Moments In a Box: The Northeast

In our continuing remembrances of this past summer, let’s travel back to the final four shows of tour.  Returning to the Northeast after an other-worldly run out west, Phish came home to some classic sheds to punctuate the season.  While each show had improvisational highlights- many which have been discussed- here is a look at some of the moments that fit in between the more significant jams.


Fluffhead” 8.13 Darien Lake II

Darien Lake 8.13 (D.Vann)

Darien Lake 8.13 (D.Vann)

At the conclusion of a smoking set that has been largely glossed over, Phish pulled out a massive version of “Fluffhead.”  Following the opening ebb and flow of “Drowned > Caspian > Rift” and a ripping mid-set “Antelope,” Phish played a top-notch rendition of their once-elusive classic to close it out..  After an almost note-perfect jaunt through the many composed sections, Trey took command at the top, gushing with a triumphant solo that packed a heartfelt wallop.  Out of the the many versions of “Fluff” this summer, this one sits in the upper echelon, and it served as a vibrant exclamation point to the band’s return to the circus tents of Darien.



Icculus” 8.14 Hartford II

Hartford 8.14 (D.Vann)

Hartford 8.14 (D.Vann)

After Phish had shredded this set apart with improv galore, they reached a point of sustained banter.  As Trey joked with the audience after “Catapult,” the band made a subtle change to “Icculus” in the background.  Appearing for only the tenth time since 1990, the audience responded immediately and enthusiastically to the musical shift.  Delving deep into Phish lore, Trey went on an early-nineties tirade about our over-technological generation, our need for the “fucking book,” and the “great and knowledgeable” prophet of Gamehendge.  An undeniably significant moment in the re-evolution of the band, the passion infused into this ancient bust-out confirmed that things were once again in order in the land of Lizards.



Party Time” 8.15 Merriweather I

Merriweather 8.15 (K.Pusey)

Merriweather 8.15 (K.Pusey)

When discussing the band’s forthcoming album and new family-oriented vibe after Hampton, Trey joked that they should ironically title the record, “Party Time.”  This joke turned into a more substantial rumor when a track listing emerged from the band’s studio sessions in May that had “Party Time” amidst other songs.  It could have been an inside joke- we had no idea, but when Trey happily introduced the Fishman-penned original at Merriwether, the band and crowd erupted in laughter and cheer.  Kicking into their take on New Orleans party-funk, the band foreshadowed what could develop into a much larger and entertaining jam vehicle.  If I had to guess, we’ll hear a extensive version to open up the band’s highly-anticipated festival in Indio come Halloween- but for now, it’s “Paaaaaarty Tiiime!”



“Harpua” 8.16 SPAC II

SPAC (D.Perrucci)

SPAC (D.Perrucci)

“Oom Pah Pah, Oom Pah Pah, Oom Pah Paaaaaaaah…”  And SPAC exploded.  On the final night of summer, Phish revived one of their oldest narratives about Jimmy, Posternutbag, and the fat, sweaty bulldog.  Stamping a show as special with its mere inclusion, this go-round was even more significant, as it was the modern era bust-out of  “Harpua.”  In this story, a depressed Jimmy meditaded in his bedroom, summoning his spirit guide in the form of Fishman floating in his window.  Imparting with him the all-powerful truth, Fiashman sang a spoof of “I Kissed a Girl.”  An absurd tale, no doubt, this return of “Harpua,” coupled with “YEM,” brought a Phishy end to an unforgettable summer.


Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Ghost > Wolfman’s” 7.30 II Red Rocks


This was our first taste of the wide-open exploration that would characterize the western shows.  Like a breath of life into the world of Phish, this musical passage was the indelible memory from Red Rocks’ opening night.



8.15.2009 Merriweather Post Pavilion < Torrent

8.15.2009 Merriweather Post Pavilion < Megaupload

Official Merriweather Poster

Official Merriweather Poster

A fun first set with many bust-outs was followed by the most tame second frame of tour.  The “46 Days,” however, is one of the jams of the summer.

I: Crowd Control, Kill Devil Falls, The Sloth, Beauty Of A Broken Heart, Axilla I, Foam, Esther, Ha Ha Ha, Party Time, Tube, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Strange Design, Time Turns Elastic

II: Tweezer > Taste, Alaska, Let Me Lie, 46 Days > Oh! Sweet Nuthin’, Harry Hood

E: Good Times Bad Times, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Schoeps mk22> KCY> Schoeps VMS02IB> Apogee Mini-Me> SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)
(Taper – taylorc)

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423 Responses to “Moments In a Box: The Northeast”

  1. Marshall Says:

    @ summer – only one for me – Fluffhead at Hampton (70 show gap)

  2. voopa Says:

    My “bustouts”:

    Own Your Way Down (9-16-99)
    Walk Away (10-29-98)
    Sparks (11-29-96)
    Dinner & A Movie (8-6-96)
    Cities, Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ (8-5-09)

    other surprises:

    Suspicious Minds, Chess! (9-30-95)
    Cryin’ (9-29-95)
    Sexual Healing (7-20-98)
    We’re Not Gonna Take It (10-8-99)
    O Mia Babbibo Caro (5-27-94)
    Amazing Grace Jam (11-30-96)
    Misty Mountain Hop (9-16-99, 10-10-99)
    Viola Lee Blues (9-17-99)
    EL Paso, West LA (10-6-00)
    Game-fucking-henge (3-22-93)

  3. voopa Says:

    Oh, and the 7-30-97 Cities too, of course.

  4. JP Says:

    Nice voopa!

  5. MOonSHaKE Says:

    Marshall: that’s correct it is a winrar archive file… basically if you double-click the winrar file and it has all the files you want inside it, then you’re good to go. cut/copy somewhere out of the folder and then delete the folder itself. then you can upload that rar file. if sending large rar files via email, don’t forget to use a file splitter program such as mastersplitter to split the file into 1meg chunks and you can send it in chunks and the receiving end can put it back together again. massive. peace. respek, big ups, keep it real

  6. JP Says:

    @ voopa – a good friend of mine’s first show was 3-22-93. always envied him that!

    same friend did the RR > Gorge run (minus CA) and was pretty pumped with the shows he saw in 09. I’d say so too.

  7. JP Says:

    1st listen to Niel Young’s new CD right now….liking it for the most part. Certainly nice to hear someone signing the truth.

  8. BrandonKayda Says:

    Cough up The Bucks sucks, that is all I’ll say. I haven’t heard the full thing, but i have heard some from concert bootlegs (new stuff)

  9. JP Says:

    yeah, that song has a wierd sound to it. I like “Hit the Road” – but yeah, I never sort of “reach for Niel” anyway – listening to a library cd.

  10. JP Says:

    Did the shows you heard have female backup singers?

  11. BrandonKayda Says:

    They might have, they were from December 2008 at the Madison Square Garden, last shows of that leg I believe,

  12. JP Says:

    have never seen him live.

  13. fat bastard Says:

    summer sitting outside beside the pool

  14. fat bastard Says:

    i pulled the witch out from the ditch

  15. fat bastard Says:

    1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 axilla axilla axilla repeat

  16. fat bastard Says:

    the foam keeps getting thicker

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    ur listening to the same set i am lol

  18. fat bastard Says:

    I had a dream last night that I was at a phish show and my old friend, stress old friend, threw a glowsitck that hit Gordon’s guitar and they had to quit playing. I was over by the escalator and I hear Trey say to the Band, “If we leave to fix your guitar were not coming back and they didn’t, I think it was the 3rd song first set. seriously

  19. fat bastard Says:

    moral of the story don’t throw glowsticks anywhere near the band

  20. whole tour! Says:

    light up or leave, corrinna corrinna
    biggest bust outs i saw besides proud mary vocal jam.

  21. whole tour! Says:

    and of course VAN HALEN- RUNNINGw/the devil went down to georgia

  22. shaftytim Says:

    the piper from hartford is the best jam of the summer.

  23. Gin Says:


    It’s underrated for sure, a definite gem.

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