This show featured the first Walk Away since October 5, 2000 (80 shows). Disease was unfinished. After Grind, Trey remarked that Page blew the wrong note on the pitch pipe and had them all singing in the wrong key. They decided to perform another a cappella song and Trey joked that if they couldn’t get it right, Fish would sing Bike. Sure enough, Hello My Baby was no better and was aborted. However, true to his word, Trey announced that Fish will now sing Bike. For his part, Fish took the opportunity to welcome everyone to “the trainwreck portion of the show.” Bike was played for the first time since September 12, 2000 (95 shows).
Calamitous Bowie - the first time I've seen the band *botch* a song that way. Disease and Piper both lost heart just when they were threatening to transcend their usual structures (though the final five minutes of Disease are lovely). The same thing happened at Hartford: the band patiently worked its way to that familiar cliffside, and Trey refused to jump. In fact this happened time and again this summer. Oh well. The reward would be meaningless without the risk.
The highlights get high though: fiery best-of-tour Wolfman's Brother and joyous Tube (go Page!), rib-tickling encore, and a YEM that dropped *bombs* on western PA. Can't complain about Loving Cup either.
On balance this is a fine mid-tour show, and an effective prologue to the transformative tour-closing shows at Deer Creek and Alpine.
this was my first show since alpine '04, so needless to say, i was amped. i got tickets to alpine and deer creek right off the bat, and my plan was to grab tix to the fox too. well, it looked like fox tix were going to be too rich for my blood, so i jumped on some burgettestown tix. I feel that i definitely made the correct choice. now to the show...
looking back to my travels in the pre hiatus days, i would have really poo poo'ed the golgi, chalkdust, batr opener, but being my first show back, it was great to see/hear these songs again. all three songs were well executed, but not really stand out performances. things picked up a notch in wolfman's. outside of a solid chalkdust trey solo, this was our first real display of improvisation this evening. while this was not a ground breaking wolfman's, which is pretty tough to pull off at this point in their career, the boys bounced off each other well. fish and gordon got into a nice little groove before this jam ended. then the boys hammered home a really nice divided sky. i think they out did both the wolfman's and divided sky at alpine valley a couple of nights later. heavy things was standard, but right as it ended they start cranking something up... whammo walk away!! this was such an unusual slot for this song. there was no jam leading into walk away, just bam- there it is. wonderful choice here. keeping the momentum rolling, they pulled out a nice fiery version of wilson. after walk away, this pumped the crowd right up. coming out of the back end of wilson, the boys slam in to tube. they found a nice funky groove with page and trey bouncing off of each other very well before bringing this one back home. it is really nice to see trey sticking to the guitar on this one. i hated to see him drift to the key board in 99/00. you got a great key board player and a great guitar player; why switch to a great keyboard player and a dude being a boner on a mini board. while it wasn't as good as the one i saw at deer creek in 04, it paid the bill. next, we got our only new song of the night. alaska was a pleasant surprise. i heard some diss it, but i thought it was a nice little first set type song. pairing with bowie was an interesting choice, but it worked well. bowie did not go out too far, but it was well executed.
after enjoying a quick bowl and a beer, the second set was ready to start. down with disease kept that late first set momentum rolling. like bowie, this one was not all that exploratory. they came out of the back section rocking pretty hard, but this one petered out relatively quickly. right before they dipped into a spacier jam, trey and fish start up the dun dun dun intro to free, as they have many times before. like dwd and bowie, this free was not all that exploratory, but it was still very well executed. this free was more of the rocking variety. they did not mess with funking out the middle.... straight rock. now speaking of execution, they buried guyute. i have seen them play this song about 20-25 times, but this one blew my socks off. probably my favorite one that i've seen in person since nashville 99. trey did flub the "irish jig" section a bit, but he recovered quickly. piper, like most of the tour, provided the boys a nice chance to really cut loose after playing pretty tight for a set and a half. it wandered nicely into circus. this is my favorite of the "slow" songs they do, so i especially enjoyed this selection in the "breather" slot. now, this harry hood might be my favorite of the tour. this was the jam of the night. they really dropped it down before storming back to feel good about hood. i had a hunch that coil wouldnt' close this one down, and i found my instincts were correct when no one left the stage for the piano solo. then yem tore this crowd up. the "composed" section was well executed. they came out of the drum/bass section spitting hot fire, but the ending jam was not overwhelming. it was good, not great.
after botching some accepella work, they cranked up hyhu. this, surprise surprise, led to a badly botched version of bike. now only phish could botch 3 songs in a row and i will still say it was the best encore i saw in four shows. hilarious!
Less of a review, more of a recollection:
Four years ago a month after graduating from high school and a month before my dad would die suddenly I saw my first Phish show with my two brothers, one of which had been a fan since the 90s, and my friend Kalie.
The drive from Cleveland to Burgettstown in my brother's car was straight out of a road trip movie. I had no clue what I was in for, but this celebratory trip got off to a great start when my friend Kalie's dad gave my brother a few choice pieces of advice about being safe. "Don't drive drunk" he said. Ha.
We dropped our shit of at the hotel and almost immediately went to lot, one I know pretty well now but seemed so different from my home venue, Blossom's soft green grass with its gravel roads and long walks from shakedown to the entrance. I made the mistake of wearing a flannel in the hot weather, but luckily my brother had a Dead tee in his backseat that I threw on. Walking around lot I realized the circus really had come to town. Friends of my brothers somehow found him in this gargantuan place. The sun was hot, the cops were fiesty (I saw three or four cars getting searched on the way in) and the mood was jovial. I couldn't wait to continue the party inside.
We had seats in the pavilion. What I remember most clearly is the friendliness--vets to our right and left found out it was the first show for three out of the four of us and were so generous with us, from skittles to blunts and everything in between. In hindsight, the show isn't that great. I've hit some pretty solid runs over the past four years. But for me, a super noob who grew up listening residually to whatever my brother played, I was just stoked to be there. The first few notes of Wilson had me spinning and also impressed by the crowd's participation. What a party. Plus Fish played his vacuum and sang Bike at my first show.
To be fair, I really had no clue what was going on. Why were there spontaneous cheers from the crowd? Why is that dude playing a vacuum? So many questions my brain wanted answered. It made me hungry to get back. It was a fabulous sneak peak into a world I would be so absorbed in so soon. In a world that became dark pretty quickly after graduation, Phish helped me remember how much fucking joy there is in this world and this was the first bit of that Phish flavored joy I had tasted.
And now here I am on the precipice of another year of touring. Happy 30th, Phish! Can't wait to see you this summer!
One of the stronger June 2009 shows, and a nice precursor to the dramatic improvements that would come in the following 2 days. Both sets have that "wall of songs" feel to them that was so common after the reunion, so your enjoyment of this show probably just depends on if they checked your favorite boxes.
The playing is fine, save for what is maybe the worst Bowie....ever? Skip that one, but be sure to check out the Tube, which stood as the best 3.0 version for probably over a year afterwards. Wolfman's has some juice as well, but is purely standard, especially compared to the funk monster its becomes a couple years later.
Set 2 is is quite nice, with the highlight probably being the Piper. Since the only other show I'd seen thus far was 6/2, I was a bit dissapointed to yet again see my third quarter devoted to Circus and Hood. Again, both versions are fine, but neither stand out.
The encore lends this show a unique series of moments that were fun to experience, and which overall makes me remember the show a lot more fondly than I would have had they come out with, say, Friday (good that those days are over, eh?) My buddies and I all used to be huge Floyd fans and so have a soft spot for the heartfelt absurdity of Bike. That we were all in attendance for the show when they played it was pretty special.
This was a solid show no doubt about it. It was my wife's first and was a great intro for her (not a huge phan). Nice solid playing throughout. Alaska was a welcome first live version for me. The Wilson was pretty hot. Divided Sky was clean and crisp and it became my wife's favorite song for weeks afterwards.
The standouts of the show were Tube, YEM, and the whole encore. If Tube doesnt get your booty groovin then you have a heart of cold stone. Page is on point and Trey adds some nice noodling, not to mention Fishman and Mike holding it down like only they can do. When Page breaks it open near the end (just after 7:00... you'll hear it) the crowd around me just groaned. Sooooo nice. The YEM was ragin too. Mike especially dropped some dirty cow shit all over everybody. I shouldve known when he came out wearing a cutoff shirt tucked into white jeans. He's a dirty man. The encore really hit it home to me that the boys are back in the groove after the long break and having a great time. Just listen to Trey cackle "Fishman will now play Bike for you!" as he sprinted for the drum kit. Fishman just shook his head, smiled and announced "Welcome to the trainwreck portion of the show." What a treat these guys are.
Overall very solid show, one Ive enjoyed relistening to many times over. Check it out!
Today is the 4 year anniversary of my first Phish show @ Star Lake 09. Needless to say, I was pumped and although the set list on paper looked great, it was not so much live. The boys were still getting their wits about them, but this was my first experience to what would become my past time every summer -- seeing THE PHISH.
My first show! I was so happy to finally be at a Phish show, I remember the weeks leading up to this seemed to crawl by because all I could think about was seeing the band. Drove 12+ hours from Minneapolis -> Burgettstown and during the drive convinced my other friends who were already out on the road to change course and head to this show. We had plans to hit the next three nights as well so it wasn't hard to convince them to head towards PA.
Getting to the lot I was a little overwhelmed by all the excitement. I hadn't been to many shows at that point where people were selling bacon in the "shakedown" area. When they finally started playing Golgi it felt like I was right where I needed to be. I'm not very good at reviewing the music, but the Tube from this show is seriously funky!! I highly recommend checking it out if you haven't heard it.
My first Phish show, after a decade of listening only sporadically to a few shows on CD. Dead to the core, this guy lol. Can't say that it hooked me right then and there, but enjoyable nevertheless. (Blossom 6/12/10 would hook me more, and then Merriweather 6/11/11 would truly GRAB me once and for all). At the time I thought the highlights were the early set 1 through Wolfman's, Free, Circus, the YEM, and Lovin Cup. Star Lake's lot scene could benefit from grass/earth instead of those rocks and an actual Shakedown.
This was my first show; Long overdue and highly anticipated. I have not many words that could describe how I felt as I finally got to experience the phenomenon that is live Phish, but I will try... The energy of the crowd was much more than I ever imagined. Part of me became angry that I had not taken more initiative to get to them sooner, but that quickly faded as Harry Hood lulled me into nirvana, I realized then that it was destined to be my first show. And to be blessed enough to get to hear Fish sing the Bike song by Syd was positively divine, as Floyd was God for most of my adolescence.
This show get's overlooked I think... It was such a good show, tons of energy and lot's of goodies.
Even though it had some cheese in the first set (and yes i'm talking to you Bouncin and Heavy Things), it still rocked a Golgi opener, with tons of good stuff like a sick Wolfmans, Divided Sky which can't be bad and a great Bowie to end the set.
The second set was started off great with a DwD into Free, totally nuts! and I'm a fan of Piper so I'll take it all the time... and they gave us a Hood and YEM!! I mean this really was a good show! and I knew the boys were having a good time with a nutty encore like that!
This show looks good on paper but really just doesn't do it. They were still rusty and the music shows it. Not one new song the whole night which I enjoyed at the time. Got real whiskey drunk with my buddy Bo and really don't remember much from the show.
Now at the campground next to the venue after the show was one hell of a party. Just some two-track dirt road with cars parked right in the middle for like a mile. Seriously must've been a thousand heads partying in that forest that night. Bon fires, glow sticks, techno music, tanks... crazy forest party. Like Chief Hosa at Red Rocks used to be.
I had to work at ten AM so I just drank all night, walked down to the highway and hitched back into the 'Burgh. Wow, rough day at work needless to say. Good times though
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