Reflecting on Fenway

5.31.09 (Boston Herald)

5.31.09 (Boston Herald)

Rarely do we get a day off to reflect after only one night of tour.   Usually we get up and find our way to the next show with barely enough time to digest what had happened the night before.  Yet, somehow, at the beginning of this summer’s new chapter of Phish, it seems completely appropriate.  After a show of such magnitude in a setting unparalleled in grandeur, a day to thoroughly listen to the show a handful of times has given us a renewed sense that it is on for this summer!  With new material peppering- and highlighting- the setlist, sharp playing of classic vehicles, and a true bustout in “Curtis Loew,” Fenway foreshadowed what will certainly be a monumental summer.

It is almost hard to fathom that we are actually on Phish tour again, and the frequency that amazing music will be coming at us on a nightly basis; paradise had been re-found. It is a truly awing feeling to be on the way to so many shows right now after such a peak experience on night one- and that’s what it’s all about.  Hampton was like a destination wedding, and now we are fully emerged in the thick of things.

Rainbow Over Chalk Dust (A.Bogart)

Rainbow Over "Chalk Dust" (A.Bogart)

In a review that focused on the sublime second set last night, I didn’t mention Phish’s third debut of promise last night- “Ocelot.”  Named after a wild cat (and sometimes exotic pet) indigenous to Central and South America, this new song has a playful lyrical path, moving wistfully through the beginning of the composition.  The band gave us a small preview of the improv that will come from this song, placing it in the middle of the first set and not expounding on it for too long.  Yet the succinct improv that did come from the song was quite promising – featuring slower, emotional playing from Trey and a laid-back groove that could really move to some interesting places.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the first big “Ocelot” open the second set of one of the upcoming Jones Beach shows- that’s often how it works.

5.31.09 (P.Harrington)

5.31.09 (P.Harrington)

The first set of Fenway, while solid all the way through, really took off in earnest with a smoking “Down With Disease”- the first high-energy jam of the night.  The band and crowd seemed to reach their point of getting warmed-up simultaneously, as the jam represented the true kick off to summer tour.  And to drop into “Destiny Unbound” directly after was masterful.  With their course uncharted, one can’t help but wonder if this will be a new addition to the playbook this summer.  With an infectious funk jam, one can only hope.

Something tells me we will continue to hear new material throughout the Jones Beach run, with more debuts added each night.  The prospect of going into shows and hearing unheard songs makes the entire Phish experience all the more unknown and exciting, especially with the band’s impressive new songwriting.  And then every time they drop a classic, it’s like being reintroduced to one of your best friends you haven’t seen in years.  This tour is a once in a lifetime moment in the Phish world, and its prospects are simply endless.  So, if you were questioning making that extra drive to that not-so-convenient show; do it- the time is near, the mission’s clear- you won’t regret it.

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5.31.09 Fenway (photo: Parker Harrington)

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5.31.09 “Down With Disease” Jam (video by Alexander K.)

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510 Responses to “Reflecting on Fenway”

  1. dyda Says:

    actually mike played that song at all good last year. i got a hilarious sunburn watching that set.

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    @old dude – I thought that was Radar Blip at least at the show I saw – but I could be wrong, I had heavy psychedelic experience that night, without drugs…the more I think about it the more I suspect you are right and my memory is warped. I’d like to see a tune or two from that album.

    @dyda – thx for info – I forgot about the 19 stuff, my wife had explained that to me since it is apparently related thematically to The Numbers on Lost (the Lost writers are big Dark Tower fans)

    I am def. planning on reading the DT series soon. Maybe this summer. I haven’t been reading fiction recently.

  3. dyda Says:

    i look at it in the sense that i could have driven to detroit and gotten into the game for face if i wanted because their fans aren’t nearly as die-hard as ours. tv ratings too. recently had a 24 on the nielson scale. that’s unheard of. also every game has been sold out for over two seasons and running now. no chance i could get into the igloo without paying way over face. i get that they’re one of the original six and have history behind them, but it’s not as big a deal to the franchise or the town as it is to ours. every non-nbc game of the playoffs has been on a big screen outside the arena and thousands of fans come to watch it there. is that happening in detroit?

    no, i have to disagree. it may have been hockey town at one point, but however many cups in recent years doesn’t change the fact that we have a larger and more dedicated fan base and are therefore in my opinion the more ‘hockey’ hockey town.

    not to be a dick, but we had crosby malkin staal and fleury before all the moving stuff started flying around and there was never any real chance the team was moving. i have personal knowledge of the politics that went down around the new arena/potential move and all the bargaining that went with it. and the bankrupcy? before the crosby era. forget about #66? he came in and bought the team. (oh wait, that’s another obvious parallel with how he was drafted back in ’84). and one #1 draft pick player does not a franchise make. shrewd moves by craig patrick first and ray shero now to ensure our depth.

    i do agree that it’s an outside chance at this point (i did state the historical numbers already), but it’s also the attitude of the detroit fan that is not deserving of the title. go watch the pistons. the pens were lucky to make the playoffs at all this season, but i’ve been calling for the rematch with the wings all year and look what happened…

    detriot feels as if it’s entitled. it’s one thing to field a solid team, but to have the attitude that you’re just so much better than everyone else reminds me of how some baseball teams have players making more money in a season than other teams’ entire payroll. obviously with the salary cap in place that isn’t quite the same in the nhl, but the elite demeanor isn’t the best way to market your franchise.

    heh… you want to talk about the respective city’s finances? pittsburgh was in pretty sad shape and still isn’t doing too well, but detroit…heh…yeah.

  4. dyda Says:

    dark tower is meta-fiction (parts happen in our reality)

    i never watched lost but yeah that’s not suprising. king sold jj abrahms (i assume you know who he is) the rights to dark tower for $19. i’m not too happy about that though cause if star trek is any indication of what this guy’s style is like then…ugh…. like i said i never watched lost so i don’t have that to shape my opinion of the man either

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    imo the actiony Star Trek was 100% necessary as a reboot of a franchise that was deader than Khan. I thought the Trek movie was pretty good. not great but not bad.

    Lost is awesome and getting better IMO. It’s totally sci fi now. It shed a lot of fans due to long attention span and super weird themes and plot points but I love it. SK adores it completely…he pimps it at every opportunity.

  6. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    don;t really want to get into a hockey debate on this board, but no the pens didnt have any of those players yet (except fleury), and ray shero has not done a good job, he’s done moves that help in the short term but has given up way too much for long term success; ie. malone, armstrong, esposito, christensen, first round pick, a young top defenseman in whitney, (wonder why the pens have zero depth right now?).

  7. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    not to mention drafting staal over toews and then rushing staal’s development

  8. dyda Says:

    right on. it was just way too ‘hollywood’ for my tastes. they should have left it dead. like how they hit you over the head with the whole “we’re in an alternate timeline now” several times? real subtle writing. then again, i’m not a huge fan of this whole ‘reboot everything’ trend. i do appreciate a show that requires an attention span though. ever watch farscape? it’s henson, but don’t let that fool you. filmed at fox sydney with star wars and matrix techs. top notch acting more than anything.

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    haven’t watched farscape, but Henson = awesome in my book

  10. dyda Says:

    miner doesn’t care if we get off topic. besides everyone else is either home from work or at the show at this point.

    well i won’t argue about the colby/hossa trade. i knew that was a mistake. plus army was my favorite player. letting malone go was to make room for satan and fedotenko. not happy with the way satan worked out most of the season. i liked malone a lot too but we sorta replaced him with kunitz/guerin.

    don’t mind that we lost whitney or christensen. no, we still have depth. scuderi is one of my faves. staal is vexing. he showed flashes of what he will become in his rookie year which is why he was allowed to stick around then last year he got moved to wing. this year he was back at center and although he didn’t produce as much as i would have liked, his line was awesome at cycling the puck and maintaining offensive pressure which is good for a third line.

    and hey, we won the conference two years in a row, so we’re doing something right…

    not set up for the long-term. ha. look at who we have signed and for how long. yeah.

    no hard feelings. all in good fun. it’s just sports. and it’ll be over in a week one way or another and i’ll only have phish and summer road tripping to focus on so…

  11. dyda Says:

    get yourself signed up for farscape on netflix or something. 4 seasons 22 eps each plus a 3 hour mini-series to close. stick with it through the first half of the first season. if you like henson then that shouldn’t be as difficult as it was for some others. it’s worth your time. it’s more character driven than anything and at the heart of it all is a love story. there’s just all this sci-fi and aussie strangeness to compliment. and the acting. wow there are some talented aussie actors that we’ll never get to see here in the states. production values are top notch for a cable tv show. it also avoids many cliches associated with sci-fi (star trek in particular)

  12. dyda Says:

    and my final thought for the night: fuck doc emerick and pierre mcguire.
    god i hate those guys

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    lol malone wasn’t signed because they thought they could sign hossa and when they couldnt they had already traded malone’s rights to tampa and tried to make up for it by signing two bums in satan and fedotenko, although fedotenko is looking really good these playoffs… and i like staal, in fact i actaully bought a staal shirt in his rookie year, but he was rushed and now he is a very overpaid third liner, but i still think he will turn out very well, just not gonna be as good as toews (who by the way had a much better scouting report than staal)… guerin is FA this year so that doenst help in the future althouhg they might sign him this summer, and letang’s not very good defensively and is a smaller guy

    but then again i’m a leaf hater who lives in toronto, who made a semi-large bet on the sharks to win the cup this year… im hoping to become a hamilton coyotes fan soon hahah

  14. dyda Says:

    yeah actually you’re right about the malone/hossa deal. my bad. and shero isn’t my favorite person (something about having a philly history/background doesn’t sit right with me). i wasn’t pleased with him firing therrien, but you can’t argue with the results.

    nice. hamilton coyotes. does gretzky come with that package?

    and yeah the sharks losing was a suprise. wonder if they’re going to have another new head coach next year.

    ah hossa. tune in just to hear the crowd boo him. that will be amusing. it’s just the fact that he said he thought he had a better chance winning with detroit after getting beaten by them that people don’t like. he just wanted to be with all the other swedish players. i really like conklin and am happy he got to move to the wings. i just wish we had a backup that’s half as good as he is.

  15. Pence Says:

    Its show time. god I love this!

  16. old dude Says:

    the ‘countdown to summer’ clock has expired! again!

  17. Doc Says:

    So is this a no-spoilers zone or do people blurt out the setlist?

  18. El Duderino Says:

    @ Mr. Completely, Star Trek IMO was well done. Looking forward to the next movie. They made the right choice to go back to the old-school format (somewhat).

    nothing on twitter yet.

  19. Brimley Says:

    Don’t count out the Blackhawks….their average age is about 23 and they have all the quality players signed for awhile…guaranteed they will be contenders for years to come especially because Rocky Wirtz has gotten the fans back…game 3 at home against the Wings was one of the loudest i’ve ever heard any arena…

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Doc ppl were blurting during Fenway. I think if you’re doing No Spoilers you just need to go to that page and that’s it.

  21. Doc Says:

    No, I definitely want to see the setlist as it comes out. I just didn’t want to blurt something out and ruin someone else’s spoiler-free evening.

  22. the serpent deflector Says:

    hey Miner,

    I love your stuff kid, but you have to stop posting sub par videos… All I can hear is some dude talking about his beer that just spilled…

    Keep up the good work and rage JB!!!

  23. Pence Says:

    id say blurt, if someone wants to do no spoilers, they better stay the hell away from any site related to phish

  24. Pence Says:

    or computer in general

  25. Pence Says:

    8:05 est and opener still not posted on phish.com. Im assuming trey is on Heroine again

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