Forecast For the Future

6.18.04 Brooklyn, NY

6.18.04 Brooklyn, NY

With nothing separating us from Summer Tour except 12 days, thoughts are beginning to percolate about what will go down.  What songs will we hear and what songs won’t we hear?  With act three of Phish’s career about to open, the musical anticipation is- dare I say it- greater than Hampton.  Admittedly, nothing can match the hype, excitement, and quality of energy surrounding Phish’s return in March- it was like nothing we’d ever experienced; just like a dream.  We were finally getting Phish back, and had no idea what we had in store.

But after an amazing three nights in March, and some subsequent interviews with Mike and Trey, we can make clearer predictions of what lies ahead.  This much we know for sure- there will be a host of new material.  The band is essentially hopping out of the studio and into Fenway Park, having just recorded their new album, not to mention they have written many additional songs beyond the album.  It’s safe to say that setlists will read a bit differently from now on, and it’s new material that this era of Phish will be built upon.  Will they play their classics?  Of course.  But when Phish has new material, they like to explore it in depth- always.  And this is not just a crop of new songs, it’s the ushering in of an entirely new era of Phish and defining a musical direction for 2009 and beyond.

"Ghost" 6.20.04

"Ghost" 6.20.04 SPAC

This is the most exciting part about this summer- a new direction- Phish’s next evolutionary step.  No doubt my brain will pop each time they drop a “Tweezer” or a “Mike’s,” but what will be even more exciting is to see what will develop out of their newest, and virtually unplayed, songs.  To add some specificity to what I am saying, here are seven songs that I believe will blow up this summer and throughout the year.

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1. A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing

"A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing" 6.19.04

"A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing" 6.19.04

As Phish was exiting stage left in 2004, this song was the heavy about to become the next colossal launch pad into the Phish universe.  Played only twice, and improvised on only once, the band had barely scratched the surface of this jam’s potential.  Ironically, the only time the band did jam the song, they used it as a springboard into other-worldly realms.  Among my favorite Phish jams ever, the 6.19 SPAC rendition had the entire community drooling for the next time the band unveiled “Oceans.”  Although we’ve had to wait five years for that next version, it is about to drop, and you can bet that this will develop into one of the defining dark Phish jams of 3.0.

2. Light

16-treyanastasioOn the other side of the darkness, there is “Light.”  A Trey original that has only been performed twice with his solo band has popped up on both recent “track listings” for the band’s upcoming album.  There was no corroborating evidence needed, however, to know that this would be a certain, and amazing, addition to the Phish catalog.  When TAB played “Light” in Wallingford, CT, you could imagine- and practically hear- the spiritual heights to which Phish would take this piece.  Mark my words, this will be a highlight of the summer, taking soaring journeys through places we’ve never dreamed.

3. Valentine

Albany (A. Hill)

Albany 10.08 (A. Hill)

Another song that Trey only played twice with TAB, this song was also on the seemingly-official track listing of the upcoming album.  To be honest, I knew this song would land squarely in Phish’s lap when I first heard it in Brooklyn last summer.  Debuted at his comeback show, and subsequently played only in Albany, “Valentine,” like “Light,” just sounds like a Phish song.  Combining uplifting melodies with a driving rhythm, Trey’s guitar solos were the centerpiece of both TAB versions, something that is sure to change when Phish attacks the song.  Pushing it as far as he could with his “backing band,” with Phish, this song could become a staple of this summer and years to come

4. Undermind

rainbow-sm“Rearranged but not refined”- “Undermind” debuted in Hampton featuring a fresh and chunky groove to which everyone quickly attached.  A song that provides a poignant lyrical accuracy describing Phish at this point in their lives, you can bet that Hampton’s premiere was a sign of things to come.  Possessing a naturally funked out groove, this one should highlight many a set in the upcoming months with its diverse sound and improv.  Already a crowd favorite from its debut alone, I’d look for this one early and often.

5. Time Turns Elastic

Time Turns Elastic

Time Turns Elastic

A virtual shoe-in for a complex, latter-day Phish classic, the press release for Trey’s album even said that the band would be exploring the piece as a rock epic this summer.  With rich imagery, signature composition, and coherent musical themes, this may well become Trey’s consensus best work in a while after Phish gets a grasp of it.  Translating the entire second movement of his orchestral piece to a four piece, this will most likely turn out to be a 15-20 minute song.  It will be very interesting to see how and where Phish improvises within the piece, but regardless, the community will be abuzz about “Time Turns Elastic” very soon.

6. Backwards Down The Number Line

The only new song we heard at Hampton, the band seems to have a soft spot for this one.  About moving backwards and forwards at the same time- rediscovering and progressing- we have only seen the beginning of this 3.0 anthem.  A song that will likely be in heavy rotation this summer, it may find a home opening second sets with extended, rock-based jams- a mature “Disease” for the new age.  Wherever it winds up, look for some spirited improv stemming from “Backwards” all year.

7. Scents and Subtle Sounds

7.30.03 Camden, NJ (A. Phelan)

7.30.03 Camden, NJ (A. Phelan)

While it seems silly to put “Scents” on this list since it was played for almost a year, it was becoming huge when Phish decided to stop.  Boating monster explorations at Camden in both ’03 and ’04, the song also saw its jam break form at Deer Creek (’03) and IT as well.  One of the most powerful Anastasio/Marshall songs in years, one would hope that Phish decides to reattach the song’s psychedelic intro to its body decapitated body.  When thinking of songs that had undiscovered universes left inside of them in 2004, this one immediately jumps to mind.  Having never even played the song indoors (where the real shit goes down) I get the sense that there is a lot left in store for the the centerpiece of Undermind.

Phish’s long standing tradition has always been to break out new songs at the very beginning of their tours, making the prospect of the first week of tour all the more exciting.  While Fenway may be reserved for Phish to blow up “the oldies” in a stadium setting, Jones Beach will certainly be the site of many debuts and “re-debuts.”  Specifically, the lower-key Tuesday, 6.2, show seems like the perfect place to introduce a lot of the future.  Regardless, by the time we head up to Great Woods, my guess is the huge “YEM” and “Mike’s Groove” won’t be the prime subject of conversation.  Maybe I’m wrong- but we’ll know soon enough.

***

Before Hampton, I wrote a column and made a compilation detailing what TAB songs might possibly transition to Phish.  Now we can assume a bit more after seeing the alleged track listing to the album leaked by a Billboard Memo.  If you didn’t grab this then, grab it now- it makes a nice primer on some of the newest possibilities.

DOWNLOAD “TAB > PHISH?” NOW < LINK

DOWNLOAD “TAB > PHISH?” NOW < TORRENT LINK

***

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

5.19.94 Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene, OR < LINK

5.19.94 Hult Center for the Performing Arts < TORRENT LINK

Hult Center, Eugene, OR

Hult Center, Eugene, OR

We are taking it back 15 years to the Pacific Northwest for the anniversary of an intimate show in Silva Concert Hall at the Hult Center in Eugene.  Some quintessential ’94 jamming is contained within the show, specifically in “Stash,” “Mike’s Groove” and “Hood.”  Here’s a chance to check out a relatively uncirculated escapade from Spring ’94.

I: Halley’s Comet^ > Llama, My Friend My Friend, Poor Heart, Stash, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Down With Disease, The Mango Song, Cavern

II: Sample in a Jar, Sparkle, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Lizards, Julius, Big Ball Jam, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

E: Ginseng Sullivan*, Nellie Cane*, Sweet Adeline, Fire

^minor digi noise at the beginning *Acoustic and without mics.

Source: NAK 300 Omnis > D-7

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145 Responses to “Forecast For the Future”

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  1. Baxter Says:

    12 days? I can’t wait for some fresh Phish! I loved the new TAB stuff, so I will be happy, happy, o my friend to let my ears experience some new sounds.

    See you at Fenway. (I finally bought a scalped e-bay tigget, didn’t want to support scalper trash, but at least I will be in the second row on the field.)

  2. ColonelJoy Says:

    People have been lobbying for this post for weeks now…”Talk about summer tour, Miner!!”

    As usual, he waits for the right moment to pounce.

    If there is one thing about this band we can be thankful for, above all else, it’s the song writing. This is one area where, compared to other “jambands,” Phish is untouchable. Think about it, how many other bands write decent work after their 15th year together, or have ever written anything of merit at all?

    As a Deadhead I can tell you that Jerry’s song-writing production dropped off a cliff in the mid 80’s, yes there were sporadic pieces of quality, but nothing you looked forward to hearing really, save Days Between if you found yourself in the mood. People will bag on me for this statement, but it is oh so true….and don’t drag Bobby into this because “We are definately the Victims and he the Crime”

    The Dead were genius songwriters in their time (as good as anyone), but that time was limited.

    We haven’t heard many of the songs that will be played this tour, but we know they’ll be interesting, that they’ll go in new directions. We don’t doubt the genius of Trey and Tom, and we should certainly never doubt their productivity.

    That being said, let’s all praise Jesus for the fact that Trey stopped writing lyrics!! Shine was an abomination and refutes all the praise I just laid on the man!!

    I haven’t heard Light or Valentine…..I’ll take Miner at his word that they’ll kick ass!!

  3. Harry's Hood Says:

    What a great article! I can really envision A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing becoming a new live favorite… I sure hope it does!

    Does anyone have a link to a TAB version of Light?

  4. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    I’m with the Colonel. This one is for all the heads who complaint that Miner is constantly looking backwards, rather than to the future. What a bunch of BS.

    I am really damn fired up about this summer. No Fenway for me, so I’m also looking forward to the no spoilers, trying to figure out how I’m going to fit listening to the show into my daily routine before I start reading up on what went down the night before. I see my work productivity taking a nosedive, even when I’m not getting on airplanes to see the boys.

    Phish tour is something that makes this 32 year old feel like a 6 year-old on Christmas morning.

  5. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    12days!!!!

    Personally I’d prefer that the first phish notes that I hear in 5years are notes that I know. BUT I would give huge props to the statement that would be made if Fenway got kicked off with something nobody had ever heard before.

    Reinvented, redefined, rearranged, but not refined.

  6. nonoyolker Says:

    12 DAYS!!!! Get your final tour arrangements set, we are geared to kick off!
    ASIHTOS is going to be the new monster! I picture its dark long jams similar to a tasty Ghost or the deep end of a Split jam. Pure scrumph. I think Backwards has potential to stretch over time too, gradually getting longer and longer until it is a jam vehicle. And scents, well scents will continue to be huge. That song has some sweet sounding melodies.

  7. Danny B Says:

    Who knows what will be played at Fenway, but I think its’ safe to say Miner is right that the first few shows will feature new material. I would be surprised if Fenway didn’t contain at least one new song that no one has heard. I also think that we will hear a lot of repeats of the new songs throughout the summer, and as long as they take the time to develop these new songs and explore the depth of the new material, I think everyone will be happy. Even if a new song doesn’t grab you the first time you see it at a show, it might develop enough live to become a favorite. case in point, TWIST!!! I hated twist at first, but when the improvisational potential of that song started to unfold, I quickly changed my mind. We might see a lot of that this summer. Everyone thinks it’s cool to hate on the new songs, until they drop that definitive version that blows everyone away. I can only hope we will be seeing a lot of that this summer

  8. mr. icculus Says:

    Thx for looking into the glass ball Miner, you never sease to amaze. Your knowledge and passion far exceeds many others. I think we all have a serious addiction problem. If i don’t get my dose soooooooon im going to implode. So pumped for Fenway cant wait to hear those opening notes. I think you can add Mr. Completely to that list Miner i expect this song to implode this summer. Listened to that mix lastnight, pretty sick grooves but know way in hell that i could compete in this contest. Where are the words i can’t identify just jams. Props to you R1 you must be working hard at this.

    Anyone have an extra Roo ticket i will pay cash and i have an extra Darian lawn bniemanter@aol.com

    Anyone else dissappointed with the phish late night not being so late night and the sunday show of couse to keep everyone there to the last minute. Im defiently not thilled about the Sat. Bruce with no alternative music on other stages thats BS. Looks like we can rage Fri. rest Sat. and rage Sun.

  9. ColonelJoy Says:

    Danny B,

    Interestingly, Twist was really, really good when it first appeared regularly on the Summer Euro 97′ tour. On that tour it was really funkified. Listen to 7-5-97 (a free show)…that is the funkiest Twist ever. For whatever reason, Twist (and Piper too), fell out of the rotation significantly when they returned to the States. Twist remained pretty boring, and didn’t seem to blosom until post hiatus (unless someone can point me to a version in the States between 99-00).

  10. ColonelJoy Says:

    Miner,

    Should offer link to 7-2-97….greatest Stash featuring Trey’s prettiest solo ever.

  11. mr. icculus Says:

    (cease) im a school teacher and cant spell for shit. I’ll stick to the Science and let Miner do the English

  12. RobAins Says:

    Icculus: I think Roo tickets are still available. Also, I wouldn’t be so quick to disregard Bruce. They put on an amazing show. They might not jam out, or provide music to trip out to, but it’s pure energy and is always a fun time. I’m from Jersey though, so I guess I might be a little biased.

  13. Danny B Says:

    Colonel Joy,
    I am going to have to check out 7-5-97, haven’t heard that one. I think the Twist from Fukuoka 6-14-00, was phenomenal, unfortunately I wasn’t at that show, but it was the tape that really opened my eyes. I heard plenty of Twists in summer 2000, although none were amazing, many were very good. I think my favorite twist that I saw in person was probably SPAC 04. You are totally right about it blossoming post hiatus. Thanks for the reccomendation, I am gonna check that out after work.

  14. ColonelJoy Says:

    Yes, 7-5-97 is by no means an epic show, but the Twist is about as straight up funk as anything they have ever played….not space funk, just funk

  15. wanderin Says:

    jones beach re release now for those interested

  16. notkuroda Says:

    Roo tickets are on ebay for below face, I’m still waiting for them to come down a little more.

  17. A_Glide Says:

    I always loved that hunt for the gem when anticipating a show. Would you see something that you would talk about for years? Were you going to hear something they haven’t played in years? If they commit to the new material and throw 30 new songs at us over the course of the next year, I wonder if that anticipation and that feeling is going to decrease due to the reduced chance of hearing an old school bust out, or increase cause it will be that much more special when you get it.

  18. MW Says:

    I agree they will drop a lot of new tracks at the gates, but phish being phish i see them holding on to a “new(er)” monster jam for the last few shows of the early summer tour ie-deer creek/alpine and let all the folks drool all over themselves for about a month and just completely split everything open come the late tour/red rocks. just a thought, just a feeling…maybe so or maybe not. but i really see them dropping smaller nuggets here and there to feel it out and keeping the anticipation at an all time high.

  19. zzyzx Says:

    Ah the Hult Center… The wicker basket show and my first time in the NW…

  20. Mitch Says:

    TENSION IS BUILDING!!! Getting AMPED for the next backwards, ocean, and SCENTS!!!

  21. A.Hill Says:

    Lets do this….Mtn Jam>>>Fenway here I come!!!

  22. MW Says:

    the one newer song i have put high on my list (which miner discussed) is a dark, dark oceans! once i heard undermind i fell in love with it…i can hear it in my mind as a heavy, sick, and nasty beat. the type of face melting, mind blowing jam that if you are sitting on the lawn makes you want to pull the blankets over your head and hide. with ck5 getting just sick with the lights

  23. Manny Phresh Says:

    @wanderin
    you have any luck

  24. thescopi Says:

    From Green Sparrow, I could definitely see Phish getting into some “Traveled Too Far”– 3/4 of the band was in on the track to begin with. I’d definitely like to see some other Gordon stuff in there (Exit Wound!?!? Radar Blip? Soulfood Man?)

  25. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    looking back at the discussion from the fall of Trey -> Phish, I still hope that Dark and Down gets promoted to the Varsity team.

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