A Happy Halloween

After nailing their costume of  Exile On Main Street, Phish emerged for their third set of Halloween. Usually reserved for uber-exploratory, dark jamming, the final sets of Halloweens past have featured ’94’s demonic “David Bowie,” ’95’s colossal “You Enjoy Myself,” ’96’s combo of “Maze” and a dark-horse “Simple,” and ’98’s terrorizing masterpiece of “Wolfman’s Brother.” So when the band came out for their final frame, it wasn’t a leap of faith to think that we were in for some heavy psychedelia, ’09 style. But when the dust settled after the triumphant five-song set, many were left wondering where the ghosts and goblins had gone?

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

Instead of delving into their hallowed haunted experiments, Phish laid down their most upbeat and cheerful Halloween set ever. Many waited for the spooks to arrive, but even when the band launched into a third set “Ghost,” no harrowing darkness emerged. Slightly thrown, waiting to hear a larger and more sinister piece of music, expectations poked at my third set experience.

10.30.09 (W.Rogell)

10.30.09 (W.Rogell)

Opening the set with “Backwards Down the Number Line” seemed like an odd Halloween choice, but remembering the burgeoning versions of late-summer, it seemed Phish would use their favorite new-school vehicle to take us into the abyss. The last times we heard the song, it blossomed into uncharted psychedelia at SPAC and Chicago. But on this night in Indio, the jam barely broke form, and when it did, it spilled right into “Fluffhead.” Featuring the once-elusive opus in almost every big set this year, Phish played a particularly strong version of their revived composition. And when “The Arrival” hit, the tree-sized tiki-torches that surrounded the concert field shot blasts of fire for the first time of the weekend. A triumphant guitar solo had the crowd in the palm of Trey’s hand, and upon the ending of the song, Phish dropped into the “Ghost” we had been waiting for.

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

“The Indio Ghost” – it sounded nasty before it even started. As Phish darted into the jam, they carried a distinct rock and roll texture with them. Some short clav patterns and rhythm chops would be as funky as this version got, as the band veered away from deep groove or dark psychedelia in favor of a straight forward rock grooves. Minutes into this section, Page initiated a piano pattern that spurned a gradual, band-wide peak into the fields of bliss. Trey decided he would take this one as far from the dark side as possible, doubling as a geyser of spiritual melodies in one of the most energetic peaks of the weekend. A relatively concise jam ended on very high note before winding back down into the song’s ending. A solid version no doubt, but certainly nothing eerie or supernatural.

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

At this point, it became clear Phish chose a different path for this Halloween set, or perhaps their emotions just brought them there. Having just finished the Exile set, and no doubt hanging with all of their guests during setbreak, the obviously fun energy of their evening may have led them to choose feel-good music to finish off the night. And in the Phish universe there is nary a feel-good song like “You Enjoy Myself.” The ensuing version that followed a “Circus” interlude transformed into an instant show highlight with a series of grooves and continual peaks that showcased the band’s precision and passion on this special night. Phish slaughtered their classic in one of the strongest renditions of the year. An extended bass vamp led into a vocal jam in which Kuroda improvised with the fire of the tiki-torches rather than the stage lights – creating the most entertaining ending segment in memory.

Following the vibe of the show, the encore brought back the horns and singers for a blistering gospel-rock version of “Suzy Greenberg, complete with a “Suzy Reprise” jam once the song ended. It may have been Halloween, but Phish had just thrown down a definitively rejoiceful set with smiles all around. As the band transformed “Suzy” into a climactic show-closer with their entire ensemble, the positive energy oozed off the stage. A celebratory Halloween, this night will be remembered for its grab bag of musical treats rather than any wicked trickery.


Jams of the Day: 10.31 III



You Enjoy Myself




phish-festival8-ticket10.30.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Torrent

10.30.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Megaupload

I: Party Time, Chalk Dust Torture, The Moma Dance, NICU, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Stash, I Didn’t Know, Poor Heart, Cavern, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Ocelot, Time Turns Elastic

II: Punch You in the Eye, Down With Disease > Prince Caspian > Wolfman’s Brother > Piper > Joy, David Bowie, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

E: Character Zero

Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S (din) > Lunatec V2 > Benchmark AD2K > Sound Devices 722 (24/48) (Taper: Z-Man)

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842 Responses to “A Happy Halloween”

  1. Mr.Miner Says:

    Sleep Again is not new. Trey played it acoustic then rearranged it as an electric piece with Classic TAB

  2. beepaphone Says:

    The YEM absolutely destroyed…my favorite of 3.0 so far

  3. BTB Says:

    ^ the ‘too early to tell’ era

  4. gratefulcub Says:

    If we are able to give 3.0 one name that fits, then something must go horribly wrong in the future. If they don’t give us 3 or more eras in the next 5-6 years, I will be disappointed. I am loving the Family Party Time era, but I bet I love the one that pops up in Europe next year too.

  5. Marshall Says:

    I think of the eras more in terms of this:

    1.0 Four Across
    1.2 Fishman in back, Trey on right
    2.0 Fishman still in back, Trey back to middle
    3.0 Four Across again

  6. beepaphone Says:

    1.0 – Phish Destroys America Era?
    2.0 – IT era?
    3.0 – The ??? era
    I think as a general rule, it might be appropriate to avoid any actual adjectives or descriptions of styles? Stick to the type of description that speaks to Heads and not the general public?

  7. jdub Says:

    Miner, I like your yin/yang trigram phish avatar.

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    I vote Party Time obv.

  9. Leo Weaver Says:

    first relisten to this YEM…wow…she’s a beaut clark!

  10. punkmug Says:

    According to Fedex, my fall tickets are en-route to delivery to my house. They should be there when I get home today.

  11. Lycanthropist Says:

    @Miner re: Sleep Again

    I know, but thats the first time played with Phish right?

  12. beepaphone Says:


    It took msb and I about 8 hits on Fishman’s snare to look at each other and say those 2 words in unison.

    PARTY TIME!!! Good name for an era, perfect opening for 8, awesome new vibe. NAWLINS!

  13. Mitch Says:

    its a lost phish patch on miners logo. was gonna use it myself and he beat me to the punch. I actually got one from the guys at coventry blog and it blew me away. Its like a legit profesh made patch. Still dont know where to put it so I taped it to the front of my imac for now.

  14. Mitch Says:

    buuuuut…. I just read what a trigram is and I guess thats what it is too. I dont watch lost, just liked the patch. I’ll have to watch to figure out the meaning of it all. netflix here i come.

  15. Mr.Miner Says:

    @Lycan- yup.

  16. Lycanthropist Says:

    @ Mitch –

    its hard for me not too gush about Lost..

    All i will say is that your time will not be wasted if you opt to watch it.

  17. gratefulcub Says:

    how’s this for a surreal situation?

    My last phish show before my first child is born will be in MSG (where I have never been). But, I work in NJ (fly up every tues morning and home every friday morning), there is a train next door to my house that travels underneath the garden. So, there is no way I can pass up on a garden show in that situation, right?

    Here’s the kink: I have no one up there to go with. But, a work mate of mine loves music, loves live music, is a fun loving sort, and is really excited about the idea. So, wtf right? I have two tix, so we’re going.

    He’s never seen phish. I burned him a 3 set extravaganza including plenty of new phish, with some 97 and 99 thrown in so he could prepare. But, you can’t really prepare, can you.

    But like I say, wtf. 3rd night in the garden. Phish is like Jordan, always good, but always on fire in the Garden.

    How do you cats see this evening going down?

  18. SJC Says:

    Lost is almost as addictive as Phish.

  19. Mitch Says:


    wow. awesome!

  20. Lycanthropist Says:

    “Lost is almost as addictive as Phish”

    very true.. not long ago I was on Lost boards as often as I am on this one.

  21. beepaphone Says:

    I HATE watching Lost week to week…It is shameless in it’s addictive writing…purposefully leaves you dangling after each episode…
    Wait till the season ends and Netflix the DVD’s, or download the episodes. Thats the way to do it.
    Anyone watch Dexter here?

  22. Leo Weaver Says:

    @cub, the only thing your friend can prepare for it…wait…here it comes…to be BLOWN THE F AWAY! Y’all have fun

  23. Lycanthropist Says:

    I watch Dexter

  24. jdub Says:

    The symbols originate from daoist ideology and represent all the base elements on earth and there non dual relationship, traditionally the yin yang symbol is in the center, but phish’s logo works just as well

  25. Leo Weaver Says:

    I watched the first couple of seasons of Dexter when it was still jsut on Showtime…thoroughly enjoyed it, but we never got back into it after I think the second season

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