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.

rogell_jb1_12

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

==

NO SPOILERS UPDATE:

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”

  1. guyforget Says:

    the JB AUDs are rediculous. how good is this stuff?? wow.
    we won’t need the album by the time it comes out. all the material will have been played and shredded. what a band.

  2. Wilson Says:

    I agree. The Hood was sick.
    A moment where the “new way” made an old song fresh.

  3. SJC Says:

    @miner LOL.

  4. old dude Says:

    prettiest sickest hood!

  5. R1 Says:

    Saw the Fen and last night. Some thoughts:

    Jones Beach is a great venue. So easy to get into lot, free parking so close to the venue, pretty mellow scene, although heavy police presence. Venue is beautiful and great views from everywhere (I don’t know about the upper deck, never been there). Very intimate feel. MUCH better crowd than Fenway. People actually listening to the music. Perhaps not selling beer in venue IS a good thing folks? Seemed like security wasn’t doing anything and didn’t seem to care about anything. Oh, and tickets for the show were everywhere.

    Some really great moments last night. I loved the Timber, Cities and Mike’s. Wish the Mike’s had continued longer. And the Hood was beautiful, if less than triumphant. Trey was producing some new, menacing and growling tones which I loved and Mike has been so awesomely LOUD and in your face.

    Some not so great moments as well. Lots of struggles. Lots of Trey wailing without much total band playing. Some definite sound issues, harmony failures, sour notes, etc. Oh, and people keep saying that nobody is criticizing the new songs, well here you go: I REALLY didn’t like Kill Devil Falls.

    Guys are still getting back into the swing of things and tuning up.

    ^^Wilson – It does seem that some of the tunes were slightly reworked arrangements, but at times I couldn’t tell if this was completely the result of forethought.

    But yes, overall a good show and I had a great fucking time! It really has been fun to be back out there, seeing friends, standing outside under a beautiful sky listening some fantastic music.

  6. Jay Says:

    @msb, yea love the B3. Though I feel Page is not as up front in the mix as he was in Hampton.

  7. Chalkdustin Says:

    All I can think is if this is how they sound after not playing together for 5 years, imagine what they will sound like in August or even next summer. It is back and it’s on!

  8. msbjivein Says:

    You can definately tell the Hood just came to them naturally. Just happened. they weren’t searching for it. I love it!

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    I REALLY didn’t like Kill Devil Falls.
    ^ agreed…sounds like a TAB throwaway…

  10. Mr.Miner Says:

    “You can definately tell the Hood just came to them naturally. Just happened. they weren’t searching for it. I love it!”

    ^^ oh yeah….

  11. msbjivein Says:

    @Jay, I believe someone said he wasn’t up as much in the live mix at JB. He wasn’t up as much at Phen either. Maybe the new sound guy didn’t intend for Page to be that present at hampton. Only time will tell.

  12. Chalkdustin Says:

    First thing I thought of when I heard KDF was early Beatles.

  13. msbjivein Says:

    Did Trey play KDF w/ TAB?????

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ nope, sounds like it though….

  15. msbjivein Says:

    I like he talks about having a BEER. I love Beer!!

  16. msbjivein Says:

    Musically not as promising as the Stealin time from the faulty plan. Since he talks about bars and beer I can’t not like it.

  17. guyforget Says:

    kill devil falls sounds like DMB song title! haven’t got to it yet, but can’t be good.

  18. Jay Says:

    I lost my virginity at Kill Devil Falls

  19. msbjivein Says:

    WHAOOOO! KDF sounds like DMB sond title……Dude………

  20. msbjivein Says:

    Jeniffer Dances sounds like the name of a DMB song for sure.

  21. Jay Says:

    Jennifer Lap Dances I think it is called

  22. Jack O Roses Says:

    Good Phishing down stream from Kill Devil Falls. 🙂

  23. guyforget Says:

    Hah, good ones^^
    i can’t get over the quality of the sound on these AUDs. No spoilers is off the meter.

    i can’t wait for teh FOX!!!!!!

    i had an idea since we’ve always discussed meeting up or having a Phishthoughs meet-up. We should just all get white t-shirts and write our screen names on them, front and back, and wear them to shows. it would make the random meetings quite interesting.

  24. Marshall Says:

    “Always in motion, the future is” – to me the best thing about the Fenway show is that it was replaced by JB1, and JB1 will get replaced by JB2 & 3, and so goes the summer!! A phish tour is organic and its so much fun for me this year to be able to participate in the entire thing (thanks to this website).

    Miner – I hope your plan is to hold off on posting “downloads of the day” during tour. Just my opinion, but when there’s fresh meat out there, not much sense in looking backwards down the line.

  25. Chalkdustin Says:

    @guy What a great idea!

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