The Best Set Yet

6.4.09 Jones Beach (W.Rogell)

6.4.09 Jones Beach (W.Rogell)

As Phish took the stage amidst a rainstorm for their last set at Jones Beach, one could sense something big was coming- and it came.  Leave it to the nasty weather to bring out the best set of this tour, as the band finished their three-show run on Friday night amidst a steady downpour.  Stringing together a series of truly improvisational pieces for the first time this tour, Phish crushed their last set on Long Island.

6.4.09 (W.Rogell)

6.4.09 (W.Rogell)

As the band started with “Disease,” one of their favorite jam vehicles, that sense of some impending improv was confirmed as they tore apart the composed jam and briefly moved beyond it into a murky and patient segue into “Twist.”  It was great to see the band take their time and execute a successful transition after the last few shows that featured some less-than-graceful segues.  The “Twist” featured a smoking and ironic, full-fledged “Oye Como Va” jam.  After years of teasing Santana’s licks in a jam that whose beginning suggests “Oye Como Va” to begin with, it was a treat to see the band undertake the jam within “Twist.”  (“Oye Como Va” jams appeared in various songs in the early ’90s.)

Using the often paired “Twist” and “Piper,” Phish continued the highlight-strewn set with a jam that evoked memories of the song’s post-hiatus adventures in 2003.  Like years past, “Piper” was the springboard for some break-neck improv that saw Trey chopping up rhythm licks amidst a furious groove.  Featuring the most “type-II” improv the night, “Piper” took a path outwards, but was cut at a point where it seemed to be reaching its deepest.  Nonetheless, as “Piper” ended, the band broke into the tour’s first version of “Backwards Down the Number Line.”  Extending past Hampton’s debut, and reworked with a new verse, the feel-good song was good to hear again after its symbolic entrance into the Phish world back in march.  A short, but raging “Free” followed, fitting in well with the inclement weather and bombastic set.

6.4.09 (W.Rogell)

6.4.09 (W.Rogell)

The band debuted another likely track from their forthcoming album late in the second set- “Twenty Years Later.”  A song whose chorus sounds like a sort of Phish-indie rock, also featured a dark groove that evoked a definite feel of “I Saw It Again.”   With another promising addition to the Phish catalog, this album is shaping up to be quite a disc.

The most-vibrant highlight of night came last when the band capped the night with the sublime combination of “2001 > Slave.”  Busting into a all-out dance party in the rainstorm, Phish and nature once again came to a beautiful confluence as the thick space-funk merged with the elements perfectly.  As the band peaked the tour’s first “2001,” it was anyone’s guess what was coming next, but in the several possibilities that flew threw my mind in the few seconds, never did I consider “Slave”- the greatest possible choice.  As the rain beat down, Phish built a massively triumphant jam that seemed to peak continuously as the ideal end to an amazing night.  This was a truly beautiful rendition coupled with a one-of-a-kind experience, and the one-two combination will certainly make the end of tour highlight mix.

6.4.09 (W. Rogell)

6.4.09 (W. Rogell)

This set came across so well, and with virtually no pauses between, one wonders whether they wrote the setlist beforehand. Divergent from the long pauses of recent sets, the band seemed armed and ready to go with each subsequent jam.  There is definitely no problem with writing setlists- that is how Phish made their name- it had just seemed like they had thrown the idea out the window. But in the end- who knows?  The bottom line is that this set was the most exciting of tour and should be a springboard into New England on Saturday night.

1st set note: After a well-played, but jam-less, first set, Phish closed the frame with a raunchy “Split” that was both abstract and terrorizing.  A jam that was so out-there that is was almost hard to digest live, Phish created a monster to cap the first half.  Check this one out, as it will be filed alongside the other early-Summer ’09 highlights.  Travel safely up to Mansfield today and get ready for a show that looks to build off of the first four- and possibly bring another big “Tweezer.”

I: Wilson, Buried Alive, Kill Devil Falls, AC/DC Bag, I Didn’t Know, My Friend My Friend, Ya Mar, Theme From The Bottom, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Split Open and Melt

II: Down With Disease > Twist,  Piper > Backwards Down the Number Line, Free, Twenty Years Later, 2001 > Slave To The Traffic Light

E: A Day in the Life

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208 Responses to “The Best Set Yet”

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  1. Baxter Says:

    Sounds like such fun, jamming in the rain. I’ll be heading down to Great Woods, looking to get a ticket on lot. Looks like beautiful weather. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us tonight. Love the comments, thanks again Mr. Miner. And no spoilers is all right and out of sight, keep it tight, braugh.

  2. trophish Says:

    SICK…but too soon for another Kill Devil Falls. The lights were killer through the raindrops! The 2nd set was the highlight of the Jones Beach run. 2001>Slave…redikidonkulous! They could have added a song or two in last nights encore.

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    tickets have been everywhere

  4. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    what is the history/evolution of phish and pre-written setlists?

  5. Billy Breathes Says:

    Yes Miner…….they found it last night….the deep Abyss….just as we were discussing it too.

    Almost as if they all dipped back into the bag during setbreak or something.

    Wild stuff. Nasty. Scary. Dark.

    Great Set II. Can’t wait to give it a good listen today.

    Finally….getting there.

  6. Josh Says:

    Hasn’t there always been a first set – second set dichotomy, where the first set tends to be lighter and filled with standards and the second set is where they go deep and dark… lending itself to improv. Maybe I am wrong but anecdotally that is what I remember

  7. JerZ Says:

    I thought that the funk in Boogie On was the highlight of the show. At least where I was jamming, people were going nuts.

  8. Wolfman Says:

    A Tube opener tonight?

  9. Billy Breathes Says:

    Trying to ‘call’ songs these days is a lost cause.

  10. Brimley Says:

    Morning all…Just a heads up if you didn’t dowlnload it already but has a LivePhish SBD from 6/4/09 if you need to upgrade your copy…Good day and to those who are going to the shows…Have fun!

  11. Billy Breathes Says:

    Trey = Flubby

  12. RobAins Says:

    Trey meticulously wrote the setlist for every show until sometime around 96 or 97. But they didn’t necesarily stick to them! The recent Hampton run was the first time they had setlists in a long time. I have not heard anything definitive for this tour, as far as weather they’re using them or not.


  13. Brimley Says:

    “Trey=Flubby”…did he have alot of flubs last night…?

  14. Mdawg Says:

    Thank you Mr. Miner for the No Spoilers. You are da bomb!

    Quick question about other torrent files that download as RAR files. I am not able to open RAR files from the folder I download them to. How do I convert them once the torrent is downloaded? I am using utorrent.

    Thanks again Miner!

  15. Brimley Says:

    I realize this has been stated already the last few days but what does the lack of Phish 2.0 material mean…? Have they completely written off that period, which would be tragic, or are they just waiting and are going to bust out a number of 2.0 songs at a show…? Thoughts

  16. Brian Says:


    These are just another type of zip files – search the web for a RAR extractor (I’m using Stuffit Expander on a Mac) and enjoy!

  17. dyda Says:

    still a decent amount of familiar 1.0 songs that haven’t been gotten to yet either

    for the best show it was also the shortest so far. just an observation.

  18. bhizzle Says:

    Re: 2.0 material

    With the Grind opener I cannot think that they have totally written it off. I am curious if they know the 2.0 were not necessarily crowd favorites (personally I do). It is also odd with the reworked Undermind played at Hampton, which I have yet to hear, was played and not yet repeated so far into the tour. And from what I heard everyone raged about that Hampton Undermind.

    Army of One – one of my alltime favorites.
    ASIHTOS – is a definite rage catalyst
    46 Days – I thought they would never stop playing

  19. bhizzle Says:

    @dyda – absolutely agree. Last night during the streaming set break I was looking through their catalog. There is sooooo much material I would love to hear them break out; Fee, Dog Stole Things, Dog Faced Boy, etc

  20. Wax Banks Says:

    Brimley – Huh, the guy is usually quite scrupulous about the no-distributing-SBDs copy. That deal ain’t gonna last.

  21. Mike Russo Says:

    You can fluff this one to your heart’s content – it deserves it but doesn’t need it. Last night was FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC.

  22. Billy Breathes Says:

    @WB…..thoughts on last night?

  23. Mr. Icculus Says:

    Any one have any extra camden tickets?

  24. Posterus Nutbagus Says:

    having been at all 4 shows so far, last night was the best show of the tour. i was especially partial to the first set…the songs just kept coming! i’m not the biggest boogie on fan, if they play it great, if not no loss, but the version last night was amazing. just amazing.

    the second set was great too. the oye como va jam was fantastic (i also heard a jumpin’ jack flash jam in the drowned from 6/4 so watch out for this becoming a thing). phish knew what to do last night and brought it!

  25. hawkinbj Says:

    Man you said it on that little 1st set side note – the Split was absolutely disgusting. I was chatting online with some peeps watching the stream and will quote myself 😛

    [21:27:04] not really digging this Melt.
    [21:27:08] might just be the sound quality though.
    [21:27:43] it was definitely a dirty nasty melt
    [21:27:54] a weird one

    Tour is shaping up to be a good one! 🙂

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