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”

  1. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    combining two things discussed today, I saw Mule on Halloween in Boston (at the Orpheum) this year. Absolutely amazing show with a first set that holds up (St. Stephen, 3rd Stone from the Sun, and others) and a second set that was ridiculous. In quadrophonic sound, Pink Floyd as their costume, with saxapohone and backup singers taboot:

    One of These Days>
    Pigs on the Wing Part II>
    Shine on You Crazy Diamond>
    Have a Cigar>
    Speak to Me>
    On the Run>
    Comfortably Numb>
    Shine on You Crazy Diamond Reprise>
    Wish You Were Here

    Did I mention it was performed in quadrophonic sound!?!?
    I highly recommend this show for download.

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    type 3, do have a link where it can be downloaded?

  3. bearito Says:

    Mahavishnu Orchestra opened many doors for both jazz aficionados and rock fan’s and helped to bridge the two genres with really technical experimental playing. Awesome stuff!

    @ whole tour – I dig Thievery Corp as well. I’ve seen them a few times and it’s always been terrific. I’m not usually into the whole DJ/Band ensemble but those guys organize some interesting dance music with all the mediterranean influence and those deep – dub – grooves.

    Also love keller, and xavier rudd – those guys do what they want to do with no hesitation of being stereotyped.

  4. larrybirdflu Says:

    is anyone here familiar with jake shimabukuro? believe it or not hes a virtuoso ukelele player. was slightly familiar with him from seeing him on conan a few years ago so i got a good spot when he was playing in a small tent at the newport folk festival, by the end of the show the crowd was spilling out and all around the tent. amazing live. i highly recommend to one and all to check him out doing “while my guitar gently weeps” on youtube.

  5. Frankie Says:

    Speaking of reggae/rocksteady, saw Marcia Griffiths & Judy Womatt (of the I-Three’s, Marley’s chorists), Bongo Herman, Hopeton Lewis and Ken Boothe, as part of a special evening called Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae at the Montreal Jazz Fest. It was a great evening out in the streets, listening to those legends…

    Tomorrow night, double bill with Burning Spear and Toots & The Maytals…
    Can’t wait!

    Feelin Irie mon! 🙂

  6. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    what’s up with the save the date thing on where’s the 411?

  7. Cactus Says:


    Oh I agree, I didn’t think about Reba, but yeah it fits in there easy.

    Could workin YEM too…right before they drop back into the Vocal Jam.

  8. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    DaNcInG fOoL (man, that’s hard to type!),

    there are about 5 or 6 on etree. the audience tapes capture the quadrophonic sound in a way the SBD for purchase just can’t IMO…

  9. Frankie Says:

    The original Mule with Allen Woody was something to behold… get Live at Roseland without any hesitation. He left us way too soon…

    How lucky we are to still have the original PHISH with us today… i think about that often…

  10. AlexanderK Says:

    Hey kids.. sorry for the direct download link snafu today… just fixed it for today’s posting and Miner will be going back to fix previous postings. Hope everyone is enjoying the new play it now format!


  11. Cactus Says:

    @ Frankie

    I agree the Trio of G Mule was ridiculous. Allen Woody was absolutely awesome on the bass.

  12. Cactus Says:

    I saw Allen Woody with the Allmans a few times before they left to start the Mule. He was great…too bad he left us too soon.

  13. voopa Says:

    Burning Spear puts on a GREAT show.

  14. HarryHood Says:

    All this talk of “other” bands today, and no one mentioned Lotus…… Kinda surprised.

  15. Mr.Miner Says:

    SO the listen now download links should be working correctly now for all the posts since monday.

    For older listen nows, you will still have to right click, save as if you want to save them….

    Enjoy…thanks AK!

  16. Jay Says:

    thanks AK, appreciate it 🙂

  17. butter Says:

    @John “They have a guitarist who tries so hard to look, play, and have his guitar sound like trey, but he is good. He’s not just a poser, and the whole band rocks.”

    you just defined poser

  18. larrybirdflu Says:

    miner, just curious, do you refer to AK as AK47 ever? not unlike Andrei Kirilenko which BTW is my vote for best nickname in all of sports. stupid question i know but i had to ask

  19. R1 Says:

    I believe someone (Mr. C) previously had a list of essential live Dead to download. Does anyone have that?

  20. Bandnana Says:

    @ Cactus yup, I hear you on that too. Actually any of those jams where I forget where I am and what I’m listening too. I love that.

  21. SOAM Says:

    I just got front row center for all fall tour shows-I blackmailed fishman-I told him I would tell him everybody about the time he stuck the vacuum up his ass at nectars and then porked a sheep.

  22. Cactus Says:

    Best nickname in the NBA has got to go to Dr. J. , with Magic ranking right up there with it.

  23. Cactus Says:

    So that’s where Pork Tornado came from huh.

  24. Bandnana Says:

    Clyde the Glide, man thats cool

  25. SOAM Says:

    Slipknot from Boston-Bruce Mandaro is the best club guitarist I’ve seen-they don’t play much -but used to all the time-once-3 plus sets in my backyard-the guy sounded like 1977-78 Jerry

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