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)

Tags: , ,

643 Responses to “Settling Into Place”

  1. Jtran Says:



    And it’s pretty sweet so far.

  2. HarryHood Says:

    @ T3

    What are you talking about!? There’s like 3 Taco Bell’s right in Burlington. I think one of them even has a late night drive thru 😉

  3. HarryHood Says:


    Didn’t see Willowed’s post before I commented on Taco Bell. Great minds think alike.

  4. Selector J Says:

    Only live, @fb. No archives yet.

    Big up to all BB massive.

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    Mexican food…mmmmmm….mole!……

  6. angryjoggerz Says:

    gun fingers for the selecta

  7. SillyWilly Says:


    do you think your show has the biggest national following of the KVRX shows??

    i think that’d be sweet.

  8. angryjoggerz Says:

    Silly – i didnt realize you had gotten so into reggae this year. next time you are coming to chicago let me know and i will see if there is a good reggae night for you to hit – nothing like feeling the bass in your chest on a proper sound

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    we can find better than that in Boston (you know, a place with more than 35% meat in their meat). there’s a decent burrito place not too far from that area.

    but overall, my point stands. moving from colorado to boston was a rude awakening in my mexican food diet. whaddya mean there’s no mexican people living here?!? how am I supposed to get good mexi??

    but we do have an abundance of brazilian food places up here… which is nice in its own way.

  10. SillyWilly Says:


    that just got me so freakin’ pumped.

    I’ll be in town next weekend (Feb. 4 and 5) but Im going with LW to see John Schofield at the Old Town School of Folk on the 5th, so the 4th has to be gf time.

    But, I’ll be back in February for sure.

    I would absolutely love to catch some reggae with you, though, AJ.

  11. Admiral Ackbar Says:


    The Dub Bug has officially been upgraded to Trap Level II status.

    Please handle all riddims accordingly.

    Ackbar out.

  12. P.S.H.S. Says:

    selector, you’ve been in babylon too long. you need to wake up to this in the morning.
    i never thought that i would tip someone for covering shaniya twain

  13. angryjoggerz Says:

    Word, sounds fun. Good show on the 4th at Transistor too. I am doing the opera on the 4th, should also be good.

  14. P.S.H.S. Says:

    this is also a good reason to go, the original rude boy, respek!

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    Reggae parties in CHicago usually involve some very strange Polish bar with half reggae heads and half Polish older people eating, everyone very drunk on Polish beer. Lots of fun and very loud.

  16. Selector J Says:

    hahaha @silly
    No idea who has the biggest national following. There’s a Blues show that gets the most pledge drive dollars by a wide margin but that’s partly because old people listen to the blues… and old people have money.

    You’d think I’d be used to this wacky board by now…
    The 1 is on the right and the 2 is on the left… gets me every time.

    Last reggae tune.
    Thanks for listening.

  17. Kaveh Says:

    @Everyone: Do yourselves a favor and revisit the “Hood” from the Greek; you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

  18. Jtran Says:

    > Call me if you need a fool

    Nice little segment, respinning now

  19. SillyWilly Says:


    that sounds awesome. There’s not any JA music in Madison. Maybe once or twice every 6 mos. someone playing reggae comes through

    and I wonder why it’s the Polish places??

  20. Jtran Says:

    HH, plord

    You guys gonna hit up Higher Ground next Thursday for the benefit w/ Jon and Page?

    I’ll be there with the slf. Let me know

  21. willowed Says:

    Nothing better than some mexi after a show.

    Really cleans out the pipes and gets rid of all the chemicals in your system. That’s what I tell myslef anyway!

  22. Selector J Says:


  23. lastwaltzer Says:


    did you jump on that groupon yesterday or already have tickets? I grabbed em as well.

  24. bouncin fan Says:

    Interesting piece. Feels like the Joy era is kinda winding down here. No Joy or TTE during new years run and Light feel on it’s face at MSG. time to get some new material. Wonder if we are gonna get a Exile and Little Feat influenced roots album considering the recent songwriting. Burn That Bridge, My Problem Right There, etc.

    Love Light. The song structure has grown on me. Love the vocals. Dig the licks that start the jam kinda like the DWD pre-solo licks. Great diversity in jam styles. Best jam vehicle since Ghost?

    Dig first set Ocelots. The GD sound and slow jamming experiments make the versions of this one that get extra love always worth spinning. Slow TEMPO jamming can be very difficult. No flurry of jumbled notes to hide behind.

    Dig first set Alaskas also but for me it is a second set killer. Few worse songs to hear in the 2nd. Think the little blues shuffle with a nice rootsy jam sets a nice tone in a strong first set.

    Sugar Shack. Would be happy to never hear this one again.

    STFTFP. The new Character Zero. Kinda lame always the same. Could be worse. Def not happy when it is used as the 1st set closer.

    Joy. Don’t mind this one. Heard some well played versions in that mid 2nd set slot. Cool ballad once it gets more rare in rotation.

    20YL. I love this one. They’ve really found the perfect spot as a landing vehicle out of a psychedelic jam. Cool rocker and they’ve started to slightly experiment with the outro jam. Dig it.

    Sugar Shack. Potential as a decent first set song but cuz they never learned it I know hate it. perfect example of 3.0 sometimes not getting the practice it deserved. Trey has missed the changes on this every time to date.

    KDF. I dig this one. We’ve already heard these songs before in BOAF and CDT but I think it’s a well crafted pop-rock number. Prefer it mid first set instead of opener or closer but what can you do.

    #line. Cheesy lyrics and tendency to big when you least expect it. love it. this song has really grown on me. Would love for it to get more 2nd set exploratory love in the future.

    TTE. No comment.

    I been around. Is this really a song? Don’t think I’ve caught this yet in 40 3.0 shows.

  25. angryjoggerz Says:

    Polish cats dig reggae and the bars are open to whatever as long as they can make some money on it. Plus, they have soundsystems and the neighbors dont care.

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