Questions For 2011

12.31.2010 (George Estreich)

* Will Phish ever focus on open jamming again? — After Fall and New Year’s Run, the band is as tight as ever and communicating with ease…now let’s really take it places! With proficiency an issue of the past, and a full season of smoking improv under their belt, why was the amount of exploration limited last week — and from lessened from summer to fall? Whenever the band chooses to take musical risks, they have a near-100% success rate these days, but after the New Year’s Run, I wondered why they only shot for such excursions about once per show? (27th: “Seven Below” 28th:”Harry Hood,” 30th:”Tweezer > Light” 12/31:”Ghost,” 1/1:”Simple”) With four of those five selections finding pure gold, the question that begs asking is, “Why isn’t Phish digging more?

* Will Phish play a July 4th festival at Watkins Glen, New York? — The rumor mill has been spinning on this one for quite some time now…

* When will we see a new jam vehicle debut? — “Light” has been an all-world performer since its rookie season of ’09, creating sound sculptures of all shapes and sizes. But it needs a new, modern running mate to continue pushing Phish into the improvisational beyond.

*With the material from Joy fully integrated into the catalog, will we see a new batch of songs this year? — A constant influx of new material has always kept Phish’s rotation fresh throughout their career, and they’ve never been shy about pushing it. With little music of impact debuted in 2010, it seems about time for another installment of tunes. Hopefully there are more Trey and Tom songs where “Pigtail” came from…

12.31.2010 (George Estreich)

* Will Phish adopt a launch pad from “Exile” and/or “Waiting For Columbus?” — Over the past two years, Phish has covered two iconic double-albums from rock and roll history, yet, for whatever reason, the band hasn’t fully fused any Phishified covers from these records into their catalog. “Shine A Light” is a great encore and”Fat Man” is a great song, but looking at their previous three Halloween albums, they adopted “Drowned,” “Crosseyed and Painless” and Rock and Roll” — staples of their live show and primary trampolines into other worlds. What ever happened to “Torn and Frayed?” No “Spanish Moon” over the Holiday Run? C’mon now…let’s not rest on the past…

*When, if ever, will Phish do a west coast swing? — Sure, quality over quantity… Indio…Greek…blah…blah…blah. West coast swings of lore are some of the greatest memories of Phish tours past. Despite their age and east coast roots, even if only once this era, Phish should hit up a week-plus long run up or down the left coast, from San Diego to Seattle and all the beautiful places in between.

12.27.2010 (A.Hill)

* Will Trey and/or Mike do a winter tour like last year? — Phish’s schedule has been close to clockwork since their return, so does that mean we will see a Trey Tour before Phish plays again? Strong srumors of Phish headlining the Hangout Festival on the Gulf Coast of Alabama between May 20-22, would place any solo circuits in the winter or early spring of 2011.


Jam of the Day:

Harry Hood” 12.28 II




12.28.2010 DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester Print (Masthay)

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

I: Kill Devil Falls, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Alaska, She Caught the Katy, Wolfman’s Brother, Pigtail*, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Rift, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, The Birdwatcher*

II: Carini, Backwards Down the Number Line, Back on the Train > Limb By Limb, The Wedge, Frankie Says > Albuquerque, Harry Hood, Bug

E: Shine a Light


Source: (FOB) Schoeps mk5> KC5> M222> NT222> Aeta PSP-3> SD 744t (@24bit/96kHz) – (taper: taylorc)


1,010 Responses to “Questions For 2011”

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  1. joechip Says:

    Hey, I’m first! The dog woke me up for a 3 am walk and I can’t sleep.

    This post is sure to generate a lot of good discussion. The first question is obviously the big one on everybody’s mind. I’m inclined to answer “yes”, mainly because I get the feeling that the band is planning to stick around for a while, and at some point, possibly out of restlessness, they’ll play at least a series of shows that are based around more open exploration. It’s quite surprising that it hasn’t really happened yet on a consistent basis….

    So, I think it’s going to happen. When? Dunno. Soon, hopefully.

  2. chris Says:

    The lack of exploration has boggled my mind ever since the return of Phish. To me, this is what makes for Phish magic. This is what got me hooked on this band. I’ve been dissapointed almost nightly when the setlists and song times roll in. The only 3 jams imo that they have truly explored on are albany’s -7 and alpines dwd. Thats not to say other versions havn’t gotten ‘there’, because they have. But they have gotten there in a more focused and concise way. I miss the trancendental phish of epic peaks that came from pure exploration. No other band is capable of finding this realm. Its so frustrating to hear trey cut off jams countless times , right about when they could have taken a turn for the adventure. (end rant)

  3. Matso Says:

    Q: Will Phish ever tour Europe again?

    (someone posted a rumour a while ago that the road crew were talking about it for late winter/spring. Perhaps a warm-up for the Alabama thing?)

  4. joechip Says:

    I had hoped that “Ventilator Blues>Just Want to See His Face” would stick around for the Exile set, but agree that “Torn and Frayed” belongs in regular rotation. Exile has been one of my favorite Rock albums forever, but I always considered “Shine A Light” to be the weakest tune on the album. The sentiment of the tune just never rang true for me. “Let it Loose” is way better in the same vein. I’m having a hard time picturing “Spanish Moon” without the horns though. Maybe they can do it this summer on the 20th anniversary “Horns Tour” I’ve been pushing for.

  5. Foul_Domain Says:

    @ Chris – I can think of a shit load of 3.0 jams that went deep. Even in ’09.

    Lots of exploratory Tweezers (see Miami, MPP), Ghost (Chicaghost, MSGhost), Simple (Greek, 1111), Light (Greek, C-ville ’09), Sand, R&R, even Utica Antelope got taken for a ride, just to name a few.

    More is always better when it comes to Phishy exploration, but I wouldnt say it has been lacking that much.

  6. Corey Says:

    First (third) off, thanks for upping my birthday show and that already classic version of Harry Hood. If we could get that crowd Hood chant outta there it’d be perfect to these ears. Had a great time at Worcester this year – my first ever shows in that storied PHiSH stop – and look forward to more.

    And B, such difficult questions to answer…

    Watkins Glen? That’d be cool.

    West coast? Yeah, but I went to Shoreline, the Gorge, Indio and the Greek and I live in Beantown. I want them to go further and hit Europe. Who’s with me? (Matso, I know you’re with me). Seeing as how I may be leaving this country for Germany in 2012, I’d like a nice tour right when I arrive. Keep the small venues coming, PHiSH.

    Joy tunes to bring more joy? Sure, that’d be great. Birdwatcher was a great surprise, a great challenge to sing live and a welcome change to ending set I. Sorry all you Antelope and Zero fans, but that was a cool play by our favorite band. So cool, that they did it again in MSG (a capella, that is). So, I’m happy I caught that. Perhaps upping the ante and producing another record for 2011 is in the cards instead.

    Torn and Frayed was so full of energy and life in Augusta. I hope they bring it back into the fray (see what I did there?) too.

    Digging more? Hmmm. I thought Augusta, Utica, Providence, Manchester, the summer’s laugh-out-loud-cuz-their-awesome-shows at the Greek and that Alpine Illness were Dug as deep as PHiSH could go.

    It’s been said many times here, by Mr. Miner, and by just about everyone else on here who’s thoughts I dig, that this concise improv is where they’re at these days. It makes the less often heard open improv that goes for 40minutes that much more special. I was there for that long Seven Below Ghost, but what we heard at the Greek in Cities and Simple and at Alpine in Disease and What’s the Use……well, those moments carry way more weight in the creative improv sense and in the top shelf evolutionary music sense. At least to me and my wife. Oh, and that Have Mercy shenanigans in Utica was one of the best and most musically creative PHiSH moments I ever did witness. I’ll certainly take that over any 40min Jim and even the 30min Gin in Rupp that I was front row and center for way back in 96.

    In their absence they have matured. In their presence, we have witnessed that maturity. In the last three tours, they’ve shown that they’re still maturing. We should be so lucky to join them on the ride.

    ^Chris, sorry but I just can’t get with your “no other band…” comment. If you’re talking about rock bands, then I may agree. But, I can go on for 10 pages about current bands that explore on a nightly basis and find that realm.

    Check out Chris Potter’s Underground. Craig Taborn is a nut on the Fender Rhodes. Listen to Ben Monder. Ever seen Chris Cheek play live? Ever been hipped to a Kurt Rosenwinkel record? Leo Genovese on piano too. If you want to stick to other guitar players currently tearing it up, in accessible rooms at affordable prices…Lionel Louecke, Lage Lund…OK, I’ll stop. Certainly not slamming your thoughts, just adding to them and slightly refuting that PHiSH is the only one.

    Regards to truly explored…Cities went somewhere at the Greek that it hadn’t since Deer Creek. Simple wasn’t simple for the first time in ages.
    Harry Hood last week, though not filled with a guitarist’s wet dream of a solo to end it, had me on my tippy toes, smiling and my wife beaming.

    Regarding Trey’s “ADD” as they say, well, if he’s not feeling it, then he’s not feeling it. I wouldn’t want him to force it. Music when forced, in a word, sucks. It sounds contrived or even formulaic, to me. In that amazingly short Seven Below at the Greek, it seemed like they just weren’t into it. Why go there then? Move on. And they did. I’m so happy to be in a place that can appreciate a musician’s sudden left turn (or right, if you like). I want them to be totally into what THEY’RE playing. If not, I want to be Horsed. It just adds to the lore.

    To me, PHiSH playing live at all in these times is the magic. Creating the Melt silliness or Simple’s beauty or Harry’s careful articulation (a nod to what staccato playing is really about, for those that were in on that discussion)…that is the dropped jaw that the magic creates.

  7. Corey Says:

    Ahh, shoulda known as I was typing away about Europe, Matso would be on it too. 🙂

    Also shoulda known that typing such a long post and calling it third will really end up being sixth.

  8. Corey Says:

    Oops, sorry…^^a capella set closer was so cool, that they DIDN’T do it again. Tired eyes at 5:45am…

  9. chris Says:

    well i appreciate the comments even if they disagree w/mine ..the nice thing about here is i dont get slammed for being a ‘hater’ or ‘sucking at phish’ because i yearn for longer jams. i also appreciate the ideas of other musicians that get out there i’ve never heard of any of those guys

  10. Corey Says:

    @Chris, all those musicians I named are “jazz” guys. But they’ve played Joni Mitchell tunes, Radiohead tunes, Bob Dylan tunes…if improv is what you’re after, instrumental improv, then in my opinion, the modern jazz world is where its at.

    This forum (thanks Miner) proves that ALL can truly get along despite varied opinions and different PHiSH wishes.

    The amount of music and music names tossed up here on a daily basis–It’s rediculous.

    We’ll never listen to it all, but, if we get turned on to even one new musician, then we’ve already gained so much. If the masses got word of all the great music everyone mentions on this board, we may be able to put the formula-pop music biz, well, out of business. Then again, I kind of like the pop music masses not knowing what they’re missing.

    On a side note, caught that RockDoc on RUSH last night. What awesome old footage of them in the early seventies and overall great run through on their history; personal and musical. Brought me back to seventh grade. When not listening to Trane and Bird, I was listening loudly to Zep and RUSH. That band was/is amazing. Such gifted musicians. On another side note, 2/3 of RUSH was on That Metal Show too. Not into the Hall of Fame!?! what the !$!#? Truly one of the most talented rock bands of all time. How three people get that kind of sound is astounding to me. Neil’s lyrics are so above and beyond nearly all rock lyrics, it’s criminal not to put them in immediately. Jeez, if the hot dog made it…

    Goodnight and Goodmorning.

  11. Al Says:

    I think question no. 1 will and can be answered when Phish starts a 25+ show tour again. These short runs most usually have just warmed them up when it’s already over again. IMO they need at least 10-15 shows in a row to get to that place which would be our answer to qustion no. 1

    The reason why the Island tour run of just 4 shows was so jammy was that they had weeks of rehearsals in the barn behind them….so that short run was basically the topping on the cake.

  12. Matso Says:

    Nice posts Corey and good summary of some of the great stuff in modern jazz right now (CP’s Underground put on a mean show, even though some of Potter’s composition isn’t to my liking particularly. His soloing however is fracking awesome).

  13. rivertrance Says:


    shit even hotter on second spin

    some amazing type 1 (as the kids say) going on here

    Twist is just dirty

    great topics to discuss here today

    starting to feel like Ned here with all the $$$ I dropped flying to these great multi night runs in 2010. All me and my girl would need is a europe tour to drop. put a serious dent in the cash flow

    I def think they need to lean more into improv to appease us fans even though we are in the minority I imagine.

    I don’t go to 25 phish shows a year to see a rock band. there are plenty of local Chicago bands that can put on an amazing rock show.

    I go to Phish to see creative improv. they’ve sprinkled in enough to keep me occupied but a bunch of the 45 shows I’ve caught in 3.0 I left with a feeling of jamlessness.

    don’t need 25 minutes but it seems like when they do give up 15-18 they have reached amazing places. Greek Light, Miami Tweezer, Alpine DWD

    with the success seemingly every time they go there I don’t get why they don’t more frequently. these aren’t meandering jams. these are just as focused as the 9 minute jams they just go huge.

  14. bhizzle Says:

    “this concise improv is where they’re at these days. It makes the less often heard open improv that goes for 40minutes that much more special”. – word

    Also as stated here before, it seems that the era when you fell into this PhiSh thang leads to how you feel about what they’re doing at the present. For me, I’m digging it.

    Watkins Glen? I saw this for the 1st time on the green board the other day and was all “what?!?!?!” How long has this been on the rumor mill? Either way, sounds good to/for me. It’s alot easier for this daddy to get away on July 4th than October 31st or December 31st.

    I have yet to hear anything from the Little Feat cover, but I DO know I love everything they did from the Exile and they could pick anyone of those tunes to run with for all I care. It does seem odd, as Miner suggested, based on the treatment of the examples he gives that nothing has erupted from the last two albums, but then again how much time was between that Halloween night when they played Drowned to the very first time they made that mutha into the whopper it is now? Or has it always been one?

    It’s good to be in NY during Tour

    Mike had his tour. When will Trey do it? And what up with Page? Is he writing/recording? Didn’t I seem/read something about him doing more writing/recording recently?

  15. butterflyeffect Says:

    we are so lucky that we have Phish back and that the quality of their music spurs us on to engage in this level of criticism

    all those years I would have killed for a Bouncing live and now we have the Holy Ghost

    I always remind myself of this in the morning to go with my cup of strong coffee

    We are so, so lucky

  16. Little Buddy Says:

    Another question: Will they ever play Liquid Time?

    What’s up @ bhizzle? Happy New Year! I hope the fam had a nice holiday.

  17. Litteringandd Says:

    Honestly more than “new” material i would prefer to see them tackle some of that 2.0 stuff that’s out there aka ASIHTOS, Scents etc.

  18. neemor Says:

    My curiosity for 2011, not to get ahead of ourselves, is if the band preferred Miami on NYE or MSG…
    Hope they stay close to home from now on…The City fits the Band fits The City.

    Such an exciting upcoming year.
    Hope there’s a spring tour of sorts, don’t think I can wait until summer, although snippets of Trey and Mike held me over last year.

    I hope the left coast gets some love, but not at the expense of wearing out the band with a huge tour that peters out as it gets East.

    We’ll see.

    Enjoy the day, all!

  19. nonoyolker Says:

    Shows May 20-22 indicate a potential spring run or just an early start to summer (Festy kick-off a la ACL)?

    Jamming, the big question. I am fine with the concise jamming, as long as it is deep. My issue is with frequency. It used to be a certainly that you would catch a few attempts at a deep cut per show, now – one, if you are lucky (see that last run).

    I understand that musically, sometimes you aren’t clicking and the improv is not going to come, so you shut it down – and on some level, I think most of us appreciate it. However, I think there is a Page quote from IT where he says that sometimes you have to be patient and give a jam some time to take hold, then the payoff is huge (paraphrasing, obviously). I just think their window of time to see if the jam is going to blossom is greatly condensed now. Hoping it expands as they move into ’11

  20. nonoyolker Says:

    Also, will v2.0 jam material ever make it fully back into rotation (-7 is seemingly the only acception)? S&SS, ASIHTOS, Waves – all amazing tunes on the shelf

  21. Little Buddy Says:

    Totally agree on returning some of the 2.0 tunes to the rotation. They are natural jam vehicles as well.

  22. butterflyeffect Says:

    anyone have an XL MSG shirt they want to trade for an XXL?

    wishful thinking, i know

  23. rivertrance Says:

    in 2011 I have one wish

    more sets that look and sound like this please

    Crosseyed and Painless > Twist > Simple, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley > Makisupa Policeman -> David Bowie

  24. nonoyolker Says:

    Word Littering, didn’t see your post. We are on the same page. Those jams were integral to v2.0 jamming, not sure why they get no love now.

    Neemor, dig that you are back to the old Avatar. When we post next to each other, I picture that these are the two versions of Trey that pop up on his shoulder when faced with a decision to do something bad or immorale (like Tom and Jerry bits with the Devil/Angel)

  25. BTB Says:

    Excellent write-ups the last 2 days Miner…keep it coming

    Bring on 2011!

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