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. sloth Says:

    hmm…opinion poll? am radio quality hoodstream or wait until morning? i pick the former….former or later, what did you think i meant, BUG, it doesn’t matter to me….

  2. sloth Says:

    where is everyone????????

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    hoodstream’s a fail for me, not worth it, too painful

    @sloth I think it’s good for them to play Fluff heavily on this tour so a lot of people get to see it. A well played Fluff is a special thing. I doubt it will stay in YEM level rotation forever…but who knows?

    Only one extended jam this show is a surprise. Does look like a more coherent setlist though – very rockin’.

  4. Comrade Says:

    is fluff the closer?

  5. sloth Says:

    from what i hear – there is a solid best of vibe that miner cited for last night – they have not done a bust out so far…my guess is that they are honing their play list and that the next few nights will be 5-6 song 2nd sets…i’ll be front row page side for mpp so no matter what it will rock the balls off of me

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    @comrade either that, or the timing is off, or a very epic outro

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    ah, there. still hoping for the magilla in this encore

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    @sloth front row nice! and good attitude

  9. Comrade Says:

    has to be a short encore

  10. Comrade Says:

    joy might be it

  11. Comrade Says:

    typed too soon – first tube!

  12. Comrade Says:

    maybe darien doesn’t fine/or have a curfew?

  13. Kevin Says:

    That looks like a great show. Not a lot of room for jamming, but the setlist looks very nicely assembled. Can’t wait to hear it.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    or they just said “fuck it, this show needs a rockin’ encore”

  15. Comrade Says:

    ^now that is what i like to hear!

  16. sloth Says:

    curfew’s suck! by nature and the Oct. dates – obviously the dudes prefer to jam all night – circa big cypress – and they can do whatever they want – east coast = shows starting at 7:45 and going to 11pm – but as per fenway and jb they can pla a solid 3.5 hours within that…i’m all for getting it done right.

    nobody responded to my inquiry – do you try to listed to crappy live stuff – which they should stream anyway – or the next few days???? my vote is both – even am radio quality w/beer and food at home and talking to you guys rocks

  17. SJC Says:

    Looks like some solid NE shit right there!

    Finally played studio #line. It IS primed for the commercial airwaves. Yikes.

  18. Wax Banks Says:

    20 hours to hartford. see y’all fuckers in connecticut!

  19. SJC Says:

    ^The meadows is set to blow.

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    @sloth I can’t deal with the stream qual, sounds worse than AM to me, I d/l overnight and listen tomorrow AM. if the streams were a bit better I’d be into it.

    have fun over the weekend everyone

  21. uncle matty Says:

    whoever called that “How High The Moon” on here earlier today– NICE WORK !!!!

  22. Kevin Says:

    Where can I find the BDTNL studio cut?

  23. uncle matty Says:

    ^^ its on myspace

  24. uncle matty Says:

    just backtracked the posts and realized the ‘how high’ call was Type3- awesome call – whoever you are!!!!!!!!!!

  25. lot rat Says:

    meadows in gonna shred…get me to indiooooooo

Leave a Reply