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. BrandonKayda Says:

    Hey BB


    Yeah the 25min Brokedown Palace was more like Brokedown Palace->Jam (basically 18mins of Dark Star-esque jamming before the 20min Dark Star)….and this is apparently followed by a 17min Mr Tamberine Man and a 16min Friend of The Devil – with an 18min Viola Lee Blues to end the 5-song first set. Dayum. I’m starting Brokedown Palace again now because I didn’t get through it last time (got side-tracked)

    Wild first set from the looks of it

  2. Jtran Says:

    Love when Phil plays Viola Lee Blues

  3. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    Viola Lee Blues 5/2/70 blew my mind as a junior in high school. Still blows my mind, but this was a more profound, developmental kind of thing

  4. BrandonKayda Says:


    Grabbed a whole bunch of your “Jazz” stuff today, including Pharoah Sanders, Cecil Taylor Quartet, Fela Kuti*, Herbie Hancock*, Horace Silver, Lester Young, and Ornette Coleman*

    * = Have heard these musicians before

    Thanks man!!!

    Also grabbed some Tinariwen, Orchestre Poly Rhythmo, and Tony Allen stuff from @Mr C – really great thing you guys are doing hooking up all this new music. Thanks a lot.

    I cleared all of the Phish/CF off of my iPod today so I could break out of that for a bit and hear some brand new music – very exhilarating.

    BTW, glad to hear Weir is back in form tonight (from what I’ve heard)

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    stealing music is wrong.

  6. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    awesome @BK. Careful with that Pharoah Sanders album. You’ll either find it insane or intensely emotional, I suspect. Not background music. I listened to it last night for the first time in a while and had a tough time with it.

    Ornette is a bit weird, but the album you have is pretty accessible relative to his catalog. Huge free jazz pioneer…I should put his Free Jazz album from like a year or two later up there too.

    Horace Silver is always a fun pianist to listen to. Kind of defines the funky hard-bop style of mid-60’s Blue Note artists, but he’s fairly adventurous while maintaining a groove. That’s the reason jazz critics/snobs don’t mind praising him, even though they hate a lot of “soul-jazz”

  7. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    We’re trading, not stealing. BK is my neighbor and we communicate here before I physically carry the store-bought CDs directly over to his laptop.

  8. BrandonKayda Says:


    Yeah I’ve heard Ornette Coleman – Dancing In My Head – so I think that might give me a good representation of what he’s like

    Thanks for the tip on the Pharoah Sanders’ record BTW – I sort of expected it to be kind of like John Coltrane – Meditations, which ripped my brain to shreds when I first heard it. That album is nuts

  9. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i prefer music that expands my mind, rather than ripping it to shreds

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Are they scripted in the sense that they would basically say, “Alright, this is how our Caution outro jam goes,” ”

    scripted in the sense of practicing and working out a series of changes that can bridge two songs and putting it in the setlist in outline form, like a sketch of the changes they practiced.

    at least back in the day phil’s bands rehearsed all the time and I think a lot of those jams were more or less unique though they often stick very closely to a bass-led rhythmic modal space, but with that rolling Molo rhythm instead of a funk vamp or whatever.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    @BK has kicked some serious free jazz before. he’s game for it.

    both kinds of music have their place for me, @f0ol. One of the most YMMV things there is, certainly. I do find I have been listening to a lot less avant-garde and free jazz as the years go by, except for early 70s Miles stuff, which keeps sinking in deeper…

  12. BrandonKayda Says:


    Eh, maybe that was a bad way to put it. I guess what I’m saying is that the album was very dissonant/”sonic assault” in a way. Nevermind

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    lol, just kidding around BK

  14. Aquaman Says:

    Anyone remember the Double Rainbow post from You Tube the other day?

    I am watching PTI and off camera the producer shouts ‘Double Rainbow!’ when talking about Dan Lebatard.



  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “Anyone remember the Double Rainbow post from You Tube the other day?”

    you mean the one that has been posted EVERYWHERE a BILLION times? no idea what you’re talking about 🙂

  16. BrandonKayda Says:

    Funniest thing about the Double Rainbow thing is that I still haven’t seen that video

  17. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @BK, have you heard the new arcade fire album yet? i’ve listened to it like 8 times already. gets better every time. fucking amazing. zero on the filler

  18. Aquaman Says:

    damn i got moderated I think.

  19. flarrdogg Says:

    Ferret Beret avatar FTW!!!

    well played Mr. C- I was in desperate need of a good laugh. Been cracking up to myself all day about those customer reviews since you posted that link last night. Thanks.

    8/7/09 was my girl’s first show. Naturtally, it was wonderful to expose her to something that is such a passion of mine. Extra special because of the epicness (is this a word?) of the show. IMO this show is both the best of 3.0 and belongs in any converstion of best show post late ’90s. There was something in the air that night and I reckon that all that were present felt it too…


  20. Aquaman Says:

    Damn I had some good stuff in that post…..

    a la – Double Rainbow is a revolution.

    :: just not funny in short form ::


  21. Jtran Says:

    I’m gonna give that Arcade Fire a spin tomorrow. Liked the first half when I first heard it, just haven’t gotten back to it yet.

  22. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    best album of 2010. and i change my pitchfork prediction to 9.3

    second half is even better than the first. well depending on where half is

  23. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    solid all the way through though

    k goodnight

  24. Jtran Says:

    Jim 6/16/00 last 10 minutes…woah awesome

  25. Aquaman Says:

    The one arcade fire tune they playing on XRT didn’t grab me too much. Not bad, but unremarkable.

    But, I love me some keep the car runnin’.

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