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. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Bowie has already been ignited. Honestly don’t think i’ve ever heard this. Dwd>Free is on part 1 i think? that one may have to wait for the weekend.

  2. fat bastard Says:

    hey miner nice pick of the greek today. ya don’t want to see the boys there again huh. well i’ll take your tixs there and you can have mine at toyota park. straight up.

    just discovering the ease and sweetness of using itunes to play radio. a whole new dimension. found some nice jazz 88.5 chicago. funny cause i don’t get that station in my car no matter what and my radio is good.

  3. ThePigSong Says:

    netflix is all my wife and I watch – streaming only plan

    definitely doesn’t suck, you’ve just got to do some research. I’ve found a lot of good rec’s from searching the greenboard.

  4. fat bastard Says:

    i also d’loaded Kenny Powers choice cuts. Cause I’m a Fuckin Athlete!

  5. fat bastard Says:

    wow see the “fixin to die” from Bloomington, IN. had to go to that one first. is that the same show when they played the outdoor impromtu set? wow trey sounds so young here. they could put some heat on this song these days fo sho

  6. Robear Says:

    fb, check out ‘BeatBasement’ on iTunes radio if you like underground hip/hop

  7. fat bastard Says:

    underground hip/hop? i got grey hair and a bad hip/cant hop.

  8. Robear Says:

    come on, me too re: the hair. there’s some good stuff, outside of the radio.

  9. Robear Says:

    i haven’t listened in a long time. it may have gone to h-e-l-l by now, lol

  10. fat bastard Says:

    i’ll check it out. now i’m hittin the dane county antelope.

  11. kenny powers Says:

    fat bastard

    be careful with that. seriously, seriously intense.

  12. fat bastard Says:

    can’t listen to this one unless the neigbhors aren’t home. gotta play it loud

  13. kenny powers Says:

    definitely need to play that one loud to get the full, terrifying effect.

  14. poop goblin Says:

    that CNBC shit is funny

    I sit under the TV. listen to that shit from 7 to 5 every day at work

    probably wouldn’t have noticed

  15. kenny powers Says:

    that is seriously one of THE greatest Antelope’s i’ve ever heard. i’d love to hear Neemor’s thoughts on this.

    i listened to that for the first time in my car on the highway at night a week or so ago, and i felt like i wanted to go 105 MPH and play slalom with the other cars. and then i felt like i wanted to go 45 MPH because the music was scaring me. and i liked it.

  16. Bwana Says:

    Hey folks. I don’t post much and def not during non-tour times… But a few of you know me, I did take 2nd place in the BB Fantasy Football league after starting 11-0! The ticket exchange board doesn’t have TAB shows, so thought I’d offer here…

    I have 3 extras for TAB at the Palace in Albany. Thought I could make it with the SLF and a friend, but it’s not gonna happen with some sick days used up recently. Anyway, they are pre-sale tickets, front row, side balcony, on aisle… BAL RW, Row K, Seats (32 – 36). Face + fees for all 3 = $143.50. If any one is interested, I’d prefer Paypal so we’re both protected! Thanks. Email Michael:

  17. ThePigSong Says:

    ^that being said I don’t have regular tv

  18. fat bastard Says:

    yeah kp trey never stops thru the whole thing its crazy

  19. fat bastard Says:

    machine guy trey. i’ll stop posting now

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @fat old grey bad hip bastard
    if you like that fixin to die, check out the one from Olympia, WA 11.30.94

    Comes out of a fierce second set antelope

    It is boss

  21. Robear Says:

    Phish >>>>>> Knicks @ MSG

  22. Robear Says:

    tiii, i can’t believe i let school get in the way of so many great shows.

  23. TheSloth Says:
    Open to registration.

    Sorry if this gets posted a few times but my posts seem to be missing.

  24. BrandonKayda Says:

    So I’m currently writing my essays for my application to Advanced Music Studies for Senior year. I still have to do my performance audition but I have one of my pieces picked.

    I really hope I can get into this next year.

  25. JeffieM Says:

    Awesome, BK. Good luck with that!

    Hey, I saw you mentioned that you were reading Tolle the other day. I’m reading it right now too. What do you think of it?

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