Dustin’ Them Off

12.5.09 (G.Lucas)

12.5.09 (G.Lucas)

Coupled with their explosive playing, the consistent flow of bust-outs speckled the path of fall tour. Each night, Phish reached deep into their catalog and pulled out at least one rarity they play only once in a blue moon; or at most, once per tour. This became one of the defining features of fall, and one that many fans crave, leaving many setlist pads sparkling. Without traveling across the country time and time again, some of these rarities may never be heard by regional fans, making the current frequency of these infrequent moments all the more exciting for so many. Sought after bust-outs carry the aura of the golden-ring; a reward for catching that particular show; a personal little treasure along the ride. Some songs become elusive between eras, fading in and out of existence, while others remain rare for their careers. This fall, Phish brought out more than a few songs that nobody saw coming, adding an refreshing element to their sets.

12.3.09 (W.Rogell)

12.3.09 (W.Rogell)

The multitude of bust-outs breaks down to the oozing confidence that Phish now boasts after relearning a good part of their repertoire. Their display of bravado began back in Hampton, with the very first song of this era – “Fluffhead.” Seen for years as the ultimate bust-out, and unplayed in the post-hiatus years because the band simply couldn’t handle its intricacies, “Fluffhead” made an immediate statement that Phish had a different attitude this time around. Unveiling one of their most difficult compositions right off the bat, the song has since become a staple of the band’s current rotation and a virtual musical microcosm of 2009 – tight, energetic, and hugely emotional. But the band also earned some others along the way, dropping more than a few rarities and spicing up setlists throughout the fall.

12.4.09 (W.Rogell)

12.4.09 (W.Rogell)

At some point during this past tour, Phish played, “Mountains In the Mist,” It’s Ice,” “Axilla,” “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars,” “Sleep Again,” “Fire,” “Train Song,” “On Your Way Down,” “Golden Age,” “Torn and Frayed,” “My Friend, My Friend,” “Tomorrow’s Song,” “My Mind’s Got A Mind of Its Own,” “Two Versions of Me,” “Sanity,” “Uncle Pen,” “Foam,” “Vultures,” “Walk Away,” “Meat,” “Dinner and a Movie,” “Crimes of the Mind,” “Timber,” “Pebbles and Marbles,” “Nellie Kane,” “Horn,” “Weigh,” “Peaches En Regalia,” “Glide,” “Shine A Light,” “The Curtain (With),” “Scents And Subtle Sounds,” “Cities,” “Camel Walk,” “Sneakin’ Sally,” “The Old Home Place,” “Carini,” “Freebird,” “Cool It Down,” and “Bold As Love.” Though there have been longer gaps between some of these songs than others, that’s quite a list for a bakers dozen worth of shows. Some of these songs represent mere kick-downs, while others hold more potential; the most significant of all being the return of “Scents and Subtle Sounds.” Though re-introduced in succinct fashion, the band has already reached sky-scraping heights with the surreal springboard. If “Scents” gets back into rotation, watch out.

MSG (G. Lucas)

MSG (G. Lucas)

While bust-outs can’t make a show on their own, they can certainly add some spice to an evening, especially within the current framework of first sets that rely so heavily on song selection. “Alumni Blues” or “Buffalo Bill” certainly don’t equal musical explorations – or jams at all – but they can make the time in between them all the more entertaining. With a clear focus on reacquainting themselves with so many of their pieces, it seems that Phish has laid the foundation for years to come. Armed with an infinite amount of material, a vibrant spirit, and a burgeoning sense of exploration, the light is, indeed, growing brighter now.


Jam of the Day:

46 Days” 11.18.09


This is the first jam of tour, and holds up as one of the most engaging. Featuring some of the thickest funk and locked-in, methodical playing we’ve heard in a while, this one came our of nowhere late in Cobo’s first set.



12.2.09 Madison Square Garden, NYC < Torrent

12.2.09 Madison Square Garden, NYC < Megaupload

12.2.09 (W.Rogell)

12.2.09 (W.Rogell)

I: AC/DC Bag, Chalk Dust Torture, Wolfman’s Brother, NICU, Ocelot, Brian and Robert, Poor Heart, Sample in a Jar, Peaches en Regalia, The Divided Sky, Cavern

II: Golgi Apparatus, Light > Slave to the Traffic Light, Tweezer > Joy, Sparkle, Harry Hood, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Suzy Greenberg, Run Like an Antelope

E: A Day in the Life, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Schoeps mk41 > KCY > Sonosax SX-M2/LS > SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)

Tags: , ,

704 Responses to “Dustin’ Them Off”

  1. jdub Says:

    Just getting to the computer for a moment and checking in on the days activities, there has been some great conversation and contributions from everyone on here lately.

  2. fromthetub Says:

    Thanks, butter. Glad I got the chance to meet you in NY!

  3. Frankie Says:

    Hey sumodie! πŸ™‚
    It’s great to be able to put faces to names now… thanks Mitch!

    I agree that Lifeboy is way overdue… one of my favorite landing songs after some deep jamming… ala 8.2.98 Ghost>Lifeboy!

    Found this great picture to go with Mr.C’s 71 Dead mix in itunes…

  4. Frankie Says:

    Hey jdub! πŸ™‚
    Total living room atmosphere in this place now… too bad i missed shaking hands with butter and fromthetub… next time! πŸ™‚

  5. Summer98 Says:

    “we’ve got musicians, photographers, writers (starting with the big guy), philosophers, critical thinkers, humorists, enthusiasts, true kind souls, and so much more in this place.”

    I’d like to add engineer to the mix for Leo and me.

    @Lycan and C
    Thanks for the links, I’ll DL when I get home. Looking forward to listening.

  6. fromthetub Says:

    Hey Frankie – not sure how I missed meeting you. I think you might have been at the same table. Hopefully next time! I really enjoyed meeting everyone… such great people.

  7. BrandonKayda Says:

    Gus – I am extremely envious of your Fluffhead/YEM/Esther skillz. Seriously, you have got some skills man. I wish I knew how to do that πŸ™‚

    I am really enjoying the “Alien Talk” Phish (Trey/Page inparticularly) pull out on Undermind lately, really concise, fresh jamming. I can’t wait to see if they ever take this one big….

  8. Summer98 Says:

    @Uncle Eb
    Still interested in the Seattle meet up. I’ve got your number. Things are a little hectic now and until the holidays (we travel east between the 20th and 30th), but I’ll get in touch for sure after that.

  9. sumodie Says:

    @frankie: its especially great to put faces to names when they’re all such cool cats. glad you found a use for my fri xtra! hope we can connect again at a show.

  10. Frankie Says:

    I think i saw you talking with Mitch as we were leaving for the show but spaced on introducing myself… next time for sure! Thank you for the wonderful pictures! πŸ™‚

  11. Frankie Says:

    I have to return the compliment my friend! πŸ™‚
    Thank you so much for that ticket! That 3rd night gave me such a rush of energy that i’m still buzzing from it! There is a before and after 12.4.09 for me! I’ve been changed! πŸ™‚

    So for that, thank you!
    We’ll see each other down the road i’m sure!

  12. BrandonKayda Says:

    There is a Piper tease in the MSG Fluffhead.

    …and an instrumental Seven Below/Twist

  13. jdub Says:

    @francois, how’s it going frenchie.

    @bk, what up kiddo

    is there a Friday night crew staying in tonight

  14. Frankie Says:

    Hey! πŸ™‚ I’m great!
    Sort of around…
    Work tomorrow morning…

  15. gus Says:

    i guess i’ll be part of the friday night crew staying in tonight.

    things are going well, got christmas break in a week, listening to weather report, my life is great right now.

  16. jdub Says:

    I’ve got a fire burning and am listening to c’s compilation, I’ve moved from the songs to the dark star comp. I forget sometimes how much I love me some Dead

  17. VoidBoy Says:

    I’m looking for the link for C’s compilation now. Is it here?

  18. Frankie Says:

    Nice! Watching a fire while listening to music is so relaxing! I miss it…

    12.11.99 anniversary show today is just so good!! I really hope they choose to make it a livephish release at some point in the future… not enough 1999 releases…

    That Hood opener is gold, Jerry! GOLD! πŸ™‚

  19. VoidBoy Says:

    I heard about that earlier… think I’ll check it out.

  20. VoidBoy Says:

    downloading now.

  21. m00nshake Says:

    From someone who started seeing Phish in the early 90s, and who only saw two posthiatus shows, its hard to imagine Fluffhead ever being the ultimate bustout. I saw my first one at my second show ever New Haven during the new years run 1993.

  22. VoidBoy Says:

    That’s quite some time ago… Has there been a dramatic change from the Fluff of old to today?

  23. m00nshake Says:

    I was saying that in reference to Mr. Miner’s writeup.

  24. VoidBoy Says:

    Nice. Fluffhead is new to me and I am loving the song from Summer to Indio. My first show was Festiival 8 having arrived late to the “scene”. Just curious how the song had changed over time…

  25. m00nshake Says:

    The boyz have been pumping a whole lot of energy into it… especially at MSG, they blew the roof off the place when singing the chorus… but apart from that, the song has pretty much stayed the same

Leave a Reply