Musings In a New Year

12.31.09 - Miami (Photo: Wendy Rogell)

Almost a week later, all I can think about is Miami; what a phenomenal run! Over the last three nights of the year, Phish took an impressive step towards permanently regaining top form. Like King Midas, everything the band touched turned to gold throughout the waning nights of the “aughts,” leaving the band’s early-summer growing pains as time-washed memories. The band had IT once again – at least for these nights – and could do no wrong. With all four players at the top of their game, Phish converged in celebration of now, with seven sets of the most encouraging music we’ve heard thus far.

12.30.09 (S.Williams)

Each moment unfolded with a patient luster, each measure given equal attention, in a series of particularly confident performances. With each member fluidly owning their instrument, the band’s collective focus centered on musical conversation. Sure, this is always the goal of improvisational music, but it hasn’t always been so routine this year. In Miami, the proficiency and the subtlely with which Phish exchanged ideas, blew most of the year’s dynamic out of the water. There have been many outstanding nights of music throughout the year, from March through December, but the way the band so clearly listened and responded to each others’ every move created a far enhanced dynamic down in Florida. And lo and behold, several of 2009’s top-shelf jams grew from this final weekend.

12.29.09 (W.Rogell)

More legitimate action and interplay existed within Miami’s music. Unlike many straight-forward, high-energy jaunts of the summer and fall, these multi-dimensional jams had layers, themes, plateaus, and peaks; psychedelic intricacies. Stuff like “Tweezer > Caspian,” “Back On the Train,” “Ghost,” and “Rock and Roll > Piper,” all contained completely unique, superlative improvisation, while most every other launchpad showed up in shining form; not to mention the many bust-outs played impeccably. Going light on their ornate compositions, the band stuck with “Divided Sky,” “Curtain (With),” “Guyute,” and “Fluffhead,” and slayed them all, minus “Fluff.” But, hey, that one’s excusable since they had a different drummer.

Showcasing their full repertoire over four nights, Phish punctuated their comeback year triumphantly, illustrating prodigious growth over 2009. Building off their momentum of late-fall, the band played three consecutive nights of the year’s most exceptional music. Before Miami, these flashes of brilliance came in songs, sets, and, occasionally, whole shows. But for the first time in 2009, Phish brought the absolute fire for three consecutive nights – six sets in a row. And don’t be calling out Red Rocks or MSG – they were certain stepping stones, but this was a whole ‘nother ball game. Miami completely changed the landscape as we turn to 2010.

12.31.09 (W.Rogell)

Having regained their swagger in full force, Phish seems destined to blast into this new decade with renewed creativity and conviction. With a year of touring under their belt, the band has fully regained their sea legs, returning to form as the psychedelic juggernauts we once knew. And the best part about the current situation is that they seem as ecstatic as we are about these developments. With solo tours planned, rumors bubbling about summer and beyond, and “tapes” we can’t put down again, the Phish universe is bursting with energy and moving at full speed once again.

They want us to be happy. Well – so far, so good.

12.31.09 (Photo: Wendy Rogell)


Jam of the Day:

Boogie Like An Antelope” 12.30 II


Run Like A Reggae Woman.



12.28.09 American Airlines Arena < Torrent

12.28.09 American Airlines Arena < Megaupload

12.28.09 (S.Williams)

I: Sample in a Jar, NICU, My Soul, Roggae, Undermind, Bouncing Around the Room, Poor Heart, Stash, I Didn’t Know, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Possum

II: Mike’s Song > Light > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Alaska, Backwards Down the Number Line, Makisupa Policeman > Harry Hood, Contact, Character Zero

E: First Tube

Source: Sennheiser MD441U > Edirol R4Pro ( Oade preamp mod ) @ 24/88.2 (Taper – padelimike)

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1,024 Responses to “Musings In a New Year”

  1. BeantownBoy Says:

    Talkin’ bout some tight ‘ish that would be the 12/31 Ghost….

    Almost started doing a funkified robot dance maneuver at my desk before I remembered that I was at work.

    I proceeded to do it anyway.

  2. EL Duderino Says:

    There is nothing wrong with Magilla anyone who says there’s something wrong with Magilla needs their head examined

  3. HarryHood Says:

    @ Robear

    My avatar is Ron Burgundy from Anchorman. You being from Cali should know that! lol. If I recall, San Diego means a “whale’s vagina”

  4. HarryHood Says:

    Don’t worry though, I’ll be changing my Avatar shortly in order to honor my favorite day of the year. Stay tuned!

  5. EL Duderino Says:

    Aqui Coma Alla = Marc Rebot Trey should bring this back IMO. Maybe he did in ’08 but I wasn’t paying that close attention to TAB then.

  6. marcoesq Says:


    Party Mix: 12/31/09 straight through

  7. marcoesq Says:

    Actually, you could just do a straight run-through of the whole MIA run and it would cover all of the mixes! Party, Mellow, Gym, etc

  8. EL Duderino Says:

    Magilla and Manteca are favorites of mine. Heavier rotation would be good joo joo

  9. HarryHood Says:

    @ Marco

    Right on. I guess it’s hard to do a “best of” when it’s all in the same show!

  10. Neemor Says:

    Bean-Mike’s bass (all year) in that Ghost made me do the Robot at work, too.
    You’re not alone. He was unconscious. Went off.
    See Portland show for Mike madness, also.
    My boss hates Phish.

    Mike MVP ’09.
    Read Icculus.

  11. marcoesq Says:

    “Summers comin’ and I’d like a review!”

  12. HarryHood Says:

    Just realized that I’m not sure if Robear is actually from Cali…… Not sure why I thought that.

  13. EL Duderino Says:

    The only thing that could make this TAB February tour better would be…Cyro Baptiste.

    Cyro is the cat’s meow

  14. marcoesq Says:


    Didn’t realize the ’99 mix was FLAC, thanks bud

  15. Robear Says:

    hh, yeah, Cali.

    Not much of a movie buff. ‘Anchorman’ is now on the list!

  16. gratefulcub Says:

    Because if Robear isn’t from Cali, what in the world does “From Cali” mean?

  17. gratefulcub Says:

    In the office alone today. What’s everyone listening to?

  18. Brimley Says:

    Red Rocks Tweezer and Miami Tweezer are in the same ballpark, but the playing in August was still a little timid in my opinion…The Miami version has a more natural flow to it…

  19. Robear Says:

    After listening to the Jones Beach shows on download from the summer, it’s staggering how much better Big Red sounds. Through Fall Tour and Miami, so fluid, so strong, and the dexterity that makes Trey the Mack Daddy.

  20. HarryHood Says:

    Anchorman is the best stupid movie you will ever watch……. Well, maybe second to Dumb and Dumber.

  21. KWL Says:


    I am in 100% agreement re: carnegie hall.

  22. nonoyolker Says:

    Nice gym sequence Marco. I’d be interested to hear what other people rage at the gym, because i hate going, i hate running especially, and I need all the stimuli possible to keep going. What I usually rock is (in no particular order):

    Sand from Miami ’03
    Crosseyed Burgettstown ’03
    Drowned Rochester ’97
    Antelope VA Beach ’98
    Ghost Prague ’98
    Chalkdust Clifford Ball
    First Tube studio

    Just added from ’09:
    Crimes of the Mind – Portland
    Tweezer – RR
    Stealing Time – Greatwoods

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    HH’s favorite day of the year?

    I had to search for it, but I think it might be either Dress Up Your Pet Day (the 14th) or National Hugging Day (the 21st). What? you guys don’t keep all of the holidays straight?

    Here’s all of January to get you started:

    1 New Year’s Day
    2 Run up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day
    3 Festival of Sleep Day
    3 Fruitcake Toss Day
    3 Humiliation Day
    4 Trivia Day
    5 National Bird Day
    6 Bean Day
    6 Cuddle Up Day
    7 Old Rock Day
    8 Bubble Bath Day
    8 Male Watcher’s Day
    9 Play God Day
    10 Peculiar People Day
    11 Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend’s Day
    12 Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day
    12 National Pharmacist Day
    13 International Skeptics Day
    13 Make Your Dream Come True Day
    14 Dress Up Your Pet Day
    15 National Hat Day
    16 National Nothing Day
    17 Ditch New Years Resolutions Day
    18 Thesaurus Day
    18 Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday , celebrated on the third Monday
    18 Winnie the Pooh Day -The Birthday of Winnie’s author A.A. Milne
    19 National Popcorn Day
    20 National Buttercrunch Day
    20 Penguin Awareness Day
    21 National Hugging Day
    21 Squirrel Appreciation Day
    22 National Blonde Brownie Day
    23 National Pie Day
    23 National Handwriting Day
    23 Measure Your Feet Day- we only ask….”Why!?!”
    24 Beer Can Appreciation Day
    24 Compliment Day
    25 Opposite Day
    26 Spouse’s Day
    27 Chocolate Cake Day
    27 Punch the Clock Day
    28 Fun at Work Day
    28 National Kazoo Day
    29 National Puzzle Day
    29 National Cornchip Day
    30 National Inane Answering Message Day
    31 Backward Day
    31 Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

  24. Robear Says:

    I wasn’t sure he had it in him.

    (Hangs head in shame)

    But sure glad he does!

    (Lifts head in thanks and rejoice!)

  25. KWL Says:

    robear, I was listening back to various summer highlights last night. The only thing more improved than big red are the sbds. Gary was on a learning curve too this year.

    it was in Albany that I first saw a new trey.

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