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:

    thx voopa.

    now I want to know where it is tho. I have all the official releases, minus the ones I lent and didn’t get back.

    the much maligned RT series is actually great IMO. All worth having except any that are redundant with stuff you already have, and maybe the Winterland 78 one which is OK but has problems. The ’71 and ’79 ones get overlooked but I like them both.

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    only road trips i bought was carousel ’68 which i obviously already had but it’s one of my fav shows and the only full show from the series

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    if you haven’t heard the dark star from the ’71 one it’s a treat

  4. JerryTimber Says:

    Does anyone else want to sing ” I Saw It Again” during the end of “Twenty Years Later”?

  5. sloth Says:

    Where do you go when the lights go out? Face down at the saratoga race track? Anyway
    Hartford was the best show I’ve seen in a long lon time. Seen 60 plus over 16 yrs

  6. Kevin Says:

    @ Jerry, YES!!!!

    Also, did anyone else at MPP think that the new Fishman tune was introduced by Trey as ‘Potty Time?’ I sure as shit did and started laughing, thinking it was like the official mid-set pee break song. It wasn’t until later that I realized the truth…

    And yes, this is probably the effect of having a two year old at home:)

  7. ThePigSong Says:

    Does anyone have a good mix to get someone into Phish. I started a small compilation a few weeks ago but it turned out to be much harder than I anticipated. A few friends from the west coast are coming down to the fest in the fall and asked that I get them rightly acquainted.

  8. voopa Says:

    OK, I’m one of the more rose-colored-lens types here, but I gotta say, I’m really disappointed with the lack of talk during Forbins>Mockingbird and Harpua…oh well, “at least they played them” I guess…

  9. Kevin Says:

    I think everyone was probably a little disappointed at first, but my thinking is, if the narration is no longer expected everytime from the fans, then Forbin’s>Mockingbird might be played with greater frequency. I mean, I’ve seen 106 shows, and only saw it played twice. Which is a shame for how great it is.

    I’m sure there were many times in the last many years where Trey felt like playing those songs, but decided, damn, I don’t have a story ready so we can’t do it. And that’s just no good:)

  10. Frankie Says:

    Woah! Just listened to saturday’s 46 Days… Prime PHiSH!

    What a great time i had at SPAC last night!! Great tour closer…

    Never could have guessed the Highway to Hell encore and loved it!! THANK YOU PHISH for the best summer in 5 years!

  11. Nissl Says:

    @ Mr. C – I’m not seeing it upthread, so any chance you could pass along your mediafire info? Your collection sounds amazing, right now with the Dead I’ve found a few favorite Dick’s Picks I love and I stick with ’em, really need to branch out, picking random stuff on etree doesn’t quite get it done.

    jtmorgan at ucsd edu

  12. voopa Says:

    Think you’re right Kevin, and I’ve thought that same thing about why those aren’t played more often myself over the years. Still, the transition into “Look, the storm’s gone” was really rough, and that’s what compelled me to post.

    ion, Trey is rippin the solo on the SPAC YEM!! Nice! Even if he did skate through part of the composed section…

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Nissl – linked in my name ^^^^^

    if you really want to get to know the dead, listen to the mixes in order. Like Phish, they really evolved a lot year to year and even tour to tour. The mixes start with ’68 and go through ’90. Now that Phish tour is done I’m going to up a second ’76-78 mix later this week, and maybe one or two more. But if you started at the ’68 one and went up chronologically I think you’d find it interesting. Of course you can do it however you want, but I think that’d be fun.

    Once you’ve spent some time in the mixes, let me know what you like best and I can make recommendations for freely circulating stuff in the same vein. I made the mixes for my own listening, but I’ve found they’re pretty good intros, too.

  14. voopa Says:

    ^^I tagged my previous post with “end Debbie semi-Downer” but I forgot that this site doesn’t post anything that has those those hard brackets, probably for security…lost humor + explanation = extreme fail

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    lol @ (or with) voopa, nice

  16. Kevin Says:


    You have a right to be disappointed. EVERYBODY loves a narration, and I’m of the variety that wishes Trey would talk more.

    I haven’t heard the Harpua yet so no comment from me, but I’ll take your word for it. One of my only criticisms of this tour is that the sheer frequency of bust-outs (really, just about one a night) resulted in some sloppy playing. BUT I’d rather see the band having the courage to step a little outside their comfort zone, so it’s a tradeoff:)

  17. voopa Says:

    ion, one of the lyrics in Highway To Hell is “Party Time”…

  18. ridge rat Says:

    longtime lurker, since summer 08 when reunion rumors were running high.

    studio phish was my first exposure – HATED IT. my roomies gf was way into them, ARU, etc. she would play hoist and we would all groan. I was in an electronica band, so goofy yankees were not cool enough. I had a friend who lured me into the dead via infrared roses – so I went to chicago 93. totally got it. saw four more including vegas 95. I was on the collegiate debate scene shortly after and heard glen falls phish. division bell floyd was out of this world, and treys tone touched the same place for me. Found out later one of my acquaintances attended colorado college and had loads of XLII’s. I felt a loss for missing the 92 columbia mo and lawrence shows. those were dark days for me and I think about what could have been if I had attended those shows to ease my mind rather than what actually went down.

    1st show KC,KS 96. blown away. saw 4 in 97, 10 in 98, 10 in 99. ran km184s summer 98 and fall 99. the section was kind of intense but fun.

    hiatus + 2.0 brought college degree and family.

    mix for phish – I had a friend who wanted me to spin him something – I don’t remember what it was. He was a cath lab tech and played it for a patient who was under anesthetic – they totally ralphed on the operating table.

    love this board – not really the type to post, but loving the sense of community.

    I am as happy as ever to have the phish back. Had toyo tix but my girl started kindergarten two days later, so that was out. I did get to kick the tix to my friend who met up with our crew that all had our first show in KC 96. yeah, it wasn’t top leg two, but it was our boys on stage and that we can be thankful for. still working on grabbing the leg two shows. I think gorge I beats hartford after preliminary listens. IMHO, no doubt.

    sorry for the long post. I’ll be back.

  19. ridge rat Says:

    oh yeah –

    thank Mr. Miner. namaste

  20. danny_b_mt Says:

    Personally I’ve never been a huge fan of Trey’s Gamehenge narration. The story is in the lyrics and in the music and I’ve always found the verbiage a tad unnecessary and redundant. Sure, verbal excursions like Friday’s Pong talk can offer funny and amusing interludes, but when it comes right down to it I’m here to hear the music.

    I know there have been times when the other band members have grown tired of noodling in the background as Trey goes on and on, and I’m hopeful that the Hartford show was a foreshadowing of future excursions to Gamehendge in which the songs convey their own collective meaning.

  21. whole tour! Says:

    i agree
    the narration had it’s purpose
    but it was always kinda gimmicky
    they have kinda matured past that
    plus no narration = more jam time

    harpua is enough narration for me

  22. youenjoy09 Says:

    @Mr. C
    what are the greyfolded files on your mediafire account?

  23. youenjoy09 Says:

    darkstar compilation?

  24. ridge rat Says:

    greyfolded is many DS versions patched, layered, and folded over each other. The liner notes to the disc has a timeline showing the disc content labeled w/ every version of DS included. one section has the whole enchilada folded into something like 5 seconds. maybe the thing has all versions of DS?

  25. voopa Says:


    HIGHLY recommended!

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