46 Days and Lots of Bustouts

8.15.09 Merriweather (J.Arthur)

8.15.09 Merriweather (J.Arthur)

A night after playing a second set of virtually all improv in Hartford, Phish played their second to last show of summer centered around only one adventurous jam.  The entire show was popping with energy from note one, strewn with spirited and precise playing throughout.  The band played a great show from start to finish, but in the end, Merriweather will be remembered for its array of bust-outs rather than open-ended adventure.  The first set saw the band drop seven songs they hadn’t played this tour including the promising debut of “Party Time,” but the second second set featured only one blowout jam.  Following Hartford with a show of a completely different vibe, Phish played their last Saturday night of the summer.

Darien Lake (B.Ferguson)

Darien Lake (B.Ferguson)

As the band stepped onstage following an enticing first set, they deciding to open the second set with “Tweezer.”  In a tour that has featured memorable jams out of almost every second-set opener, and a long summer that has showcased the song, we had the recipe for an epic throwdown.  We were finally in for the “Tweezer” we had all been waiting for- the last “Tweezer” of summer would no doubt be a creative highlight of the season.  In a tour that opened with Fenway’s distant highlight, it was only proper to end the summer with a massive psychedelic exploration of the vehicle.  But Phish played a dud.  Where most every second set opener has had several pieces of original improv, this “Tweezer” had zero.  Sounding like they were merely going through the motions, the band loafed through a version that was completely forgettable.  Before it peaked- or even got going- the jam fizzled into “Taste,” creating an ’09 version of their classic combo.  But this time “Taste” far outshone the “Tweezer.”  Launching into a soaring and creative version, it was as if Phish had somehow refueled their tank onstage- a bizarre beginning to the set, no doubt.

Hartford (A.Mccollugh)

Hartford (A.Mccollugh)

After a slight lull with “Alaska”- a song that has no business in the second set- and “Let Me Lie”- a ballad that seemed to come at a time where none was needed, Phish entered, by far, the most engaging segment of the evening with “46 Days > Oh! Sweet Nuthin’, Harry Hood.”  Taking “46 Days” off the shelf for the first time since Bonnaroo, the band launched the blues-rock composition into the stratosphere, birthing a multi-faceted psychedelic opus .  Letting things hang out for the only time in the show, Phish oozed outside of the composition, into a jam that left the crowd in awe- something Phish is, once again, doing nightly.  Beginning with some lighter funk and moving into a growling ambient groove, the jam quickly progressed into a heavier abstract psychedelia.  The band laced up their musical adventure boots and went to play.  Amidst a soft melodic ambient canvas, Fishman kicked a dance beat and the band was off and running into a second half of the jam that was pure hose.  Trey was absolutely killing the fast-paced jams with melodic lines that tugged on your heart mightily.  The band took a big musical risk  with this jam, and while the entire thing didn’t flow flawlessly, the payoff was pure Phish glory.  The clear highlight of the evening gradually slowed down as Page rolled into the opening notes of the tour’s second “Oh! Sweet Nuthin.”

Hartford (A.Mccollugh)

Hartford (A.Mccollugh)

Once again, completely owning the cover, the band used the ballad as an emotive breath of air before the summer’s final version of “Harry Hood” rolled off the stage.  A song that has shined all summer since it’s opening incarnation at Jones Beach, Phish took one last swing at their revitalized classic.  Another creative masterpiece, the full-band interplay of the jam was typical of the band’s many awing renditions of the tour, and provided a fitting end to the chapter of Summer ’09 “Harry Hoods.”

Well, we have wound our way to the end of the road.  That elusive SPAC show that never seemed like it would come is today.  Set up to annihilate their final show in one of their favorite venues, tonight will surely be one to remember.  Final shows of tours have taken on an iconic status in Phish history, and the end of such a magical road coupled the band’s first visit to SPAC since the their final flashes of brilliance in 2004, tonight should be something special.


Hartford (A.Mccollugh)

Hartford (A.Mccollugh)

First Set Notes: The band came out of the gates, on the heels of Hartford’s epic night, with all sorts of energy.  Starting with the “Crowd Control” opener, Phish threw down seven songs not played this summer, including the debut of “Party Time”- one of the definite highlights of the show.  Written by Fishman, the polyrhythmic song that reminded me a Phishy take on a sort-of New Orleans funk riff.  Sure to be a huge part of fall tour, it was great to see the band begin to bring out their non-album new songs.  Look for a big “Party Time” to kick off Indio just a bit down the road.  Other notable well-played bust-outs were “The Sloth,” “Foam” and “Axilla.”  The set also featured a free-flowing version “Beauty of a Broken Heart” which is going to turn into some retro-Phish disco jams at some point soon.  Once again, the longest individual piece in the entire show was the set closing “Time Turns Elastic.”  Clocking in at just under 17 minutes, the song worked decently as a set closer, but at some point the piece just seems over-indulgent to continue playing in regular rotation.

I: Crowd Control, Kill Devil Falls, The Sloth, Beauty Of A Broken Heart, Axilla I, Foam, Esther, Ha Ha Ha, Party Time, Tube, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Strange Design, Time Turns Elastic

II: Tweezer > Taste, Alaska, Let Me Lie, 46 Days > Oh! Sweet Nuthin’, Harry Hood

E: Good Times, Bad Times, Tweezer Reprise

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937 Responses to “46 Days and Lots of Bustouts”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:

    yes what voopa posted ^^^^

    I listened to it dosed not long ago and it warped my brain. It’s been many MANY years since music fucked with my head like that. It was awesome.

  2. ridge rat Says:

    check the flash ad link at the wiki

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    it’s much, much weirder than a compilation fwiw

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’m with danny and wt! overall

    there have been some great narrations, and I probably haven’t even heard half of them…and if he has something to say, go for it…but if it means we can get Forbin’s & Mockingbird more, no narration works for me

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    talking vs. playing, sounds like a frank zappa debate!… used to be people who hated when frank would pick up his guitar… i’m all for jams of course

  6. butter Says:


  7. Wax Banks Says:

    Greyfolded is an acquired taste. Historically important, a great idea, an amazing resource…but not even close to being pleasant listening, not fleet or friendly or folksy as the Dead could be. Not first-time Dead listening by any means, in other words.

  8. Wax Banks Says:

    it seems i have lost much cred with you already today with my anti-Syd tones, my love for Radiohead, and now apparently my love for Blind Melon.

    Do I really want to read back through 38 pages of comments to figure out why the fuck anyone loses cred for liking Radiohead?

  9. MakisupaSecurity Says:

    for the record, I love both the long and short posts on this forum, as long as the long ones have a great point.
    @ridge rat, thanks for your thoughts.

  10. NRM Says:

    Ummmm, this is the first show with which I respectfully disagree with Mr. miner. Although I kind of expected it after Hartford, I found this show to be wanting. The first set just didn’t hang together. it didn’t pick up until Tube IMNSHO. Second set definitely better. The Taste was excellent and what’s not to love about Oh, Sweet Nuthin’? Merriweather Post was the most grueling of travels — NJ Turnpike, my friend’s heat exhaustion (and he’s a pro), and copters with search lights. Still glad I went but certainly wasn’t floored in any way.

  11. brokendylan Says:

    hey there mr miner-
    i just wanted to make a point that i recently figured out that the song “crowd control” is a song by justin timberlake and nelly furtado. there wasnt alot of insight to the song and i had never heard it before so i looked it up and truth be told it is by mr justin timberlake.
    thanks alot for everything

  12. brokendylan Says:

    crowd control is on undermind, but here you can find the lyrics for Justin timberlake’ “crowd control” http://www.metrolyrics.com/crowd-control-lyrics-justin-timberlake.html
    strangely, they match up perfectly to Phish’s Crowd Control! anyone know WTF IS GOING ON HERE?

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