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)

Tags: , ,

842 Responses to “A Happy Halloween”

  1. HarryHood Says:

    Nectars is still open. I go there quite often, but it would never be able to host Phish. Only holds a coupld hundred people max. If if they did an impromptu show, the chaos alone would cut the show short and put the city cops in a frezy. The Flynn Theater is right down the road though. That could happen.

  2. msbjivein Says:

    Sweet SOAM! Make sure and keep a couple lifts in operation for shredding some POW!

  3. HarryHood Says:

    ^ Crikey, Me no spell good.

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    “vertically challenged”

  5. flarrdogg Says:

    Although irrational- I’ve kept the old tapes, too. Can’t seem to part with them. I’m with Hood back on page 3- holding out hope that someday maybe my kids, grandkids, future people (?) find em and have their respective minds blown- because I got some fire on those XL’s.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    @soam is thinking of the Esther RR show I think

  7. beepaphone Says:

    ^ Still my goal to ski and see Phish in the same day…probably going to have to wait till next fall tour though

  8. sumodie Says:

    LivePhish 2009 Summer Sampler
    (Remastered Tracks By Fred Kevorkian)


    Maze – Alpine
    Light – Gorge
    Tweezer – Red Rocks
    46 Days – Merriwether
    Tube – Burgettstown

    I never did stop by the livephish tent this time…and thus didn’t get this CD either.

    Many other livephish samplers can be found at this green board thread:


  9. Robear Says:

    Good summary again Mr. Miner. If you all can believe it, I was griping that they left stage 15 minutes before curfew. I know, they’d given so much. To use the baseball analogy, I felt like ‘BDTNL’ and ‘Ghost’ were like good scoring innings, but they stranded runners on base. i.e. cut the jams off too soon. Basically, the music felt so good, I did not want them to stop! I got a second wind a little late that night.

  10. fat bastard Says:

    beep-just remember to close your tab at the lodge so you can drink at the show.

  11. beepaphone Says:

    I’m flattered you remember!

  12. fat bastard Says:

    whats up sumo? enjoyed our brief talks to and from indio

  13. SOAM Says:

    Yeah it’s gonna be great-really fuckin great. I think I’ll just call it :


  14. sumodie Says:

    Repost of Exile Phish Bill pdf from yesterday:


  15. halcyon Says:

    @ Flarrdogg … I too have my tapes still. Occaisionally I will bust them out. Especially the Amy’s Farms shows.

  16. SOAM Says:

    That’s the one Completely-what a sin to not have my stats right…

  17. BTB Says:

    @Marshall – Nectar’s is still alive and well. I caught some sick blues there this summer and did some dancing. Windows open to the street. Still a pretty funky little hole in the wall.


    “That sparkle was gnarly hose brah, mad 128th notes in there, you gotta lighter?”

  18. beepaphone Says:

    I’m thinking along the lines of biggest floating music hall ever and take the Phish tour to sea

  19. halcyon Says:

    Yeah SOAM get your stats straight

  20. Birddog Says:

    BTB – u in B-town?

  21. BTB Says:

    We really should come up with a name for this era…a tag line that when you hear it you say to yourself, “yeah, that’s it”

    Hopefully by NYE we can get that worked out.

  22. sumodie Says:

    fb! yes, it was great to meet you too, albeit briefly.

    I was all set to meet lots of pters as a solo traveler, then out of the blue a friend I met at the RR shows called and we ended up camping together. All of sudden it was practically all Coloradoans all the time -damn do they throw down hard (just my kind of fans!).

    Hope your weekend went well -we’ll have to meet up again, this time at the show! Have you been re-listening? The shows sound amazing on my headphones.

  23. BTB Says:

    @ B-town as in Burlington? No, more like Baindbridge OH. Lol, a buddy of mine lives in Warren/Burlington VT. I get there when I can

  24. Lycanthropist Says:

    so far the suggestions have been:

    Hyena Rock
    Bundle Boogie

    Why not call it the Sparkle Rock, hmm maybe too glam.

    We will get it soon im sure.

  25. msbjivein Says:

    SpaceShip Tour!!!! SPACEPHISH!!!!!!!!! “Next Stop MARS!”

Leave a Reply