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. ColonelJoy Says:


    I have some sweet classic bird games on DVD….interested?

    That’s right, hippies, I’m offering a Larry trade!

  2. snigglebeach Says:

    sorry to bug, but are we talking Dead?? can’t find it on Archive.

  3. snigglebeach Says:

    sorry i get it now

  4. Walfredo Says:

    Frankenstein- what part of Seattle? Been living in west Seattle about 4 years.

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    @sniggle – at least a few if not several JGB shows in late ’79 and early ’80 have the Elanor Rigby jam sandwiched into After Midnight. Every version of it I’ve heard is pretty amazing. He tears thru the melody at great speed. The official release is called, appropriately and/or confusingly, “After Midnight.”

    Interesting era of JGB. Far from his best band, but his lead guitar playing was en fuego.


    has this been posted? surface level, minor league review, but interesting anyway:,29481/

    Decider is usually pretty AV-Club-ish, that is, a bastion of hipster haterdom, so I was suprised to see a non-condescending review.

  6. larrybirdflu Says:

    i would deffinatley be interested col. quite possibly my favorite larry highlight is the game where he is so on point that the hawks were giving each other high fives!
    @sniggle. its a JGB show i believe it might even be the second show of the night if im not mistaken

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    MJ > Bird by many levels

    crackers, PLEASE

    larry is cool and all, but…

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    /troll 😮

  9. snigglebeach Says:

    last question,

    Jerry Garcia Band is not on seems odd.

    where else could i find free downloads of JGB???

  10. ColonelJoy Says:


    send me an email:

    I shipped most of my DVDs back to Germany already, but I have some saved to the hardrive, including a college game where he drops 49…the game where he and Doc J get in a fight, and two against the blazers in the mid 80s where is on fire…

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    MJ > Bird by many levels

    ^^ clearly

  12. larrybirdflu Says:

    mj prob is better mr. c. but im a boston guy so i kinda have to say larry was the best. its part of the citizenship requirment here.

  13. ColonelJoy Says:


    I would never argue that Bird was better than Jordan. MJ could will his way to the basket better than anyone ever, among other tanacious skills.

    However, no athelete ever had the cerebral mastery of his craft like Bird. As someone from New England who got to watch him so much, I can tell you his sheer cunning was something to behold.

    Like I have said before here, I enjoyed watching Bird at his craft as I would later enjoy watching Jerry or Trey…probably more Jerry, as he is Bird as Trey is to MJ:)

  14. larrybirdflu Says:

    the colonel does it again! exceptionally well put.

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    maybe the coolest thing I experienced as a kid was getting to match MJ in person at several UNC games. It was a surreal experience. I knew nothing about anything and it was still obvious I was seeing something special.

    @sniggle –

    read the info in the post for details, you probably will not want the whole torrent. or maybe you will. it has a few versions of the AM>ER jam>AM. Looks like there are a few seeders on it.

    If you have trouble with torrents or that otherwise doesn’t work for you I can at least send you something via mediafire.

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    Watch* not match, whatever that would even mean.

    No disrespect to Bird at all. A top 5 all-timer for sure and I’m no Boston homer. An amazing player.

  17. ColonelJoy Says:

    Please visit my new project:

    Today’s thread: The 87′ First-Half Tripple Double

  18. snigglebeach Says:

    oh, and anyone ever heard of one Bill Russell??? 11 rings in 13 seasons (plus he was player/coach for a few of those)..Those numbers will never be broken. As well as another “unbreakable record”, 58 rebounds in a game. a record he broke in his second ever NBA game…

  19. ColonelJoy Says:

    Yeah, BR was the best defensive player ever….a man amongst StringCheese fans

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    lol…don’t get me started on Jordan 😉

  21. larrybirdflu Says:

    no question russell is the greatest WINNER in team sports history. those records will never be touched.
    miner my apologizes for hijacking the thread and turning it into a bball discussion.

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    LOL @Colonel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  23. snigglebeach Says:

    thnx Mr. Completely,

    i should be able to torrent something from Etree that usually works. just have to be at home and not doing other stuff.

  24. Mr.Miner Says:

    nah, its all good. HUGE hoops fan here….love Larry and MJ….back in high school the debate was always MJ or Magic for us…at this point, really the interesting argument is MJ or Kobe…..I’ll take MJ every day of the week and twice on Sundays, but Kobe is channeling Jordon out there in some crazy way…..noone has been able to control their bodies like those two guys– ever

  25. fishman's frock Says:

    ^^ the 58 rebounds is not the record. the official record is 55 held by wilt chamberlain. russell holds the record for most in a half (32).

    the only record that i think is “unbreakable” is johnny vander meer’s record of 2 consecutive no-hitters. because to break it you have to throw 3 no-hitters in a row.

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