Mid-Tour Momentum

11.21.09 (W.Rogell)

11.21.09 (W.Rogell)

Building off of an extensive Summer and Indio, and stepping indoors at just the right time, Phish is clearly getting their groove back. Their playing has oozed confidence and comfort, while characterized by precision and fire. When the band chooses to jam, they are doing it with a determined and patient creativity, and as we move on to the second two-thirds of tour, I’d imagine we’d begin to hear more open jamming. It would be nice to see the band focus on grooves and psychedelia a bit more than shredding rock and roll, but beggars can’t be choosers. Phish are definitely playing what they feel and playing it quite well. The most profound change in their dynamic since this fall tour started has been Mr. Trey Anastasio. While he may have been the slowest member of the band to regain his unbridled confidence, he has recently transformed into an absolute monster. Allowing his inhibitions to fall by the wayside, he has been shredding with an abandon unseen in years. Using meticulous lyrical phrasing amounting to guitar narratives, his sense of thematic jamming has returned in force, and it has effected the entire band.

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

The most compelling second-set improv thus far has stemmed from Detroit’s “Disease,” and Cincy’s “Rock n Roll” and Syracuse’s “Drowned”- the three vehicles they featured the most this summer. It seems like time to switch it up a bit from the rock-only set openers; time to drop in some darker and slower type-II springboards to open set two. How about opening up “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” or dropping another “Sand?” In the end, it doesn’t matter what songs they play, as long as they continue to evolve into more frequent psychedelia…Three of the central second set jams over the last two shows – “Rock and Roll,” “Drowned” and “Piper” have held a great similarity to each other – percussive grooves turned ambient space…The two dirtiest pieces of music thus far have ironically come in first sets – Detroit’s filthy, dripping “46 Days,” and Cincy’s evil “Split.” Now let’s see some of that type of improv stretched out under the spotlight of set two! As we turn the corner towards Philadelphia and Albany, two cities that have historically played host to legendary Phish, the band looks to build on the momentum from their opening leg as everyone moves towards Thanksgiving. And this year, we have a lot to be thankful for.

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833 Responses to “Mid-Tour Momentum”

  1. Summer98 Says:

    From the YEM blog twitter, unverified:
    “Chalk Dust Torture is the most recent song Phish has played thus far. Chalk Dust was debuted in 1991 – 18 years ago”

  2. Summer98 Says:

    uh….that was before they played wedge….

  3. albert walker Says:

    2nd night cinci, Syracurse
    now Philly

    nice to see 1st sets getting much more love these days

  4. BrandonKayda Says:


    Great setlist tonight.

    Looks nasty.

    How was the Gin?

    Just stopping by to confirm my Crosseyed II opener call

  5. Mr.Palmer Says:

    most of these tunes were written before you were born BK!

  6. chefbradford Says:

    I just checked ‘From the Road’. Nice setlist so far–how is it sounding?

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


  8. Leo Weaver Says:

    there’s the man! folks were wondering where your calls were for tonight, you nailed them over the weekend

  9. oldskool Says:

    Set II:
    2001 >
    Crosseyed >
    Ghost >
    Stealing Time >
    Tweezer >
    I Just Want to See His Face


  10. voopa Says:

    Stream isn’t bad – sounds like ass as always, but isn’t as choppy as previous nights, but now it’s starting to stop here and there (1K+ viewers now)

  11. Mugician Says:

    Is there a stream I can pick this up on?

  12. Mr.Palmer Says:


  13. Leo Weaver Says:

    nice oldskool…

  14. Mugician Says:

    Found it!

  15. Leo Weaver Says:

    though they may need two full sets to give that its proper treatment…and a tweeprise encore?

  16. Frankie Says:

    What a setlist so far! Cities/Camel Walk is genius! Wonder if there was a segue but funkfest anyway!!

  17. PBS Says:

    good call AW

  18. Frankie Says:


  19. Leo Weaver Says:

    there she is…

  20. halcyon Says:

    AW….great call

  21. oldskool Says:

    certainly a dream set so far, very curious how it is being played

  22. albert walker Says:

    love that feeling of being on tour and waiting for the 1st Reba
    starts getting mid 1st set and you hear the rumblings in the crowd

    after being in Cinci 2 nights
    I know cats been waiting for that Reba

    this one should smoke
    think they’ll hit the drop? JK

  23. albert walker Says:

    so far this one interests me to check out flacs in the morning
    long way to go
    but on paper this shit is my style

  24. Mugician Says:

    I can’t handle the quality… 🙁 have fun guys! God I wish I was there. Philly were the two shows I would have gone to had I been able to pull it off. Till next time.

  25. Frankie Says:


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