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”

  1. Marshall Says:

    @Cactus – I’ve always thought they tended to put YaMar up front for summer shows, while its still light out. But hey, we’re all just guessing at this point.

    I’m also waiting for the return of the ugly pig, Guyute (it HAS to drop soon – heck it could be a Thursday or Friday opener).

  2. Phrank Cal Says:

    Ortweezer Reprise . . . Funny you talk about the 12-31-93 Hood . . . It IS my favorite and I listen to it ever NYE with the Auld Lang Syne jam before the breakdown . . . gives me chills every NYE. Good shit Ortweezer Reprise!

  3. msbjivein Says:

    IMO Phenway is the better show. Phen had the 1st real bust outs of the tour w/ Denstiny and Curtis Lowe. The music seemed A little tighter than JB1 also. Not as many “flubs”. I thought JB looked GREAT on paper but once I listen back to it didn’t sound as good as it looked. I will give JB the most promising jam of ’09 w/ the Hood. I’m also a little bias cause I was only at Phen. I only wish I could be @ the JB shows. I’ll be back on in Mansfield Sat. Either way these first two shows are VERY promising. Lookout Summer Phish is back!!!!! I’m out.

  4. Cactus Says:


    True, true. I just want to hear the following songs thurs as some point ; Yamar, Ginseng, hell, I’ll take a Paul and Silas right now. Poor heart sounded great at Fenway, and I’d love to hear a little Bluegrass action soon. That’s all. Hope it happens.

  5. msbjivein Says:

    I second the Ya MAr opener either Thurs or Fri.

  6. El Duderino Says:

    The great taping pioneer Jerry Moore has passed away. For those of you who do not know who Jerry Moore is, he is the pioneer of audience recording. His ’74 Wall of Sound recordings are legendary as was Jerry himself. He is also one of the founders of Relix magazine. All tapers and traders alike owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Jerry Moore. God Speed JM you will surely be missed 🙁

    PS. for the next couple of days Lossless Legs will be featuring JM recordings exclusively. All other seeds have been put on hold. Already today there are several JGB and GD recordings of his, and let me tell y’all there is nothing better than a JM audience source. Please go to LL and grab some of these fine tapes and spread the love.

  7. Billy Breathes Says:

    Wax Banks – thanks for showing up….been waiting.

    Interesting how Phish just maximes and exceeds….albeit a little rusty right now.

    But that’s just fine by me.

  8. guyforget Says:

    NY is the swine flu capital, Guyute would be perfect!

  9. Marshall Says:

    I cannot stop listening to JB1 – I can’t put my finger on it, but it feels like traveling backwards and forwards in time, at the same moment. All the more reason why Phish is becoming THE timeless band of all time – nothing about their sound pegs a particular decade. I’m about 4 full plays through now and its getting better and better (notwithstanding the rusty nail here and there).

  10. old dude Says:

    in and out of focus

  11. bhizzle Says:

    New Phish tunes:

    Likes tremendously – Ocelot and STFTFP
    Dislikes tremendously – Light
    Still unsure – TTE

  12. Antellama Says:

    Did anyone catch a sweet home alabama tease somewhere during the second set? maybe i was confused, but i think trey and paige both teased it for a secondd uring a jam. Any ideas?

  13. Danny B Says:

    I am hoping to get any of the following: The Mango Song, The Wedge, Old Home Place, The Curtain (With), Frankie Says, Ghost, Meat, Rift, Weigh……..ahhhh the list is too long. I’ll leave it at that. Give me any one of those songs on Friday or Saturday night and I’m gonna be a happy man. In fact I’m calling Rift opener at Great Woods!!!! Bring it on!!!

  14. old dude Says:

    this dude is a legend

  15. bhizzle Says:


    Kill Devil Falls added to “Still unsure”

    RE: JB1 – really liked first set. The 2nd was hit and miss especially when it come to the transitions that everyone already knows about. However, the actual playing of the tunes themselves were enjoyable. When the Circus Comes to Town – awesome. Not feeling the Hood. And Page, like Hampton, raged on Suzy. 1st set wins in my book. Also JB1 > Phenway

  16. guyforget Says:

    hizzle, what about KDF?

  17. guyforget Says:

    ahh, too quick..

  18. bhizzle Says:

    Some one mentioned KDF sounding a bit like Birds but I didn’t hear it. Listened while at work with distractions so I might have.

    @ Old Dude – nioce pic. he looks good – happy and in shape. He dropped some funk in the midst of the Weekapaug debacle that sounded sweet.

  19. bhizzle Says:

    That Guyute call is sort of bad taste?

  20. bhizzle Says:

    With the one night between Phenway and JB1 being off and the results being tits, what about tomorrow with todays vacay? Its funny hearing Trey ask what is going on tomorrow that we cannot play here?

  21. old dude Says:

    just listened to KDF – the outtro jam has potential. best part i think, definitely Chalkdust -esque.

    as far as “don’t go back to” songs go, i prefer Rockville by REM.

  22. old dude Says:

    bhizzle, if they want to play tonight so badly……i smell surprise NYC show!
    (under the name “Unknown Johnson Inflammation”)

  23. bhizzle Says:

    Wasn’t that name posted on here earlier? What awas/is the story behind that?

    I was thinking possibly some guest appearances but Jambase only shows Sex Mob, Femi Kuti & David Grisman

  24. sloth Says:

    Reflections on Fenway and JB:

    Fenway – are you kidding me? dancing in deep left field feet away from the green monster. and the rain and the crowd and the flowing beer including that spilled all over me multiple times because of the seat situation on the floor crowding the dance space. overall – it was such a good vibe, such a powerful occasion to be with friends

    JB – security was tight on the dancing and the stubbing. unnecessarily so – this is almost excusable since i did not see any arrests or people getting kicked out of the show. people aren’t dancing. at fenway there was room and people were ripping it up. I TOO FELT HOOD WAS SOMETHING SPECIAL and i was shocked that people all around me on the lower levels weren’t dancing. they didn’t even need to sing, “i feel good” because they brought it, they took me to that magical place i call “phishland” with the lights and the hints. first set – after possum they should have kept it UP. farmhouse is a big downer – though the way they are twisting and changing songs in admirable.

    OVERALL: this phish experience from Hampton, which was so so so good, to the last two nights has brought back so many positive memories and vibes. keep it coming. stay positive. hold the groove. and please DANCE YOUR ASS OFF! Why else would you be there.

    Any holy cow – IF I COULD????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. old dude Says:

    it was a contagion some dude got from a lot wookette

    there ya go: the bluegrass songs everybody wants to hear will be tonight via acoustic sit-in with the Grisman Quintet!

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