A Great Night At Great Woods

6.2.09 Great Woods (G.Lucas)

6.6.09 Great Woods (G.Lucas)

Building off of a fierce last night at Jones Beach, Phish wowed the New England crowd with a show that felt more evenly balanced between the sets and featured tight, focused playing from the entire band from note one until the last.  With a setlist comprised of a slew of songs we hadn’t yet heard this tour, a classic venue, and a fully-ripping band, it finally felt like tour was truly underway as Great Woods blew up on the first Saturday night of the Summer.

6.6.09 (G.Lucas)

6.6.09 (G.Lucas)

The first set had a completely fresh feel, featuring all but one song that hadn’t been played through Fenway and Jones Beach.  The set started off with some singles and built into some stretched out pieces with a dynamic “Jibboo,” a soaring “Taste,” and a regal “Caspian” featuring some gorgeous phrasing by the man in red.  “Taste” turned into the improvisational highlight of the first set, with a tight, soaring jam that saw again Trey playing searing leads to complement the band’s textured jamming.

If one thing has been proven over these first five shows it is that Trey is back on the scene; assertive, ripping, and leading jams, as opposed to his self-admittedly tentative playing over most of Hampton.  A huge energetic centerpiece of the first set was the 3.0 bust-out of “Golgi”- a crowd favorite that went unplayed over the reunion.  The welcome inclusion of “Nothing,” played far more tightly than in its two post hiatus appearances, showed us that Phish isn’t going to completely shy away from their post-hiatus material, and showed that we can expect to hear any song from any era at any time.  In that vein, Phish debuted their newest ballad, “Let Me Lie,” a poignant translation of the former TAB song that came across beautifully.


6.6.09 (G. Lucas)

The energetic second set began with more post-hiatus material in an explosive guitar-led exploration of “Seven Below.”  Trey was on fire in what certainly developed into the jam of the show.  Moving beyond your standard “Seven Below” into some dirty and psychedelic playing, the improv didn’t quite make it outside of the song’s structure, but provided an exilhirating journey nonetheless.  Trey straight annihilated this jam, leaving a vibrant musical wake behind him.  Following the shred-fest came one of the most flawless “Fluffheads” we’ve heard in ages.  We’d have to go back more than a decade to find one this clean and triumphant, as each segment was played confidently and without hesitation, all ending with a massive peak.  As good of an opening to a set as you could ask for, Phish was firing on all cylinders on the first rainless night of summer tour.

6.2.09 (G.Lucas)

6.2.09 (G.Lucas)

The rest of the set featured some twang with a concise and precise “Scent of a Mule” and an exciting “Possum” whose jam moved beyond bluegrass and was reminiscent of pre-’97, more full-on psychedelic incarnations.  Featuring some focused interaction between Mike and Trey and a surprisingly danceable jam, this one had everyone out of their seat.  Sandwiched between the pieces of Phishgrass was the combination of a high-spirited and somewhat extended “Heavy Things” and another huge “Harry Hood.” With a tightly improvised jam that stretched beyond the confines of a normal “Hood,” it certainly seems that the band has recommitted to their classic, and I couldn’t be happier about the decision.

If you had told me before the show that I’d leave glowing after a second set that showcased “Scent of a Mule,” “Possum,” and “Julius,” I would have guffawed, as they happen to be at the bottom of a long list of songs that I would prefer to hear.  However on this night everything worked perfectly and even as the sense of an ominous “Bowie” closer was supplanted by a “Bug” that brought us one final colossal Trey solo of the night, the pieces all fell into place.  Leaving Great Woods things were full steam ahead for Camden, the end of summer’s first four-night run.  See you there!

I: Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Nothing, Back on the Train, Golgi Apparatus, Sparkle, Gotta Jiboo, Lawn Boy, Let Me Lie*, Makasupa Policeman, Prince Caspian

II: Seven Below, Fluffhead, Scent of a Mule, Heavy Things, Harry Hood, Possum, Bug

E: Contact, Julius


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173 Responses to “A Great Night At Great Woods”

  1. whole tour! Says:

    sounds great….nice chalkdust

  2. Col4bin Says:

    now its going…phew 😉

  3. whole tour! Says:

    sand (22:20)!

  4. Hunter Says:

    I live in uptown Chicago, Col4bin. Just moved here a few months ago for a recording studio internship, love the city so far. Originally from Gainesville, FL. My first show was 12/29/03, Toyota Park will be my second. Can’t wait!

  5. whole tour! Says:

    one problem so far is some girl is screaming too close to a mic….totally annoying

  6. whole tour! Says:

    nice fee outro jam!

  7. whole tour! Says:

    totally funk nasty wolfmans

  8. Col4bin Says:

    that cool, Hunter, I live in Romeoville (between Naperville and Joliet). Saw them about 40 times between ’95 and ’99. Quit going because the scene got too annoying (15 year olds only going for the drug/party scene.) Didn’t see any “phish 2.0” Really hyped for this summer though!

  9. Col4bin Says:

    I use Limewire to download the torrent links, damn it is going sssssssllllllllllllooooooooooooooowwwwww tonight.

  10. Hunter Says:

    Right on, Col4bin. I agree about the drug/party scene becoming a burden. Certainly nothing wrong with enjoying yourself/myself at a show, but when the main focus moves from the music to the drugs, count me out. Some of the horror stories I’ve heard about the 2000 mayhem are just awful.

    I started getting into Phish in late high school, which I graduated in ’03. The NYE Miami run seemed like the logical choice for my first show given its relative proximity, though I was only able to get tickets for 12/29. Even on the 3rd level behind the stage in the AA Arena it was a great time. That Piper won’t soon be forgotten, nor will the segue-fest that was the 2nd set.

    August 11th can’t come soon enough. I’ll be bringing my roommate, a new devotee thanks to my showing him the Clifford Ball DVD. Given the quality of the performances so far, I’ve got a good feeling.

  11. Henry Holland Says:

    The Camden BitTorrent for Set 1 is up, hop on.

    I’ve really enjoyed the shows so far, can’t wait for my Shoreline > Gorge x2 > Chicago run.

    Hunter, I’m flying in to Midway the afternoon of the 11th (arrive 3:30) and am heading right to the show, will it be expensive to take a cab there? Thanks for any info you can provide.

  12. Col4bin Says:

    Estimated Fare: $15.28*
    The estimated fare is $15.28 using the rate in Chicago. The trip is 5.8 mi and will take 14 mins. This includes 15% tip.

    Fuel Surcharge As of 4/28/2008, Chicago taxicabs assess fuel surcharges of $1.00 to offset the increasing gasoline prices. Approved by Chicago City Council.

    Tolls & airport charges not included.
    Estimated w/ Chicago Rates.
    Trips to or from suburbs may be charged additional 50% on metered rates.
    The flat fee for the first additional passenger is $1.00, each additional passenger $0.50.

    Approximate Breakdown:Initial Fare $2.25
    Add. Metered Fare $10.17
    Surcharges** $1.00
    Tip (15%) $1.86
    Estimated Taxi Fare $15.28
    *Additional charges may apply.
    ** Trip Fuel Surcharge: $1.00

  13. Col4bin Says:


  14. Col4bin Says:

    (dropdown menu)

    (manual type in)
    71st and Harlem Ave, Bridgeview IL

  15. Col4bin Says:

    There are no tolls and the estimated time could be a lot longer with concert traffic….thats where it will get expensive.

    Only 5 miles, might be faster to walk depending how bad the traffic is. Might be telling the cabbie “I’m getting out here, thanks”

  16. Henry Holland Says:

    Col4bin, thanks for the link, I’ve bookmarked it. Yeah, walking’s no problem, I’m going to be so fired up to see the show, my old knees won’t mind!

  17. Col4bin Says:

    ive been stuck at 160MB of 204MB for almost 2 hours…going to bed.

  18. Henry Holland Says:

    From the No Spoilers page:

    Sincere apologies again, but we don’t even have an ETA at this point. We’ll get the show finished up as soon as we can (or another source worst case scenario), but it could be tomorrow morning at this point

    From the reports at PT –I know, I know– sounds like a hell of a show, I’ll grab it tomorrow. Work calls….

  19. myhkel Says:

    Bid You to have any….MIKE….Man?

  20. Sam Says:

    anyone else stuck at 79.5% on set I?

  21. curtain tim k Says:

    If it was a great night at great woods ( which in all honesty looked like an OK day in MA at best), Mr Miner (who by the way is cool as hell) must have had to pull his melted face off the ground as well as untie Antelopes Gregs straight jacket ( which was surely ordered by phish security officers Dickie/John during the Sand Tweezer or Antelope during a violent barrage of karate chopping, airplane landing dance moves) and pull lil Lack off the ceiling (who’s slight frame surely couldn’t take Treys orgasmic explosions of pure energy last night which ended up launching him into the rafters) before writing his always informative blog last night. As I sit here is my hospital bed, high on dilaudid, hitting refresh every three seconds I can only wonder how huge last night really was. Did Hands Dan have to ghost write the blog due to his fellow travelers bewilderment after last nights gift from above? Was the Sand so dark, so filthy, so nasty, so evil, so epic that they all ended up copping at the Amco station in downtown Camden? I sure hope not…but looks like last night was the epicenter of love last night and I wish of all the shows I had to miss last night didn’t have to be one of them. I miss you kids and send you my love from Albany!!! All the Dilaudid and morphine in the world can’t make up for missing out being with the friends I love and the Band I worship! Miss you kids so much and have a great tour!!!

  22. ken k. Says:

    anyone else hear secret language signals during scent of a mule before page went into the piano solo, and they did the dance? Or was it just me?

  23. devo Says:

    what is up with Trey’s tone this tour? I think others on this board have described it as a whale sound. It is very screechy and does not sound good to my ears. Any of the more tech oriented folks on this board know anything about his rig now versus previous incarnations of Phish? It just does not sound good to me at all and really kills some of the jams. Where is that smooth as silk tone that I love that makes me feel like I was swimming in the music. Even the hard rock uncompressed 2.0 sound was better than this.

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