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. Jack O Roses Says:


    …sound is in and out…

  2. hairy pood Says:

    wish i was there….

  3. Doc Says:

    I haven’t been able to get any sound from that guy.

    What the hell happened to phishtube tonight?

  4. BingosBrother Says:

    Fucking Wedge! Fuck yeah! Setlist looks tight! Missing phishtube.

  5. whole tour! Says:

    this has to be the best show yet

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    Stealing Time is just a nose ahead of Ocelot rounding the first turn into the long straightaway – Backwards Down the Number Line looks even stronger than at his first race – Twenty Years Later seems to be running well out of the gate – Time Turns Elastic was slow off the line as usual but always finishes strong, so watch out, folks – Kill Devil Falls and Light are battling for inside position – Let Me Lie brings up the rear – we’re all wondering when the rehabbed Undermind will make an entrance –

    Can’t believe it, but I didn’t mind Nothing. Hm! Didn’t see that coming.

    It’s just all going so very very well now. There’s plenty of room for disagreement over direction and degree but it’s nice that people, at least those here, are basically feeling this stuff and aren’t trying to be too cool for school.


    Great Woods – lots to say about it, kind of the anti-JB3 in a good way, but my takeaway is WOW TREYS TONE IS AMAZING when he nails it. For me it’s the slow paced start of the Hood jam. I’m not nearly technical guitar-wise enough to say what exactly is up, but it feels to me like he has changed something profound in his approach – maybe gear as well – and while it means he has more misses (and I would not argue that point, at times), it also seems to have really elevated the potential. His finely sculpted, jewel-like tone at the start of that Hood jam really has me entranced.

    Don’t you think they wanted to really kill a prototypical Hood, after the JB oddball? done.

    Odd setlist tonight, full of songs I love and WTF juxtapositions, but they’re rolling so hot at this point I take all the WTF on faith that it’ll make sense when I hear it. They’ve earned that.

  7. BTB Says:

    Very interested to see if the execution was as tight as the list, but geeez that first set, and a Tweezer into the Encore. The boys must really be having fun.

    This Midwesterner can’t wait for Star Lake/Deer Creek

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    Sugar Shack? the fucking old-old-old-school tune?

  9. BTB Says:

    Nothing is a solid tune, if they’re going to play a slow one I’ll take it.

    Also, no MIST so far this tour. Interested to see if that comes back

  10. Doc Says:

    I, for one, am not interested in seeing if Mist makes a comeback. Keep that one dead and buried, please.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    yeah I had mentally filed Nothing as “craptacular” for some reason. Off base. Nice melody, lyric and feel. Nothing earthshaking but not a downer, for me anyway

  12. old dude Says:

    i agree Mr.C, they needed to “bring home” a Hood, and they nailed it (relatively) at GW.

    Sugar Shack is on the rumored new album track list per wikipedia.

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    are ppl listening to the stream? I’m not – how did the Tweezer end the set? did it reprise or have some other kind of actual ending?

    And what is Joy? and Sugar Shack?

  14. Real Guy Says:

    Mist is a very nice tune…pretty much better than almost every new song played thus far, why in the world would you not want to hear it?

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    ah thx – and Joy as well

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Splinters of Bat” is an awesome song title

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    whoa, Antelope 3rd encore, if anyone called that plz step up to claim yr prize

  18. whole tour! Says:

    e) joy, bouncing, antelope

    can they top this in asheville? now i’m concerned

  19. whole tour! Says:

    sand was a bigger bust out than destiny

  20. fromthetub Says:

    @ Mr. C. I don’t believe there were any streams going tonight. I cannot wait to download this show!

  21. whole tour! Says:

    and it was 20+ minute jam

  22. fromthetub Says:

    I think Sugar Shack is one of Mike’s songs?

  23. Doc Says:

    Man, they’re throwing down with an Antelope encore.

  24. whole tour! Says:

    e) joy, bouncing > antelope, reprise

    this is the latest show too….most were over by 11:10

  25. BTB Says:

    Joy > Huh?

    Bouncing > Crap?

    Antelope > WTF? Look at Friend…high five….RAGE

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