Set 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
Set 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
Encore: Contact, Bug, Tweezer Reprise
"Can you still have fun?"
So the final day of Hampton 09 was upon us and though we were a little nauseous (thank you Denny's) and tired (ever been in a hotel where they go around knocking on doors at check out time? neither had I...)
But we were on our way to pick up AMY! YAY!!! Amy's first Phish show!
One more stop at Sonic, a detour to Krispy Kreme and we were on our way back to the lot.
We had lots of time to relax this day and we took full advantage.
Once we made our way toward the entrance mob, we saw maybe the funniest thing of the entire weekend.
For this final night of phishery the local cops had decided to line the entrance way with German Shepards. The dogs were freaking out. Barking nonstop and being held back with choke collars by their handlers.
An artist i may be, a genius i am not, but i bet putting drug sniffing dogs next to the line of people going into a PHISH show is bound to set them off.
My guess is they were looking for the morons who decided to flip a bitch once they saw the dogs, but c'mon, was that really necessary? The poor dogs were like "DRUGS! DRUGS! Don't you see them?!?!?!" Laughable.
We made it in with ease once again, though got patted down more intensely than any other night.
Found our usual seats and got settled in. Each night we seemed to get to our seats earlier and earlier. Amy was pretty much in awe.
Lights down. Body up. Phinal show of the run.
Oh, my Sanity. "I've lost my mind just a couple of times..." How many people in the audience knew this? I feel like this was a great WTF moment from the band to those waiting for some high powered opener. Like the old days of the secret language. If you knew, you knew.
One of the great moments of the weekend was up next. I was hoping that they would play something Amy recognized early in the set to get her engaged and what better way than to revisit our old friend WILLLLLLLLLSOOON. Duh duh. Duh duh.
As Amy knows from when we tried to name our newest little pup (Sawyer), Wilson is a bad, bad man.
Sick version, and Beth turns to me and goes, "Hey i think Trey looks fucked up tonight." True or not, that usually makes for good music.
Years ago i was not a big Foam fan, but I've actually come to love hearing this live. Great interplay between all four and as i noted on my re listen post, this was great.
Part of me spent this entire weekend listening to the composed songs and just waiting for the flub or mistake to bring the energy down. The first night they surprised me (for the most part) and the second night let me down a drop on these sections, but on this night (other than a brief flub on Maze) they nailed it all.
Great Bathtub (another one Amy knew) led me to believe that this could finally be the night where they really took the jams someplace. They seemed relaxed and patient and it was coming out in the music.
Undermind completely threw me. Real funky...never appreciated (or heard) this song. I'd place it sort of in the same category as GBOTT or Jiboo/Twist (without the jam potential). Def a good song live as a break from some of the madness....which was soon on its way.
Best song of the set: AC/DC Bag...sick glowstick war (youtube link coming), great energy.
My Friend, Scent and Maze were allgreat old school tunes. Good soloing on Scent and Maze was TIGHT.
Not a huge fan of the slower countryish songs, but i guess its not bluegrass so whatever.
Tube, Cars Trucks Buses, Free, Frankenstein
Finally the asshole in front of me could stop yelling for Tube. According to people listening to the soundboards from Sat night he was standing right there. Maybe they could play Slave next so the other douchebag behind me could stop yelling it after every single song.
Loved the jam section and was hoping they'd go for an extended jam ala Hershey 2000. No such luck.
CTB was great and i always love Free. Gordon dropping the bombs as usual. Decent jam, nothing crazy though.
But then Page comes out from behind the boards and HOLY FUCK its the KEYTAR! That's right, i said KEYTAR. And he sure does play a mean keytar. (buh dum cha). Just nasty version of frankenstein...Flawless.
So GREAT first set...At one point Amy turns to me and goes, "Are all the sets this long?" No of course not sweetie, only the great ones!
Though it had some low points in the middle, this set started hot and ended hotter. Best set of the weekend so far (little did i know...). The sentimentallity of Set I friday night automatically makes it the most memorable set, but musically, this had been the best so far.
After the greatest Snickers bar i have ever known, the lights dim and that would be the last time i was in my seat until they left the stage for good.
Ambient noise to open up the second? Check.
Gordon dropping those sweet, sweet opening notes of Disease. Check.
Best improvisation of the weekend? You betcha.
I've said a few times (many times) in the past week, but this set was THE reason we will still pay to go see this band.
Creative, playful, thoughtful and just a joy to listen to.
Some of the "new" songs from 2.0 that have actually grown on me:
Pebbles and Marbles
Walls of the Cave
As DWD transitioned beautifully into Seven Below (never thought i'd say that) i was becoming truly excited for this set.
Not only was it the last set of music we'd hear for a few months, but it was all clicking. They were having fun and they were past the jitters of the first time playing together live again. The music was bursting towards the audience through dam that just couldnt hold the waterback anymore.
Good jam in 7 below and then a great highlight of the weekend for me with The Horse -> Silent In the Morning.
One of the most touching compositions written by this band, I've only heard it live once before (at Vegas, and honestly who even remembers Vegas?), never pre-hiatus, so it was a real treat for me. Nailed the ending after a tiny flub on the break.
Twist has absolutely become a monster jam vehicle and this was a sort of jazzy/funky version with ambience toward the end. And as the jam started to decline that signature Fishman beat of 2001 kicked in and the place went absolutely nuts!
As the completed a fairly short version, all i was thinking about was, "please don't let the energy fall out of this place with some country song!"
Ye ask and ye shall receive.
Splash! And we were groovin' to the Moma Dance. EXACTLY what we needed. Short but solid version.
WMGGW, Velvet Sea
After all that jamming who could blame them for a few straight forward but extremely sick songs. Trey's soloing on the Beatles classic was legendary.
Velvet Sea from Coventry is one of those moments i will always remember (even though i was watching in the theater). It was extremely sad to see them finally realize that it could be the last time they ever played together. I seriously doubted whether they would play it upon returning to the stage.
But it was monumental and *happy*! Unbelievable how music can be that way. 5 years ago this was the saddest moment of a show and this time it was a renewing experience.
As the song ended, our friend "Slave...Play Slave!!!!!" sitting behind us finally got his wish.
And we knew that this was it. The set closer for a weekend of incredible times.
They built this jam note by note, line by line and soaring melody over incredible harmony. It was the good old days again and by listening alone you couldn't tell if it was 1989, 1999 or 2009.
The peak was incredible and as they left the stage, the feeling I'd forgot came upon me once again. Smiles all around.
When they came back for the encore and Trey finally spoke to the audience (since the YEM restart) they seemed truly happy to be back, truly happy that we were all there and sincerely dedicated to playing great music once again.
Preceded by Happy Birthday to Fish's dad (the trombone player), the fan favorite Contact got everyone standing and waving their arms. But that couldn't be the end...
Bug? Ok...and as i noted, i'm continually surprised by this version and how much i actually enjoyed it. But that couldn't be the last notes these guys played...
Amy: What's the song you said they'd probably play during the encore tonight?
Alan: Tweeprise, its like Tweezer but shorter and more energetic.
Amy: Doesn't look like they're going to play it.
Alan: Give them a moment.
Now that's how you end a fucking comeback weekend!
I'm more excited to hear new music from these guys than ever. Summer should be amazing and they've recently announced shows at some of the most incredible venues in the nation (SPAC, Merriweather, Gorge, Darien, RED FUCKING ROCKS).
This band is worth listening to now more than ever, if only because of what appears to be a completely refreshed sense of what they want to accomplish with each and every time they step on stage together.
I'm so glad and lucky to have been there for this incredible weekend, and i look forward to many more.