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.

great-woods-june-6-09_4

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

*debut

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173 Responses to “A Great Night At Great Woods”

  1. UVM TBA Says:

    Phantasy Phish is not fantasy but a bunch of people who enjoy reading f### or other cursing. Thank the lord for this site.

    I forgot weed was only a ticket now. Anyone get caught inside smoking and ejected? I was so paranoid about getting booted for a puff puff give, that I walked the big stair case two times to get a few puffs. :<) Yes I am an idiot.

    Keep up the thoughtful words folks, it is a nice break from other sites.

    By the way, where you sit is huge IMHO. Can you even a hear a band on the lawn at GW? The old lawn was fine when the sound was good, until they added that new section of seats.

  2. gus Says:

    Yeah I was in the lawn last night, and the sound was pretty decent. Much better than the sound at fenway from where I was.

  3. whole tour! Says:

    i’ve been listening to the soundboards of the entire tour up to mansfield. it has grown on me to the point that i fucking love it all.

    where were you when ‘numberline’ became your new favorite song? i thought the new undermind was also the best. all the new songs rock. even time turns elastic now is clicking with me. with repeated listening it is obvious phish is back in a big way. the last 4 shows in particular are gelling with me in a big way.

  4. Walfredo Says:

    Mike’s playing has been great- I’d agree. I love all the new tones- used to be you had to focus on Mike to notice all the insane stuff coming from him- now a lot more “look at me” tunes bringing what he’s doing to the front of the mix…

    I actually think the different tones are one of the lead stories of this tour so far. Page, Mike, and Trey all seem to be using a lot more effects then typical- a lot less grand piano during jams from Page- more distortion from Trey, all kinds of sounds from Mike- making some older stuff sound fresh with a lot of new sound textures. I like! I can imagine in 10 years time looking back (hopefully more positively) but to a new era sort of like when the Dead found midi tones in the 80’s…

    If I’m writing good headlines- its much improved vocals, exciting new tones and textures, great new songs, and focused tight playing with great energy.

    If I’m a downer- they freaking played Let me Lie, not really let loose on serious out of bounds improv, not one new song from Mike, Page, or Fish 🙁

    Obviously the pros are huge- and extremely exciting at this point in the comeback. I’m probably in the minority and don’t think any of the shows so far match up to the Hampton shows- but I do some of the jamming getting more confident- and I love some of the bustouts.

  5. whole tour! Says:

    last night phish finally seemed 100% again.

  6. whole tour! Says:

    waiting for asheville knoxville time is turning elastic

    week is a month and an hour a day

  7. Walfredo Says:

    Gonna take my bike out, gonna take my bike. Gonna ride it slowly, gonna ride just how I like. Gonna use my brakes, when I go downhill. Gonna climb back on when I take a spill. Gonna take my shirt off. Gonna feel it burn. Gonna keep my eyes closed. Gonna miss my turn. Gonna take my bike out. Gonna take my bike. Gonna ride it slowly, gonna ride just how I like…

  8. BrandonKayda Says:

    1st set was pretty standard. second set rocked though.

    Frankenstein, Maze, Bowie, Ice, Rift, Mcgrupp, Chalkdust, Mike’s, Tweezer, YEM

    ^^^^^

    Some of those are happening tonight

  9. Corey Says:

    Having resigned myself to staying home and watching the setlist grow on phish.com, I got on livenaion a little after six on Friday evening and managed to score 2 seats for GW, one turned out to be the front row F in sec 3. Anyone else get that lucky?

    Nothing like seeing a show down front, literally. I tell you, the sound was loud down there but boy, what fun. You really feel like you’re experiencing the music with phish…watching their grimaces, smiles and getting an occasional nod/hand directed your way.

    They let my wife come down with me and we had a blast…oh and the security guy under page’s piano was super.

    Wish I could be down front for every show. Haven’t been there with a front row seat since Rupp 96 – front and center. And all of you know how crazy that night of indoor phish fun was…I’m still “taking a bath” from that night.

    See ya’ll in Knoxville…it’s gonna kick.

  10. Walfredo Says:

    Any chance we could get a Moesha>Let Me Lie tonight?

    I should stop- sorry… My friend tried to remind me this morning that it isn’t possible to like a song less then Moesha- but I think Let my Lie makes anything possible and breaks down all previous barriers.

  11. Corey Says:

    Was going to correct my misspelling of LN but, no…
    I don’t like them enough to do that.
    Ya’ll know what corp. I’m referring to anyway.

    Side question and repost:

    Anyone going to see the 3 bassists in NC on 6/8?
    Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten?

    New question:

    Anyone camping at Bong State Rec. Area for Alpine?

  12. whole tour! Says:

    i’m not a huge ‘let me lie’ fan….it’s a panty dropper aimed at ladies or gay 4 trey crowd, but it was well delivered. it most certainly is on my list of set/show killers. besides that song, all the other new songs kick serious ass.

  13. whole tour! Says:

    i was gonna skip ‘let me lie’, but to get the whole picture i let it ride. the playing at a quality level is what i’m hearing.

  14. Fish Sauce Says:

    i believe i’m camping at bong st., if not, the site i’m camping at is close by

  15. Walfredo Says:

    Whole Tour- I am completely stoked by the new batch of songs. I will be bummed if I don’t get to see an Ocelot, Stealing Time, Kill River, TTE, BDTNL this summer. It is a great batch of songs- maybe the strongest group since 1997- maybe better then 97? I think they are great.

    Hopefully Let me Lie is a one and done. They played it perfect- and Page’s backup vocals do make it a bit more compelling then the steaming pile that was recorded on Bar 17. You can only dress it up so much. Forget Phish songs- it might be the worst song I’ve ever heard… I sometimes really dig Trey’s lyrics (very heartfelt, not as clever as Tom’s but more honest) these sound (to me) like the kid Michael Myer’s used to play that was always strapped to a playground on SNL for being a hyper, hypo wrote a song about his shiny new bike and got to sing it…

    And my biggest fear- as great a sense of humor as Trey has- I think he is 100% sincere in this song… Shouldn’t dwell- so many positives- just wish this song never saw a Phish stage…

  16. whole tour! Says:

    the song means a lot to trey, but i have disliked it since rothbury, i remember going, ‘please god, don’t let this become a phish song’

  17. BrandonKayda Says:

    TTE and Let me Lie are two songs I could do without, set killers IMO.

    All the other new songs rule though.

  18. Walfredo Says:

    I remember saying that listening to the whole Bar 17 album- but that definitely was the song I feared the most…. I’m going to stop talking about it now- I don’t need to convert folks that like it. At least its short- and they don’t play it very often. All my recordings are digital so I can hit skip after I get home if I want to listen to the rest of the show. It is what it is. Hard for me to believe that the same person that wrote Tube and YEM also wrote Let me Lie- but I think that is a part of what makes Phish as great as they are…

    Making a mix-tape for a friend at work who is going to the Gorge shows this summer trying to get him into Phish. It’s definitely meant to coax the bunny into the trap before you hit them over the head…

    So far tracklist- Farmhouse (Hampton), Boogie on (Jones Beach, DWD>Twist>Piper (Jones Beach), Waste (Jones Beach), Mike’s>Hydro>Groove (Hampton), Loving Cup (Hampton), Stealing Time (Great Woods).

    That fills up the disc… A couple of real tasty jams- but nothing too abstract- and then some nice guitar solos (he is a guitar player). I only want to use 09 stuff. I only get 80 minutes- any thing I’m overlooking that needs to make the cut?

  19. whole tour! Says:

    give TTE a chance…it’s a very unique song/style of writing. i didn’t like it at first, but last night i actually wanted to hear it. it is pretty epic in a phishy way. it would make a good set opener.

  20. whole tour! Says:

    @walfredo ‘undermind’ from hampton is a must.

  21. Chi_Town_Shanty Says:

    Wonder when they’ll bring over:

    Radar Blip

    Andelmen’s Yard

    Another Door

    Etc, etc, etc…..

  22. msbjivein Says:

    Last nights show very tight. Miner your right the Boys were focus and in tune w/ one and other all night. My wife and I had some pretty sweet seats Fish side sec 1 row Y. Trey and Mike were really haven fun up there together. Mike’s tone is Low Down and Dirty!! I fucking love it! Garry Brown’s mix was pretty damn good from my seat. Props to Mr Brown for a well mixed show.

  23. Walfredo Says:

    Brandon- I will be bummed if I don’t get a chance to see TTE live. I think its a pretty impressive song. I like it WAY more then I ever liked Guyute- all around better song. The resolutions crisper, the journey more interesting, the vocals a lot better (lyrics are okay- but the delivery much better)… I think it is pretty cool that Phish is capable of creating something this immense at this point in there careers… Could you imagine The Dead writing something like this for a new tour, The ABB? Seriously- it’s one thing that makes this thing (to me) so worthwhile- is the future is limitless for these guys- this is not a nostalgia band.

    I like it better then First Tube, or Guyute- which are somewhat similar in structure. Long songs, short or no jams… But we shall see- and it really hasn’t killed either set so far- both were scorchers!

  24. Davey Says:

    I love the convo today. Ocelot is everyone’s favorite but I’m digging Stealing Time. So good. The new album is going to be sweet and I’m going to shell out the cash to buy it at the record store too. Vinyl and CD.

  25. Davey Says:

    Golgi and Lizards are some of my favorite low-percentage-play-chance songs. I’m hoping with my DC>Alpine run I’ll hear either Sloth, Golgi or Lizards. I’m thinking I’ll hear an Antelope at DC and a Tweezer at Alpine but with setlists like these you never know what you’re gonna get. I’m getting so excited. The boys are on FIRE and I’m finally around to witness it this time.

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