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. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    whoa, wholetour!, that was a little weird how closely our responses matched…

  2. Jay Says:

    Sounds good. Saturday it is then. Gotta keep the t-shirt gods happy.

    I Though shalt not wear any shirt other than a lot shirt
    II though shat not wear the same shirt more than once during a run.

  3. Jay Says:

    III Though shall not steal lot t-shirts
    IV Though shall not covet thy neighbors wife’s t-shirt

  4. whole tour! Says:

    hell yeah type III! one brainstem separated by thousands of miles!

    Looks like you’ve done a few 4 night stands yourself 😉 Once you hit up a four night stand there is no going back! 4 nights in the same venue is always like a long surreal dream. One show blends into the next. Each show is like a frame on a film strip that creates a bigger picture.

    I’m jealous of everyone lucky enough to be going to red rocks. Miami 2003 was the last 4 night stand i got to attend and it was incredible. It’s like a huge sandwich. You know the first and last nights are like the bread and the middle two nights are the meat! The second two days are where the flood gates are fully opened. Not saying that the first and last days will be lacking in anyway. I have a feeling it will be right out of the gate to the final note on night four a steady rager!

  5. whole tour! Says:

    Isn’t there an unspoken rule about not wearing a shirt of the band you are going to see? i admit, i’ve broken the rule a few times. I did, however, manage to uphold the rule this summer. lol

  6. Jay Says:

    I love phish samiches! I like mine toasted on both sides and spread with some serious JAM!

  7. Jay Says:

    V Thiugh shall not wear a t-shirt with the “name” of the band spelled out on the front or the back.

  8. Frondoot Says:

    camden tweezer is def my tour moment so far. hoping for a nice hood in ct or spac as a nice second leg moment…fingers crossed

    so whats are the rumors of fall tour? i must`ve missed them.

  9. whole tour! Says:

    rumors of a huge tour this fall
    possibly hampton again
    maybe MSG, spectrum
    hopefully atlanta

  10. snigglebeach Says:


    “Miami 2003 was the last 4 night stand i got to attend and it was incredible.”

    wasn’t Miami 03 the last time there was a 4 night stand???

  11. whole tour! Says:

    i believe it was!

  12. Jay Says:

    Rumour says Austin but damn, that is a longshot. Austin Music Hall is pretty small as well. Would love some home town love.

  13. Jay Says:

    @Frondoot – Alpine Piper is my tour moment for sure.

  14. Jay Says:

    like getting shot by musical arrows. Sick sick sick.

  15. whole tour! Says:

    i’ve had time to fully digest the Numberline > Ghost > FEFY from asheville. Been digging the hell out of it. Definately up there for me.

    While i wasn’t at Deer Creek, the “Drowned” jam really stands out ot me.
    It got to that crazy good place that the jones beach “drowned” jam just barely touched on and extended it. When i heard the jones beach drowned jam, i was like they need to let this ride out because it sounds so f-ing cool, then they just stopped the jam abruptly. The deer creek “drowned” got back to that sick nasty dirty dirty dirty and they let it ride out. peak moment for sure.

  16. lot rat Says:

    “a great 3.0 example would be the Destiny Unbound bust out at Fenway.”

    The song was barely audible in the stands due to wind/shitty sound. but, it still seemed like most didnt know the song.

    when wil they announce halloween? they keep going this way it will prob be around leg II.

    toke and tour….mondays suck

  17. SJC Says:

    “You know the first and last nights are like the bread and the middle two nights are the meat!”

    Alright, WAAAAAAY off subject but the word meat struck a chord in my subconscious. Can someone fill me in on the last 2 lines of the phrase fish sings…

    Just felt like my heart stopped beatin
    Just thought that you heard me laughin
    ——fill in blank——-
    ——fill in blank——-

    Anyone? It’s going to drive me crazy the rest of the day.

    Meat RR opener. Bet on it!!

  18. Jay Says:

    there were these cats in front of me at Fenway and that whole show was confusing to them.

  19. whole tour! Says:

    there was this woman in knoxville that freaked out when she saw me hurl a glow ring into the air. She couldn’t believe wht she had just seen. I think it was the first time she had ever seen anyone hurl a glowstick in her entire life.

  20. whole tour! Says:

    then these other cats on the floor in knoxville get the epic fail award for not even attempting to keep going what could have been an epic glowstick war. I mean at one point someone like dumped a whole box of glowsticks on the floor and people were just oblivious.

  21. lot rat Says:

    never miss a sunday show. its church. all the posers are home buckled after fri/sat.

    dog log

  22. snigglebeach Says:

    I agree about sunday shows, the easier the ticket is to get, the better the shows will be.

    That said i am trying to figure out how to get to Darien Lake on a thursday.

  23. Jay Says:

    @SJC – according to the live only lyrics are:

    (Distorted Fish voice, Fish also sings this part live)

    It just felt like your heart stopped beating,
    You just thought that you heard me laughing
    I don’t????????
    Then why’d you put the pillow on it?

  24. T. Leo Says:

    These rumored fall dates were posted by Lot Rat on the previous thread. These are different from the other rumored dates because they don’t include Atlanta and a little more logistically plausible. This is total speculation, but couldn’t they hit Atlanta on a New Years Run? This would tie in to some other rumors I’ve seen of Miami for NYE.

    10/26 Cricket Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ
    10/27 Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
    10/28 The Tonight Show, Universal Studios, Universal city, CA
    10/30 Save The Date – Indio, CA
    10/31 Save The Date – Indio, CA
    11/1 Save The Date – Indio, CA
    11/2 Paramount Theater, Oakland, CA
    11/4 Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
    11/6 Redbird Arena, Normal, IL
    11/7 Quicken Arena, Cleveland, OH
    11/8 Peterson Events Center, Pittsburgh, PA
    11/11 Hampton Coliseum – Hampton, VA
    11/12 Hampton Coliseum – Hampton, VA
    11/13 Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
    11/14 Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA
    11/16 Times Union Center Albany, NY
    11/17 TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, MA
    11/18 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
    11/19 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

  25. msbjivein Says:

    No CCincy show on that list???????????
    No way they’ll skip Cincy. IMO

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