Summer Tour – A Year Later

5.31.09 Fenway (P.Harrington)

We’ve officially have entered the final countdown, sitting less than ten days away from Chicago’s summer tour opener. As the pages of the calendar pass into June, the wait is almost over. We are about to experience new Phish again; 2009 is but a memory and 2010 has arrived. And as we step into summer tour, while there is a completely different feeling surrounding the band’s musical potential than last year, some of the same questions remain.

Entering Fenway and Jones Beach at the beginning of last summer, everything was still a question mark. The Hampton shows had been promising, but nobody really knew what to expect as Phish embarked on their first tour in five years. The release of Joy, the album, had been indefinitely pushed back, so we never got a glimpse of the band’s new material beyond Hampton’s “Number Line” and the official “single” for “Time Turns Elastic.” We just didn’t know where Phish was heading, and, ironically, we now enter Summer 2010 with the exact same question.

Fenway Poster

2009 provided a solid foundation for everything that is to come, but throughout most of the year, Phish didn’t push new musical boundaries while regaining their comfort on stage. Even the best jams of the year didn’t present a clear new direction for Phish music, something that will hopefully emerge this summer. This trend, however, began to change during the final four nights of the year. Phish came out in Miami with a renewed ferocity and purpose behind their music, sculpting a handful of the year’s most efficient and forward-looking jams in “Piper,” “Ghost,” “Tweezer,” and “Back on the Train.” All of these pieces were characterized by dynamic creativity amidst an urgency that pushed the music along with nary a wasted note, fully realizing a shift that began towards the end of fall tour.

But now, as the community prepares to descend on Chicago a little over a week, Phish has no album to promote, and, allegedly, plenty of new material – a combination that would seem to push the band’s creative process. With their communication honed, and their jitters gone, this tour promises to bring a hell of a lot of excitement.

SPAC '09 (D.Perrucci)

When pondering where the music may move to, I think back to two “Disease” jams from last fall – Cobo and Philly. In each of these excursions, Phish attained periods of layered, lead-less jamming, a potential glimpse into a more mature style. When the band began with this unique “Disease” in Detroit’s tour opener last fall, I figured it might be a foreshadowing of things to come. But experimentation never became the focus of the fall and Miami’s standout playing didn’t follow this pattern either, leaving us to wonder just where the band’s musical magnifying lens will next fall.

Perhaps we can find clues in the many explorations of “Light” from last fall, as the band introduced a new genre-defying jam. An open-ended piece, whose greatest days lie ahead, brought some of the newest-sounding music of last year in many differing versions. Each year from 1993 forward featured distinct shifts in the band’s style of improvisation, and if Phish pressed the reset button last year, new musical excursions should emerge within weeks. Stay tuned to see what happens.


Jam of the Day:

Disease > Free” 11.18.09 II

The Cobo “Disease” referenced in the article above.




4.30.92 Barrymore Theatre, Madison, WI < Torrent

4.30.92 Barrymore Theatre, Madison, WI < Megaupload

Barrymore 1991

The end of a phenomenal month of Phish music.

I: The Curtain > Split Open and Melt, Fee, Maze, Reba, Uncle Pen, Stash, Rift, Esther, Run Like an Antelope

II: Glide, Tweezer*, The Squirming Coil, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, You Enjoy Myself, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Chalk Dust Torture, Cold as Ice > Cracklin’ Rosie > Cold as Ice, Harry Hood, Tweezer Reprise

E: Carolina, Cavern

* w/ Col. Bruce Hampton on Trombone; Aquarium Rescue Unit opened

Source: Unknown

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985 Responses to “Summer Tour – A Year Later”

  1. SillyWilly Says:

    Im sorry Cardinals-Reds. wasn’t paying attention.

  2. BTB Says:

    From the green board – Further Fest – is there PCP going around or what?

  3. HarryHood Says:

    Everyone that I met from this board has been very normal looking….. The big meetup at MSG could have just been a regular night at the bar. No real wooks to speak of. Except Mitch. That guy really stunk the place up. In a good way. But Butter started it……. Kidding. Sorta. If you were there, you know what I mean. llfa

  4. flarrdogg Says:

    Fing-a, Cotton. Y’all went deep today.

    Bummed out that I’m going to miss all of leg 1 and not see le phish until August? Living on the west coast is ‘the bomb’ most of the time…except that whole “seeing phish regularly” thing. Kills me that I’m missing BTB fest- my homecoming show. Would love to meet some of you cats. People shouldn’t get married in the summer.

    I second Mr. C’s Oregon Country Fair suggestion. Gotta see it to believe it.

    fact: The Real Me should be in the rotation. The 12/29/95 (Real Gin) version is so damn fierce- I was just reminded listening on my drive home.

    rawk on

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    oh my god.

    if you’re a baseball fan you should be watching this.

    jackson, detroit’s centerfielder just made an amazing catch to preserve the perfect game.

    2 more outs

  6. SillyWilly Says:

    1 more out.

  7. William H. Bonney Says:

    what;s goin on with all these perfect games three in one year so far

  8. flarrdogg Says:

    silly- craziness. I caught the tail end of Roy Halladay’s last week.

    End of steroid era= return of dominating pitching. Go figure.

  9. SillyWilly Says:

    in field single

    worst. call. ever.

  10. BTB Says:

    The sluggers used to be juiced – now its the pitchers.

  11. SillyWilly Says:


    that was horrible.

    i dont even care about the tigers.

  12. William H. Bonney Says:

    maybe, not likely end of steroid era, just new a phase of PED….I got nothing though. I think there have been what 20-21 perfect games in BB history?

  13. William H. Bonney Says:

    home field not cooking for Det.?

  14. HarryHood Says:

    Wow Silly. That was f’ing terrible

  15. William H. Bonney Says:

    Marlins are selling unused game tickets from Doc’s game. Not sure what kind of people would by a ticketmaster style ticket to say they have a piece of history they weren’t at. Or I guess in the re-telling it was a sellout.

  16. HarryHood Says:

    I’m guessing that umpire’s pink slip is waiting for him. Litterally the worst call I’ve ever witness in all the years I’ve been watching baseball

  17. William H. Bonney Says:

    they can change the ruling later but, really tough break at home even. Somebody better get his ass out of area quick after this one, official scorer is off the Christmas card list.

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    That was just bad.

    I think that play just cemented instant re-play. I mean, that guy is going to take some shit for a long time.

  19. sumodie Says:

    ^ Arrest stats for ~8-10K Further fest are quite high for a fest that size

    And no, doesn’t sound like the cops went out of their way to make arrests

    One dude even jumped onto one of their moving ATVs freaking out. Lovely

    Still sounds like a great weekend of music though

  20. flarrdogg Says:

    BTB- Looks like another long year for the Tribe. They’re out here (Seattle) in September. I’ll go show my support, but have a feeling it will be all over by that point. Still good to represent. Seattle fans are horrible- worst sports fans I’ve ever seen in my life. They just don’t really give a shit. No passion.

    Nothing like OH.

  21. William H. Bonney Says:

    Tell me this is not true…please..

    Inside the fairgrounds a mother had overdosed on controlled substances while her 3 year old child was attached to her with a leash type device. Reportedly the child took its clothes off to get away from her mother. The mother was hospitalized and the child was taken into protective custody. While at the hospital the mother had to be restrained as she was combative and attempted to bite and injure hospital staff.

  22. jdub Says:

    Who needs sportscenter when you got the BB. I didn’t see the play but an ump should give the benefit of the doubt to the team going for a perfect game. Was it really that bad a call?

  23. flarrdogg Says:

    ^I thought my childhood was rocky. William H- Was that @ Furthur?

  24. HarryHood Says:

    @ Jdub

    Horrible call. He beat the runner by a full step. I could see if the call had went the other way, but that was just bad.

  25. William H. Bonney Says:

    Yeah that is the in report along with some others,

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