Taste the Fear

Merriweather 8.15 (K.Pusey)

Merriweather 8.15.09 (K.Pusey)

With so much new Phish to listen to these days, one of the most engaging and protean jams of the tour hasn’t gotten its proper credit.  Buried in a lackluster second set at Merriweather Post Pavilion, the band played one of their finest pieces of music since their return.  After listening to “46 Days” a few times over, it is certainly one of the most diverse, far-reaching Phish jams of the summer.  From heavy groove to ambient psychedelia, this jam brought us deep into the primordial soup before delivering us to heights uncharted.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

After a high-energy and exciting first set, comprised almost exclusively of bustouts, everyone was ready for the band to bring the heat in the second.  And when they opened with “Tweezer,” it seemed like Merriweather was about to explode.  But instead, Phish played one of the most uneventful renditions in  memory, on the way to a particularly slow beginning of the set.  Segueing quickly into “Taste,” we soon found ourselves listening to an “interlude” of “Alaska” and “Let Me Lie,” but nothing  spectacular had happened to necessitate one.  Thus when Phish started up “46 Days” it could have gone either way.  Phish could have just as easily played a eight-minute rendition of the song, continuing the pattern of the night, or they could have gone huge on the song- something they’ve done more than a couple times in the past.  Needless to say, they chose the latter.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

After a quick pass through the composition, Phish got right into the thick of things.  Springing off a bass-driven platform, the band entered some slowed down molasses-funk, and immediately we knew we were in for a ride.  Before long, we found ourselves knee-deep in a murky swamp of the mind, trudging through layered musical sludge that became slower and spacier with each step we took.  Bombarded with sonic textures, likening an alien encounter, Trey threw us a rope to hold onto via slower sustained melodies stemming from the dark side.  Mike led the band into menacing grooves, killing it with a unique backdrop that only he can provide.  Offering a faster idea, Trey hopped aboard the bass line, and soon infused the jam with its first taste of happiness.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

The band settled into a soundscape with Trey delicately atop, and soon built the piece into awesome whole-band ambient sculpture.  As the music reached its most abstract point, Trey added a faster rhythm pattern that, at first, seemed out of place.  But as the band built around his offering, the music became divine.  And as Trey started to solo in this vein, Fish kicked a dance beat and the band was off into some of the most organic, and spectacular improv of the summer.  Completely switching gears from its dark beginning, the subsequent music is pure Phish majesty.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

As the band continued into a tight, rhythmic pattern, Phish was in complete destruction mode, flowing as their heart desired.  Disconnected from any song structure, they played as if no one were there, and it was perfect.  Trey painted the blissful music with surreal melodic themes that Page complimented masterfully on piano.  Reaching a higher plane, the band collectively blossomed in a splendid segment of pure and utter hose. Trey’s lines transformed into mind-bending waterfalls in one of those you moments you couldn’t believe, even though it was happening right in front of you.

Following the jam’s soaring peak with an artistic denouement and a slip into “Oh! Sweet Nuthin,” Phish gave everyone a moment to breathe after their signature excursion.  The ballad was played with an emotional purpose, punctuating the exalting music that had just gone down.  Though it was the only taste of  exploration all night long, “46 Days” gave Merriweather’s second set some street cred with one of the greatest- and most overlooked- Winged music notejams of the tour.


Jam of the Day:

46 Days > Oh! Sweet Nuthin” 8.15 II




8.5.09 Shoreline, Mountain View CA < Torrent

8.5.09 Shoreline, Mountain View CA < Megaupload

2266988757_3aedc34579This mid-week stop in the Bay Area carried provided more than a few highlights, though has lived in the shadows of Red Rocks and The Gorge.  This show offers one the most exploratory “Diseases” of the year, a fine second set run of “Cities > Maze, Mike’s,” a hot first-set “Bowie,” and the return of Velvet Underground’s “Oh! Sweet Nuthin.”  Check it out.

I: Golgi Apparatus, Halley’s Comet, Chalk Dust Torture, The Divided Sky, When the Circus Comes, Time Turns Elastic, Ya Mar, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Suzy Greenberg, David Bowie

II: Backwards Down the Number Line, Down With Disease > Limb By Limb, Oh Sweet Nuthin’, Cities > Maze, Mike’s Song > Simple, Weekapaug Groove

E: Let Me Lie, Bold As Love

Source: Schoeps mk41> KCY> Schoeps VMS02IB> Apogee Mini-Me> SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)
(Taper- taylorc)



Merriweather Post Pavilion 8.15.09 (Photo – Kenny Pusey)

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362 Responses to “Taste the Fear”

  1. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Mr. C, you’ve hinted that you were part of writing the FAQ files. which entries?

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Type III – I have one entry in the FAQ file only, which one is a carefully guarded secret (actually I just like giving people an excuse to waste 3 hours clicking around the FAQ)

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    a track by Ghost

    with Related Links to more

    had not thought of them in many years, thx albert

  4. larry bird flu Says:

    another beautiful writeup miner! thanks again. just listened to the 46 days-oh sweet nuthin for the first time since MPP. just as good as i remembered. what a great way to ease up on the crowd after that monster 46 days. i really hope sweet nuthin joins the regular rotation. yet another song where i realized im totally gay for page

  5. Marshall Says:

    Just noticed that YEM has been played 482 times. Wonder if they’ll make note of its 500th performance when that happens (likely next summer?). That’s quite a milestone for a band that doesn’t play the same set every night.

  6. halcyon Says:

    AW….Have you heard of Happy End? They were a Japanese Band with a distinct 70’s classic rock feel. I have no idea what they sing, but its a cool retro sound.

  7. Robear Says:

    Audiophiles, and music fans, better to get a “home theater” type receiver, or a 2-channel receiver with pre-amp? I would use it more for music than movies, but would use it for movies / tv on occasion. Thanks!

  8. Marshall Says:

    Miner – have you considered creating an iPhone app for your site? I seem about a zillion iPhones at every show (not to mention PhishTube’s use of one). Can’t think of a better platform to take your “thought’s” into another vehicle for distribution. I do check the site using the phone’s browser all the time, of course.

  9. Mitch Says:

    Mr. C,
    It’s hard to find your faq when we don’t know your name. I’ve probably read it but didn’t know.

  10. Marshall Says:

    A Robear – you’ll probably get some dissenting opinions, but I would go with a multi-channel receiver. I agree that most music should be hear in 2 channels , but The Clifford Ball and other Phish DVDs have been mastered in 5.1. Plus, you’ll enjoy TV and Movies a whole lot more if you have surround going. That’s what I do for a living (residential electronics systems; home theater).

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    Re: Zinkland- whoever that guy is doesn’t get IT. It seems like many of the contributors to jambands.com don’t get IT at all….imo

  12. Lycanthropist Says:

    So joining in late today…

    Just got done listening to this 46 Days, and I must say I feel pretty silly for not have listening to this already.

    This jam is easily one of the best of the tour. This is probably in my top 5 now.

    What a beautiful development of jamming. The initial bouncy step through the funk marshes quickly opens up into some full on exploration. The space segment is rich with melty moments and thoughts of finding small galaxies on your fingertips run abound. The transition into the “hose” section is weird yet pleasantly juxtaposed. As this portion develops it harnesses and generates such momentum and inspiration. A really beautiful peak, yet they kept it going. And peak again.

    Really stellar 3.0 Phish there folks.

    Miner said it best anyway.

    If you haven’t listened to it, do it.

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    “Miner – have you considered creating an iPhone app for your site? I seem about a zillion iPhones at every show (not to mention PhishTube’s use of one). Can’t think of a better platform to take your “thought’s” into another vehicle for distribution. I do check the site using the phone’s browser all the time, of course.”

    ^^ have had many ideas…anyone on hear know how to actualize them technologically?

  14. Frankie Says:

    Love that 46 Days jam! That’s the first thing i listened to the SPAC Backwards when i came back from SPAC…

    In that jam, you have the main difference between Leg 1 and Leg 2 where after the initial space-ambient jam, instead of going straight to another song, they would jump on a new idea, then to another fearlessly… like the Gorge Sally and Gin where you can divide the jam in sections…

    That’s my favorite kind of Phish…

  15. voopa Says:

    Also, some audience recordings are being mastered in 5.1 and other multi-channel formats, so you lose that with a 2 channel setup.

    There’s many early shows that don’t have documented setlists…I’d guess that they’ve already passed that 500th YEM.

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    you should be able to identify it sheerly by my overly verbose writing style

    no, it’s the “new submission” (from 1998, lol) re: Mind Left Body on this page


    written before I started labelling it “baseball jam” in rebellion against the tediousness of the ongoing debate

    altho any version performed in the 90s or early 00s should be called the Steroids jam I guess

  17. Frankie Says:

    First thing i listened to *with* the SPAC Backwards…

  18. voopa Says:

    iPhone Dev Center

  19. larry bird flu Says:

    allright friends, just popped in to say hello and how pleasantly surprised i was to find todays post about such an excellent jam. now off to my favorite live music venue in the entire world. (have yet to go to red rocks or the gorge)

  20. Marshall Says:

    @ Voopa – how does one listen to an audience recording that is 5.1 channels? What software/hardware is needed? I’m still way behind on computer audio/dvd burning.

  21. c0wfunk Says:

    Rob I’d say go with a surround amp .. A lot of them now do a great “multichannel stereo” mode that will fill you up with goodness, and then you are ready for movies etc.

    Lyc – nice imagery thanks!

    Marshall – I do high end home theaters and control systems too .. What type of stuff do you do? I’m mostly a programmer (crestron, lutron, pronto, harmony etc) but my present comoany has me doing rough and trim work too. Also, I’m transitioning to web design right now cuz I’m pretty sick of the whole gated community scene.

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    i think an i phone app would be very cool….

  23. albert walker Says:

    Thanks for the Ghost links Completely

    what a great fuckin raw psyche sound
    can’t even figure out who they really sound like
    they are the 60’s pschedellic band that never was
    what it was supposed to be but never came about
    such a vintage full sound
    the instrumentation is so unique, I don’t know if it has ever been attempted
    mixing traditional asian instruments, very heady stuff

  24. Marshall Says:

    @ cowfunk – structured wiring and small-scale home theaters. I’m still cutting my teeth. I started my own business to do retro-fits initially and then transitioned to the new-construction. Crestron is way above my head (I’m not a programmer). I target people just getting into it for the first time who want a poor-man’s home theater. Basically, wiring, speakers, flat-panels, mounts, components, and remotes.

  25. Marshall Says:

    @ cowfunk – a $200 – $400 Harmony remote will do more than what most people will ever need. But don’t get me wrong – I envy my neighbors who have the Crestron systems.

    We all ask this a million times, but where do you live again?

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