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. Mr. Completely Says:

    I can totally see not liking that jam

    just like I can see not liking What’s The Use

    I love them both dearly and play them regularly at top volume

    but it’s not like a Went Gin jam or something that if someone doesn’t like it you have to question their sanity…it’s definitely a unique and different flavor.

  2. Marshall Says:

    @ voopa – thanks – interesting article.

  3. lot rat Says:

    Birdwatcher-Acapella tune trey wrote and recorded summer of 04. In fact I think he said on sirius they were done coventry, and he still had the band (much to their dismay) go in and finish their vocal tracks. So it was acapella, but they did noit record together, all sep tracks. also said at the time if phish got back together they would open with it.

    Corinna Corinna- Taj Mahal did this tune, not sure who wrote it.
    Corinna-ratdog bob wier penned this anthem about dry heaving

    Also, Mike has been talking about the andelmans yard for some time, he mentions it on 03 during his brief tour blog. It maybe the oddest song I have ever heard, but its catchy…

  4. Marshall Says:

    Short shows. Have you experienced one? First night at UIC in 1998 in Chicago, we were out the door in two and half hours. I caught a Dead Cover band at a bar afterwards, so it wasn’t all lost. Still, I’ve always wondered if the length of the show is 100% dependent on how the band feels in relation to the crowd. Or maybe the band doesn’t pay attention to time and just cuts when they get ready. It seems that the standard show is Set 1: 70-75 minutes, Set 2: 90-100 minutes (including encore). There are plenty of shows that run longer, but I’ve always felt a little cheated when I go to one and get anything shorter than what’s listed above.

  5. halcyon Says:

    Funny you mentioned this sumodie, I was just listening to 10/31/98 set 3 at work. I was at the show, and I remember that third set as a great way to coast in to the rest of the evening.

  6. halcyon Says:

    lot rat….Andelmans was Gordo’s neighbors growing up…thats what the song references

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    lol @ lot rat re: Corinna

    a friend who was still on tour in 92 or whenever they broke that out called me after the show:
    him: “Bobby has some weird new song about burritos!”
    me: “….burritos?”
    him: “I think so! They were singing ‘Burrrrrriiiiitoooos – chicken and beef!’ ”

    I still think of it that way.

  8. MOonSHaKE Says:

    @Mr. C: nice to hear we’ve got this in common, everything Viet is good (food, drinks, women are beautiful, etc). My wife is Vietnamese. I lived in Cambodia, and was able to travel quite a bit through Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. The best cafes are all Trung Nguyen cafes. Although I know nothing about coffee roasting process, grapevine whispers they use better to roast their beans. =P

  9. MOonSHaKE Says:

    ^^ correction: they use butter, not ‘better’ to roast their beans

  10. c0wfunk Says:

    I thought corrine corrina was a taj majal song – he does it regularly anyway.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    butter, the guy who posts here? well, good work dude!


    I’ve never been over to SE asia but we have tons of very legit asian food in PDX…one of my co-workers is vietnamese and she passes judgment on the carts…there’s one kinda new one that serves a chicken dish called Khao Man Gai that’s simple but really great

    I’d love to travel over there sometime

  12. Marshall Says:

    Taste’s step-child, the fog that surrounds, is listed on Phish Stats as “fog that surrounds,” sometimes and “taste the fog” others. Is this simply a labeling anomaly or does it indicate two different versions? I thought it was interesting also that the LivePhish recording for 12/14/1995 – Broome Cty Forum, Binghampton, lists the song as “Taste” even though Fishman sings the verses that normally give it a “fog” title.

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “but it’s not like a Went Gin jam or something that if someone doesn’t like it you have to question their sanity…it’s definitely a unique and different flavor.”

    the vegas wolfman’s is one of those jams that are almost meant to be listened to when high. i still appreciate it a lot when im sober but listening to it high is just otherworldly. whereas something like the went gin or more recently even the gorge gin are jams that when listening to sober make you feel high

  14. Marshall Says:

    A song that makes you feel high has much more staying power than one that you need to be high to enjoy.

  15. albert walker Says:

    I would never trust anyone that does not dig 10-31-98 Wolfman’s
    and would also question their sanity most definitely

  16. c0wfunk Says:

    marshall fog that surrounds was a song, then taste was a song that was similar, then there was a combination of the two, and then after billy breathes, it became the taste we know and love. Or something like that. But there were two separate songs at some point I believe.

  17. albert walker Says:

    Corina is one of my favorite covers

    what beautiful little blues tune

    I still cared about bust outs back then and that with Light Up or Leave Me Alone, left me speechless

    back then songs like that were just never going to be played again, period
    surprised we did not get one this summer

    it is different then the traditional song
    my favorite of the other version is done by Mississippi Jphn Hurt
    great track
    The Phish song is a Taj Mahal tune from the late 60’s

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    right, c0w – FAQ sez “”Taste” appeared in June 1995, became revised as “Fog That Surrounds” in September, and since the summer of 1996 Europe tour there has been a combined and revised “Taste” in October. (The latter was initially called “Tasty Fog”.) “

  19. Marshall Says:

    Completely – which FAQ are you referring to?

  20. albert walker Says:

    Anyone feeling adventurous I thought of a good album to check out

    very fitting the band is called Ghost

    they are a psyche rock band from Japan that all play multiple instruments
    there early 90’s records were on Drag City (small Chicago rock label)

    I’ve brought these albums out of retirement yesterday and had forgotten how amazing they are
    very retro sounding early floyd, moody blues, 13th floor elevators , Can inspired trippy ass shit
    very cool

  21. Mr. Completely Says:



  22. c0wfunk Says:

    I really like when they do the “ooooh” during the “step into space .. alter my place” section. I miss it when they drop it.

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    ^^^^ very very VERY out of date but still useful at times

  24. c0wfunk Says:

    I think I posted this here before, but at the show when they busted out corrinna (big cypress?) trey was wearing this old 60s looking embroidered shirt with a rainbow that went over his shoulder and there’s a line in the song that says “got a rainbow round my shoulder” .. always wondered if the shirt spurred the bustout or the bustout inspired the shirt..

  25. Danny B Says:

    AW: I know of Ghost, they rock

    Definitely get the early Floyd vibe from those dudes….even a little bit of Soft Machine too.

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