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. SJC Says:

    Set Closer?

  2. c0wfunk Says:

    damn I can’t wait to run and jump and phish again next week !

    this is like the opposite of no spoilers. Amazing really.

  3. old dude Says:

    gimme little drink!

  4. SJC Says:


  5. MP Says:

    Live Phish in my underwear? Without getting arrested! The internet has finally proven itself.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    the sound totally breaks up when they get loud, but who cares? thats fucking awesome

  7. old dude Says:

    ahhh, what a beautiful buzz, indeed…

  8. old dude Says:

    MP, why bother with underwear? gettin’ all dressed up are we?

  9. AintNoTele Says:

    I hope our main man inst spent! I can’t believe he held the phone the whole time for all of us, if i could i would too but in the mean time, i owe him a beer pronto

  10. MP Says:


  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    lol @MP

    if they stream the next one, wife and I are takin it to the bedroom, yo

  12. boyMANGOdshit Says:


  13. AintNoTele Says:

    ahhh shit, the stream kicks back in right into page’s solo!!!

  14. boyMANGOdshit Says:

    Page suzy jam is the shit

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    Page kills this part on Suzy – hey c0w is that the moog?

  16. c0wfunk Says:

    yeah – kept the phatty solo in the suzie nice 🙂 (I have an unhealthy obsession with that keyboard – sorry .. I just need to have one in my hands – almost had one at the moog event silent auction for 800 bucks last week but it just wasn’t the time…

  17. wanderin Says:

    Monster Set!

  18. Woo Says:

    What site are you guys on to get live set list?

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    its an obsession but it’s pleasin’- what an ill fucking tone that thing has

  20. c0wfunk Says:

    damn my friend just told me about a rumor of a surprise beastie boys show in a 900 person venue here in town next week wednesday -> when everyone from asheville will be at the phish show in knoxville

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    streaming, yo

  22. SJC Says:

    Get it while its hot

  23. Doc Says:

    Yemblog on Twitter. He’s much faster than

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    lol that twitter stuff is so 2008…its all about streaming now

  25. wanderin Says:

    damm that was good…good night everybody1

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