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

Tags: , ,

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

  1. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @silly, question
    would you consider cerebral (by this definition ‘involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct’) to be a good word to describe surrealism, or would you say it’s the opposite?
    i’m asking because my friend referred to this surreal film (the holy mountain), as one of the most cerebral films ever, and at the time i sort of agreed, but now that i think of it, surrealism is really about the subconscious/unconscious mind and not about things that can ever be fully understood, especially through reason/ration….

  2. b-rock Says:

    Morning all! Just found this site the other day — what a great community.

    Love the refresh on last year’s Leg 2. One jam I consistently go back to is the Stash from Red Rocks. Hearing that (on their first night back!) clearly said they were taking things up a notch. Hopefully something like that will pop up at the Greek.

  3. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    also @silly/all alpiners

    i’ll be camping here for alpine http://barkrivercampgrounds.com/

  4. SillyWilly Says:

    I read you, Cowfunk.

    getting down with Van as we type.


    I think Im more on your side about surrealism.

    BUT, think about the film this way. If the film was truly surreal, it would definitely shake up your intellect. Make you think. Make you ask: “What the hell did I just see?”

    so maybe in that sense you were both right!

    Dude, DF, I swear to God we must be related. I used to piss off my friends so much with arguments about stuff like this. can’t wait to meet you in 2 weeks.

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    haha yeah, though i never ended up arguing with him, just thought about it afterwards (too late to argue a week later ha), definitely makes sense in that sense

  6. ohhphee Says:

    “Many Thanks to all the campers for the support for the July 4th weekend and thanks to all the Dave Mathew fans for their excellent behavior during the stay at our campground.”
    Bark River Campgrounds Mgmt
    awww, that’s so cute.

    Morning BBers!

  7. c0wfunk Says:

    yeh surrealism to me is to stimulate thought – a juxtaposition of things you don’t normally experience together that force you to reconsider your previously held notions..

  8. lastwaltzer Says:

    Does the Van Morrison go better with Van Morrison?

    I’d like to this so: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jsgm2luFaPw

  9. SillyWilly Says:

    good stuff, surrealism.

  10. lastwaltzer Says:


  11. SillyWilly Says:



  12. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I always consider surrealism to be the attempt to represent/express the functioning of thought which – depending on the intent and the audience – can be very cerebral.

    it’s waaay too early for this deep of a conversation! go throw on that MPP 46 Days and turn your head on in a different mode.

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i retract my arcade fire album statement.

    THIS is the best track on the album (track 15) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH_7_XRfTMs

    and track 13 (we used to wait) is arguably better too

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    Maybe I should call it the Bane Morrison?

    but that might be too obvious.

  15. kenny powers Says:

    speaking of the Gorge 8/7/09, if anyone wants a FLAC matrix of that show, shoot me an email at digs5446 at gmail dot com.

    It sounds pretty tasty….a bit hot on the levels at times but a fun listen. definitely is more SBD than AUD sounding, which i attribute to the roof-less nature of the venue yielding AUDs that don’t have as much boomy-ness or echo-yness.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    MPP 46 days IS surreal!

    and @type, yes but more specifically, subconscious/unconscious thought

  17. AintNoTele Says:

    The vid of that icculus brings a single tear of joy


    Such a triumphant tune, trey channeling raw power. Love it

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    RE arcade fire


    Terry Gilliam to direct ‘Arcade Fire’ live concert

    22 hours ago | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

    According to the BBC, film-maker Terry Gilliam is to direct a webcast of an Arcade Fire concert due to take place in New York’s Madison Square Garden on August 5th.

    The director, whose movies include Brazil and The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, will take the helm of the Canadian band’s gig which will be the first in a series of five concerts to be streamed via YouTube. Fans watching the gig online will be able to switch camera angles and decide on the band’s choice of encore song.

    The concert will coincide with the release of the Arcade Fire’s third album, The Suburbs. »

  19. fatbunch Says:

    Good morning BB! Nice writeup Miner. What a stellar year and of course great to look in the rear-view. Found myself listening to both nights of Gorge again just yesterday… sure does hold up! Still have the best memory of looking over at my newbie friend being plowed over by the flow just prior to “set the gearshift…”

    Happy Birthday to my lovely wife today who’s 36! She gets me, I get her, and we share enough in the “core” to make any stuff in the “periphery” not worth the worry. love you sweetie!

    Here’s to all of us embracing the love we can give and receive today. UH oh… fatbunch is about to write a cheesy ballad!

    Gonna try to go back to bed now…

  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    arcade fire. at MSG(!!!!!!??????). live stream. directed by terry gilliam!!!?!?!

  21. willowed Says:

    Huge Van fan here Silly!!

  22. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    speaking of surrealism, terry gilliam!

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


    well, yes, sort of. It does not have to be sub/unconscious. but it does need to be automatic and unfettered, without the guidance of assumed notions of morality or reason.

  24. willowed Says:

    I forgot to say good morning and make it a great one today people.

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    my favorite video this morning. nature is cool

Leave a Reply