Welcome to the Future!

5.31.09 (T.Tunick)

5.31.09 (T.Tunick)

In a show every bit as big as its spectacle, Phish fused what we love about them with everything we’ve yet to discover.  In an earnest welcome to the next chapter of their careers, Phish played a show- and more specifically- a second set that inter-wound the new with the old, creating a stunning welcome to the future.

The inaugural second set of Summer ’09 was underlined in vibrant fashion by combination of the dirtiest “Tweezer” we’ve heard in quite some time with a slowly moving transition into the debut of one of Phish’s brightest new songs- “Light”- just like it was scripted.  Echoes of past glories were felt and furthered upon within the monstrous “Tweezer” in which the band moved through the nastiest grooves we’ve heard in years into a impeccable peak before twisting into a spirited debut of the much-anticipated, “Light.”  With a section of improv that could easily develop into a 3.0 “Piper-esque” jam, Phish previewed a song that will certainly jump into this summer’s rotation and highlight many a setlist.

5.31.09 (Phish.com)

5.31.09 (Phish.com)

Following this symbolic combination, the band dropped into a perfectly-placed “Bathtub Gin” that brought the entire crowd back onto the same page after the other-worldly excursion that directly preceded it.  Following precise playing within the feel good jam and “Bowie’s” darker counterpart, Phish took Fenway’s grandest stage of tour to debut their new multi-part epic, “Time Turns Elastic.”  With an additional jam tacked onto the song’s final peak, Phish brought the crowd deep within and without their dynamic piece, showcasing Trey’s composition in the most focal point of the show.  A song that many fans thought might not translate well onto the Phish stage came off magnificently, one movement seamlessly moved into the next, climaxing in a far more dramatic fashion that imagined.  With the band’s announcement of its newest arrival in the middle of the second set of the tour’s first show, we’ve definitely got many more versions to look forward to this summer – and it will be interesting to track the song’s potentially changing form.



With a performance of “Time Turns Elastic” that could have ended the night in a fitting way, Phish wasn’t even close to done.  Dropping a bombastic “Free” deep into the second set, Phish showed they still had some love left to give.  And if continuously playing wasn’t enough, the band broke out “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” for the first time since  August of ’93, enthralling the stadium crowd before finishing with a dynamic “YEM” that gradually built from laid back grooves into a jam with more teeth to it, ending in a centerfield bass-solo by Gordeaux before the band’s first baseball-stadium-sized vocal jam.

Finishing the night with a three-song encore that punctuated an evening that already has made Hampton seem like a distant memory, Phish was good to the last drop.  With “Tweezer Reprise” having seen many fitting settings, none was quite like this.  Gazing up past the Green Monster, into the night’s glowing half-moon, everything in the universe was right again.  Phish was moving forward again, creating new adventures with songs, old and new; adventures that reached out and gripped us in a way that we remembered; the way it’s supposed to be.  Hampton needed to happen to get here, but there seems to be no time like the present in Phish’s universe.  Night one is in the books- here we go- “Destiny Unbound!”

I: Star Spangled Banner*, Sample in a Jar, Moma Dance, Chalk Dust Torture, Ocelot**, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Poor Heart, Limb by Limb, Wading in a Velvet Sea, Down with Disease, Destiny Unbound, Character Zero

II: Tweezer > Light**, Bathtub Gin, David Bowie, Time Turns Elastic**, Free, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, You Enjoy Myself

E: Cavern, Good Times Bad Times, Tweezer Reprise

*from picthing mound ** debut


“Tweezer” 5.31.09 partial


192 Responses to “Welcome to the Future!”

  1. Mr. Icculus Says:

    just got home from fenway
    did anyone else think the sound in that place was a little offf specially ibn the 1st set. I was way up top tho.
    That tweezer took medown a deep deepp dark path, i fell into the dude beside me and i just remember him going dude are you all right as he lifted me back to my feet. I GOT MELTED!!!!!

  2. hooks Says:

    chalkdustin, word, financially I hear you loud and clear. i will freely admit, me and the GF are going together solely due to the fact that her mother wanted to do something cool for her b-day and bought the two of us tickets. very generous, out of the blue. she’s a fan of some of the other bands, so it’ll be a win-win. probably more like a win-WIN, but you know… she’s gonna meet us after asheville (thank the lord i got tickets for face, long story, busted my ass) and prob hit knoxville with us since i have an extra. it’ll be interesting to see to what degree her mind gets blown having never been exposed to such a show, even though it’s not really her cup o tea when i listen around her. kinda funny. can’t believe it’s that time.

  3. OlfactoryHugh Says:

    Was that DMB’s light rig? The vertical lights behind the band were sick. I hope they stay with the rest of the tour.

  4. Chalkdustin Says:

    @hooks That’s pretty sweet, what a great present. There’s a good mix of bands there for people with all tastes, so it’s cool the two of you are going. It’s a fun experience overall, so have a great time! Just being at a fest like that really opens your mind up to all types of music, so I’m sure the gf will be digging Phish regardless of her taste. Nice work with the Ash tickets too.

  5. Walfredo Says:

    Was that DMB’s light rig? You think Chris borrows gear? No way.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    several fenway filesets on bt.etree now

  7. hooks Says:

    right on. a year ago this was fairly far fetched, nobody forget that. drink it in! cannot wait to see the lights go down for the first time in forever, i’m looking forward to the indoor shows more than roo, but i know it will be awesome. anybody else riding bikes to the civic center in asheville from wherever their staying? that place is going to be turned upside down!

  8. Fish Sauce Says:

    Thanks up there for answering my question. I usually find out the best sounding source after a while but I was impressed with the no-spoiler feed.

  9. sumodie Says:

    @Chalkdustin: I’m returning to the Roo for the first time since 2002 solely because Phish is playing not one but two shows. All the other bands are icing on the cake -I’ve gotten turned on to a lot of great new music even before I hit the roo.

    I think phish’s shows there are going to be special, plus I’m a big fan of outdoor gen adm festy phish shows. If it’s a toss up b/t roo and rothbury, I’d easily do Roo. Folks have said you can buy cheap extra in the Walmart parking lot.

    The trade off is traffic, heat, and exhaustion by Monday morning, but again, I think it’s so worth it this year, even more so after seeing phenway.

  10. Andrew Says:

    Worked a trade for 2 Ashevilles for my 2 extra Camden Pav’s. For those who have never been to Asheville, the Civic Center is really small and tucked away, it’s gonna feel like Europe ’97 in that piece! A very heady town to begin with, and now with Phish rolling in, the place will be electric. Sooooooooooooooo pumped for this show, what a treat for us North Cackalackian’s. Anyone else catch the Trey show here with Mike sitting in for the parade and Yellow Submarine? There will be a special treat in that building, more than likely a Warren Haynes sit-in, since he does own that place. Tela will be played this night (I hope)…;)

  11. Little Buddy Says:

    Drove straight home from Fenway to western ny and went to work this morning. I’m hurtin’ and still haven’t slept but here are a few thoughts regarding last night’s show..

    The show was sick, I thought. I guess some people here may not have thought so, but my wife, friends, and I loved it. We were in A1 and had absolutely no issues with sound. Everything was tight and I really dug the jams in stash, free, gin, and tweezer. TTE was great. Ocelot was great! Destiny and Curtis Lowe were really nice treats, especially Curtis! Being at Fenway for the show was fantastic. What a great scene inside. Security was cool in our section, we had TONS of dancing space and the sound was fine in our section. The boys looked happy and the playing was tight and more aggressive than at Hampton. Mike was in the zone!

    The scene outside was very disappointing. I was really hoping things would not pick up right where they left off, but they have. The nitrous mafia was very present and I thought the scene was pretty cracked out as a result. I miss the good old days where the phish lot was about phamily and creativity. I guess those days are long gone though, at least on East coast phish lots.

    All that said, we had a blast. Phish killed it IMHO. I just don’t seem to be as critical as others, perhaps, but I really felt that they were tighter than I’ve seen since 1.0. My wife and I both walked out amazed and we’re no n00bs. (Over 300 shows between us…) We’re pretty clean these days too, so we really had clear heads throughout the show. I guess I’ll have to listen back to the show too understand some of the criticism I’m hearing, but from the experience of being there I couldn’t have been any happier. It exceeded my lofty expectations. Can’t wait for Great Woods!!!

  12. Mr.Miner Says:

    Just got to the beach…..ready for a week of fun in the sun!!

  13. voopa Says:

    Nice reviews! I spent the weekend at The Fillmore for 2 fantastic shows, but I’ll leave descriptions for another place…have listened through Destiny, and I must comment on Trey…he is on point almost every second, and I hope that he can sustain the same focus and enthusiasm going forward…if so, the next 3 weeks and the late summer tour will be off of the proverbial chain!

  14. BigFatFurry Says:

    Loved the show! Def a solid start….they’ll only improve. So much better when they leave the drugs to the audience. Felt like 95 again.

    New stuff….Ocelot= Catchy good first set addition. Light=Could lead to good places…not ready to judge, but not in love with it yet. TTE=Completely worthless except for the fantastic finish which makes up for a lot of the painfully awful excuse for a Trey tune….seriously not sure what he’s thinking with this one, but he does seem to be WAY into it. No big deal, he deserves to put out whatever he wants…i’m just not into this particular song.

    Curtis Loew was FUN as hell, great surprise. I totally expected some Boston themed cover like Aerosmith or JGeils, but instead they throw out a Skynard cover haha they’re hilarious!…..Stash jam was insane at one point…DWD was ripped…..Destiny Unbound=Totally overrated in my opinion as a song, don’t mind if they never play it again….Bathtub Gin/David Bowie/YEM…all VINTAGE Phish songs which I was just happy to hear. Free/Character Zero were good too.

    I seriously was laughing at how bad i thought Time Turns Elastic was until they blew the end up…oh well.

    It was totally rad when the sun came out as Trey was stepping up to take his first solo of the night!!

    Phish rules!

  15. Corey Says:

    Hmm. Hampton sound was tight and crisp and…LOUD. They were on a mission to let us all know the’re back. Last night at Fenway. Hmm. Sound was muddy at best and distant at worst if you were anywhere other than the field. Big sound disappointment. I’d say the swirling winds and the crazy acoustics of Fenway were to blame. As far as their playing. Hmm. Not as intriguing as Hampton. Not as lengthy, intense, or together as Hampton. 1st set seemed disjointed, Destiny Unbound an afterthought and Character Zero all to usually placed (I won’t even go there about Sample as an opener, or anywhere). Good Poor Heart, and Disease got exciting before Destiny. But, boy oh boy, the sound!?! They were barely audible during the Star Spangled Banner and vocally went in and out all night long. Again, not sure much could be done with that. 2nd set was much more enjoyable, musically stimulating, and adventurous. Thought I might get my Time Loves A Hero in there but Ballad Of CL came in instead. Oh, could we please use the correct spelling, not the botched one? Oh, southern rock song titles. T’was a safe start to the summer tour(s). As far as the “lot” is concerned. Hmm. This crowd is made of many selfish, i-don’t-give-a-crap-mentality, waaay to drugged out folks that really have a way of tarnishing the experience.

    What happened to inventive sales pitches, groovy creations, truly homemade food, and all around good attitudes in and around the show? To see all that nitrous being blasted on the bridge over Route 90 was sad. Perhaps we haven’t come that far at all. I think about how excited the crowd gets singing about powerful pills, like our experience at Hampton 3/6. We still cheer the abuse and the fuck it mentality. Trey almost lost a band and a phan base and a family…and we have the audacity to cheer it all on. Hmm.

    Here’s hoping that it’ll all work itself out in the phishy washy. See you on the road. Oh, and while I’m at it, is anyone going from Shoreline>Gorge>Chicago>DarienLake? Anyone??

  16. AxJam Says:

    Hello gang,

    Some more thoughts for y’all.
    I was in a front field seat, so sound was great, it did get louder for the second half.

    So, the guys were in fine shape. Trey was not sloppy at all and had a lot of energy. Mike and Page were smiling a lot, and Fish was totally into it.
    That energy came out in the music, on top of that, the passing t-storm brought us a timely sunbreak and some rainbows behind the park. Then the sky opened up fully to reveal the perfect half moon that stuck around for the whole show. Everyone felt good. More positive signs that this is going to be a ripping tour.

    Like everyone else I was surprised to see the nitrous. I saw the balloons but didn’t know where they were coming from. That crap always makes for a sketchy lot.

    There were a lot of Phish noobs there, I’m thinking since too many tickets were put up for sale for outragous prices after the fact, we got mostly rich collage kids scooping up all the tix. The “hippie” scene was toned down quite a bit. This accounts for the excited cheers for Bouncin and the blank stares and pee breaks during the more obscure songs.

    I’ll start with the big guns, DWD, Tweezer, YEM, Bowie. First of all, Tweezer and YEM in the same set is a treat in itself. Usually just one of those is used for the jam launching pad of the night. I think overall each of those songs were very good, but not groundbreaking. Like I said before Trey sounded great, he took the boys on a great adventure through each one, but I feel they stayed on familiar territory. I think this is a good thing though. Hampton revved the engines and Fenway put it in gear. Now they can get on the road, destiny unbound.

    When I first listened to Elastic, I wasnt sure what to think, i was at work on a little tinny speaker and it lost me. I finally got the end and knew it had potential. While I was discouraged through the whole middle part at first, I felt challenged to hear what they heard. Mike said he was very excited for the new album on his hotline. The song has their attention so maybe we should take a closer look. I knew we’d hear it tonight, my guess was second set opener, I was a few songs off.
    So it started out great, the “submarine” lines didnt seem as awkward, I’m sold there. But I have to be honest the middle parts lost me at times. But then I’d look up a the band, the pieces they were playing were really complex. It was mind blowing to see them play it. And THEY loved it. I had a great view of Fish from where I was and he was totally into playing this song. From this I enjoyed watching them play it. Right when my doubt turned to appreciation they broke into the final section. The extra jamming throughout the end was fantastic and totally got the energy and feeling to a great climax. Think about how a lot of people felt the first time they heard Reba. The buildup before the dropoff can be a challenge to new listeners, I think Elastic made new listeners out of all of us.

    The end was satisfying. Trey nailed Cavern, he’s been known to flub this one now and then. Its great to see him taking on more challenging songs. I called Good Times / Bad Times, and while some people are gushing over Tweeprise I still feel it was just Tweeprise, but thats all it really needs to be.

    My only other gripe is seeing me bobbing my big dumb head around on youtube the next day. CAN WE COOL IT WITH THE CAMERAS?

  17. Mr. V Says:

    Forgive if this has been mentioned previously.
    Alpine lawn tickets for both nights are available now.

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