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. JPhishman Says:

    Happy Birthday Cactus!

    I am down for the screen name shirts…… There will prob be more of us at Alpine than any other show no? How bout we do that 1st night Alpine?

  2. Mr. V Says:

    Please forgive if someone else has already posted this but…

    There are some standing room seats for tomorrows Jones Beach show available now at LN.

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    so I did the second set on the way home and just read through the rest of the thread (damn a lot to keep up with!!) a couple thoughts ..

    mike’s was pretty cool – trey’s distorted wah sound is slightly different than it used to be and I like it … I agree with Wax that maybe he forgot the ending section to Mike’s (though they played it in hampton with only a minor flub) and just bailed and popped the clutch into simple .. the simple > wolfman’s was more of a band fade -> page hittin the chords than a segue. The transitions are always the last thing to come on a tour so I’m sure this will evolve…

    Regarding the wolfman’s -> paug – I agree with whoever said fishman was right – and I thought he gave enough signal with some cymbal work that he was going to take off – the other 3 guys missed the boat. If they had doubletimed the wolfmans riff and worked it into paug that could have been epic. Points for trying though..

    trey’s singing on circus is soulful and great – I’ve always loved the emotion in this tune and that only gets deeper.

    kill devil I enjoyed more the second time (first was the feed last night).. lyrics are fun and definitely rehabish – will turn into a nice rocker I’m sure.

    and then the Hood ….. well I have to say if you were wondering about page last night – he was out in space – cuz this jam was all about him. He let off the phatty riffs at the opening of the jam, and then keeps insistently going back to the synth. He the layers that he builds have a couple alternate tones in them that resurface later in the jam. The way that it shimmers and builds and crawls and then seeps back into hood is friggin genius. I’m a purveyor, and explorer, and a connoisseur of ambient music and this is some of the best, most thoughtful I’ve heard.

    The much maligned peak – here’s my take:
    I don’t think trey was out of tune – because when he hits the root it sounds right. I agree with Wax’s take again that he was trying a different scale – and I think it comes from some of the things page was doing earlier in the jam, towards the beginning of the space. then trey sort of abruptly bails as it’s not quite working and he throws in the power chords and gets us home… I think a 9 for the idea and maybe a 8.5 for execution, on a pretty high difficulty level. But the space before renders all that moot, and places this in the upper levels of Out There Jams.

    and if you’re looking for pentatonic shredding and wailing, there was plenty to come in the loving cup, which did a great job of releasing any tension leftover – so no harm, no foul.

    I love the baseball analogies, keep ’em coming 😉

    sorry for the novella.

  4. guyforget Says:

    i can’t believe no Letterman appearance wiht all this downtime around the NYC area. would lvoe to see a Stealing time or Ocelot….

  5. Chalkdustin Says:

    Alpine lawns available too.

  6. Brimley Says:

    Thanks alot Phish and Miner for all of this new music to download…I just had to buy another 16gb ipod nano…! A word of advice to anyone buying an ipod- don’t buy a new one…I just paid 149.99 from the Apple store for a refurbished unit after doing much research…Many people have had great luck with these and some of them are brand new units Apple is just trying to get rid of for a new batch to come in…saved 50 bucks and gained 8gb over my current ipod…Bingo!

  7. old dude Says:

    Guy, good point. management missed the boat. another reason to hate on Red Light! (wink)

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    was expecting a letterman dip – in as well. Oh well? ..

    old dude : I saw REM do don’t go back to rockville last summer in Atlanta – I think it was the best version ever! 😉 Those old dudes can still rock!

  9. guyforget Says:

    they might pull a surprise, who knows. although, letterman may be on vacation this week since Conan started the tonight show and CBS knows it would be getting hammered on ratings this week. anybody know if dave has been live teh last two nights?

  10. old dude Says:

    don’t be readiculus. the Rockville from 11-20-89 when they opened for INXS at the Venue in Gainsville was far superior.

  11. Marshall Says:

    TV Guide says its NEW (what they list now instead of listing re-runs) but that doesn’t mean it was recorded today (could have been recorded another day and airing for the first time “new” tonight).

  12. old dude Says:

    i haven’t listened to REM since Green – save a song here and there – but know they’ve stayed prolific. maybe worth another listen in their golden days…?

  13. BTB Says:

    What do you guys think of this 2009 lot t-shirt idea?

    something using the phrase “Earnest Anastasio”

    As we all know his real name is Ernest, though, Webster Dictionary defines ‘earnest’ as a “serious and intent mental state”

    So we get a “Phinally, an Earnest Anastasio” I don’t know, might be stupid. Maybe “Time Turns Earnestly Anastasio”

    Opinions? Just a shot…

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    Jerry Moore died?!?!?!?!

    Awwwwwwww. That’s really sad to hear. What a great character. He pioneered so many things it’s ridiculous. His onstage JG+MS/Legion pulls from ’73 and ’74 are the first truly audiophile audience recordings in the history of recorded music, as far as I know. And just a great gnarly character, based on his online persona at least.

    Everyone who has ever listened to a high quality audience recording and been taken “there” owes Jerry Moore a little tip of the hat. A true pioneer.

  15. guyforget Says:

    i don’t think anybody would get it^^

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    @old dude your ludicrous statement concerning Rockville has destroyed your credibility, everyone knows it’s oh I can’t even finish typing that LOL

  17. old dude Says:

    at least i had credibility to be destroyed, unlike other superlative slingers. 😉

  18. old dude Says:

    at least i had credibility to be destroyed, unlike other superlative slingers. 😉

  19. old dude Says:

    btb, maybe you can play off the Beastie’s finger lickin good lyrics that go:
    something something something something Ernie Ernesto
    I’m eating something something like it’s pasta with pesto
    or not.

  20. bcb Says:

    any verdict on the best source for a tracked torrent? I like the quality of the no spoilers a lot. has anyone found better?

  21. El Duderino Says:

    Yeah, just about anything on BT. The no spoilers is in lossy format. lossy format = thumbs down

  22. cottle Says:

    Sennheiser ME-80>744T
    Schoeps CMC6/KC5/MK41>V3>744T

  23. El Duderino Says:

    The mk41’s are my favorite

  24. Doc Says:

    The reason there’s no Letterman gig is because there’s no album to sell yet. Bet they make an appearance between Chicago and Darien Lake.

  25. KRS8 Says:

    I like the ambient portion of the jam, but think they went into it becasue Trey butchered the jam going into ambient protion and out of ambient protion. He seems like he can’t find it and has that awful off key whinning tone. same thing at Hampton. yikes

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