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”

  1. BTB Says:

    Great write up today.

    @AW – I was going nuts during the Albuquerque intro – I think the ladyfriend thought I was nuts. Don’t usually get that hyped for the slow songs, but I’ve been chasing Albuquerque for 11 years or so.

  2. gratefulcub Says:

    7.23.03 DC Set 1 opener (22 minutes)
    7.30.03 Camden (30 minutes wedged into 3 bustouts, appropriate for today’s theme)

    Those are my two favorite SSS

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    JJLC is definitely one I want them to bring back. Page used to just destroy that tune. I don’t think Have Mercy has been back yet but I’ll be glad if it does come back.

    That 7.30.3 show is sweet, but speaking of bust outs, check out the night before in Pittsburgh:

    07/29/2003 Post-Gazette Pavilion at Star Lake, Burgettstown, PA

    Soundcheck: Little Drummer Boy -> Jam, Bittersweet Motel, Funky BitchSet 1: Daniel Saw the Stone > Camel Walk, Gotta Jibboo, Cool It Down, Scent of a Mule[1], Fee[2] -> Timber (Jerry) > When the Circus Comes, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, Golgi Apparatus

    Set 2: Crosseyed and Painless -> Thunderhead, Brother, Harpua[3] > Bittersweet Motel > Harpua > Fooled Around and Fell in Love[4] > Hold Your Head Up > Harpua, David Bowie

    Encore: Farmhouse

    Talk about bustouts!

  4. Marshall Says:

    How people deal with bust-outs at a show sort of defines their place in the fan hierarchy:

    Least: Never heard the bust-out song ever and doesn’t know what it is, but also doesn’t recognize Golgi either.

    Next to least: needs to be told the name of all bust-outs and most songs not played more than DWD, Chalkdust, and Possum.

    Average: picks up on the beginning of Glide but can also confuse the beginning Maze with Bowie. May prematurely exhale a puff in order to announce a song that he really loves.

    Slightly above average: calls out most songs to the folks around them at a show within 4 seconds. May still have pen and paper in hand to write down the setlist old-school style.

    Above average: calls out the bust-outs, but doesn’t bother with any mention of songs in regular rotation. Gets really excited when a true bust-out gets played, possibly resulting in laughing and falling apart.

    Superior: knows every song within two notes of hearing it and displays his superiority by never making a verbal call, instead just wearing a shit-eating grin on his face whenever a bust-out really happens.

  5. Brimley Says:

    Buddy/Grateful- Thanks guys, consider both of these versions downloaded as well as SPAC1 ASIHTOS which i’ve never heard ..I find it odd that i’ve never been a 2.0 fan at all, yet have been listening alot the last couple of months and have really liked the jams…

  6. EL Duderino Says:

    Curtis Lowe was the biggest bust out of the year IMO, no doubt there!

    I’ll take an Alumni over a Funky Bitch, Loving Cup, My Soul any day, but I feel that one will never make any kind of infrequent rotation. I know just wishful thinking. 118 shows and have only seen one and I am very grateful for that.

  7. msbjivein Says:

    TypeIII, 7/29/03 is one of my top 5 Phishy moments!!
    Oh Yeah, I’m a “Bust out” Dude also. Phish ON!!!

  8. afroskully Says:

    @ marshall… hillarious.

    i loved hearing at various shows that 1) strange design was a beatles song, and 2) someone actually singing ‘bouncin around the moon’

  9. msbjivein Says:

    Dude, I agree w/ C. Lowe as the biggest of the year. Another personal fav for this yr was HA HA HA!!!

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    nice, Marshall.

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    msb, if you haven’t, read the reviews of that show on phish.net. the two there are both pretty impressive. the one guy tries to make a literary comparison between Trey and David Copperfield. I’ve been studying that show because of the Harpua (which is a great one, btw)

  12. msbjivein Says:

    I would say I’m Slightly,Slightly above avg. But not fully above avg yet…..

  13. msbjivein Says:

    Right on Type II I’ll checjk that out.

  14. gratefulcub Says:

    I kept hearing that Ocean Singing Song all the way through Piper in the same show. Probably just me and my mediocre ears.

  15. SillyWilly Says:

    I just wanted to say hi. I hope everyone is doing well, today. Thanks to everyone who sent me good vibes yesterday during my exam. I think it went alright. We’ll see.

    jdub, i took your advice and it really calmed me down. thank you.

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    msb, there’s actually three reviews there. whatever, they are all pretty good!

  17. Amazin1986 Says:

    Letter to Jimmy Page would be the ultimate bust out for me.

  18. mcdello Says:

    I’m an old school guy over here and stopped going for various reasons in ’98. I saw Greatwoods ’04…eh. I did however see as much as I could this year. I definitely a bust out guy so I lost it at Darien when Dinner-Wolfman’s-Knife came out. My friend and I were joking about them opening with dinner right before Sample opened…wha..wa. But the dinner more than made up for it.

    Your frickin awesome. And I agree 90 percent of the time. I am however confused about “Scents” as being “the most significant of all “? Really!? Weigh,Glide,Creature?

    I don’t get alot of the “new” stuff (scents, pebbles, ocean etc…). They seem to be just tunes to make into a 30 min jam which is fine but they’re kinda lame (Ocean excluded. I kinda like that one.)

    Little buddy-I’m gonna check out 7.30.03.
    afroskully-I swore we were getting “Letter” at John Paul Jones arena or at MSG the day Zep officially ended in 1981. It’s comin…oh its comin.

    Miner-Thank you for what you do. I read pretty much every day. It was quite a year! Thanks. DROWNED-PIPER-CREATURE….HHHHWHAT!

  19. verno329 Says:

    @TIII, The crazy thing about that 7/29/03 show is that every song they played that night had not been played yet on the tour with the exception of the two closers, Golgi and Bowie.

  20. EL Duderino Says:

    That Post Gazette show is my favorite of the post hiatus era.

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    Oh yeah,

    The squirming coil:


  22. msbjivein Says:

    ’03 summer tour I saw every show but Gorge and Utah. Most I’ve ever done on one tour!! RV’d it from AZ to Maine!!! What a year!!
    It’s all about “Making Memories” people!!

  23. Willowed Says:

    Does anyone remember what the “phrase of the day” was? We spoke about it yetserday.

    Each of us has to try and use it during the course of our day today. Slip it in a conversation without anyone knowing.

    Yesterdays was “Deadly Icy Calm”

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    verno, I think that’s an example of where the bustouts made the show (to go somewhat against Miner’s hypothesis above). The C&P was hot and the presence of so many unexpected tunes just takes it over the top for me, especially with such a poignant version of Harpua.

  25. msbjivein Says:

    One Phall highlight for me that hasn’t gotten much talk is the Jibboo>Fluffhead in Cincy 1st night!!! Listen Now!

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