What’s Next?

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

With the wild-goose chase Phish’s created around their musical costume for Halloween, and the buzz around Sunday’s acoustic set, we continue to forget that the heart of Indio’s throwdown will be six sets of full-on, festival-sized Phish. We left the band at a point of massive creativity, evolving through the second leg of summer tour. The most significant mystery of the upcoming Holiday weekend may not, in fact, be what album the band chooses to cover for Halloween, but what direction the other six sets will take – where will Phish’s music move next?

6.16.09 (B. Kisida)

6.16.09 (B. Kisida)

After a concise and straight-forward June, Phish opened up their music significantly during their second leg of summer. Over the course of August, Phish rediscovered themselves and their improvisational chops, crafting music that evoked memories of their finest days. Their creativity returned, taking their jams in many more directions than June’s predominately structured improv. The excitement returned; no one knew what would happen next, bringing the unknown back into play. Using organic jamming, Phish found themselves arriving at stunning musical planes, instead of forcing themselves into mediocrity – in short – their flow returned. The Red Rocks and The Gorge jams sound just as fresh as they did two months ago – music with staying power – the hallmark of quality. The east coast jams still shine as well, though with less of a majesty. But don’t tell that to Darien’s “Drowned,” Merriweather’s “46 Days,” or the “Number Lines” from SPAC and Chicago – you might have a fight on your hands. But what’s next? Where are we headed now?

The Gorge (G.Lucas)

The Gorge (G.Lucas)

While Phish jams came to life this summer, no distinct musical direction developed – it was still too early. But as we move into Indio, and then Fall Tour, the band’s comfort level will only increase and we are sure to see new sonic elements and directions emerge. Looking for clues in the band’s new material, both “Number Line” and “Light” have proven to be legitimate springboards for diverse jamming. With “Number Line” taking the torch from “Disease” as 3.0’s feel-good anthem that can go anywhere, some of the most exploratory jams of the fall will ironically stem from the “Joy’s” first radio single. Played much less frequently this summer, the versions of “Light” at Bonnaroo and, especially, The Gorge illustrated the song’s propensity for open-ended, original destinations. Boasting one of the moments of the summer with its calypso jam at The Gorge, we have only begun to see where “Light” will take us.

The Gorge (W.Rogell)

The Gorge (W.Rogell)

And now that it is Fall, it’s time to open up “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan.” Whether it happens at Indio or, more likely, indoors, this song will blow up. Its searing blues-rock psychedelia has been begging to be stretched since its debut at Jones Beach. The fact that Phish has left this one alone for so long makes me think its jam will explode somewhere along the course of Fall Tour – time will tell. While “Ocelot” has been a source of structured improv, it could easily break its mold into playful funk with uncharted courses at any time. I continue to await the 20-minute “Ocelot” second-set opener. The “Kill Devil Falls” jam has proven worthy – entering both upbeat and abstract realms at Bonnaroo and Red Rocks, a pattern that will likely continue. The other song off Joy that could meander into ambient spaces is “Twenty Years Later.” Played only once on each leg of summer, its future still remains hazy. With a few unknowns on Party Time, as well as the funk-laden title track, we could be in for some treats.

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Merriweather (K.Pusey)

Another potential source of a musical influence is the album they have chosen to cover. We all know how Remain In Light influenced the band, and their current choice could have a style that is genuinely new to Phish. Such costumes include Hitler’s nightmare, MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular, Radiohead’s Kid A, or The Clash’s London Calling. But assuming Phish sticks to the classic rock genre, which most believe they will, it’s doubtful that they will pave their path of 2010 during their Halloween set. More illustrative of their potential direction will be the other six sets that contain far more unknowns than any other part of the weekend.

My gut tells me the band will progress to some form of patient, layered jamming with an undertone of groove; moving with a purpose through music we’ve never heard. With their skills and experience, if the band stays happy and healthy, I see no reason why this era won’t develop into one of the most engaging in the band’s history. If August was any indication, we are well on our way, as the band combined a mid-’90s determination with an evolved skill set, resulting in sublime jams. And we were just getting started. With Indio fast approaching, and Fall piggy-backing off Festival 8, we are about to enter a serious age of musical discovery and development. Hop on for the ride!

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

The Curtain > Stash” 6.17.95 I

The punctuating statement on the first set in Gainesville, VA, and, in my opinion, the highlight of the entire show.




6.13.95 Riverport Amp, Maryland Heights, MO < Torrent

6.13.95 Riverport Amp, Maryland Heights, MO < Megaupload

1995-06-13gnA stop along Phish’s space camp of Summer ’95, this show in St. Louis boasted a second set that centered on the colossal “Bowie” opener. “Hood,” “Reba,” and “Stash” also standout in this lesser-known Summer ’95 gem.

I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Bouncing Around the Room, Stash, Strange Design, Taste, Reba, Hold Your Head Up > Terrapin > Hold Your Head Up, Sparkle, Chalk Dust Torture

II: David Bowie, The Lizards, Axilla (Part II) > Theme From the Bottom, Acoustic Army, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

E: Sweet Adeline, Julius

Source : Unknown

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336 Responses to “What’s Next?”

  1. fat bastard Says:

    snowboarder i LOVED june.

  2. Dbone Says:

    I should have expected that posting without doing my research might illicit some, actually interesting, discussion on Cypress, Coventry, and Oswego (which i kind of forgot about in that context).

    Cypress did not technically end the tour, but it followed up on a pretty extensive fall run into December – thus musically it was kind of like a huge exclamation point on the style and build up of that tour. Although I certainly would defer to Marshall and be willing to accept Cypress as a huge millenium shindig.

    And Coventry – well that’s a different story that we don’t need to get into.

    I guess the point is that there has never been a festival that has either started a tour (although fall tour doesn’t actually start until a couple weeks later) or been as stand along as 8. In that context, and given that the three major phases of phish’s appearance since their return have all seen developments in their playing style and given that its Halloween, and there will be donuts shaped like the number 8 or infinity depending on your perspective, it oughta be pretty cool. That’s all i’m saying.

    Although it would an interesting discussion about what constitutes an actual phish festival – there’s actuall a “Phish Festival” wikipedia (wookipedia?) entry. Not saying I know the answer.

  3. SOAM Says:

    Oswego most certainly was a festival.

    big fat tube-

  4. Dbone Says:

    ^^stand alone

  5. sumodie Says:

    i loved june too, because for the most part the band kept getting better & better. but i felt leg 2 was much superior. likewise, as miner alludes to, i hope the band continues to expand our collective horizon -phish 3.0 has yet to reach its peak, imho.

  6. SOAM Says:

    Miner-gotta love a little west coast snobbery-“though not as majestic”-c’mon-(i agree but don’t want to admit it) although some of the Gorge is not as hot as RR.-IMO

  7. fat bastard Says:

    sumo were on the same flight 10:05>12:05. thats gonna be a fun flight.

  8. HarryHood Says:

    I’ve never felt that the lottery was truely random. But I’ve also tried everything and not had much success. I’ve tried ordering the MP3’s with the tix request, ordering merch, etc. The only time that I’ve ever had any real luck was with the old mail order system. And even then, I don’t think it was “first come first served” as they claimed. I sent in the request in a bright blue envelope with fish on it and Phish stickers plastered everywhere. Low and behold, I was better than tenth row for all shows I ordered. No way was that random. There must be a method to this madness.

  9. axillalot Says:

    Just for the record here – i do now and always did consider oswego a festival. it was “technically” more a festival than any of the others, as there were other bands on the lineup, not just all phish all the time. I’m just saying though, I thought I remembered the official word from the band at the time saying it was not a festival, as there weren’t 2 days of 3 set shows, it was in the middle of tour, etc. I could be wrong, and probably am, I’m just saying, I thought I remembered seeing that somewhere. Hell it’s been ten years now, I’m most likely making all this up from my lack of memory. 😉

    end of defense stance. 😉

  10. fat bastard Says:

    looks like i’m 0 for 3 for the fall lottery. no detroit or cincy.

  11. EL Duderino Says:

    PTBM used to be a guarantee. Never got denied. Now, that’s a whole ‘nother story. Charlottesville I hear is beautiful, looking forward to a night of hot music. what ever the band decides to play for the costume set will bring forth new covers which they so desperately need IMHO. We all will benefit from the upcoming festi!

  12. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Fat Bastard

    You’ve been notified already????

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    oh, regarding that JOTD Curtain>Stash? fucking awesome. the whole show rocks (especially the Tweezer madness in the 2nd set).

  14. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    Glad to see that I’m not alone thinking June was mint. I’m pretty much with you GP420, I like jamming, but I actually think I prefer structured jams (type2?). I can get into the further out stuff, but I too prefer to just get my groove on. Not saying I didn’t enjoy late summer, far from it, I just see June getting shat on a bunch, when I thought it was tits.

    I thought that June was indeed the fire, mostly to see the continual improvement, and spot on playing. That and my head exploded getting my GW fluffhead…

  15. fat bastard Says:

    well no but it seems like either there is a hold on people’s credit cards if you get em or you’re outta luck. .

  16. EL Duderino Says:

    June was them with seatbelts on IMO.

  17. EL Duderino Says:

    It’s just the beginning have some faith. I bet they just started this morning.

  18. Lycanthropist Says:

    so I have started a collection of my favorite Chance Fisher and This Side Up shows on archive.org. I am going to continue to be adding shows and mixes of some of my favorite jams, etc etc.

    check it out, streaming shows, easy downloads etc etc.


  19. Mitch Says:

    Something I’m noticing about the lotto is that the only people with holds are going to Cincy and Detroit. People on here and my friends included.

    Does anyone have a hold for an east cost request?

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Mitch, I have a hold and I put in for only 2 for the 2nd night in Albany and 4 in Portland. Judging by the amount, I think I either got Portland or two to each show.

  21. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    i have a hold and put in for 2 albany#2, and 2 portland.

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    whoa, VT, that’s creepy. almost the same order!

  23. Mitch Says:

    @ VT,
    I order off drygoods all the time because of the sale t’s they have and I also made a nice donation to the Mockingbird Foundation yesterday. Maybe the donation is too late to apply but if were talking drygoods, I order once every other month and sometimes once a month if they get new stickers or patches so I’ll give you a heads up.

    I really think its random. I had a friend get front row for fox, pitts, dc, and 7th row center to both alpine. I say that he “won” the phish lotto. I also had friends get 25 entries through coworkers for Hampton and only had one get tix. I really think they draw your name and fill all the shows with best available that they can.

    Thats also why I think Detroit and Cincy are gonna have more success stories because there is less demand than say MSG.

  24. tela'smuff Says:

    what’s the deal with C-Ville? Where to party, where to stay, eat???

  25. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    I hope you’re right Mitch with your theory and it holds true with all of the NY shows taking the heat off of Portland, and i hit the jackpot there. all i want’s is two for the CCCC.

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