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.



5.31.09 Fenway (photo: Parker Harrington)


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

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510 Responses to “Reflecting on Fenway”

  1. Chalkdustin Says:

    I know what they opened with……

  2. Doc Says:

    According to, they’ve skipped set I and went straight to opening set II with Runaway Jim.

  3. Chalkdustin Says:

    Mike wearing purple shirt and turquoise pants. LOVE IT

  4. hooks Says:

    new “rippin” tune. stealing time from the faulty plan, they say. dude they’re gonna get tighter and tighter, and the new songs are getting dropped with good reception

  5. old dude Says:

    timber HO!

  6. Pence Says:

    stealing time from a faulty plan,M1

  7. Pence Says:

    Timber ho..get dark baaaaaaaaaaby

  8. old dude Says:

    aha. new, but not new. time turns elastic.

  9. Chalkdustin Says:

    forget to mention memphis?

  10. old dude Says:

    correction: timber jerry

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    song *should* be called Timber Ho! Timber (Jerry) or whatever is silly. Looks like they’re calling it just “Timber” which is better

    looks hot so far

  12. El Duderino Says:


  13. nonoyolker Says:

    any word on how they sound from people on the scene?

  14. Doc Says:

    Anyone have a link to a good Twitter feed?

  15. hooks Says:

    stealing time from the faulty plan first time played though I take it… that phish companion book is intense. i have a couple old pharmers almanacs, i dunno if i’m prepared for an upgrade! haha

  16. hooks Says:

    i’m following yemblog on twitter, he’s doing a good job!

  17. wanderin Says:

    set 1 looks sweeeeeet!

  18. Doc Says:

    Ha! Yemblog even put up the Yanks score.

  19. Doc Says:

    Looks like Possum and Farmhouse after Reba. Think that’ll close out the set.

  20. hooks Says:


  21. c0wfunk Says:

    @ mr. c re: sci: I hear ya -> I think the closest thing SCI had to “that guy” was kyle, but he would rely on a lot of canned riffs in big moments – or possibly Travis, but it’s hard for a drummer to carry that weight. They really were my favorite band for a while there, and the show they played here in Asheville -11-11-00 is still one of my peak live experiences by any band… but maybe it was the crowd energy more than the band , who can tell? Im pretty sure that the dead and phish is more than 50% crowd energy as well, so I’m not sure that holds up for me? But they certainly had faded by the end, my last red rocks shows 06 I think it was really were a little off – once they booted JonO you knew something was awry – a few friends of mine have worked with that crew and are still friends with JonO so I know a little of the dirties, and of course like always its never pretty..

  22. c0wfunk Says:

    nice little timber ho bustout eh?? glad to see cities surface as well 🙂

  23. Jack O Roses Says:

    Runaway Jim > Foam, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan*, Timber Ho!, Cities, Driver, Reba, Possum, Farmhouse, If I Could

  24. Chalkdustin Says:

    That was a killer set 1! I can’t believe it! Cities, Timber Ho, wow. Incredible.

    You guys know if Miner will post the shows tracked or know of any tracked versions that will transfer to iTunes?

  25. c0wfunk Says:

    farmhouse, if I could closer? interesting..

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