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. cottle Says:

    Nevermind, Wikipedia says it was Bo Chatmon and the Mississippi Sheiks in 1928.

  2. Marshall Says:

    @ cottle – OK, you are right, CC is a cover. Damn. That’s how difficult this is trying to figure out what’s theirs and what’s not. What’s an uneducated, underexposed, and unrefined Phish fan to do.

  3. MOonSHaKE Says:

    @notkuroda: I agree the New Deal is sick I really liked that track ‘Gone Gone Gone’ love to see them live

  4. voopa Says:

    Trey guests

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    @cottle, what, Corrine Corinna? It’s a super old school folk song going back to like pre Woody Guthrie days

    there have been a lot of blues versions…also like Texas swing…bluegrass…etc. It was a standard in the 60s folk revival I think.

  6. MOonSHaKE Says:

    Marshall: earlier you were asking for everybody’s thoughts on pavillion seats being a privilege or a right. What’s your take on the topic? Just curious…

  7. nonoyolker Says:

    Best version of Corrine Corrina in my book is Taj Mahal. Kill it. Love that track.

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    are there people who haven’t heard the freewheelin’ bob dylan?

  9. ATL 007 Says:

    I order coffee from

    They have fantastic coffee and donate to our troops! The “Pure Peruvian Organic Coffee” is my fav…Check it out

  10. Aquaman Says:

    Not much say today folks except that The New Deal is really, really sick.

    One of my favorite dance bands. Silver Wrapper here in Chicago has brought them to the Logan Square Auditorium a few times and every single time is have been a dance – freakster fest……and I for one love it!

    Also @Miner

    “Taste the Fear”…….and Smell The Glove!


  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    @voopa, interesting…at first from the song title I thought it was a weird thing for him to play on, but I like the lyric….

    Not a great song imo…a little clumsy with all the beatlesque changes…but not bad, and Trey sounds great…with all the layered guitars at the end it sounds like a Derek and the Dominos outro…the end is the best part

    thanks a lot for the link

  12. Marshall Says:

    @ Moon – My take is a mixture of what others have written already, but here are my “thoughts.” If I don’t score pavilion tickets, I stay on the lawn and respect those who did get them. I prefer GA shows so that people can decide on their own where to be, but when seats do get assigned then I respect their “rights” to have that space. I figure I get my turn under the shed enough, that its also cool to enjoy the night sky other times – I would never have enjoyed the amazing lighting show that was displayed during Fluffhead at Deer Creek this year otherwise. If I had my way, I’d be dead center about 25 rows back (or the floor equivalent) for every show, to enjoy both the music and the lights, but I’m not going to screw other people over to make that happen. In the end, if things are too crowded under the pavilion because of crashers, I’d rather be out on the lawn anyway. Space is more important than proximity to me. I did love my front row seat at The Omni for Halloween though.

  13. Marshall Says:

    that was supposed to be “amazing lightNing show” – if you haven’t seen the lightning display then check out YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=709wJitVaDY this is a 16 sec clip but it went on like this for about 5 minutes or more. Crazy!

  14. Marshall Says:

    When Destiny Unbound was busted out in Feb ’03, it hadn’t been played for 790 shows. Is there a Phish original with a longer gap than that?

  15. nonoyolker Says:

    ^ Marshall – that clip is insane. I would poop if i saw that mid show

  16. Mitch Says:

    did you email me yet about the posters? I checked at lunch and didn’t see anything.

    tickets at facemelt dot net

  17. Marshall Says:

    @ nonoyo – there are other clips on youtube that show it all, but of course, it is nothing like being there, in part, because you know its coming. Seriously, it went on like that for a while and people who had been at Walnut Creek said it far surpassed what went on there. Kuroda had a lil’ help the man upstairs that night.

  18. sumodie Says:

    “Does anyone know John Zinkand?

    I ran across an article today at jambands.com:

    Thanks for the link. I don’t get jambands nowadays -the two recent reviews by Dan Greenhaus are terrible (talk about a jaded vet), and this nicely written little piece by Zinkand on his Gorge experience is not even highlighted on the main page (you have to click on Zinkand’s name on the left).

    @voopa: thanks for the trey link

  19. Jay Says:

    just listened to Shoreline Limb and there is a hilarious big deep breath before the last limb. Don’t remember anybody making mention of it before.

  20. MOonSHaKE Says:

    Not a huge fan of coffee but I drank a lot more iced coffee when I lived in South East Asia for five years (just came back last Dec). It’s so hot there that iced coffee is where it’s at, just sit at an open-air Vietnamese cafe, enjoy the heat whilst watching a sea of motorbikes drive by. Vietnamese coffee is very famous, though. If you ever get a chance, try Trung Nguyen coffee (last name pronounced like Ween with a NG sound at the beginning, difficult to explain without hearing it really) most Asian supermarkets should have it. Oh, don’t forget, use sweetened condensed milk (pours like syrup) not just regular milk because it makes an iced coffee too watery. Cheers =^)

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    ha Jay I remember hearing that – Fish must’ve been just about wore out

    never did understand how he could make it thru that song

    @sumodie – jambands.com still exists?


    well, learn something every day I guess

  22. voopa Says:

    @ Marshall

    The Curtain With – 6-19-88 > 7-12-00
    (1045 shows between)


  23. Mitch Says:

    I ran across that link while checking a blurb on hidden track. When I went to find it later I had to google to find it because its hidden deep on the site.

    I liked the article a lot obviously because he saw my big ass grin. I’m gonna send him the pics we took.

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    Viet and Thai iced coffee are awesome.

    My favorite Viet food cart just stopped doing the coffee for some reason, booo

    Viet street food fucking rules. The combination of SE Asian with some French technique from colonial days – like the grilled sandwiches on french bread – just amazing stuff.

  25. sumodie Says:

    RE: Yesterday’s talk on 1998 Vegas Halloween Wolfman’s

    Speaking of folks who didn’t like the ’98 Halloween Wolfman’s, Zinkand references it in his jambands article mentioned above:

    “The 3rd set of the Vegas 1998 Halloween show was particularly perplexing for me. It as slow, disjointed, and sounded odd. Not a way to top off a Halloween show in Las Vegas, in my opinion. But some people loved it, so maybe I’m just not open-minded or whatever. But it wasn’t my cup of tea.”

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