Throughout the Summer of ’09, Phish dusted off more than a few songs from their seemingly endless catalog, busting out surprises all tour, from “Curtis Loew” and “Destiny Unbound” to “Icculus” and “Harpua.” But even though many rarities surfaced, there are still some songs that have yet to emerge in the 3.0 era. While this isn’t a complete list, here are some songs that will make a splash upon their reintroduction.
“Scents & Subtle Sounds”
One of the most anticipated returns waiting to happen, many thought we’d hear this one unveiled somewhere along summer’s second leg. When “Scents” finally does resurface, one can only hope it will be in its original form – with the introduction attached. Spoken like secret life instructions, this inspirational tale blossoms into a gorgeous jam that Phish had explored on more than one occasion. Regardless of the several standout versions in 2003, “Scents” was still in in its improvisational infancy with so much ground left undiscovered. The song, interestingly, has never been played indoors, opening a big question mark for Indio. The desert surroundings might be the perfect setting for a return of one of post-hiatus’ greatest pieces, and a song that Phish embodies now more than ever.
And were glad glad glad that you’re alive
And were glad glad glad that you’ll arrive
Having played such a central part in Coventry’s emotional breakdown, it seems that a 2009 reprise of the song is only fitting. The lyrics, in 2004, were powerful because the band had all – literally – survived, but in 2009, the words will take on a whole new meaning. An arrival like none other, this year has been a celebration of all that Phish will be – and at some point – like “Curtain (With),” Phish will likely come full circle with “Glide.”
As ballads go, “Lifeboy” is one of Phish’s most poignant. With an ethereal backdrop, the song’s dripping melodies routinely provide a beautiful landing point for darker jams. Unplayed since the waning days of August ’04, this song is due for a return to the stage. When tactfully placed, there are few more emotional points of a Phish show.
“My Left Toe”
The most exploratory track from ’99′s Siket Disc, this amorphous piece would mesh powerfully with Phish’s current willingness to patiently layer jams. With a starting point, but no defined ending, “My Left Toe” is a recipe for excursions into the abyss. A piece that can go in almost any direction, from the sonic sludge of Charlotte (7.7.99) to the soaring melodies of Star Lake (7.21.99) this improvisational instrumental seems perfect for a mature Phish to tackle. The results would be astounding.
“Walls of the Cave”
Another post-hiatus composition that was kept largely contained, one would expect this emerging set closer to make a return – hopefully strapped with more adventure. This intricate composition gave way to a straight forward jam that rarely diverged from its course. Though when it did – a la 2.14.03 “Walls > Carini” or 6.19.04 “Walls > Bowie” – the results were sublime. Assuming this song does come back, Phish will hopefully use its jam as a launch pad for whole-band exploration rather than simple, guitar-led rock and roll.
Multi-part vocal harmonies enhance the already dreamy feel of “Roggae,” Phish’s now-elusive Ghost-era song. Having not seen the lights of stage since Vegas ’04, many have awaited the return Phish’s existential and introspective piece. While never a huge improvisational journey, “Roggae” plays its rightful part in the shifting emotional contours of a Phish show.
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Jam of the Day:
A stunning segment of improv from Star Lake’s ’99 installment ; its most magnificent moments come in the glorious and divergent path of “My Left Toe.” This is an immediate must-hear if you don’t know it well.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
9.21.99 Pima Co. Fairgrounds Tucson, AZ < Torrent
9.21.99 Pima Co. Fairgrounds Tucson, AZ < Megaupload
10 years ago today, while crossing the Southwest, Phish made a stop in Tucson that – by all accounts – was the most random show of tour. Taking place in a middle of a field with a relatively small stage and no defining barriers, everyone was able to have as much room as they could possible want. To go along with the odd locale and the sparse crowd was quite an odd setlist. The first was highlighted by the combo of “Split,” Drowned,” while the second set kicked off with a growling “Carini” and landed in a groovy “Antelope.” In between was some out-of -the-ordinary jamming in “Vultures > Limb” that left a unique mark on the show. To punctuate this bizarre night in the desert- a “Reba” encore. All of these idiosyncrasies combined for an great mid-week time for all in attendance.
II: Poor Heart, Sample in a Jar, Split Open and Melt, Drowned, I Didn’t Know, Get Back on the Train, Birds of a Feather, Theme from the Bottom, Golgi Apparatus
II: Carini > Bug, Strange Design, Vultures* > Limb by Limb, Will It Go Round In Circles, Dirt, Run Like an Antelope
E: Reba*, Bold as Love