Taste the Fear

Merriweather 8.15 (K.Pusey)

Merriweather 8.15.09 (K.Pusey)

With so much new Phish to listen to these days, one of the most engaging and protean jams of the tour hasn’t gotten its proper credit.  Buried in a lackluster second set at Merriweather Post Pavilion, the band played one of their finest pieces of music since their return.  After listening to “46 Days” a few times over, it is certainly one of the most diverse, far-reaching Phish jams of the summer.  From heavy groove to ambient psychedelia, this jam brought us deep into the primordial soup before delivering us to heights uncharted.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

After a high-energy and exciting first set, comprised almost exclusively of bustouts, everyone was ready for the band to bring the heat in the second.  And when they opened with “Tweezer,” it seemed like Merriweather was about to explode.  But instead, Phish played one of the most uneventful renditions in  memory, on the way to a particularly slow beginning of the set.  Segueing quickly into “Taste,” we soon found ourselves listening to an “interlude” of “Alaska” and “Let Me Lie,” but nothing  spectacular had happened to necessitate one.  Thus when Phish started up “46 Days” it could have gone either way.  Phish could have just as easily played a eight-minute rendition of the song, continuing the pattern of the night, or they could have gone huge on the song- something they’ve done more than a couple times in the past.  Needless to say, they chose the latter.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

After a quick pass through the composition, Phish got right into the thick of things.  Springing off a bass-driven platform, the band entered some slowed down molasses-funk, and immediately we knew we were in for a ride.  Before long, we found ourselves knee-deep in a murky swamp of the mind, trudging through layered musical sludge that became slower and spacier with each step we took.  Bombarded with sonic textures, likening an alien encounter, Trey threw us a rope to hold onto via slower sustained melodies stemming from the dark side.  Mike led the band into menacing grooves, killing it with a unique backdrop that only he can provide.  Offering a faster idea, Trey hopped aboard the bass line, and soon infused the jam with its first taste of happiness.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

The band settled into a soundscape with Trey delicately atop, and soon built the piece into awesome whole-band ambient sculpture.  As the music reached its most abstract point, Trey added a faster rhythm pattern that, at first, seemed out of place.  But as the band built around his offering, the music became divine.  And as Trey started to solo in this vein, Fish kicked a dance beat and the band was off into some of the most organic, and spectacular improv of the summer.  Completely switching gears from its dark beginning, the subsequent music is pure Phish majesty.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

As the band continued into a tight, rhythmic pattern, Phish was in complete destruction mode, flowing as their heart desired.  Disconnected from any song structure, they played as if no one were there, and it was perfect.  Trey painted the blissful music with surreal melodic themes that Page complimented masterfully on piano.  Reaching a higher plane, the band collectively blossomed in a splendid segment of pure and utter hose. Trey’s lines transformed into mind-bending waterfalls in one of those you moments you couldn’t believe, even though it was happening right in front of you.

Following the jam’s soaring peak with an artistic denouement and a slip into “Oh! Sweet Nuthin,” Phish gave everyone a moment to breathe after their signature excursion.  The ballad was played with an emotional purpose, punctuating the exalting music that had just gone down.  Though it was the only taste of  exploration all night long, “46 Days” gave Merriweather’s second set some street cred with one of the greatest- and most overlooked- Winged music notejams of the tour.


Jam of the Day:

46 Days > Oh! Sweet Nuthin” 8.15 II




8.5.09 Shoreline, Mountain View CA < Torrent

8.5.09 Shoreline, Mountain View CA < Megaupload

2266988757_3aedc34579This mid-week stop in the Bay Area carried provided more than a few highlights, though has lived in the shadows of Red Rocks and The Gorge.  This show offers one the most exploratory “Diseases” of the year, a fine second set run of “Cities > Maze, Mike’s,” a hot first-set “Bowie,” and the return of Velvet Underground’s “Oh! Sweet Nuthin.”  Check it out.

I: Golgi Apparatus, Halley’s Comet, Chalk Dust Torture, The Divided Sky, When the Circus Comes, Time Turns Elastic, Ya Mar, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Suzy Greenberg, David Bowie

II: Backwards Down the Number Line, Down With Disease > Limb By Limb, Oh Sweet Nuthin’, Cities > Maze, Mike’s Song > Simple, Weekapaug Groove

E: Let Me Lie, Bold As Love

Source: Schoeps mk41> KCY> Schoeps VMS02IB> Apogee Mini-Me> SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)
(Taper- taylorc)



Merriweather Post Pavilion 8.15.09 (Photo – Kenny Pusey)

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362 Responses to “Taste the Fear”

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  1. ColonelJoy Says:

    MR. C,

    Call Stereo Dave’s before you go 971-221-7317….talk to a guy named Sean….he said they will not be there this Friday and Saturday, so don’t waste a trip…

  2. cottle Says:

    Good morning y’all. That 46 Days jam was SICK! I’d never quite warmed up to that song prior to the MPP show. I saw it a few times in 03/04, but it never really did anything for me, but when they busted it out at Merriweather, it finally delivered. I’m gonna have to pop this one in on the ride to work in just a minute, and give it a second listen.

  3. MOONSHAKE Says:

    I missed a good portion of the 1st set of MPP getting into the pavillion section. I mean to say, I was there when they started playing, and I heard every song, but I couldn’t focus so much on the music while I was working on the security, who didn’t want to budge at first. I finally made it to 10th row at the beginning of Esther. The rest of the first set was great, and I was very enthusiastic for what lay ahead in the second. MIn the second set, the Tweezer was quite unimpressive, as Mr. Miner stated. That being said, I’ve wanted to see 46 Days for a long time and this was the first one. And what a massive 46 Days it was. Oh, and I also really liked ‘Let me lie’

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    nice miner – thanks for the highlight of my only show this tour! my little story:

    so I was with a big group of people at MPP, and only me, my wife, my sister, and her husband had pavilion seats. We enjoyed the first set together, and then they ended up getting sidetracked at setbreak and never making it back to us. So we went from having four seats to it ended up 1 and a half, because this big, spun out / wasted dude was basically standing right on top of me with little sense that I was there… So when Tweezer started I said to my wife “they’re going to blow this up” .. and instead they peaked it out mildly, mellowed out, and moved into Taste, which blew it up….(a perfectly valid decision if you’re not feeling it in the middle of a jam, bug I digress)

    So during taste I finally had enough of this dude in my face and tapped him on the shoulder and explained politely that we had 2 more people coming back and these were our 4 seats, and if he’d kindly move over a bit, we’d all be better for it. He gave me a glassy look and a “enjoy the show man” and I was like uhhhh – how to deal (I”m not a big dude, he was, and quite out of it) so I spent time in mind torture space for a little bit, into Alaska which spoke directly to me – I’ll stay right here, I’ll stay right here, focused on my care bear stare and all my vibes on moving this dude in front of me.. so then we go through let me lie (nicely placed imo – you don’t have to be worn out to enjoy a ballad in my world)

    and then 46 days pops up. Well just as the jam started, I sent a huge *get out of my face* vibe to this dude and he jumped a little to the side, and I started to get down. And he was gettin down .. and then, just as that quicker section started at about 8 minutes, I caught a glimpse of this guy, fully blissed out and on a cloud, and saw such joy in his eyes, well I couldn’t hate him any more. And I accepted what was happening, I loved the music, and we shared a smile suddenly (I’m not convinced he knew anything about the encounters from minutes before) .. and then, just like that.. poof .. he disappeared for the rest of the show. And I enjoyed the last 5 minutes of this glorious jam in a huge dancing space and complete freedom. The hose in the 13-14 minute realm is just blissful phish at it’s best.

    Then the mystical slide into Oh Sweet Nuthin .. our family had taken all the stash at setbreak and never returned, so this was quite poignant to us – we shared a laugh, and then that magical hood, and all was well in gamehenge at last.

    “find my way into the same old jam”

  5. MOONSHAKE Says:

    nice story c0wfunk. i swear that wasn’t me 😉

  6. bhizzle Says:

    protean????? protean????? I thought my vocab was on the higher end of the spectrum but I have to ask.

    cool story c0wfunk, the power of the vibes is ridiculous.

  7. Marshall Says:

    Interesting this morning with the polar view stories about pavilion seats – wonder what people on here think as a whole – are pavilion seats a privilege to have scored or a right to be exercised at will?

  8. smegma Says:

    nice to see some talk about the one show I went to. I was right at the front of the law for 46 days. very steep slope there – tough to stand/dance for very long there. I was watching Page as the jam wound down. Trey walked over to him and said something and Page gave this “Hell, I don’t know what to play now….ok fine, how about this!” before starting sweet nothin. Just a funny little moment. That “Taste” was pretty sweet too, even though the segue out of tweezer was forced. Unfortunately, Alaska and Let me lie are my two least favorite new songs, so getting both in a row was not my favorite moment. Like i’ve said before, though, this was a good, and very fun show.

  9. GunningForYou Says:

    I thought the “Alaska” was great at MPP. Of course I had only seen “Classic” TAB do it. What I especially loved about it was the very beginning when Trey messes up and asks to start it again (without the band ever stopping the music) and Page, without missing a beat, says, “3 times”.

    So, essentially, the song starts off, “I always have to tell her to relax/I always have to tell her to relax/I always have to tell her to relax”

    Sounds shitty, but it sure was fun. Made me smile

  10. c0wfunk Says:

    I’m not really an assigned seats kind of guy, but if I get decent ones, (we were fishman side of sbd midway back, not spectacular, but good view and good sound) I will exercise my right to keep them .. And no matter whose seat you take, if be respectful of other’s space – especially if you are the one invading!!

    On a related note, my brother-in-law did try to make his way back to us with his buddy but ended up a section to the right, and then used their (wrong) ticket stubs to force out some kids midset – they didn’t realize until after show , but it was kind of funny.

  11. Mitch Says:


    Notkuroda and halycon,
    email me today about the posters. We need quick action because a couple other people want them.

    tickets at facemelt dot net

    sorry to everyone else for the hijack/junk

  12. Mitch Says:

    @Gunning for you,
    I’ll have to listen to that Alaska but Trey did the same thing at the gorge. I wondered why he kept repeating himself. “I always had to tell her to relax” x3

  13. Litteringand Says:

    Miner- you seem to be a man in the know, have you hear any rumors in regard to fall dates. The strongest one I’ve heard is Miami for NYE

  14. MOONSHAKE Says:

    @Marshall: I’ll agree with c0wfunk that I’m not a fan of reserved seating. I also don’t like the lawn. My opinion is that if you’re not doing anything dangerous (i.e. crashing the security line, jumping from the lawn to the floor) and you’re not intruding into someone else’s space, it’s fair game. Now if a fan doesn’t break this unwritten code and yet is lucky enough to get into the pavillion section without a pavillion ticket, or into a sold-out show without a ticket at all, I say good on them. it is still a privilege because the fan had to work to get in, and not just by throwing money on an overpriced ticket on Ebay.

  15. c0wfunk Says:

    Mitch on the gorge version you can also hear page say “say it 3 times now” after the second time … And in avl he only sings the line once, and it’s slightly awkward, so I’m thinking this is an intentional rework and page is helping trey keep his place..

  16. notkuroda Says:

    @Mitch, take me out of the running. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, I’ve been sick for about a week and my head just hasn’t been screwed on right. Thanks a lot for holding out for us

  17. notkuroda Says:

    and this 46 days is GREAT! Love the story cowfunk.

  18. halcyon Says:

    @ Mitch….email sent! 🙂

    I never got into 46 days as much as my favs, but am really digging this version.

  19. sumodie Says:

    “On a related note, my brother-in-law did try to make his way back to us with his buddy but ended up a section to the right, and then used their (wrong) ticket stubs to force out some kids midset”

    This is why one should always ask to see the person’s ticket stub before moving -many times folks will say you’re in their seat when they, intentionally or not, do not have the actual ticket they claim to have.

    Of course if they do have your seat, then move and don’t whine. I’ve no sympathy for people in my seat claiming its unfair because the show has started or some other lame reason.

    GA shows are the best -especially those with no chairs.

  20. c0wfunk Says:

    Ah they did show the stub – but nobody realized cuz it was same row and seat, just a section over ..

  21. bread Says:

    @ moonshake
    -Most people had to work for $ to buy tickets on Ebay

  22. Danny B Says:

    I thought MPP was going to be “The Show”, and most other people I talked to felt the same way. I ended up not being able to go, and after Hartford figured that they would either completely melt everyones faces, or just kind of fizzle out and play relaxed show. I forced myslef not to look at the setlist until before I drove up to SPAC, and found myslef thinking that either the tweezer was off the hook or the 46 days would be. Once I found my buddies before SPAC they all seemed pretty bummed out about the MPP show. They sat in traffic and missed most of the first set, and while they enjoyed the second set, they felt pretty underwhelmed by it.

    After just listening to 46 Days> Oh Sweet Nothin’……..I wish I had made the trek. Really cool jam, especially around the 12 to 13 minute mark.

  23. Marshall Says:

    I agree – GA shows ARE best. Too bad most venues don’t allow it because of the problems they experience when trying it with other acts.

  24. Neemor Says:

    Litteringand….they’ve been posted here a few times.

    Stick around, someone will eventually throw them up again. Mostly New England, MSG early Dec. Charlottesville? And Miami NYE.

    The 46 Days was sweet. The 7 minute mark, that sound, transports me right back to the Tower. You know what I mean.
    I loved the 46 Days from Camden, give that one a relisten. 46 Days>Lizards,Wedge….great stuff and it all stems from that 46 Days.
    I think this may be their strongest modern-era launching pad.

    Nice post Miner.

  25. Marshall Says:

    The crush for tickets is making me wonder how bad its going to be for Europe. It’s a much different world than it was in the mid and late 90s. There are a whole bunch more fans today, many of whom have earned a buck or two, many of whom either remember how great Europe is, or heard about it and said they’ll never miss that again, and I’m expecting that there will be major competition for the tickets. Not to mention the whole electronic scalping scene that didn’t exist back then. If Phish is smart they’ll sell 100% of the European tickets themselves. Surely Ticketbastards reach doesn’t extend across the pond?

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