This show featured the first Paul and Silas since November 29, 1998 (211 shows).  Trey explained that Paul and Silas was “sort of a request” for a fan he met the night before.  This show marked the debut of Windy City, which Trey indicated the band had been waiting to debut in Chicago.
Debut Years (Average: 1996)

This show was part of the "2009 Late Summer Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by Trylo23

Trylo23 Caught Deer Creek and first night at Alpine earlier in the summer and I will say that this show had the better musical components but lacked the set structure. First set highlight for me was The Curtain With, great jam along with super tight composed parts. I hadn't seen Gumbo probably since Big Cypress, which was nice to hear. I don't get Time Turns Elastic, and certainly don't get it as a set closer. I actually perfer it with the orchestra but I digress. Second set was rockin, love Backwards and we got a nice Carini. Wilson>2001 was nice but odd placement for Chalkdust. Hood, Coil, Loving Cup took me home, standard, no complaints.

Show in general was a good time. Had they played the songs in a different order maybe have been the best show of the second leg, but who knows. Glad they are back, and they ARE back.
, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks Excellent component parts that don't quite add up to an excellent show. 'Windy City' is a fine new tune, though Page's performance is shaky (as was much of his singing in 2009, frankly), and Curtain With makes a triumphant post-Coventry reappearance. In the second set Trey kills another promising post-Backwards jam in midsentence, but Carini is a barn-burner and Jibboo is a fine version of that insipid dance tune. 2001 gets agreeably filthy after the first chorus and Hood is wonderfully delicate before Trey's inexplicable whole-tone outburst temporarily derails things around 10:45. (Throughout summer Trey seemed to be trying to do something new with Hood, which is admirable, but it can make for unsatisfying listening.)

A Phish show made for the iPod Shuffle, I'd say, which is neither compliment nor criticism - unless you insist on one or the other, in which case it's the latter, qualified.
, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by RandomPhan

RandomPhan This show gets a lot of hate. I do think it's underrated though.

Curtain with was played great. Heavy things was actually really good. I actually think there have been some really good versions of that in 09.

The numberline jam is awesome. I remember the moment they snapped into the jam, opposed to finishing the outro. The bass was deep and the place was rocking. Carini was FIERCE. the place was raging. Jibboo was a nice jam. Wilson was kind of interesting, neat little segue into 2001 which had the place getting down. Hood did suck. Oh well. Coil had a nice outro.

Set 1 was kind of off. Very standard, at best with a couple nice additions (paul and silas, curtain with, gumbo, heavy things). Unfortunately TTE closed it. Had it been a raging bowie, or some other good high energy song I feel it could have changed the overall view of this set.

Set 2- Pretty interesting song selection. A lot of energy in the 2nd set. Great time.

Being sandwiched between the awesome west coast and east coast runs, this solo midwest show that is very standard compared to those runs gets hate. But there is some pretty good stuff within this show, and it shouldn't be ignored.

People complained about the open air, and massive size. I went in expecting the sound to blow. I was very surprised because, at least where i was, the sound was actually very good and the bass was super deep. I could feel the bass vibrating my body all night and loved it. I was page side in the seats, front row, a little ways back. I was extremely comfortable and satisfied w/ my spot. If you wanted to sit, like during TTE, it was nice because we had nothing blocking us while sitting so we could still clearly watch the stage.
, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by Dusty_Dirt

Dusty_Dirt Being a fan and growing up through the hiatus, when I could finally go to shows on my own, made this show special. Even got to share this show with my brother who helped me get into phish. Came back from Colorado for a visit allowed this show to happen. The Paul and Silas was a great phishy song that made me feel the early vibes. Curtain with was and remains a favorite live phish tune. Second set aptly starts with bdtnl as the second set took us back. Fun times at this show. Jumped back in Again in 2012 after following every dead reincarnation. Phish for life!
, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by phearless

phearless Well well well, my phirst show :) As it has been noted, this was not the best Phish show ever, nor was it the worst! Or even half as bad as soom people make it seem. The first set has its highlights which include in a awe-inspiring version of the Curtain With, the bustout of Paul and Silas, and Windy City. I wish they'd play that tune again, I really dug that one. But anyway, yes the "flow" of the first set is not the best, but the second set here is a completely different story. The first truly jammed out BDTNL was very well received by just about everyone there. That was a fucking sick jam... which segued -> into Carini if I'm not mistaken. This was the first Carini since Coventry, and the whole crowd went apeshit as soon as Trey struck those opening chords. I had never ever heard Carini before this moment (I was only listening to Phish since the previous winter and started my live collection when they released the Hampton Reunion run for free) so you have to put my shock value into consideration. So this song made me and most of my extremely spun out friends go fucking nuts. Definitely the highlight of the show for me personally. It just sounded so damn evil... so new... so clean! I loved it, I was officially hooked once that happened. The Jibboo that followed was alright, I really really liked Theme though, 2001 was a fucking dance party to the fullest. Side note: I was tripping really really hard at this show (me and my friends all dropped our first 10-strips!) but point being, the Phish logo's that were moving around the venue from the light show during 2001, were still moving around my walls in my bedroom when I got home! Haha another story for another day. The rest of the show was standard-fare, but great stuff for a n00b like me and my friends at the time. Page's solo after Coil going into the encore break I remember was really really beautiful at the time, officially sealing the deal in my mind that this band is the best thing in the world! I truly will never forget this day, it was so great. My whole crew of my friends and my older brother's friends went up there, and for almost all of us this was our first Phish show. Overall, yeah the music was pretty mediocre, but I still had the time of my life. I'll go with a 3 star rating out of 5.
, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by ThePhanastasio

ThePhanastasio I was actually quite impressed with this show live. During the soundcheck, I was privileged to hear bits of the two songs listed in addition to hearing them playing the Harry Potter theme while I was behind the venue in perfect position to hear. It certainly got me pumped for the show to come.

I managed to score General Admission tickets, and when the show started, was just a few people from the stage, almost right in front of Mike. This put me in prime position to really get into the show.

I'm all right with KDF, but it wasn't too impressive. Just a fun tune. Sample in a Jar is one of my favorites of the songs played regularly, so I was pretty into it, but Ocelot is far from being my favorite, so it killed my groove a little bit. Paul and Silas was played as a request for some guy Trey met walking down the street (a guy near me actually claimed to be that guy), and it wasn't played amazingly well, but still brought the fun level way up from Ocelot. I'm glad I got to see Windy City, as they've not played it since. It wasn't a spectacular tune or anything, but it's nice to have seen the only performance. I will say that much for it. Not their worst by any stretch of the imagination.

After Windy City, the Chicago crowd was treated to a spectacular The Curtain With, which got everyone in my vicinity extremely pumped. That was definitely one of the high points of the first set. Train Song, Gumbo, and Heavy Things were all played well, making for a fun first set. Time Turns Elastic was one of the better played versions I've heard, but it was still pretty text book. I could have done with a better set one closer.

After set break, I was a little bit further back (8-10 people from the stage), but was closer to Trey than Mike this time. Backwards Down the Number Line played for 14+ minutes, and was a great set opener. I was loving it, and so was the rest of the crowd. When Carini started, the entire crowd as one started raging. It was a beautiful thing to see. Gotta Jibboo was fun, and Theme From the Bottom was pretty good. Wilson > 2001 was absolutely amazing. The lights in the arena, a soccer stadium, were mind-blowing. Chalk Dust Torture and Harry Hood were both absolutely superb, and Page shone beautifully in The Squirming Coil.

For the encore, Loving Cup is certainly one of my favorite encore songs, and I was still pumped and high on adrenaline following the show.

Set one could have afforded to be stronger, but Set Two was pretty ragin'. 7.5/10.0
, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by markah

markah I wouldn't call Chicago a was at worst a "below average Phish show" which as we all know is still a typically kickass amazing show. Take another listen to the Wilson, Chalkdust, and the Hood (and not to mention the only 3.0 Carini so far) -- darkness abounds, perhaps, but I love that. 2001 and Jibboo were a blast live, of course.

Above all -- Number Line was one of the best version played (2nd only to the 8/16 SPAC version a few days later). Plus, And Paul & Silas was a treat for sure, and I loved hearing Windy City --- what a great tune! They need some to strecth out more on these odd-meter tunes. I can't wait to hear them jam in 7 or 9 some more. You know what a psychedelic beast SOAMelt has become...I think the potential is there for similar feats of greatness from Windy City or Sugar Shack.
, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by panic1985

panic1985 I got into Phish right before Coventry, so I had the terrible misfortune to never see them live. Listened to them non-stop since '04, and I finally got to see them here. The venue was terrible, it was a square soccer stadium, wasn't made for music. However, this was the first time I've ever seen Phish, so I kinda got over it. Happy to hear Sample, one of my favorite "non-jammed" songs. Gumbo was great, I've heard so many recording of that song that it was nice to hear it live. The first set was plain, nothing to fancy or nothing to bad to say about it.
On the flip side, the second set is why I fell in love with phish to begin with. You can read the songs, all of them were great. It was a great set of Phish that will be hard to top. Loving Cup was a good encore.

Favorite parts:
1. Carini 2. Harry Hood 3. Wilson>2001>Chalk Dust 4. Ending the concert on Coil, with Page's extended outro.
, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by jthomeskillet

jthomeskillet this was my first show since 2000, I was in a different place post hiatus as they say. But a stroke of luck brought me out of slumber to feel Phish again. I wasn't familiar with any new tunes, but really dug killdevil falls. Real strong blues groove. Sample, a rocker. Ocelot, a swingier number. Then ol' Paul & Silas, classic tune, a request says Trey from a fella he met walkin yesterday. Reminded me of the old acoustic setup in '94, though I don't recall them actually doin Paul & Silas on it. I could definitely see some of the newer stuff coming on acoustic. Maybe 20 years later? Backwards down would be nice too.Anyway -
Windy City debuted here. Nice song,definitely Pages number. Curtain was sweeeeet and rolled into Train song. A short Gumbo got the jams out momentarily, then Heavy Things,I vaguely remembered this one from somewhere, sometime, but basically a new one for me and was very glad to dig it. Time turns elastic. This song is paradigm, live, it didn't sit well. seemed to break up the flow, but after further listening it is an interesting and complex composition. Now that I've heard it done with an orchestra I see it in a whole new light I guess. I appreciate it nonetheless, even if I don't quite get it.
Second set started off with another new one for me, and it was real nice, followed by some intense dark & thick licks from all as it careened into Carini. This song is thick and heavy, strong with no cream, if ya know what I mean. It curved into a boppy Gotta Jibboo.Theme was another solid tune into Wilson, seemed short but jammed thoroughly straight through 2001 into Chalkdust.Hood was sick and Scirming Squoil was beautiful! Thank you Page! A Lovin' Cup encore left me with a smile and that old itch, CAN'T WAIT TO SEE 'EM AGAIN.
, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by makisupaman

makisupaman I had a good time at this show. First set was mellow, with the Curtain With being the stand-out. Carini, Jibboo, and Also Sprach Zarathustra were the second set highlights. I personally think that 2001 was the best they played in 2009. It was an unorthodox setlist, and really stalled at points. Individually, Curtain and 2001 were two of the best renditions of 3.0, but as other reviews state it wasn't the best show as a whole. With this year's Toyota Park show only weeks away, I can only hope they throw it down hard and shake the dust off real quick like. Alumni Blues will be my only request, if anyone 'in the know' is reading this. I get my masters degree the next day, can't wait!
, attached to 2009-08-11

Review by Dressed_In_Gray

Dressed_In_Gray My 1st show since September 2000, and what a stinker it was. I stayed away from the post-hiatus shows, due to quality/accuracy issues, but I was psyched for this show, and the opportunity to turn a buddy onto live Phish.

The new tunes were cool, especially Ocelot, but MAN, what a sub-par show. Never thought I'd ever say that Wilson was the main show highlight, but the Wilson->2001->ChalkDust (which was pretty badass) was the best of the lot. It felt like Picture Of Nectar does...things just don't quite fit. And then there was Harry Hood. Never, and I mean ever, have I done anything but pay rapt attention during Hood, but I found myself looking at the crowd instead. I support Phish's drive to try new things, but I reserve the right to say if it sucks.

And it sucked.

Of course, the Worst Phish Show Ever is still WAAAAY better than the Best Work Day Ever, but this show was below sub-par. It was sub-bogey.

My buddy dug it, which is great. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. But this kid is pretty sharp. He caught up with me at set break at Cobo Arena later in November and said the first set of the Cobo show was better than the entire Toyota Park show.

I said yeah, and then some.
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