The Star Spangled Banner was performed from the pitcher's mound. This show marked the debut of Ocelot and the Phish debuts of Light and Time Turns Elastic. Stash was preceded by Stash, It's Ice and Take Me Out to the Ballgame teases. Trey also teased Take Me Out to the Ballgame after Stash and again during Limb By Limb. After Time Turns Elastic, Trey jokingly announced, "That's our single." The Ballad of Curtis Loew was performed for the first time since August 2, 1993 (628 shows).

Jam Chart Versions
Take Me Out to the Ballgame tease in Limb By Limb, It's Ice tease
Debut Years (Average: 1993)

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

Show Reviews

, attached to 2009-05-31

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks On paper this looks like a visit from chocolate-covered Jesus on a pony (that second set songlist is ridiculous, and doesn't even include the first-frame Destiny Unbound!); at the show it was like your grandma returning from heaven with home-baked cookies and your blankie; on tape it's an effervescent rock show with a single (excellent) segue and not a single *deep sea* cut from the band. The Fenway show was a celebration, and was (appropriately) about the moment, not the tapes. That's a mighty fine Stash in the first set, and that second set's a goddamn party (plus every encore song's a closer). But the band wouldn't really go deep for another week, with the Jones Beach Hood, Camden Sand, Asheville Ghost, and Knoxville Waves > Ocean > Bowie.

Having done all that bitching, we can admit that this is about as good a straight-up rock concert as a normal human could possibly want, and you'd be a fool to skip it for lack of that single transcendent jam. This is pure pop-music uplift, and well worth the LivePhish purchase (or trusty complimentary download).
, attached to 2009-05-31

Review by Icculus

Icculus (originally published by Jambase)

Phish's 2009 Summer tour began in an historic fashion at one of baseball's most legendary parks. After a rain delay, Phish - œ wearing Red Sox jerseys (Trey wore #18, Mike #8, Fish #9, Page #15(?)) -- took the mound and sang the "Star Spangled Banner" a capella, which they had not publicly performed (I believe) since before a New Jersey Nets basketball game on June 12, 2003.

It was a moving tour opener, befitting the stature of the park, prepared as it was for Phish and over 40,000 of their fans: even the scoreboard on the "Green Monster" (the 37-foot left field wall, dwarfed by Phish's stage) spelled-out "P H I S H."

The music over the course of the evening, accompanied as it was by Chris Kuroda's magnificent lighting, did not disappoint. There was something for every fan, from the thousands in attendance seeing Phish for the very first time to those seeing them for the 100th time or more.

Phish performed:

* three new tunes, including the prog-rockish gem, "Time Turns Elastic," which sounded spectacular and will only improve with age;

* many sing-a-long, fan-favorites, such as "Sample in a Jar," "Chalk Dust Torture," "Bouncing Around the Room," "Character Zero," and "Cavern;"

* two rarities, "Destiny Unbound" (last played at the Nassau Coliseum on February 28, 2003, but only the second performance since 1991) and "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" (last played during a show in Ybor City, Florida, on August 2, 1993);

* numerous jamming tunes, including "Stash," "Tweezer," "Bathtub Gin" and "David Bowie" (which sounded at least as tight, if not moreso, than they did at Hampton in March), and a funked-out-of-the-park, grand slam version of "You Enjoy Myself;"

* a triple encore, featuring a blistering cover of Led Zepplin's "Good Times Bad Times."

With respect to the debut songs, "Ocelot" often sounds like a slow, even somewhat tedious, "46 Days," which is to say that if don't like "46 Days," you're probably not going to like this song, either. "Light," on the other hand, is quick and punchy, and sounds more like part of a song cycle rather than an individual work. This version segued out of a spacey "Tweezer" jam, and it will probably segue out of many other jams in the future. "Time Turns Elastic" is Phish's "Close to the Edge," with several complex movements and time changes. It has a thrilling ending, which the throngs at Fenway loved.

To be sure, despite solid versions of "Stash" and "Down with Disease," and a great version of "Destiny Unbound," the first set lacked the improvisational vigor of the second set. But all things considered, this was an excellent tour opener. If Phish was rusty, they hid it well.

One of the highlights of the evening's music for me, however, did not occur during the show at all. Although I could not hear the soundcheck too clearly (it was carried by the breeze),"Kill Devil Falls," a new tune, sounded like a great "classic rock" song -- like Dylan's "Mighty Quinn" merging with The Rolling Stones' "Lovin' Cup." It sounded awesome, and I look forward to hearing it jammed-out in the future.
, attached to 2009-05-31

Review by meanpete

meanpete Nothing tougher than subjectively reviewing my first show back after the breakup. After failing to get summer '09 tickets because of the infamous Livenation crash of 2009, I had given up most of my hope of seeing Phish again. Given the lack of longevity of 2.0, I assumed the '09 tours were going to be a one shot deal. I heard of the Fenway show about two weeks before, and managed to score a ticket.

The weather was a shit show pre-show, and entrence was a nightmare. I spent 30 minutes bottlenecked in the pouring rain. I would find out that Phish took the field just about at the scheduled time (?!), while I was wating to get in. I heard the opening chords of Sample as I ran through the Fenway concession area. The sensation of running down the aisle to my 3rd base side seat, seeing the sun breaking through the clouds, and dancing my ass off to Sample was the stuff of dreams.

None of the first set felt real. A new Phish song (Ocelot)? There hasn't been one of those in 5 years. Watching the hoedown in the right field bleachers during Poor Heart, at Fenway? Must be a dream. Freaking Destiny Unbound? I texted everybody I knew who might care: "Phish is playing Destiny Unbound right now."

Set 2 was an assault of all the big Phish anthems I wanted to hear just once more in my life. Tweezer? Check. Gin? Check. Bowie? Check. Free? Check. YEM!

What a difference a few years makes. On tape, things go like this: nothing special to see. Sure, the Light debut is notable, but only as a historical marker. This is one of those "you had to be there" moments that brought us all back after the 5 years away.
, attached to 2009-05-31

Review by Hugh_Mongus

Hugh_Mongus This was my first Phish show, and growing up in Massachusetts I could not be more excited to see them at Fenway Park. Being a hometown show, there were a lot of great friends to share the experience with. I remember the rain falling hard as we walked in, the first thing I saw entering the gates was my math teacher that I would have the following day. Was not expecting that one, she was kind enough to talk shortly before Phish took the stage.

Well we entered the park and took our seats somewhere in the first section by the third base line. Seeing my favorite band in the jerseys of my favorite baseball team was a great a perfect start. Sample In A Jar was a great first song to begin with. Older fans must have had pure elation to once again feel the feeling they forgot, and for the first timers, certainly not the last. Well as the set continued the rain did not, and the sun had began to break through offering a beautiful sight at a rainbow. The crowd’s reaction was unforgettable. Having no expectations I enjoyed it all. Looking back at the setlist, I can remember certain moments of songs that stuck out. Stash was one of those, I thought played very well. Ocelot, Limb By Limb and Character Zero were highlights for me. I had not heard Ocelot prior but it is still a song I love to hear.

During the second set we had made our way up to the mezzanine. Opened with Tweezer, and closed with three songs that I enjoyed very much so. You Enjoy Myself was my highlight of the night, It felt like I had jumped ten feet into the air during the "ahhh boy," and Mikes solo before the vocal jam also stuck out. Was a great night and feel lucky to have been a part of the experience at Fenway.
, attached to 2009-05-31

Review by GratephulPhan

GratephulPhan My first show (I was a late bloomer) and at one of my favorite places in the world, Fenway Park.

Having the Star Spangled Banner was a nice touch and really awesome to see the band in Sox jerseys. Sample in a Jar (being my first) was great and had a lot of energy. I will say that the sound in Fenway is not all that great and I was sitting right near Pesky's Pole (stage left). The Moma Dance was super fun and funky and there was a rainbow that came out over the monster around this point which was sick!

CDT was awesome and standard. Ocelot was new and a little rough around the edges for me at this point. Stash was a treat and experiencing the crowd integration with clapping for the first time was super fun! Bouncing was standard and fun. Poor Heart was a treat and a song which I had not really ever gotten into at this point. LxL was high energy and got the crowd really into it. Velvet Sea was nice to slow things down and expand my Phish slower songs repertoire. Disease was a treat and now that I look back, kind of in a strange spot in the set, but featured some awesome energetic jamming and shredding from Trey. Destiny Unbound was an AWESOME treat as I had recently been introduced to this song and really wanted to hear it. Character Zero was a good set ender and was high energy!

Second set was a different beast. Tweezer > Light was a lot of fun as the tweezer was funky and drawn out (a little out there at the end) and a lot of fun. Light was new and was being taken for a test drive, but had tight short jamming. Bathtub Gin was a personal favorite of mine and I really enjoyed this one. David Bowie was pretty standard, but also very fun! Time Turns Elastic was not quite as fun for me, this song has never really done it for me even though its a decent song, I think the placement was off. Free got the party going again though! I had never heard the Ballad of Curtis Lowe before and LOVED this! Then, YEM, and what an awesome surprise. The jamming was pretty slow but nice and funky and just plain out awesomeness to end the second set.

Cavern to start the encore was a lot of fun too, I have always loved me a good cavern. GTBT was sick! Tweeprise was expected, but left people on a great note


Destiny Unbound, Gin, YEM, Cavern
, attached to 2009-05-31

Review by chrisjohnson2900

chrisjohnson2900 Among the highlights for this show were Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Poor Heart, Tweezer, David Bowie, and You Enjoy Myself. My overall reaction was that it is going to take some time for these guys to get to a point where they are going to create sounds they never have before. It turns out, after listening to the entire summer tour, that they totally exceeded all of my expectations. Of the summer shows, this show received the fourth weakest score.

Set I: 1. Star Spangled Banner: ★★★; 2. Sample In A Jar: ★★★; 3. The Moma Dance: ★★★; 4. Chalk Dust Torture: ★★★; 5. Ocelot: ★★★; 6. Stash: ★★★★; 7. Bouncing Around The Room: ★★★★; 8. Poor Heart: ★★★★; 9. Limb By Limb: ★★; 10. Wading in the Velvet Sea: ★★; 11. Down With Disease: ★★★; 12. Destiny Unbound: ★★; 13. Character Zero: ★★★

Set II: 14. Tweezer: ★★★★; 15. Light: ★★★; 16. Bathtub Gin: ★★★; 17. David Bowie: ★★★★; 18. Time Turns Elastic: ★★★; 19. Free: ★★★; 20. Curtis Lowe: ★★★; 21. You Enjoy Myself: ★★★★

Encore: 22. Cavern: ★★★; 23. Good Times, Bad Times: ★★★; 24. Tweezer Reprise: ★★★

GHI: 3.1/5.0
Batting Average: .625 (75 Stars/120 Stars)

The two ratings are Batting Average and GHI. Both are defined below.
BA: The total number of stars achieved divided by the total possible stars a concert can achieve. Each song can achieve a total possible 5 stars, 5 being the best, 0 being the worst. Therefore, each show receives anywhere from a 1.0 to a .001.

GHI: This rating is used in The Phish Companion 2nd Ed. Each show is given a score from 0 to 5, five being the best and 0 being the worst.

The two scores are synonymous. I like the BA form better because each show receives a score closer to its worth depending on how you rated it.
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