Dustin’ Them Off

12.5.09 (G.Lucas)

12.5.09 (G.Lucas)

Coupled with their explosive playing, the consistent flow of bust-outs speckled the path of fall tour. Each night, Phish reached deep into their catalog and pulled out at least one rarity they play only once in a blue moon; or at most, once per tour. This became one of the defining features of fall, and one that many fans crave, leaving many setlist pads sparkling. Without traveling across the country time and time again, some of these rarities may never be heard by regional fans, making the current frequency of these infrequent moments all the more exciting for so many. Sought after bust-outs carry the aura of the golden-ring; a reward for catching that particular show; a personal little treasure along the ride. Some songs become elusive between eras, fading in and out of existence, while others remain rare for their careers. This fall, Phish brought out more than a few songs that nobody saw coming, adding an refreshing element to their sets.

12.3.09 (W.Rogell)

12.3.09 (W.Rogell)

The multitude of bust-outs breaks down to the oozing confidence that Phish now boasts after relearning a good part of their repertoire. Their display of bravado began back in Hampton, with the very first song of this era – “Fluffhead.” Seen for years as the ultimate bust-out, and unplayed in the post-hiatus years because the band simply couldn’t handle its intricacies, “Fluffhead” made an immediate statement that Phish had a different attitude this time around. Unveiling one of their most difficult compositions right off the bat, the song has since become a staple of the band’s current rotation and a virtual musical microcosm of 2009 – tight, energetic, and hugely emotional. But the band also earned some others along the way, dropping more than a few rarities and spicing up setlists throughout the fall.

12.4.09 (W.Rogell)

12.4.09 (W.Rogell)

At some point during this past tour, Phish played, “Mountains In the Mist,” It’s Ice,” “Axilla,” “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars,” “Sleep Again,” “Fire,” “Train Song,” “On Your Way Down,” “Golden Age,” “Torn and Frayed,” “My Friend, My Friend,” “Tomorrow’s Song,” “My Mind’s Got A Mind of Its Own,” “Two Versions of Me,” “Sanity,” “Uncle Pen,” “Foam,” “Vultures,” “Walk Away,” “Meat,” “Dinner and a Movie,” “Crimes of the Mind,” “Timber,” “Pebbles and Marbles,” “Nellie Kane,” “Horn,” “Weigh,” “Peaches En Regalia,” “Glide,” “Shine A Light,” “The Curtain (With),” “Scents And Subtle Sounds,” “Cities,” “Camel Walk,” “Sneakin’ Sally,” “The Old Home Place,” “Carini,” “Freebird,” “Cool It Down,” and “Bold As Love.” Though there have been longer gaps between some of these songs than others, that’s quite a list for a bakers dozen worth of shows. Some of these songs represent mere kick-downs, while others hold more potential; the most significant of all being the return of “Scents and Subtle Sounds.” Though re-introduced in succinct fashion, the band has already reached sky-scraping heights with the surreal springboard. If “Scents” gets back into rotation, watch out.

MSG (G. Lucas)

MSG (G. Lucas)

While bust-outs can’t make a show on their own, they can certainly add some spice to an evening, especially within the current framework of first sets that rely so heavily on song selection. “Alumni Blues” or “Buffalo Bill” certainly don’t equal musical explorations – or jams at all – but they can make the time in between them all the more entertaining. With a clear focus on reacquainting themselves with so many of their pieces, it seems that Phish has laid the foundation for years to come. Armed with an infinite amount of material, a vibrant spirit, and a burgeoning sense of exploration, the light is, indeed, growing brighter now.


Jam of the Day:

46 Days” 11.18.09


This is the first jam of tour, and holds up as one of the most engaging. Featuring some of the thickest funk and locked-in, methodical playing we’ve heard in a while, this one came our of nowhere late in Cobo’s first set.



12.2.09 Madison Square Garden, NYC < Torrent

12.2.09 Madison Square Garden, NYC < Megaupload

12.2.09 (W.Rogell)

12.2.09 (W.Rogell)

I: AC/DC Bag, Chalk Dust Torture, Wolfman’s Brother, NICU, Ocelot, Brian and Robert, Poor Heart, Sample in a Jar, Peaches en Regalia, The Divided Sky, Cavern

II: Golgi Apparatus, Light > Slave to the Traffic Light, Tweezer > Joy, Sparkle, Harry Hood, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Suzy Greenberg, Run Like an Antelope

E: A Day in the Life, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Schoeps mk41 > KCY > Sonosax SX-M2/LS > SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)

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704 Responses to “Dustin’ Them Off”

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  1. Phish...Yup Says:

    2 thumbs up all around to this board and Miner. Going thru a bit of phishpression with no more ’09 shows for me on the horizon, but 2010 is very hopeful.

    What do we call 2010 anyway? the 10’s? the 010’s? the oughts? No idea.

  2. stitchstash Says:

    I love the write-up Miner, Phish threw down for the fans in so many ways this fall! It makes me wonder what bust-outs will take the stage in Miami.

  3. stitchstash Says:

    twenty ten- the year of the Phish

  4. whole tour! Says:

    2010: the year we make contact.

    nice post today miner! looking at all those bust outs, many of which i personally wanted to hear, is amazing!


  5. Frankie Says:

    “And we’re glad glad glad that you’re alive!”

    What a blessing it was to witness the return of that awesome song LIVE at MSG surrounded by all these friends who were indeed glad that PHiSH was alive in 2009 and realizing that great notion all at the same time…

    I think that might have triggered that collective energy explosion during the First Tube that closed the set…

    MASSIVE “Thank you Phish!”, just like Robear’s sign…

  6. Corey Says:


    010. As in, “Oh, ten.”

  7. chefbradford Says:

    Hell, do any of us ever sleep? Nice write-up as usual, Mr Miner

  8. Lycanthropist Says:


    horns + TSU = fantastic time

  9. chefbradford Says:

    Had/went to a show Lycan?

  10. Willowed Says:

    If they bring back Scents into the rotation I hope they add the slow bass intro to the song.

    I dig that shit!!

    Ala – “It” Festival Scents

  11. chefbradford Says:

    I liked that intro, too, although a lot of people apparently did not. I thought it was weird but very cool; for some reason it reminds me of an aural Dr Seuss book, I can’t explain it

  12. Willowed Says:

    I agree with you. I am surprised a lot of people didn’t like that. I know it was dark and dirty but pretty as well.

    Bring back the “Intro”

  13. leo weaver Says:

    Great writeup Miner…as usual. to think they’ve busted out so many, but there are still so many left to rediscover…wow. BTW, I got a nice reply to the interview email I sent to red light earlier this week…basically, “pending schedules, this is something we will look into…” Score one for the good guys! 🙂

    @lycan…tsu with horns? really? where’s your link? I gotta hear that one!

    ok, off to watch little bro graduate from college…later fellas, have fun!

  14. chefbradford Says:

    Hell yes, I hope Miner scores that interview!

  15. albert walker Says:

    not usually a bust out guy

    but I have to admit that Albuquerque in Cinci really got me
    love me some good Neil and so unexpected for some reason
    they just nailed it

    I love they brought back all the bluegrass also
    Nellie Kane, Ginseng, Old Homplace, Paul and Silas, Uncle Penn

    these songs belong in Phish sets

  16. Marshall Says:

    In the last few days there’s been a fair amount of discussion about Fishman, the tuning of Fishman’s drums, etc. Well, listening to First Tube from Shoreline 10/07/00, I was struck by how seamless the transition is between Mike’s bass and Fishman’s bass drum (and large toms as well). When Mike and Fishman are really “in the pocket,” the interplay between bass and drums is so well connected, that one has a difficult time discerning whether a particular sound (or note) is coming from the bass or the drums. Obviously there’s no mistaking the instruments generally, but at the point where they “mix” or “overlap” its remarkably well “blended,” which is entirely the point I would imagine. I began this paragraph taking about Fishman, but now that I’ve gotten to this point, I realize that I’m probably really hearing something in Mike’s playing that’s missing from most bass players. Well done Cactus.

  17. Brimley Says:

    I need to listen to this ridiculous Scents and Subtle Sounds that Miner is referring to…Does anyone know the date…?

  18. Marshall Says:

    @ Brimley – 12/4 MSG … Scents opens Set II

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    great post. I am one who really enjoys the bust outs, especially now since they are playing them so well. Portland was especially sweet for me in that regard. Don’t get me wrong, the jams are where it is at, but I love that moment when you are in the crowd and people begin to realize just what they are playing and the moment of recognition for the rarity of it washes over us all.

    and I love this 46 Days from Cobo. Definitely a favorite version of this song for me.

  20. HarryHood Says:

    As long as I’ve been a fan, the bust outs still make me do a double take when I’m witnessing them live. To be honest, when they started into S&SS, it took me a good while to realize what they were playing. I felt like a complete doofus.

  21. Brimley Says:

    I’m speaking of Phish 2.0 SASS that were fantastic…

  22. Marshall Says:

    Oh, sorry Brimley. Miner’ll have to answer that one.

  23. Little Buddy Says:

    I;m not a big bustout guy either, but it has been fun. Curtis Loew at Fenway was great. The Glide at MSG was a ton of fun. I always wondered if I’d ever hear Tomorrow’s Song – it’s just such a weird little tune – and that was alot of fun at Albany.

    I really would have loved to have heard Albuquerque or Mist – those songs really pull at my heart strings for some reason. Have Mercy would be great to hear (I think they played it at Chicago this summer but I was not there). And, what the hell happened to Jesus Left Chicago – that would be fun to hear too.

    I just think the fact that the boys are reaching back into their catalogue and they are really comfortable playing anything means that we are in for a great 2010. The Miami run will be sick I’m sure (Sand, Simple) – but I won’t be there (BOO!).

    I also can’t believe that Simple has become a bustout. I keep waiting for it, but it’s always H2O out of Mike’s.

    Another fun write up that will breed some great discussion, Miner! I hope you get that interview.

  24. afroskully Says:

    I was very happy to hear the bust-out peaches at MSG 1.

    Miner is right on with his thoughts on reacquainting themselves with the entire repertoire. They really are digging their heels in deep for the long haul.

    Now if I can only hear a short but sweet Letter to Jimmy Page>whatever they want to play…

  25. Little Buddy Says:

    Brimley – Check out the 7.30.03 Scents from Camden. It’s 30 minutes long and pretty nice! That show in general is probably my favorite from the 2.0 era. I know that SPAC 2 gets a lot of love hear, but I just had a bad day and have trouble even listening to that show as a result…

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