The Starry Night

6.18.09 Star Lake Official Poster

6.18.09 Star Lake Official Poster

As Phish pulled into Star Lake, one of their hallowed summer sheds, last night, things felt like they were back to normal.  After the irregular indoor and festival shows of the south, it felt good to be back at a “regular” summer show.  And when Phish stepped to bat in the second set, it seemed that they felt the same way.  Creating a feel-good melange of improv that left everyone walking out with a smile, Phish played a set centered on jams rather than songs, a trend that is more than welcome among their fan base. Despite rather sloppy composed playing by Trey all night- we watched a “Bowie” fall to pieces in front of our eyes- the improvisation carried this show, and in the end, the jams are what count.  And that is why we’ll be listening to this second set quite a bit in between tours.

Phish @ The Fox (D.Vann)

Phish @ The Fox (D.Vann)

Leading off with “Disease,” an improvisational adventure was impending as the band played tightly through the song and far out into other territory in what turned into the highlight of the show, and one of the most engaging jams of the tour.  Moving beyond the composed jam for quite some time, Phish explored some darker places before twisting the jam into a similar ambient-groove that has been popping up all tour.  Following a dissonant and drone path, this murky improv morphed into the intro to “Free.”  While an appropriate and bombastic landing point for this course of improv, it has been avshame to see “Free” cut into a jamless song this summer after having being the staple of so much past summer funk.  At this point the bass bombs move directly into Trey’s guitar solo, leaving any full-band improvisation behind.  Maybe they’ll stretch one out at Alpine- though I doubt it.

6.16.09 (D.Vann)

6.16.09 (D.Vann)

After an oddly placed “Guyute,” Phish put the pedal back on the creative metal, launching into the tour’s second “Piper.”  Ready and willing to take another musical risk, the band laid it out in a jam that covered diverse territory.  Certainly exploratory, the band took the jam beyond it’s conventions, even building into a slower groove for a bit.  “Piper’s” musical trapeze act took several twists and turns before settling into into a mid-set rest in “Circus.”  But a brief rest it was as the band dropped into another fantastic “Harry Hood.”  This song has been completely revitalized this summer, and each time its reggae rhythms drop, we know we are in for a soul-searching adventure.  Once again taking the “song-of-tour” candidate on a delicate and triumphant journey, Phish crushed their magnificent classic with another unique path to the mountaintop.

6.16.09 (D.Vann)

6.16.09 (D.Vann)

Following “Squirming Coil,” the band didn’t take a bow, leaving time for one more monster.  After a few moments of silence, the opening of “YEM” sang through the pavilion; the perfect cap on a “Disease-Piper-Hood” set.  By far the most impressive rendition of the summer, the band blew up a vintage set-closing version of the song whose precise grooves and high-energy peaks were just what the doctor ordered.  Providing an all-out dance-fest to close the night, everyone was on a high for the goofy encore that saw Fishman perform his first song of 3.0- Syd Barret’s “Bike.”

Kicking off their four night run with a strong effort in Burgettstown, Phish and their travelling circus now head west to Noblesville and the cornfields of Deer Creek.  Looking to build on the last three weeks, the next three shows potentially represent the most exciting nights of tour.  And if the past is any indication, at Deer Creek and Alpine, anything is possible!

1st set note: Arguably the best versions of “Wolfman’s” and “Tube” since the comeback.

I: Golgi Apparatus, Chalk Dust Torture, Bouncing Around The Room, Wolfman’s Brother, The Divided Sky, Heavy Things, Walk Away, Wilson, Tube, Alaska, David Bowie

II: Down With Disease > Free, Guyute, Piper > When The Circus Comes To Town, Harry Hood, The Squirming Coil, You Enjoy Myself

E: Grind, Hello My Baby, Hold Your Head Up > Bike > Hold Your Head Up, Loving Cup

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209 Responses to “The Starry Night”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:

    has PAge always been singing “shouldn’t have took more than you gave” on the wolfman’s chorus and I never noticed it or is that new?

  2. voopa Says:

    Here’s Ellis’ notes re: last night’s encore:

    After Grind, they started and stopped Hello My Baby,
    during which Trey said Page blew the wrong note. The band huddled away from
    the mic, and then Trey promised, “If we screw up again, Jon is going to sing
    Bike for you.” They started again and messed it up (they were all laughing
    by this point) so then Trey said something like, “Son of a Bitch, we’re
    doing bike.” Trey ran over to the drums and started playing HYHU which
    morphed into Jon picking up the vacuum everyone in the crowd going crazy and
    then Jon saying, “Welcome to the train wreck portion of the show. I hope I
    remember how to sing this song.” Before going into Bike (forgetting a number
    of the lyrics) w/ vacuum solo at the end, then Jon did an intro of the band
    (introducing himself last as Henrietta), then Trey came back out and they
    did Loving Cup.

  3. butter Says:

    @Mr. Completely, nice review, i was there and let me tell you the mike’s was raging…we were just begging for something hard to try and save the show after the 45minute rest/ depression fest. As Mr. Miner said the sound was bouncing off the walls during the whole Mikes, i was in the hallway where the sound was perfect and you could feel it bouncing off the ceiling and slamming down towards the floor. As stated the volume was probably and 11 out of 10 on the floor, so the sound penetrating the hallway was probably a 9. This hallway was special because you could still see the whole stage and there is a granite bar about waist high to lean on or set drinks. add carpet under your feet and all the dance room you could ask for and you have about the sweetest set up ever.

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    Ehhhh…the Bowie composed section wasn’t completely butchered. They did the first and half of the second part right…they just completely forgot the builf/drop before the jam.

  5. Frankie Says:

    @Mr. C
    It’s there in the Hoist version and SSP but it’s seems louder now than before… i noticed it too…

    Outstanding Tube last night with Mike stealing the spotlight (even though the boards are almost Mike-less since beginning of tour… what’s up with that?) and i have to disagree about the Wolfman’s… the best one this tour was in Camden hands down! Whaa!

    Hood>Coil>YEM! Again with the trick of playing a HUGE song after a usual set closer… gotta love it!

    Also, love Mike’s new fuzz tone and the “Ghost” tone Trey was using at the end of last night DWD… Always loved that! Ala:Ghost 8.9.97 & 5.22.00

    Happy Phishing weekend ya’ll!!!

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    the downside of a straight to 2 track fast mixdown is that you really get the straight board feed. My guess is that this means Mike’s onstage rig is loud as hell so he’s turned down in the stacks, resulting in normal volume overall, since peeps aren’t complaining about him being too quiet at the shows, and he sounds OK in most of hte AUDs I’ve heard (except some that I suspect of simply being bass-thin in general)

  7. Mango Man Says:

    Will they ever play MANGO again???!!!!!!?????

  8. Frankie Says:

    Thanks Mr. C, yeah, that’s what i thought too but it’s not the loudness that has changed i thought but the clarity… On the Camden aud i have, Mike’s bass is loud but not as clear as before… you can’t hear the notes as well as say 97…

  9. boyMANGOdshit Says:

    best show of the tour

  10. Doc Says:

    Off topic, but looks like our boys are the newest target for PETA…

  11. nonoyolker Says:

    @doc, wow… I heard PETA got in Obama’s ass this week too for swatting a fly during a press conference. Good to see they are fighting the good fight

  12. Doc Says:

    They’re not really attacking Phish – they just want them to temporarily change the band’s name to Sea Kittens to promote their campaign. Pretty funny shit.

  13. Highway Bill Says:

    …Phish has done more for fish than any other band I know.

  14. worthlesswampyfool Says:

    peta is NOT funny. they’re a domestic terrorist organization.

    these assclowns obviously have fucked up priorities.

  15. dub Says:

    Anyone know of a live stream tonight?

  16. Stupendous Says:

    @ Piece of Tinsel – I agree 100 % with your post earlier….
    @ everyone>>
    My boy is at the creek texted to say that the SOAM was insane…
    def will be checking that…thats the txt ive been waiting for all tour…
    we’ll see…. Listening to last night’s and so far im liking….Tube & wolfmans were hot…oh oh just entered Bowie….u guys have prepared me for the worst
    maybe i wont even notice it now ; ) loving the hell out of this msg board…
    and my girl is grateful too, although she enjoys the music she doesnt keep tracks of sets or rages about it like I do….I need this!!!….I feel like the guys
    from that movie “old School” when theyre thinking of starting the fraternity!

    -Its so good once it hits your lips.. Its so good – frank the tank…

    Oh shit bowie fell apart but not too bad…

  17. Walfredo Says:

    Woohoo! The Connection! They played the connection!!! What a sweet bustout…

  18. nonoyolker Says:

    hey, fluffhead! nice.

  19. CJ Says:

    This is my favorite show of the tour. Hood > Coil > YEM was like a dream. I thought Hood would close, then Coil came on and I was positive it would lose, so to get YEM after that was heavenly (my first YEM too!) Awesome awesome.

    And the encore was a personal love for me. I was there with two buddies, and we used to be crazily obsessed with Pink Floyd, thinking that the early Syd Barret songs were the funniest things ever. Bike was by far our favorite, so for the 3 of us to be there (the first Phish show for both of them) and to get Bike felt like a touch of destiny.

    Download this!

  20. Hunter Says:

    When I hear The Connection, well I scream and I swear, yeah I scream and I swear…

  21. Leo Weaver Says:

    Nice lookin’ set…hmmmmm….

  22. Stupendous Says:

    Got spoiled with the steream…..oh well the wait cant hurt.
    not sure if anybody has pointed out the irony that lies in the statement
    the Verizon Wireless Music Center has bad cell phone reception…
    Hehe =-)

  23. dub Says:

    “when the thunder rolls” after the weather break.

  24. butter Says:

    so is second set drowned>twist so far?

  25. Leo Weaver Says:

    ASIHTOS then Drowned, haven’t seen it since…setlist shaping up very nicely…

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