Back At Home Again

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

Philadelphia Phish – there ain’t nuthin’ like it! As the band hit the first show of their major east coast arena run, they rolled out two sets of top-notch playing and a setlist that bordered on make-believe. With no filler in either frame, the band threw down a full-length party at the Wachovia Center last night. With a first set filled with rarities, and improv strewn throughout both sets, Phish slaughtered what has to be considered the strongest full show of the fall.

11.21.09 (W.Rogell)

11.21.09 (W.Rogell)

When looking at it on paper, last night’s first set appears to have been written by an online fan listing the songs he wanted to hear. With six songs appearing for the first time this fall, including “Camel Walk” for the first time since their return, the opening frame felt completely fresh and energetic. Throughout the entire set, and show, Phish sounded as good as they have all year, completely on point and flowing with their seeming effortless nature of lore. Nailing song after song as if they were mere calisthenics, the band was clearly overjoyed to be back in Philly again. Wearing a Flyers jersey throughout the set, Trey continued his guitar acrobatics, leading the band through a “Chalk Dust” opener and splashing into an early “Bathtub Gin.” With the first “Gin” of tour coming right at the beginning of the show, one immediately got the feeling that things were on for the evening – and that inclination turned out completely accurate. With tasteful, contained improv, the band took command of the audience right away, peaking “Gin” with a fury and eliciting a massive ovation after the fact. With the liquid funk of “Cities” and “Camel Walk,” Phish quickly found themsleves amidst one of their most exciting first sets of the year, and as they dropped into “The Curtain (With)” things only kept building. Taking their hallowed composition indoors for the first time since Fall 2000, the band floated floated into a virtually note-perfect “With,” where the band showcased both their compositional and improvisational chops. And we somewhere in the middle of the opening frame.

11.18.09 (M.Stein)

11.18.09 (M.Stein)

Following the the dancy combination of “Wedge,” “Moma,” Phish dropped the first “Reba” of tour, and this time, there wouldn’t be any flubs. In a spectacular rendition, Phish not only nailed a note-perfect composed section, they offered delicate smorgasbord of groove highlighted by unbelievably expressive soloing by Trey within a locked down band dynamic. A stunning overall version led into the seeming set closer of “Golgi,” but Phish wasn’t done just yet. Tearing into the burliest “Faulty Plan” to date, the band stretched the song into a growling dose of arena rock to close the set.

The Wachovia center buzzed with excitement at setbreak – everyone knew that they sat in the eye of the storm. Whatever came next, if one thing was for sure, it would be fire. Turning things on end, the band came out with their usual set-closer of “Possum” to kick off the second set. Building off its Cincinnati incarnation, this version followed a more boisterous path, forming a surprisingly spunky opener. Setting the table for something big, the band entered a section of ambient noise out of which emerged the tour’s second “Disease.” The only current Phish song that guarantees a completely open, type-II adventure, last night’s knocked the socks off the Philly audience. Akin in texture to Detroit’s version, the exploration piece built collaboratively into another piece of next-level jamming. Following an organic path into a blissful plane, Phish brought “Disease” way out into a finely woven psychedelic silk carpet ride through the universe. Getting into some completely original and textured group playing, this jam developed into a no-brainer highlight of the tour – and of the year. Certainly the the song of the moment, the band soared built a creative opus last night featuring both groovy and melodic abstractions that provided the one of the most indelible musical moments of 2009. Take a listen for yourself – as soon as possible! As Phish played the introspective excursion to its natural conclusion, they morphed from the sonic fallout into “Twenty Years Later.”

11.18.09 (M.Stein)

11.18.09 (M.Stein)

Played for only the third time ever, this song provided a mystical landing point for the majesty of “Disease.” Lyrically poignant and musically different than most Phish songs, it was good to hear the band feature their new song in a central position once again, and it worked great. Keeping the surprises coming, the band rolled, without hesitation, into a mid-second set “Harry Hood.” Sculpting a heart-tugging, cathartic epic, this version embodied pure hoodness to the hood degree. With sublime full-band interplay, and the continued masterful playing of Trey, this centerpiece “Hood” reached triumphant levels and exploded in one of those peaks that could inspire the world. This first incarnation of the tour provided a mega-jolt of energy to the middle of the show, which carried right over into the second “Mango” of the year, and into the unheard of combo, “Hood,” Mango,” “Mike’s!”

11.18.09 (M.Stein)

11.18.09 (M.Stein)

Firing up their aggressive musical suite, the opening licks of “Mike’s” likened aural crack, knowing that we would soon be immersed in the wrath of Phish. Being indoors seems to be allowing the band to reconnect with the ethos of “Mike’s,” as they crafted a version whose bombast and full-on improv built on Detriot’s version in a snarling tale of horror. A nuanced and well-connected “Simple” provided a gorgeous interlude into “Slave?!” For the second time in three “Mike’s Grooves,” the band has inserted their divine build, one-upping Cincy’s centerpiece into arguably the most awing version of the year. Playing the initial section through with hardly a beat, the band came together like a four-headed monster in a version that fit right into the flow of the evening. And a “Slave,” “Weekapaug” show-closing combo doesn’t get much better – unless Trey to decides to instruct the band to drop into half-time to create an incredibly danceable set of grooves instead of the usual speed-rock of “Weekapaug.” Out of left field, Phish sprinkled one last dose of creativity to this show, creating an original take on a classic. As Trey sang, “Still trying to make a woman match your mooove…” all things seemed right in the world of now matured world of Phish. With a start-to-finish blowout, Phish returned to Philadelphia in fine style approaching the mid-week holiday with a show that immediately upped the ante for tonight and the rest of the tour. Ready or not, here they come!

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Bathtub Gin, Cities, Camel Walk, The Curtain With, The Wedge, The Moma Dance, Reba, Golgi Apparatus, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan

II: Possum > Down with Disease > Twenty Years Later, Harry Hood, The Mango Song, Mike’s Song > Simple > Slave to the Traffic Light > Weekapaug Groove

E: A Day in the Life

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1,014 Responses to “Back At Home Again”

  1. Boris Says:

    Gotta Jiboo

    yep…better than first tube, but only by a hair

  2. Uncle Ebeneezer Says:

    Who gives a fuck what they play next or why they decided to play what they just did? A year ago, the idea of watching fall tour from a live stream was just a pipe dream.

    Appreciate and GIVE THANKS.

    It is Thanksgiving after all 🙂

  3. PBS Says:

    there you go…think back to Hampton through now. What we’re hearing shouldn’t even exist. None of us should complain at all.

    I’m so zonked over MSG, I can’t contain myself. 6 days and a wakeup!

  4. William H. Bonney Says:

    First tube is fun, but not one of my fav.’s

  5. oldskool Says:

    one and done

  6. c0wfunk Says:

    “BK it is ok to be critical. I prefer that than the blind sheep mentality that every note is the great note ever played. Never be affraid to voice your feelings. Stay true to yourself”

    I agree with this sentiment but I want to add that it is easy to mistake negativity for musical analysis. You can notice that every note is not “great” and still love every bit of it.

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    I LOVE TURKEY!!

  8. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Good Night. happy thanksgiving. Off to Albany. Peace!

  9. Uncle Ebeneezer Says:

    I LOVE SCOTCH. SCOTCH SCOTCH SCOTCH….

  10. Boris Says:

    yeah…constructive criticism

    when i am typing comments on a blog…i usually just go with my first thoughts…if someone wants to engage me further then i will put my 2 cents in…

    i ran threw a field of daisies today, thank you for noticing!

  11. jay Says:

    blockquote>I like that you smell like flowers, so you’ve got that going for you.

    That goes a long way in helping in any situation.

  12. BrandonKayda Says:

    Goodnight folks.

    Odd set tonight for sure. Albany will slay.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

  13. halcyon Says:

    Kill Devil Falls
    46 Days
    Sugar Shack
    Halley’s Comet >
    The Divided Sky
    Sleep Again
    Ocelot
    Train Song
    Wilson
    Run Like An Antelope
    Set Two
    Birds Of A Feather
    Farmhouse
    Tweezer
    You Enjoy Myself
    Esther
    Time Turns Elastic
    Tweezer Reprise
    Encore
    Oh! Sweet Nuthin’

    This is an interesting show… One that is worthy of debate, and worth checking out!

  14. Locust the Lurker Says:

    I am most grateful to have the best damn rock and roll band in the world back, to have them so healthy, happy, and on their game, to be 40 years old and after 21 years of it, to still have it in myself to go see them, and to Miner for having launched this place where so many of us like-minded freaks can gather and pontificate….give jah thanks and praises.

  15. c0wfunk Says:

    “it is an uninteresting piece of bloated music, there is one motif in it that is good…the lyrics are bad…it is a novel effort but it feels crammed together and not well thought out”

    opinions are fine but this is just a harsh group of opinions only loosely based on reality bro – the song contains 4 – 5 distinct movements that are chock full of trey goodness, the lyrics are a psychedelic prog-rock broadway journey with a lovely poetic twist, and Trey clearly spent a huge amount of time “thinking it out” – he did arrange it for a huge orchestra first. And crammed together I just don’t get, after calling it bloated music.

  16. cal Says:

    I always used to get a little depressed thinking about how I missed out on Zeppelin…when I discovered sharingthegroove, and suddenly I could hear what I missed, it was almost like wiping a deep regret (a ludicrous one, for something I couldn’t possibly change, but still) clean from my soul. I had friends whose first Phish shows were in ’04, who I’d philosophize with about the band, and they’d say “yeah, I’m glad I went, but I feel like I pretty much missed out.” We are all getting a second (or third, or FIRST) chance here in 2009 and BEYOND, and I certainly don’t need to go on about how grateful we should be for even being AWARE of Phish, or MUSIC, for that matter…

  17. ThePigSong Says:

    Hey dudes, looks like fun in Philly again tonight. Just been watching the tweets roll in all night and I can’t wait to hear the Halleys.

    I gotta lol at all the TTE hate, it’s a beautiful composition and we should all feel lucky to have the guys back on fall tour. If you really can’t bare the song, plan for it by drinking plenty and just using it as a 19 minute piss break…

  18. Boris Says:

    Happy Thanksgiving ya’ll

    Take care and be merry! If you don’t I will be pissed and put a lit bag of shit on your front door!

    I am the resident scrooge!

    j/k

    🙂

  19. halcyon Says:

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY! Regulars, Lurkers, Lovers, Critics, Jades, and all the other good people around here!

  20. c0wfunk Says:

    after the show last night I have a feeling this one will get the merriweather treatment .. I’d love to hear it though, certainly “new setlist placement” for lots of tunes which was a common complaint a week ago..

  21. Boris Says:

    um, you have to cram things to get a bloated vibe

  22. neemor Says:

    Boris, I think the key here, on Miner’s board is that we are an overly positive bunch.
    Not ‘sheeplike’, but our first thoughts are towards the positive aspects of the song/set/show.
    It just makes for a kinder venue.

  23. c0wfunk Says:

    “um, you have to cram things to get a bloated vibe”

    hm I will have to think about this for a while

  24. c0wfunk Says:

    so did that halley’s get out there is that the scoop?

  25. William H. Bonney Says:

    There is alot going on in TTE. But to loosely quite mozart “which notes would like removed”.

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