Defining New Ground

6.2.09 (W.Rogell)

6.2.09 (W.Rogell)

In a strong follow up to Fenway’s opener, Phish used a large chunk of high energy shredding and some truly sublime improv to thrill the New York Metro Area crowd on Long Island last night.  In a show that boasted two solid sets from start to finish, while playing for hours, Phish shattered new territory within the course of a single jam in the second set.

6.2.09 (W.Rogell)

6.2.09 (W.Rogell)

After shredding apart a precise- yet safe- second set, Phish leapt off the diving board of the universe into music’s primordial soup.  Within the course of one “Harry Hood,” Phish redefined what is possible within a live music experience, creating a jaw-hanging, ambient introspective journey.  Using one of their most hallowed pieces, Phish forged into the future with other-worldly improv that left everyone at the concert buzzing and in awe.  Fans of all ages and from all walks of life recognized that something special had happened- and it was good.  It was bigger than music, bigger than Phish- bigger than us.  Tapped into the source, Phish delicately crafted one the most stunning pieces of improvisation we have heard- maybe ever.  Following ambient hints at the beginning of the jam, Phish launched into a full-scale ambient-space exploration of their most sacred piece.  In the course of twenty-plus minutes, Phish redefined why they are my favorite band, and reaffirmed the fact that there are no other four human beings on the planet capable of channeling the power and energy of life like the Phish from Vermont.  I’ll let the band take it from here.

6.2.09 Jones Beach (W.Rogell)

6.2.09 (W.Rogell)

Despite perhaps the deepest “Hood” ever played (yes- including all those ’94-’95 epics and post-hiatus adventures), the first set carried more overall weight than the second.  As Phish started the night on the beach with the early-‘90’s classic combo of “Jim,” “Foam,” the show had the feeling of something special right from the start.  Batting third was one of the most intriguing debuts that we have heard so far, “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan.”  Hearkening echoes of the barely-played “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing,” Phish’s newest addition seems to be set for the heart of the beast.  Merely introducing the template and hinting where the song could go, the band’s dark, dripping improv left imaginations drooling over future versions.  The lyrical path, with the refrain, “I got a blank space where my mind should be,” adds some intrigue to a song that will be create more than a few adventures this summer.

6.2.09 (W.Rogell)

6.2.09 (W.Rogell)

But the true highlights of the first set were yet to come.  With the combination of a sinister “Timber Ho!” and a tar-thick “Cities,” the band threw down a smoking chunk of improv in the middle of the first set.  And following the interlude of “Driver,” they were back at it again, dropping Summer ‘09’s first “Reba.”  Following a distinctly clean composed section, Phish launched into one of their most intricate versions in recent memory.  Taking the jam for a dynamic ride, Phish didn’t stick with groove, bringing the jam down to near silent points, only to bounce back into one of the most spine-tingling guitar peaks the song has ever seen.  This was not your father’s Oldsmobile- Phish is playing differently than we have heard in a long time- with such care and patience to their focused improv.  The old adage, “You can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it,” has never seemed more applicable.


6.2.09 (W.Rogell)

The set ended with one of the most emotional moments of the night, as Phish unveiled “If I Could” for the first time in nine years- since PNC 2000- where it also ended the first set.  Yet this time it was different.  Without ever hitting a “groove,” and without Trey ever hitting a knee-buckling solo, the band created a musically gentle- yet emotionally walloping- version of the the ballad that everyone’s been waiting years to hear.  It was worth the wait.  Ending the set without ever returning to the song’s chorus, the music spoke for itself in one of the night’s shining moments.

With a show that only left us counting the hours until Thursday, and wondering what song may bring us face to face with our maker then, Phish showed us why this is all happening.  Breaking musical ground and inventing new ways melt us into nothing, Phish is on tour again, and we are lucky to be along for the ride.

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

II: Mike’s Song > Simple > Wolfman’s Brother > Weekapaug Groove, When the Circus Comes, Kill Devil Falls*, Harry Hood, Loving Cup

E: Suzy Greenberg
* First Time Played



6.2.09 (W.Rogell)

6.2.09 (W.Rogell)

Many apologies for the delay with “No Spoilers” last night.  With a shoddy web connection, I wasn’t able to seed the torrents when I got back to where I was staying, and Alexander K. went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure our project lived on. Driving over 30 miles to the nearest reliable internet source in the middle of the night, AK-47 made it happen! We will make every effort to have a reliable upload terminal on lock-down from here on out.  Thanks for your patience .

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442 Responses to “Defining New Ground”

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  1. tela'smuff Says:

    ok so i am doing no spoilers right now. haven’t read word 1 on anything from last night’s show. i’m into Cities now and I can say so far this is the best they have sounded YET since the comeback. everything to this poitn has been played so well and Trey sounds like he has finally just letting it Phlow.

    ALSO, holy crowd sing-a-long Batman! I hope this isn’t going to become a Dave Matthews show where the crowd sings the whole freakin show.

  2. Brimley Says:

    Miner, please don’t apologize to us for not being able to put the no spoilers up quickly enough, as we are the LUCKY ones to have a guy like you on our side….You’ve really intrigued me with your “best ever” Hood comment Miner, we’ll see…Everything is subjective.Thanks for being an asset to this community…

  3. bhizzle Says:


    I know, I’s been said that a show shouldn’t be based on a setlist multiple times, but looking at this one…damn! Wish I was there especially after reading Miner’s piece regarding the Hood and Reba. Loving Cup! Wolfman’! Mike’s! Even the titles of the new songs make them sound sweet. And if “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan” is anywhere like ASIHTOS, as Miner suggests than triple damn!

    Why isn’t 6/13 yet?!?!?!?!?!

  4. notkuroda Says:

    I’m a huge Hood fan, and that ambient jam they went into was inspiring. I was sitting at home, but you could almost hear the crowd going “WHAT THE FUCK???” in a good way

  5. Little Buddy Says:

    Wow! Maybe Fenway was just bating practice after all…

  6. Chalkdustin Says:

    Love you, Miner.

  7. jbailey Says:

    Miner….Thanks for giving us a fantastic spring board for discussion.
    Listened to the No Spoilers this a.m. at like 5:00 a.m.
    Too excited to sleep. I was at Fenway and I need to wait until Friday to see them again.
    You are dead on with the patient vibe they are rolling with this tour. Very cean and patient.
    Cities was a monster along with the new Faulty Plan jam. Hood as you mentioned was a beast.
    I love the new material they are laying down!! Oceltot and Faulty are going to be nice staples moving thru the tour!!!

  8. nonoyolker Says:

    Whoah, “greatest “Hood” ever played”?!? WOW…big words. Need to hear this show. Thanks for the quick turnaround Miner! Hope everyone got home safe.

  9. Greg Says:

    Absolutely no worries Mr. Miner! I’m not sure I aggree with the best Hood ever though. It was pretty badass!

  10. lovematicgrandpa Says:

    Nice show last night, the band locked in more than not and certainly stretching their legs more. Gonna be a fun Summer.
    Greatest Hood ever? Come on now.

  11. ColonelJoy Says:

    Okay, I guess I better listen to this damn Hood…though my download might not allow that today…

    Honestly, people will choke me for this….I’ve never been the biggest Hood fan….I find them occasionaly inspiring….so I’m curious about Miner’s boast….Hyberbole, anyone?

  12. ColonelJoy Says:

    Trey is all over his Wah on the Mike’s!! Similar to the Miami Suzzy

  13. AbePhroman Says:


    You just lost some credibility.

  14. Gerard G Says:

    No mention of “Possum” yet, so I will.
    Good song – not one of my faves – but that
    Jam is at the top of my list of highlights from
    last nights show. Trey was absolutely TEARING it UP!
    WAILING – his rhythmic play with his lines was sick.

    Basically… once Timber Ho! was under way, there was no
    stopping them. This is Awesome, so glad they’re back on tour!

  15. ColonelJoy Says:

    All of our opinions regarding anything related to this band is on some level delusional….When someboday makes a silly claim, like the Hood being the best ever…….they don’t lose credibility with my, I go, “Man, that dude is a Phish Phanatic!”

  16. Planethud Says:

    For being such a huge Phish fan you seem to be a little out of touch if you actually believe that last night’s Hood was a ‘best ever’ version. I love your blog and all, but in order to appear credible you need to curtail the superfluff that happens here from time to time.

  17. Chalkdustin Says:

    Having some trouble with the sendspace links…the files are only about 15 minutes long each. Am I doing something wrong or is anyone else encountering this?

  18. Mitch Says:

    last night was freaking awesome. crowd was great, lot was chill. the puddles sucked tho. standing water everywhere before the show. listening to the livephish now. really digging the new jam. “i got a blank space where my mind should be”

  19. ColonelJoy Says:

    If indeed, this ambient Hood jam–which Miner remembers as being 20+ minutes, when the computer is telling me it is 17 something–is really out there, it could become my favorite Hood, as the standard versions tend to bore me a bit, though I’ve enjoyed a few. I could never say my favorite Hood was the best ever, because I’m not a Hood guy.

  20. ColonelJoy Says:

    2.0 did have some big contenders for best ever…

    SPAC 04 Piper (was the best ever)
    Nassau 03 Tweezer
    several Crosseyeds

    … they may be capable of bringing a best ever on this tour, you never know

  21. PB Says:

    Wow – can’t wait to hear the boards of this show.

    One thing about “If I Could”…I will have to listen because I value your judgement. But, just because a song hasn’t been played in a long time doesn’t mean we really want to hear it. I spent much of ’94 groaning when this song was played. I’d like to think I have matured, but I still can’t help but guffaw when I hear the lyrics to this tune. But, to each his own. I will say this, it is a unique way to close a set.

  22. Ortweezer Reprise Says:

    I pulled 3 JB 6-4 Section D tickets off of Live Nation after the show last night. Right place at the right time. I would lvoe them but dont need them. I would trade 1, 2 or 3 of them. Does anyone have similar up close seats for Camden, SPAC, or mostly Great Woods? I would be happy to trade. Lets see the whites their eyes. email me at

  23. PB Says:

    @Colonel Joy

    I agree about Hood, I just have never really loved this song. I love the part when they step into the jam following the very cool thank you mr minor line. But the jam has always been predictable. I will need to listen to this Hood, but, the whole ambient thing I also find slightly dull as I no longer take acid. So, we’ll see – MR Minor seems very excited so I will check it out.

  24. Vinnie Says:

    dude, no worries, it was awaiting me when i woke at 5am. Thanks a million for all your hard effort.

  25. msbjivein Says:

    “Lost some credibility” Give us a break w/ that crap dude. Considering Miner started the coolest Phish site out there I think you should take his opinion for what it is. His opinion. We all have one dude. Hopefully you were there and have listen back to the “Hood” a couple of times before opening your mouth.

    Sounds like a pretty hot show last night. I’m gonna listen to it now. The Mike’s >Simple Wolfman weekapawg looks crazy on paper.

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