The Final Four

The Gorge (G. Lucas)

The Gorge (G. Lucas)

If you’re a Phish fan, the summer of 2009 has been something of a fantasy; easily the most exciting season in years.  Beginning in Fenway Park on May 31st, we have whittled our way through a fascinating summer of band re-evolution, and we have finally arrived at those last four east coast shows that always seemed so far off in the distance.  Beginning tomorrow at Darien Lake, Phish will begin their four-night swan song on their historic summer tour.

The Gorge (G.Lucas)

The Gorge (G.Lucas)

Beginning with three weeks in June, Phish tour was once again a reality as we navigated the Northeast, Mid-South, and Midwest en route to a three-week return to the road.  With flashes of whole-show brilliance in Camden, Bonnaroo, Deer Creek, and Alpine, Phish was beginning to get there, but something was missing-  where was the band’s signature exploratory jamming?  As the first tour wound up in the Midwest, the band began to delve a little bit deeper, foreshadowing what was to come.

Red Rocks (G.Lucas)

Red Rocks (G.Lucas)

But over the course of four unforgettable nights at Red Rocks, the entire Phish 3.0 paradigm shifted.  In a caterpillar-to-butterfly-like metamorphosis, the band’s style was all of a sudden more relaxed, confident, and focused.  The contained playing of June was history, and Phish began creating unique and original jams at almost every juncture.  Like an eight-set suite, Red Rocks, alone, featured more musical exploration than three weeks in June.  Our band was back, and the tightness they had honed over the course of the year had merged with a renewed spirit of exploration, resulting in an asteroid crash in our collective reality.  Highlighted by an insane second set on July 31st, of the like we hadn’t heard yet, Red Rocks ’09 will eternally be remembered as the run that Phish got their mojo back.

Shoreline (W.Rogell)

Shoreline (W.Rogell)

After a mid-week stop at Shoreline that seems to be settling into the dark-horse and overlooked show of the second leg, Phish moved up to The Gorge for two of the most musically sensational nights of tour.  With two magnificent shows differing in nature, Phish showcased their full improvisational diversity in the Northwest.  Strewn with musical highlights and the most laid back vibe of tour, The Gorge will no doubt go down as two of the best nights of music this summer.

Chicago (C.Smith)

Chicago (C.Smith)

And after a one-night stop at the stadium setting of Toyota Park in Chicago, we have come down to the final four shows of summer.  You can be sure that this triumphant conclusion to Phish’s summer will blow up.  Back where it all began, with four shows in the northeast, the band will begin their final run tonight in the amusement park setting of Darien Lake.  With a true sense of excitement surrounding this "homecoming run," the band has much to be proud of after the past two weeks.  Over the course of a summer, Phish has fully returned to prominence, and these four nights are going to be a celebration.  And I have a hunch that some of the tour’s most incredible is about to unfold.  Check it out…

458 Responses to “The Final Four”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:

    @type III they did that just to fuck with you personally

    they’re like that, ya know

  2. Doc Says:

    How does the streaming thing work anyway? Do people hook up mics to the phone?

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    they did that just to fuck with you personally

    I’ve been saying that for years. there are too many times like that for it not to be true!

  4. Doc Says:


  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    fuck it, they’re gonna play the whole album right now, including My Friend which they already played tonight

    @type III it was the first thing about them I really noticed, more so than the music…”who is this band that is trying to fuck with my head all the time?”

  6. Doc Says:

    There’s the Sparkle everybody’s been waiting for!

  7. Bapslap Says:

    oh shit! Are they gonna whip out Weigh next?!?!

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    …lol…you thought i was kidding…

    fuck it, i call All Things Reconsidered.

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    time for a 23 minute type III sparkle jam

  10. Comrade Says:

    i would love to hear all things reconsidered – love that song

  11. Doc Says:

    Weigh would be cool, actually.

  12. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    okay, this is messed up. they’re playing, like, all of Rift and for some reason the CD isn’t listed in Dry Goods on that’s two things tonight.

  13. neemor Says:

    This looks like lots of fun.
    I sent out a couple of ticket requests to try to get a ticket for Hartford before I get to the lot tomorrow (people who were apparently posters on this site) and they offered me pavilion for $70 and lawn for $60. Is that even reasonable?
    I was thinking no more than $40 for lawn, MAYBE $60 for pav.
    Am I just being a little bitch?
    I’m trying to help these folks recoup what may end up being losses for buying extras and I feel like I’m being taken advantage of.

    Any input?

  14. Comrade Says:

    sparkle rarely goes over 4 minutes 🙁

  15. neemor Says:

    Damn, there goes my Antelope for Hartford.

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    yes, Mr. C! now you’re onto the joke…

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    Weight and ATR are both awesome and I would love to hear either one.

    Whoever called that Antelope step forward to claim your prize…no one? yeah.

    @neemor, I dunno what going rate is for those tix. I sure wouldn’t pay more than the lowest value on stubhub or whatever.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    @type III – good, I was hoping I had that right

    they really should totally do Sparkle into a long jam out of the accelerando at the end – no one would see it coming, very phishy

  19. neemor Says:

    That’s the thing, in both Burgettstown and Deer Creek, I saw stacks of tickets outside the gate for people to grab for free.

    I thought that would be the case for Hartford, too…a relatively large venue.
    I guess this flying by the seat of my pants for the first time is making me a bit nervous.

    Listen, I paid $600 for front row Woosta ’03 at one point, but looking for a basic lawn seat, when you know there are extras around that people are just trying to get rid of….tough to swallow $60-$70.

    Who am I kidding? I’ll end up paying it, cuz I’m a fan and can’t help myself.

    Here’s to Harpua making it all worthwhile and looking back after the show to how silly this worrying was…..

  20. neemor Says:

    That’s even humorous.

    Oh Kee Pa would make it worthwhile.

  21. neemor Says:

    Rift? I’m calling Horn.

  22. neemor Says:

    There goes Oh Kee Pa. Suzy.

  23. voopa Says:

    I like how Hoodstream’s phone goes to Rastaman Chant before returning to the stream after each drop…

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    neemor, as you well know, the money is worth it. hartford is a little tougher ticket than DC and Alpine because it is basically half way between Beantown and NYC. it’s a matter of numbers. there are just a lot of heads up here!

  25. sloth Says:

    @ neemor – don’t expect to pay less than face. to me, and this is me, whoever paid at least face and isn’t trying to get more is legit. sure, you can, and i have on occasion this tour based on my desire to show up with GOOD tix, pay either somebody on craigslist or stubhub more than face and you know what you are getting. while i respect paying less than face for personal economic facts, and i’ve seen shows – fenway, jb1 where tix go for $15 at showtime – all these east coast weekend shows are high demand so do what you need, but face at least bro….fluffhead…while a good opener at hampton is overplayed, no…?

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