“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””

  1. c0wfunk Says:

    Awesome fulltour! Not an easy feat.. We’ll have to get up when u come to town.. U heading to knocksville too?

  2. Wilson Says:

    problem is, the most recent rumored west coast dates are pretty far off from the Outside Lands weekend, which is a damn shame. Last year, i was watching radiohead as the fog came rolling in over the light show and all i could think was “MAN, PHISH WOULD WORK PERFECTLY HERE!” (then i said a little prayer, asking for my band to come back).

    i could live with LA/shoreline/gorge/etc… but Phish out on the polo grounds in the fog, with those trees and the wind … GADZOOKS it would be one for the books.

  3. full tour! Says:

    yes sir! ashe>knox!

  4. Dr SF Jones Says:

    Anybody seen these McLovins on YouTube?

    I was digging their cover of YEM and all their original stuff but this Hood seems a tad bit blasphemous to me.

    Split-screening SCM’s vid of Bowie as I type… Thanks so much for the mothership insight, SCM.

    And as always, Thank You MR. MINER !!!

  5. guyforget Says:

    isn’t it “two TV sets and two cadillac cards, you know it ain’t gonna help me at all”.

    Same idea, but since we’re all perfectionists on this site……

  6. RobAins Says:

    Tyler: You live in Bend, OR?

  7. RobAins Says:

    Sometime in 93 (think it was Spring) while they were fucking around with the beginning of Mike’s Song, singing to the guitar melody….”Call it what you will but you know it’s Mike’s Song…” THere would usually be a nice little snare hit, and Mike would scream “MY SONG”! Not really Mike Banter I guess. THere is a Eugene, OR show from 93 where he does a little talking during the Mike’s intro though…

  8. guyforget Says:

    the mclovins are great. the vid of them playing on the local news and the tweeprise tease he sneaks in is great!

  9. tyler Says:

    the parents line is right before that I think.

    Yay McLovins! I’ve been down with them since before they got pushed into taking that name ;o) I think the Hood is awesome, it’s great that they are not trying to do exact reproductions, what’s the point of that? My favorites are the afro blue (steel drum w/Rotating McLovin) and Cissy Strut (because it’s all about feel, and they actually feel funky).

    My friend who turned me on to them & is in the know said Big Red offered them Hampton passes but their parents wouldn’t let them go ;oP after all they are 14 and 15! That’s 3rd-hand info but from a usually on point source.

    Axe McLovin has incredible tone for a young fella (or anyone, but especially a young fella). His Shakedown Street solo sound is just great.

    go McLovins! if you haven’t seen those vids plz go waste your afternoon watching them

  10. tyler Says:

    @RobAins I live in beautiful, currently sunny Portland Oregon. There was a Rumor That Would Not Die that the mystery hold someone had on Les Schwab Amp. in Bend was in fact Phish – the dates matched up with the Gorge, sorta. I was never hopeful but it was a nice fantasy.

  11. Dave Says:


    Had the same thought man. I kept thinking that instead of a bunch of hipsters shoe-gazing as Radiohead blew minds…how cool would it be if everyone was dancing their ass of and CK5 made the city explode with lights in the fog.

  12. Dr SF Jones Says:

    I DO think those guys are awesome and have been watching them since I saw the RS feature. They are seriously impressive, but I wish they would re-do / re post that version of Hood. Or at least call it something else, b/c its not Hood. Their version has no lows or highs… no build at all. Nothing to get them to the peak… “You can feel good…”

    Love the Tweezer tease… love lots of stuff about them, just not the Hood.

  13. tyler Says:

    Oh sure. There’s a lot they don’t really get yet beyond the surface stuff. Right now they are focused on the notes which as we know isn’t the point. I just meant I’m glad they’re not copying slavishly.

  14. RobAins Says:

    Tyler: That would have been awesome if they played Bend. Such a great town! I moved their from NJ, the day after I turned 18 (one week after going to the 12/31/95 show) Talk about a culture shock! I love The Deschuttes Brewery! Haven’t been back since miving to Madison, WI in 1999, but I miss it. Will always have a soft spot for Oregon….. I actually left before the Les Schwab Amp was built and had no clue about until I heard about Matisyahu playing there…..what’s funny is that I was his Roommate when we both lived in Bend, and he was plain old Matt Miller. 🙂

  15. tyler Says:

    We make fun of the venue cause of the cheesy name but it’s a fairly nice midsize ampitheater. Maybe 8 thousand peeps? They have a lot of shows there, Beck plays there all the time, Wilco, stuff like that.

    I love the Gorge and have been there many times, I am psyched to go again and already have holds on hotel rooms – but I am taking 4 year old Phish fan to his first shows and the Gorge in August can be fucking brutal. So it would have been nice to take him to somewhere chill like Bend and then let him stay with so the wife & I could tear it up in the desert. But: whatever.

  16. guyforget Says:

    RobAins – where in NJ? I was 18 in NJ in 95 too…

  17. Dr SF Jones Says:

    Pretty Sweet, SCM….

  18. stormchasingmikey Says:

    Thank You Dr.

  19. Cactus Says:

    i just listened again to Rock and Roll>Limb and Im grooving to ghost right now. Gotta say Rock N Roll was rocking hard, and limb by limb was okay, not outastanding, but again this kind of song really has to be practiced a lot due to the fact there is so much involved and the song really has to come out of the gates full force for it to take off during the jam. Ghost is grooving…it’s not funked out 97/98 but it’s pretty darn good for 09 first time back after 5 years of not jamming together.

  20. elihu Says:

    oh yeah the fight bell!! totally forgot that. time distortion too. thanks full tour!

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^Jeff -your comment couldn’t be more off base. Were you there? Were you there in ’03? Did you not get the joke. When you listen to it, they “tried hard” to botch it. It’s true.

  22. Cactus Says:

    SOAM Says:

    March 12, 2009 at 3:31 pm
    Freaks of nature tend to be quiet-he speaks to ghosts dude!

    Classic right there SOAM. That’s all I have to say. Classic. Gordons Bass lines are the spine and vertebrae of Phish, always have been and always will be. He doesn’t need to talk.

  23. Cactus Says:

    Just listen to Wolfmans from this passt weekend…can you say bomb..ba-boamb-bomb-bomb.bomb. B-bbb-b-bombs?

  24. RobAins Says:

    guyforget: I grew up in Maplewood, which is right next to South Orange, Union, Milburn, Short Hills etc… I think we might have actually talked about this on here before. Are you from somewhere in Bergen County? Easily could’ve been someone else though….

  25. guyforget Says:

    Morris County, Randolph more specifically, right next Morristown.

    Maybe we did, can’t recall, but right on. what high school?

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