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.”

(Unk)

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

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676 Responses to “A Phish Show at Cobo”

  1. Trichome Says:

    SO GLAD we hit up this show last night!!! The band was really feelin’ it, we were so close and Trey was jumping all over the place and just kept crankin’ it up!!
    Had such a great time dancing, drinking smokin laughing and crying to all our favorite tunes. I LOVE PHISH! I wish my life were a PHISH show.
    Met some great folks down there too, great crowd.
    Hopin’ for a Sugar Shack in Cinci!!!!

  2. randomreader Says:

    if anyone else has this LP issue, i’m splitting the two right now, i can post the corrected tracks, let me know.

  3. msbjivein Says:

    Can anyone on here update the Ticket Exchange board w/ NYE Run???

  4. Robear Says:

    Source: Schoeps MK4(DIN)>Nbox+>Apogee MME>PMD671(24/48) FOB/DFC set 1 @ 6ft, set 2 @ 5ft…SECURITY!!

    Howz that look for a source from Cobo, GP? others?

    Reading the track times from Livephish, I see what Miner means when he says:

    “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.”

  5. tubeopener Says:

    Woohoo!!! Just got 3 tix each night of New Years!!! Thank you phish lottery!!!!

  6. BTB Says:

    I was a little surprised there was no banter about Cobo and the last show and all. No Kiss. No Nugent. Definately some OSU/MICHIGAN smack talk at times. “straight forward” is definately correct. Not to much from this show is a must have.

    @Beep – You get that soap dispenser? ha.

  7. tela'smuff Says:

    i have 2 extras sec 105 for Cincy Friday night

  8. sumodie Says:

    Miner, thanks for making the time & effort to keep posting your reviews. Pace yourself this fall -we don’t want you burning out. Your passion has been so wonderfully infectious this year.

    I know we’re all wanting the boys to ratchet it up a notch or two more this year. From what I heard, last night sounded pretty sweet, being the tour opener and all. I can understand that song choice might have thrown off some folks, but for night #1 it’s a-ok with me.

    Thus far 3.0 phish has been improving with every tour leg -my faith in the band has been greatly rewarded thus far, and at present I’m fully committed to seeing where the boys take us through the new year. But I’ll admit, I’m hoping for some more intense dark indoor nastiness too.

    Safe travels to those going to Cincinnati -and most of all, have fun 🙂

  9. MisterChristian Says:

    Sorry I love Mountains in the Mist, I guess it can be a bit long, but when played right it can lull you into sublimeness. I was in the 7th row for Camden 99 when they played this one and it went along blissfully with the perfect breeze coming through at that moment. But i could see how peeps in the back would have gotten bored with it.

  10. Matso Says:

    I’m not so concerned about the lack of big jamming in that setlist, but it’s the predictability of the sets themselves that’s starting to become a bit worrisome. I’m not a hater, but I wish was a bit more surprised from time to time.

    With some exceptions (Great Woods, Camden RR4, Gorge 1, and to some extent, 11/1 Set III), a lot of Phish’s post-Hampton setlists haven’t been particularly unusual even when the music has been excellent.

    There have been loads of Bowie/Antelope/SOAM first set closers, DWD close to the beginning of the second set, Mike’s Groove late in the second, and Char Zero encores. Here’s hoping they experiment a bit more with placement from their songbook (eg. Bathtub first set opener, YEM to close the first set, Halley’s to open the second, etc)

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    sumodie – i know where your going with that. but at this point, one would think there would be some serious new shit going down. not critizing the show as i haven’t heard it. i would think that after breaking up, and then coming back with a new slate, why not really mix shit up? with a short fall tour, after all they’ve done this year, my expectations are high. i know the rule about not setting expectations, but sorry, it’s Phish. They need to get to that level they tapped into at the end of the second leg summer. Why not be dynamic like that each night this fall tour? it’s a small tour. anyway, i’m discussing what hasn’t been, so that’s a little beat. my bad. i’m paranoid. FS8 didn’t reach the level of 2nd Summer leg. But Exile was some of the best Phish i’ve ever heard.

  12. Little Buddy Says:

    Good point, Matso.

  13. Robear Says:

    “Hard core, detroit rock city!!!

    Show was great! Riley would of liked the 2nd set. 1st was a little bit too intense for him though. I would never take him to an indoor show. Fun fun fun. Loud, very loud. Lot’s of stop and go, not much flow. Great time, they should come see us more often, but by the looks of ticket sales, this might be the last. 1/2 full at best. They should of booked the Hill at A2 again. Great crowd, looks like everybody just got older. I don’t think that they are picking up the new round of college kids.

    In general, a jam packed show played with lots of energy, mostly pretty tight, and set list that covered the span of time. What a treat!”

    ^I wanted to share that email from another friend. He took me to my first Dead show, I took him to his first Phish show. Our last shows together were Coventry.

  14. jay Says:

    god, I just wish I was there on that half full floor last night is all I have to say. That DWD and 46 Days is worth the price of admission ($10?)

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I’ve listened through It’s Ice and the playing is very solid so far to my ears. Nothing big to be expected from anything leading up to this but I like what they are starting to do with STFTFP & KDF. I’m looking forward to hearing how this continues…

    Also, how great is it that we have the opportunity to find and listen to the show mere hours after it ended? I was thinking about this on the way into work this morning realizing that there are absolute classic shows that I never got the chance to hear until sometimes more than a year later due to not having a source for the tape. I love the internet! Greatest invention since Phish!

  16. BTB Says:

    I saw some Red Wings fans jump ship for the Cobo 2nd set. There were even some guys in suits on the floor dancing. One in particular was rocking pretty hard to the Weekapaug. Nothing like a 40 year old dude rockin’ out in a suit and tie at a show…

    I might be generous in my assumption of 7,000 people. Might have been more like 5,000.

  17. Robear Says:

    ^agreed Type III, regarding the ease of finding shows. I’m downloading the show from the comfort of my home, at no cost to myself. Should be done in a couple hours 🙂

    BTW, ‘Riley’ from the above post is my friends 8 yr. old son.

    Jacy is feeling much better. Things are looking up for the Portland > MSG run!

  18. llamalee Says:

    how is the 46 days > bowie

  19. albert walker Says:

    sounds good Robear, glad to hear

    hopefully see you at MSG man

  20. fat bastard Says:

    AW -just decided im goin to see old crow medicine show tonite in chi. good lead off to the weekend. who needs sleep?

  21. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    the mk4 source sounds pretty good, however there is still, and this is something I have noticed through most of the year, a muffled sound in the mid-highs. Plus the bass is boomier. There is just an overall lack of clarity in the mid-range. The only place I have not noticed this on tapes is from Bonnaroo. Might it be the speaker rig they are running with? I presume that they used a “shared” board at Bonnaroo rather than their own setup, at least for FOH. Any thoughts on sound from folks who were there?

  22. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    Also, re: archive. The setup for Bonnaroo night 2 is all jumbled up. Every other show I’ve downloaded has been arranged really sweet and easy.

  23. Summer98 Says:

    Everyone remembers the slow opener to Fall ’96 at Lake Placid. After that things just went up and up. No expectations though….of course I’m not seeing any fall tour shows so I can have all the expectations I want ….moohahhahha.

    Have fun at the Cinci shows all who are attending. I’m sure they are going to rip. I have fond memories of 2003 there.

  24. albert walker Says:

    If the acoustic Mountains persuaded them to bust out an electric one hopefully that beautiful acoustic McGrupp performance can inspire a far ass electric McGrupp late in a 2nd set at Cinci

  25. butter Says:

    wasn’t there and haven’t listened (a little of the shitty stream), but reminds me of St Louis from leg 1. Phish/Trey trying to save a show with a late Mikes. It seems like the kinda show that it you are on tour or seeing more your fine with as a “building block”. If its your only one, your wanting a lil’ more than that. Watched a quick clip from the 46 days- light show unbelievable.

    I would have loved the half empty floor. Were tickets free and abundant outside?

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