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.


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.






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”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:

    @worthlessswampyfool – I think you will get your title this year, and between a few and several more to follow, depending on how well LBJ’s 275 pound body holds up over the long playoff runs & if the GM can keep him surrounded by good role players.

    Fascinating that they have taken the Jordan Bulls model to heart – surround your superstar with rebounders and shooters, an enforcer or two, and scrappy energy guys – fun to watch!

    If they win it all this year or next I think LBJ will stay a Cav for most if not all of his career. Just a gut feeling.

    As much as I would love to see LBJ kick sand in Kobe’s face I’m rooting for the Nuggets in the western conf finals.

    As for TV, if you have bandwidth you could always throw down the cash for a subscription to the streaming NBA games, but its way expensive & I don’t know if it even works well. But, there is still broadcast TV even post-digital – you just have to have the right kind of antenna, I think.


    @ El Dude – I only have 12/30 so far but will prob grab the rest, more for memories than anything – those are 1000x better than the rest of ’86 (worst year before ’95) but still not as good as spring ’87.

  2. El Duderino Says:

    Really, I like the pre-coma ’86 better. 12/28/86 will be up later today 🙂
    I’m with you on the Nuggets!

  3. worthlesswampyfool Says:

    agree about LBJ staying a cav: if we get a title or two he is not leaving. why start over if you already have something to build on. and yes i love our team, not just lebron: andy v, delonte and mo are so fun to watch.

    speaking of fun to watch, i do want to hear “undermind” more than once this summer. that hampton version, page funks out nicley.

  4. nonoyolker Says:

    @worthlessswampyfool – with my Celts out, i really hope Bron brings it home. The town of Cleveland has had a rough go with sports. You guys put up a hell of a fight last year for real. Plus, I FUCKING HATE KOBE! Nugs v Cavs, Cavs in 6. Bron v Mello, nice draft day reunion? Oooh, storylines… It would be nice seeing Bron slam on Kobe and symbolic passing of the torch to the new King, but i don’t even want the Lakers to have an opportunity to pull it out.

  5. ColonelJoy Says:

    The Colonel (a Boston boy, well, a Mainah)….endorses a Cleveland title.

  6. Herietta Says:

    Lebron will be a Knick after his contract is over!!!

  7. Manny Phresh Says:

    Just throwing it out there: ISO of GW.
    My “friend” just called me to let me know that the ticket I thought he had saved for me would now be going to his girlfriend. I have never even met this girl yet, as I moved to Miami a year ago. But I have to say this was the last straw for a friendship that started in high school (other things have arisen).

    Bros before hoes.

  8. SOAM Says:

    My Brother Esau is another underplayed, odd yet fantastic bobby tune.
    SOTM from Eugene 93 is also nice-as are all SOTM”s..SMR’S was the best post 1990 Jerry/tune, loved the be with you’s and the ease my souls..those were the moments that are actually hard to define, express to people-it set the soul on fire….

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    nice swell of support for the Cavs here – they’re fun to watch. I liked Shaq’s recent comment that LBJ is like a video game cheat code – The Big Aristotle scores again, that’s a great analogy.

    I was a 100% Bulls fan in the 90s – watched Jordan play in person at UNC, got interested in the NBA when he went in – but I always felt a little bad for the Cavs thru his era. They prob would have had 1 or 2 of those 6 titles if no MJ, and it was a good and likable team.

    In fact the only thing I don’t like about LBJ is I hope he doesn’t dominate like that for so long and deprive all the other cool players and teams a title thu the next decade.

    Been nice to see ‘Melo grow up this year too. He was headed in the wrong direction but has turned it around.

    NBA’s in top form these days. Anyone who (understandably) tuned out in the post-Jordan Thug Era of 99-05 is missing out now

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    @SOAM – love Brother Esau, man. Got a little tired of it on tour but when they dropped it I really missed it. Good call.

  11. Pence Says:

    @worthlessswampyfool–i seem to remember that they will be playing some of the playoff games in their cinema tent. But Im going off memory, and ive never been there before so not 100% sure

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    so how about those nhl playoffs

  13. Dr SF Jones Says:

    Hey guys… I was skimming through some of these posts earlier and was just reflecting on a few things while I was feeding my daughter. i don’t know if anyone else has thought or said this yet, but Miner… you would seriously consider skipping a show to watch a basketball game? I understand that it is the finals and all, but seriously bro, have you lost your fucking mind ???
    straight up loco man.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    If it was actually my team (Portland) in the Finals I absolutely would skip a show. But not for anything else.

  15. Manny Phresh Says:

    Anybody else really interested in hearing Trey play with the BSO.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i would not skip a phish show even for superbowl tickets, even if i actually liked football

  17. dyda Says:

    yeah, how about those nhl playoffs?
    what happened to the bruins, soam? just kidding of course.

    so i was in dc this past weekend wearing my crosby jersey and getting evil looks…

    miner, like the move towards more community interaction with the identification contests, etc. good stuff.

    there have been some tab posts but has vida blue been mentioned at all? i know they’re defunct now, but at the bbq this weekend i put some europe 97 phish, bela, dso & solo trey stuff on as well as vida blue and people seemed to be digging it.

    furthermore, oteil was supposed to be playing with krutzemann and murzikowski at all good but dropped out of that project. anyone know why?

    and furthermore, i just recently listened to ‘surrender to the air’ (hence the little attempt at a joke with the track titles) and, boy, that was an interesting one-off deal. out there…

  18. El Duderino Says:

    @ Manny Phresh What’s BSO? Bull Shit Orchestra? DSO are nothing but a bunch of posers!!!!!

  19. Manny Phresh Says:

    baltimore symphony orchestra

  20. Manny Phresh Says:

    Baltimore Symphony Orchestra = BSO, Trey is playing with them on Thursday.

  21. El Duderino Says:

    Aah! Learn something new every day 🙂

  22. SOAM Says:

    Dydilles-when your good-your good–when you suck -you suck

    They sucked in game 7 and were suddenly put to death.

    I dig the Pens but I don’t think anyone is gonna beat Detroit-it could be a great series as they all have been if they both meet in the finals -again

    Shadowboxing the apocalypse…and wandering the land-kind of describes summer tour 04-better times ahead-let’s face it-it is PARTY TIME

  23. old dude Says:

    A phish show is the Superbowl of live music
    Hampton was the Triple Crown
    Red Rocks is Augusta National
    Fishman is the Ali of rhythm
    IT is to Trey as The ZOne was to MJ
    This band is the 1980 US hockey team of the music industry
    Coventry was game 6 of the ’86 World Series (sorry SOAM, had to do it)

  24. Albert Walker Says:

    don’t count out the young Hawks, yet
    just ask those hosers from Canada, the kids can play
    Wings looked tight in game 1 though

  25. voopa Says:

    Will Phenway be the All Star Game? Toyota Park the World Cup?

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