The First Moment of Tour

5.31.09 Fenway Park (P.Harrington)

5.31.09 Fenway Park (P.Harrington)

Thinking back over the highlights of this tour- and there are many- it all started back in May in that rainy little stadium in Boston.  Excitement overflowed for the first show of the first tour in years.  People milled about around the stadium long before the show began, on what started as a sunny afternoon.  Friends kept arriving, one after another, meeting up for the first time since March- or before- ready for some stadium-sized Phish.

5.31.09 (C.Taylor Crothers)

5.31.09 (C.Taylor Crothers)

After a pre-show rain storm, a disjointed first set came together with a smoking “Disease,” “Destiny,” “Zero” ending.  Phish took the massive outfield stage in the dark, following the first shortened summer setbreak- leaving many scrambling for their seats.  Knowing what would start would be huge, it was a total freak scene when the opening notes of “Tweezer” bellowed from the outfield.  “Fenway Tweezer”- Welcome to Tour!  The slow, open-air playing covered the field like a blanket- it was on;  2009 style!

5.31.09 (C.Taylor Crothers)

5.31.09 (C.Taylor Crothers)

The drop into the jam saw Trey begin the with song’s actual lick, before Page added some wah-effects that immediately loosened things up.  The pace, the size, the stadium- surfing “Tweezer’s” liquid wave- all on a fresh head; it was all too much in the best way possible!!  Transforming into an immediate peak Phish experience, the jam had hardly begun!  Trey took command right away, playing a nasty lead that climbed slowly around Page’s clav patterns.  The pocket was deep as the band welcomed everyone to summer with some dirty and heavy “Tweezer” grooves.  Clicking as a whole, Trey’s lines become more and more creative as Mike’s centerfield bass bombs backed everything like a Green Monster of rubber jelly.  Shredding a mini composed jam before making a shift into another plane, the band entered a territory focused on melody and harmony as much as rhythm, and the results were other-wordly.

5.31.09 (C.Taylor Crothers)

5.31.09 (C.Taylor Crothers)

Trey continued to improvise an incredibly emotive melody that peaked with fifteen seconds of sustained musical bliss while the band crushed stadium-sized grooves behind him.  This was one of those transcendent moments that I’ll savor forever- timeless, spaceless, egoless- this is why we go.  Playing like he freed himself of any mental or metaphorical cages, this was Trey again; this was happiness.  Playing with far more emotion and heart than at Hampton, he continued to annihilate the jam, along with his mates, for some time before the music made a subtle shift, signifying what was to come.  Trey echoed some familiar melodies while Mike and Page played heavily-effected lines, building down into a melodic ambiance that provided a canvas for Trey to paint a psychedelic solo.

5.31.09 (P.Harrington)

5.31.09 (P.Harrington)

Soon Page shifted back from piano to heavy effects, and Fishman subtly altered his beat, riding a cymbal- a transition was coming- what was it?  Was it…”Light!?”  “Really!?”  Emotionally shot through the heart, I had wanted this to happen since I heard Trey play the only other versions of the song.  It was supposed to happen- “Tweezer > Light”-  and it did.  Stunned, ecstatic.

Merging one of their oldest and newest epics, Phish launched into their second debut of the evening out of the deepest part of the show.  And symbolically, the band brought us from the past into the future- all right phishfenway1there in the present.  And when the time to launch came, Trey hit a geyser-like melody that reached for the stars, leading the band forth into a new spiritual playground.  Used as a landing pad for the set opening sequence, the band played only the song’s template- one that would be considerably extended a week later at Bonnaroo.  After a soaring, yet short, jam to end the song, the band began a layered vocal round that added a Phishy twist to its ending.

Fenway was one of those special Phish shows that we will all remember forever.  Strewn with cross-cultural mythology, the show was a spectacle and Phish certainly responded.  But when looking back to Fenway, my mind, heart and soul will always jump back into that “Tweezer” jam ending the first-ever “Light,” defining a most magical night.

***

LISTEN  TO “TWEEZER > LIGHT” NOW!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

6.09.2009 Asheville Civic Center < TORRENT LINK

6.09.2009 Asheville Civic Center < SENDSPACE LINK

Official Asheville Poster

Official Asheville Poster

Perhaps the most intimate show of tour, with a friendly vibe far outweighing any other, Phish treated the “heady” crowd to some treats.  The high point of the show- and one of the entire tour- came in the creative second set “Ghost” which peaked endlessly and bled perfectly into “Fast Enough For You.”  ‘Twas certainly a night to remember.

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

E: Loving Cup

*debut, by Bill Monroe, **debut

Source: Schoeps mk41v(AB) > kc5 > m222 > nt222 + mk21(nos) > kcy > vms5u > 744t + Neumann ak40(xy) > lc3 > km100 > v3 > 722 {C-Link} (24/48) – Tapers: Charles Fox and James Scott

(Note: Sendspace link added for those who can’t torrent!)

Tags: , ,

256 Responses to “The First Moment of Tour”

  1. T. Leo Says:

    Fool, just like Phish, you wouldn’t get unless you go to a show, that is what I suggest you do before just proclaiming that the lips are only about the lights. The flaming lips lights are lo-fi compared to Phish anyway. At the very least, going to a lips show is better than sitting at home on your ass.

  2. BrandonKayda Says:

    I didn’t like the ants…they kind of freaked me out

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    “miner, i dont think you understood my point – i was pointing out that as good as the lights are they really don’t matter because it is all about the music, so bands like radiohead and flaming lips that people have been saying do really good shows because they have cool lights don’t really appeal to me”

    ^ point taken. My “wow” was about the guy who said he wouldnt go as much!

  4. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ^exactly!… now that i think of it, it was a rhetorical question, and i was just as surprised as you by the guy saying he wouldn’t go as much

    i also want to clarify something else; it’s true that live shows don’t have to have improv to be great – for example, the acoustic set of dylan’s “live at the ‘royal albert hall’ concert” is one of my all time favourite recordings by anyone and there’s clearly no improv, it just sounds so raw and real and better than the album recordings of most those songs….

  5. Frondoot Says:

    its definitely about the music being played and how its being played IMHO…atmosphere as well

  6. oneshowatatime Says:

    anyone here use rhapsody?

    i was so excited when they added all the LivePhish albums a couple months back and then like a week or two ago they gutted all the good songs from almost all of those albums and you can only listen to 30-second samples. bummer! all this talk of ’97 made me want to listen to Denver.

Leave a Reply