Moments In A Box: The Northeast

6.4.09 Jones Beach (D.Vann)

6.4.09 Jones Beach (D.Vann)

There are so many moments frozen in time that occur over the course of a Phish tour.  One of the beauties of shows is that these moments can be completely different for each of us.  But there is a peculiar duality to the Phish experience- while being one of the most personal experiences on earth, shows are the sites of the most collective energy I’ve ever felt.  Firmly rooted in the personal, some moments are so grand and transcendent, that they become collective moments of catharsis.  These are those times when everyone is overtaken and living the moment- a different type of energy takes over the room.  This week we are going to revisit some of these moments from the first half of summer tour, region by region.  Today let’s start with the Northeast.


“2001 > Slave” Jones Beach, 6.5 II

Playing amidst a steady rainstorm, the inclement weather sparked a fire in Phish as everything clicked in their most adventurous set up to this point in tour.  As the band’s debut of “Twenty Years Later” carried out into a sustained note, Fishman’s snare hit, and the band spun into a late-set, torrential “2001.”  Unveiling their space-funk for the first time of the summer, the band took us on a rain-soaked excursion in groove.  The swirling drops against Kuroda’s vibrant backdrop enhanced what was an already supremely adrenalizing moment.  Entering some colorful and thick rhythms, Phish loosened up their playing as the crowd fed off the musical crack.

6.5.09 Jones Beach) (D.Vann

6.5.09 Jones Beach) (D.Vann

But when the song peaked, it was a mystery what the band would drop.  Having played so many of their big songs through the first couple nights at Jones Beach, I had no idea.  Out of left field came the perfect choice- “Slave.”  Just the thought of a “2001 > Slave” combo makes your spine tingle.  And amidst a clearing storm, Phish climaxed their first spectacular set of summer with this triumphant version.  Climbing slowly between the raindrops and beyond the clouds, we set sail on a sea of sonic bliss.  Hitting the top with a purpose, the band sat in an extended peak that sent everyone home smiling.  After this awing version capped a show that saw the band begin to coalesce, the drive to Great Woods seemed like a breeze.

Listen to 6.5’s “2001 > SLAVE” NOW!



“Fluffhead” Great Woods, 6.6 II

6.6.09 Great Woods (D.Vann)

6.6.09 Great Woods (D.Vann)

Following a searing set-opener of “Seven Below”- a musical highlight in its own right- Trey strummed the opening to “Fluffhead.”  Taking everyone by surprise, Phish centered the sought after suite in the second set spotlight.  Following some notably tight improv in “Seven Below,” the band was clearly feeling it, making the call for one of their most technical pieces.  Having notoriously avoided “Fluffhead” in the post-hiatus years, the band announced their new intentions by opening Hampton’s reunion with it, but this was the first time the band was playing the song in any sort of normal context; without battling butterflies.

As the “Fluffhead” started, the crowd erupted, upping the already intense audience ambiance.  As the band moved through the composition, they were not only nailing it precisely, but the music was popping with energy.  As a younger fan, I used to chase “the perfect Fluffhead,” and leaving this show, I thought to myself, “I have found it.”  Attacking the composition with enthusiasm, the band annihilated the song unlike they had done in a long, long time.  When they got to “The Arrival,” the roof of the pavilion was proverbially blown off, as Trey’s sky-scraping solo led the celebration; one of those moments when your ego is sucked into the glowing pool of collective consciousness.




“Tweezer” Camden, 6.7 II

“Character Zero” closes sets; “Tweezer” doesn’t.  Thus, when the band dropped the “Tweezer” melody at the end of Camden’s second set, a common first thought was, “Reprise?!”  Phish had dropped a stand-alone “Reprise” from time to time as an exclamation point to a show, but only once before in their career had the band ever played a “Tweezer” to close a second set, justifying everyone’s disorientation.   And this wasn’t your average set or show- this was Phish’s first true throwdown since coming back together.  Bookending the second frame with a twenty-two minute “Sand,” this “Tweezer” loomed large as the jam opened its jaws.

6.7.09 Camden (D.Vann)

6.7.09 Camden (D.Vann)

Jumping off one of their favorite launchpads, Phish splashed into some slow syncopated patterns, as that feeling of burning passion overtook your entire being; a spiritual surge of excitement that you can find nowhere else on earth.  As Mike pounded away heavy lines, Page hopped to the clav and Trey began playing a sinister, secret agent commando lick, that snarled off the stage.  Loving its sound as much as the crowd, he immediately looped the phrase, layering a majority of his solo- and the jam- over the recurring and addictive riff.  After finally dropping his commando loop, the band brought the jam, the show, and the audience to a colossal peak, crushing any traces of the tentative playing that characterized some the earlier shows of tour.

Dropping one of the tour’s defining jams at a particularly dramatic moment, Phish created an indelible memory for all in attendance, and a musical highlight for those who weren’t.  As we followed the lines going south to Asheville, everything was looking up in the world of Phish; and this “Tweezer” would remain in the upper echelon of June’s finest points.





6.6.09 Great Woods, Mansfield, MA < TORRENT

6.6.09 Great Woods, Mansfield, MA < SENDSPACE

Official Great Woods Poster

Official Great Woods Poster

A well played show from start to finish, with the second set bringing the heat.  “Seven Below,” “Fluffhead,” “Hood,” and “Possum” are all standout versions.

I: Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan, Nothing, Back on the Train, Golgi Apparatus, Sparkle, Gotta Jibboo, Lawn Boy, Let Me Lie*, Taste, Makisupa Policeman, Prince Caspian

II: Seven Below, Fluffhead, Scent of a Mule, Heavy Things, Harry Hood, Possum, Bug

E: Contact, Julius


Source: Schoeps mk41

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230 Responses to “Moments In A Box: The Northeast”

  1. msbjivein Says:

    Ted Denson’s Barber LOL!

  2. ColonelJoy Says:

    Vannah-Cyclops is moving slow across the states today…

  3. NRM Says:

    You are dead on re: the GW Fluffhead! Not only was it good and the placement fantastic, but I had SO wanted to hear Fluff (was my last one really Merriweather Post in September 2000?). My buddy was telling me no way after its appearance earlier in the tour, but i believed and they delivered! :o)

  4. Frankie Says:

    @phatty mcgee
    Oh i’m sorry, i thought you were replying to Jay, not Jerz. My bad. Sorry about the confusion… monday morning… 🙁

    The JB SOAM is much more controversial… 🙂

  5. Toddie2x Says:

    Kid! DL of the day, What about that little trip to Tomahawk County in the middle of it all?? Ball mule! Thanks Miner! Remember everyone, don’t be scared to hide in plain sight!!

  6. Pence Says:

    You would think about how epic that Fluffhead was at hampton they would definelty replay it, the real question is if they are going to replay Destiny?

    sorry if the structure of that sentence isnt readable, this past weekend kicked my ass.

    wow miner, tweezer over Sand? not to say it wasnt the sickness though. and did you really honestly think they would pepper in a tweeprise without the Tweez. Can anyone find out the last time that was done?

  7. butter Says:

    ^^ “Trey began playing a sinister, secret agent commando lick, that snarled off the stage.”

    I was tryin’ to figure out a name for that sound, thanks Miner!

  8. Toddie2x Says:

    “Can anyone find out the last time that was done?” Dont know exact date, but in terms of it being a “bustout” if that is what happened not long ago at all for Phish standards. I have seen 2 more reprises than tweezers so, whatever that means. Loved the northeast review miner! remember all those moments vividly. brought a smile to my face remembering the rain against Kurodas lighting that night. Booya!! 🙂

  9. Frankie Says:

    4.3.98 for a Tweezer-less Tweeprise encore.

    10.21.95 Tweezer Reprise opener sandwiched the first set. Classic!

  10. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^^ Toddie!

  11. Frankie Says:

    There must be some other times after that that i’m not aware of…

  12. A_Glide Says:

    On a little side note…

    I saw a band called Hack N’Wheeze play this weekend that I haven’t seen in a long time and they played a CTB -> IKY Rider -> CTB that was pretty f’n sick, as well as they nailed a Bowie, and it was just an awesome night (all covers, it’s a side project for some very talented musicians) If you’re ever in Chicago on a Thursday night treat yourself to some Hack, they play @ Tonic Room.

  13. whole tour! Says:

    great post as usual, miner! With each passing day, the legend of phishthoughts grows larger, along with the band. 18 frames into 2009 a full on phish frenzy has been reignited across the country.

    What’s the best phish show i ever saw? What ever one is happening in the moment! Whenever your at a show in person, it is the best show ever (at least until the next one) 😉

    I’m kinda bummed to see the atlanta dates disappear from the list of rumored fall shows 🙁 Atlanta is due for a serious throwdown. I’d be surprised if they skip over hot lanta in the fall. Wil they play at lakewood, the new ampitheater north of the city, or the phillips?

  14. whole tour! Says:

    the fab fox in atlanta??? it could happen.

  15. Jay Says:

    The Next Show Is The Best Show! Going to get a t-shirt made with that 🙂

  16. Jay Says:

    in big bold letters to complement my “Life Is Short. Trip Hard” t-shirt.

  17. whole tour! Says:

    if you ain’t dying, you AIN’T living!

  18. whole tour! Says:

    no matter where you go, there you are!

  19. Jay Says:

    The LSTH shirt has some serious mojo. When I wear it, magic happens. Wore it at DC. Can only wear it once per run. Needto decide which RR show to wear it at.

  20. whole tour! Says:

    third night is usually the best!

  21. whole tour! Says:

    first night is the ice breaker.
    Second night will be flowing.
    Third nights are always EPIC.
    4th night…still flowing, but wrapping things up.

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    The LSTH shirt

    ^^ what does this mean?

  23. Jay Says:

    it will be if I wear it then LOL!

  24. Jay Says:

    LSTH – Life is Short Trip Hard

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Jay, I’d say Saturday night:
    –Thursday will be the “let’s get reacquainted with the venue/crowd” show
    –Friday will be fun and playful with them teasing us a lot
    –Sunday will be the “okay, we’re ready to head to Shoreline” show
    That sets up Saturday nicely.

    Plus, I have sweet reserved seats for Saturday, so any extra mojo helping the cause is fine by me…

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