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”

  1. MOONSHAKE Says:

    @Leo: wow that’s a magical friend you’ve got there just marvelous were there a lot of ppl looking for tickets or were they like me and just gave up on even trying… i’ve got scores on the lot for boston gardens nye 94 and msg 97 nye and 12/30 which were very difficult but hampton after five year break but hampton, but at the outrageous prices they were going for on ebay and scalping type sites (one of which is owned by ticketmaster, the c**ts) I just guessed it would be a waste of time. thanks for your response, though. Cheers =^)

  2. fat bastard Says:

    man how can I be so dumb. should read I’m listening. anything else wouldn’t make much sense.

  3. fat bastard Says:

    the lightning at Deer Creek was the shit. Trying to get my car jumped after the show under sheets of rain and lightning was scary. I thought I was going to get electricuted

  4. JP Says:

    @ whole tour! again – 9.14.99 Bag – I have been waiting to hear a sbd version of this for so long – dude, you totally made my month – can’t freakin’ believe it!

  5. MOONSHAKE Says:

    @Marshall: I paid a fairly hefty sum for Asheville, too. I wasn’t about to miss that show, though.

    As for your comments earlier about pavillion/lawn seats, I totally agree that getting into the pavillion by crashing gates and invading other ppl’s space is definitely not to be condoned. I remember seeing the folks crashing the fence that surrounded the lawn at Grateful Dead@Deer Creek ’95 just to get in the show, and the chaos that ensued. The day afterward, the Grateful Dead (all members) released a notice and had it distributed to all fans stating that if they continued the behaviour, the band would stop playing all together. There were stickers made out that stated ‘Gate Crashers Suck’

    But what I was talking about I guess was getting into good seats by using other methods that don’t include doing anything risky or uncool, such as talking your way into it. Remember that as impossible as it sounds, I got box seats in Hartford from a FAKE lawn ticket. It was a show that I had to go against all odds to get into, but I didn’t crash any gates nor did I intrude anybody’s space.

  6. Leo Weaver Says:

    @moon…there were LOTS of folks looking. But they all had the same disheartened, frustrated, disappointed look on their faces…I actually felt kinda bad ’cause everyone couldn’t get in.

    And I paid too much for my Asheville tix…wouldn’t have missed that one for anything!

  7. voopa Says:

    Keller Williams’ “Gate Crashers Suck” is a brilliant song.


  8. fat bastard Says:

    moonshake on a mission=mission accomplished

  9. fat bastard Says:

    I always thought it was watchful horsemasters. hosemasters doesn’t make much sense to me.

  10. whole tour! Says:

    thought i was out for the night, but plans change!

    @jp… i’m glad your digging the archives stuff as much as i am!! DEAR LORD!!! I don;t think i’ve ever heard that “ghost > slave” as clear as that since that electric day in hot lanta. You know it’s gonna be a wild set whenever you hear fishman’s devilish laugh. I had never heard it before today!!! if you listen closely at the start of that ghost he laughs his ass off!!!

    here is the exact Kevin Shapiro quote courtesy of dog gone blog via jambands.com:

    Interesting factoid: In a response to whether or not there is a possibility of a Big Cypress DVD, Shapiro had the following to say (click HERE to read the interview with jambands):

    “If you were asking my opinion I’d say 99%. Unedited or uninterrupted is the only way I’ve ever presented the idea. I think that’s how Cypress deserves to be presented. And no one has ever disagreed with that in principle. But that’s a very meaty video release. I don’t doubt that somewhere along the way, someone will suggest that we should release less than the whole thing. And by advocating a full-show release, I don’t think we rule that out. We could do it in full length, either in parts or altogether and still do a documentary or more creative piece on it too. I hope we do it in full even if it takes other forms as well. Nobody disagrees with the magic of Cypress. It’s a great show; a landmark event and we have excellent quality audio and video. It would be sick! The holy grail.”

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    lol @voopa, that’s hilarious – I haven’t heard that before

  12. voopa Says:

    Shoreline poster at drygoods, $50:


  13. MOONSHAKE Says:

    @fat bastard: i know das right! At Asheville, I was one of the first ones in the place (sweet talked one of the female security guards) to let me bypass the line, got best seats in da house for me and my friend. Now, this isn’t as much of a boast as it is an ode to a lot of lot kids I remember (including myself) back in the mid 90s who would find a way in the show, no matter how difficult to get in. It’s a skill I don’t see too much anymore. There’s no skill to gate crashing, but there is a skill to getting in through other methods.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    the Jedi Mind Trick is a powerful weapon – just be careful not to go over to the dark side 😮

  15. whole tour! Says:


    amen brother! it’s a lost artform.

    I heard rumors this past tour that some folks snuck into red rocks a few days early and laid down on top of the concession stand roof. The staff found them and now they know to look up there..lol

    i also heard that some dude hid in a closet for 2 weeks at the fox in st.louis trying to sneak into that one. That’s dedication there.

  16. whole tour! Says:

    gatecrashing does indeed suck, and ther eis no place for it at shows…BUT…

    creative group massings at the door that result in one or two lucky people sneaking in is also a classice move at sold out shows. Hampton 2003 my friend and i were in a group of like 30 people who somehow managed to blob against the doors. Security caught like 10-15 people, but the other 10 of us mangaed to find ourselves in the hampton coliseum when otherwise we thought we’d be doomed to sit in the lot. Not reccomending it, but it sometimes works. 😉

  17. whole tour! Says:

    …hence the new line system at hampton 2009.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    got caught in a massive gatecrash first night of hampton ’87. you know those ramps that go up the outside? those still exist? someone popped a door open from inside up at the top of one of those right while we were walking by the base of the ramp and like a thousand freaks surged up the ramp…

    …we had tickets…me, and two very spun young ladies, one of them an exchange student from the UK who had never heard of the Dead and had thought that LSD no longer existed…we were each on 2 panes of gel…the other girl was at her first show too. We had to bust a move up over the little wall at the edge of the ramp and jump back down to the ground…

    scary as hell and definitely dangerous, the cops were busting heads

    I always had things to trade for tickets so never had to sneak in – I agree with above sentiments though – mass gatecrashing is terrible, but stealthing your way in or using Jedi mind powers is fair game, and even admirable in a way

  19. Lycanthropist Says:

    @wt! –

    so where you at now in your rewind?

    @marshall –

    no phish show tonight?

  20. MOONSHAKE Says:

    bullshit or not? you make the choice… 😉

    Those urban legends are great… I wonder if they are really true or not. I really can’t expect you guys to believe my good fortune at Hartford, but it doesn’t really matter because I know it happened. And at 31 years old, married, after living 5 years in South East Asia and having three near death experiences in the past 3 years, I don’t have any time for nonsense. I just know that life is too short for bad seats and there are 1000 ways to skin a cat.

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    then one very snakey friend – well not friend, member of the social group – snuck in to Hampton Warlocks ’89, which was odd, because there were actually a fair number of extras available for reasons like this summers Phish tour – they’d been scooped up, then people didn’t both to come because they thought it’d be impossible to get in, resulting in face-or-below extras for the most heavily hyped shows in 9 years…

    anyway he snuck in. and thought he was on a roll and would double down, so he tried to BS his way backstage – and the hampton cops beat the shit out of him, found the half-sheet of acid in his pocket and tossed him in the pokey

    I mean they beat him seriously down to the ground, black and blue

    don’t fuck with Virginia cops!

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    @moon – I assumed it was true, and don’t care if it isn’t, it’s such a good story….shit like that definitely happens fo realz

    “Things need not have happened to be true” as neil gaiman said

  23. whole tour! Says:


    been hitting 2-3 shows a day now since last week…hit a lull with work and school. So now i’m just at the Deer Creek show. Been hitting whatever matrix i have or the best auds. Been doing an aud to soundboard comparison for shits and giggles.

  24. Marshall Says:

    Word to that. I saw more cops in VA than I’ve ever seen in my life.

  25. MOONSHAKE Says:

    I’m out everybody. Shift’s over. Try to check everybody out when I get home. Cheers =^)

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