Moments In a Box: The Northeast

In our continuing remembrances of this past summer, let’s travel back to the final four shows of tour.  Returning to the Northeast after an other-worldly run out west, Phish came home to some classic sheds to punctuate the season.  While each show had improvisational highlights- many which have been discussed- here is a look at some of the moments that fit in between the more significant jams.


Fluffhead” 8.13 Darien Lake II

Darien Lake 8.13 (D.Vann)

Darien Lake 8.13 (D.Vann)

At the conclusion of a smoking set that has been largely glossed over, Phish pulled out a massive version of “Fluffhead.”  Following the opening ebb and flow of “Drowned > Caspian > Rift” and a ripping mid-set “Antelope,” Phish played a top-notch rendition of their once-elusive classic to close it out..  After an almost note-perfect jaunt through the many composed sections, Trey took command at the top, gushing with a triumphant solo that packed a heartfelt wallop.  Out of the the many versions of “Fluff” this summer, this one sits in the upper echelon, and it served as a vibrant exclamation point to the band’s return to the circus tents of Darien.



Icculus” 8.14 Hartford II

Hartford 8.14 (D.Vann)

Hartford 8.14 (D.Vann)

After Phish had shredded this set apart with improv galore, they reached a point of sustained banter.  As Trey joked with the audience after “Catapult,” the band made a subtle change to “Icculus” in the background.  Appearing for only the tenth time since 1990, the audience responded immediately and enthusiastically to the musical shift.  Delving deep into Phish lore, Trey went on an early-nineties tirade about our over-technological generation, our need for the “fucking book,” and the “great and knowledgeable” prophet of Gamehendge.  An undeniably significant moment in the re-evolution of the band, the passion infused into this ancient bust-out confirmed that things were once again in order in the land of Lizards.



Party Time” 8.15 Merriweather I

Merriweather 8.15 (K.Pusey)

Merriweather 8.15 (K.Pusey)

When discussing the band’s forthcoming album and new family-oriented vibe after Hampton, Trey joked that they should ironically title the record, “Party Time.”  This joke turned into a more substantial rumor when a track listing emerged from the band’s studio sessions in May that had “Party Time” amidst other songs.  It could have been an inside joke- we had no idea, but when Trey happily introduced the Fishman-penned original at Merriwether, the band and crowd erupted in laughter and cheer.  Kicking into their take on New Orleans party-funk, the band foreshadowed what could develop into a much larger and entertaining jam vehicle.  If I had to guess, we’ll hear a extensive version to open up the band’s highly-anticipated festival in Indio come Halloween- but for now, it’s “Paaaaaarty Tiiime!”



“Harpua” 8.16 SPAC II

SPAC (D.Perrucci)

SPAC (D.Perrucci)

“Oom Pah Pah, Oom Pah Pah, Oom Pah Paaaaaaaah…”  And SPAC exploded.  On the final night of summer, Phish revived one of their oldest narratives about Jimmy, Posternutbag, and the fat, sweaty bulldog.  Stamping a show as special with its mere inclusion, this go-round was even more significant, as it was the modern era bust-out of  “Harpua.”  In this story, a depressed Jimmy meditaded in his bedroom, summoning his spirit guide in the form of Fishman floating in his window.  Imparting with him the all-powerful truth, Fiashman sang a spoof of “I Kissed a Girl.”  An absurd tale, no doubt, this return of “Harpua,” coupled with “YEM,” brought a Phishy end to an unforgettable summer.


Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Ghost > Wolfman’s” 7.30 II Red Rocks


This was our first taste of the wide-open exploration that would characterize the western shows.  Like a breath of life into the world of Phish, this musical passage was the indelible memory from Red Rocks’ opening night.



8.15.2009 Merriweather Post Pavilion < Torrent

8.15.2009 Merriweather Post Pavilion < Megaupload

Official Merriweather Poster

Official Merriweather Poster

A fun first set with many bust-outs was followed by the most tame second frame of tour.  The “46 Days,” however, is one of the jams of the summer.

I: Crowd Control, Kill Devil Falls, The Sloth, Beauty Of A Broken Heart, Axilla I, Foam, Esther, Ha Ha Ha, Party Time, Tube, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Strange Design, Time Turns Elastic

II: Tweezer > Taste, Alaska, Let Me Lie, 46 Days > Oh! Sweet Nuthin’, Harry Hood

E: Good Times Bad Times, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Schoeps mk22> KCY> Schoeps VMS02IB> Apogee Mini-Me> SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)
(Taper – taylorc)

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423 Responses to “Moments In a Box: The Northeast”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’d like to request a tube right now

  2. dyda Says:

    they’ll play it when they want to play it. look at the star lake version. hot as hell. now look at the mpp version. short and not very inspired. to go to a show only wanting to hear one song and annoying people around you by shouting for it all set. yeah stfu cause you’re missing the show.

  3. Jason Waite Says:


  4. voopa Says:

    The Outside Lands Fest in SF is streaming live on youtube this weekend starting tonight. Dead Weather, DMB, Thievery Corp, among others.

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    Thievery Corp. is fantastic live

  6. Jay Says:

    We want Billy!, We Want Brent!, We want volunteers from the audience!

  7. Jason Waite Says:

    all i know is the guy standing next to me @ a show screaming anything (yes, even TUBE) kinda gets me going

  8. Lycanthropist Says:

    “I mean, if you were born to be a rocker, but you’re 15 and all you’ve heard is radio music, and you catch a buzz and someone drops a classic Phish jam on you? that’s a formative moment right there”

    @Mr C. – this exact thing happened to me.

    I wanna weigh in on musical progressions, lets see if I can remember:

    Beatles, Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel >
    Counting Crows, Blind Melon, Ben Folds Five >
    Metallica, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin >
    Phish >
    Talking Heads, Grateful Dead, Velvet Underground >
    Phish >
    Phish >
    Medeski Martin Wood >
    Medeski Martin Wood >
    Chance Fisher >
    Radiohead >
    Chance Fisher >
    This Side Up >

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’ll never forget the idiocy that was the “Let Mickey Sing” chant….the band was aghast…and a decade later, what happened? And now he won’t shut up.

    careful what you ask for

  10. Lycanthropist Says:

    whoops throw Floyd in there with Zeppelin

  11. whole tour! Says:

    i thanked jah they repeated tube in asheville. thought i would’ve missed it because of camden.

  12. Jay Says:

    At a Phish show is Knoxville someone kept yelling FREEBIRD!!! Which was an inside joke on people yelling for the bands to play thier #1 hit. Then they encored with an acapella version of Freebird and blew me away.

  13. wvbrdr Says:

    I love that classic dead show from 5-2-70 where they start mocking all the people calling for St. Stephen. Hilarious.

  14. Marshall Says:

    I just think its noteworthy that the Band recognizes requests and plays some (Funky Bitch at Alpine Valley night 2 was by request; KDF – well that was a joke of course). I’m not saying I’m in favor of people shouting out requests constantly, but I like it when the crowd roars “tuuuuuubbe” every once in a while. I think the band digs it sometimes. But they’ll never play a tweezer by request – that’s just plain stupid. $0.02

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    “been you to have any schhhhhhhhhhhhhhwwwwiissss cheese…..maaaan?”

    this spac set’s pretty funny

    @wv there’s another show from around that time where someone requests “Crocodile” which leads to some hilarity

  16. dyda Says:

    they need to bring the a capella freebird back. that’s another one you don’t want to play for someone who isn’t in on the joke. the looks i’ve gotten from that one are pretty good. the technical side of performing that one is lost on them cause it’s just such a bastardization of a classic in their view.

  17. dyda Says:

    tweezer! response: scissors! that’d be an amusing way to deal with it.

    yeah, don’t get me wrong it is very cool that they take requests but the alpine bitch and ashville tube/first tube weren’t the result of a set long annoying attempt

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    I still hear Freebird in my head with a heavy Finnish accent

    a friend of mine in HS was over from Finland, a guitar player and for some reason super into Skynyrd…he’d get real drunk on Jack and play their songs, pretty well, but he’d sing them in a super thick Finnish accent…all their songs have that association for me and always will I guess

  19. Jay Says:

    Tweezer! Splinter!

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    imagine the Swedish Chef from the muppets, minus the “bork bork bork”

    pretty weird

  21. dyda Says:

    ok looks like most people have headed off home for the weekend. i for one am smelling a neighbors’ charcoal starting up (actually it’s more like lighter fluid i’m smelling at this point). beer time! kinda proud of myself that i started my campfires without having to douse butane all over the place. grab a chunk of magnesium, sock lint or some fuel tabs instead.

  22. dyda Says:

    oh that’s pretty funny. i’m familiar with scandinavian accents. just had a flash of dethklok. (brutal!)

  23. Jay Says:

    we have movies and beer here at work! Did I tell you I love my job?

  24. Leo Weaver Says:

    yeah, it is about beer-thirty…think I’ll quit working and head home now. Work’s been so slow this year, it’s tough for me to bitch about still being here at 6 on a friday…but damn I’ve been working my ass off the past two weeks. Will it be a Sweetwater or Bells Two-Hearted…me thinks the two-hearted…catch up wit yous lata

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    after the fact that he’s safe, the second best thing about the Colonel being out of the war zone is that I will no longer feel petty and foolish bitching about my job

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