Settling Into Place

Jones Beach '09 (Wendy Rogell)

Almost two years has passed since Joy dropped, and the songs from Phish’s only modern-era album have found their primary spots in the band’s rotation. Today, we’ll look at some of the most promising songs from Joy that were debuted in 2009 and their role in current shows.



Trey's Ocelot Inlay

Debuted right after Hampton in Fenway’s first set, “Ocelot” seemed like a promising jam vehicle for the band out of the gates. At the time, it’s playful and methodical grooves seemed like the could easily lead the band in adventurous directions. I remember all of June ’09 waiting for a big “Ocelot” to open the second set, but  to this day, the song has still not appeared in any second set at all. “Ocelot” has found its home as a first set staple, often the first improvisational piece of its given show. The jam has developed a roots Americana feel, spouting passages that sometimes evoke the sound of The Grateful Dead. While the song never seems obtrusive and provides a warm musical breeze, the piece has yet to take on any risk whatsoever. Seeming to content to play it straight, Phish has domesticated their “Ocelot,” much like Salvador Dali did. Perhaps one day, the band will let their pet song out to play.


“Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan”

Jones Beach 09 W.Rogell)

When “Stealing Time” crunched from the PA at Jones Beach ’09, many fans freaked on what seemed like a new dissonant, hard rock launch pad. But almost two years later, we are still waiting on the song to break form. A platform for seething guitar solos, instead of morphing into the next improvisational juggernaut, “Stealing Time” has turned into this generation’s “Character Zero”— a hard-edged set closer that leaves the audience on a high note. Closing only one second set in Hartford (6.18.10), “Stealing Time,” like “Ocelot,” now finds its home in the opening half. And when I first heard it, I would have bet good money against that development. Seemingly reluctant to take their new songs to new places, Phish has also kept this song firmly inside the box.


“Backwards Down the Number Line”

Trey and Tom (

Perhaps the biggest enigma from Joy, “Backwards Down the Number Line” has blown up a handful of times—most notably last summer at Blossom and Jones Beach—but has otherwise remained a noodly anthem. While some of the contained versions shine more than others, Phish has yet to find a good placement for the piece. Often breaking up the flow of second sets with its sudden beginning and abrupt change of vibe, “Number Line” seems to work better as an opener a la SPAC ’09. Though “Number Line” has had some all-star moments, until Phish finds a natural home or musical direction for their ode to friendship, it will continue to be an awkward piece of the band’s catalog.


“Twenty Years Later”

Perhaps the most contemporary-sounding Phish songs on Joy, the enchanting-turned-menacing “Twenty Years Later” has most-often appeared as a soft landing pad for outrageous psychedelic jaunts. And just this fall, Phish began pushing the end of the song, itself, creating dissonant and layered walls of sound out of the jam. A song that always seems to fit perfectly at the end of torrid adventures, Phish has definitely found the right home for “Twenty Years Later.”



8.7.10 -The Greek Theatre (Wendy Rogell)

When Trey performed “Light” twice with Classic TAB (before Phish returned to the stage), I immediately sensed that it would be Phish’s next cosmic trampoline. And lo and behold, “Light” has been the most consistent portal to the universe in this era of Phish. An open-ended piece that is routinely placed in the second set, its jam has migrated from thick ambient textures to futuristic groove, while hitting just about every musical place in between. “Light” is the band’s most exploratory piece right now, and has been since it first explored darkened territory at Bonnaroo (6.14.09), and further exploded during Fall ’09. Easily the improvisational MVP of 2010, every time “Light” started up the most interesting jam of the night was almost sure to follow.


“Kill Devil Falls”

Starting out as another straight forward rocker at Jones Beach ’09, “Kill Devil Falls” got immediately interesting at Bonnaroo as the band’s first stellar and exploratory jam of this the summer. But these type of excursions have been few and far between from of the song, and no version has yet to touch Bonnaroo’s ’09 peak. Staying within the box 99% of the time, “Kill Devil Falls” most often finds its way into a show—or set—opening slot. Providing quality rock and roll, “Kill Devil Falls” warms up the audience for what is coming next.


Jam of the Day:

Piper > Guy Forget” 10.1.00 II

A classic nugget from the home stretch of Fall 2000.

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12.4.1995 Mullins Center, Amherst, Massachusetts

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload

This December ’95 re-post goes out via reader request to Willowed!

Mullins Center, Amherst, MA

I: Julius, Gumbo, The Divided Sky, Punch You In the Eye, Stash, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Axilla 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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643 Responses to “Settling Into Place”

  1. bhizzle Says:

    STFTFP….is great as a straight forward rocker, but definitely would love to see it expand and yea, I think it’s because it’s somewhat dark sounding as some one said…like ASIHTOS

    Alaska is a a great song although I find it similar to Ocelot in the aspect of it being Deadish

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Weird. My Alaska entry done got lopped offa dare

    Alaska – not one I find myself psyched about when they start it up, but by the time they hit the jam I’m fully on board. not one I want in the same set as ocelot though due to the somewhat similar feel of the two songs.

  3. nonoyolker Says:

    @ LW – Good points man. Just that my first impression after hearing Stealin’ was “Holy shit, this is going to go big soon”. I just thought it was build for a jam vehicle and not just a straight execution song.

    People dig on 20 yrs later, which i personally don’t get. The end jam is the shit, but the lyrics don’t do anything for me. Can’t picture Red having to survive in the woods with nothing but a knife and the “long road/world turing fast” section strikes me as corny.

  4. bhizzle Says:

    Also, Alaska off of the Party Time cd…what other Part Time tunes have been dropped heavily in rotation besides title track?

  5. bhizzle Says:

    “Happy, happy” is corny!

  6. fat bastard Says:

    sugar shack is good fun

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    oh. I guess I just naturally include Alaska with the joy tunes.

  8. Mike in Austin Says:

    This song’s by Jimmy Buffett … “They freezing up in Buffalo, they’re stuck in their cars, and I’m down here ‘neath the sun and the stars”

    The ACL #_ clocks in at a radio friendly 6:38, is whammy pedal free (I’m looking at you Greek) and very potent. As Miner says, it shines. Short and Tight.

    While there is much love for the JB #_ (and maybe so due to length), it does have a bit of an “appended Piper Jam” on it and runs out of steam quickly for me.

    I’ll take the Blossom #_ with it’s more “Stash” like jam, minus the Whammy that luckily gets abandoned. Kinda reminds me of the Vancouver Stash in ’99. Deep and Dark.

  9. TrippingBilly Says:

    what is a silvercrest? sorry, I’m not familiar with phish lingo

  10. fat bastard Says:

    20 years later is cool for its symbolism. think of your own amazing feats (driving straight to cypress from chi) or livin on peanut butter nd weed for 4 days. ive been thru the valley and im still upside down.

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    fuckin snow.

    t3 with a slip up back a page or two? too early for games?

    so much ice and snow on house it has begun to infiltrate via a monotonous drip in my living room.

  12. goochy Says:

    Sugar Shack is a great studio track and one of my favorites on Joy. Live, they’ve mangled it just about every single time. Trey obviously doesn’t rehearse it so he doesn’t remember the riff half the time and doesn’t remember the lyrics.

  13. HarryHood Says:

    BTB, Hilarious man.

    Although, I think you are fluffing us a little when you say “One in ten Phisheads still cannot find work”. I believe that these numbers are much worse that you would like us to believe. I don’t think that you realize that Midget Wooks turning tricks for NO2 is not considered employment.

  14. fat bastard Says:

    i loved SS @ deer creek

  15. lastwaltzer Says:

    I’m really surprised at all the love 20yl gets, I would be extremely delighted if they dropped it.


    How bout the jones beach one from 09? I’m surprised that doesn’t get talked about more, really cool jam tacked on there.

    And the chicago #Line>Carini, could have been great had they not horse’d it.

  16. HarryHood Says:

    Sounds like most of you are dealing with a Case of Ice and Snow today 🙂 How did Vermont get spared???

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    20yl is a great tune coming out of a dark jam. Axilla>Carini> 20 YL would be pretty evil.

  18. HarryHood Says:

    @ LW

    Usually I agree with you man. What’s your beef with the 20YL lyrics? Of all the song lyrics in their repritoire, these could actually make sense to some of us…….

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    no, but I can see why you would say that. does read like one of my posts.

    re: roofs
    there was a story on the news this morning up here about roofs collapsing under the weight of all this snow. that would suck royally.

  20. Selector J Says:

    who was that doing your “shout out” bump?”-t3

    The OGS. The Original General Smiley
    of Michigan and Smiley fame.

  21. Litteringandd Says:

    T3- Just to follow up from yesterday. The Snoop show was actually way better then I was expecting. He had an artist from his label open the show and if I was to complain about anything it was the fact that there was an hour gap between him and Snoop coming out. When he did he delivered the goods. Thought he was going to mail it in but he can perform. He played for about and hour and the cherry on top was out of left field, Warren G came out and sang “Regulators”. Not your typical Wednesday in the Bend

  22. Selector J Says:

    ^Mount up!

  23. lastwaltzer Says:


    I don’t recall saying anything specifically about the lyrics.

    Its the vocal parts in the chorus with page coming in behind trey, I just find it grating.

  24. Guyute711 Says:

    Happy 50th birthday Wayne Gretzky!!! Gretzky has more assists (1,963) than any NHL player has points. That is just sick.

  25. bhizzle Says:

    Is it Carini > # Line or # Line > Carini? Big difference. Carini > # Line = hors’d

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