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”

  1. BrandonKayda Says:

    The Kill Devil Falls jam is like Possum

  2. hawkinbj Says:

    bah it edited out who said what 🙁

  3. BrandonKayda Says:

    Oh, and can somebody point me to those SBD’s please? I can’t download from phishows for some reason. Thank you.

  4. Daniel Says:

    Why do people love Tweezer so much. I mean I get it, it’s a good song, but I feel it is overplayed and I get a little disappointed because you automatically know what one of the encores is going to be…Tweezer Reprise. Again it’s ok, but I’m a little bored of it.

  5. Marshall Says:

    Actually, I’m looking for AUDs from nights 2 and 3 at JB. Neither are on

  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    here’s SBD’s of 6/5

  7. old dude Says:


  8. old dude Says:

    the trey = flubby remark is just BB being his usual pseudo-douche self, for those who asked

  9. old dude Says:

    i agree with posterus that Boogie On was schweet. i was giggling out loud after it ended. the Split was danktastic. trey’s tone sounded murky, water-logged – in a good way.

    that whole set I was tight. i would say “best set yet” up to that point.
    can’t wait for set II, downloading SBDs now!

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Marshall – on a back to back, often the auds of the whole run dont get seeded til after the last show – i.e. no time for transfer/upload the day between. Look for AUD seeds to pop up this afternoon/evening for both shows.

  11. Billy Breathes Says:

    old dude… now.

    give a listen and you’ll see how difficult of a time T-Bone has staying in key, or getting to the right one for that matter.

    all the others seem to hit it, but Flubs misses, during critical moments too.

    don’t get me wrong….last night was a snapshot of the power they can bring and i am truly pleased with their efforts!

    to think about how far they’ve come, the entire organization, is truly a major accomplishment.

  12. Jon Bailey Says:

    Boogie on reggae Women – Highlight!!

    Please do not over look this gem!!!

    Gordo smoked it!

  13. kts Says:

    @Mr. Icculus, yes on Camden. Send me an e-mail: kts1575 at

  14. Nathan Says:

    What an ef’n blast. My poncho bit it halfway into the first set so I got drenched. I was way up in section D on the far left, the water had risen so much that it was literally an inch from spilling into the venue.

    Highlights 1st set:

    My Friend, My Friend – moved back a few rows and found a good spot to move, the vibe totally matched the nastiness of the weather.

    Ya Mar, Boogie on – by this point you could tell they were getting a huge kick out of watching the crowd and wanted to serve up some ass shaking.

    Melt – As many mentioned this got so raunchy, some really dark howling guitar and insane lights, it was totally fucked up and awesome. trey’s playing reminded me of some of the sinister moments from the 8.27.72 darkstar

    Set II:

    The weather really opened up and with nothing but a tshirt and shorts i realized i was going to get drenched….once accepting that the whole thing just became a torrential dance party as miner said…no one was standing still during 2001… during slave i was able to lean on the railing directly over the water and take in the whole stage/crowd, beautiful stuff.

    We got penned in by the railings setup to make way for the band at teh end of slave and the encore, but on a plus side got to see the band walk out and high five page… good times

  15. Worthless Swampy Fool Says:

    (^the other WSF)

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for No Spoilers!!! I’m loving listening with anticipation and surprise!

    agree w/ Boogie On – VERY fun

    SOAM – not so much

    set II – ahhhh, there IT is!!!
    Although they still seem to be “groping around” at points in some of the jams, is that just me?

  16. BingosBrother Says:

    20 Years Later is easily my favorite new song. The lyrics are absolutely fantastic(would be surprised if they weren’t Tom’s)and Mike is just dropping bomb after bomb on it. What a great show.

  17. steve jones Says:

    boogie on was the shit!
    thought a disease-prise might happen at some point…
    could see the band backstage pre-encore. they looked Psyched.

  18. MP Says:

    @ the other WSF:

    Yes, I definitely feel like i got groped by Phish after listening to this show. They should be registered to the national Sense Offender database. Overload! See y’all in Asheville. Crunch.

  19. Walfredo Says:

    Some real urgency in the playing of the second set. Much shorter then some of the other sets so far- but seems real focused. Leave it up to the elements.

  20. mattp2112 Says:

    I was at all 3 Beach shows. This one and the first night were amazing. Night 2 was good also. I have to say, the one MAJOR improvement I have notice in 3.0 has to be Treys vocals. No more raspy out of tune vocals we got in 2.0. His voice sounds amazing. The band, for the most part as a whole, seem to have tuned up their singing. Listen to the acapella part of SOAM….sounds great!!! Treys vocals on the slower tunes are spot on and soulful. The jams are starting to get some legs now…cant wait for a marathon tweezer this summer. I am a stickler for composed parts so I hope they (Trey) starts nailing them a little better. Not that the composed parts have been bad but Trey did have his share of flubs. In the grand scheme they sound great and I am happy with the “product” they are putting on the stage so far.

  21. wothlesswampyfool Says:

    “the national sense offender database” haha!!

    next thing you know people in burligton are getting knocks on the door…
    “helllo, my name is trey, this is mike, jon, and page. we just stopped by to let you know we moved into the neighborhood last week and we are registered sense offenders. if you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact your local PD for more information.”

  22. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    man, boogie on reggae woman from last night reminds me of the ghostbusters theme song…anyone else feeling this?

  23. Atrain Says:

    etree does have sources for 6.02.

  24. Jerrydamule Says:

    finally… last night was the heat. I have sensed IT brewing below the surface – like a turtle head, desperately longing to take its place in the natural world by getting dropped off at the pond – and last night, particularly set II, saw the levee break. It was a very clean break to say the least! bravo phish!

  25. whole tour! Says:

    lol…turtle head getting dropped in the pond…lol

    aka dropping the brown kids at the pool for swimming lessons.

    last night was the HEAT!

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