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:

    yo. who has the JBs in their mediafire!

  2. negev79 Says:

    @Mr C “no one knows layers like an Oregonian.”

    So true. And true for those who spend their summers in the Bay Area as well. I used to live in the Inner Sunset and work in Novato. 30 degree temperature difference every day, without even factoring in that my office was overly air conditioned as well.

    At this point, I don’t even remember a time I went out at night in the summer without reflexively grabbing something warm for later.

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    yeah the Bay Area is like that for sure with the marine weather

    where’d you work in Novato?

    I know some folks who used to have digs there.

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    the Novato-San Anselmo axis was the basis of my Marin county peeps for a good while…

  5. butter Says:

    Bob’s getting weary, unable to ride

  6. phoammhead Says:


    I’m bettin’ you look cute in a hoodie and ski cap! 😉

    Wonder why only the 10 degree shift between day and nite . . .

  7. locust the lurker Says:

    us Montuckians knows layers too, C.

    new bane strane:
    el paso trainwreck

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    with side trips to San Raf only when necessary, and up Sebastopol way or over to Bolinas whenever possible.

  9. negev79 Says:

    I worked for a law firm up there (Brayton Purcell) – a lot of people recognize the name if they don’t already know the firm by reputation (ahem), because the office is literally right off the highway – you can’t miss it if you drive north from Novato.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Wonder why only the 10 degree shift between day and nite . . .”

    low cloud layer does that usually. traps the daytime heat, what little there is

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ movin’ to Fairfax by the end of the year C…right in that neck of the woods. very.excited.

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    the building on the highway north of town with the solar panels? on that little business access road?

  13. Selector J Says:

    re: Weir

    Awk…ward… Should’ve pulled a Trey and asked the audience for help. Don’t think he was even capable of making that move, though.

    I’m hoping that it was something as simple as getting pwned by some potent pastries. I imagine even a Grateful Dead guitarist isn’t immune to one those brownies that hit you like an era-ending meteorite.

  14. negev79 Says:

    I’m headed out…going to get me some sushi for dinner later. Bye board!

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    fairfax is niiiiiiice dude

    basically San Anselmo Junior

    epic win for Miner

  16. negev79 Says:

    @Mr. C – yup, that’s the one. Ok, now I’m out.

  17. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    hot sluts part 2

  18. phoammhead Says:

    I’ve been thinkin’ about the boyz, their playin’, jammin’, songs, set phlow and overall vibe and sound to my ears and eyes these dayz . . . i’m diggin’ it in a big way . . . . if the boyz go too far out there in abstraction, they could lose me in not such a good way . . . i love the jamz and psychedelia, for sure, but spending 10 or 20 minutes trying to find a way back home is not really what i’m after . . . if there’s a purpose with the journey, I’m all for it – even for 20 or 30 mins — i saw 7 showz on 1st leg and i’m enjoying the live showz like i haven’t in many, many years and i guess that speaks for itself! 🙂

  19. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ C yeah. psyched for Fairfax. A bit more low-key and tripped out than San Anselmo, but they are essentially one town. Pretty psyched to get out of the city climate after a decade!

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    stop posting those videos of your own band, @f0ol

    we know you’re a great dancer musician and all but that’s just rubbing it in

  21. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @C, i assume you clicked the link then?

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    C linked that a couple days ago 😉

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    yeah my last San Anselmo folks moved out about 5 years ago unfortunately after they finally broke up the Dead offices…whenever that was…it’s all a blur

  24. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i know miner, where else would i find something like that other than the BB? lol

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    I never click any link without looking at the URL carefully at the bottom of the browser

    I survived the goatse, tubgirl and 2g1c memes without ever actually getting caught by any of them

    veteran of the psychic wars, yo

Leave a Reply