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”

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  1. BrandonKayda Says:

    I like the including of the MPP 46 Days here, that jam is way underrated

  2. BrandonKayda Says:

    This SPAC # Line is fantastic – so patient

  3. BrandonKayda Says:

    The last 4-5minutes of that SPAC Number Line jam is pure psychedelica

  4. McGGGGG Says:

    I feel like the Gorge shows were the first SBDs released in 2009 where the tech. guys finally got it right. I wish they could go back and remaster the RR shows, and Camden and a few others from 09. The Leg I SBDs sound only slightly better than my old Maxells (joking). While the SBDs pre-Gorge were okay, I find myself listening to the RR shows for example often wishing they were as crisp the Gorge SBDs. The sound quality even between RR2 and RR4 is noticably better and then almost perfect on the Gorge SBDs, the remainder of LegII and fall. Remaster RR2 and Camden!

  5. McGGGGG Says:

    I’m a huge phan of RR2. Even the first set was great, dare I even admit a well placed TTE. You can hear the wind start ripping mid-SOAM and the band trying to jam with the crazy weather. Coming up on the 1 year anninversay of RR 2009…. Oh what a run!

  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    Goodnight BB

  7. ELLJEFE Says:

    Gorge felt collectively like a GIANT leap forward. The vibe w/ all my phish bro’s was a la Poltergeist 2 ” They’re Back!” And it just keeps getting better! Can’t wait for the midwest!!

  8. ELLJEFE Says:

    Jesus I stay up way too late

  9. McGGGGG Says:

    No wonder nobody talks to me, it’s 11am here and I’m on my second cup of coffee!

  10. Lance Says:

    Awesome! AV 96 was my first show and I haven’t been able to find a decent recording. Thanks for bringing me back to when everything was ‘new’. I haven’t seen the since Covenyry and AV nite 2 will be my ‘first’ again. One Love.

  11. dognamedwilson Says:

    11am? Are you in London?

  12. McGGGGG Says:

    You are correct sir!

  13. kenny powers Says:

    top of the work day, BB

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    ug, back to work today, feeling all sorts of out of it. what day is it?

  15. Luther Justice Says:

    Are you back in the US of A aj?

  16. Luther Justice Says:

    The Gorge 09 stands the test of time.

  17. SillyWilly Says:

    Good morning, all!

    woke up from a night full of tour dreams.

    1 week and Phish is back on the road!

  18. lastwaltzer Says:

    Morning all,

    read back to some of the conversation from last night, good stuff on population and few other topics.

    And Palmer, as C said Were glad glad glad that you’re alive. My best friend was a few blocks away went it went down in a high school. Can’t even imagine what you’ve been through.

  19. lastwaltzer Says:

    Oh and Chicagoians:

    Tortoise tonight at Millennium Park, FREE. Show starts at 6:30, they’ll be debuting a new piece written for the event. It will feature: Dan Bitney, John Herndon, Douglas McCombs, John McEntire and Jeff Parker along with Ed Wilkerson, Greg Ward, Nicole Mitchell, Jim Baker and Fred Lonberg-Holm.

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    mornin’ peeps

    nice deep diving on a variety of topics yesterday. keep up the civility. it is a great trait to have at our disposal.

  21. Guyute711 Says:

    So I was contacted by an old friend from my wrestling days on Facebook. I hadn’t talked to him since High School which is now almost 20 years later. Turns out he’s been to 165 Phish shows. It’s a crazy world!

  22. c0wfunk Says:

    also glad to see the mpp 46 days on the list.. I mentioned this a couple times right around the days, but did couch tour get hip to the “deja vu” show this year mpp night 1 that was a practical joke on last year’s show (which I also think was a band prank setlist)

    opener -> same 2 songs crowd control (commentary on crowd dynamics) and kdf (this time’s gonna be different) then you have the same tube request moment and the 46 days also in first set.

    Second set highlight this year was the Tweezer which was kind of glossed over last year but played with a vengeance this time around and led into the ultimate deja vu song horse>silent.

    Cap it off with a good times bad times another repeat… Seemed the message from the beginning was “this will not be the consensus worst show of This tour”

    Those of you on couch tour for this one – did ya’ll pick up on this? Watching it develop through the night my wife and I were laughing throughout.

    Seemed like Phish School, Level 2 for the newly initiated who had been part of the chaotic, crappy vibe that produced the show from 09 (which I still enjoy very much on playback, I like the eclectic song choices in the first set, the tte was my only live version and of course the 46days > jam > sweet nothin is brilliant) ..

    Also a bit of a goof on those who said “well after last year’s show Im not gonna make that trip again” — I spoke to at least 4 people who said that. And the non-soldout-itude of the run. Maybe I’m reading too much here (usually am) but it stood out to me pretty clear that night.

  23. SillyWilly Says:

    No boss in the office this morning, so I gotta go with the ol’ Van Morrison, right? (bane and Irish breakfast tea)

  24. c0wfunk Says:

    one other thing -> the above list is more proof to the theory that “2009 didn’t suck” .. it’s easy to think the new is the best but there were some really high moments last year and the energy and experience of everyone’s first time back in the puddin is something that will never (lord willin and the crick don’t rise) happen again

  25. c0wfunk Says:

    silly, sounds like you have no other choice 😉

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