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. beepaphone Says:

    @GP hell yeah…and doubled up again when RnR dripped into Ghost…Ghost was my last doob, thanks a bunch for keepin’ it going.

  2. c0wfunk Says:

    wow rob that’s a crazy etymology for ya ..

    the term to me recalls the late 90s jambands festival “all good fest” and the care free attitude of that era in my life. When it really and truly was “all good” as I cavorted and careened around..

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    I hear ya rob – but even that sand, though it did escape the bassline and yes peaked big time and rocked the house, stayed pretty much in the same harmonic and rhythmic territory throughout..

  4. Robear Says:

    llfa @ Cowfunk. I’ve been to the ‘All Good Fest.’ Wasn’t that in some run down part of Conn. or something? Don’t remember that one as ‘all good’.

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    ..for 22 minutes I might add – tte certainly offers much more variety over it’s allotted space!

  6. prosin Says:

    I don’t agree with Mr. Miner at all. I love the rock n’ role, I could care less about spacy noodling. Loving 09!

  7. c0wfunk Says:

    it was a walther’s production thing in maryland at this wonderful little rundown place (name escapes me) that eventually folded under the weight of becoming the local teenage party scene.. in the late 90s there were some magical little festivals there; first place I saw sci, sts9, and leftover among others

    it has been moved to marvin’s mountaintop in WV and has returned to it’s magical status. The all good a few years ago w/ the big summer classic (yonder, franti, keller, sci – feel free to shudder but it’s a dream to me) was a fantastic experience

  8. Aquaman Says:


    As far as Trey’s tone, that ship has sailed./ It has more to do with him having retired the old blond ‘doc, more than anything else. Without that ‘doc, no old school tone.

    I used to feel like you but damn this 3.0- has really changed my mind. I can’t look backward anymore. His new tone is what made the COBO-46Days the mega monster it is.


  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Robear, I think the one in CT you are thinking of is the Gathering of the Vibes.

  10. c0wfunk Says:

    I want to make clear that in no way do I consider a time turns elastic superior to the camden sand. Not really comparable, I was just using them to make a point..

    and I also want to make clear that I know the difference between ‘it’s’ and ‘its’, though I don’t show it over the last few pages

  11. notkuroda Says:

    Random brain dump-I’ve been to 9 shows this year, and somehow avoided TTE. I hate it. But I’ve got 5 shows left and I’m sure I’ll have to sit through one before I relegate it to my bathroom break song. I don’t think this song’s going anywhere. I can really see Trey thinking this was his next “Reba” and just being, well, wrong. So I hope they can find a way to make the audience connect to it. It’s going to take something huge, cuz they won’t hit it until the audience is really listening, and it sounds like they aren’t right now
    It’s interesting to me how much LESS critical of the band I am now than at any point in the past. And I’ve seen a ton of live music since they broke up. I really just chalk it up to where I am in my life(which is great) reflected on these 4 guys that I’ve known for years, who give off a really positive vibration right now. Yes, I like darker, more intense Phish. But what I’m getting out of Phish shows is so much more than what I used to. THe first few years I saw them, I felt like I was in a tunnel, where there was nothing but me and that band onstage. Now, I’m just in awe at the all encompassing magic that is a Phish show. I get rock, funk, bluegrass, and just the right dose of weirdness. I see old friends and meet new ones. I see Homer Simpson hanging from a pole, and imagine what might have gotten that person to the point where they feel this is how they will express themselves(and I say that with love). I get beautiful lights and bone rattling bass. And there’s always something that happens, sometimes big and sometimes small, a coincidence that just can’t be explained as mere coincidence. Something that confirms for me that I’m exactly where I need to be.
    I don’t read Miner’s posts as bitching or griping at all. I think he and I come from a pretty similiar place in our appreciation for the band. But the man has ears, and he writes what he thinks. But I have no indication that he has lost any perspective on where Phish is or where they’ve been. I don’t think anyone needs to beg him to get back out on tour. I’ve said this before but it bears repeating-he’s one guy with an opinion. He’s never pretended to be anyone else, and just because he didn’t like a song, a show, or a style, that’s not a harbinger of bad things. Sometimes I read the reaction to his columns and it seems like if he disliked something, people have this canary in a coalmine reaction “If Miner didn’t like it, it really must suck!”Just one dude, with some serious writing chops. Here’s what her heard, here’s what he didn’t here, see you at the next show…
    As much fluffing as I’ve done for this band, I do understand that this isn’t 95 again. I just care a lot less. I used to live and die by the performance at a show, which would make that show the single determining factor in whether or not it was worth the time, money and expense to go. I haven’t seen one show this year where I’ve questioned whether I should be somewhere else. Musically, it’s just different. More focus and energy, less exploration. More tentative playing by Trey and FIsh, while Mike and Page play some of the best music of their careers. 3.0 has already exceeded my expectations. I remember going to Camden for my first show back, thinking I was in for a two week nostalgia trip that would put some of my Phish ghosts to bed. That ended somewhere toward the end of Fee. So grateful to be back on this ride.
    Thanks for the forum, it’s nice to get some of this stuff out of my head while at work.

  12. Robear Says:

    @ Type III, yep, thanks. I never did hit the ‘All Good’ then.

    oldskool, great take on Cobo. It’s like the Introduction to Fall tour. My ‘old school’ friends that were there had an awesome time. It was clearly a ‘rockin’ show, with some sweet treats and surprises. Only to be outdone by subsequent outings, which is only natural!

  13. Little Buddy Says:

    Doesn’t his use, or lack of use, of the Ross Compressor explain more of the change in Trey’s tone than the guitar? That was the talk back before the Hampton shows, I thought.

  14. NRM Says:

    My call for tonight — All Things Reconsidered. The composer of All Things Considered – Don Voegeli (sp?) passed away this past weekend.

  15. beepaphone Says:

    Aqua, were you wearing an aquaman shirt at Cobo? I think I saw you, but was too spun to talk to strangers 😉

  16. c0wfunk Says:

    notkuroda thanks for the perspective, very well said.

  17. Robear Says:

    10/28/95 Palace
    Shred fest with basically no ‘open’ jamming.

    8/7/09 Gorge
    Open jam fest with basically no ‘shredding’

  18. whole tour! Says:

    kang well in martin land!

  19. gavinsdad Says:

    “I see Homer Simpson hanging from a pole, and imagine what might have gotten that person to the point where they feel this is how they will express themselves(and I say that with love)”

    not to detract from the rest of your post notkuroda but that is exactly the thing i think every time i see a random someone break out the tambourine at a show.

  20. whole tour! Says:

    vermin 4th? mere vermin 5th?

  21. Robear Says:

    re: ‘RnR’ from Cincy. They’re not screwing around!

  22. whole tour! Says:

    serious rock chops

  23. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Heard that yesterday on the radio NRM, would be neat. Bustout even, talk about under the radar.

  24. BTB Says:

    “And there’s always something that happens, sometimes big and sometimes small, a coincidence that just can’t be explained as mere coincidence. Something that confirms for me that I’m exactly where I need to be.” — I get that too.

    Aquaman – I was standing up in section A2 before Cobo trying to find you but to no avail. I probably looked spaced out to some. I was in my seat at 7:450 or so. Somehow ran into Beeps twice although I don’t remember much. That’s the way the cookie crumbles I guess, ha

  25. c0wfunk Says:

    that crazy little festival grounds was where my 17 year old self first got entirely too spun on nitrous and shelled out over all of my savings on hippie crack — back in 94-95 they were doing these little “jerry’s bday festival” with the generation of dead cover bands preceding the jambands explosion a few years later

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