“Rock And Roll > Limb”

3.7.09 II (S. Wiltse)

3.7.09 II (S. Wiltse)

In a weekend that oozed positivity on all fronts, some of the specific musical passages were lost in the sheer spectacle of the event.  The three shows carried a very old-school vibe, from song choice to playing style.  Most of the jams were shorter, directed, and concise, following the path of their earlier days.  But, as usual, it’s quality, not quantity that is sought in Phish jams, and multiple segments from this weekend possessed an amazing dynamic.  Over the next while, we’ll take a look back at some of the moments that helped define Hampton ’09, and today we’ll start with Saturday night’s “Rock And Roll > Limb By Limb.”

Ready For Blast Off (J.Kravitz)

Ready For Blast Off! (J.Kravitz)

Coming out for their fourth set of the run, Phish had engaged in minimal open-ended improv over the previous three.  Most jams were structured and tight, but lacked much exploration.  This would change with the onset of this set.  The playing throughout this entire segment flowed organically, with nothing sounding forced or contrived.  The opening chords of the Velvet Underground cover riled up everyone immediately, bringing memories of the band’s late ’90s era of glory.  As Page started to sing, everything felt in place once again.

The lyrics leading into the improv were particularly poignant, speaking of the power of music to lift us out of hard times-  “Her life was saved by rock n roll…Despite all the complications…It was alright.”  A perfect ode to Phish’s present state of affairs, the crowd latched onto the meaning, cheering the powerful words. As the band sailed into the jam, Trey sat into an emotive solo, while Mike and Page created some interlocking offerings that, when combined with Fish’s work, formed a tightly cohesive and thematic jam.

"Free" 3.8.09 (J. DiGiuseppe)

"Free" 3.8.09 (J. DiGiuseppe)

Trey initiated the more exploratory section of improv with some guitar riffs that slowly guided the band out of the song’s structure.  Hopping onto his ideas, the band switched gears into a slowed down and murkier texture.  In a quick moment, they were amidst a separate jam that had nothing to do with the song; flowing fluidly.  Page and Trey complemented each other beautifully here, as Trey began to send guitar cries upwards towards the heavens.  The band congealed around these more spiritual licks, and allowed Trey to lead the improv, which continued down an emotional path until Page’s piano roll wound the jam down to a point where Trey picked it up and segued seamlessly into “Limb By Limb.”

3.6.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

3.6.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

As “Rock And Roll” went unfinished, the “Limb” was the natural continuation and peak to this introductory portion of the set.  Attacking the song with a delicate ferociousness, the band slayed it.  As the jam soared, the band was glued together and absolutely crushing it.  Trey took one of most gorgeous solos of the weekend, and the spirit emanating from the stage was infectious. Moving as one entity as they approached the apex, any separation between the band members was obliterated in their collective peak.  Reflective and celebratory at the same time, this jam served as a destination for the set’s initial climb.

3.7.09 II (S.Wiltse)

3.7.09 II (S.Wiltse)

As the set and the weekend rolled along, Phish would dig deeper into improvisational ground, but this piece of music would remain the first time Phish 3.0 took an open-ended musical risk and succeeded.  “Rock And Roll > Limb,” though not the longest piece in history, was played perfectly, fit right in with the vibe of the weekend, and will always be remembered as the first unstructured improvisational leap of the new era.

LISTEN TO “ROCK AND ROLL > LIMB” NOW! < LINK (Roll over link and press play)



hampton_outsideI should have tracked copies of the AUDs up by this weekend at latest. They will be from one of the No Spoilers tapers, Jesse Hurlburt, whose rig sounded great.  I know a lot of people prefer the AUDs, which is why I am posting them.  But if you have downloaded the SBDs and are into them- I think they are the best yet- save me a buck or two and hold off.  As always, please use torrents when possible.  In related news, I am going to set up a donate button soon for the cost of site / download maintenance with any profit going to charity, so stay tuned!



“3.6.09” Photo: John DiGiuseppe

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114 Responses to ““Rock And Roll > Limb””

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  1. lanser Says:

    yes kid!!!!

  2. Baxter Says:

    All I can say is “Tossed with the salad and baled with the hay”

    and I will happily donate to you, Mr. Miner.

  3. Al Says:

    The Set II is one of the best of the last 10 years!!!
    By the way, today I will erase the Coventry mp3s from my iPOD.

    Nobody mentioned Trey’s Ross Compressor so far. He used it quite often, but mostly for the old-school composed sections. I hope he’ll also start using it for some solos in the future. I love it when he uses it first at lower guitar volume and then turns up the volume for more dynamics.

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    the feeling when this jam opened was that we could go anywhere .. At about 8 minutes when Trey hits the little funk chord to signal that the jam Will Go On, my heart skipped a beat. The peak of rnr is directed, focused, and blistering, and then they quickly drop into a deliberate spacey thing, still based on the changes but with a completely different feel. Page gives another “it was all right” .. and we were off. Really only 5 or 6 minutes of true letting go, but at the time it seemed like a moment of eternity. When page switches to the Organ and Trey starts to nail those soulful climbing high pitched riffs, it was the true return of phish to me. Up ’til then had been a reunion .. at that point I knew everything indeed was All Right. It passed all too quickly and devolved into the great segue of the slightly reworked intro riff to limb by limb. Don’t get me wrong, I love limb, but this was the moment where it all came back – I re-remembered what it was all about. And it wasn’t long until Ghost took us right back there..

    it’s also interesting that they used a cover to unleash the improv monster for the first time..

  5. Pence Says:

    What happened to >Ghost Miner. The Jam in there was epic as well. Or are you writing a seperate article on it, by itself. It deserves it.

  6. nonoyolker Says:

    R&R -> LxL WAS the IT! I think from the start of this set on is when they really gelled and hit their stride.

    Happy to donate to the site Miner, well worth it!

  7. b23 Says:

    Now, in celebration of last weekend, it’s time for livephish to put together an 11-21 + 11-22-97 release.

    (During one of the archive shows, Kevin Shapiro, in the context of the Haley’s Comet from 11-22, makes a comment that seems to point to an upcoming release of at least that show. I don’t remember exactly what he says, but it’s definitely a “you might get to hear more of that thing in the future”-type comment).

    Make it a $25 flac collection, or bundle it with the 09 flacs, or do a 4 CD box, or make it a giant 06, 07 release, or whatever. As long as they come out. Please.

  8. Brimley Says:

    I believe that it was the Tweezer jam, but did antone else notice that when Trey was hitting the peak of the jam, that it sounded like the peak to Taste…? The more I listen to Bowie I love the directed playing…Wheres the love for the YEM too, haven’t seen much talk of the jam during that…To be honest, wouldn’t the YEM jam be the 1st “real” free form improv of the weekend…? Regardless, can’t wait to see them at Alpine with 40,000 others who will undoubtedly be welcoming a far different band than we even heard at Hampton-and thats a great thing…

  9. bunitingi Says:

    That last photo up there taken by John DiGiuseppe, with the lights and balloons is STUNNING. Beautiful work. Beautiful.

  10. themanatee Says:

    easily one of my favorite sections from the weekend. great pick to highlight this first. i love the murky soup that the rock n roll becomes and yesterday morning on the rowing machine at the gym I slayed it because of the limb…! so soaring, so tight, so majestic. It is a gorgeous example of cohesive playing and one that shot straight to my heart.

  11. c0wfunk Says:

    Yem never really left its main form.. Tweezer had a moment of ‘out there’ that included a brief “curtain with” moment..but then it quickly back to the tweezer riff.

  12. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    Great post.

    I’m with bunitingi. That final DiGiuseppe photo is something I’d frame and hang.

  13. stormchasingmikey Says:

    If you guys are interested I have HD Video of the Limb by Limb jam (Lights are amazing!) up on youtube.



  14. Billy Breathes Says:

    stormchasingmike –> your videos are absolutely stellar. thank you.

  15. Jer Says:

    Thank you!!! I’ve been saying it here since the first time I relistened to the R&R, but at the 8:30 mark this jam just gets GLORIOUS. Musically, it’s actually quite similar (though not as deep) to my favorite segment of the 11-22-97 Halley’s where Trey plays this extremely awesome/psychedelic line (one that is so distinct that I still can hear it in my head and try to recreate vocally or through whistling, but ultimately fail). Also similar is Mike playing those very deep, ambient octaves…that just make everything seem to melt. The really deep, beautiful segment in R&R only lasts about 45-60 seconds, but that segment alone has prompted me to write more about Phish than anything I’ve heard in the past 8-9 years. Needless to say, I’m pretty damn excited to see where this is going to lead, esp. over the course of a tour or two.

  16. stormchasingmikey Says:

    I have a gift for all of you guys on the board. I have put together a 102 Minute HD Documentary of the 3 shows in Hampton. I’ll have it up for download here for the next 2 days. It has been compressed to fit perfectly on the iPhone for users who have one. Download it here and let me know what you think.




  17. c0wfunk Says:

    Jer I know just the riff/jam u mean.. I remember being at the heart of the mothership when it was first wielded.. That’s the moment I will forever chase. Almost a what’s the use-ush vibe.

  18. Gr8flone Says:

    Could not make it to the show’s, So your reviews have been the next best thing to the SDB tapes. Please keep it up.

    P.S. Love to help keep the site running, all love for the community…..

  19. Mitch Says:

    I’ll throw in on the site for sure. Get the link up when you can.

  20. bhizzle Says:

    Thanks for posting that portion of the second set. I have been slacking and haven’t heard that muchfrom this past weekend, but from what I have heard from Friday night and from what I just heard there is a big difference. I glad they got those jitters out even though I still appreciate them jitters!

    Miner, I’d be happy to drop a ducket or two for the site.

  21. nonoyolker Says:

    @ SCM – Nice! Will that play on anything other than an I-Phone?

  22. SOAM Says:

    I need west coast to dates asamfp-I gotta make plan, man.

    got the tour jones and need to know how to proceed

  23. Dr SF Jones Says:

    Can’t wait to check it out. Thanks SCM !!!

  24. j.digiuseppe Says:

    Thanks for the compliments on the pics! If anyone is interested in prints I would be happy to make that happen. Just shoot me an email. I wouldn’t charge any more than the cost to print them.

  25. stormchasingmikey Says:

    @bhizzle – You can play it on your computer just fine….use Quicktime or iTunes to play the movie. I encoded and sized it to go on the iPhone so people can take the show with them HD everywhere they go if they wish….sure looks sweet on mine!


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