The Fourth Set of Tour

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

11.20.09 - The Crown (W.Rogell)

On some nights, creativity, energy and musical acumen converge in a frame of Phish that leaves us all glowing. Every Phish set has something to offer, but sometimes one can feel like Christmastime, as the sparkling musical gifts flow like creamy egg nog. Once in a while, the band eliminates all filler music and creates a cohesive experience that is greater than the sum of its individual parts. The first night of Cincinnati was one of these nights. Following three sets of legitimate, but less than full-on, Phish to start fall tour, The Crown’s second set immediately burst to the forefront with a confluence of improv and creative transitions, all bookended by deliciously addictive sessions of dance grooves. This set stoked an arena-sized fire, with a ripple effect that would be felt throughout the weekend, not to mention the rest of the tour.

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

After a composition-heavy opening frame, Trey sparked the kindling of the second set with the opening guitar-scratches of “Punch You In the Eye.” Able to tear through “The Landlady” section almost routinely again, the band has brought “Punch” into greater prominence as of late. Nary a more spirited set opener, its adrenalized rhythms quickly dialed up the intensity in the historic arena. And out of the trill apex of the song growled the opening licks of “Tweezer.” Immediately igniting the crowd with a much larger flame, Phish opened the freezer door for the first time of the fall, kicking off the season in earnest. At the onset of the jam, Trey set up shop with a sinister and repetitive lick. The band quickly morphed into a thick musical canvas, as Trey narrated an addictive guitar fantasy over the sparse and driving pattern. Taking his time and phrasing each idea with utmost care, he let his new-found swagger shine throughout this piece. Eventually making a change into his dirty, uncompressed tone, Red influenced Fish to alter his beat into a dirtier, snare-heavy scene, while his story took a left turn down a dark alley with smoke rising from potholes all around. Navigating the ominous environs, the band engaged in a sequence of grittier grooves that complemented the first half of the jam’s smoother planes.

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

Forcefully, Phish climaxed the piece with a creative build that saw Trey unleash a furious solo. Settling into a post-peak section of spacier funk, the band slid through a drone soundscscape into “Light.” Another in the growing series of transitions from dark “Tweezers” into “Lights,” Phish brought this modern combination indoors for the first time. Breaking out their newest vehicle for its initial voyage of fall, all of a sudden Trey transformed into an intense geyser of colorful melody, shooting guitar lines through the sky like he was born to do. A beautiful foreshadowing of the many transcendent versions that would follow in the coming weeks, “Light”stoked the evolving fire of this phenomenal frame.

Breaking down the high-speed jam into a more percussive realm, Phish seemed headed for a completely new milieu. But instead of moving outward, the passage playfully blended into “Get Back On the Train.” A song usually reserved for first sets came out of a completely spontaneous place, a sure-fire sign that Phish’s creativity had been piqued on this evening. In their third consecutive segue, the band moved naturally from the back-country funk into the musically similar “Possum.” Taking one of summer’s most commonly played songs on its first arena adventure, the band attacked the song with an aggression unseen in the amphitheatres of ’09. Enclosed within cement walls, the copious energy bounced around the room, creating a celebratory conclusion to the set’s initial suite. And soon after “Possum’s” final note came to a crashing close, Trey delicately strummed the opening to “Slave.”

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

In a slot where the band would usually insert a ballad, Phish keep right on chugging with a centerpiece version of one of their most well-loved songs. Showcasing ethereal textures, the band showed utmost patience in allowing this version to unfold organically. Trey, Mike, and Page were locked in a delicate conversation as Fish slowly increased his rhythmic backdrop. Each member phrased their playing masterfully, coming together in an soaring rendition. Infusing powerful emotion into his guitar work, Trey took this outing to the top with determination, upping the ante for the song over the next few weeks. And then the cherry on top – “You Enjoy Myself.”

"YEM" 11.20.09 (M.Stein)

"YEM" 11.20.09 (M.Stein)

Phish put an exclamation point on this set with a sequence of crunchy rhythms and thematic improv that left the many generic, guitar-based, summer versions of “YEM” in the dust. Fishman proved integral throughout this jam, contributing intricate and evolving rhythms, begging bodies to move subconsciously to the beat. Trey hooked up with an old signature lick, leading the jam into sparser territory, as Mike and Page swam melodies around him. Mike gained an enhanced presence as Trey switched over to some swank rhythm chords, playing all his cards in this one. Following this rhythmic seduction, Trey infused a completely original melodic theme into the mix, and the band jumped on board. Taking the jam away from its typical bubble-funk destination for the first time in ages, the band was finally doing something creative with “YEM.” At the end of their three-week tour, this version of stood head and shoulders above the rest, with MSG’s rendition more than a couple lengths behind. Having fallen into a somewhat generic formula during this era, “YEM” broke that model in Cincinnati, providing closure to a wildly creative set.

This jam-packed frame of music set the community abuzz, as everyone spilled out of The Crown into downtown Cincy. The first exceptional set of the indoor season had just gone down, and everybody understood. Tour was now fully underway. We sat, carefree, amidst the first two-night stand, with nothing to do but kick it until the next evening, and ten more shows staring us down. And after a set like this one, spirits floated through the night on cloud nine, awaiting nothing, and enjoying every moment of the ride.


Jams of the Day:

“11.20.09 Set II” (listen only)


Enjoy fall tour’s fourth set in its entirety. Punch, Tweezer > Light > Train > Possum, Slave, YEM.



11.20.09 The Crown, Cincinatti, OH < Megaupload

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

11.20.09 (W.Rogell)

I: Chalk Dust Torture, The Moma Dance, The Divided Sky, Alaska, Water in the Sky, Fast Enough for You, Time Turns Elastic, Gotta Jibboo, Fluffhead

II: Punch You In the Eye, Tweezer > Light > Back on the Train > Possum, Slave to the Traffic Light, You Enjoy Myself

E: Joy, Golgi Apparatus, Tweezer Reprise

Source: (FOB) Schoeps mk22 > KCY > Schoeps VMS02IB > Apogee Mini-Me > SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)

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648 Responses to “The Fourth Set of Tour”

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  1. Mdawg Says:


  2. stitchstash Says:

    The whole set! Thanks Miner. What a treat.

  3. stitchstash Says:

    Miner, I can’t seem to download them correctly then. I’ve tried and it sends me to some page that shows me a bunch of price options. I even tried the so called “free option’ and it came up as a file that I couldn’t open. I’m sure it is my error. Once a professor for my intro to computers class said to me, “RTFM”. For those of you who don’t know computer language, that means Read the Fucking Manual. Of course I didn’t know this as people laughed at me as I just stood there. Horrible feeling. I will try again.

  4. chefbradford Says:

    Gdmferfface, you guys gotta tell me when I’m posting on a thread that’s been outdated by a new Miner post! Besides *sniff*, I kinda want to be the first to post… 🙂 Another great write-up, and if the MSG YEM is “several lengths behind” this one, then I’m in for a hell of a treat

  5. chefbradford Says:

    Stitch- my Dad loves gadgets, and computers, and gimcracks, and kitchen crap, and all kinds of things that look cool but you’d never use more than once, if that. He is a tech hound, and he rode me, my mom, and my sisters hard about reading manuals. His favorite t-shirt? One he found somewhere, probably a smarmy assholes convention (don’t get me wrong, I love my dad, but he’s definitely an asshole) that reads RTFM

  6. stitchstash Says:

    Miner, I’ll try again in the morning. It looks as though it was downloaded but I just can’t seem to open the file yet. I’m too tired to put any more effort into it right now. Sorry, I gave people the wrong idea about the downloads not being free. I’m just challeged when it comes to computer stuff. Even simple things like downloading music.

    Great, Miner called me out on a previous post, now I have to go to bed with the taste of foot in my mouth. I hope you’ll still want to hang out with me when your in the area KWL. I hope that wasn’t my strike 1.

  7. stitchstash Says:

    @ Chef- That is a perfect funny shirt for a tech guy. Most people would be clueless to what it means. I was. I still need to RTFM. But for now I’ll settle for ZZZZZ. Good night all.

  8. PhrankieC Says:

    this was a great night! i went out for a smoke at set break and walked to the outer railing to stare at the river when i walked back to the doors they were shut and they said that there was a no re-entry policy! there was a designated smoking section but i was no where near it. i banged on the door after the security guard had his back turned and got a phan to let me back in, i talked my show neighbors the skinny over a bowl and told them how this set was going to be special only because i was very close to missing it. Who is going to miami?

  9. c0wfunk Says:

    miami indeed! rtfm is a life motto

    great writeup miner – feels like I was there!

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    that would make a great lot shirt with a small change to RTFB


    damn kids with their ipods and dvds…

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    Miner – Well played sir! The Cincy shows need respect!

    Best Slave of 2009 and the best Y.E.M of 2009. The melody Trey picks up towards the end of that YEM jam is sublime. One of the more experimental version of GBOTT I’ve heard. Not in length, but they jsut got to an interesting place with it.

  12. c0wfunk Says:

    I’d buy an rtfb shirt ..

    relistened to cinci over the last few days – there is a little slop here or there (antelope, limb, fluff come to mind) but it’s mostly just early tour roughness. The hour and a half of music that reads tweezer>light>train>possum slave yem is indeed one of those flowing masterpieces that the best sets are made of..

  13. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    While I thoroughly enjoyed the YEM from Cincy, I think the rager that they played at Fest8 might edge it out for best of 2009. I will have to give them a back-to-back listen to confirm my gut feeling though. I do have to give major props to Cincy though. We had a blast at the shows, met up with cool people, and saw some wild stuff. The enduring image from this night, for me, was the raging nitrous party after the show that apparently sprung up right outside the 3rd base gate of Great American Ballpark. We kept walking trying to hail a cab and we came upon this wild orgy of people just getting all twisted, right on the sidewalk next to the ballpark. Definitely not the scene I expected to see right there, but amusing nevertheless.

  14. sumodie Says:

    thanks for the cinci revisit, miner. i loved the msg yem, so its nice to hear that cinci’s climbs even higher.

    @phrankiec: theres a weblink to a spreadsheet for all those hoping to connect in miami. i dont have it saved on my phone. just keep asking if no one posts it this morning.

  15. sumodie Says:

    any yem which features flame throwing tiki torches deserves to be in a class of its own. i seriously thought we were set for blast off when ck5 started firing those flames. what a beautiful sea of synchronized psychedelic chaos that night @ F8. back to winter in new england…

  16. HarryHood Says:

    Sorry Miner, I didn’t care for your write up this morning. Mostly because I hate egg-nog.

    Just kidding man. Great write up as usual! I’m looking forward to checking out this YEM because I thought the MSG version was stellar.

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    dude, egg nog is awesome. unless you have some kind of thing against creamy, sweet, dairy goodness I don’t know how you can hate egg nog! 😉

  18. HarryHood Says:

    Seeing as though I am slightly lactose intolerant, I won’t get into the true details of why I dispise egg nog. Lets just say we don’t get along.

    Egg nog = Wilson

  19. st8 of mind Says:

    Thank you for the great write up on Cincy 1, Mr. Miner. they were def. on their game . I actually liked Cincy night 2 from beginning to end as well. Great Phlow all weekend! Very memorable for me!!

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    right. gotcha. no explanation necessary.

  21. st8 of mind Says:

    Oh yea, thanks for posting the whole set!!

  22. HarryHood Says:

    @ Type III

    lol. I know that all of us on here can get very personal sometimes but there are just some things that are better left undiscussed.

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    yeah, HH, no need for another “Scatology Jam” like the one we had a couple of months ago…

  24. HarryHood Says:

    I love Scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. Feel it go down, down into my belly…….

  25. Mdawg Says:

    The Millennium Hotel in Cincinnati was OOC

    great review on trip advisory from a non-phanner (some old lady)

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