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.

Tags: , ,

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

  1. Mdawg Says:


    That Piper was the bidness!!! Nasty if i do say so myself.

  2. Frankie Says:

    Asheville and Knoxville are two show-long highlights in themselves… really impressive! Not for the improv (even if it is great) but for the youthful energy displayed! Love the flow of those four sets… yeah! 🙂

  3. R1 Says:

    I don’t think that Piper has been overlooked – I know I’ve touted it here as have others (msbjivein??)

  4. Cactus Says:

    yeah, that Piper was discussed here for sure. That whole second set was discussed.

  5. Frankie Says:

    I agree with the Colonel though that the best is yet to come… what a band!

    We’ve got it simple…

  6. Phrank Says:

    you’re the best, Miner. thanks for all you do.

  7. Mdawg Says:

    Thank you Mr. Miner!

  8. easo91 Says:

    off topic, but I was driving into work today and drove by a guy with a coventry sticker on his bumper, and I had one of those moments where I felt like I had just uncovered another member of some secret society. It felt cool because phans are sparce in the area I’m in now. But it really is like a secret society though. When I first started listening I was completely unaware of the giant phan base that was just lurking under the surface. The more I delved in the bigger the scene became. My friends know I’m a die-hard phan, but they have no idea how big the network of phans is, and how connected and welcoming it is. I’ve seen this posted in a bunch of different places, but we really are all part of this huge inside joke that only we can understand and enjoy and outsiders won’t get.

    I’ve been a huge fan of different bands in the past, but I have never felt like I’ve actually been part of a community, or something bigger, until I started following phish. I don’t think I can ever go back to the way I was before finding this band. I still don’t think I completely understand IT, I have had near-religious experiences while listening to the music and it is something I simply come to love and appreciate deeply. I love that every day I gain a little more from the experiences, and I know that everyone on here knows what I am talking about. this is something extremely special that I am incredibly glad to share with everone here and on the other board that I frequent, this is something that has truly been life changing, in a good way, and I don’t ever want to lose that.

    And to think all that came from seeing one bumper sticker.

    now back to your regularly scheduled discussion.

  9. Pence Says:

    I wonder if they paid Cliff Bar to use it as a lyric in STFTFP?

  10. Matso Says:

    I agree with all of the comments about the Knox and that Bowie. I think that is one of the few versions from Summer Tour Pt 1 that will truly stand the test of time. Totally sick at the end. Having seen that really cool YouTube video of the crowd/size of that place, I can only imagine how hard that raged in person.

    Btw, given the precedent set on this past tour, do people think Knox would work as a NYE venue?

  11. msbjivein Says:

    Piper Piper the red red worm!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. notkuroda Says:

    Matso, I thought it was an okay venue, rather huge, not that great if you were sitting in the 300’s(thank god I got on the floor for the second set). But no beer on NYE? Won’t happen

  13. Frondoot Says:

    i hate to stray off the path here…but with talk of the biscuits yesterday and sci today, im curious to know what all the phans on here think of the “other” jam bands. i.e widespread panic, sci, moe, db, umphrey..i think that covers all the big ones

    personally i have never seen any of these bands live so i cant say much. the only ones that do much for me at all are panic and sci. although i have to be in a certain kind of mood to really get into panic, the older live shows have some pretty high moments. so while i like the straight foward southern rock jam style of panic and sci`s calypso electronic bluegrass neither of them come close to phish (or the dead) for that matter and as far as other music is concerned i`ve been getting off more on newer bands like fleet foxes..if you havent checked them out i really suggest them(not a jam band) ok so sorry this turned into a bit of a silly rant

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^^ check yesterday’s thread 😉

  15. Mdawg Says:

    While Phish is on tour there are no other bands IMO

  16. CJ Says:

    Interesting question, Frondoot. Personally, I discovered Phish before any of the other jambands mentioned. I loved Phish so much that I assumed I was a jamband-fan and just hadn’t discovered it yet. That turned out to be a little off.

    I like moe. and Widespread Panic alright. They have good sounds and moe. rocks live (haven’t seen WP). But….I just can’t really get into them. For me, they’re bands to turn to for a few scattered tracks. Phish is a band that I can listen to all day, every day.

    Since then I’ve found that my love of Phish predisposed me more towards either instrumental jazz or classical music, and not other jambands.

  17. gavinsdad Says:

    what about retired bands like God Street Wine?

  18. CoreyS Says:

    Miner – Is the rss feed for Download of the Day torrent having issues? I’m not getting any of the downloads (i know there isn’t one today). Is it just me? Sorry to bug you – this site is great and thanks for all your work!

  19. Frondoot Says:

    @minor…saw alittle discussion about the biscuits ect yesterday but from what i remember it wasnt a cross section of todays big jam bands in general, sorry just curious of everyones opinion.. as far as the southeast run, knox is my favorite show awesome hood. i have trouble getting through the whole bonnoroo late night in one sitting, everything just seems so choppy to me, that being said there are alot of high moments in that set i just think you had to be there

    @Cj..i agree with you 100% about phish being the first jam band i was into(got phish even before i fully got the dead) and about them expanding my horizons musically. no other band has done that for me in the way that phish has

    panic seems like they would have been awesome to see between 95-99ish, not sure about now, but herring is pretty rad so maybe

    moe. to me is just uncle loves them

  20. Leo Weaver Says:

    So I just got a list of fall tour dates…looks very similar to some of the previous iterations as I recall, but tweaked a little (sorry if it’s the same, was too lazy to go back thru old comments)…goes a little something like this:

    10.26 Cricket Pav, Phoenix AZ
    10/27 Hollywood Bowl, LA
    10/28 Tonight Show, Universal City CA
    10/30-11/1 Save the Date, Indio CA
    11/2 Warfield, SF CA
    11/4 Pepsi Center, Denver CO
    11/5 Austin Music Hall, Austin TX
    11/7-8 Phillips Arena, Atlanta GA
    11/10 Allstate Arena, Rosemont IL
    11/12 Hampton Coliseum, Hampton VA
    11/13-15 Wachovia Spectrum, Philly
    11/17 Banknorth Garden, Boston MA
    11/18 Times Union Center, Albany NY
    11/21-22 MSG, NY NY

    This LOOKS very plausible…only question is the Warfield>Austin…maybe they drop Warfield and move Denver to 11/3…would make logistics easier.

    @frontdoot…I never really got into any other ‘jambands” other than Phish and WSP. I’ve seen most of the others (sans DBiscuits and SCI) once or twice anyway and usually had a good time. I’ve been to 20-25 WSP shows but that’s mostly a result of being in the southeast and going to school in Athens, Ga…they were always playing somewhere close by and ALL my peeps LOVED them, me not nearly as much. They were fun and I really enjoyed most of their earlier stuff, but they never satisfied me NEARLY as much as Phish. And they haven’t been the same since Hauser passed…not even close IMO. don’t think I’ve seen them since ’99-’00 or so. I always thought of them as more “physical” music, whereas Phish is more “mental” music…and I’m much happier when my mind is stimulated.

  21. Frankie Says:

    Love the Fleet Foxes… and Sepultura’s Arise… 🙂

  22. Frondoot Says:

    @ gavins..not familiar but feel free to add any input necessary

  23. gavinsdad Says:

    @frondoot, etc

    I’m too damn old really…actually (only) 39 but i started with the dead in 87 and phish in 90 and i managed god street wine (heh, see my prev comment) in 91/92 so those set the stage…when the dead “ended” in 95 that was that…GSW ended after that and Phish just simply has been my bread and butter…always delivering goods during 1.0, 2.0 and now 3.0. I’d seen many many other bands, especially in their toddler and infancy years (ominous seapods, moonboot lover anyone? panic, disco bs, moe. etc etc etc) and nothing really stuck like the love affair i’ve had with the phish from vermont.

    not slagging any other bands. if anything, i wish GSW hadn’t decided to abandon the scene they were a part of and stuck it out til this era, which is rich in festivals and good times (along with many above-par bands). we are all spoiled now with a wealth of options.

    i choose phish now that they are playing and try to get all i can.

  24. Mdawg Says:

    If Phish is not touring and I wanna catch a show I usually hit up…

    Keller Williams, Beastie Boys, or The Wailers

    (none of these are really Jam Bands though)

  25. gavinsdad Says:

    all…sorry to ratchet up the speculation quota..and to be somewhat off topic (again) but this is what i got the other nite:

    11/21/09 – US Bank Arena – Cincinnati, OH
    11/22/09 – US Bank Arena – Cincinnati, OH
    11/23/09 – The Spectrum – Philadelphia, PA
    11/24/09 – The Spectrum – Philadelphia, PA
    11/27/09 – Times Union Center – Albany, NY
    11/28/09 – Times Union Center – Albany, NY
    12/2/09 – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
    12/3/09 – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
    12/4/09 – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
    12/5/09 – John Paul Jones Arena – Charlottesville, VA

Leave a Reply