Quite the Site

10/30 1:29 am

Indio Sunset (A.Lansing)

Indio Sunset (A.Lansing)

As people continue to trickle into Festival 8, this site is shaping up to be quite the host for a weekend of Phish. Speckled with palm trees and carpeted with soft grass, the lush desert surroundings of California provide a completely different vibe than past Northeast weekends. The Empire Polo Grounds boasts a walk-ability that creates an atmosphere of over-sized intimacy very different from the endless airforce bases of lore. With campgrounds – all named, as expected, for eight remaining albums – within a 10-15 minute walk of the concert grounds, the entire festival feels a bit more within reach.

From The Archives Video Show (A.Lansing)

From The Archives Video Show (A.Lansing)

A relatively thorough search greeted everyone at the gate; but no harm no foul. Getting in and setting up, I was busy watching the Yankees tie the World Series while The Bunny broadcast Phish’s soundcheck. Through word of mouth, the band broke out a few new songs off Party Time, highlighted by a ten-minute jam of “Liquid Time.” Look forward for that one coming up this weekend! The evening was highlighted by video “From the Archives” show at The Overlook, the central part of Festival 8 with multiple bars, food stands, and tented areas. Featuring amazing Halloween footage from all of Phish’s past musical costumes, fans congregated, danced, smoked, and drank while watching the massive video screen. When the video mix broke into an unknown “Tube” followed by a “Tube Reprise” we soon realized we were seeing exclusive footage of 11.2.98. When the “Tube” jam ended, the video spliced into the beginning of Dark Side of the Moon, and proceeded to play highlights from the memorable performance. After the Utah portion ended, it had grown freakin’ cold and I headed back to the RV to listen to Shapiro’s archives show on The Bunny, which so far had unleashed two of my favorite jams ever in re-upped SBD quality – the Cypress “Split” and the Winston-Salem “Bathtub Gin!” That’s all for now, the festival calls.

10/30 11:13 am

Just wakin’ up to a gorgeous Indio day. The sun in shining bright and coffee tastes good as we prepare for day one of the weekend. California’ Dreamin…

2:37 pm

Got the turntables set up, and have been enjoying a daytime Phish set spun by myself and various others. Highlights included the the “Rebas” from The Gorge in ’98 and Laguna Seca ’94, the Barcelona ’98 “Tweezer,” Lemonwheel’s “Ghost” and assorted other summer funk. The vibe here is beyond chill once you are through the gates, and the weather seems to be coming through perfectly. Got a chance to hear “Liquid Time;” definitely carries the sound of a new Trey song, and certainly has a wide open door to psychedelic improvisation. The band really took it out during soundcheck, and we are looking forward to what they will do come gametime. I would expect we’ll be hearing this song in a few hours from the stage. Still no real clue as to the Halloween album. Have given up thinking about it since we arrived and set up camp. Desert mountains, palm trees and Phish. Life is good.

6:01 am 10.31

A phenomenal start to the weekend. A deep-dive into a first-set “Stash” provided the improvisational moment of the set after an explosive beginning of “Party Time,” “Chalk Dust.” The second set offered a high powered festival-sized Phish sequence, highlighted by “Disease > Caspian > Wolfman’s.” The “Wolfman’s” had a distinct point when it moved from groove to Halloween music, summoning the spirits of the night before All-Hallowed’s Eve.

1:11 pm

Exile! They are handing out Phishbills on site. With singer Sharon Jones – let’s see about this one.

2,037 Responses to “Quite the Site”

  1. MakisupaSecurity Says:

    I checked out the show on XM until the end of DWD in second set. After Tela’s Muff’s writeup I wish I held out! But I was blurry eyed with sleepyness.

    As for song selections and such, this is gonna be a LONG weekend, they took it easy out the gate, no stress on the vocals, did I hear a mistake at the end of TTE? Kinda zapped a little energy for me.

    The sound quality is great and its true about Page, he sounds great.

    I hope to find a way to listen in on the costume set when I’m out tonight. Heading to a friends house to hang out and throw candy at people.

  2. twigdip Says:

    @tela’smuff thanks for the review. i missed the radio broadcast as i’m in the UK, but can’t wait for the shows to be uploaded when you people wake up!

  3. BrandonKayda Says:

    So you guys think last night was just the tip of the iceberg eh? I really hope so. While last night was VERY good, it still didn’t feel like a “Festival-sized” show. II was insane though.

    I cannot wait to see what they do tonight, for here is where Festival 8 truly begins! When does the first set start?

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    10-30-09 SET I


  5. Mr.Palmer Says:

    6 pm est

  6. Little Buddy Says:

    ‘muff – Funny that you mention that Mike sounded like Phil. My wife said the same thing early on in set 1. I hadn’t thought of it until she said it, but there were parts where his tone and style really did sound Lesh-like.

    What a second set. I mean, wow. Such creative improv – some scary shit in there.

    This sirius stream is just great. My wife and I drank Bailey’s and coffee all night to stay up. Its been a rough morning – the toddler got up at 7 and we didn’t hit the sack until after 3, but well worth it. Looking forward to listening to the Halloween set while watching the ball game. If I can’t be at Indio – I guess playoff baseball and a life Phish costume set feed is a pretty nice consolation prize. Yup.

  7. Mr.Palmer Says:

    disease on sirius right now

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    totally passed out during TTE and didn’t hear the second set at all – thanks for the great writeup tela’smuff! Looks like a great way to open the weekend. Happy Halloween all!

  9. twigdip Says:

    Empire Polo Club, Indio, California, 10/30/2009

  10. Billy Breathes Says:

    Anyone have Set II yet?

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’m uploading the whole show in mp3 and then flac. just a few minutes.

  12. smegma Says:


  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    I thought there were quite a few highlights in the first set. Really liked it, TTE notwithstanding. I thought their point was just to kickstart things and outside the TTE – which you might think of as “getting it out of the way” whether they intended it that way or not – I thought the set did that well. Party Time, Chalkdust, Moma, Stealing Time, Stash, the vacuum solo, and Ocelot were all real highlights for me. I thought Stealing Time and Ocelot were both “best so far” contenders although of course we’re hoping for more eventually from each.

    Second set was more high energy almost all the way through, mostly very straight ahead with a nice big diversion in the middle. The spacy open jam at the end of Wolfman’s and then the Piper jam were the obvious highlights of the show for me. I really loved the Bowie/Hood close combo.

    Overall I thought the band played extremely well with great energy, focus, and joy. We all hope for more jamming as the weekend progresses but if this counts as the “warmup” show then I think that has to count as a pretty fast start coming cold out of the gate.

  14. Neemor Says:

    I will save the adjectives (words like classic and epic) for another set because clearly they’re in a good place together and this is going to get sick.
    But damn that was fun.
    tela, great take on things…pretty much spot on.
    I, too, will throw in my backing for that Wolfman>Piper>Joy.
    Someone listed the Jam out of Wolfman as a “chainsaw space jam” last night and it was so true.
    You finally heard where the electronics from the soundcheck went.
    Spacey. And the Piper outro was ridiculous. I just kept yelling “yes!” in my living room.
    In the span of those two songs, I think every fan of this band can find the reason they like Phish.
    First set was fun. The Old School time warp that happened from Stash was fun. Glad I stayed up!

  15. Southbound Says:

    show is up on bt.etree


  16. butterflyeffect Says:

    why do they keep cutting dwd short i wonder

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    As for the at-home experience I have to say: that’s the best possible way to miss a Phish show. I recorded a VERY large number of “firsts” in terms of during-the-show activities ranging from doing the dishes all the way up to…things a lot more fun than that which I would get in trouble for posting about.

    There were a couple times I got sucked all the way in and felt like I was actually in touch with That Thing That Happens At Shows. You know, the glowy interior vortex giant brain/heart thingy. I beamed some love towards all y’all who are there with special earmarks for Robear’s boy – hope he had a good one.

    upload’s almost ready

  18. ColonelJoy Says:

    The show was a good one, but not great by any measure, though I didn’t anticipate it would be….obviously would love to be there. Jams, even the better ones of the evening seemed just a little forced, not like Leg I summer, but not as relaxed as Leg II either. They sound fine, though, and I suspect, as usual, the best is yet to come….

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    I didn’t think the Wolfman’s jam felt forced. Piper maybe though – “now is the time in Piper when we jam” /Dieter from Sprockets voice

    basically an energy show as opposed to a jamming show.

  20. ColonelJoy Says:

    I like the somewhat atypical Wolfman’s…had an extra honky-tonk to it, did it not, Mr. C….

  21. jay Says:

    good solid show. Nice and long. Good energy. Jams did seem a little tentative. Second set was strong and Piper is as Piper does as Gump would say. Really liked the Hood and TTE. Gotta give props to Stash as well.

  22. Mr. Completely Says:


  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    For a Stash that never got out of the Stash box, I thought that one was great. Loved it.

  24. Andrew Says:

    What a treat the broadcast is – so comfortable zoning out on the floor without a worry about Chewbacca stomping on me. The only thing I couldn’t get a grasp for was the Burble and Borealis – were they up? How did they look and did CK play off them?

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    oh wait I forget, who on this board has been calling Party Time opener for a month?

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