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. larrybirdflu Says:

    lol @ soam “Cinci is not Egypt 78”

  2. Cactus Says:

    Just listened to the first night Bonnaroo. I have to say that DWD was really good. Much better for me second time around on tape than live. Definitely a highlight so far as I relisten. I mean, it was 17 minutes long so there’s a lot of time to get something going there.

  3. msbjivein Says:

    I love the Shuffle. It’s like a none stop Phish show!!

  4. SJC Says:

    I’m hot like an oven… I need your lovin.

  5. Cactus Says:

    @ Completely

    The JGB versions of Prudence are great. I love all the pop songs Jerry would tackle. I mean, no one else could pull that shit off.

  6. Jay Says:

    @Cactus – amen. Songs like “Way You Do the Things You Do” rocked. Also, songs like Bread Box, Lay Down Sally, Get Out of My Life , and all the Dylan songs were so much fun to hear.

  7. msbjivein Says:

    Imagine Jerry playing a slow tempo Sexual Healing…………….

  8. msbjivein Says:

    That’s very hard to imagine for me.

  9. msbjivein Says:

    Now I can imagine Bobby singing Sexual Healing…..LOL!!!!

  10. msbjivein Says:

    Jerry playing Elvis tunes is my favorite…………

  11. larrybirdflu Says:

    anyone pick up the JGB show after midnight that they released a few years ago? amazing show, with an excellent after midnight->eleanor rigby->after midnight that takes up the entire second disc.

  12. msbjivein Says:

    “Train Train Rolling Down Down the Track, Took my baby, lord you know it ain’t coming back”

  13. msbjivein Says:

    Jerry & Johnny Cash had the best Locomotive Grooves. No one can touch their trains.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I had an audience copy of that show which had one of my favorite crowd comments caught on tape. right after the after midnight>eleanor rigby>after midnight jam this guy can be heard plain as day saying “that was all right, man!”. I expect to hear it every time I listen to the remastered copy but it isn’t there!

  15. Frankenstein Says:

    @ jay and msbjivein…are you guys in the northwest? I’m in Seattle…

    @ Miner…thanks for the love on the “listen nows”…any way to coerce you into posting the second set of Deer Creek in the same format?

  16. larrybirdflu Says:

    haha type III. thats awesome. that should be its own thread right there. great audience comments caught on tape.

  17. albert walker Says:

    after finally listening to first night Alpine

    That Ghost > Lizards is pretty nice
    really nice interplay and jamming between the boys during the ghost
    one of the highlights from Apine no doubt

    I am going to disagree on AC/DC I’ve been listening to the deer creek version a lot lately very 1988 sounding with the slow groove and pretty tasty playing from Trey.

  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    “very 1988 sounding”


  19. albert walker Says:

    I was referring to the 1988-1989 versions where it seems like it is a contest to play the song as slow as possible

    also referring to the more jazzy focused guitarlines from the earlier versions with less total band interplay like in the later versions

    anyway its been a while since I spun the old late eighties tapes so my memory could be failing me here

  20. Jay Says:

    @franestein – I live in Austin by way of Knoxville by way of Syracuse

  21. ColonelJoy Says:


    I just love your name, dude…huge Larry fan here! If I could choose the method of my demise, it would have to be larrybirdflu…

    Lovin’ the fall tour rumors….we have to get confirmation in the next 10 days…have to. Other than Indio, I could also do Charlottsville or Hampton, as I will be in the Richmond area….

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    @msb – the best versions of Mystery Train and that groove in general all feature Ron Tutt on drums…or should I say, “the incredible Ron Tutt.” Since he was Elvis’ live drummer it would make sense he’d have a feel for that stuff.

    @larrybirdflu “great audience comments caught on tape”

    My favorite Phish one isn’t even a comment. It’s from the FOB of Lemonwheel ambient jam. Somewhere in the middle of the jam the kid who was wearing the hat with the mics got dialed right into the music and went right over backwards. the rest of the FOB crew caught him before he hit and held him up til he snapped out of it. The sound is so amorphous it’s actually pretty hard to hear where it happened!

    I love it when tapers let it keep spinning after the show. You can pick up on some really insane conversations that way.

    Been listening to a lot of new matrixes of 70’s Dead shows. Many of them are crap but the winners are amazing and always full of hysterical comments. Current favorite: “Seems like my armpit is melting” right before 6-3-76 Crazy Fingers.

  23. larrybirdflu Says:

    thank you colonel. i appreciate the love my name has gotten here. still the greatest basketball of all time in my mind. though im sure others disagree. i have a feeling that fall tour announcments will come right around red rocks.

  24. snigglebeach Says:

    Larrybirdflu and type II personality,,

    what is the date of that show you are talking about with elanor rigby????

  25. larrybirdflu Says:

    kean college nj 2/28/80

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