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. jdub Says:

    Nothing I see can be taken from, another nugget of wisdom packed in the whimsical nature of phish. My view on reality nicely put

  2. voopa Says:

    Listening to Syracuse’s Set II during set break here…the Piper jam…uh, YEAH!

  3. sumodie Says:

    Random side comment: Recently Gus made reference to the animated film, ‘Up’. I just watched it last night and was blown away -def one of the most original, creative films I’ve seen all year, animated or otherwise. Very intelligent too. Highly highly recommended.

  4. mrfergie Says:

    Evening fellow PT’ers…

    Haven’t had much time to peruse the comments today, but just checked the setlist and damn does it look like a scorcher. Can not wait until MSG 2 🙂

    On a completely unrelated note – any CT folks who are like me not lucky enough to be in Philly, I think I might be heading down to Toads with my girl to see Deep Banana Blackout…

  5. oldskool Says:

    If they stay with this same vibe I could see a Timber Ho! opener

  6. Kenny Powers Says:

    ooh Timber opener would lead to a fresh pair of drawers.

  7. Kenny Powers Says:

    Timber > Crosseyed ?

  8. Robear Says:

    brandon, I can vouch for sumodie. Good man.

    They love Philly.

  9. jdub Says:

    CT folk here, Deep bannana at toads is always nice. Do they put up the chain link fence in front of the 21+ still. Haven’t been there in a while

  10. Mitch Says:

    Wow that was funk my face off! I was type II dancing during that craziness.

  11. oldskool Says:

    I actually think it will be another Disease but I hope I am wrong. I think Torn and Frayed will open a second set in either Philly or Albany, but I dont believe it will be tonight

  12. jdub Says:

    I would say a crosseyed is immenent. Forgot about timber, would be down for some of that,

  13. halcyon Says:

    @ Voopa…..piper like zero has been hit or miss with me…that version though was a scorcher

  14. sumodie Says:

    Where’d the kid go? Who’s gonna accurately predict the setlists then?

    Met Robear, Marshall, Harryhood, and KWL. Spoke with MrC via email. Will likely meet more new peeps in NYC at Mitch’s event. Wished I could meet up in Portland, but with the parents in tow….

  15. oldskool Says:

    here we go…

  16. oldskool Says:


  17. oldskool Says:

    very surprising choice to open set II given the first set and the excellent seque into Possum a couple of nights ago.

  18. mrfergie Says:

    Jdub – they actually re did the place a while ago, I haven’t seen the fence in a while.

  19. jdub Says:

    I think bk is absorbed in some family thanksgiving time, anyone catch the toe to toe with Miner, someones who’s never been to a show v. The tour hound. Bk held his ground nicely, I give the kid credit

  20. sumodie Says:

    Philly is like Hartford for me -I don’t like going to shows in either place, but when I do, they usually smoke.

    One of only two times I was unable to drive my crew home was after a Philly show. Ex drives and we get lost (not her fault), then we get surrounded by crack heads at the gas station, and finally picked one up as he offered to guide us, for a tip of course.

    Meanwhile I was freakin’ hard in the back seat. All due to the nitrous mafia spooking me from the start. Little did I know the crackheads would scare me even more.

  21. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Is that stream working again. mine keeps playing Curtain with

  22. voopa Says:


  23. Mr.Palmer Says:

    forget it, i got it

  24. Mr.Palmer Says:


  25. voopa Says:

    Oops, not live, sorry

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