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. beepaphone Says:

    @ msb you’re gonna dig my new avatar thats gonna pop up in a few minutes…it’s from the Big Cypress era.

  2. EL Duderino Says:

    I’m hoping for Walnut Creek and Ventura dates this summer.

  3. marcoesq Says:


    Gary used to work with Chris Rabold, Panic’s sound engineer

    Anyone that’s ever seen a Panic show and heard it on tape will know how loud their shit is. Maybe he’s trying to translate that onto Phish’s boards

    Even with Panic though, there is a clear distinction between the mixes with Mikey (pre ’02) and everything after with George, Jimmy, Sam, John Keane, etc

  4. msbjivein Says:

    Lakewood for the 4th!!!! Phish needs to show some southern love this summer!!

  5. BeantownBoy Says:

    Not to sound too much like a noob, but how does one add an avatar?

  6. marcoesq Says:

    Panic’s new (er) tapes with Jimmy post ’06 have a very similar feel to the new Phish 3.0

    Much more crisp, defined recordings with lead guitar front and center. Not as much of a “whole mix”

  7. beepaphone Says:

    make sure you set it to “G” rating and give it 10 to 15 minutes before it shows up

  8. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


    you may need to clear your cache to see it too. Hit ctrl f5 after that time wait to do that.

  9. msbjivein Says:

    I used to worl w/ Chris Rabold at Soundcheck Nashville. He was a huge Panic fan before he became their FOH engineer. Panic used to reherse at Souindcheck Nashville and Chris was running monitors for them during rehersals and Panic asked him to go on the road w/ them. A fucking dream come true for that kid!! BTW Soundcheck was my Coolest working experience by far!! If you need a Badass rehersal space check out Soundcheck Nashville!!

  10. Leo Weaver Says:

    I’d love some Lakewood shows this summer (even tho I’m not in Atl any more)! And Walnut Creek wouldn’t be bad. Ideally we’ll get something like Oak Mtn>Lakewood (x2)>Charlotte>Walnut Creek…

    @neemor…I think you’re right on re: Trey’s work with the orchestra helping him evolve into a better band listener. I think that is certainly his biggest and best change this year, and it’s benefitted the others greatly.

  11. Robear Says:

    MSG ‘First Tube’, my new, ‘Get your ass in gear’ song.

  12. bhizzle Says:

    I know this topic was discussed earlier in this thread and may have ended (haven’t caught up yet), but I can’t say anything bad about Stevie Wonder. This past fall my girl and I brought her parents to see him at the Turning Stone. We gambled and they listened. Anyway, after the show we caught up with the parents in some night club in the facilities, drank, danced and listened to the parents say nothing but great things about the concert. Not long afterwards, Stevie, his daughter and the rest of his entourage walks right passed us. Dad shot the shit with members of the band and mom talked with Stevie’s daughter. Five minutes later the daughter brings mom to Stevie to talk. Mom and Stevie share birthdays, blah ,blah, blah. He was super polite and the whole nine. It made mom’s night, week, month and probably year. She’ll talk about it forever. Just like she talks about being brought back stage for Ziggy and E. Neville.

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    yo Indy folks:

    see this yet?

    “revolutionized the rock and roll flute” might be the best Peyton quote yet.

  14. Robear Says:


    the ‘Scents’ from 7/9/03 just doesn’t get old for me.

    Glad you liked. You cats looking for ’03 shows, don’t snooze on the above Shoreline. Most under-rated, one of best of year.

  15. HarryHood Says:

    Cool story Bhizzle

  16. msbjivein Says:

    Nobody better talk any shit about Stevie……Better recognize!!

  17. marcoesq Says:


    That’s awesome! Sounds like a really great experience

    If it wasn’t apparent by my knowledge of the Panic, I am a huge fan. Seen em almost as much as I’ve seen our boys

    Kind of swore off trey after the whole ’04 debacle (unfortunately Panic was on their own hiatus that yeear) and thought it was gonna be Panic for me the rest of the way

    The pickup of Jimmy saved their band and their fanbase. Even though it was widely rumored as early as ’02 that Herring would be their new lead, everyone was floored when he came on in August of ’06

  18. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Leo

    Did you get my DVD list/e-mail last night?

  19. ma Says:

    it’s hard to talk about the boogie on > antelope without mentioning the FREE that started the thick, funky, goooo.

    not one has mentioned that this is where the 2nd set took off from.


  20. ma Says:

    sorry, that is after the show came to a screaching halt with the rich gag

  21. Leo Weaver Says:

    @dude…yeah, just sent you a reply

  22. gratefulcub Says:

    Beep, nice. Not as good as the Colts bedazzled purse you used to use, but it is playoff time.

  23. EL Duderino Says:

    Jimmy is way too good for that band IMO.

  24. beepaphone Says:

    I’ll go back to the bedazzled purse if we win the SB

  25. gratefulcub Says:

    ma, I believe the lack of love for free is, to paraphrase our host, they need to do something with that song or put it on the shelf. I don’t 100% agree, but it has been someone routine this year.

    Other songs they need to do something with or put on the shelf?

    Haley’s – I love the tune, but not the 5 1/2 minute version

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