Moments In A Box: The South

6.10.09 Knoxville, TN (D.Vann)

6.10.09 Knoxville, TN (D.Vann)

Whether introspective or communal; comical or transcendental, moments are the patchwork that compose the quilt of the Phish experience.  During shows, moments occur more quickly than normal life- one after another colliding with your reality, altering it time and time again.  On Monday we looked at a some of these timeless experiences from the northeast run, and today, we turn to the second part of June- the south.  Starting in Asheville, stopping in Knoxville, and playing two at Bonnaroo; this was a highly anticipated run of shows.  The following are a few parts of the week that standout in most everyone’s memory.


“Ghost” Asheville Civic Center, 6.9 II

The vibe of this show- and its entire day- was the by far the most laid back of tour.  The venue was as relaxed as Asheville itself, as people navigated the GA floor with ample room and they provided a smoking section that overlooked the mountains to puff as much as you wanted at setbreak.  A pleasant experience all around turned into a twisted psychedelic dream early in the second set when “Ghost” started.  Following a Jones Beach version that was a highlight of the northeast, this drop into this “Ghost” brought much anticipation.

6.9.09 Asheville (D.Vann)

6.9.09 Asheville (D.Vann)

The intimate crowd drew silent (despite the copious beverage stations on the floor) as the Phish crept into the jam, sensing something was at hand.  Coming out with a non-conventional rhythm, Fish directed the course of this improv from the get go, taking it directions divergent from the song’s usual groove-fest.  His abstract beat drew eclectic bass lines and unique phrasings by Trey and Page, providing the anchor of a unique initial canvas.  The band did catch a groove after all, carving a unique path of improvisation along the way.  Transforming the music into a soaring piece that fused engaging melodies with crafty beats, Phish gradually and extensively peaked the jam with an entire section of improv.  The whole band was on point as Trey let loose with some of his most sublime playing of tour, cascading surreal melodies as effortlessly as a spring waterfall.  As the band descended from the mountain top, they oozed into into a perfectly placed pool of “Fast Enough For You.”  This was a peak experience for everyone in that tiny venue- just ask them.




“Kill Devil Falls” 6.12, Bonnaroo Late-Night

In a tour whose jams had remained largely inside the box, it was quite ironic that Phish’s most straight-forward new song provided one of the most thrilling rides of the month.  It was debated how Phish would present themselves to the over-sized Bonnaroo audience, and after “Stash” went into “listener-unfriendly” territory, things were looking up.  But they just kept playing song after song, and all this seemed like was another rock and roll addition to the set.

Bonnaroo (D.Vann)

Bonnaroo (D.Vann)

When the composition turned the corner into the jam, everyone bobbed along with the timeless Chuck Berry-esque sound.  As Trey began his solo over a standard groove, nobody knew where this was heading.  Taking the rock and roll path out the back door, Trey started to extend his notes into drawn out sheets of sound, giving the band enough of a hint to hop on and follow his lead.  In one of those disorienting “What song is this?” moments, it didn’t take long before we were far away from the blues-rock launch pad and into some purely Phishy territory.  Halfway through their late-night Bonnaroo set, the band took one of the first and only trips to their outer improvisational realms without morphing into an ambient jam.  This was Phish taking things back to the source using some fierce interplay that grew innocently and organically from a newbie.  Multiple parallels have been drawn between this jam and the famous Camden Chalk Dust from ’99- and rightfully so.  Both stem from similar springboards and carry a certain driving energy into a high-speed, spirited peak.  We all needed an old-school Scooby-Doo double-take when all was done, as we couldn’t believe the most psychedelic jam of the show came out of “Kill Devil Falls.”




“Harry Hood” Knoxville, TN 6.10 II

6.10.09 (D.Vann)

6.10.09 (D.Vann)

After one of tour’s strongest shows had- by all rights- ended three times already with “Hello My Baby,” “Julius,” and “Cavern,” the band shocked everyone by dropping into the opening reggae rhythms of “Harry Hood.”  Getting that shot of adrenaline, my mind instantly refocused after having already moved on to the encore.  As much an experiential moment as a musical one, this “Hood” capped a huge night in Tennessee, and a smoking second set.  Typical of the focused and triumphant “Hoods” of June, this one did not disappoint.  Featuring active interaction by all band members, the improv was highlighted by the incredibly dynamic conversation by Trey and Mike.

While this version wasn’t as drawn out or exploratory as some of the others of tour, it provided an emotional exclamation point to a standout show when everyone least expected it. Moments don’t always have to come from the depths of a show, and this succinct, yet poignant, “Hood” that came out of left field will back me on that one.





soundiconI’m sure you’ve noticed the new format for “Listen Nows,” featured in today’s and yesterday’s posts.  Instead of having that ugly ad-laced audio player, we’ve now got a sharp little Flash player for all the tracks.  But wait- there’s more!

Let’s say you finish listening to a jam and think, “Wow!  Miner’s onto something here- I’ve gotta have that track!  All you need to do is click the orange song link in the title line of the “Listen Now” and you will download it right to your computer.  No need to “right click and save as”- just click the link and accept the file.  I hope you enjoy this new feature of the site, and much props to Alexander K. for the technological work.  (I will be replacing old links with this new feature as well.)



We were going to finish out June’s tour with Alpine’s 6.20 show today, but after technological mishaps continued into the night, I figured it wasn’t meant to be.  I’ll get that final show up tomorrow.  Cheers.

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308 Responses to “Moments In A Box: The South”

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  1. Al Says:

    I agree Miner, those were Highlights. I still wish I could have made it to Knoxville. If I could turn back the time and I had to choose one show I’d wanna be at, I’d choose Knoxville. PURE energy! Wow, what a crowd!!!!Anybody who wants to witness that energy should go to and get that Knoxville download. If you have that one, you’re pretty safe.

  2. Al Says:

    @Teamearth – the Knoxville Bowie is huge!!! When Trey just bangs those chords at the end – ‘da house explodes!

    From my memory, the Burgettstown Hood is my favorite. Although the JB Hood is the best jammed out version.

    A Jam that is overlooked, but I’m SURE Mr. Miner will get to when tomorrows post is up, is the Alpine Piper. That one is Phish 2009! Awesome!

  3. Marshall Says:

    It had “sleeper” written ALL over it from the announcement.

  4. Corey Says:

    I typed the following in the last comment section, page 10ish, but thought I’d chime it in here again…relating to the Reba that preceded all those supposed set closers:

    Anyone see the irony this summer in Knoxville? Arguably the loudest crowd this year, except for the real opening night in Hampton. And they decided to take Reba down to nothing for a long time. Quite patient; reserved. Not my all time favorite or anything, but I enjoyed their different approach. Anyone see Trey chat with Fish before the a capella? I’d like to think the Trey told Jon he wasn’t done lifting Reba even higher. It seemed to me he went back to that place in Harry Hood, making it longer than expected. At least that’s what I’d like to believe.

  5. Leo Weaver Says:

    “old-school Scooby-Doo double-take” – ZOINKS! Good one Miner…

  6. c0wfunk Says:

    @al – the crowd energy in that room was amped indeed – rarely do I remember a crowd That big being That pumped for a show — listen to the reaction as the jam from Waves dies down and it gets spacey and 2001ish – the lights did a reset and everyone collectively just freaked out!

    It was great because I was totally worn out from the night before -> no sleep -> work in the morning -> drive to knoxville -> close encounter with some special brownie but that crowd totally kept me rolling all the way through. I was as stunned as everyone else when they dropped that hood – I love shows where there are like 3 closers – and they didn’t rush through it, but gave it the love and care it deserved in that moment.

    The Asheville Ghost was a journey into the realms of space-time beyond linear creation – the boys created an Asheville style vortex and we were all swept into the ether of manifestation.

  7. HarryHood Says:


    Props on the new listen now format. I noticed two small glitches this morning though. One being that if you are using the player, when you click on “comments” (as we all do) it essentially opens a new page, cutting you off mid-song. Second, when you click on the link in the Listen Now line, the download doesn’t seem to be an .mp3 format.

  8. R1 Says:

    The Listen Now feature is DOPE!

    nice work Miner

  9. notkuroda Says:

    Knoxville was so great, I remember saying on the way in that I had no idea if this was going to be a break before Bonnaroo or a sleeper. I don’t know if it’s necessarily a sleeper like Utah or Star Lake but it was a great Phish show. Dark, tight, and cosmic. It had all the elements of a Phish show that made me fall in love with Phish to begin with. And the Hood was my first time seeing that song live since 97, I knew I’d get it on my run but thought it would wait till Roo.
    As an aside, I know some have complained about repeats on this tour. One thing I noticed was that the songs they played a lot got better everytime. Hood is a good example(although I still love that Jones Beach Hood). I saw 4 Possums and Deer Creek was definitely the best.

  10. Pence Says:

    That knoxville pic is sick, takes me right back to TN..Thats is exactly what it looked like there.

    Does anone have anything to say about the Rothbury SCI? Ive looked at the setlist, and it looks decent. Ive thought about scouring for an audience recording or something, but dont want to waste my time if it wasnt all to spectacular.

  11. notkuroda Says:

    Pence, I heard it was sick as hell

  12. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    I just listened intently to Bonnaroo Night 1 yesterday in the midst of a crazy drive and it really rocks. The Stash is nice, the Disease is nice, obviously Kill Devil Falls is right on, the YEM > Wilson > YEM is pretty sweet and the Hood is dead on too. Plus, Highway to Hell is a fist pumping anthem that they should play more often. Plus, it was the longest set that they have played since Big Cypress. I don’t know why this set doesn’t get any more love than it does.

  13. Teamearth Says:

    What about the Bowie from Knox?!?!?!?! Can anyone tell me the last time the killed Bowie like that? Pure Bliss.

  14. ColonelJoy Says:

    You’re all getting excited about stuff that will sound small in about 25 days or so….

  15. notkuroda Says:

    I’ll give plenty of love to Roo 1. I thought it was awesome. The setlist was a little clunky, not a lot of flow, they just played song after song. Nothing wrong with that. The Velvet Sea and Hood actually had me in tears

  16. SOAM Says:

    I called highway to hell for Bonaroo-although I also called a bouncin weave -where they played it over and over for all the posers

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    Agreed 100% Colonel

  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ Harry- will look into those two things. It def should be an mp3.

  19. Mr.Miner Says:

    we’ll get these kinks ironed out as soon as my tech guy wakes up 😉

  20. bl68300 Says:

    LOVE the new option, thank you miner and alex k!!!!! Knox-Roo was the roughest part of tour from camden-st. louis! no sleep and semi-zombified from ragin knox so hard (def thought this would be done around 11:30 not 12 but by no means was complaining) i barely made that last 4 hours to a wal mart parking lot…rough. highlights that stood out for me was the incredible and almost surreal undermind that occured as well as a rippin BOTT to open the 2nd!

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    Can someone test the Ghost link, see if it downloads as an Mp3?

  22. Stupendous Says:

    @Pence SCI stopped being remoteley close to spectacular back in 02′
    Agree with Al….wishing I couldve mad it to Knox…looking forward to the Gorge!

  23. Al Says:

    @Teamearth – the Knoxville Bowie is awesome!!! When Trey bangs those chords at the end – ‘da house is exploding!

    From my memory, the Burgettstown Hood is the sweetest, but the JB Hood is the best jammed out version.

    A jam that is still overlooked (but I’m sure Mr. Miner will get to tomorrow) is the Alpine Piper. Mindblowing!

  24. Mr.Miner Says:

    it doesnt…gonna need to wait a few hours…sorry folks…

  25. Cactus Says:

    @ guitartpicker -I relistened to Bonnaroo after having been there and both nights were spectacular.

    Obviously the first night the songs just a kept on coming….highlights for me were Stealing time from the faulty plan, and DWD. Miner discusses the KDF and that was really good too. I liked that song the first night I heard it at Jones Beach. Love the intro….get’s you going, no doubt.

    I woke up this morning with “Got a blank space where my mind should be” after listening to the Roo night one. Good way to start the day for sure.

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