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.

=====

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.

***

20090308_2

3.8.09 – Photo: Marc Walters

Tags: , ,

177 Responses to “Undecided, Undefined”

  1. RobAins Says:

    Totally! I LOVE the Tshirt idea too!

  2. nonoyolker Says:

    Dude Gilbert and Page even have the same balding pattern. Trey can either be Wormzer or Poindexter, totally debatable. I had to make a split second decision. Its those decisions that define us…

  3. RobAins Says:

    Booger: Big deal! Did you get in her pants?
    Gibert: She’s not that kind of girl, Booger.
    Booger: Why? Does she have a penis?

  4. RobAins Says:

    http://onemansblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/Red%20Rocks%20Amphitheatre.JPG

  5. contact420 Says:

    there is video of last nights Alman Bros. show at the Beacon with Eric clapton up on you tube.

  6. voopa Says:

    LOL @ “That’s MY pie!”

  7. SOAM Says:

    sadly-eric clapton concersts are borefests of epic proportions-one of those artists who is more into art than a good time-which is cool-though not by me.

  8. lanser Says:

    another awesome read! thank you mr. miner.

  9. DC Says:

    Clapton’s last tour with Derek Trucks playin all the Layla material was amazing.
    Hot band with 3 great guitarists playin most of best material with not much of the 80’s era stuff.

    I’ve also heard some of the bootlegs from the MSG shows with Steve Winwood doing Traffic and Blind Faith tunes, also rippin.

    Not a big Clapton fan, but it seems like recently his shows have contained stronger musicians and setlists resulting in a more enjoyable product

  10. Pencilneck Says:

    Thanx Mr!

  11. whole tour! Says:

    lol…this is awesome….summer tour 2009: Revenge of the nerds!

    more shirt ideas:

    animal,or who ever that one super jock scary alpha beta guy who eneded up becominng a nerd at the end of part 2 was: “NERDS!”

    boger(dudley dawson): “We got bush!”(with picture of g.w. bush)

    louis in robber clothes: “panty raid! –insert laugh—

    that one alpha beta blonde jock guy: “that’s my betty!”

    boger, joints in hand: “party favors!”

    lol….who can make shirts?

  12. contact420 Says:

    The Key To the Highway clip is ridiculous !

  13. contact420 Says:

    Right DC!

  14. whole tour! Says:

    picture of a house on fire – “faulty wiring”

  15. contact420 Says:

    I’m watching the Dreams video…EC is playing way above his head. This is what my friends in FL., and GA. call the HEAT….this is pretty sick!

  16. RobAins Says:

    Whole tour:
    Back of Shirt photo….
    http://www.wikimusicguide.com/images/7/76/Phish.jpg

    You could write Revenge Of THe Nerds 3.0 or something above the picture….

  17. nonoyolker Says:

    That’s the pic i was thinking of!

  18. RobAins Says:

    …in front of the Hood Dairy warehouse. You can see the Hood Mascot guy on the wall in the background too….

  19. whole tour! Says:

    ^^ yes!!! definately rob!!!

  20. contact420 Says:

    You can watch almost all of the guests @ the Beacon Theater including Phish in HD by serching “Allman Brothers HD” @ YouTube 🙂
    make sure you hit the HQ button.

  21. whole tour! Says:

    lamar, lamar, lamar….you no good pa!

  22. voopa Says:

    I’m sure EC smoked w/ the Bros. last night…caught some of the Cream reunion show @ Royal Albert Hall the other day, and was blown away.

  23. nonoyolker Says:

    Nice Lamar – Ya Mar tease! Another great t-shirt idea! A pic of Lamar with a javeline and the saying “You no good PA” above it. A whole series of ROTN v3.0 shirts. Great ideas…

  24. whole tour! Says:

    i have been laughing hysterically all morning…the you tube clips were the icing on the cake!

  25. contact420 Says:

    watch the Other One clip Derek is a beast!!! Better than the Dead that’s gonna tour by far

Leave a Reply