A Curve To the Place Where I Stay

12.28.09 (Shawn Williams)

While Phish has dipped into their post-hiatus material this go-round, for some reason they haven’t gone for some of the era’s most significant pieces. While keeping ‘”Seven Below,” 46 Days” in rotation, the band has also touched on “Undermind” from time to time. In this era of their career Phish has, not surprisingly, favored their classic vehicles to pieces from their second era whose quality is constantly debated in the community. While they continue to inexplicably ignore two of their most profound jam vehicles in “Scents and Subtle Sounds” and “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing,” there is another post-hiatus song, yet to make its debut this era, that would fit the band’s current style congruently – “Round Room.”

Round Room (2002)

“Really?” you might ask. Yes; really. In its four appearances in 2003, “Round Room” produced four pieces of layered, abstract, and melodic jamming – a style that came into play this past summer. The post-hiatus versions, all played before the their decline,  lent themselves to intricate, interwoven fairy tales. And with the whole band communicating in such fine style these days, and Fishman tearing apart rhythms behind ambient collaborations, “Round Room” could be a source of deeply engaging improvisation.

But alas, will Trey allow Mike’s song to thrive? It seemed like Red’s reputation for keeping his band mates’ songs at bay was loosening during Leg I when Phish debuted Page’s “Halfway to the Moon” and Gordon’s “Idea,” but both songs were never heard from again, and in retrospect, almost seemed like a formality.  If the band does decide to dig into their post hiatus vault, one would only hope Trey sees the shining pool of possibilities that lie in his bass player’s title track to Round Room.

6.17.10 (J.Reiss)

With the band pulling out songs from throughout their career, why not take a look at this one? With the potential to morph into sessions of selfless jamming, “Round Room” seems congruent with the band’s current direction and could develop into a psychedelic trampoline. Phish is doing just fine – don’t get me wrong – but if they are looking to expand their group of live offerings, consider this a suggestion. A piece that could shoot innocent concert-goers into outer space with little warning, the island-turned-galactic anthem would make a stellar addition to the current catalog.

Here are a couple versions from 2003. See what you think.

2.28.03 Nassau


2.16.03 Vegas



Jam of the Day:

Disease > Lizards” 12.12.95 II

Some ferocious December ’95 psychedelia from Providence Civic Center – another Fall 2010 venue.




12.4.1995 Mullins Center, Amherst, MA < Torrent

12.4.1995 Mullins Center, Amherst, MA < Megaupload

Mullins Center - UMASS

The first night of Phish’s two-night stand at Amherst ’95. After the following night, Phish hasn’t returned to the on-campus arena – until now! This fall Phish is heading back to the venue that has already hosted four mid-90s spectacles, and is primed to make Mullins Center a central stop in their 2010’s New England path.

I: Julius, Gumbo, The Divided Sky, Punch You In the Eye, Stash, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Axilla (Part II), The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Hello My Baby, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

II: Timber Ho!, Sparkle, Ya Mar, Run Like an Antelope, Billy Breathes, Cars Trucks Buses, You Enjoy Myself, Sample in a Jar, Frankenstein

E: Bouncing Around the Room, Rocky Top

Source: AKG 460B/ck61 > custom pre-amp > Teac DA-P20 (@ 48kHz)

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705 Responses to “A Curve To the Place Where I Stay”

  1. albert walker Says:

    no although he did comment on it makes for a good break the main point was definitely playing a song with something other than an instrument you feel comfortable on

    the visible struggle would make the performance interesting

    Neil’s point came full circle as Trey borked the intro several times

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    Round Room – don’t like the song, did like the little jam in Vegas. There’s a nice video of it up on YT, you can google it as well as I can 😮

  3. JP Says:

    sorry to hear the lack of love for round room

    i think the lyrics are fantastic and display mike’s incredible way of finding a simple avenue to offer up the potential for deep thoughts/a very different perspective on things

    i was super pumped to hear this tune at the gorge 2nd day 2003 – sun was setting but still warm, looking out over a magical round room indeed

    and as Miner was pointing out – containing an otherworldly non-red-shred type jam that really adds to a show’s jam variety

    would so much rather have some bustouts of tunes like this versus another char 0, caspian, CDT (unless camden style!), etc. as much as i love those tunes, why play one every 4th show and not touch a song like round room – or weigh for ex – for whole tours?

    anyway, of course to each their own, but inserting a few jammed out round rooms would be highly appreciated to these ears

  4. albert walker Says:

    I’m watching a webcast all morning of an FDA advisory panel debating the approval of a weight loss drug that averages 3% of weight loss a year.

    Don’t get me wrong judging from the train ride this morning most Americans could use a magic weight loss pill but fuckin 3%.

    Put down the Big Mac and take a walk

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


    that is all

    the first step is definitely admitting to yourself that you are okay with being addicted to the IT Waves. welcome, kwl.

  6. Bandito Says:

    Ahh, Round Room. I HATED this song, and most of the album, when I first heard them. I was thinking the Phish should’ve stayed on hiatus if that’s what they were going to come back with. Then I attended 7/13/03 and RR and 7 Below made me an instant believer.

    @Willowed – the end of that 7/13 RR had Mike playing some sort of electric bagpipes, and so did Halley’s if I remember correctly.

  7. Kaveh Says:

    “Put down the Big Mac and take a walk”

    ^ Amen.

  8. DukeOfLizards Says:

    re: the JB RnR

    Loved how they broke it out of the “Set II opener with an open-ended jam.” To crush it the way they did that night without even needing a Screw Lou Reed jam was IMO much more impressive than all but a small handful of “blown up” set-opening RnRs from this era.

  9. El Duderino Says:

    The McDonald’s talk was Monday…

    Wasn’t it?

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    “71 Dark Star’s were big, but not as big as 69 versions. Or should I saw they were a tighter big in 71.”

    They’re totally different animals. ’69 versions except for 11-8 and maybe another outlier too are all similar to each other in terms of overall structure. By 1971 the song had really become a vehicle for open jamming. ’71 is the most underrated year for Dark Stars IMO, there are only a half dozen, but every one of them contains a unique open melodic ensemble jam – in other words, they brought the Holy Grail out for every version in ’71 (there might be an exception…12-5 has a dissonant space segment before the first verse instead of a real melodic jam….

    sorry for the Dead nerd post but ’71 Dark Stars are more or less my favorite stuff outside of 72-74 and are peak open jamming for any band ever

    e.g. http://tinyurl.com/darkstarenstein

  11. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    now the JOTD, that I can get behind. I also stand with T3, and it waves.

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    ^^^ the pre-verse segment of that is 12-5-71…the rest is 3 famous open jams from ’71 Dark Stars woven together

  13. lastwaltzer Says:

    ““Put down the Big Mac and take a walk””

    what if you have to walk 118 miles to get to the McDonalds 😉

  14. lastwaltzer Says:

    Hi my names Matt, I’ve been addicted to the IT waves for two months now. At first I thought I could just have a taste and move on, soon after though i found myself double dipping, IT was just that good. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to overcome this addiction and I think I’m okay with that…………

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Facemeltage ensues upon listening to the Christiana Ghost……”

    I love that this show surfaces here every few months and annihiliates a new crop of folks

  16. albert walker Says:

    that darkstarenstein label reminds me C

    I had a shitty 3 piece band called Dunklestern back in the day that all played other instruments we weren’t comfortable on, like the Neil story

    we thought it was German for Dark Star

    I bet it wasn’t though

  17. phoammhead Says:

    @PB and those who looked at those photos of A-bombs and H-bombs

    Does it make anyone wonder why we have holes in our ozone layer?

  18. albert walker Says:

    I haven’t heard the Christiana Ghost yet

    I’m not very cool though

  19. Kaveh Says:

    @ Mr. C – what other versions do you enjoy from 71? I’m still stuck on the one from Austin, TX. First set and then wham; Dark Star -> El Paso -> Dark Star.

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    ha, christiania ghost AND the it waves both melting faces here today…who’s dropping some vegas wolfman’s to complete the trifecta of MrC’s favorite jams?

    @aw, that’s a funny idea

    re: playing on instruments you’re not comfortable on…I think there is a big difference in expectations between Neil’s crowd and Trey’s…

  21. themanatee Says:

    yeah the hate on round room is bogus. such a great tune, with a little buster poindexter feel, not that that is a positive thing, but truly – i think its a wonderful piece.

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I believe you just did. 😉

  23. Bandito Says:

    The ambient ooze that serves as the segue between IT Waves and Bowie is simply sublime, A+ grade Phish. But you already knew that…

  24. albert walker Says:

    I’ve never heard the IT shows

    Although I did hear some of the IT Waves for the first time out in Berkeley post night II at Robear’s crib

    Very cool.

    I’ve been meaning to go grab some of the boards of 2.0 and give em a spin. Haven’t really heard any of them.

  25. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Thanks for the Dead recs last night, just took my first spin through 1977.05.08. That’s the way to start your day right there.

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