The Asheville Festival

6.9.09 Asheville (Lanser)

6.9.09 Asheville (Lanser)

Phish’s visit to Asheville, NC turned into something far more than a concert. The small liberal-minded mountain town fully embraced the band’s stop in their community, creating a festival vibe throughout the town all day long. With multiple streets closed down for us to hangout, Asheville was certainly one of coolest scene Phish scenes in memory. And then there was the Phish show.  Kicking off their Southern run with the first indoor show of the summer, the Asheville Civic Center- capacity 7,400- was as laid-back, uncrowded, and energetic of an atmosphere as one could ask for in a Phish venue.

6.9.09 (Lanser)

6.9.09 (Lanser)

The band responded by playing an excellent show that featured one of- if not the best- jam they have played since coming back in March.  After a second set opening “Backwards Down the Number Line” which included a portion of improv far greater than either previous version, the band entered “Ghost.”  What developed out of this version of “Ghost” is arguably the greatest piece of improvisation we have seen from the band thus far.  Move over Camden “Sand” and “Tweezer” and make room for “The Asheville Ghost.”  Exploring a divergent groove and moving way out there into deep psychedelia, Phish was flowing at full-force during this epic adventure.  Beginning with a different feel to begin with, the jam moved into some of the most exploratory grooves and spiritually triumphant places ever reached by the song.  Building to a ridiculous peak that continued rolling for minutes, Trey’s work was simply magnificent.  This is one that will live eternally in memories of who experienced it, and deserves its own place in the annals of new-school Phish history.

6.9.09 (Lanser)

6.9.09 (Lanser)

As the band allowed the jam to come down to earth, they slid into a perfectly juxtaposed “Fast Enough For You.” Played flawlessly and with dripping emotion, this version was the perfect compliment to the psychedelic odyssey that had preceded.  Taking their time to decide what was to come next, the decision was unveiled with Mike’s a capella opening of “Halley’s Comet.”  Upping the energy in the building with the old-school favorite, the band chose the rock-rather-than-funk route, using the brief jam to lead into the first “Maze” of the summer.  Placed squarely in the middle of the second set, Phish attacked the jam with a viscious ferocity, blowing up the second big highlight of the set.  Moving beyond the routine rock changes and builds of the song, Phish dug into some dirty exploration at a breakneck pace.  It has been a while since we have seen the band focus on “Maze” with such a magnitude; defining the meaning of blistering.

6.9.09 (Lanser)

6.9.09 (Lanser)

A set that had absolutely smoked up to this point, began to lose steam for the final third of the set. Debuting “Alaska,” one of the band’s lesser interesting new songs, Phish slowed things down with the comical blues number.  Ending the set with “Theme,” “Golgi,” and the third “Possum” of the tour, the improvisational quality of the show took a nosedive for the final part of the night.  Waiting for something large in the encore- potentially the big “Bowie” that is long overdue- we were greeted with a token “Loving Cup.”  Usually reserved for following up a big jam, “Loving Cup” nonetheless concluded the night on a high-energy, feel-good vibe.

6.9.09 (Lanser)

6.9.09 (Lanser)

In the first frame, the band opened with “Kill Devil Falls” whose jam- closely resembling a “Birds” jam- got the show started with a raging rock jam right away.  The centerpiece of the first set was the “Fishman Trilogy.”  Trey confided to the audience that he once sneaked a peak at Fish’s college journal, discovering verses that he would develop into “Dog-Faced Boy,” “Gumbo,” and “Tube.”  And after the story, the band proceeded to play each- including the second “Tube” in two shows!  Loosening up the funk a bit more from the Camden version, Phish brought the house down with the funk.  To conclude the Fishman-focused part of the show, he performed “Lengthwise” solo a capella, busting out an old-school rarity.  To close the first set Phish unshelved Jimi’s “Bold As Love” for the first time since Shoreline ’00.

All in all, Asheville was another step forward for the band, busting out more songs, and delving deeper into the type of improvisation that we all live to hear.  The south is underway, and there is only one more stop before the band’s two highly-anticipated appearances at Bonnaroo.  Enjoy the scenic drive to Knoxville tomorrow, I’ll see you there.

I: Kill Devil Falls, The Moma Dance, Sample In A Jar, Stash, Dog Faced Boy, Gumbo, Tube, Lengthwise, The Divided Sky, When The Cactus Is In Bloom*, Bold As Love

II: Backwards Down the Number Line, Ghost > Fast Enough For You, Halley’s Comet > Maze, Alaska**, Theme From The Bottom, Golgi Apparatus, Possum

Encore: Loving Cup

* debut, by Bill Monroe  ** debut

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421 Responses to “The Asheville Festival”

  1. Col4bin Says:

    There are bands out there I would rather listen to in phishes absence than DMB. Like Umphrees McGee, Moe., Ekoostic Hookah, or even Widespread.

  2. Walfredo Says:

    Buffalo Bill > Camel Walk > Walfredo > Carini > Llama > Funky Bitch > Roses are Free > Scents and Subtle Sounds > McGrupp and The Watchful Horsemasters > The Sloth > Funky Bitch > N2O > Kung > Sneaking Sally > Roggae > TMWSIY > Avenu Malkenu > Axilla pt. 1 > Axilla pt. 2 > The Mango Song > Dogs Stole Things > My Soul > Sleeping Monkey

    They gotta bring something special for Bonaroo right?

  3. Col4bin Says:

    The way that nothing seems to be off limits so far this tour I really thought there would have been a Carini by now though.
    @Completely, yea Vultures rocks!

  4. Bwana Sun Says:

    Encore 2: Mikes > I am Hydrogen > Weekapaug, Waste

    Dreaming for sure… Ha ha ha !!!

  5. wanderin Says:

    here is the article which accompanies the comic

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    mine would be like:
    buried alive, tube, brother, vultures, taste, meat > buffalo bill (this could totally work!), carini, split

    mr. completely > ghost > timber > crosseyed > manteca > crosseyed > sanity, roggae > waves > what’s the use > song i heard the ocean sing

    Esther (for my wife), BBFCFM > sloth

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    carini > sloth could totally work too

  8. Col4bin Says:

    @ Mr. Completely

    You show looks like way more my style, put in a Ya Mar somewhere for me and Lawn Bow and My Sweet One for my wife and we will have a great time in Chicago. 🙂

  9. Bwana Sun Says:

    cool, very eclectic… the great went: buffalo bill > nicu > weigh was an awesome start to the 3rd set

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    mike’s song> carini> simple> hydrogen> bowie> piper> my left toe> prince caspian> maze> weekapaug groove> antelope> while my guitar gently weeps

    encore: YEM> crosseyed

  11. Stupendous Says:

    Llama, Cities>Mud City, Billy Breathes, My Sweet One, Stash, Mound, Driver,
    The Sloth, Demand> Split Open and Melt
    Round Room, Reba > Thunderhead, Cross-eyed > Piper > Ghost > Waste, Fikus, Access Me, McGrupp, Slave

  12. Col4bin Says:

    My Friend My Friend, Ya Mar, PUITE, Ocelot, Buried Alive, Possum, Moma Dance, Lawn Boy, Slave.
    Joy, Harpua> Scent>Ha Ha Ha>of a Mule, Runaway Jim, Sneakin’ Salley> Carini, My Sweet One, Colonel Forbin> Famous Mockingbird, Vultures.
    Halley’s Comet, Bathtub Gin, Rocky Top

    Had to put a couple new ones in.

  13. steve jones Says:

    manteca teased in sand jam
    and also fenway tweezer

  14. whole tour! Says:

    knoxville = best phish show ive ever seen

  15. Stun the Puppy Says:

    Miner….you’re an f’in trooper bro. I think you’ve got to have a cut off at maybe 2AM EST, then you’ve got get some sleep man. I appreciate the effort and all, but it appears to a compete cluster fuck disaster every night (or morning I should add). Don’t feel bad taking a night off man….you’ve done enough. We’ve got to start a movement towards the live streaming aspect….that completely eliminates spoiling anything. Any thoughts?

    Are they ever gonna bust out Walls, or what?


  16. Jason Waite Says:

    ATTENTION: The bit Torrent files are up on Pirate Bay, just search for phish knoxville. It says nospoilers is the source, so thanks!!!

  17. Arazin Says:

    What “Beautiful World!!” Show! I think if I were there..
    Thanks for Mr. Minor quick shareing. I enjoy to Phishing everyday in Japan.

  18. c0wfunk Says:

    fun show last night – completely different vibe / crowd than asheville .. the entire asheville civic center would fit on the floor of that huge arena we were in last night. The band had the whole big arena rock thing going huge. Definitely quite a frat boy / college scene thing going on. The energy in the room was Big time for sure. I very much enjoyed the night .. I am glad to have been to both shows and experience two such completely different phish lands.

    Musical highlights: undermind was completely sick. Mike went absolutely nutso at the end which I think was why trey fired into Mike’s song. The Mikes>h2>groove was tight and smokin, nice old school version. I like this suite in this role as big first set moment.

    second set was mellifluous – waves>sihtos was a very nice surprise and both very nicely jammed. I have no idea of how time was involved with these jams but it was happenin for sure.. again the night was marked by breathtaking accuracy in bowie, reba, etc. There were lines in bowie that trey nailed tonight that I swear I haven’t heard him hit maybe ever.

  19. Steve P Says:

    The GHOST is so amazing, so friggin interesting. love it.

  20. dustinscottt Says:

    Ashville was SICK!! Period. 9.8
    Knoxville was very very good!! 8.3
    But nothing was as sick as that Ghost, in my opinion.
    These were my first indoor shows and I must say that I’m impressed with what Curoda can really do. He was definitely in his groove. Did anyone else see the Sphere onstagge during Ghost? Anyway, there’s my thoughts.

  21. whole tour! Says:

    Asheville “possum” has a very pronounced Beatles “Come together” guitar solo riff tease. Trey also teased it the nextnight in “undermind”!

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