Settling Into Place

Jones Beach '09 (Wendy Rogell)

Almost two years has passed since Joy dropped, and the songs from Phish’s only modern-era album have found their primary spots in the band’s rotation. Today, we’ll look at some of the most promising songs from Joy that were debuted in 2009 and their role in current shows.



Trey's Ocelot Inlay

Debuted right after Hampton in Fenway’s first set, “Ocelot” seemed like a promising jam vehicle for the band out of the gates. At the time, it’s playful and methodical grooves seemed like the could easily lead the band in adventurous directions. I remember all of June ’09 waiting for a big “Ocelot” to open the second set, but  to this day, the song has still not appeared in any second set at all. “Ocelot” has found its home as a first set staple, often the first improvisational piece of its given show. The jam has developed a roots Americana feel, spouting passages that sometimes evoke the sound of The Grateful Dead. While the song never seems obtrusive and provides a warm musical breeze, the piece has yet to take on any risk whatsoever. Seeming to content to play it straight, Phish has domesticated their “Ocelot,” much like Salvador Dali did. Perhaps one day, the band will let their pet song out to play.


“Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan”

Jones Beach 09 W.Rogell)

When “Stealing Time” crunched from the PA at Jones Beach ’09, many fans freaked on what seemed like a new dissonant, hard rock launch pad. But almost two years later, we are still waiting on the song to break form. A platform for seething guitar solos, instead of morphing into the next improvisational juggernaut, “Stealing Time” has turned into this generation’s “Character Zero”— a hard-edged set closer that leaves the audience on a high note. Closing only one second set in Hartford (6.18.10), “Stealing Time,” like “Ocelot,” now finds its home in the opening half. And when I first heard it, I would have bet good money against that development. Seemingly reluctant to take their new songs to new places, Phish has also kept this song firmly inside the box.


“Backwards Down the Number Line”

Trey and Tom (

Perhaps the biggest enigma from Joy, “Backwards Down the Number Line” has blown up a handful of times—most notably last summer at Blossom and Jones Beach—but has otherwise remained a noodly anthem. While some of the contained versions shine more than others, Phish has yet to find a good placement for the piece. Often breaking up the flow of second sets with its sudden beginning and abrupt change of vibe, “Number Line” seems to work better as an opener a la SPAC ’09. Though “Number Line” has had some all-star moments, until Phish finds a natural home or musical direction for their ode to friendship, it will continue to be an awkward piece of the band’s catalog.


“Twenty Years Later”

Perhaps the most contemporary-sounding Phish songs on Joy, the enchanting-turned-menacing “Twenty Years Later” has most-often appeared as a soft landing pad for outrageous psychedelic jaunts. And just this fall, Phish began pushing the end of the song, itself, creating dissonant and layered walls of sound out of the jam. A song that always seems to fit perfectly at the end of torrid adventures, Phish has definitely found the right home for “Twenty Years Later.”



8.7.10 -The Greek Theatre (Wendy Rogell)

When Trey performed “Light” twice with Classic TAB (before Phish returned to the stage), I immediately sensed that it would be Phish’s next cosmic trampoline. And lo and behold, “Light” has been the most consistent portal to the universe in this era of Phish. An open-ended piece that is routinely placed in the second set, its jam has migrated from thick ambient textures to futuristic groove, while hitting just about every musical place in between. “Light” is the band’s most exploratory piece right now, and has been since it first explored darkened territory at Bonnaroo (6.14.09), and further exploded during Fall ’09. Easily the improvisational MVP of 2010, every time “Light” started up the most interesting jam of the night was almost sure to follow.


“Kill Devil Falls”

Starting out as another straight forward rocker at Jones Beach ’09, “Kill Devil Falls” got immediately interesting at Bonnaroo as the band’s first stellar and exploratory jam of this the summer. But these type of excursions have been few and far between from of the song, and no version has yet to touch Bonnaroo’s ’09 peak. Staying within the box 99% of the time, “Kill Devil Falls” most often finds its way into a show—or set—opening slot. Providing quality rock and roll, “Kill Devil Falls” warms up the audience for what is coming next.


Jam of the Day:

Piper > Guy Forget” 10.1.00 II

A classic nugget from the home stretch of Fall 2000.




12.4.1995 Mullins Center, Amherst, Massachusetts

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload

This December ’95 re-post goes out via reader request to Willowed!

Mullins Center, Amherst, MA

I: Julius, Gumbo, The Divided Sky, Punch You In the Eye, Stash, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Axilla II, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Hello My Baby,While My Guitar Gently Weeps

II: Timber Ho, Sparkle, Ya Mar, Run Like an Antelope, Billy Breathes, Cars Trucks Buses, You Enjoy Myself, Sample in a Jar, Frankenstein

E: Bouncing Around the Room, Rocky Top

Source: AKG 460B/ck61 > custom pre-amp > Teac DA-P20 (@ 48kHz)

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643 Responses to “Settling Into Place”

  1. willowed Says:

    before you call me a noob I was just quoting what the guy was saying

  2. kenny powers Says:

    y’all muthafukas is welcome.

    sippin on some Founders Red’s Rye, solid buzz going. at 9:00pm EST I resume Fringe marathon.

  3. willowed Says:

    Nice kp. I cracked beers around 3:00 P.M. after my last shovel run.

    Switched to some wine and lit a fire.

    Me happy

  4. kenny powers Says:

    quality action willowed

  5. Robear Says:

    kp, on dvd already? might have to check that out. after second run through of ‘Lost’.

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I’ve seen that guy on cnbc before. He’s done that in the past, referencing Phish tunes while on the air.

  7. kenny powers Says:


    downloaded the first 2 seasons from disreputable sources. on episode 7 or 8 of season two. trying to catch up in time for the end of the current season. shit is awesome.

    would you believe i’ve never seen a single episode of Lost? had many opportunities to jump in midway through but i want to go in order, and moreover i want to wait for a fire sale on that sick Blu-Ray collector’s box.

  8. willowed Says:

    Fringe is the best show on TV right now

    How about those Friars KP?

  9. bhizzle Says:

    drinking my second Caged Alpha Monkey (an IPA from a local micro)…feeling good too fellas… RE: Fringe, I found myself avoiding all edgy type television after Lost…waiting for the sitcoms, 30 Rock & Always Sunny

  10. kenny powers Says:

    re: that CNBC vid, can someone bottom line it for me so i dont have to watch all 7:00? what’s the phish reference?

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Never seen one episode of Fringe. Sounds like i’d like it. Loved Lost. Can’t wait to watch it for a second time. Gonna wait a bit longer, the 1st time was so great.

  12. kenny powers Says:

    i know willowed! they start 0-6 in the Big East, they have something like 3 seniors, 1 junior, and 9 freshmen, and they get back to back wins vs. highly ranked teams. wtf?

  13. bhizzle Says:

    in talking about the causes & effects of inflation a guest economist Dan Greenhouse, whose name is familiar to makes statements such as “backwards down the numberline” & “the feeling I forgot” and I think willowed mentioned another reference that I missed, “fast enough for you”

  14. bhizzle Says:

    I almost start to feel embarrassed about saying this but…….. ‘Cuse!

  15. kenny powers Says:

    re: Fringe

    from what i can tell so far, a good chunk of early episodes give the impression that it’s a standard x-files investigative thriller, but they keep gradually adding layers and getting into some original mythology….

    it’s a bummer when some episodes feel like filler and don’t get too deep, but i guess that makes the sick episodes all the better.

    i just love anything about conspiracy, paranoia, alien civilizations, the coming apocalypse for mankind….sign me up.

  16. Robear Says:

    it’s a bummer when some episodes feel like filler and don’t get too deep, but i guess that makes the sick episodes all the better.

    nice. seems like that holds true with a lot of things i like. hmmmm.

  17. kenny powers Says:

    totally Robear. and the “mad scientist” character (who also played Lord Denethor in LOTR) makes a ton of references to psychedelic/psychotropic drugs and tripping, and tells another chatacter “i find when i have trouble sleeping, a little cannabis before bed works wonders”.


  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I will check later but does anyone know if you can grab Lost episodes off of the ‘noid? I want to rewatch it again and I cancelled Netflix or else I’d do it that way again.

  19. bhizzle Says:

    I’ve been debating about canceling Netflix too…their streaming options suck

  20. Mr. Palmer Says:

    What should i start with? Bowie>cities>Bowie or Jam after Timber?

  21. bhizzle Says:

    what kind of weed do you think mad scientist smoke?

  22. bhizzle Says:

    What kind of free time you got Palmer? If alot go w/ the bowie>Cities>Bowie (utica?)

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Id start with the disease>free unless You don’t think you are mentally ready 😯

  24. Shabby pimple chin slime Says:

    i love sugar shack as much as i love backpacking-its like 2 different songs in one

  25. kenny powers Says:

    @ t3

    no doubt you can get Lost on the ‘noid in some permutation, whether it be separate episodes or whole seasons, HDTV/Blu-Ray rips or compressed files for computer….

    Pirate Bay is even more likely to have any single episode of every show….more pop-ups there and seems like a free-for all (a.k.a. use a Mac or lots of virus protection on PC). but a good thing w/ them is you can just seed till 1.0, drop off and not feel to bad whereas on the ‘noid i always feel obligated to seed each torrent until i at least match my overall ratio….which is rediculously high.

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