A Phish Show at Cobo

3.6.09 (C.Taylor Crothers)

3.6.09 (C.Taylor Crothers)

In a relatively safe opening night, Phish kicked off their Fall ’09 tour with noteably few musical risks, a choppy setlist, and a couple of treats. With a half-empty floor and a laid-back, old-school vibe, Cobo Arena provided an intimate experience, but when the dust settles, this show will be remembered for its sublime second-set “Down With Disease > Free” and a fierce “Mike’s Groove” to end the evening. But in between – and there was a lot of in between – Phish filled the show with straight-forward pieces that amounted standard fare, and far less grit than suggested by Detroit’s urban landscape.

The first, and only, time Phish broke form from one of their jams, they did it in a big way during “Down With Disease.” Following a succinct “Runaway Jim” to open the second set, Phish launched from a blistering run through the composed “Disease” jam into an exploratory segment of music that reached deep into Phish sorcery. Crafting a stunning piece of patient and melodic improv, the band dove into collective communication that hypnotized the audience. Truly allowing the jam to fully develop in a way they haven’t often done lately, the music came to a natural conclusion before Trey began to tease the oncoming “Free.”


Arena Phish (G.Abriel)

The magnitude of indoor Phish came crashing down for the first time with this bombastic “Free.” Featuring raunchier guitar work than most modern versions, Trey seemed to get an extra kick from Cobo’s indoor environs. An experiential highlight of the set, the entire venue seemed to finally catch the same groove, and the audience exploded with that collective energy you just don’t get outside. A perfect landing point for the awesome improv that preceded, the slow-motion groove evolved into a monstrous slate for Trey to rip off lick after lick.

The Fox (B.Kisida)

The Fox (B.Kisida)

A similar phenomenon came in the late set “Mike’s Groove,” when the entire band sat into a slower pattern than we’ve come to accustomed to this summer. The indoor sound increased the dirtiness of the band’s intent, as they truly connected with the essence of the “Mike’s” jam. The entire band offered far more aggressive textures as they built, arguably, the most patient and dirtiest 3.0 version. Just hearing the opening licks of “Mike’s” in an indoor arena injected a colossal shot of intensity to a show that desperately needed it after the slower segment of “Waste,” “Taste,” “Bug,” “Velvet Sea.” A classic late set “Groove” segued into a “Hydrogen” interlude before tearing into an shredding “Weekapaug;” and indoor treat, no doubt.

A quick “Cavern,” and a crunchy “Zero” encore put an exclamation point on a well-played show that was a building block for bigger things to come. That “Disease” jam really seemed like a foreshadowing of a new direction, a lead-less, collaborative jamming that saw the band members check their ego at the door for something far greater. Although the show was certainly a warm up for things to come over the next couple of weeks, their were a few moments that proved indelible.

1st Set Notes:

In a well-played but underwhelming frame, Phish featured a tighter than usual “Foam,” and an out of character, slowly funked out “46 Days.” Though it came a bit out of context and after a long set of standards, this version of “46 Days” got into some engaging arena molasses. Thick as all get out, this standout piece moved from deep groove into an ambient segment that brought a clear shining moment to the set. A “Bowie” carried this momentum to the sets close, setting up a seemingly huge second set that never truly came to fruition.

I: AC/DC Bag, Foam, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Bouncing Around The Room, Sample In A Jar, Kill Devil Falls, It’s Ice, Horn. Mountains In The Mist, Poor Heart, 46 Days, David Bowie

II: Runaway Jim, Down With Disease > Free, Waste, Taste, Bug, Wading In A Velvet Sea, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Cavern

E: Character Zero

Tags: ,

676 Responses to “A Phish Show at Cobo”

  1. KWL Says:

    someone posted this earlier & I just got around to it. WOW. I cannot wait for syracuse.


    have you ever done phish…… indoors? (where’s msb when I need him?)

  2. beepaphone Says:

    ^ That shit was the Bee’s Knees. 46 Days was one of 3 equally good pinnacles of last night

    -46 Days
    -Mikes Groove

  3. beepaphone Says:

    And the Bowie. Fuck. Totally legit and well played…great Trey solo.

  4. KWL Says:

    word, beep. I thought things really started heating up from KDF on…

  5. Summer98 Says:

    Just got my from walking the dog (earlier description of aw’s life might match mine). Was playin exile from 8 on the old zune (oh yeah, I have a zune…and love it). “Let It Loose” came on and I just melted. Got shivers down my back, was dancin down the side walk, arms in the air. Folks must have thought I was nuts. That song is sooooo powerful. An excellent demo of Page’s well refined vocal chops. Love it.

  6. stitchstash Says:

    @ Robear– Thanks, I’ll ask at Syracuse. If it doesn’t work, that’s a great idea to just donate to the actual site! I’m way too tired to come up with such a simple, yet genius idea! I had work at 7 this morning and had a deadline for an internet class. It’s so good to be going to bed, good night all!

  7. beepaphone Says:

    Foam was great. I was feeling it, but the room wasn’t warmed up enough for it yet. Still though…renewed appreciation for that tune.

    KDF was probably best since Bonnaroo

  8. Frankie Says:

    I love those lights! Beautiful shot!

  9. BingosBrother Says:

    @beepaphone : “Got a new tranny”
    Congratulations. I hope its fully functional.

  10. Summer98 Says:

    ^Just got back from… Let it Loose melted my brain.

  11. beepaphone Says:

    ^ She’s runnin’ like a ‘beaut.

  12. KWL Says:

    @Cortez, if you’re out there, THANKS. Hope we bump into one another in the Cuse.

  13. beepaphone Says:

    MMW is playing 3 miles from my crib right now and I was too tired to go. I’m a failure. I guess I’ll have to pick myself off the ground and go to the Phish show tomorrow

  14. neemor Says:

    I’ve got to say, and I hope this doesn’t come off as ‘snobbish’,
    but I was reading reviews on Phish.net of Indio and some other Summer shows. Now keep in mind that these reviews are basically up there for posterity (as Charlie Dierksen’s and others were in the mid to late nineties.)
    I read some absolute nonsense.
    Trashy one-liners and complete diatribes exclaiming that the newest incarnation of Phish is nothing but a bunch of used-up zombies having been wheeled onto the stage reliving the past.
    And don’t get me started on livephish.com reviews…
    I know Miner’s site is different in it’s purpose, but his ability to monitor posts makes this site at least tolerable.
    If I hadn’t found this site when I did, or had this site not even existed, I would absolutely hate the Phish fanbase.
    It’s ridiculous.
    If the posts aren’t asking Phish to quit due to age, they are seemingly written by a fifth grader, they are mostly first-timers and they offer nothing resembling a ‘show review’.
    I’m embarrassed for them.
    It reminds me of stories I heard when joining a certain 12 step program that detailed the long-established practice of listening to the pathfinders that came before you by ‘shutting the heck up and listening for a while.’
    I remember for years lurking before posting my take on a show until I was confident that I a) had something impactful to offer or b) what I had to offer was written in a thoughtful manner.
    When I ‘spoke up’ the first time, it was as if my voice found me rather than me desperately vomiting nonsense upon people who clearly know what they’re talking about.
    I know this is rather negative, and this is a departure from my usual posts, but I find myself reading posts on those sites and wanting to throttle the author more often than not.
    I guess what I’m saying is that the gathering of thoughts and ideas from this group, the community voice on this board is extremely unique, rare and important right now.

  15. butter Says:

    got a new tranny too, thanks guys, grabin last night with it

  16. Frankie Says:

    Let It Loose from 8 is one of my favorites as well… i remember listening to it live with my headphones on the sirius stream with my eyes closed… such a feeling, everybody’s been there…

  17. beepaphone Says:

    I just don’t worry about it. Criticism is good, but shit like that is baseless. There are assholes in every camp. They can drink haterade all they want.

  18. KWL Says:

    Neemor, I really think that the rise of things like reality tv, twitter, facebook have made it culturally OK to speak without thinking. An it’s-all-about-me kind of thing. Total self-broadcast of minutiae. This contributes to an I-know-better-than-you attitude.

    The kids these days. They see Jessica on TV saying ‘oh my god can you believe what brian said i mean really’ and think ‘shes just like me!’ Read a f*cking book already.

  19. KWL Says:

    or maybe I’m just getting old

  20. Mitch Says:

    THATS IT, uTorrent! thats the best mac one, i couldnt remember the name since ive been on xtorrent lately.

  21. Summer98 Says:

    ^Miner’s and those from others on this board are the only reviews I read. The first time I read one of his articles I was hooked. A well-written, thoughtful, knowledgeable, and very interesting take on the Phish experience. Then I read this board, and though I rarely post, I have to say the folks here are some stand up peeps. Love the conversations, although 26 pages on a Thursday is waaay too much for me to take in.

  22. Frankie Says:

    Ahahaha! @KWL

    I sadly agree…

  23. Summer98 Says:

    Let it Loose!! I remember loving it when I was there, and it was really powerful. So glad it stands up on multiple listens.

  24. alumni blues Says:

    Beebs, MMW playin at the vogue?

  25. butter Says:

    thanks Mitch, is uTorrent faster or easier to use than transimission?

Leave a Reply