you got to put one foot…”

  25. whole tour! Says:

    ^ lmfao!!!

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