TTFF: Energy and Exploration—Fall ’09

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on March 9th, 2012 by Mr.Miner

MSG—12.2.09 (Wendy Rogell)

After Summer ’09 and Indio—featuring a masterful take on Exile on Main Street and a well-loved acoustic set—the energy and anticipation was sky high for Phish’s first all-indoor, fall tour since 1997. Historically, things got crazier when Phish took their show inside the walls of arenas across the country, but when Fall ’09 started, that wasn’t necessarily the case. Jamming not so frequently and often in linear fashion, while relying on high energy rock and roll, the band perplexed many fans by their on stage decisions. But on the second night of Albany, someone put something in the water backstage, and the band came out and tore through 50 of the most sublime minutes of music since they had returned in “Seven Below > Ghost.” The band went on to finish the final week of tour on this crest of momentum, and getting into far more interesting jams on the way. This musical momentum would come to a head in Miami over New Year’s Run, the band was finally on the same page and moving into the future. Enjoy these Fall ’09 highlights as we fade into the weekend.

***

46 Days” 11.18 II, Detroit, MI

In the first set of fall, Phish got into an infectious and retro funk jam that melted into an ambient soundscape.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-11-18s1t10.mp3]

***

Split Open and Melt” 11.21 I, Cincinatti, OH

Possibly the best “Split” of this era from the third set of four at The Crown.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-11-21t09.mp3]

***

Disease > Twenty Years Later” 11.24 II, Philadelphia, PA

A gorgeous jam amidst a smoking show at the Wachovia Center.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-11-24s2t03.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-11-24s2t04.mp3]

***

Seven Below > Ghost” 11.28 II, Albany, NY

The night everything turned around.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-11-28s2t01.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-11-28s2t02.mp3]

***

Undermind” 11.29 I, Portland, ME

A lively take on the 2004 title track featuring lockstep interplay between Trey and Mike.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-11-29d1t10.mp3]

***

Light > Slave” 12.2 II, NYC, NY

“Light” had been expanding throughout the fall, but this version set a new improvisational paradigm for the 3.0 vehicle.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-12-02t13.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-12-02t14.mp3]

***

Disease > Piper” 12.3 II, NYC, NY

The improvisational centerpiece from the second night at MSG—a furious song pairing with a level of jamming spurned on by the events in Albany of November 28th. A very different “Disease” jam than the delicate Philly rendition.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-12-03t11.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-12-03t12.mp3]

Reba” 12.4 I, NYC, NY

An urgent, yet blissful, jam that reminded me of versions of an era past.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-12-04s1t09.mp3]

***

You Enjoy Myself” 12.4 II. NYC, NY

The return of YEMSG—a song with a lush history at the midtiown venue.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/ph2009-12-04s2t10.mp3]

***

Tweezer -> Light” 12.5 II, Charlottesville, VA

The best “Tweezer” of tour was followed by a dark and mind-fucklingly abstract “Light” of the likes we hadn’t heard before. This sequence set Charlottesville’s tour finale in Charlottesville.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.01-Tweezer.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.02-Light1.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.03-Piper.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.04-Free.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.05-Sweet-Virginia.mp3]
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TTFT: A Big Jump—Summer ’09 Leg II

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on March 7th, 2012 by Mr.Miner

7.31.09—Red Rocks (Graham Lucas)

Come Leg Two of Summer ’09, Phish ditched their largely linear jams of June and started to explore again. Beginning at Red Rocks and carrying through The Gorge and beyond, the band seemed more confident taking risks on stage during August. Playing far more confidently than in June, Leg Two felt like a breath of fresh air, and many started to believe again. The jams below represent the best of Leg Two ’09.

***

Split Open and Melt” 7.31 II, Morrison, CO

This menacing mind-fuck provided the soundtrack to an oncoming storm. The interaction between the weather and the music was surreal. Check out the video!

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Phish2009-07-31d1t081.mp3]

***

Tweezer” Red Rocks 7.31 II, Morrison, CO

Grade A, certifiable Phish crack. At the time, this jam felt like the best thing since sliced bread.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Phish2009-07-31d2t04.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Phish2009-07-31d2t05.mp3]

***

Disease > Limb” 8.5 II, Mountain View, CA

The most exploratory “Disease” in a summer full of highlight versions.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/ph2009-08-05t13.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/ph2009-08-05t14.mp3]

***

Sneakin’ Sally” 8.7 I, George, WA

A left hook that the audience never saw coming, this “Sally” jam commenced the deeper magic on a mystical night at The Gorge.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/phish2009-08-07d1t09.mp3]

***

Light -> Taste” 8.7 II, George, WA

At the time played, this was the most impressive version of “Light” the band had played.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/phish2009-08-07d2t04.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/phish2009-08-07d2t05.mp3]

*** 

Bathtub Gin > Hood” 8.7 II, George, WA

A second set “Gin”of the likes we are salivating for these days—and a serene and delicate “Hood” to cap off the set.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/phish2009-08-07d3t01.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/phish2009-08-07d3t02.mp3]

***

Rock and Roll” 8.8 II, George, WA

Though night one at The Gorge was—in my opinion—the show of 2009, this jam the following night vaulted to the top of the weekend.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/ph2009-08-08d2t04-Rock_and_Roll.mp3]

***

Drowned” 8.13 II, Darien Center, NY

Back on the east coast, Phish kept the improvisational engines running, though to the tune of about once per show.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/phish2009-08-13s2t02.mp3]

***

46 Days > Oh! Sweet Nuthin” 8.15 II, Columbia, MD

This dark horse jam amidst a crappy show at Merriweather is a stunning convergence of all four band members. Moving from murky psychedelia to glorified pastures of gold, this one is a keeper—even now.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/ph2009-08-15t18.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/ph2009-08-15t19.mp3]

***

Number Line > Twenty Years Later” 8.16 II, Saratoga Sp, NY 

The band finished off the summer with a centerpiece sequence that highlighted two new songs, and when this tour ended, the entire community was pretty jacked on the Phish.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/phish2009-08-16_mk41_1644_d2t04.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/phish2009-08-16_mk41_1644_d2t05.mp3]
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TTFW: The Reawakening—Early ’09

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on March 7th, 2012 by Mr.Miner

Hampton Coliseum 2009 (Jeff Volckhausen)

As we celebrate the third anniversary of Hampton’s comeback run—yesterday, today and tomorrow—let’s take a ride back in time with an audio retrospective of this era. In only three years, Phish has brought us from Hampton to Red Rocks, from the Gorge (two times) to Telluride, and from The Greek Theatre to Hollywood Bowl. It has brought us up and down the east coast and through the Midwest more than a couple times, hitting all the staples and then sime. This era has brought us  two Halloween shows, two festivals, three more New Year’s Runs, and a whole lot of memorable multi-night stands. And above all else, this era has brought us a hell of a lot of great music. Today, lets start with my some of the earliest highlights from 2009. How long has it been since you listened to these? Enjoy the look back.

***

Down With Disease -> Seven Below” 3.8 II, Hampton, VA

The first deep dive of the modern era—and it still holds up just fine.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.02-Down-With-Disease-1.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.03-Seven-Below.mp3]

***

If I Could” 6.2 I, Wantagh, NY

The first performance of this song in nine years featured an alternate, more delicate interpreation.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Phish2009-06-02d1t10.mp3]

***

Harry Hood” 6.2 II, Wantagh, NY

A profound, ambient take on their classic jam on only the second night of June ’09. If you were reading this site then, remember how hard I freaked on this one? Good times.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.07-Harry-Hood.mp3]

***

Sand” 6.7 II, Camden, NJ

This era’s first  “Sand” was a revelation, as the band infused a palette of melody into jam. This Camden excursion only foreshadowed the song’s transformation into a whole-band jam in 2010. In my opinion, the most dynamic “Sands” now live in the 3.0 era.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.01-Sand.mp3]

***

Tweezer” 6.7 II, Camden, NJ

The first legitimate “Tweezer” in ’09—and it was an out-of-left-field set closer! The commando lick never dies!

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/090607_S2_08_Tweezer.mp3]

***

Ghost > Fast Enough For You ” 6.9 II, Asheville, NC

After the band blew out Camden, they came right back and threw down this “Ghost” in the next show.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/phish2009-06-09s2t03.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/phish2009-06-09s2t04.mp3]

***

Rock and Roll -> Light” 6.14 II, Manchester, TN

Paired with “Rock and Roll,” the band’s first exploration of “Light” came in Bonnaroo’s final set. These two songs would transform into the preeminent launchpads of the modern era thus far.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.01-Rock-and-Roll.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.02-Light.mp3]

***

A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing -> Drowned -> Twist” 6.19 II, Noblesville, IN

Following an insane lightning storm, Phish came out with music to match, playing—arguably—the set of June.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.01-A-Song-I-Heard-the-Ocean-Sing.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.02-Drowned.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.03-Twist-2.mp3]

***

Piper” 6.21 II, East Troy, WI

The standout jam of June ’09’s final show at Alpine.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/2.04-Piper-1.mp3]
Tags: , ,

The Venues of Leg One

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on March 5th, 2012 by Mr.Miner

6.25.10 (Graham Lucas)

Instead of posting on Phish Thoughts today, I guest wrote a column for Hidden Track about the venues Phish will play this coming June. The intro is below, and you can click over to Hidden Track to read the entire piece:

*****

With this summer’s Phish dates just announced, the excitement in the fan community has skyrocketed, as everyone has begun to plot and scheme their own summer plans. On the heels of a triumphant year of game-changing music for this era, 2012 is filled with anticipation to see what is next for the band. Will they delve deeper into abstract jamming—a hallmark of 2011—or will they veer off that road? All that remains to be seen, but the one thing we know for sure is where the shows of the first leg will take place. Aside from Bader Field, this tour is comprised of venues that hold a significant amount of Phish lore. But let’s forget about the band for a moment, and take a look at the places where the magic will happen. Below are some tips from personal experience that might enhance your enjoyment at each stop along the way.  Read on here…

 

Tags:

TTFF: The Venues of 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on March 2nd, 2012 by Mr.Miner

6.10.11—Camden, NJ (Graham Lucas)

With the announcement of dates, a new excitement is in the air. Phish is, once again, within reach, even if its three plus months away. But in early anticipation of Summer 2012, today’s playlist is comprised of selections from venues that the band will play this summer. Enjoy the multi-era’d retrospective as we fade into the first weekend of March.

***

Cities -> Good Times Bad Times” 8.10.97 II, Noblesville, IN

The centerpiece of my favorite show ever played at Deer Creek.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/ph1997-08-10d3t01.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/ph1997-08-10d3t02.mp3]

***

Disease -> What’s the Use?” 8.14.10 II, East Troy, WI

A modern-day classic from Alpine Valley 2010, already commemorated on DVD.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/ph2010-08-14_mk4v_s2t03.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/ph2010-08-14_mk4v_s2t04.mp3]

***

Number Line” 6.12.10 II, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

A sinister jam from the second show of tour at Blossom.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/ph2010-06-12t13.mp3]

***

Tweezer” 12.28.95 II, Worcester, MA

Phish dropped this big-time “Tweezer” at The Centrum on the opening night of New Year’s Run ’95.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/II-06-Tweezer.mp3]

***

Gumbo” 8.13.97 II, Burgettstown, PA

This version from Star Lake is my favorite “Gumbo” of all time.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/ph970813d1t05.mp3]

***

It’s Ice”  9.20.00 II, Cincinatti, OH

An out-of-nowhere plunge into psychedelic depths at Riverbend on Phish’s final tour before hiatus.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Track-04-5.mp3]

***

Sand” 6.19.11 II, Portsmouth, VA

To know this “Sand” is to love it. Every time I listen to this version from nTelos, I like it more and more. Trey absolutely destroys this piece in the context of a whole-band exchange. In my opinion, its the best version of an impressive year of “Sands.”

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/phish2011-06-19.d2t06.mp3]

***

Reba” 6.2.09 I, Wantagh, NY

Phish dropped this gorgeous “Reba” in the early-evening at Jones Beach on the second night of 2009’s first tour.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/1.07-Reba.mp3]

***

Kill Devil Falls > Free” 6.12.09, Manchester, TN

This jam highlighted Phish’s late-night slot at Bonnaroo—the first of two performances.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/phish2009-06-12_t12.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/phish2009-06-12_t13.mp3]

***

Walls > Bowie” 6.19.04 I, Saratoga Springs, NY

The otherworldly second set of this SPAC show has always overshadowed this demonic combo from the first.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/1.06-Walls-of-the-Cave.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/1.07-David-Bowie.mp3]
Tags: ,

Dates Have Dropped

Posted in Uncategorized with the on March 1st, 2012 by Mr.Miner

Summer 2012

The wait is over. Yesterday at noon eastern, Phish dropped the dates for the first leg of Summer Tour 2012—and it looks awesome. The announcement video, featuring Fishman in a comical, Rocky-esque training montage, confirmed—one by one—each of the dates that had been “hacked” from the band’s website on Tuesday and circulated around the web. So while these dates weren’t a total surprise, it always feels nice to get things official. And with the ticket request window now open through March 12th, things are as official as they come. Satiating many a whiny fan who had to wait a whopping two months after New Year’s for the band to confirm their summer plans, this set of dates looks like a path paved in gold.

Phish will kick off 2012 in indoor fashion in at The Centrum (or DCU Center) in Worcester, Massachusetts, a welcome departure from the parking lot maze and cookie cutter shed of Great Woods. We have come to learn in this era, that the band, fresh off practice sessions, opens tours with some of their strongest shows of the entire run. Going back two years, this trend is illustrated through Toyota Park’s 2010 opener in Chicago, The Greek Theatre run in Berkeley on leg two; Bethel Woods to open 2011 and The Gorge on leg two. What does this mean? Get your ass to Worcester! On the heels of a lackluster New Year’s Run, I wouldn’t be surprised to see these indoor shows absolutely blow up.

DCU Center—Worcester, MA

The two nights at Worcester will also serve as a warm up for the band’s headlining slot at Bonnaroo. Phish will close the festival as the final headliner on Sunday night before taking an uncharacteristic four day break before continuing tour the following weekend in Atlantic City. Expect this AC three-pack to be destination shows for fans across the country, as the massive GA Bader Field setup with loosely resemble the feeling of a festival. Throw in the casinos and the beach and you’ve a got a recipe for a fun-filled weekend down the shore.

Immediately following Phish’s second Atlantic City extravaganza in three years, the band will hop down to one of their newest southeastern haunts, nTelos Pavilion. This go-round, the intimate GA amphithatre will host a two-night, midweek stand that will be the only shows in the usually saturated Southeast. No Charlotte, no Raleigh, no Alpharetta. It looks like southern fans will have to flirt with the Mason-Dixon line this summer to get their fill of Phish.

Bader Field—Atlantic City, NJ

From the shores of Virginia, the band will head to the Midwest for a significant chunk of tour. Return visits to Riverbend in Cincy, Star Lake (or First Niagara Pavilion) outside of Pittsburgh, and Blossom outside of Cleveland, provide us with this year’s staple segment of bizarre routing. The band will travel to Ohio, back to Pennsylvania, and then back to Ohio, but regardless of this criss-cross driving, these are three sheds that hold all sorts of lore, and I foresee one or two of those nights turning into tour highlights.

Following another bizarre four day break, Phish will return to their Midwestern Meccas of Deer Creek (or Klipsch Music Center) and Alpine Valley for two shows at each locale. Immediately circled on everyone’s calendar as the other can’t miss weekend of Leg One, fans welcome a return to these classic amphitheatres after they were skipped over in 2011. Not much more to say about this summer tour “rite of passage” but be there!

In a move that mimics the tail end of Summer 2010, Phish will hop a plane from Milwaukee to New York, in somewhat of a surprise move, to celebrate July 4th with two nights at Jones Beach. Though the fireworks over the water will look nice at the end of the show, we will have to endure the virtual straight jackets applied by the over zealous security staff to make it through the shows. A venue with less dance space than a Japanese subway train, these shows, while I am sure will be great musically, don’t excite me experientially at all. If I’m missing out on some secret space in the venue, please email me personally. (Just kidding. Kind of.) And to close the opening leg of summer exactly one month after its beginning, Phish will head up to SPAC for a three-show finale in Saratoga Spa State Park. Returning to the venue in 2004 after a nine-year absence, this era will see Phish visit the redone upstate New York shed three times in the first four years, and this year the ante will be raised as SPAC hosts its first-ever three night stand.

All in all, the venues of summer’s first leg provide a trip down memory lane, as each stop holds more than a bit of Phish history. And with the release of Leg Two dates coming “later this spring,” Summer 2012 is shaping up to be an unexpectedly beefy season of shows. Good luck with the ticket lottery, and I’ll see you out there on the road!

6/7 DCU Center, Worcester, MA 

6/8 DCU Center, Worcester, MA

6/10 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Manchester, TN

6/15 Bader Field, Atlantic City, NJ

6/16 Bader Field, Atlantic City, NJ

6/17 Bader Field, Atlantic City, NJ

6/19 nTelos Wireless Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA

6/20 nTelos Wireless Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA

6/22 Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH

6/23 First Niagara Pavilion, Burgettstown, PA

6/24 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

6/28 Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, IN

6/29 Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, IN 

6/30 Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI

7/1 Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI

7/3 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY

7/4 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY

7/6 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

7/7 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

7/8 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

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PhanArt Reviews Phish Thoughts—The Book

Cover (Masthay)

Check out the latest review of Mr. Miner’s Phish Thoughts—An Anthology By a Fan For the Fans on PhanArt.com. Now is a perfect time to buy your copy and feed that yearning for Summer Tour that won’t be quenched for over three months. Enjoy essays about summer tours past, legendary shows and jams that took place at the very sheds we’ll be visting this summer, venue histories of multiple 2012 tour stops, and a whole lot more! Head on over to the book site and check it out!