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. fishman's frock Says:

    @ guitarpicker

    i’m sorry but i disagree. i could easily see someone breaking the 56 game hitting streak before i see someone tossing 3 straight no-no’s.

    but you’re right cy youngs wins are probably safe. as are his losses (he has the most career losses).

  2. Mr.Miner Says:

    I am a Kobe hater. I love Lebron. Lebron needs titles to enter the conversation.

  3. halcyon Says:

    more states are blown away

  4. halcyon Says:

    15 states are gone now

  5. halcyon Says:

    TN, KY, and VA go bye bye

  6. Frankenstein Says:

    @ walfredo…just got back here from Indiana after five years being away…I actually work at Saltys on Alki. Looking for a housing situation if you’re hip to anything along those lines, or even to chill and drink some beers?

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Colonel, totally disagree, I saw Kobe’s face making those denials and I saw a liar. I’ll never believe that he wasn’t guilty. But it’ll never be proven.

    LeBron proves again, for another generation, as Kobe and MJ did before him, that merely being gifted beyond words is not enough. And no amount of individual effort is enough either. Without a team, no star can reach the heights; and without a star to step up in the big moment, no team can bring home the trophy.

    Watching LeBron play is an out-of-body experience. But pro sports are played for championships, period. I think his time will come, I just hope his peak years don’t completely eclipse whatever window my Blazers might get.

  8. Frankenstein Says:

    ps…lebron who? Long live King Kobe

  9. whole tour! Says:

    no kentucky festival! dang! i’ll have to call my boys and tell them to cancel the moonshine. lol 😉

  10. larrybirdflu Says:

    @ mr. c. the blazers window will come soon enough. if these kids dont leave before said window opens. and another big if is if Oden can ever be truly healthy and effective. glad to see that the great phishthoughts basketball debate of 09 rages on.

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    Long live The King and Shaq!

  12. fishman's frock Says:

    is it me or is the east becoming the conference to beat? orlando (nba finalist), cleveland (now with shaq) and boston (just signed rasheed wallace) could all win the title next year.

  13. larrybirdflu Says:

    miner glad your an LBJ fan. i kinda assumed with you being a west coaster that you would be a kobe guy, but i am happily relieved.

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ firmly seated in the LBJ camp AND in the anti-kobe camp- but some of the shit he pulls makes me see Jordan….straight up- like that shot in Denver…

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    @larry – the kids aren’t leaving – roy will get the big contract and LMA is ok with being 2nd banana. Wildcard right now that they want to bring someone in but don’t want to hamper development of guys like Rudy, Batum, Bayless whose ceiling is not really known. Also the health of Martell Webster is a big factor.

    The Hedo thing was a huge mistake to try and we lucked out not getting him. The guy’s worthless without the ball in his hands, and that’s B-Roy’s role. We need shooters (Webster, maybe Rudy), a point guard who can drive and play some D, and an enforcer.

  16. larrybirdflu Says:

    i hear you there. im in both camps right along with you. that shot was jordanesque (sp?) no question. as was lebrons shot in game 2 against the magic.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Miner that’s what Kobe showed this year and why I am giving him props even tho I despise him as a human being. He used the Force – it may be the dark side, but it’s the Force – and nailed the big moments when they counted. Can’t front on that.

  18. halcyon Says:

    “@Colonel, totally disagree, I saw Kobe’s face making those denials and I saw a liar. I’ll never believe that he wasn’t guilty. But it’ll never be proven.”

    although it might not be proven…something did happen. There is a video circulating of the supposed victim rapping….its messed up. The whole thing is dirty.

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    and @fishman’s frock – biggest difference now is that there are more stinkers in the east than the west so it’s easier for the good eastern conf teams to load up on bottom feeding wins.

    Biggest story of the offseason isn’t Sheed, Hedo or anything else in the East tho – it’s Artest to the Lakers – they just got *lot* better (as long as they re-sign Odom, which they will). Artest is a fucking beast, man. He can’t be your #1 guy but he’s an incredible stopper and #2 or #3 guy.

    Shame to see the collapse of the Rockets. A gutty and exciting team.

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    Mr. C- you should hook up with my brother- pdx resident and HUGE blazers fan-and season ticket holder…..runs on this board sometimes, I’ll you his email off site….

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    absolutely, Miner. Am in continuous and extended negotiations with the wife re: Blazers ticket packages – large scale investment probably deferred again due to combination of stereo equipment purchases and the return of Phish expenses…:o

  22. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    Slightly OT 12-2-99 Bathtub Gin = big raging jam. Had a good time at that show.

  23. halcyon Says:

    Artest is a huge steal….he can defend, and open up lanes for the offense to do their work….

  24. Mr.Miner Says:

    12.2.99: Bathtub > 2001 > YEM is the heat!!

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’m still working my way through the 12/99 stuff I downloaded here…holy crap…smokin’

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