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. BrandonKayda Says:


    Okay, stop messing with me. Where’s the Caspian?

  2. jdub Says:

    @neemor, here’s hoping I can get out of the house and down to NH. If I don’t catch you tomorrow night surely we’ll get down at MSG

  3. BrandonKayda Says:


    I haven’t heard one note of this show and I am beaming from over here…..WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW

  4. whole tour! Says:

    holy shit….
    holy shit….

  5. jdub Says:

    did they just slow it up or is the phone dying

  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    What can they possibly do for an encore!?

    This tour is picking up in intensity every single night…full blown peak by MSG->Charlottesville

    I am going to be realistic and call a Farmhouse encore…but I’m sure they’ll drop a YEM or Glide or something


    Every single night I have been saying “This show won’t top (Cobo/Cincy 1/Cincy 2/Syracuse)”….and every single night I am proven wrong.

    I love this band

  7. BrandonKayda Says:

    Is the Weekapaug still going? It’s hitting 10minutes now…BRING IT!

  8. jdub Says:

    BK – how long have you been listening to phish if you don’t mind me asking

  9. BrandonKayda Says:

    Jdub – Since about summer of 2008

  10. fishman's frock Says:

    this mike’s groove makes total sense. i wish they did it like this more often. IT’S GREAT!

    mike’s > simple – no brainer
    simple > slave – simple’s fading jam is a wonderful way to segue into slave
    slave > weekapaug – the buildup at the end of slave resolves perfectly into weekapaug


  11. neemor Says:

    East Coast Throwdown.
    Hater eat their words as always!
    I love this band.

  12. jdub Says:

    You have assimilated quickly to this here band and I like

  13. mrfergie Says:

    jdub, neemor – working on the fiance to make sure we get out and meet up w/ you two tomorrow – I’ll e-mail you both when I get home from work…

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    Somebody said the Paug’ was slowing down?

  15. SillyWilly Says:

    i feel overwhelmingly regrettful that im not there.

    from now on every spare dollar i get im putting in a jar labeled phish and i will only spend it to get to phish shows.

    does anyone need a spare kidney?

  16. Henry Says:

    this is one of the most incredible setlists I have seen. I may have to stay u until the SBD’s are posted and buy them.

  17. sumodie Says:

    Listening to the stream I can’t quite tell how hot the show is -guess I’ll have to read miner 8)

    but ass stream is fun to listen in on.

  18. chefbradford Says:

    Honestly, I could probably use a new liver, but I’ll settle for a kidney

  19. fishman's frock Says:

    i agree with palmer

    E: a day in the life

  20. BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah I find when I latch onto a band it lasts for a long time and I tend to listen to nothing but them for months…

    I am over that stage with Phish now, still listen a good bit but find room for new music.

    Absolutely LOVING this run of shows though.

    What are they possibly going to do tomorrow?

  21. BrandonKayda Says:

    ADITL is a great call

  22. neemor Says:

    LLFA Silly
    What a band!
    Absolutely amazing.

  23. halcyon Says:

    So I am sitting at work counting my shift hours down plugging away at stupid projects, and how amazing is it that we can vicariously live through our bretheren at these shows, follow crappy streams, and geek out to setlists in real time…


  24. neemor Says:

    Weigh or Contact

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    @chef bradford

    you can have half my liver if you can get me to the rest of the shows….hell, you can have half my liver if you can get me to msg and charlottesville

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