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. notkuroda Says:

    I love the NHL. I was never a Pens fan but I am hoping they win the cup, it would be good for hockey.

    My friend that I also work with gave me this whole scenario about how if the Magic made the finals, he would have to skip bonnaroo, the only show he has tix to and his first 3.0 show. Talk about crazy, but I can understand the needs of the fan

  2. gphisher62 Says:

    “Coventry was game 6 of the ‘86 World Series”- great line!

  3. nonoyolker Says:

    I would skip my own wedding to be at a mediocre phish show

  4. Anonamer Says:

    I am very interested in hearing Trey with the BSO. I am going to be there, and I am really looking forward to it. The theater is blocks from my house, which makes it all the more exciting. It will be interesting to see what kind of crowd is in attendence.

  5. old dude Says:

    nono: if your new bride needs any company in the honeymoon suite, let me know.

  6. nonoyolker Says:

    Old dude ^ No bride to be as of yet, but good to know you have my back and potentially her front

  7. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    “Coventry was game 6 of the ‘86 World Series”


  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    @notkuroda your friend can relax, the magic will be lucky to win a game IMO

  9. SOAM Says:

    Trey does not equal Bill Buckner on his worst day.

  10. notkuroda Says:

    So Phish will be on tour for a week before I jump on the bus. Will we still be getting Miner updates? I don’t know how I’ll make it through the work week without them

  11. Pence Says:

    everybody should be excited about trey and BSO, gives us a little peak about what to expect. They will be playing some classics. Its a new set list to check out, although most of it will be Time turns elastic

  12. Mdawg Says:

    With all of this sports talk, I know of a great website that just started up in October of 2008. You can buy and sell shares of stock in different pro sports athletes in Basketball, Football, Baseball, and Hockey. You transfer money into your account and if you make good trades you can cash out money. I have managed to make a few bucks since joining. The site is called OneSeason dot com Check it out if you like sports and making money.

  13. old dude Says:

    see, that’s what i love about this community: sharin’ in the groove.
    even if it’s your virgin wife’s groove.

  14. Rolling Papyrus Says:

    I am going to see Trey with the BSO on Thursday and I am really pumped… My wife hooked me up with tickets, I think partly because the likelihood of my making any summer shows may be low with our baby coming any day.

    Along with Time Turns Elastic, they are supposed to be playing rearranged Phish tunes with orchestral backing. Should be very cool!

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Papyrus – congratulations! on the baby I mean. on the tickets too I guess

  16. Rolling Papyrus Says:

    Thanks man. I’ll be the one Thursday whose date is hiding a basketball. I am debating busting out my Project Phormal orange suit… anyone else who’s going getting all done up?

  17. Manny Phresh Says:


    LOL – Depends on who you ask.

    Mets 2009 World Champions

  18. whole tour! Says:

    time turns elastic release date: 06-09-09
    phish in asheville: 06-09-09

    my bet is that they open the show with a huge new phish instrumental about clocks and elasticity?

    just found out my friend wants to bail on me after asheville and fly home for work…looks like i’m hitting knoxville solo. Should be

  19. old dude Says:

    with all the psilly talk on here this last week, thought y’all might like this:

  20. Cactus Says:

    ^I think the Mets need a first baseman with Delgado out for two months, and figure out who is going to play Left and right field before we start penciling them in as 09 Champions.

    Best spot for the Fenway show besides on the grass has to be the Green Monster seats, or the left field seats up by the Budweiser bar.

  21. Peaches Says:

    Anybody got extras for alpine? I am looking for one each night for a buddy who is on the verge of getting ‘”it.” shoot me an e-mail
    Anybody hear the stories on npr this week about spirituality. Real interesting stuff .

  22. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    pretty sure that they won’t be seating on the wall at the fens.

    However if you ever, and I mean ever get a chance to sit there for a game, you must take it, and get there for batting practice. The sox got smoked the day I sat up there, but it was one of the best games I’ve ever attended.

  23. Jerrydamule Says:

    Summer’s here and the time is right.
    I love tour!

  24. old dude Says:

    Mets need to put Murphy at 1st, since they’re dicking him around in OF. That kid could be good. Even with Tatis, Wright’s bat is big enough to produce for both corners. But you’re right, Ryan Church needs to wake the fuck up. Tho Sheff has been relatively well behaved…

  25. SOAM Says:

    Gimmie booze-boomers -bones and some lot ho’s and I’m good to go.


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