Bootleg Bonanza: Phish – Hampton, VA (03/06/09)

phish hampton 2009

Hampton Coliseum
Hampton, VA

Download MP3@224

The Divided Sky
Chalk Dust Torture
Sample In A Jar
I Didn’t Know
The Oh Kee Pah Ceremony>
Suzy Greenberg
Train Song
Water In The Sky
The Squirming Coil
David Bowie

Set II
Backwards Down The Number Line
Theme From The Bottom
First Tube
Harry Hood
You Enjoy Myself

E: Grind*
Bouncing Around The Room
Loving Cup

First show since 08/15/2004
Last Fluffhead 9/29/2000
First Backwards Down the Number Line (TAB)
Last Grind 12/30/1998
*A capella

I’ve never really gotten into Phish. I think they are very talented dudes, but for whatever reason they’ve never really turned me on. Many years ago as a way to introduce myself I bought a box full of tapes consisting of dozens of live shows. In retrospect this was a lousy way to try to get into the band. The sound quality on most of the tapes wasn’t good. I didn’t know any of their songs and while sometimes a live version can be the best version, for a jamband it is hard to tell the song from the jam in a live setting this was the case for those tapes. I simply couldn’t grab hold of anything and thus I quickly stopped listening to the tapes.

One thing I did notice in those tapes is the lyrics. I come to improvisational rock by way of the Grateful Dead. While they certainly take their songs, musically, to the outer stratosphere, Robert Hunter wrote some of the most brilliant lyrics this side of Bob Dylan. I often say that I am not a lyrics guy and what I really mean is that when I listen to a song I usually pay attention to the music and not so much the lyrics. What I really, really mean is that I have a hard time understanding what most singers are singing, and an even harder time remembering them. What I don’t mean is that I’m not interested in the poetry of lyrics. When I do understand what is being sung, I want the words to have meaning. Phish lyrics always seem to be a joke. From what I hear, they have no more deeper meaning than the sly enjoyment of them being sung. On that note, they don’t’ resonate with me in the least.

As I say all of this, I will again say the boys are absolutely great musicians. I will also say I may change my tune with these reunion shows. Listening to these songs I am struck by how much I am enjoying them. While I’m still not so sure of the lyrics, the playing is phenomenal. I’m also struck, by the shear joy that can be heard from the crowd. As this is the first Phish show in some four years it must have been an amazing experience to have been there.

It is a pretty amazing experience hearing it on tape.

0 thoughts on “Bootleg Bonanza: Phish – Hampton, VA (03/06/09)

  1. I completely agree about Phish; I could always appreciate WHO they are but I just didn’t go bonkers about what I HEARD from them. But I will say that every song I heard by them was a studio recording (other than their AMAZING cover of the Who’s ‘5:15’) and my instinct always said “this would sound better live” or “they don’t sound like a studio band” and so maybe this bootleg will help me enjoy them, we’ll see…

  2. They are obviously talented dudes, but yeah, I just haven’t really *gotten* them. This show is pretty cool though.

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