Looking Back – Leg II 2009

7.31.09 (G.Lucas)

Before we plunge head first into Leg II of summer 2o10, let’s pause for a moment to reflect on Leg II of 2009. Phish came out at Red Rocks and redefined this era after a tentative run in June. Boasting far more confidence, Phish showed up in Colorado in a relaxed musical state, willing to take risks they weren’t prepared to take only five weeks earlier. When the year came to close, Leg II of summer stood out as, perhaps, the strongest segment of 2009, with musical highlights abounding. Today we hit the brakes for a moment and glance in our rear-view mirror at The Top5 “Moments” of Summer 2009 – Leg II.


5. “Number Line” 8.16 II – SPAC

SPAC '09 PosterWhile this SPAC show didn’t quite provide the final exclamation point that people expected, Phish did throw down one of the standout jams of August in their final show. Morphing their shiny-new anthem “Backwards Down the Number Line” into primordial soup for the soul, Phish built upon their Chicago rendition from a week earlier. Until Phish threw down Blossom’s “Number Line” this June, SPAC’s version stood as the crowning moment of the song’s young career. This jam provided a dark final excursion to end the tour before the rest of the set turned to fun.



4. “Icculus” 8.14 II – Hartford

Hartford (T.Salido)

In this moment, we realized that Phish was still comprised of the same four zany guys that started the band back in the day. With his addiction and glassy-eyed stare years behind him, Trey used “Icculus” to launch into classic rant about the technological overload of modern culture, and how everyone needed to get back to reading The Book. The Phishy spirit that had grabbed us all at one point in our lives and dragged us into Gamehendge had returned. To see the look on Trey’s face when this went down pretty much said it all. Everyone left Hartford smiling that night.



3. “46 Days” 8.15 II – Merriweather

8.15.09 (K.Pusey)

Buried in the consensus “worst show of Leg II” was perhaps the best jam of the tour in the ludicrous version of “46 Days.” Remaining in the song’s structure for approximately three minutes, the band shifted into full destruction mode immediately. Trudging through a cosmic sludge, Fish hit a change and Phish took off for the heavens. Flowing like they seldom have this era, the band locked into one of the more magical jams of this era. Any semblance of “46 Days” was left in Phish’s vapor trail as they took a hose-powered journey to the edges of groove and bliss.



2. 7.31.09 II – Red Rocks

7.31.09 (G.Lucas)

The second set of the second night of Red Rocks still stands, in my opinion, as the best single set Phish has dropped in this era. Featuring jams aplenty, fluid transitions, and the Red Rocks “Tweezer,” this frame can stand up to any other – easily. Played in three mini-suites, Phish graced the audience with “Drowned > Crosseyed > Joy,” “Tweezer > Number Line,” and “Fluffhead > Piper > A Day In the Life.” If you have any doubts or hazy memories of this night, go re-listen, it never ceases to amaze.



1. 8.7.09 – The Gorge

The Gorge '09 (G. Lucas)

In Phish’s first night back to the Gorge in six years, they played a show that likened a soundtrack for the mystical natural surroundings. Fusing together several patient jams, Phish – literally – played differently at The Gorge, a trend that has held true throughout their career. While everyone has their favorite shows, this two-set Picasso featured three of the jams of the year in “Sneakin’ Sally,” “Light,” and “Bathtub Gin.” And you just don’t get that in one Phish show these days. That is without even mentioning the glorious combination of “Hood” and “Slave” that ended this special night. (And we might as well tack on the second night’s “Rock and Roll” while we’re here.) Needless to say, the band’s return to the Columbia River Gorge won’t soon be forgotten.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/phish2009-08-07d1t09.mp3] [audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/phish2009-08-07d3t01.mp3]


Jam of the Day: Leg II Venue History Week

Cities > Good Times Bad Times” 8.10.97 II

One of the defining jams of Summer ’97 from the first night at Deer Creek.




8.10.1996 Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI < Megaupload

In Phish’s inaugural visit to Alpine Valley in 1996, they dropped significant versions of “Reba,” and “Bathtub Gin” in the first set, while showcasing “Fluffhead” and “Harry Hood” in the second. With this show, Phish inherited the massive Midwestern mecca from the Grateful Dead and prepared to blaze a legacy.

I: My Friend, My Friend, Poor Heart, AC/DC Bag, Fee, Reba, I Didn’t Know, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Rift, Bathtub Gin, Cavern

II: Wilson, Down with Disease, Scent of a Mule, Free, Fluffhead, Hold Your Head Up > Whipping Post > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood, A Day in the Life

E: Contact, Fire

Source: B & K 4021

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1,061 Responses to “Looking Back – Leg II 2009”

  1. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    dude if ur serious about your instrument
    i would recommend going
    def the best experience of my entire life
    words just cant describe

  2. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    ur pretty much paying for grreat accommodations and great food
    the classes are the cherry on top, plus shows every night

  3. BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah @Stupendous I’m reading up on some of it now, sounds incredible

    I think I want to wait until I’m a bit better at improvising before I try and go though – I’d love it either way.

  4. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    its very focused on the intricacies of rhythm
    it def made me a better drummer and keyboardist
    but i still have ways to go on the keyboard
    all i have is excellent rhythm and a good ear

  5. BrandonKayda Says:

    I think I need to take some theory lessons for sure – I don’t want to try and get ahead of myself when I’m not ready you know? I know a good bit of theory but I feel I should definitely know a lot more especially if I want to play jazz/funk kind of music – it’d be very helpful toward my improvisation skills

    I also need to find some people to jam with – I want to find some people who have the same passion for music/playing as I do, and its kind of discouraging when there is nobody to play/practice with.

    But I think I have plenty of time before I have to really worry about that, I guess I can focus on my own playing as much as possible now. I try to play for atleast 30-45mins a day but I might push that to an hour-90mins especially if I take more theory lessons.

  6. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    i hear ya
    ur still young
    i wish i was listening to such great music when i was ur age
    i didnt get serious about playing until i was 20
    learned how to read wit lessons when i was 6-9
    then left it…
    ur in good shape man! keep on keeping on….

  7. BrandonKayda Says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words!

    Sometimes I really need to take a step back and realize that I am very young for the kind of music I listen to and the kind of passion I have about playing music. I need to realize that I have plenty of time to play and learn until I have to worry about anything. 😀

  8. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    good chat
    im calling it a night
    later yo

  9. BrandonKayda Says:

    Goodnight @Stupendous! Nice talking with ya’

  10. BrandonKayda Says:

    Is anybody up?

  11. eric Says:

    Miner loves every show. It’s crazy. No Covers, No bust-outs, Average Phish shows and he’s ecstatic. I’m listening to the shows now…nothing like he describes. Phish is not a west coast band. Never played well there-
    No thank You..

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