Archive for 2009

Weekend Nuggets: The Hampton Comeback

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 14, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Please use torrents if possible.

Photo: J.DiGiuseppe

Photo: J.DiGiuseppe

3.6.09 Hampton Coliseum < LINK

3.6.09 Hampton Coliseum < TORRENT LINK

I: Fluffhead, The Divided Sky, Chalkdust Torture, Sample in a Jar, Stash, I Didn’t Know, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Farmhouse, NICU, Horn, Rift, Train Song, Water in the Sky, The Squirming Coil, David Bowie

II: Backwards Down The Number Line, Tweezer > Taste, Possum, Theme from the Bottom, First Tube, Harry Hood, Waste, You Enjoy Myself
E: Grind, Bouncing Around the Room, Loving Cup

Source: {16 Bit} Schoeps mk41 > kc5 > cmc6 > Lunatec V3 > Sonic AD2K+ > MT2 @ 24/ 48kHz Lineage: CF > Sound Studio, > xAc

Taper : Jesse Hurlburt

***

3.7.09 Hampton Coliseum < LINK

3.7.09 Hampton Coliseum < TORRENT LINK

I: Back On The Train, Runaway Jim, Brian and Robert, Split Open and Melt, Heavy Things, Punch You in the Eye, Gumbo, Reba > Mexican Cousin, It’s Ice, Halley’s Comet, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Guelah Papyrus, Lawn Boy, Run Like An Antelope

II: Rock and Roll > Limb By Limb, Ghost > Piper > Birds of a Feather, Wolfman’s Brother, Prince Caspian, Mike’s Song > I am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Character Zero
E: A Day in the Life

Source:  (FOB) Schoeps mk22 > kc5 > cmc6xt > Audiomagic Hyperconductors > Grace Design Lunatec V2 > Darktrain Custom Cables > Sound Devices 744t (@ 24 bit / 48 kHz)

A Team BTG Production brought to you by:Dave F, Scott G, baustin, Greg L, Mikey K, Carrington C, Matthew, Rick, Eliot, Oliver, Foxy, Steve F, Tara, Jimbo, BHadella, Jenny, Jerryfreak, and more; Transferred by Jason Sobel

***

3.8.09 Hampton Coliseum < LINK

3.8.09 Hampton Coliseum < TORRENT LINK

I: Sanity, Wilson, Foam, Bathtub Gin, Undermind, AC/DC Bag, My Friend My Friend, Scent of a Mule, All of These Dreams, Maze, She Thinks I Still Care, Army of One, Tube, Cars Trucks Buses, Free, Frankenstein

II: Down With Disease, Seven Below, The Horse> Silent in the Morning, Twist > Also Sprach Zarathustra > The Moma Dance, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Slave to the Traffic Light
E: Contact, Bug, Tweezer Reprise

Source: {16 Bit} Schoeps mk41 > kc5 > cmc6 > Lunatec V3 > Sonic AD2K+ > MT2 @ 24/ 48kHz Lineage: CF > Sound Studio, > xAc

Taper : Jesse Hurlburt

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VIDEOS OF WEEKEND: “FLUFFHEAD”

3.6.09 – The Moment the Lights Went Out

Great “Fluffhead” Footage!

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PS: Expect to see the rest of Summer Tour announcement in the next couple days!

***

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3.8.09 – Photo: David Overend

“Twist > 2001 > Moma”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 13, 2009 by Mr.Miner
3.7.09 (S.Wiltse)

3.7.09 (S.Wiltse)

One of the tightest musical segments of Hampton, and certainly one of the most exciting, was the “Twist > 2001 > Moma” late on night three.  Combining three of the last remaining songs in their eighty tune
repertoire for the weekend, Phish put together the run’s biggest musical climax.  In a show that featured the most precise and highest-energy playing from the band, these jams fit right in.  This crowd pleasing knockout punch featured some of the biggest outright dance grooves of a weekend that focused more on composition and abstract jamming.

3.8.09 (J. DiGiuseppe)

3.8.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

Trey growled out of the composed section of “Twist,” speaking through his raunchiest, uncompressed tone, and Mike shot laser beam bass lines, similar to several ambient ’03 “Twists.”   Their interplay to start the jam stood out; Mike taking the lead melody as Trey spat distorted, yet expressive, licks with his guitar.  Page chimed in with some electro-sounds, adding a completely new sonic element to the puzzle.  This music represented some supremely different electro-Phish, as all three non-drummers used unique and over the top tones.  The band morphed into a dark psychedelic milieu before the music slowed down quite a bit.  Turning blissfully ambient, Phish used their “amoeba-like jamming” to create surreal textures.  But minutes into this deepening musical path, the band subtly- on the drop of a dime- slipped out of the sonic stew into the beginning of “2001!”  Trey led the way with a beautiful descending melody, carrying everyone into outer space as Mike revved up the bass-heavy groove.

In one of the slyest transitions of the weekend, Phish transformed

3.7.08 (S.Wiltse)

3.7.08 (S.Wiltse)

Hampton Coliseum into “The Mothership,” and the venue careened through the corridors of outer space.  With slammin’ funk grooves, the band initiated a short, but oh-so-sweet, dance session that brought the highest energy of the night.  An old-school version, this “2001” was simple, chunky, and ripping.  Like candy for the mind, the rhythmic patterns dusted off a part of our soul that had lay dormant for five years.  As the band quickly reached the second peak of the song, what would they launch into?  What did they have left?

3.8.09 (J. DiGiuseppe)

3.8.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

As Phish sustained the climax of the song for seconds after the last note, they collectively made the hugest drop of the weekend into the tar-thick funk of “Moma Dance.”  It was virtually a joke how well this setlist was written, forcing everyone to dig deep into their reserves of energy- but no one had any trouble finding them.  A song with a bit of Hampton history, this performance gave a raucous nod to 1997’s epic “Tweezer > Black-Eyed Katy.”  Page absolutely tore up the clav all over this song, much like every other song over the weekend with one keyboard or another. With the smoothest lounge-funk, Phish completed what was the tightest and most energetic excursion of the run.

Phish saved some of their most spectacular playing for late in their three-day magic show.  Leaving the audience with the best music of the run throughout the last set, the band left people jonesing for more.  Blowing up one of the standout musical stanzas of all three shows right near the end, Phish left many a fan with the question, “Is it June yet?”

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

3.7.09 Hampton Coliseum < LINK

3.7.09 Hampton Coliseum < TORRENT LINK

I: Get Back On The Train, Runaway Jim, Brian and Robert, Split Open and Melt, Heavy Things, Punch You in the Eye, Gumbo, Reba > Mexican Cousin, It’s Ice, Halley’s Comet, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Guelah Papyrus, Lawn Boy, Run Like An Antelope

II: Rock and Roll > Limb By Limb, Ghost > Piper > Birds of a Feather, Wolfman’s Brother, Prince Caspian, Mike’s Song > I am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Character Zero
E: A Day in the Life

Source:  (FOB) Schoeps mk22 > kc5 > cmc6xt > Audiomagic Hyperconductors > Grace Design Lunatec V2 > Darktrain Custom Cables > Sound Devices 744t (@ 24 bit / 48 kHz)

Transferred by: Jason Sobel; A Team BTG Production brought to you by:Dave F, Scott G, baustin, Greg L, Mikey K, Carrington C, Matthew, Rick, Eliot, Oliver, Foxy, Steve F, Tara, Jimbo, BHadella, Jenny, Jerryfreak, and more…

***

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“3.6.09 Encore” Photo by Jeff Kravitz @ insidecelebpics.com

“Rock And Roll > Limb”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 12, 2009 by Mr.Miner
3.7.09 II (S. Wiltse)

3.7.09 II (S. Wiltse)

In a weekend that oozed positivity on all fronts, some of the specific musical passages were lost in the sheer spectacle of the event.  The three shows carried a very old-school vibe, from song choice to playing style.  Most of the jams were shorter, directed, and concise, following the path of their earlier days.  But, as usual, it’s quality, not quantity that is sought in Phish jams, and multiple segments from this weekend possessed an amazing dynamic.  Over the next while, we’ll take a look back at some of the moments that helped define Hampton ’09, and today we’ll start with Saturday night’s “Rock And Roll > Limb By Limb.”

Ready For Blast Off (J.Kravitz)

Ready For Blast Off! (J.Kravitz)

Coming out for their fourth set of the run, Phish had engaged in minimal open-ended improv over the previous three.  Most jams were structured and tight, but lacked much exploration.  This would change with the onset of this set.  The playing throughout this entire segment flowed organically, with nothing sounding forced or contrived.  The opening chords of the Velvet Underground cover riled up everyone immediately, bringing memories of the band’s late ’90s era of glory.  As Page started to sing, everything felt in place once again.

The lyrics leading into the improv were particularly poignant, speaking of the power of music to lift us out of hard times-  “Her life was saved by rock n roll…Despite all the complications…It was alright.”  A perfect ode to Phish’s present state of affairs, the crowd latched onto the meaning, cheering the powerful words. As the band sailed into the jam, Trey sat into an emotive solo, while Mike and Page created some interlocking offerings that, when combined with Fish’s work, formed a tightly cohesive and thematic jam.

"Free" 3.8.09 (J. DiGiuseppe)

"Free" 3.8.09 (J. DiGiuseppe)

Trey initiated the more exploratory section of improv with some guitar riffs that slowly guided the band out of the song’s structure.  Hopping onto his ideas, the band switched gears into a slowed down and murkier texture.  In a quick moment, they were amidst a separate jam that had nothing to do with the song; flowing fluidly.  Page and Trey complemented each other beautifully here, as Trey began to send guitar cries upwards towards the heavens.  The band congealed around these more spiritual licks, and allowed Trey to lead the improv, which continued down an emotional path until Page’s piano roll wound the jam down to a point where Trey picked it up and segued seamlessly into “Limb By Limb.”

3.6.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

3.6.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

As “Rock And Roll” went unfinished, the “Limb” was the natural continuation and peak to this introductory portion of the set.  Attacking the song with a delicate ferociousness, the band slayed it.  As the jam soared, the band was glued together and absolutely crushing it.  Trey took one of most gorgeous solos of the weekend, and the spirit emanating from the stage was infectious. Moving as one entity as they approached the apex, any separation between the band members was obliterated in their collective peak.  Reflective and celebratory at the same time, this jam served as a destination for the set’s initial climb.

3.7.09 II (S.Wiltse)

3.7.09 II (S.Wiltse)

As the set and the weekend rolled along, Phish would dig deeper into improvisational ground, but this piece of music would remain the first time Phish 3.0 took an open-ended musical risk and succeeded.  “Rock And Roll > Limb,” though not the longest piece in history, was played perfectly, fit right in with the vibe of the weekend, and will always be remembered as the first unstructured improvisational leap of the new era.

LISTEN TO “ROCK AND ROLL > LIMB” NOW! < LINK (Roll over link and press play)

***

HAMPTON AUDS UPDATE

hampton_outsideI should have tracked copies of the AUDs up by this weekend at latest. They will be from one of the No Spoilers tapers, Jesse Hurlburt, whose rig sounded great.  I know a lot of people prefer the AUDs, which is why I am posting them.  But if you have downloaded the SBDs and are into them- I think they are the best yet- save me a buck or two and hold off.  As always, please use torrents when possible.  In related news, I am going to set up a donate button soon for the cost of site / download maintenance with any profit going to charity, so stay tuned!

***

109950007fenldmq5editedhampton2087

“3.6.09” Photo: John DiGiuseppe

Mothership Memoirs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 11, 2009 by Mr.Miner
3.7.09 (S.Wiltse)

3.7.09 (S.Wiltse)

What a weekend!  Having had a chance to listen to almost everything at least once, I gotta’ say, the band sounds amazing.  So precise, so focused, and playing with such purpose.  The energy in the room, from the band and audience, was greater than I’d ever seen, and was certainly the defining memory of the three nights.  There were some points that felt like we were on the brink of blasting off into space- if arenas did that sort of thing.  Everyone always talks about the energy at a Phish show, but this was a whole different story- it was so tangible.  With 13,000 people in such a small building for such a massive event, the combination was ideal.  And something I had forgotten about Hampton is just how amazing the sound is in there; straight up crystalline.   All of these factors contributed to creating a weekend of pure magic.

"I Didn't Know" (J.Kravitz)

"I Didn't Know" (J.Kravitz - insidecelebpics.com)

Jams like “Foam” and Maze,” or songs like “Character Zero” and “Silent In the Morning” took on whole new character with the band’s mode of attack and the crowd’s response.  Another prime example was “My Friend, My Friend,” which sounded so ridiculously menacing with the dynamic in the intimate room.  The weekend was a rediscovery for everyone in the building of just how fun Phish can be.  The band ran through so much material; a recital of their most revered songs, flooding everyone with memories and emotions from the years shared together.

3.7.09 (S.Wiltse)

3.7.09 (S.Wiltse)

This weekend was about a new beginning, and as they say, “If you don’t know your past, you don’t know your future.”  It was the starting block for 3.0 and Phish got out of the gate rather fast.  Running through their history with a glimpse into the future.  It wasn’t coincidence that the only new song was about reuniting friends, and has a refrain of “The only rule is it begins.”  And begin it did.  With mostly old faces all around, this weekend was about reuniting and reigniting the Phish family.  While there may be fans of a new generation on summer tour, there were very few in The Mothership.

"Mike's Song" (J.Kravitz)

"Mike's Song" (J.Kravitz - insidecelebpics.com)

The entire three-part performance was like a lucid dream.  From the “Fluffhead” opener to the “Reprise Closer,” with Kuroda’s masterful light show, things seemed too amazing to be true- we were raging Phish again!  Every note of every song sounded like the first time we had heard it, and the feeling was just over the top.  Moments like “Tube,” “Gin” or “Free;” the “Antelope” jam, the drop into “Moma” out of “2001,” or the drop into the first “Mike’s” jam- these were priceless moments of euphoria.  While most of the improv remained anchored to song structures, the band slayed every single jam with no exceptions. The “Limb By Limb” was sublime, the “Hood” was a revelation, the “Bathtub” was felt like we were running through meadows- it was just the most positive experience; and to have this all happening at this point in our lives makes it so much more special.

3.7.08 (J.Kravitz)

3.7.08 (J.Kravitz- insidecelebspics.com )

And there were some amazing unstructured jams as well.  After re-listening to the “Disease,” I was as floored on my couch as I was at the show.  It’s only fitting that the biggest jam of the weekend spouted from “Disease.”  The “Ghost” is an amazing piece of collaborative work, while the “Twist” > “2001” > “Moma” was straight comic book Phish.  The “Spilt” was a piece of abstract, in your face psychedelia.  The “Rock and Roll” jumped off into some darker places, while the “Tweezer” opened the floodgates on night one with funkified soundscapes.  There is definitely a lot to dig into.

3.7.08 (S.Wlitse)

3.7.08 (S.Wlitse)

Even the hotels and community helped make the weekend as great as possible.  They could not have been more accepting of all the fans, our quirky sense of humor, and ourvarious smoking habits!  It was predicted that Hampton’s economy would get a five million dollar boost from these three days; quite a nice symbiotic relationship.  It just goes to show what can happen when people work together instead of against each other.

Coming away from this weekend, the message is loud and clear- summer tour is going to kill.  Allowing their playing to do the talking, the band told us that they are approaching this time with as much enthusiasm as we are.  With twenty demos already recorded for a new album and having played only one, you can be sure that Phish will be coming out with plenty of new material to fuse with their classics come the days of summer.  And they can’t come soon enough…

—-

Check out more of Jeff Kravitz’ work at www.insidecelebpics.com

They’re Baaack!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 9, 2009 by Mr.Miner
img_4675

"2001" 3.8.09 (P.Lucks)

As promised, I’m back with some breakdown of the third night before I give a more general overview of this weekend’s sublime and encouraging family reunion.  Over the next few weeks, I will be delving into specifics of Hampton, while also addressing some comments on this site. I will try to set the record straight as to the meaning of Hampton’09, because it seems that a few people absolutely missed it; that being said, back to night three.

The culmination of the band’s scripted weekend was another Phish marathon that completed their run through the classic Phish canon.  Beginning with “Sanity,” Trey toyed with the lyrics as a means of comedic self-reference.  Emphasizing the phrases “I lost my mind just a couple of times” and “I don’t need a place to hide,” he proclaimed his personal revival.  As the band began with a vengeance, everyone knew it would be a special night.  In the most exciting first set of the weekend, the band slaughtered more of their classic and complex compositions.  A tight return of “Foam” showed off the band’s polished chops and gave a retro glimpse into to an earlier time when they attacked their compositions with no abandon.  And, again, that time is now.

3.7.09 (P.Lucks)

3.7.09 (P.Lucks)

The ensuing “Bathtub Gin” was an emotive welcome home to all of the Phish crowd, as the soaring melodies and locked thematic jamming brought a unbridled level of pure joy and energy to the arena.  With the impending realization that Phish is as excited to be back as we were, everything seemed to click into place.  Tucked in the middle of five of the band’s most classic songs was the long awaited debut of “Undermind.” A indiscernible crunchy groove quickly morphed into the band’s title track of their last album, and was used to introduce the new Phish.  “Relocated, not retired/Reprimanded and rewired…Reinvented, Redefined…” Bringing amazing energy from the crowd, the band moved from the verses into a new dancy jam- something always welcome on Phish tour.

In the middle of the set came a furious and evil rendition of another tough composition, “My Friend, My Friend.”  This crisp version of this song sounded like 1993 when the hit every single note with zest.  Definitely one of the high points of the set, the menacing Rift classic paired up with its album-mate and led directly into a scorching “Maze.”  The band played incredibly well throughout this set, with a tightness and urgency that had been absent during loose playing of 2.0.

As the third two-hour first set wound down, the band ripped into a three song combination that brought the house down.  “Tube,” “Cars, Trucks, and Busses,” and “Free” instantly enhanced an all-out dance party into a staright up bash.  The first asteroid crash of the last five years sent an instant shot of adrenaline to the crowd, who were enthralled to be dancing so hard again.  This effect lasted throughout a standout “C, T, & B,” highlighting Page’s masterful work all weekend, and into a concise, yet bombastic “Free.”  Ending with the energetic “Frankenstein,” complete with Page on “keytar,” the band punctuated another sixteen songs and two hours of pristine Phish.

3.7.09 (P.Lucks)

3.7.09 (P.Lucks)

But when the second set got underway, Phish began to get back to business as usual.  Using clearly scripted setlists all weekend long, the band lined up a hallowed collection of Phish songs for the ideal reunion run. However, the quality of jamming, albeit tight as all get out, was mostly concise, and was structured within the framework of songs.  The surface that was scratched by night two’s “Rock and Roll” was dug into more deeply into by the twenty-two minute set-opening “Down With Disease.”  Starting by surfing the psychedelic wave of the song’s million-dollar melody, the band shredded the feel-good “composed jam” before entering into free flowing improv.  In some truly exploratory playing, the entire band took the music far away from “Disease” into a slowly moving realm where the band fused into one being.  Tapping into the their ethos, Phish created the only open-ended and extended jam of the weekend, sliding back into form with one of their classic vehicles.  Like a return to a secret cave we hadn’t visited in years, being smack dab in the middle of true Phish improv was an overwhelming feeling of soulful happiness.  Listening to the band combine their spontaneous ideas in a coherent and engaging way, the missing piece of the weekend had now been completed.

3.8.09 set I (P.Lucks)

3.8.09 set I (P.Lucks)

In a three-night Phish suite comprised of their most hallowed songs, the reunion was specifically about the Phishy vibe returning to the world.  The band and crowd were able to reconnect with the spirit and energy that defined Phish’s scene in the early to mid-‘90s.  Nostalgic, yet simultaneously forward looking, the weekend provided the community with a massive trampoline to launch our trajectory into this summer and beyond.  Phish wasn’t out to play thirty minute jams this weekend; that was clearly not the point- it was far more about the intangible aspects of the weekend that will never be heard on tape.  But with this “Disease,” the band sent the message, “Yes, we can still get as deep as ever, so watch out this summer!”  Everyone in the venue got the message loud and clear, and hopefully those listening at home did as well.  Sure, Phish could have come out and played four song sets- no question- but that was not the intention of the weekend. Instead of being focused on deep musical exploration, Hampton represented a magical celebration of Phish and their return to our everyday consciousness as well as their own.

Following their deepest excursion, the band continued into the most flowing set of the weekend with a gorgeous “Seven Below.” After the two uplifting improvisational pieces, Phish made a sublime stop in a precisely played “Horse > Silent.”  Managing to fit in nearly every classic song into their twelve hour, eighty-eight song weekend, by the time this point in the set came, one could virtually predict the that would follow- but how they would fit together was something no one could know.

img_4523

3.8.09 (P.Lucks)

The opening licks of “Twist,” one of the band biggest 2.0 vehicles, infused some more modern Phish into an old-school themed run.  Trey led the band through this jam using the dirtiest, most beautiful uncompressed tone.  As soon the jam grew out of the darkness into an alien-ambient texture, the band entered some of the most impressive music of the weekend. As the improv reached it’s deepest point, they coyly slid into the elusive “2001” that had been hinted at throughout the previous few sets.

As the beat started, The Mothership was cleared for liftoff, and we collectively blasted off into chapter three with crisp, strapping grooves that were like candy for everyone’s minds.  Taking the space-aged cover through a short and intense incarnation, the emotions flooding the moment were totally overwhelming; a cohesion of our collective consciousness.  At, arguably, the highest point of the weekend, the band made a huge drop into “Moma Dance,” all but imploding the minds of everyone in the room.  Bringing memories of the big “Black-Eyed” back in 1997, swank molasses grooves filled the room.  “Twist > 2001 > Moma”- like something out of a Phish comic book- simply unreal!

"Reba" 3.7.09 (J .Tilden)

"Reba" 3.7.09 (J .Tilden)

With their second nod to The Beatles in as many nights, Phish busted out a stirring rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” that featired a colossal Trey solo before ending their weekend with the most majestic combination possible of “Velvet Sea” and “Slave.”  Bringing a cathartic culmination to the greatest weekend of our lives, the delicate “Slave” jam whispered in our hearts of the soulful connection between, the band, the cosmos, and ourselves.  As “Reprise” closed the ecncore amidst an flurry of massive baloons, things felt amazing again.

We have finally arrived.  All weekend long, Phish reminded us why they are the greatest band on the planet. And with nothing but bright skies ahead, the world is back to the way they should be- with a happy and scorching Phish.  As summer tour is only months away, and west coast dates on the horizon, things couldn’t look better.  As any one of the 13,000 people that walked out of our sacred venue with shit-eating grins could tell you, “The magic is back.”

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MINER UPDATE: I got stuck in Newark, NJ tonight, so didn’t have access to downloads yet.  I will be putting regular tracked AUDs of the weekend up this week. Cheers, everyone! It’s ON!

A Night of Nights

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 8, 2009 by Mr.Miner
"Fluffhead" Opener of 3.0 (J.Tilden)

"Fluffhead" Opener of 3.0 (J.Tilden)

What a difference a day makes.  After performing a dreamlike four-hour marathon for their return, Phish came back with a second set that has started a new “best-ever” list for 3.0.  With another four hours of “Recession Phish,” people had plenty of time to forget about their problems, as they lost their minds to the one of the most magnificent sets in memory- while pointing to the sunny pastures of summer and making plenty of people “re-assess” their plans for June.

While the second set was of another universe, the first might as well have been from the early ’90s.  The three big jams, “Split,” “Reba,” and “Antelope,” all hallmarks of Lawn Boy, highlighted the set, while other compositions of the era were strewn through it.  “Runaway Jim,” “Punch You in the Eye,” “Gumbo,”- with its original Ragtime ending supplanting a funk jam for the first time since 1997-, “Halley’s,” ‘Guelah Papyrus,” “Lawn Boy,” and “It’s Ice”- with a supremely psychedelic subterranean section of the song.  With a setlist that again boasted some of the band’s most difficult compositions, the band made a seconded their own motion that they were back and meant business.

The Mothership (J.Tilden)

The Mothership (J.Tilden)

The “Split” carried a distinctly ’94 feel, with abstract, dark improv that at times left many gazing at the stage, in awe of what they were hearing.  There wasn’t much hardcore groove going on when the jam got underway, more like psychedelic debauchery, in the piece that brought yet more 3.old school to the table.  Listening to the “Reba” fugue played so cleanly again was a thing of beauty; wrapped in the precision awaiting the plunge.  And when that plunge came, it was like diving back into a crystalline pool that had sat still for years, awaiting our arrival.  Taking the lead right away, Trey built the jam with gorgeous and deliberate licks that pushed the groove rather than let it settle.  The band was swimming in the those waters with us, channeling the energy they felt in their favorite room into their blissful groove.  The classic jam concluded with another tongue-in-cheek Phish joke as they dropped “Mexican Cousin” in place of the end of the song- mixing in a bit of new-school humor in with the old.  Everyone in the arena could see oncoming “Antelope” from a mile a way, aligning directly with the vibe of the set.  The band tore apart their classic set closer in what was easily the most ferocious improv of the first two nights- up to that point.

photo6

"Pre-show" 3.6.09 (J.Tilden)

Setbreak took on a distinctly different character this evening- people were back in the flow of things, as the band would soon show us that they were too.  There were no nerves, only excitement at how sick everything had become.  Almost six hours of Phish in three sets-all without any long, flowing, out-of-structure jamming, it seemed like the second set was heading for something big- but how big? We had no idea.  Yet, as all enjoyed a setbreak of relative normalcy, the feel of Phish tour had returned- just like that- almost like we had never left.  Almost.  When lights dropped for frame four, people held their hats tightly, but unless they were crazy glued to their heads, those hats are now gone.

"Harry Hood" 3.6.09 (J. Tilden)

"Harry Hood" 3.6.09 (J. Tilden)

If everything up to this set reminded us of how amazing Phish could be, this set proved to be a magical slap across the face.  Reminding us of why Phish are Phish, and why we are who we are, the band unleashed a set that will undoubtedly go down in their illustrious history as the set jump-started Version 3.0.  It would be clear to all after this set that it’s on as it’s ever been for Phish- if not more.  Using the lyrically poignant “Rock and Roll” to kick off the set that certainly reminded each and every one of us of how our lives have been saved by rock n roll, Phish also worked in an obvious self-reference.  Taking the rock textures of the song far beyond, the band entered a far darker psychedelic piece of improv, signaling that the band’s jam engines had been sparked in earnest.  Taking the improv to places only the soul could describe, the band took the settled their fascinating journey in a “Limb By Limb” that as the kidz say-“Blew the fuck up.”  Bringing unbridled inspiration to the table, the band crafted a tale with other-worldy interplay, bringing the song to heights approached by few versions. Coupled with the dark jam out of “Rock n Roll” the band formed a psychedelic journey from start to finish with only two songs- and the best was yet to come.

"Tweezer" 3.6.09 (J.Tilden)

"Tweezer" 3.6.09 (J.Tilden)

Following the climactic opening portion of the set, the band decided to wake up the spirits in the rafters of Hampton using the first incarnation of “Ghost 3.0.”  In a dance odyssey turned melodic geyser, this “Ghost” redefined what a Phish jam could be for 2009.  In one of the most stunning performances of the song, Phish took us right away on another magnificent tour of their renewed improvisational dimension, and it had never looked so gorgeous.  Peaking the jam with every bit of of fervor and intensity that we have ever known from the band, Phish scratched another line on the wall of Hampton’s Green Room under the list entitled “Defining Jams Played In This Building.”  And just as the magical dust was about to fall to the floor, a small breeze swept it up and transformed into the beginning of “Piper.”  Placing the always-emotional piece of improv after such a monster jam was a decision of mastery.

As the band blew out the jam of the song with an intention that is quickly coming to characterize the new Phish, the band entered some high paced rock, eventually fusing in some distinctly other rhythms that slowly unfolded into a seamless segue into a frantic “Birds of a Feather.”  Finalizing a triumvirate that will forever read “Ghost > Piper > Birds,” Phish absolutely crushed the the jam, capping an hour-plus of divine playing.  Taking some time for everyone to revel in the musical acrobatics, the band responded to their own silence with the piano intro to “Wolfman’s Brother,” ushering in one of the funkiest jams in recent memory.  The band showered The Mothership with an array of dance grooves that kept everyone going on full-tilt, basking in the glow of IT once again.

"Suzy" 3.6.09 (J.Tilden)

"Suzy" 3.6.09 (J.Tilden)

Following the funk escapade, the band brought us on a phenomenal late-set ride through “Prince Caspian,” whose regal nature matched all the music that preceded it.  Listening to Trey take a “Caspian” solo again was, in itself, something to behold as the entire band complimented his heroics with some of their own.  As if running on Energizer batteries, instead of dropping a set closing song, the band decided to rev up the next-in-line of historic Hampton “Mike’s Grooves.”  The song and venue that were made for each other had quite a raunchy reunion as Trey tore apart the jam with a distinctly uncompressed tone that lent a beautifully evil vibe to the already dark  jam.  Annihilating the first “Mike’s” back on the scene, the entire band seemed enthralled to dig into the menacing improv once again.

(R.Phelps)

Hampton From Embassy Suites (R.Phelps)

Using the classic form of “Mike’s Groove” to re-inaugurate, “Hydrogen” felt like a breath of the freshest air flowing through the venue, linking up to an all-out “Weekapaug.”  This put a lid on what was certain to be a quasi-succinct set-ending “Groove.”  Yet, seeming like a joke, Phish dropped into what would be the set closer in earnest in “Character Zero.” Keeping the entire arena raging for the completion of almost the eighth hour of Phish in two days, the venue swayed as one organism to the currents of the Phish.

Having to play one more song for an encore, the band couldn’t have made a classier choice than The Beatles’ “A Day In the Life.”  Putting the cap on evening of psychedelic sorcery with a nod to the sonic, and mind, experimentation of the original Fab Four, Phish showed, yet again, why they are the greatest band on the planet.

3.6.09 (M.Hutchinson)

3.6.09 (M.Hutchinson)

With playing that flowed organically, the band scripted a piece of Hampton history last night, while giving us glimpse not only into ourselves, but into a new world of musical possibility.  Reestablishing what Phish is truly all about, the band stepped to the plate in the second set and hit a towering shot, reminding us of why we all spent some part of the ’90s doing nothing but following Phish.  In a building synonymous with the band, Phish awakened the spirits of lore with a set that will not soon be forgotten.  Reacquainting themselves with IT on only their second show back, the course is now set for a sparkling summer of musical mayhem.  Home at last; and it feels so good.

***

In what was a touching side note to the show, Phish debuted Page’s song “Beauty of a Broken Heart.”  This is a song he wrote for his 2007 solo album, about the break-up of Phish. And with an obvious meaning to the band, it seems that this song may be Page’s first solo contribution to the catalog. (Thanks Lanser!)

=====

NO SPOILERS UPDATE

(M. Hutchinson)

(M. Hutchinson)

Everything went smooth for No Spoliers night two, I believe we got both sets up faster, and there were no hitches whatsoever.  I hope you enjoyed them for the second go-round, and stay tuned for night three!

Thanks a million to the No Spoilers crew, making this all happen!

Like A Dream

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 7, 2009 by Mr.Miner
"Grind" (R.Layne)

"Grind" (R.Layne)

So much for warming up.  In one of the most surreal evenings in history, Phish came shooting back into our lives at a million miles per hour.  Transcending anyone’s wildest imagination, the band leapt to life with a a sacred party that was a virtual antithesis of their their previous comeback in 2002. Words could never quite express the myriad emotions and feelings that painted the masterpiece that was last night, but one can only attempt.  Clearly practiced and coming out to prove so, the band played a show that exceeded any possible expectations from anyone in attendance.  A showcase of their intention, the band ran through sixteen first-set songs in most impressive fashion, proving a two-hour welcome home soundtrack.  Tackling expectations right out of the gate, Phish came out and slaughtered “Fluffhead” in a statement that conveyed not only enthusiasm and preparedness, but a reconnection to the spirit of old-school Phish.  In what was certainly one of the most dreamlike moments in the band’s history, the entire crowd was whisked away within two notes.  After ignoring the “Fluffhead” for the entire 2.0 period, opening the next phase of their career with the song couldn’t have meant more.  And if that statement wasn’t enough, they came right back with another one of their most difficult and cathartic songs in “Divided Sky.” Every selection throughout the extensive two hour set was played precisely and emphatically, but it wasn’t until “Stash” that the band took their first dive into improvisational territory. In a jam that slid into play under the watchful command of Mike and Page, the band created a contoured passage that moved from dark psychedelia through several minutes of bliss, and back into an exciting peak of the song.

3.6.09 (B.Lee)

3.6.09 (B.Lee)

The entire night felt like an out-of-body experience, as if we were watching something out of a dream- and it couldn’t have been more real.  Every song played with precision and emotion, the band took a ride through many early ’90s  classics before landing in “David Bowie” to end the set.  With a concise, yet ripping version, Phish punctuated a marathon return. At set break the overwhelming feeling was that of awe. People spent the entire time catching their breaths, legs, and minds from the inconceivable. Almost unable to think, and absolutely speechless, many basked in the feeling that had been absent for so long, and came back into our lives like an anvil. Catching me off guard, the lights were all of a sudden out again, but everything seemed a little bit more normal this time through.

As the band stood on the precipice of their first second set, they decided to bring a taste of what is to come with the first new Phish song, “Backwards Down the Number Line.” Staying within the template of the song played on Trey tour, the band busted out what is sure to be a huge new jam, and a song whose lyrics couldn’t be more appropriate for the occasion.  The new quickly merged with the old as the playful song poured into the opening of “Tweezer.” The first licks of the haloed song brought everything back again. Like a shaft of light poured into The Mothership, every note sounded better than the next as the band set up their first dive into off of their deepest platform. With intricate and massive dance grooves that brought echoes of the raunchiest funk of yesteryear from the rafters of the Coliseum, the band doused us with some of the best feelings that any of us had felt in years. The path of the jam turned from an experiment in excessively gooey funk into some stunning improv from the band that reminded each and every one of us why we love being alive. Bringing the jam to a plane of majesty, Phish took their time building down from this phenomenal section of jamming and settling to the melodies of “Taste,” completing the connection of the symbiotic pieces.

3.6.09 (B.Lee)

3.6.09 (B.Lee)

Channeling every bit of emotion into a soaring “Tatse,” the band crafted one of the most intricate and exclamatory jams of the night. Collectively killing the polyrhythmic improv, the band was off and running into the next phase of their lives with all the intensity and potency possible.  Yet, the most sublime moment of the show came after Phish had blasted their way through one of the most energetic “Possums” in recent memory, taken a blissful sail on the oceans of “Theme,” and shredded a “First Tube” to bits, when they dropped into “Harry Hood.” Like a rebirth for all of us, as individuals and as a community, the unveiling the epic piece crystallized the entire evening with a tidal wave of emotion and amazingly interlocked improvisation. If this entire experience wasn’t overwhelming enough, Kuroda broke out a disco ball effect during the climactic jam creating a blissful mash-up of aural and visual pleasure.  The sheer power of “Harry Hood” showered us tonight, as its revelation was an reminding affirmation of all that is beautiful out life; this was the ultimate.

3.6.09 (R. Layne)

3.6.09 (R. Layne)

In a quintessential moment of reflection, Phish spun a gorgeous, seemingly set-ending “Waste,” allowing us to think about the flood of magnificence we that had absolutely washed us under. But they weren’t quite over.  As if springing from some fantasy setlist, the band dropped right into the beginning of “YEM.”  Making fun of their last, not-so-hot, comeback shows at Hampton, the band intentionally botched the opening much like did circa ’03.  Yet after their joke, the band restarted the opus with ferocity, and delivered us to the promised land ,while providing the most up tempo dance music of the night.

A welcomed “Bouncin’” encore, saw the large balls that had decorated the top of The Mothership drop and begin to- in fact- bounce around the room! What seemed set up for a classic “Bouncin,” “Reprise” encore was diverted into a celebratory romp through “Loving Cup” to the delight of all. Bringing the heat far more than anyone could of imagined, the entire experience was like being shot directly back into the middle of a raging Phish with no time to acclimate to the surroundings. Thinking of the future is now dizzying, let alone tonight!  Taking the music deeper and deeper as the show moved on, one can only imagine what they have in store for the next two. We are living the dream, folks- welcome home.

=====

NO SPOILERS UPDATE

WE ARE SET FOR TONIGHT!!

hampton_outsideThe first No Spoilers is in the bag!  Set one was up at 1:30 am, 90 minutes after the show ended, and set two followed two and a half hours later, at 4 am (mind you the show ended around 12:30.)  Thanks if you participated – we hope you enjoyed them! We learned some lessons – the main one being that decent bandwidth (in The Mothership and in nearby hotels) is very hard to come by in Hampton!  We’ll try have it go a little faster for Saturday night.

Big thanks to:
Jamie L aka Jerryfreak (for crazy service way above and beyond the call of duty Friday night)
Jesse H
Mark H

The crew that brought you set 2:
Dave F
Scott G
BAustin
Greg L.
Mikey K.
Carrington C.
Matthew
Rick
Elliot
Oliver
Foxy
Steve F.
Tara
Jim P.
Jenny
Jerryfreak

And all the other tapers at the show.