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. Dbone Says:

    I know that some people haven’t liked it as much but I’ve always been fan of 46 days. I remember seeing the the first one (I think) at the first show of Hampton 03 and, despite some first set highlights, that 46 days was the moment for me at that show. It was new, relatively tight and funky. Trey was wailing, and the rest were holding down a tight and funky beat. They would sort of do this thing where they would slow down and then pick it up again (at least in my memory that’s what was happening) and I remember thinking that page, fish and mike were this super funk machine that kept chugging and chugging along behind trey the rock god. Anway, talk about memories and impressions, I was hooked on 46 days from the beginning (besides it has the Lee Fordham lyric which always reminds me of the Omaha Harry Hood from ’96 that I witnessed).

    All that to say, even though I wasn’t there, I was so glad to hear the MPP (my childhood ‘hometown’ summer venue) 46 days blow it up. It took a while but the song finally showed the potential of what it can be.

  2. c0wfunk Says:

    Maybe the ticket scene will mellow now that we had tours that all shows were relatively easy tix – with a few exceptions of course (rr avl fox merri?)

  3. Steve Says:

    Great review…Confusing show for me, 1st set seemed loose filled with potential…then they opened with Tweezer and thought we were looking for the shed to explode..then the set kinda died until 46 Days which was as dark and dank phish I’ve heard all summer. Really was a joy to hear and a very interesting Hood to close set II.

  4. Dbone Says:

    @Marshall or anyone else — what’s the word/rumor/current thinking on Europe? I know some have been talking about it but I’ve heard everything from there are no plans because of the bad things that the band got into (t)here in the past (which I kind of dismiss because they are focused and committed) to it might happen in the spring to right now they are focusing on the US and we might see something a couple years down the road.

    have there been any more substantial rumors or information getting out about that?

  5. RobAins Says:

    I think it was Moonshake who made a comment earlier about getting into the show taking a while, or something about security. I was kind of surprised to hear this, but figured my experience was a totally random stroke of luck. It literally took me 5 minuets to go from my car to my Pav seats. We couldn’t see the venue from our parking spot, and I remember saying to a buddy let’s grab 2 beers for the road b/c there will certainly be a line. Well, we walked to the top of a small hill, and saw the gate with about 3 people walking in. Very strange. Must have been 20 min before showtime. I had only drank 1/2 of 1 beer and gave the other away as I headed in. As for security, I walked right past them. My buddy and I looked at eachother with a look of “what the hell?”

  6. hawkinbj Says:

    What is this talk about Europe tour in the comments?

  7. c0wfunk Says:

    Its amazing what a straight forward rock song like 46 days has become. I figured after hearing it on round room that it’d be a chalkdusty-char0 set closer. As dbone mentioned, they quickly showed us at hampton 03 that they had other plans, and it seems like more often than not it’s been a monster. I believe the IT festie had a Huge one iirc, and there was a big one to open set 2 of coventry, I’m sure there are others that I don’t know so well. I’m not sure I remember a “standard” 46 days that comes to mind

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    Rob maybe you found scwhilly gate b where I entered .. There was a dude with an afro and a couple of young punk looking kids “checking bags” and no pat down whatsoever. My sis lives 10 min from there so we parked at the mall across the st and avoided all traffic, then cruised the lot and walked right in with no wait at like 7:15

  9. Marshall Says:

    No official word on Europe but Miner posted yesterday afternoon that he’s hearing talk of a trans-atlantic tour next April/May.

  10. notkuroda Says:

    @Dbone-are you from Columbia? I grew up there

  11. notkuroda Says:

    it’s weird that’s the venue I grew up near and have never seen Phish there…

  12. halcyon Says:

    I have listened to 46days again this morning, and have decided to dig in my collection and start revisiting this song….its a good vehicle for some dark fun

  13. c0wfunk Says:

    I went to hs in northern md (harford county) and saw a bunch of shows at mpp in the 90s, including phish, jimmy buffet, wsp – it was pretty surreal being back there. I had forgotten how schwilly that dc / bmore crowd can be and how crazy.that place gets when full.

  14. Leo Weaver Says:

    “fish and mike were this super funk machine that kept chugging and chugging along behind trey the rock god”

    I like that dbone…good imagery. I was underwhelmed (as most) with the Tweezer, thought maybe it’d be huge since it was the setII opener. But 46 days made up for it and then some. And I really enjoyed the first set, thought it was a LOT of fun (and got my first Esther!). As for the venue, it’s a beautiful place, but the sound wasn’t particularly good where I was (last row of right loge). But I had plenty of ass-shaking room…and pretty good neighbors. I feel kinda sorry for one guy…I think I smoked him up ’til he turned to a mound of goo. He finally was vehemently turning down my offers…the trainwreck was true to its name.

  15. c0wfunk Says:

    Damn leo I wish we were near you – I was offered (and I have to say didn’t decline) schwag blunts no less than 10 times that show. Speaks volumes about the crowd there…

  16. fat bastard Says:

    one mans scwag is another man’s score

  17. Leo Weaver Says:

    yeah, the guy looked at me during the first set and said “man, that’s good shit, thanks…I’ll go find my buddy and twist up a fatty…but it’s just schwag, nothing like what you’ve got.” so he showed back up right after second set started and sparked up a big twisty…tasted like shit, but I’ll never turn down a nice fat j! And yes, I am a self-admitted beer, coffee, and pot snob…sorry. But if you’re my neighbor during a show sending out good vibes and are “well behaved”, rest assured I’ll share…karma can be a great thing so I do what I can to keep her happy.

  18. Lycanthropist Says:

    track listing for “Party Time”:

    Party Time (2:43)
    Alaska (7:16)
    Windy City (5:20)
    In A Misty Glade (2:51)
    Gone (4:10)
    Only A Dream (4:10)
    The Birdwatcher (2:16)
    Let Me Lie (3:57)
    If I Told You (3:53)
    Splinters Of Hail (3:33)
    Can’t Come Back (4:38)
    Shrine (1:54)
    Liquid Time (4:23)

  19. Leo Weaver Says:

    oh, and cowfunk…if you ever get over to charlotte, lemme know…we’ll grab some beers, etc. I live about 10 blocks from the stadium and 15 from the middle of downtown. This goes for any of you guys who may find yourself in Charlotte (Marshall, Nabby, Cottle, etc, etc)

  20. Marshall Says:

    LW – where are you on the coffee snobbery scale – I grind Eight O’Clock French Roast beans every morning.

  21. Marshall Says:

    Thanks Lycan. I’ve been wondering what all was going to be on that “second complete album.” Will it be available outside of the box set?

  22. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Ticketmaster is global.

    JOTD is freakin sweet.

  23. Lycanthropist Says:

    @Leo –

    May be in Charlotte soon. I got family (that I like lol) that lives there, and am planning to head up that way soon. We should definitely grab some beers.

  24. Lycanthropist Says:

    @Marshall –

    pretty sure its only included in the Joy Box

    however give it one or two days after its released and I am sure you will be able to find it to download somewhere

  25. fat bastard Says:

    man i’m excited about all the new material! sets will be harder and harder to predict for you mr. miner

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