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. beepaphone Says:

    @ marshall

    Be’bophone I believe….I am aware…

    I just hear it as beepaphone is all

    @ Harry…been googling the shit out of it all day, but can’t find a mac version so far. Looks like they rent it out to “brokers”, but I am a firm believer that anything can be found for free if you look hard enough. People should start using evil tools for good. Ticketmaster, etc. just don’t have the incentive to drastically change the way they distribute tickets.

  2. beepaphone Says:

    @ GP
    You see my new avatar? I’m still seeing south park trey…weird.

  3. fat bastard Says:

    blind faith dead

  4. Birddog Says:

    @ Beep –

    I read somthing about ticketmaster ques in the New York Times last summer. Evidently there are priority “passes” that secondary retailers use to be first in line. I would take a look on eBay because I’m sure some of these “passes” are being sold in advance of Friday’s sales. Hmm maybe we could pool our sheckles and buy one for the guys on here

  5. butter Says:

    no holds yet here….doesn’t change the fact that i will see all 3 msg shows!!!

  6. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Nice post, Señor Miner. I was thinking about this on my jog the AM. I look forward to the times when the new songs slide into innovative set-slotting.

    An encore of Ocelot>Tweeprise wouldn’t upset me in the slightest. Big win for the Ocelot getting something outside the first set!
    While an encore of Ocelot>Character Zero says meh as I am sick of Character Zero as a closer or encore, not really a fan of the song and its anthemic catharsis. Open set one with it and I’ll heap kudos for the shake up. Shelve it, for all I care. Ocelots on the other hand are wild animals with a range from diverse territorial range.

    Let the Ocelot Run Free!

    What’s next is what keep us engaged, while we commiserate about the past.

    See any day where:
    Certain folks digress into the great ’73 v. ’78 nuances diatribe. I am not one to pile on or contribute as it is not a focus or forte but enjoy the conversations as it is exactly what needs to transpire in the greater phish community at some point. Plus it gets me up to speed, so I can collect the best era representations, with limited cultural backstories. 😉

    Curious wordsmithing:
    “the band combined a mid-’90s determination”

    How about a gameshow at the event where folks face-off competing to name the era for hash and prizes, err cash and prizes? Imagine a gameshow stage set up with an older, less recognizable washed-up gameshow host, like the guy from Press Your Luck MCing the whole fiasco.
    Winner gets to wear the “I’m A Bigger Phish Geek Than You!” Crown for the day. Perhaps a Physical Challenge of sorts could be devised.

    Enjoyed the JOTD!

  7. beepaphone Says:

    thats where I’m getting, Birddog…long term solutions…Fundraise, get the tools for the tickets, and maybe someday we can hook up the PT community at face value. Am I dreaming in Gamehendge?

  8. Birddog Says:

    Investigating – cant find the original article though

  9. Marshall Says:

    If I got any piece of hardware that would let me get tickets, I’m pretty sure I’d be taken over by the dark side of the force and become a soul-less ticket broker. Temptation is a tough thing.

  10. Birddog Says:

    This site seems to have some good info for brokers – might spring for the $5 guide


  11. beepaphone Says:

    no marshall…i mean if you want to slang a jonas brothers ticket or 2, go right ahead…never Phish

  12. Marshall Says:

    I would love to guarantee myself tickets. I’m just saying … having that much power would be dangerous to the soul.

  13. voopa Says:

    @ beepa

    Do a force refresh to see updated avatars: Ctrl + F5 in Firefox; I think it’s the same with IE.

  14. beepaphone Says:

    on safari…updated avatar yesterday…should see new one…gravatar says its the new one..i dunno…no biggie

  15. KWL Says:

    that guide looks worth the $5 just if it helps navigate ticketbastard this weekend…

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    blk jks crushed it last night. great young band. they need a few more tricks in the bag to make the songs a little more diverse, and a couple of their tunes go on too long, but those are pretty minor criticisms. The drummer is just ridiculous and the guitar player has a great raw high-energy style with lots of effects. Even threw in a little echoplex which is always fun.

    Their best thing is, in its way, actually very Phishy IMO. Most of their songs have one or more tightly composed sections in which they shift abruptly between tempos, time signatures etc. What’s good about it is the way they carry very high energy fluidly through the changes – it’s like seeing someone run full tilt through a complex obstacle course. A real rush when they nail it.

    The last tune was an extended improvisation which was cool to watch. They don’t have a lot of improvisational technique but they do have excellent communication.

    They were almost able to make a Monday night Portland crowd dance! Almost.

    Co-star of the show was the venue – Mississippi Studios – my first time there and not only is it the best small venue in Portland today, it is the best venue of any size that has existed in PDX in the 10+ years I have been here. A++ venue, highest possible recommendation. Great layout. Incredible sound from Meyer PA – perfectly clear and they turn it up nice and loud. Nice looking bar, didn’t drink but kind of a given that will be tight in PDX. Great neighborhood, perfect for the ol’ stroll-n-puff.

    A fun night.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    I always like it when rather than allowing silence between songs, if there is a long pause, various band members just start playing an improvised, noisy ambient space intro. shows good attitude. half the tunes started off like the intro to DWD or something.

  18. halcyon Says:

    awesome to hear Mr. C…. I am bummed I missed them this time around…

  19. Mr.Miner Says:

    The lottery is an overpriced ticket market. You will be able to get them for less tat $65 /per. It’s absurd.

  20. fat bastard Says:

    nice write up mr c- sounds like they’re gaining some steady momentum. should be around for a long time.

  21. beepaphone Says:

    good review…hope they come to Indiana

  22. fat bastard Says:

    miner you’re right. esp when you cant pick your seats

  23. beepaphone Says:

    i’m def willing to pay $65 in the scenario that tickets might be scarce outside….MSG, Cobo, RR, etc.

  24. randomreader Says:

    as a coda to my MSG story, I owe a long-overdue Thank You to our host Mr. Miner – i’ve been building my live phish library for a while but couldn’t find a decent-sounding source of my first show (12.28.98 MSG) until i discovered this site a few months back. i was ecstatic.

    now if only i could find the same for 12.10/11.99 Philly, i’d have every show i’ve seen.

  25. Little Buddy Says:

    12.11.99 can be found here…


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