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:

    Neemor – Contact will be saved for MSG 3/Charlotesville

  2. Bapslap Says:

    Lovin’ Cup encore….perhaps?

  3. chefbradford Says:

    SillyWilly, I’d happily get you to ANY show if I could get myself to one. Work only allows me so much time off, and this time of year it’s impossible to take off. Also, I live in the deep South, and we’ve gotten no tour love this year, so I’ve been living tour vicariously

  4. sumodie Says:

    I can’t listen to old phish when new phish is on tour. And I’ve been dling so many great shows. But lilkely from now thru NYE will be all F8>Fall Tour shows on my ipod.

    Never digested as much Phish music as I have in 3.0 -the beauty of almost instantaneous access to shows.

  5. guyforget Says:


  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    ADITL it is

  7. Bapslap Says:

    ah it is ADITL

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    before this fall tour i was a productive person with a proper outlook on life. i was a motivated law student who had a decent future.

    now, my path is clear. im selling my books, my car, half my liver and my kindney, and subletting my apartment and im going on tour.

  9. wvbrdr Says:

    BK, you heading to any shows?

    there will be a Harpua tomorrow.

  10. halcyon Says:

    What a set. Can’t wait to pull this one and give it a spin

  11. stitchstash Says:

    @ Colonel Joy– Happy Birthday!!!! I remeber you saying it was one of the Philly shows. (I hope I’m right with it being the first night)

  12. SillyWilly Says:


    i feel you. its a bad time for responsiblity. i really feel guilty for not being on tour. im cheating myself.

    this band is living and im wasting away beneath books.

  13. BrandonKayda Says:

    Amazing…I’ve been calling ADITL encores ever since Cincy 1…the one night I don’t call it it happens.

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    Incredible set, looks hot all around.

  15. halcyon Says:

    Good Call Stitch…..Happy BDay to the Colonel

  16. fishman's frock Says:

    ADITL is the song they they play for an encore when they say to themselves, “We just played a f*cking sick-ass show!! Let’s just go out for encore and do one GREAT, GREAT song and call it a night.”

  17. guyforget Says:

    frock, great point.

  18. BrandonKayda Says:

    All old-school set too for the most part.

    Full on fire playing all night set-wise, not one Caspian/Bug/Zero to slow momentum (although last night’s Zero was nice and Dark)

    Tomorrow will have a Crosseyed, a Joy, and a Brother/Harpua

  19. jdub Says:

    nice call folks, a great song to end a show on. Curious to hear how it all went down. Good night all… and don’t forget to take care of your shoes

  20. guyforget Says:

    philly and phish go together like cheese and steak. And i’m an NY’er

  21. BrandonKayda Says:

    Tomorrow can’t top tonight’s show, no way. I know I have said that many times before, but no way. This show had NO slow points, which tomorrow will inevitably have (Caspian)

    Although a huge Crosseyed->Joy would be fantastic

  22. fishman's frock Says:

    not really a caspian fan (although great woods was strong) but i LOVE bug and, while overplayed, still enjoy zero

  23. guyforget Says:

    anyone at the Fox for Zero will always have an affection toward that song, when they almost brought that room down.

  24. BrandonKayda Says:

    Bug is good at the very end of a second set after huge darkness, but….

    You know what, I have nothing against Bug at all; it’s just Caspian that kills momentum for me occasionally.

    Vultures tomorrow?

    Cannot wait to hear Miner’s interpretation

  25. fishman's frock Says:

    OMG!! vultures!! that would rule!! i love that song and it just fell completely off the radar. nice one BK!

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