Six Defining Moments of ’09

11.21.09 (W.Rogell)

On the coattails of yesterday’s top ten jams of 2009, today I’ve compiled a different type of list. Not all highlights at Phish shows come from cosmic jams, and sometimes, the most poignant moments emerge from places one least expects. As Phish returned to the stage for the first time in five years, particular songs took on enhanced meaning, delivering a message all themselves. Below are six Phishy moments that dotted ’09 with significance.

***

6. “Corrina, Corrina” 12.30 I, Miami

This dark-horse selection came within the crazed setlist of December 30th’s opening frame, and when the band dropped into the old-school cover, a blissful calm washed over the arena. Back in Florida, Phish broke out this song ten years to the day they revived it at Big Cypress. In a weekend filled with musical nods to Phish’s millennial festival, the band’s calm cohesion provided a heart-tugging reminder of The Everglades, while soothing the crowd with a gorgeous rendition.

5. “Shine A Light” 10.31. II, Indio

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

The gospel-infused peak of Exile On Main Street provided one of the most cathartic moments of ’09. Coming at the end of their masterful interpretation of The Rolling Stones’ classic, this Halloween rendition with backing singers and horns, brought a musical church to the polo fields of Indio. Putting an emotional cap on the soul-drenched double-album, “Shine A Light” provided a memory nobody will soon forget. In a wise move, Phish adopted this cover into their catalog, a perfect anthem for this golden era of their career.

4. “First Tube” – 12.4 I, MSG

"First Tube" 12.4.09 (G.Lucas)

Energy; the word is thrown around loosely in the Phish scene. But at Madison Square Garden, one moment embodied the relentless, unbridled spirit of the entire Phish community – “First Tube.” The crowd fed of Trey’s obvious energy, making him only more excited. Collectively exploding in roars of enthusiasm, the crowd fed symbiotically of off Trey’s overflowing aura, creating a legitimate human event. Every last person in that round room swam amidst an electric sea of energy of the likes I’ve never seen before. Collective consciousness had never felt so real as The Garden sat on the brink of implosion. Listening back, this might not sound particularly special, but if you were there, the mere memory brings goosebumps. If talking sheer power, this moment takes the cake.

3. “Icculus” 8.14 II, Hartford

Hartford (T.Salido)

Following a shredding combo of “Ghost > Psycho Killer,” Phish drifted into a hefty dose of onstage antics as they segued into “Catapult.” Trey’s goofy nature emerged within a classic narration, and subtly, the band began vamping over the changes of “Icculus.” Continuing with his most amusing on-stage monologue of 2009, Trey plastered Gamehendge-laced smiles on the faces of everyone in the amphitheatre. Proving that the spirit that once drove the band in their early years lived again this time around, this sequence deep in Hartford’s second set became the most significant non-musical passage of the year.

2. “The Curtain (With)” 8.1 I, Red Rocks

Red Rocks '09 (G.Lucas)

When Phish ended their 2.0 career with a horribly botched “Curtain (With)” encore at Coventry, the hallowed composition came to represent all that was wrong with the band’s finale. Crashing and burning rather than going out gracefully, Phish couldn’t even pull off the song, having to start from the top again. Many thought “Curtain” would open their comeback show in a five-year “do-over,” but whenever it emerged, the moment was going to be special. Coming as a shock, in the daytime set of Red Rock’s third show, the band tore into the beginning of the song. Drawing a huge crowd reaction, we were suddenly thrust into an incredibly emotional and Phishy context. As the compositional half merged with “(With),” Trey poured his heart into one of his most pristine solos of the year. On a perfect summer afternoon at Red Rocks, Phish hit the reset button for this era, and it felt perfect.

1. “Fluffhead” – 3.6. I, Hampton

Hampton '09 (Unknown)

Unmatchable and untouchable, Hampton’s “Fluffhead” opener will live eternally in the Hall of Fame of Phish History. Evoking the very magic that had been absent from 2.0 with the seminal (and difficult) composition they had avoided like the plague the last time around, “Fluffhead” sent a powerful message from moment one of this era. Somewhere between awake and dreaming, we found ourselves at home again. Nobody will ever forget the feeling they had when Phish walked back into our lives with, perhaps, the most iconic chord progression in their repertoire. Pure magic of the most spiritual nature, the universe shifted back into alignment, and once again, life was just a bundle of joy.

=====

Jam of the Day:

Reba” 12.8.94 II

In the best-ever year for the song, this creative second-set version wrapped up “Reba” for fall tour.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ph94-12-08m_d2t04.mp3]

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.17.95 State Palace Theatre, New Orleans, LA < Megaupload

10.17.95 State Palace Theatre, New Orleans, LA < Torrent

State Palace Theatre - New Orleans

State Theatre - New Orleans

This is one of the shows  that Phish co-billed with Medeski, Martin, and Wood along their southern run in Fall ’95. MMW came out in each and jammed with the band. This one goes out to Lycan – finally!

I: Sample in a Jar, Stash, Uncle Pen, AC/DC Bag, Maze, Glide, Sparkle, Free, Strange Design, Amazing Grace*

II: Mound, Prince Caspian, The Fog That Surrounds, Suzy Greenberg > Keyboard Army > Jam**

E: My Long Journey Home^, I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome^

* Sung first by the band, and then by audience member “Nathan,” a gospel singer

** w/ MMW, ^acoustic

Source: Unknown

Tags: ,

731 Responses to “Six Defining Moments of ’09”

  1. Wilson8or Says:

    Great write up, Miner, as usual. I thought the MSG 1st Tube was extremely special. One of the most energetic moments at a Phish show I’ve been a part of. It’s the main reason I’ll keep going to shows as long as I can remain vertical.

  2. pagesidehighschool Says:

    http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1984100_2129338,00.html

    Hubbles Greatest Hits
    these photos are crazy!

  3. fee4zy Says:

    No need for a throwdown. I get the Breakfast Club connection now. Haven’t seen that movie in ages. Loved all John Hughes growing up. Reminds me that I need to do a Hughes marathon sometime soon. The only show I will catch this summer is Telluride, but would love to meet some of you in person if you are there.

  4. BTB Says:

    ^ see you in T-ride fee4zy.

    Throw your contact info the spreadsheet

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AtuZfj67qLKKdEg0ZEI5RjFaRkxsTEJicTVMSEJ0YUE&hl=en

  5. lastwaltzer Says:

    Come On PEOPLE!

    GOLDEN AGE ANYONE?

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Along the same lines as the RR Curtain (with), if the list were longer i’d add the Glide from MSG. Everyone was awaiting Glide after the way that tune went out @ Coventry. Great List.

  7. lastwaltzer Says:

    Hey miner if you see this……..I hope these past two lists are leading up to a best shows of 09 list……………….:)

  8. neemor Says:

    “at Madison Square Garden, one moment embodied the relentless, unbridled spirit of the entire Phish community – “First Tube.” The crowd fed of Trey’s obvious energy, making him only more excited. Collectively exploding in roars of enthusiasm, the crowd fed symbiotically of off Trey’s overflowing aura, creating a legitimate human event. Every last person in that round room swam amidst an electric sea of energy of the likes I’ve never seen before. Collective consciousness had never felt so real as The Garden sat on the brink of implosion.”
    ^ this

    Well said, Miner (as per usual.)

    My own personal favorite moment (besides the Hartford show from top to bottom-including the shooting star!- and Portland front row) was calling ‘Demand.’

    ’94 Reba’s have officially taken the blue ribbon for Miner JOTD picks.
    For good reason.

  9. lastwaltzer Says:

    I could be wrong of this but I think it was the 6/5 jones beach where they pulled off their first real smooth transition since coming back. The sequence of Twist(oy coma va teases)>piper>fluffhead>free.

  10. willowed Says:

    This was a Phishy moment for me. I am not sure if some of you guys recall this.
    Squirming Coil Piano Solo (Albany 1 Set 2) the boys leave Page to finish up his beautiful arrangement. The boys walk back out and totally catch Page off guard. He was so immersed in the solo he never even new they left.
    I thought that was a fun moment for me after a very cool 2nd set.
    This was the set that opened with:
    My Friend, My Friend > Golden Age, On Your Way Down, Fluffhead > Piper

  11. DocGanz Says:

    Gotta agree with Last Waltzer that Golden Age needs to find its way onto one of those two lists. Cant wait to hear this jammed again.
    Saw Grace Potter last night in a small club out this way- highly recommend seeing the band if they come through your town…
    Off to work, see y’all later!

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Set II JB 3 6/5/09

    Set 2: Down with Disease -> Twist[3] > Piper > Backwards Down the Number Line, Free, Twenty Years Later[4] > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Slave to the Traffic Light

    this was a good set for early summer leg I

  13. willowed Says:

    If it wasn’t for the rain that ruined the stuff in the pocket.
    Right Mr. P.?

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I’m triple bagging it up at SPAC this year.

    that sounded so wrong….

  15. willowed Says:

    That JB 3 show if my 3rd favorite from the shows I attended this summer.
    Only behind Albany 2, and MSG 2
    I hold it in high regard

  16. willowed Says:

    T Bag that shit!

    That didn’t sound good either

  17. neemor Says:

    Palmer,
    Good call. Glide was a great moment.
    Doesn’t the band always leave the stage for Page’s Coil solo?

  18. BTB Says:

    Hopefully June 2010 > June 2009

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I’m gonna need to go back and listen to that DOTD show. it’s like a six song second set with that MMW Jam being something like 35 minutes or so, right?

  20. Kaveh Says:

    Good morning everyone. Great picks and write-ups Mr. Miner. Thanks!

  21. willowed Says:

    Neemor – Yes they always walk off.
    Typically they walk off and don’t come back. they let page finish and thank the crowd. They came back on during the solo, played another song. Then left again. Then came back for the Fire encore.

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    neemor- listen to yesterday’s DOTD from Oswego. The Catapullt>Icculus is right up your alley. Really good classic phishiness!

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    if anyone like wants to like join me on the GLOTDOTD (group listen of the download of the day) I’ll like kick it off at like 10am eastern like.

  24. BTB Says:

    The dreaded ‘Fire’ encore…

  25. Stupendous Says:

    Morning Yall

    For Me the most special moment I experienced, besides the walk up to the hill
    of the gorge and getting to see that place for the first time with my own eyes,
    was the opening notes of Tela in Miami… Great moment, brought a tear to the eye.

Leave a Reply