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. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    one of my favourite hoods is 1989-08-26, you guys don’t give enough love to really early phish

  2. guyforget Says:

    my and my girl have made an agreement in regards to the Festival. All i have to do is go to Bikram (hot) Yoga with her once a week until Halloween and she will come to the festival with me and the boys. Rent and RV and head there from AZ. This Indio thing better pan out!! If i don’t die from yoga…

  3. Prince Nabby Says:

    “The first none-flubbed version (”thank you mr. minor” part) was at Bonnaroo.”

    Actually, I think Trey nailed this part in Knoxville, although I am going on memory rather than the recording. It’s sort of a litmus test for me of whether or not Trey is truly on, so I was especially gratified to hear him nail, or come very close to nailing, it in Knoxville and again at Star Lake.

    What fantastic discussion this board elicits! I don’t think I have ever enjoyed more stimulating on-line conversations. Thank you, one and all, and, of course, thank you Mister Miner for being the occasion of such compelling exchanges!

  4. Pence Says:

    For some reason I cant stand listening to that 11-19-1996 Hood. I dont know what it is. Im sure it wouldve been sick being there, but its just annoying to me.

  5. SOAM Says:

    Forget-bring a large fatooskie and a sickass ghettoblaster to yoga-then crank scent of a mule.

  6. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    the chord progression in the jam section of hood is the same as neil young’s helpless btw (D,A,G)

  7. Mr.Miner Says:

    “I realized I am an experientialist phish phan ”

    ^ yes! Anyone who knows anything knows that Phish is an EXPERIENCE

  8. Pence Says:

    Tiger Woods makes $99 million per yr. I wonder how much Trey makes in endorsments per year.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    “Don’t leave out the 11/16/96 Hood from Omaha”

    ^^ epic

  10. guyforget Says:

    That’s a good idea SOAM. what the hell happened to your boys last night, my god.

    I will probably lose the 25 lbs of beer belly i’m carrying and be in sick shape for the festi for the mad dash to the stage each day.

    you gonna make it?

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    “One of the most interesting Hoods I remember seeing was 8/10/97 in Deer Creek”

    ^ amazing version with the jam played in a minor key…..completely different

  12. SOAM Says:

    I thought the gorge was a can’t miss but The Date is the one for me.


    Haven;t the festivals been 2 day affairs-I have been to all except Big C but can’t remember anything except pebbles and marbles and 46 days from IT

  13. guyforget Says:

    ^^ yes, do the festi if you can’t do both. it will be beautiful and perfect weather that is always a dice roll in the NE..

  14. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    @ guyforget – What part of AZ? I live in the Valley.

    Wife and I are kickin the same plan potentially, regarding the festival.

  15. larrybirdflu Says:

    col mentioned the boise 99 bag earlier, imo this show is long overdue for an archival release. truly underrated. but back to the hoods, i think GW had the best hood of tour. for some reason the boys always drop some very good hoods at GW

    @fishmans frock from yesterdays bio thread. where on the northshore are you located? im in beverly.

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    off topic – does anyone know if the pro-shot clip of the IT Tower jam from the DVD is online anywhere? YT just has (relatively) crappy ones where you can’t really see what’s up. I was telling someone about it at lunch and they want to see it, but I don’t want to send vids that don’t make an impact


  17. SOAM Says:


  18. Wax Banks Says:

    @Mr C –

    @sumodie – FWIW I absolutely forbid myself from committing the sin of analysis *during* the show. That’s for later, after the moment ends.

    Indeed, a big part of the point of going is to be as narrowly in the moment as possible.

    This is canonical alternate-consciousness stuff, but I disagree. I think the point of going to these shows, indeed of doing any mind-altering activity, is to be as complexly in the moment as possible: not only experiencing unmediated limbic interaction with others – unanalyzed emotions, ‘true love’ if such a thing is possible – but also continuous awareness of the constituent parts of things, the order(s) of assembly. It’s not terribly complex to be ‘narrowly in the moment,’ and the same goes for purely rational analysis (which is its own type of emotion-stripping activity); I think the perfect mental state is to have full access to both the wild emotional resonances for which our limbic brain is built and the reasoning apparatus of our neocortex.

    Which is to say an expansive definition of ‘the moment’ absolutely would not preclude what’s narrowly defined as ‘analytical’ experience or judgment. I don’t think attaining this total awareness is a primarily analytical exercise – though I wouldn’t know how to set that balance. Maybe that form of metacognition isn’t actually possible and ‘perfect thinking’ can only be an accident; I find this a depressing thought but there are worse ones to be thought of course.

    Hey Mr C, have you read Zen and the Brain? It’s way over on the science-nerd side of Zen literature, heavy into neuroanatomy and cognitive science and the like, but for a guy like me that shit is like sweet sweet candy. (That and A General Theory of Love, which is really important to me at the moment.)

  19. Old Willy Shakes Says:

    Also off topic but need some info on Red Rocks. I’m seriously contemplating going and just biting the bullet and getting a 4 day pass. Never been and I don’t want to miss a chance to see them there. Is there any big difference between GA and Reserved seating. The RR site says
    GENERAL ADMISSION: ROWS 2-24 & 56-69
    This is confusing me. Can you sit anywhere in those rows with a GA tx?
    Also what’s the deal with camping, do you have to reserve spots or are there plenty of close places?? Lets help get this guy there!!

  20. whole tour! Says:

    just to give a perspective just how huge the knoxville show was:

    this video is bad ass…

  21. Wax Banks Says:

    Sort of off topic, yesterday I was reflecting back on all the amazing song analysis here and I realized I am an experientialist phish phan – it doesn’t seem to be in my nature to compare song versions and analyze the band’s playing (a quality I admire, btw).

    I realize that I tend to come off as the opposite when I insist on the value of analysis and disciplinary knowledge and precise abstraction and so forth. What can I say, I’m a tech-school kid and know enough music theory to be a great danger to myself.

    But it takes a special kind of self-involved asshole to actually go to an improvisatory rock concert and quite consciously induce a bad time in himself in the name of ‘criticism’ – that’s got nothing whatsoever to do with the music, which of course is a temporal and situational thing and of course is all about happiness in the moment.

    What motivates people to stand around at a show pissing on other people’s pleasure varies, I guess – it could be anhedonia, or resentment at their own preoccupations, or shame at not feeling like part of the group, or growing anxiety about not having found a ‘way in’ to what seems to be (and in my mind is) group consciousness of the moment. The people who choose to do it are acting like large-type assholes and there’s nothing to be done.

    I don’t think anyone in these fora behaves that way at shows though.

    ‘When the Tao is lost, men begin to speak of good and evil’ – i.e. when the moment passes, what’s left is categories, personal preoccupations, shame that manifests as maintaining-order. The first thing Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit was…cover themselves. That’s what made God sad, you might say – not the apple but the shame. They’d made Him into something other than part of their community, so He had to let the poor bastards go. Y’know? It’s the shame that leads to the various sins that follow.

    Which is to come around to self-involved assholes and why we should pity them – they don’t know how to get out from behind themselves.

    Anyhow, comparing versions etc. has its place – it’s one more way to understand the moment. That understanding is incomplete without emotional knowledge, direct experience – but equally incomplete without being able to see the logic of things. The sum of those understandings is wisdom, I think.

    i.e. Don’t keep yourself from joining in such low-academic twattery as this, if you desire to. But know that your pursuit of wisdom is no more or less provisional, personal, and incomplete for involving fewer five-dollar fucking vocabulary words!!

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^^ are you trying to show off your vocab now? 🙂

  23. Mr.Miner Says:

    people dont have a good time at a show because they are an unhappy person- it has NOTHING to do with the music. let’s be serious.

  24. msbjivein Says:

    Man I thought I was a Phucking nerd!!! After reading thru Wax’s post about three times I think I finally understand most of it. That’s some intense shit.

  25. Wax Banks Says:

    OK, that 6/22/00 ‘Hood’ just brought me to tears. Thanks for that.

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