Weekend Nuggets: Festival 8

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on November 7th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEKEND:

11.1.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Torrent

11.1.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Megaupload

After the Halloween festivities, Phish ripped one of their strongest two-set shows of the year. Much more to come about this one, but both sets contained highlights galore. The night, and weekend, peaked with a second frame filled with thick, festival-sized dance grooves. A write-up will follow next week. The acoustic set – a story all its own – is included in this download.

Indio_Nov1_13

11.1.09 (Photo: Graham Lucas)

Acoustic Set: Water In The Sky, Back On The Train, Brian and Robert, Invisible, Strange Design, Mountains in the Mist, The Curtain With, Army of One, Sleep Again, My Sweet One, Let Me Lie, Bouncing Around The Room, Train Song, Wilson, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters E: Driver, Talk, Secret Smile

II: AC/DC Bag, Rift, Gotta Jiboo, Heavy Things, Reba, The Wedge, Guelah Papyrus, Undermind, Sparkle, Split Open & Melt

III: Tweezer > Maze, Free, Sugar Shack, Limb By Limb, Theme From The Bottom, Mike’s Song > 2001 > Light > Slave To The Traffic Light

E: Grind, Esther, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S(din) > Lunatec V2  >Benchmark AD2K >
Sound Devices 722 (24/48) (Taper – Z-Man)

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Jams of the Weekend: 11.1 Set I

Jibboo

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Reba

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Split Open & Melt

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“Torn and Frayed” 10.31.09 II

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“Suzy Greenberg” 10.31.09 E

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99 Albums In 4:20

Here is the mesmerizing video montage of all 99 albums that was played on Halloween before The Exile Set. Eclectic Method, a trio of video remix artists, created the entertaining mash-up. Attached to this segment was a final Rolling Stones clip that is missing. Check it out!

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A Happy Halloween

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on November 6th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

After nailing their costume of  Exile On Main Street, Phish emerged for their third set of Halloween. Usually reserved for uber-exploratory, dark jamming, the final sets of Halloweens past have featured ’94’s demonic “David Bowie,” ’95’s colossal “You Enjoy Myself,” ’96’s combo of “Maze” and a dark-horse “Simple,” and ’98’s terrorizing masterpiece of “Wolfman’s Brother.” So when the band came out for their final frame, it wasn’t a leap of faith to think that we were in for some heavy psychedelia, ’09 style. But when the dust settled after the triumphant five-song set, many were left wondering where the ghosts and goblins had gone?

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

Instead of delving into their hallowed haunted experiments, Phish laid down their most upbeat and cheerful Halloween set ever. Many waited for the spooks to arrive, but even when the band launched into a third set “Ghost,” no harrowing darkness emerged. Slightly thrown, waiting to hear a larger and more sinister piece of music, expectations poked at my third set experience.

10.30.09 (W.Rogell)

10.30.09 (W.Rogell)

Opening the set with “Backwards Down the Number Line” seemed like an odd Halloween choice, but remembering the burgeoning versions of late-summer, it seemed Phish would use their favorite new-school vehicle to take us into the abyss. The last times we heard the song, it blossomed into uncharted psychedelia at SPAC and Chicago. But on this night in Indio, the jam barely broke form, and when it did, it spilled right into “Fluffhead.” Featuring the once-elusive opus in almost every big set this year, Phish played a particularly strong version of their revived composition. And when “The Arrival” hit, the tree-sized tiki-torches that surrounded the concert field shot blasts of fire for the first time of the weekend. A triumphant guitar solo had the crowd in the palm of Trey’s hand, and upon the ending of the song, Phish dropped into the “Ghost” we had been waiting for.

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

10.30.09 (G.Lucas)

“The Indio Ghost” – it sounded nasty before it even started. As Phish darted into the jam, they carried a distinct rock and roll texture with them. Some short clav patterns and rhythm chops would be as funky as this version got, as the band veered away from deep groove or dark psychedelia in favor of a straight forward rock grooves. Minutes into this section, Page initiated a piano pattern that spurned a gradual, band-wide peak into the fields of bliss. Trey decided he would take this one as far from the dark side as possible, doubling as a geyser of spiritual melodies in one of the most energetic peaks of the weekend. A relatively concise jam ended on very high note before winding back down into the song’s ending. A solid version no doubt, but certainly nothing eerie or supernatural.

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

At this point, it became clear Phish chose a different path for this Halloween set, or perhaps their emotions just brought them there. Having just finished the Exile set, and no doubt hanging with all of their guests during setbreak, the obviously fun energy of their evening may have led them to choose feel-good music to finish off the night. And in the Phish universe there is nary a feel-good song like “You Enjoy Myself.” The ensuing version that followed a “Circus” interlude transformed into an instant show highlight with a series of grooves and continual peaks that showcased the band’s precision and passion on this special night. Phish slaughtered their classic in one of the strongest renditions of the year. An extended bass vamp led into a vocal jam in which Kuroda improvised with the fire of the tiki-torches rather than the stage lights – creating the most entertaining ending segment in memory.

Following the vibe of the show, the encore brought back the horns and singers for a blistering gospel-rock version of “Suzy Greenberg, complete with a “Suzy Reprise” jam once the song ended. It may have been Halloween, but Phish had just thrown down a definitively rejoiceful set with smiles all around. As the band transformed “Suzy” into a climactic show-closer with their entire ensemble, the positive energy oozed off the stage. A celebratory Halloween, this night will be remembered for its grab bag of musical treats rather than any wicked trickery.

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Jams of the Day: 10.31 III

Ghost

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You Enjoy Myself

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

phish-festival8-ticket10.30.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Torrent

10.30.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Megaupload

I: Party Time, Chalk Dust Torture, The Moma Dance, NICU, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Stash, I Didn’t Know, Poor Heart, Cavern, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Ocelot, Time Turns Elastic

II: Punch You in the Eye, Down With Disease > Prince Caspian > Wolfman’s Brother > Piper > Joy, David Bowie, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

E: Character Zero

Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S (din) > Lunatec V2 > Benchmark AD2K > Sound Devices 722 (24/48) (Taper: Z-Man)

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Evoking the Soul of Rock And Roll

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on November 5th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

“What Phish is doing tonight is more than covering a record. They are telling, through these songs, their own stories about ecstasy, madness and survival.”

– David Fricke in Festival 8’s Phishbill

The Exile Set (G.Lucas)

The Exile Set (Graham Lucas)

The Rolling Stones’ 1972 masterpiece “Exile On Main Street” chronicles the adventures and experiences of life in a rock n roll band. Via the album’s 18 songs, the Stones’ illustrated both the glamorous and dark sides of life as a touring act; a thematic fit for Phish in 2009. The band has returned to glory after living twenty-plus years of the rock and roll life, with many successes, tribulations, and anecdotes under their belt. By donning the music of Exile, Phish vicariously narrated their own tumultuous path of super-stardom, with each song providing a snippet of the experience. But when looked at as a whole, Exile On Main Street is a definitive cultural record that chronicles both the “beautiful buzz[es]” and “torn and frayed” nature of the rock lifestyle. And beyond its narrative nature, the album, itself, provides a veritable history lesson on the musical influences of rock and roll.

The Exile Set (G.Lucas)

"Loving Cup" (G.Lucas)

While the album’s subject fit congruently for Phish, its music hearkened back to the roots of Americana rock and roll. Colored with blues guitar licks, country rhythms, and soulful lyrics and backed by a sparkling horn section and outstanding singers, Phish threw down one of their most powerful Halloween sets to date. With gospel-esque harmonies and horn arrangements that popped with cleanliness and authority, one could tell that the entire group had rehearsed the album plenty of times before stepping on the stage. Instead of pushing the band in a new musical direction, “Exile” seemed to be reflection of Phish’s current state of music. Joy’s cohesion lies in its blues-rock feel and its narrative, thematic storytelling, both facets that are part and parcel of Exile. Thematically similar – reflecting on darker days and the hope of a brighter future – “Exile” seemed incredibly appropriate as the set got going. And beyond its lyrical themes, Phish absolutely nailed the double-album of music.

If one word could define the feeling of the Exile set, it is “soul.” Combining a virtuoso horn section of David Guy (trumpet), David Smith (trombone), and Tony Jarvis (tenor saxophone) with Sharon Jones of The Dap-Kings and Saundra Williams on vocals, Phish created an ensemble that cooperatively killed the entire set. Sometimes out front and sometimes subtle, the horns provided impeccable accompaniment throughout the album, while the singers gave the set an authentic feel of southern gospel fusion. Collectively, their performances formed a near-religious run-through of the hallowed album.

Phishbill (Jamtopia)

Phishbill (Jamtopia)

Fans received Phishbills the morning of the show, eliminating any last-minute surprise to the Halloween set, but also giving fans time to re-listen to Exile a couple times during the afternoon. Once Phish took the stage, however, the captivating album sprang to life. With the popular opener “Rocks Off,” Phish and friends were off and running in what became a classic night in the band’s history. After settling in through the first few songs, Phish grew far more relaxed and by “Tumbling Dice” had loosed up to absolute comfort while having the time of their lives.

With eighteen songs on the album, Phish, more or less, played each true to form. But after a poignant version of “Sweet Virginia” with Fishman on vocals, the band let their chops loose on “Torn and Frayed” – a highlight of the set and the top contender to remain in the band’s rotation. Taking the emotional and groovy composition on a Phishy ride, the song seemed like a perfect musical fit for Phish at this stage of their career. Trey took liberty on his solo, lacing the song with his signature licks and crafting a massive high-point of the first part of Exile. Interestingly, Trey switched between two Languedocs during the set – one to mimic Kieth Richards’ metallic, rhythm-like playing and one for searing solos; this time he used the latter.

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

The Rolling Stones’ ode to civil rights activist, Angela Davis, “Sweet Black Angel,” directly following “Torn and Frayed,” provided one of the most powerful moments of the set with its acoustic, southern-spiritual feel. This felt like the church of rock’s past, and we were all congregants. Goose bumps arose as the band delicately moved through this piece. The vocal harmonies were enough to make your heart melt all by themselves, and when the horns oozed into the mix, they provided a subtle, yet poignant, layer to one of the albums most meaningful songs.

The blow-out version of “Loving Cup” came next, boasting a completely full sound with the horns’ accompaniment. As the mid-point of the record, “Loving Cup” injected the set with a huge dose of energy. The horns and singers added so much to the song; a festive and Phishy moment amidst an album strewn with more somber themes. As expected, the crowd reacted enthusiastically to the suped-up version.

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

As the band turned the corner into the second half of the album, they were firing on all cylinders and carried a distinct musical momentum into the final stanza. The upbeat “Happy” kept the energetic vibe moving forward, as did the country-blues “Turd On the Run.” On these songs, as throughout the set, the horns shone brightly, illustrating flawless chops and a dynamic layer to the overall puzzle. The set took on a more-traditional blues feel with the slow-paced but infectious “Ventilator Blues.” Phish slid from this number into another set highlight – “I Just Want to See His Face.” With a refrain of “Let this music relax your mind,” and a sparse gospel texture, this song transported us into a small church rejoicing in the south. Jones and Williams, while defining the album’s feel, shone like stars on this song. “I Just Want to See His Face” provided a cool and refreshing moment as Trey integrated some Phishy effects into the mix; simply gorgeous.

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

From this point on, the album continued to build to its emotional peak, continuing with “Let It Loose.” Representing one of the Stone’s most prominent forays into gospel, Phish interpreted the piece with indelible accuracy. Page’s lyrical treatment of the piece infused a soulful feel, and combined with Jones and Williams, the band sounded spot-on. The emotional wave of the album began to peak in earnest with this piece. As the horns came in with their backing layers, the song dripped raw emotion onto the crowd, beginning the transformative – and hopeful – ending of the album.

After “All Down the Line” and “Stop Breaking Down,” two catchy blues-rock numbers, the set came to a cathartic peak with “Shine A Light.” Providing a stunning church-like musical experience, this may have been the most powerful cover of any Halloween album in the band’s history. Climaxing the set, both thematically and musically, lyrics have never seemed more appropriate for Trey, Phish, and for all of us at this stage of the game.

May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Make every song you sing your favorite tune.
May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Warm like the evening sun.

Peaking the darker album with a hymn of hope, the band and their guests absolutely crushed this song, creating a warm feel of Phish-gospel.

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

10.31.09 (S.Walters)

The album’s closer “Soul Survivor” carried a double-entendre, referencing the record’s musical roots and the band’s physical survival through their years of debauchery. A rocking denouement to a masterful set, this song punctuated one of Phish’s greatest Halloween escapades.

More than a simple cover, the Exile set provided a gorgeous glimpse into rock and roll history, bringing the genre’s roots to the forefront of the stage as Phish crafted one of their most memorable cover sets to date. More than any other musical costume, “Exile On Main Street” held a real meaning to the band members – both collectively and individually – a reflection of their own experiences as life-long rock stars. A record that each member fell in love with during their youth, both Trey and Page have dreamed of playing Exile forever. And on Saturday night, their dream came true, translating the classic album into Phish with grace and proficiency in the band’s triumphant return to Halloween.

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Jams of the Day: Some Exile Highlights

Torn and Frayed

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Sweet Black Angel

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Let It Loose

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Shine A Light

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.31.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Torrent

10.31.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA < Megaupload

Indio Pollock

Indio Pollock

I. Sample In A Jar, Divided Sky, Lawn Boy, Kill Devil Falls, Bathtub Gin, Squirming Coil, Runaway Jim, Possum, Run Like An Antelope

II. Rocks Off, Rip This Joint, Shake Your Hips, Casino Boogie, Tumblin’ Dice, Sweet Virginia, Torn And Frayed, Sweet Black Angel, Lovin’ Cup, Happy, Turd On The Run, Ventilator Blues > I Just Want To See His Face, Let It Loose, All Down The Line, Stop Breakin’ Down, Shine A Light, Soul Survivor

III. Backwards Down The Number Line > Fluffhead, Ghost, When The Circus Comes To Town, You Enjoy Myself

E: Suzy Greenberg*

* w/ horns and singers

Source: (FOB) Schoeps CCM4V’S (din) > Lunatec V2 > Benchmark AD2K > Sound Devices 722 (24/48) (Taper: Z- Man)

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A Day of Rest

Posted in Uncategorized with the on November 3rd, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Festival 8 (J.Florek)

Festival 8 (J.Florek)

Phish Thoughts will be up and running as usual tomorrow. I just made the drive back yesterday and needed the night to relax. I already have plenty of ideas for posts, as the weekend was certainly one for the ages. From the eight sets of music to the laid-back vibe, and from the weather to the psychedelic decor, Festival 8 wins the the “Most Blissful Festi” award going away. Over the next two weeks, we will discuss why in depth.

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n34391931761_5053In the meantime, help out Surrender to The Flow with their Fall Tour issue by filling out their Phishy survey about Festival 8, Fall Tour and beyond! Thanks in advance.



Returning From The Desert

Posted in Uncategorized with the on November 2nd, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Festival 8 (A.Lansing)

Festival 8 (A.Lansing)

I just got out of the festival where I was relying on a communal, camp wireless card the entire weekend. Gotta deal with the RV and drive up north tomorrow, and I should be getting back to regular posting by later this week. And boy is there a lot to say! Sunday’s night’s show easily vaulted to the top shelf of 3.0 offerings with a second set chock-full of chunky dance grooves and a whole lot more. We will be looking at Phish’s eighth festival from all sorts of angles…when I get home!