The Revitalized “Harry Hood”

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

One of Phish’s most revered songs, “Harry Hood’s” emotional quality and ethereal improvisation taps into the very ethos of the band and their grand musical experiment.  A tightly-woven path of exaltation, “Hood” jams, when played with intent, are like none other.  Peaking with a mind-boggling, yet blissful intensity, I consider “Hoods” to be musical metaphors for life itself.  One of the band’s most magical pieces, “Harry Hood” is pure Phish.

But there came a time, around ’98 through ’00, where the band continued playing the song, but with much less passion.  Often noodling their way to generic peaks, the start of “Harry Hood,” instead of giving me instant goosebumps, was almost a letdown, because I knew how great it could be.  Then came post-hiatus.  With more energy and an exploratory spirit, Phish began taking “Hoods” where they’d never gone before- crafting two for the record books in Charlotte and Camden in the Summer of ’03.  But just as the band was getting into things, it was over.

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

Fast Forward to this summer.  Beginning with Jones Beach’s other-worldly experimentation, “Hood” announced itself on the summer scene with a deeply-psychedelic excursion, leaving the entire crowd buzzing long after the show.  Bringing the jam to a new realm of ambient space, Phish made a statement with “Harry Hood,” reawakening its hibernating spirit from the corner of the universe, and back into our lives.

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

When Phish dropped the next “Hood” at Great Woods, those goosebumps were back.  Combining musical urgency and a delicate patience- seemingly a paradox- Phish played perhaps the tightest and most triumphant version of the summer.  Extending the jam with mini musical tangents, this was the type of “Hood,” that when it finally arrives at its peak, finds the entire crowd involuntarily blissed out.  All four members carried on a vibrant musical conversation, each offering creative musical phrases; none dominating at all.  If Jones Beach represented a dark spiritual awakening, this climactic version was a soulful sprint through an open meadow with deepest blue sky and long green grass swirling around you.  “Hood” was officially back- and it had never felt better.

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

As Phish continued to drop frequent “Hoods” throughout June, each and every one was welcomed with rife anticipation of where the ride might take us.  Remaining anchored in the jam’s structure, each brought a brilliant improvisational path, as the band and audience rejoiced in one of their most hallowed pieces.  Knoxville and Bonnaroo’s versions each crafted a gentle journey that was a highlight of their respective sets.  June’s final version came at Star Lake, a soaring and emotive rendition led by Trey’s dynamic playing- again, one of the jams of the night.

“Harry Hood” fell right in line with the band’s June trend of tight, purposeful improvisation that remained, largely, inside the box.  But being a song that never strayed far from its path (other than in ’03) this suited “Harry” just right.  With a renewed intent, Phish crafted spiritual excursions out of “Hood” all tour long, reconnecting with their own souls as well as ours.



6.18.09 Star Lake, Burgettstown, PA < TORRENT

6.18.09 Star Lake, Burgettstown, PA < MEGAUPLOAD

Official Star Lake Poster

Official Star Lake Poster

The first of June’s final four nights, Phish improvised coherently throughout the second set.  Warming them up for Deer Creek and Alpine, this show became far more interesting after setbreak.  The “Disease > Free,” “Piper,” and “Hood” are all highlight explorations, while the “YEM” was, in my opinion, the best of tour.

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

Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S(din)-FOB > Lunatec V2 > Sound Devices 722 (24/48) – Taper: Z-Man



Phish At the Fox – Photo: Brian Kisida

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209 Responses to “The Revitalized “Harry Hood””

  1. Mr.Miner Says:

    “Afterwards my friends and i were like WTF just happened. And that’s the reason you go see Phish.”

    ^^ EXACTLY! This was the feeling in the entire amphitheatre. It was spine tingling energy from the far reaches of the universe

  2. Stupendous Says:

    9-15-00 Piper – one of the most out of control jams with mike & page taking the lead…all the opposite from a trey-busy version…

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    MSG 12.30.95 (The Ultimate)
    Mullins Center Hood 12.5.95

    are two amazing late ’95 versions when Trey rain his guitar through the Leslie creating an amazingly haunting tone…

  4. JerZ Says:

    Piper all depends on the placement- Nassau 98 Piper was one of the most beautiful musical experiences of my life

  5. tela'smuff Says:

    @JerZ – agreed on Gin. Can’t believe it has become so uninteresting. The Gin at Roo was decent, actually none of them were bad, they just didn’t do anything. It used to be a given that when Gin started, you knew a throwdown was at hand. I was lucky enough to see 3 of the greatest Gins played. 12-29-95, 11-07-96, and 2-22-03. I think the new direction has shunned some songs, unfortunatly, Gin was one of them.

    All this Piper talk just leads me to state, once again, that the Piper from Alpine was one of the top 5 jams of the tour.

  6. RobAins Says:

    Anyone having issues with the Live Phish SBDS? Is it me or do they sound like they were mastered way too low. I know they are mixing them quickly in order to get them out by the next AM, but I’m thinking another day spent getting the mix right would justify the $10+ cost. Maybe they aren’t even mixing them and just sending the Master signal straight to tape? At times it sounds like it’s Mike’s monitor mix. I did notice yesterday as I was driving home that cutting the Bass a tiny bit, and boosting the treble (in my car stereo) made it sound a lot better.

    Also, and this may be redundant to some, make sure you listen to all your music with a flat EQ! Unless you’re totally familiar with the recording and/or environment and know you need to boost/cut certain frequencies. Live recordings are an exception. But for any studio album, remember that the band/engineer/producer have already EQ’d the final mix to THEIR liking or, the way they want it to sound. You should at least give it a chance before pinning the high and low ends. Kind of like how fancy restaurants don’t have salt and pepper on the table. If the engineer wanted it to rattle your trunk, he would have mixed it like that. 🙂

  7. halcyon Says:

    Jamtopia has some great analysis regarding the Save The Date festival. There are some historical contexts as clues are revealed and states removed.

    Its pretty cool to see people deciphering this, and amazing that they have so much time on their hands to do so.

  8. Stupendous Says:

    Has anyone revisited the CDust Torture from Picture of Nectars lately???
    WTF, sounds like chopped & screwed Phish
    (ala Houston’s-hydrocodine-fueled-gangsta-rap started by Screwston or DJ Screw hence the name Chopped & Screwed) funny!

  9. spideyguy0 Says:

    Okay, I haven’t posted much in a while, got out of the habit during tour when it would take me about 24 hours to hear a no spoilers show and I wouldn’t go on any Phish sites in the meantime. But, I figure I’ll give this a go.

    Age: 21
    Hometown: Newton, MA
    Currently reside: Newton, MA and College Park, MD depending on time of year.
    Past Residences: Newton for life!
    First show: 3/6/09
    # of shows: 5
    Shows this year: 5 (Hampton x3, Fenway, JB1)
    When I got it? Bomb Factory Tweezer. First Live Phish I ever heard.
    Fests: None
    Halloween’s: None
    Most shows in a year: 5 (2009)
    Most shows in a state: VA (3)
    Shows in 3 states
    Most shows in a venue: Hampton Coliseum (3)
    Favorite outdoor venues: Never seen Phish there but Great Woods is pretty sweet.
    Favorite indoor: Hampton?
    Most underrated shows attended (A.K.A -are worthy of an archival livephish release) 3/8? I think this show was better than most people say. That DWD is still my favorite since they came back.
    Biggest Phish regrets: First started listening in early summer 04 and not going to the Great Woods shows in August and having to wait another 5 years to see my first show.
    Least favorite Phish tunes: Meat/Fikus/Shafty
    Holy Grail Phish tunes (for me): Hood, Slave, Velvet, Reba, and yes, I have to say it, Farmhouse.

  10. RobAins Says:

    What are you talking about? The vocals? Forget what it’s called specifically, but it’s essentially pitch shifting. They made it sound like a slowed down recording of Trey’s voice while keeping it in time with the music. (Record vocal at full speed, apply the effect, voila – “chopped and screwed phish”!) Unless you’re talking about something else….I love that recording!

  11. KWL Says:

    My Hood standard is still 10.7.95…

    best witnessed in person, though, would be JB1 hands down

  12. Stupendous Says:

    Yeah talking about the vocals….havnt really listened to that studio version
    in ages…..prob since i first got the disc …although i often revisit eliza in that album….anyway….the other day forgot my headphones at home and was rocking out the pandora at work on my cpu spkrs and it came up…had a laugh!
    I guess its just screwed not chopped!

  13. Los Says:

    Ive been enjoyin this page for quite some time. Usually just lurk…enjoy the dialogue

    Age: 32
    Occupation: Therapist, private practice
    Hometown: Philly
    Currently reside: Harrisburg, PA
    Past Residences: Philly born and raised, on the playground is were I spent most of my days!
    First show: 12/1/95 Hershey
    # of shows: 94
    Shows this year: So far 8 (Hampton x3, JB2>Camden, Star Lake)
    When I got it? 12/1/95 Second Set
    Fests: Went, Lemonwheel, Oswego, Cypress
    Halloween’s: None
    Most shows in a year: 15 (1997 and 1998)
    Most shows in a state: Pa (17+)
    Shows in 15 states
    Shows in 2 Countries: USA and Spain
    Most shows in a venue: Spectrum, all of em
    Favorite outdoor venues: Merriweather
    Favorite indoor: Spectrum, Go Flyers!
    Intro to Phish: Bro handed me Lawn Boy and was like yo…if you like the dead check this out…Antelope did it
    Biggest Phish regrets: Missing IT for a soccer game…I was like, these guys will never stop touring again…
    Favorite shows: Everything in ’97, Cypress…too many good shows
    Least favorite show: Camden ’04
    Least favorite Phish tunes: Two versions of me,
    Holy Grail Phish tunes (for me): I want another Light up or leave me alone..lucky to get everything else

  14. Stupendous Says:

    Time Streching

  15. Wax Banks Says:

    Listening to today’s headlining jam.

    Wonderfully patient opening from Trey on the JB Hood; when Page moves over to the piano from the electronics after the 7:00 mark the whole band moves in concert into a new space, and at 8:00 (a few minutes into the jam) Trey is still playing with impressive restraint and delicacy. The washing arpeggios after 8:30 are stunning. Mike at 9:00 is doing very simple, pretty upper-register two-note chords, gorgeous. And at 9:30 we step deeper into ambient sounds – Mike rolling one note, Page with those new obtrusive space-electronics sounds, Trey sitting way back.

    This jam is all Page. That’s the odd thing about it. He’s often at his best on Hood, but he’s running things on the JB version with those synths.

    By 11:00 the drumbeat is all but gone and Fishman’s doing atmospheric cymbal strikes and tom-tom rolls – that hi-hat quiet in the background. Everyone’s fully committed to a thick ambient sound. Mike decides to bring back the chords at 12:00 atop Fishman’s more insistent drumming and we’re off again. Page’s piano returns at 12:30 – damn, he’s perfect in this jam. I gotta say, Trey builds this one so slowly even after the rhythmic reassertion.

    And then.

    Well, Trey developed a new style during the hiatus, heavy on bent notes, voicelike clusters and bleats, washes of sound, more of a blues feel to his playing (as opposed to just echoing a blues language).

    Add to that Trey’s bold decision to dip into an entirely new mode in spite of the rest of the band not being there (until Page echoes him at 15:24, go Page!), and you’ve got a pretty divisive ending to the jam. Nearly no vocals at the end – Trey’s decision to end the jam seems to have taken the whole band by surprise. (Page is obviously signaling a ‘Loving Cup’ segue as soon as that final chords drops, by the way – Page’s balls dropped during this Hood, no question.)

    The end of this jam is a mess – which is unfortunate, because what makes it messy seems to be Trey’s conscientious, emotional, intense playing, which is inexplicably out of sync with the rest of the band over the last couple minutes.

    I still think gushing over the cosmic whatchamacallits of this jam isn’t quite merited – honestly I just hate that shit, what can you do – but before the slow trainwreck ending the jam is reminiscent of the best parts of the Tower Jam and IT ’46 Days,’ with more body and complex order than the Lemonwheel late-night set. My gold-standard post-Lemonwheel set, 6/14/00 II, is also pleasantly recalled here.

    All in all a beautiful version of Hood, which feels almost incomplete in a way – like a full minute of the jam was cut for space and the whole thing just petered out for lack of a final destination. Gotta love the boys for following their muse into deep space there. (Though let’s not kid ourselves – we know Phish can do pretty major-key ambient textures in their sleep. Heck, precious little nerds like Stars of the Lid can keep that shit up for an hour. ‘Favourite’ and ‘great’ are not the same here.) Between the closing messiness and the weirdly tense ‘Loving Cup’ – with Fishman swinging his eighth notes differently from the rest of the band for some reason, and the whole thing congealing only part of the time – you can’t give this JB show full marks.

    But kudos to these fuckers for trying!!

  16. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    One Hood that doesn’t seem to get a lot of props that I love is 12-31-98. The intro was just sick, the glow stick war was epic. I swear that during the deep and evil intro I was looking into the gaping maw of hell. A friend of mine actually had a full on freak out during that part. He took off and we found him after the show, having lost his wallet and gained a sweater. Absolutely a fantastic Hood.

  17. HarryHood Says:

    Speaking of the A Picture of Nectar disc, I’ve got a copy signed by Norris Nectar himself. Not sure how many he has signed over the years, but I’ve always found it to be one of my more unique collectibles.

  18. kb Says:

    to stay on topic, hood is what defines phish IMO. ALO hodo is also what got me into phish. i was somewhat underwhelmed at SL until they nailed hood. JB version is def in my top 5 ever. ALO is still the best because of the space created right when the jam starts with Fish using that ride cymbal while the rest of the band really lays back.

    mr minor – thx for posting about hood. its my fav song ever and it deserves attention!


  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    I still think Trey simply went out of tune in the buildup to the peak of this Hood. There’s a point where he hits a note that’s a total clam and I think instead of either being a weird choice or mistake it’s the right note to signal the build but it’s out of tune. He hits it again and realizes there’s nothing to be done but bail on the ending.

    Cosmic whatchamacallits are subjective but real to those that experience the moment, and can be recalled by the recordings. They are neither subject to subsequent objective dissection nor open to confirmation, so we’re just left with anecdotal reports from those in attendance. However IMO this aspect is approximately on bazillion times more significant than the bare notes of the music itself. So while it’s not really something that can be debated intellectually, it’s still a valid part of any nontechnical subjective reporting on the show experience.

  20. HarryHood Says:

    Wow….. screwed up the name. Nectar Rorris I meant. Wow, bad case of the dyslexia this mornin. Need more coffee……. or less.

  21. Matso Says:

    Age: 31
    Occupation: Lawyer
    Hometown: Montreal
    Currently reside: London, UK
    Past Residences: Switzerland; Boston, MA; Montreal; Toronto
    First show: 4/5/94 Montreal
    # of shows: 49
    Shows this year: Zilch
    When I got it? 4/5/94, opening chords to Jim, then again at a deeper level 7/2/95 Jim->Maki
    Fests: Cliffy, Went, Lemonwheel, Oswego, Big Cypress, IT, Coventry
    Halloween’s: 1994
    Most shows in a year: 11 in 98 (I think)
    Most shows in a state: NY
    Shows in ? states
    Shows in 3 Countries: USA, Canada and Holland
    Most shows in a venue: Loring Airforce Base
    Favorite outdoor venues: Great Woods
    Favorite indoor: Olympic Arena, Lake Placid
    Intro to Phish: Best friend’s (hot) older sister who was at university in 1992
    Biggest Phish regrets: Missing the Island Tour because I was writing exams
    Favorite shows: Fall 95 (Albany, Lake Placid), Clifford Ball, Amsterdam 97, Great Went
    Least favorite show: Coventry
    Least favorite Phish tunes: Character Zero
    Holy Grail Phish tunes (for me): C&P, but pretty much anything in a 4 song second set

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    “However IMO this aspect is approximately on bazillion times more significant than the bare notes of the music itself. So while it’s not really something that can be debated intellectually, it’s still a valid part of any nontechnical subjective reporting on the show experience.”

    ^^ exactly, Mr. C

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    About a month ago I heard Nectar’s might be for sale. Not sure if that was a rumor or if there is any truth to it.

  24. Stupendous Says:

    I love to see how hood morphes from version to version…it seems like back in 1.0
    the boys treated it as a composition in which the themes took on different lives everytime played
    @kb: ALO’s Hood is what also got me into the boys, I was listening to a lot of reggae at the time and looking for reggae-infused rock e.g. the police, the samples etc… then one day in a record store that allowed previews of albums before purchase i came accross ALO and remember seeing it as part of my buddy’s older brother’s cd collection, respecting his tastes very much i decided to preview ALO before purchase… remember skiping a lot of tracks until Hood caught my ear…. ended up picking it up although just that song spoke directly to me, but somehow knew there was something special in those discs for me to get into and discover later.
    Fav Hood: 11-22-97

  25. ColonelJoy Says:

    First off, I’m not really a Hood guy. Most are fairly predictable, though, as Miner pointed out, it seems to have taken on new life in 3.0

    Just because I’m not a Hood guy doesn’t mean I go to the pisser during it, and I have been surprised by the beauty of it, and uncharacteristic nature of certain versions in person.

    The best case I can point out, and a version that, if I recall, is similar to JB, would be the Hood from 7-8-03 in Chula Vista. I haven’t heard it in years, and I don’t currently have it, but when I was there I seem to remember that it went ambient on us.

    So, Homework: Listen to 7-8-03 Hood

    Does my memory serve me?

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