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”

  1. VoidBoy Says:

    “Ahh, good stuff. Good enough that it got me dancing to shitty music at the bar for the after party!”

    They don’t call the Beer Hearing Aides for nothing.

  2. chefbradford Says:

    Lazer Guided Melodies is sublime as is “Ladies and Gentlemen…” That album, man, I can’t even begin to describe the emotions it conjures

  3. VoidBoy Says:

    “Lazer Guided Melodies is sublime as is “Ladies and Gentlemen…”

    I’ll have to check them out.

  4. Lycanthropist Says:

    was listening to Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space earlier.

    love me some Spiritualized

    Just got finished watching Visioneers… very strange movie. Still trying to process it

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    when you’ve thought about it, let me know what you decide

    sounds weird, one of those that could really go either way

  6. stitchstash Says:

    I love how “RTFM” evolved into “RTFB”. Great shirt idea type III, if it ever becomes a shirt I may have to lift my husband’s T-shirt ban and buy one for him. Could you hook that up Mr. C?

    The egg- nog conversation reminds me of this drink called bhang. Has anyone tried it? I took a sip once a long time ago and it was more potent than any type of food I’ve ever eaten. It made me not want to eat (or drink) any type of treats for a long time after that. Keep in mind it was only a sip too. Crazy stuff.

    Interesting how SCI always makes the conversation some how. I know it is mostly to make fun of them but seriously aren’t they a local Colorado band? I’ve seen them several times in the late 90’s when I lived there, but since when did they make it big enough to be talked about so frequently? I know I’m behind the times and all. I can’t even download free music.

    Miner, I still fail at this downloading mission. I plan to ask my husband for help. Although, I could just try to do the up-grade. I did just get my credit cards back today!

  7. Lycanthropist Says:

    @mr. c –
    you talkin to me?

  8. chefbradford Says:

    What is this “Visioneers”? Void- If/When you listen to Spiritualized leave ANY musical preconceptions at the door. That music will literally, even against your will, move you, in many ways.

  9. chefbradford Says:

    stitch, when I went to sleep last night, we (I honestly can’t remember who…you? idunno) had started discussing RTFM, and I mentioned that my dad has a shirt sporting it. I got here today, saw the RTFB comment, and proceeded to happily lose my shit, while jealously wondering why I hadn’t thought of it first. If somebody prints that shirt, I’m there! I’m thinking it needs to include, somewhere, a reference to the Iphone/etc comment made by Trey

  10. Lycanthropist Says:

    Visioneers is a independent dark comedy

    It focuses heavily on the mundane nature of normal American life.

    The corporation angle is played up heavily and caricature-esque nature.
    It features Zach Galifinokis (sp?) as the main lead and because everyone starts randomly exploding due to stress and pent up unexpress emotion, he takes some introspective time to look at his plight. He shows symptoms of pre explosion behavior and examines his overall happiness.

    Shot in an very dark and moody way, the film gives you very little to grasp on to in its bout with the absurd. Yet just enough to make you turn the mirror on your own definition of happiness.

  11. chefbradford Says:

    And speaking of Spiritualized, I let a friend borrow the Royal Albert Hall cd’s like 5 or 6 years ago…HAVE to get those back

  12. chefbradford Says:

    I’m surprised that I either haven’t heard of it, or heard of it but didn’t remember it. MUST check it out soon (I may need reminders of this, and of the earlier music recommendations)

  13. VoidBoy Says:

    “I know I’m behind the times and all. I can’t even download free music. ”

    I love it.

  14. chefbradford Says:

    Ahh, one of the best and worst thing about many Phish shirts (lot, official, whatever), is that they are so often in-jokes. Me wearing a zip-up hoodie with MELT printed across the front would make most people scratch their heads

  15. neemor Says:

    That ‘familiar lick’ that Miner speaks of that Trey starts picking @ 11:25 mark in the JOTD that keeps building, takes a break, comes back @12:40 and clear as day @ 14:15 is indeed familiar and one of my favorites.

    I recall having a copy of them jamming on that lick until it became so infectious that any human within earshot of fifteen miles couldn’t help but dance.

    Anyone recall that pretty little angel? Or is it so common that it’s like that girl that can swear you’ve met before (at every single housewarming party since ’98?)
    I need to find that jam…..

  16. chefbradford Says:

    I’m pretty sure that this gets thrown out, or at least hinted at, at least once a day by somebody, but I love this site.

  17. chefbradford Says:

    Neemor, I may have to give it a listen and see if that little angel is as familiar to me…

  18. VoidBoy Says:

    “leave ANY musical preconceptions at the door.”

    I can’t… I don’t have musical precon…pre… can’t even pronounce the word… okay, yeah, I’ll be cool… always looking for something more. especially on headphones.

  19. Lycanthropist Says:

    bold test

  20. halcyon Says:

    @ Stitch….when you click on one of the links to download, it will take you to megaupload’s website. As the site loads, a box in the right corner will appear asking you to enter a 4 letter/number code. After you enter the code, the window will say please wait while the link is loading (something like that). Then wait the 45-60 second countdown for the regular download box to appear. This box appears under the premium download box. (right had of screen). Click the regular download box and your download will commence. There is no charge to click the regular download. If you are still having problems let me know. If I am not back on tonite, I will be on tomorrow night.

  21. halcyon Says:

    I discovered her in Spain one year. Iva Bitova – some avant garde czech classical-jazz-blues somehting. Good for headphones/red wine drinking.

  22. chefbradford Says:

    Void, Spiritualized was practically made for headphones. Besides, it’s really pretty impossible for anyone to leave their musical preconceptions behind at any time, I really shouldn’t have said that. It’s tasty stuff though, f’damnsure

  23. Lycanthropist Says:

    @chef and anyone interested –

    don’t know what all got thrown at you
    but to add to some recs:

    Tim Fite – Fair Ain’t Fair : This guy really really needs to be seen to get the full effect. Very David Byrne in nature. This guy does everything himself. In concert he has a projection screen that has him playing all the other parts. Very trippy shit.

    The Avett Bros – Four Thieves Gone: If you haven’t heard the Avett Bros. I encourage you to do so now. This is Americana music at its most rocking. Some of the most emotional roots music I’ve heard. It has a nice blend of folk and edgy almost punk. Really great stuff.

    Portishead – Live at the Roseland Ballroom: The quintessential Portishead IMO. Portishead gets me into a zone like no other. Their driving, haunting trip hop is perfectly executed.

    Nucleus – Under the Sun: Some super smooth jazz funk. Not sure where their from. Just getting into these guys myself.

    The Cancer Conspiracy – The Audio Medium: Legit, three piece progressive. Some really good guitar work and effects driven trade off. Not near as cheesy as a lot of prog can be. No vocals, which in my book for a prog band is usually a good thing.

    I could keep going… but those are just some starts.

    Here a few more w/o write ups:
    Hieroglyphics (I believe Dels been getting a lot of love on this site)
    BLK JKS (Mr. C will fill you in on these guys Im sure)
    Dresden Dolls
    Groupa Phantasma

  24. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
    Basia Bulat – Oh, My Darling

  25. VoidBoy Says:

    “Pure YEM-ergy”

    After all the Spock talk and Leonard Nemoy talk… I thought this would be a great shirt idea.

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