Moments In A Box: The South

6.10.09 Knoxville, TN (D.Vann)

6.10.09 Knoxville, TN (D.Vann)

Whether introspective or communal; comical or transcendental, moments are the patchwork that compose the quilt of the Phish experience.  During shows, moments occur more quickly than normal life- one after another colliding with your reality, altering it time and time again.  On Monday we looked at a some of these timeless experiences from the northeast run, and today, we turn to the second part of June- the south.  Starting in Asheville, stopping in Knoxville, and playing two at Bonnaroo; this was a highly anticipated run of shows.  The following are a few parts of the week that standout in most everyone’s memory.


“Ghost” Asheville Civic Center, 6.9 II

The vibe of this show- and its entire day- was the by far the most laid back of tour.  The venue was as relaxed as Asheville itself, as people navigated the GA floor with ample room and they provided a smoking section that overlooked the mountains to puff as much as you wanted at setbreak.  A pleasant experience all around turned into a twisted psychedelic dream early in the second set when “Ghost” started.  Following a Jones Beach version that was a highlight of the northeast, this drop into this “Ghost” brought much anticipation.

6.9.09 Asheville (D.Vann)

6.9.09 Asheville (D.Vann)

The intimate crowd drew silent (despite the copious beverage stations on the floor) as the Phish crept into the jam, sensing something was at hand.  Coming out with a non-conventional rhythm, Fish directed the course of this improv from the get go, taking it directions divergent from the song’s usual groove-fest.  His abstract beat drew eclectic bass lines and unique phrasings by Trey and Page, providing the anchor of a unique initial canvas.  The band did catch a groove after all, carving a unique path of improvisation along the way.  Transforming the music into a soaring piece that fused engaging melodies with crafty beats, Phish gradually and extensively peaked the jam with an entire section of improv.  The whole band was on point as Trey let loose with some of his most sublime playing of tour, cascading surreal melodies as effortlessly as a spring waterfall.  As the band descended from the mountain top, they oozed into into a perfectly placed pool of “Fast Enough For You.”  This was a peak experience for everyone in that tiny venue- just ask them.


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“Kill Devil Falls” 6.12, Bonnaroo Late-Night

In a tour whose jams had remained largely inside the box, it was quite ironic that Phish’s most straight-forward new song provided one of the most thrilling rides of the month.  It was debated how Phish would present themselves to the over-sized Bonnaroo audience, and after “Stash” went into “listener-unfriendly” territory, things were looking up.  But they just kept playing song after song, and all this seemed like was another rock and roll addition to the set.

Bonnaroo (D.Vann)

Bonnaroo (D.Vann)

When the composition turned the corner into the jam, everyone bobbed along with the timeless Chuck Berry-esque sound.  As Trey began his solo over a standard groove, nobody knew where this was heading.  Taking the rock and roll path out the back door, Trey started to extend his notes into drawn out sheets of sound, giving the band enough of a hint to hop on and follow his lead.  In one of those disorienting “What song is this?” moments, it didn’t take long before we were far away from the blues-rock launch pad and into some purely Phishy territory.  Halfway through their late-night Bonnaroo set, the band took one of the first and only trips to their outer improvisational realms without morphing into an ambient jam.  This was Phish taking things back to the source using some fierce interplay that grew innocently and organically from a newbie.  Multiple parallels have been drawn between this jam and the famous Camden Chalk Dust from ’99- and rightfully so.  Both stem from similar springboards and carry a certain driving energy into a high-speed, spirited peak.  We all needed an old-school Scooby-Doo double-take when all was done, as we couldn’t believe the most psychedelic jam of the show came out of “Kill Devil Falls.”


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“Harry Hood” Knoxville, TN 6.10 II

6.10.09 (D.Vann)

6.10.09 (D.Vann)

After one of tour’s strongest shows had- by all rights- ended three times already with “Hello My Baby,” “Julius,” and “Cavern,” the band shocked everyone by dropping into the opening reggae rhythms of “Harry Hood.”  Getting that shot of adrenaline, my mind instantly refocused after having already moved on to the encore.  As much an experiential moment as a musical one, this “Hood” capped a huge night in Tennessee, and a smoking second set.  Typical of the focused and triumphant “Hoods” of June, this one did not disappoint.  Featuring active interaction by all band members, the improv was highlighted by the incredibly dynamic conversation by Trey and Mike.

While this version wasn’t as drawn out or exploratory as some of the others of tour, it provided an emotional exclamation point to a standout show when everyone least expected it. Moments don’t always have to come from the depths of a show, and this succinct, yet poignant, “Hood” that came out of left field will back me on that one.


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soundiconI’m sure you’ve noticed the new format for “Listen Nows,” featured in today’s and yesterday’s posts.  Instead of having that ugly ad-laced audio player, we’ve now got a sharp little Flash player for all the tracks.  But wait- there’s more!

Let’s say you finish listening to a jam and think, “Wow!  Miner’s onto something here- I’ve gotta have that track!  All you need to do is click the orange song link in the title line of the “Listen Now” and you will download it right to your computer.  No need to “right click and save as”- just click the link and accept the file.  I hope you enjoy this new feature of the site, and much props to Alexander K. for the technological work.  (I will be replacing old links with this new feature as well.)



We were going to finish out June’s tour with Alpine’s 6.20 show today, but after technological mishaps continued into the night, I figured it wasn’t meant to be.  I’ll get that final show up tomorrow.  Cheers.

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308 Responses to “Moments In A Box: The South”

  1. msbjivein Says:

    The weekend after Hampton I saw UM @ the Murat. Didn’t even come close to IT. Made me look at UM as a Typical Bar band again. I’ve been seeing UM since they played free shows here in Indy. I really saw a lot of them while Phish was not in my live the past 5yrs. But they don’t even come close to the Phish experience. W/ that said the only shit I can go see besides Phish is really badass NOLA funksters.(S Moore,Johnny V,George Porter,A. Deitch, Kras, Evans Bros,Ivan) I know all of them aren’t from NOLA but they know where it all began and play Jazz every yr. Other than that kind of shit I don’t care to see anybody else.

  2. Cactus Says:

    God Street Wine was a good band back in the 90’s, but they never took it to the next level. Maybe they didn’t try to puch themselves musically, or maybe just didn’t have the talent, I don’t know. Maybe they didn’t take enough miscellaneus material to feed their brains.

    I still love many of their songs, Borderline being the best…but they just could never kick it up a notch musically. That’s just my opinion.

  3. notkuroda Says:

    Hoping for a southern show or two(two nights at the phillips would be great, the fabulous fox would be better 😉 ). really hoping the NYE in Miami thing materializes. Otherwise, those and the Gorge are probably it for me for this year.

  4. gavinsdad Says:

    @ cactus:

    agreed…they didn’t understand where they needed to go musically, especially alongside their mid 90s contemporaries, and they definitely didn’t experiment enough with the mind expansion (whereas I did a little too much 😉 good guys, decent songwriters, etc.

    they regrouped for a memorial to an old friend a month or so ago…the two “shows” are up on the LMA.

  5. Mr.Miner Says:

    11/4 Pepsi Center, Denver CO
    11/5 Austin Music Hall, Austin TX
    11/7-8 Phillips Arena, Atlanta GA
    11/10 Allstate Arena, Rosemont IL

    ^^ this can’t be the right routing as I said earlier this week.
    DENVER > AUSTIN is 1070 miles and a minimum of 16 hours driving = no chance….the other dates with Cleveland and Pitts etc…looked much more plausible IMO

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    bottom line there as Phish and The Grateful Dead and then everyone else….

  7. msbjivein Says:

    Miner, What other live music do you check out???

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    @CoreyS – yes. The DOTD RSS feed is currently not working. We are trying to get it up ASAP. Sorry for the delay and all the abbrevs

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    @msb pretty much just the biscuits. Love Balkan Beat Box, but have only seen em once…Other than that, I’m more into jamaican dub and electronic music.

  10. gavinsdad Says:

    you said it miner

  11. msbjivein Says:

    Ahhhhhhhh Yes……. The Dub Organizer Lee Scratch Perry That’s my DUB. I never really got into the Biscuits. Seen them quite a few times just never really got IT. After Jam In the Dam a couple yrs ago I said no more.

  12. butter Says:

    Miner- love the new player, thanks

  13. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Wow, Today begins with banging Ghost.

    I like the new listening format and the picks are top-notch taboot.

    Gracias, Señor Miner!

    I grew up listening to a cosmic jukebox of all types music and I have found that Phish was very easy to digest. Before I was introduced to Phish I was listening very heavily to Pink Floyd, the Stones, GD and the Butthole Surfers and a plethora of Maiden, Priest and Metallica, but mostly the Butthole Surfers, another band where there are lots of inside humor and maddening psychedelia. Album Suggestion: Locust Abortion Technician

    Now, let’s get back to the overhyped, intense build-up to Red Rocks.

    Colorado is a special place for this band. Explanation not necessary.

    I wonder where they’ll do the tech rehearsal.

    I would welcome a guest sit-in for a song or two, ala Mimi Fishman 8-20-93. What a show!

    What bust out will we see? New Cover?

  14. Leo Weaver Says:

    @Miner, if the Warfield show goes away (seems the least likely since it’s such a small venue and the night after their festi), move the Denver date to 11/3…then you’re talking about something do-able. And the rest of those dates seem to make sense.

    What are some of your dub favorites? wifey and I have been getting more and more into that over the past year or so.

  15. gavinsdad Says:

    augustus pablo, scientist, king jammy, roots radics “dangerous dub”, lee scratch, lkj in dub, aswads “a new chapter in dub”, and don’t front on the earliest ub40’s “present arms in dub” from 1981. this could go on forever…

  16. msbjivein Says:

    I’m hoping for a Forbin’s Mockingbird bustout. I’m calling Kill Devil Falls opener. “Going Back to Kill Devil Falls”

  17. gavinsdad Says:


    my last forbins was 91 so i am ALWAYS lookin for the forbins>mock bustout.

  18. butter Says:

    11-17-94=my first show=Forbin’s>Mockingbird

  19. Leo Weaver Says:

    ‘preciate it gavinsdad…we’ve got some of those, i’ll check some of the others out

  20. shpongleyez Says:

    @ Berzerker:

    My guess for a bust-out at RR is Harpua. Not a stretch really, and I hope they save it for the Gorge, but…

  21. butter Says:

    11-17-94 make that Forbin’s>Vibration of Life>Mockingbird + a Helter Skelter opener

  22. butter Says:

    Trey doesn’t seem into telling stories right now, hope that changes?

  23. shpongleyez Says:

    Dub-wise, I haven’t seen King Tubby’s name yet

  24. msbjivein Says:

    KDF lyrics really fit going back to Red Rocks. I know it says “Don’t go back to Kill Devil Falls” It also says “This times gonna be different”…….

  25. msbjivein Says:

    Cliff references also……………

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