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 .

Tags: ,

442 Responses to “Defining New Ground”

  1. old dude Says:

    Marshall, the best thing about Fenway and JB1 is they were ADD ON SHOWS! strictly bonus material. original tour opener ain’t till tomorrow!

  2. old dude Says:

    i go bare breasted in the lot, so i’ll paint ‘old dude’ on my gut

  3. Marshall Says:

    @old dude – to me the whole tour is Icing on the Cake, with the cake having been 1.0 and 2.0. More icing please!

  4. Jay Says:

    wolfman’s is the Funk!

  5. Jay Says:

    transition into weekapaug is somewhat of a trainwreck though.

  6. old dude Says:

    I’m taking the funk bridge from cities right now. love how bouncy mike is, great interplay b/w page & trey on first interlude.

  7. msbjivein Says:

    Cities is some “Summer ’09 laid Back Funk” !! Very chill funk not rushed. It slithers along the ground kinda funk.

  8. Jay Says:

    Sorely wished I saw Circus 🙁

  9. Jay Says:

    On the fence about KDF. Might feel different seeing it live.

  10. whole tour! Says:


    44 today!

  11. msbjivein Says:

    Is Kill Devil falls about Kill Devil Hill N.C.????

  12. msbjivein Says:

    No SHiT!!!!!!

  13. msbjivein Says:

    Unannounced Cactus B-day party?????????????

  14. Cactus Says:

    KDF was very good live. Trust me. I enjoyed the hell out of it. I’m gonna listen to it later and I’m sure I’ll still like it. Good new song.

  15. old dude Says:

    it means: Kill’d Evil F’n Y’alls

  16. msbjivein Says:


  17. Cactus Says:

    Didn’t mean to chime in in time lik that, but yeah, Happy Happy Cactus.

  18. guyforget Says:

    ahhh, just heard me some good ole’ Simple flubbing…so they are human. after nailing Cavern the other night, i wasn’t quite sure who these 3.0 guys were.

  19. bcb Says:

    I like KDF a lot, but the jam is totally just BOAF. Someone on here suggested that maybe it is just a placeholder, which is a silly idea that i like a lot. Hopefully it will get its own jam eventually. It sounds like it really brings the energy. So far so good with the new stuff, in my book.

  20. msbjivein Says:

    Don’t forget it speaks of Bars and beer……….The more i hear it the more it grows on me. Like most new songs the more I hear the i likey.

  21. Chalkdustin Says:

    KDF has a Johnny B. Goode feeling to it, imo.

  22. Wax Banks Says:

    Full lyrics to ‘Kill Devil Falls’:


    Just got back from Kill Devil Falls
    Draped my waterlogged clothes in the hall
    Reach for a beer, glad that I’m here
    When I realize that you’re not around

    Turned on some music and then the TV
    Go through the pile of mail waiting for me
    Something I spy makes me pull it aside
    A letter from your hometown

    How could you leave me?
    You heard what I said
    I’d be at the waterfall clearing my head
    Soaking up nature and thinking of you
    And leaving’s the last thing I thought you would do

    I didn’t plan to stop at the bar
    But Kill Devil Falls is really so far
    Who knew a day would turn into a week?

    But I learned my lesson
    And I can still remember the last one
    This time will be different…
    …until I do it again

    Stared at the ceiling for over a day
    But none of my questions are answered this way
    Won’t make any calls, I’ll just bounce off the walls
    ’til I go back to KDF

    How could you…? (etc.)

    Stared at the face on the mountain (Don’t follow me)
    I stepped right up to the cliffside (Tell me what do you see)
    Then staring into the future (Tell me what I believe)
    This time’s gonna be different

    Oh, oh, oh, don’t go back to Kill Devil Falls
    I learned my lesson…

  23. Wax Banks Says:

    As I see it, it’s a pretty goddamn funny/rueful song about drug addiction, no?

  24. Wax Banks Says:

    …and rehab, more specifically.

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Wax, thx for that. I agree. I like those lyrics a lot…”Who knew a day would turn into a week?”

    the arrangement is nothing brilliant, but I like that it rocks, and it has a natural, unforced feel.

Leave a Reply