6-16-09 - Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO
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please review the show, not the other reviews....
from brad davis
date Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 10:04 PM
subject fox review
Beautiful weather in St. Louis for the day. I'm from Houston so I'm used
to some pretty hellish weather. Started off the day with a tour of the
Budweiser factory, which was totally awesome. Drank some free stella,
bud, and american ale at the end of the tour to get the day going. After
a short nap (was still exhausted from bonnaroo) it was time to get
ourselves together and head down to the fox. The cab dropped us off about
a half block away because traffic was building up. As we walked around
the corner onto Grand, what a beautiful sight, the Fox theatre.
The scene outside was brilliant. Heads everywhere with giant smiles on
their faces. Most of the ticketless were herding directly in front of the
venue, while those with tickets were across the street relaxing with a
smoke or a beer. We made our way inside and were blown away by the
majesty of the venue. I won't even attempt to describe the ornament and
detail of the building, so forget that. We were ushered to our seat by a
friendly old lady and sat as the excitement grew. Before we knew it, the
lights went down and it was DARK AS SHIT inside the venue.
Kill Devil Falls: Hey, who doesn't like new material? It was a great
selection by the band to start off the show. It's important for them to
ease into a hyped up show. The song was enjoyable and very well played.
Definitely got the crowd going.
Ocelot: At this point in the tour, the fans still weren't aware of the
song until Trey began singing. My buddy and I were pumped to hear it
because it was quickly becoming our favorite new phish song. Great
playing by Trey, lots of energy from everyone. By this point, I am
beginning to realize that the crowd is smoking an incredibly huge amount
of weed. Aside from the geriatric ushers, I saw a total of maybe 10 hired
security working the show. None of whom seemed intent on busting people
for anything. Security was terrific. The fans were polite, but intent on
getting stoned as shit.
Brian and Robert: Call me crazy, but I think this was an excellent choice
with excellent placement. What a beautiful song.
Sample: A solid sample, not much to say, just solid.
Rift: I thought the middle balcony was going to explode. The crowd was
all over Rift the second Trey began playing the opening notes. I was
surprised by how well Page and Trey were able to go through the composed
"chase" segment of the song after such a long hiatus. The band did a
Yamar: Crowd getting even more excited! YaMar is a great song, a crowd
favorite, and the smoke was getting heavy in the middle balcony.
Reba: My favorite phish song. Well played, no whistling (thank god).
Train Song: One of my favorite Mike songs. The lyrics are so very
clever. This allowed everyone in the crowd a chance to cool it down and
for those that were getting psychedlic to keep from losing their minds so
early in the evening.
Horn: What a surprise! The band nailed it. I absolutely love Horn.
Makes me think of my brother, he's not really a phan, but he loves Horn.
Possum: At this point, I had already heard possum three times this tour,
but who cares! It's possum. The crowd really began to refocus their
energy on the band and Kuroda starting getting SICK with the lights.
Slave: The boys flubbed the ending, but it was a solid finish to a very
well played set.
Set Break: LOTS OF EXCITED FANS. Everyone was having a great time. The
men's restroom was an actual lounge. It had a freaking lounge with
elegant furniture and mirrors. It was rediculous. No wait at all for a
toilet! The beer lines were rediculous. Smoking a cigarette was a pain
in the ass too. Everyone was shuffled into this fenced in area of the
alley. I said f all that, but my buddy went anyway. Did I mention there
was an extremely high number of people tripping at this show?
Halley's: Great stuff, everyone loves when Mike bust out those first few
vocal notes then gets it going with the bass. Trey seemed to really enjoy
Runaway Jim: Awesome, this just really stacked upon the energy created
throughout Halley's. By no means a great version, but excellently played
and Kuroda had this rediculous effect where he was slowly pulling yellow
dotted lights down the back wall and it looked like little trails of fire
were making their way down the back of the stage. It was beyond trippy
even for someone not on psychedelics, like myself.
Frankie says: Frankie says cool selection. Some people hated on this,
but it was great to hear.
Time Turns Elastic: F THE HATERS, THIS SONG IS AWESOME. Unfortunately a
lot of people weren't interested and I even saw a significant number of
"phans" sit down for a smoke break. What could possibly be more
interesting then seeing the band play NEW MATERIAL? Some people. Anyway,
the band nailed this except for one tiny little flub at the end, but big
deal, what matters is that the energy was INTENSE. The lazy asses finally
stood up for the second half of the song and were clearly impressed by
Trey's writing and the band's playing. I don't know how Fishman is able
to make all the changes, he is truly the tour's MVP, he never screws up.
Sleep: Haahah! I loved it. I thought it was a very clever selection. I
saw afterward that alot of people thought this was a lame selection.
Whatever, sleep is an awesome song and there is no perfect place to put it
in a set. Just be glad you get to see it. Very well played.
Mikes Groove: Well, for anyone that fell asleep during sleep, they sure
as hell got their ass up for Mike's Groove. Awesome playing by the band,
more great lighting work by CK5. Not a spectacular Groove by any means,
but definitely a lot of fun.
Boogie: your average boogie.
Character Zero: Again, we had heard this several times at this point in
the tour, but damn if it didn't blow the venue up. You could physically
feel the balcony bobbing. I don't think anybody cared though. The crowd
really lost their minds and got into this one!
SSB: Hilarious. Awesome. Upon completion trey yelled "PLAY BALL" into
his mic on the way back to picking up the 'doc. It was very funny.
McGrupp: I nearly shit when the first notes came out of the doc. It was
surprising how few people picked up on this immediately. I'm not one of
these "look at me i know what song they are playing instantly" guys, but
damn, where's the love people???????? Once the house was aware of what
song was being played, the energy picked back up. HE LOOKS TOO MUCH LIKE
DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE!!! Very well played, very difficult composed segment
toward the end and I thought the band did a great job of playing a song
they hadn't played in ages.
WMGGW: By all accounts a tribute to a fallen phan. Emotional as always,
a great end to a great evening.
After Show: Walking out into the street, it was a sea of overwhelmed
fans. There just wasn't much to say other than "holy shit that was
awesome" a lot of silent phans walking away. I guess that's what phish
does best, leave you speechless.
- Brad in Houston
06/16/09 The Fabulous Fox Theatre - St. Louis, MO
1: Kill Devil Falls, Ocelot, Brian And Robert, Sample in a Jar, Rift,
Yamar, Reba, Train Song, Horn, Possum, Slave To The Traffic Light
2: Halley's Comet > Runaway Jim, Frankie Says, Time Turns Elastic, Sleep,
Mike's Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Boogie On Reggae Woman,
E: The Star-Spangled Banner, McGrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters, While
My Guitar Gently Weeps
From: n S.
subject Phish Show Review - 6-16-09 Fox Theater
Fox Theater St. Louis, MO
I am going to start this out by saying that St. Louis is a freaking hole.
What a crappy place to live. I am Italian so I went with all the
suggestions to try the toasted raviolis. I was not impressed. I tried
them at two different places. Give me my grandma's homemade ricotta
cheese raviolis any day over the toasted ones. So anyways, I figured the
lot scene would be close to non-existent since it was a small show and out
of the way from Bonnaroo to Starlake. However, I was wrong. "L" was all
over the place. It seems the band knew in their playing as everyone in
the Fox was tripping face. We walked right in around 7:15 with no line
what so ever. When can you say that?! The venue was absolutely surreal.
The place felt like it could have been a theater in Asia circa 1500's.
The detail in the theater was out of this world. The lines for a beer or
drink were way too long to even think about waiting. Not a bad seat in
the house. I was in the middle balcony section and had a phenomenal view.
Lights go down!
Kill Devil Falls - First time seeing this live and it was strong. It did
sound very Chalkdust-like but really a great new song. Great choice for
an opener as it got the people moving right off the bat.
Ocelot - Another first timer for me. Lyrics were catchy and they really
played this tune tightly. There is definitely some room for improv and
could be a big jam vehicle in the future. This version did not
disappoint. You can tell they are really into the new songs as these
first 2 songs we VERY tight.
Brian & Robert - After a raging 20 minutes of new tunes, they took a
breather. Just from reading online posts, it seems as this was played as
a tribute to a fallen phan, which gives a solid reason for playing this
Sample - Sample is sample. The rock anthem delivered on Trey's solo.
Sample is Sample.
Rift - This song brought the energy back up. Although, they seemed to be
a little off on this tune. They finally got it together by the end and
blew the roof off with the ending.
Ya Mar - Nothing out of the ordinary. It was a solid Ya Mar. They kept
it short and sweet.
Reba - Tight for the most part. A missed change or two but who cares.
The build up seemed rushed. No whistling.
Train Song - Same version every time. A little rest for the boys.
Horn - Solid. Evidently, they needed another breather.
Possum - The intro build-up was intense and longer than most recent
versions. This song absolutely raged. They have been playing Possum
about every other show so they feel real comfortable playing this and it
shows. The jam was high energy and intense. The whole theater was
Slave - This was not a great way to end the set. I love Slave but it was
sloppy and all over the place. The song lacked the emotion it normally
After the first few notes, I thought we were going to get Seven Below. It
was either a tease or it was aborted for:
Halley's - If there was one defining moment of the show it was Halley's.
They really explored this song and took some chances. Some really great
Type 2 jamming. The jam seemed to be geared around all the tripping faces
in the crowd. Very spacey at times. It also sounded like Mike and
Fishman were playing Gotta Jiboo for a good while towards the end. Seemed
like they kept trying to get Trey to segue into it but he was resisting.
The jam melted into:
Runaway Jim - Nothing out of the ordinary here. Just a solid Jim. Place
was shaking during the jam before "Jim came home when he was 17" lyrics.
Frankie Says - This song is ok but terrible placement of the song.
Time Turns Elastic - The first 10 minutes of this song was awkward and
fairly boring. The last 6 minutes were raging though. Hopefully as time
goes on, this song will evolve into the full package. If it weren't for
the first 10 minutes, this would be a terrific song.
Sleep - Normally, I would have sat down and packed a bowl up but for some
reason, Trey seemed sincere in this song and captivated me with his eerie
voice. Not the best placement but nice none the less.
Mike's Song - Very powerful and got the crowd back up. I didn't feel it
was a great Mike's, just tight. It didn't have the direction most Mike's
bring to the table.
I am Hydrogen - The theater was floating on air, or eh, hydrogen.
Weekapaug - Nothing special. No real peaks as previous versions supply.
It almost feels they were just rushing to get through the whole Mike's
Groove. I though this was gonna end the set.
Boogie On - This was a crunchy version with a little funk thrown in. Page
was the all-star in this song.
Character Zer0 - I think Trey was trying to bring the balcony down with
this song. Got a little crazy up top. You could definitely see the
balcony bouncing like those old videos of suspension bridges during a
windy storm. Trey was loving it and delivery those rock riffs Character
Zer0 is known for.
SSB - What a funny placement for that a cappella choice. Maybe was in
reference to the Cardinals/Tigers game going on during the show right down
the street at Busch. Or maybe they wanted to fuck a lot of people out of
their "one timer" pick on PT (which might be stretching it a bit). At the
end Trey shouted, "Play ball!"
McGrupp - With all the talk about Gamehendge at the Fox, this was Phish's
offering. Something other than AC/DC Bag or Wilson. I thought it was a
nice gesture and while it is not my favorite Gamehendge song, it was
greatly appreciated. I really don't think half the crowd had ever heard
the song before. When it ended, the applause was weak as hell.
WMGGW - Again, reading online posts, it seems this might have been another
dedication to that fallen phan. That being said, I really wish Phish
would pick some different Beatle tunes. A Day in the Life and WMGGW is
tired and I wish they would move on.
The music was tight for the most part. The sets did not flow as well as
they could have. I didn't fall into all the hype that surrounded the Fox
show. I just expected a little better since they showed huge signs of
improvement at Camden and Asheville. I haven't listened to this again
yet, just going on my memory. What made this show so special was the
venue and the energy. The lights were on point! Halley's has to be one
of the best songs of the tour. The staff of the Fox was very nice and
they let us be. The cops in St. Louis were basically non-existent.
Leaving the show, the nitrous mafia was in full force. It was pretty
funny because on one side of the street was the nitrous mafia. The other
side was lot kids selling gas. The lot kids had this guy corralling
people leaving the show, shouting things like, "No mafia gas here" and "We
actually go in the shows." He kept yelling across the street to the
nitrous mafia, "You mafias!" Had to be there but it was funny as hell.
So was this the best Phish show, musically, this year, no. The energy,
vibe, and venue made up for that.
...review of the SBD of the show...
from eric tipton
subject my 6/16/09 Fox review
Kill Devil Falls 10:27
Even on the SBD you can tell the crowd is going bonkers. Energy seems to
be through the roof. Good song to open this special show with - get the
energy pumping right from jump street. Does anyone else think this song
could be a veiled reference to Trey's bust in Whitehall, NY?
Two new songs in a row I thought was kind of a statement from the band.
Yes we understand this was an incredibly tough ticket but we are still
going to play the show we want to play. Nice little solo in there but
nothing too different than the other version so far.
Brian and Robert 3:53
Now this is poor placement. That would be my knee jerk reaction. But when
I thought about it some more, this is what I came up with: Better to play
it in the first set and get it over with early on. It would suck if they
played this after a face melter and destroyed momentum.
Sample in a Jar 4:56
Good way to quickly ramp the energy back up.
First one since Hampton. Trey's first solo isn't exactly perfect but it's
not bad either. Page's solo is nice. But when he goes to hand it back to
Trey for his second/final solo; Trey is off key and it leads to about 10
cringeworthy seconds. Considering it hadn't been played yet this tour, I
can let it slide.
Ya Mar 6:59
Damn. Was hoping they would save this for Deer Creek. "He was Mike's
Grandpa" Nice! Page's solo is accompanied by Mike in fine fashion. No
real solo by Trey. He picks for a few seconds, Fish takes a good run and
Composed section was really tight. Not perfect but sounded great. The jam
I thought really kicked ass. Trey keeps his tone clean but changes it to
that whale sounding stuff around 9 minutes in. But it's not overpowering
or terribly distracting. He briefly starts playing a few too many notes to
fast but the reigns it back in. Sweet, sweet close to the jam. A definite
highlight, I really enjoyed this Reba.
Train Song 2:43
Perfect placement and perfect venue for this.
My initial reaction is poor placement. But again - to step back and think
about it - it's less than 4 minutes long. Coupled with Train Song is not a
bad way to go. If Trey nails his solo, I will take a Horn just about
anytime. He nailed it. Not played since Hampton by the way.
Hope they still play this at Deer Creek where it is always appropriate.
5th time played on this tour, wow Don't care, still want it at Deer Creek
Trey picks it clean as hell and Page compliments him well; can't barely
hear Mike 5:40 Trey starts trilling away, taking it up to that peak. He
sort of sustains this note that reminds me of an airplane taking off. Real
nice peak at 7 minutes. Good Possum. I bet alot of people figured this
would end the set.
Slave to the Traffic Light 9:49
Shit. I wanted this badly at Star Lake or the Creek as it is my second
favorite song behind Divided Sky. Sour note at 0:23. Impressive
'Slaaaaaaaave' vocals. Like those in Free, Slave vocals can be suspect
most of the time. Not here. Trey hits a rough patch of sour notes from
2:20 through 2:27. He recovers nicely though. He goes on to smoke the hard
driving chords that lead to the intro of the quiet jam. Going along good
until the whale rears it's ugly head @ 6:00. By 8:00 Trey starts trilling
it up. But that trails off way too soon and mellows out. Essentially there
is no true peak and it ends weakly and with one last ironic sour note.
Doh. I mean, don't get me wrong - it wasn't awful. But this song can be
and has been so, so much more in the past.
Reba was my one true highlight in the first set.
Halley's Comet 13:57
The 'Haaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllleeeeeeeeeeey's Comet vocals strong and on
point. Not flat like they can oftentimes be. Helluva way to open the
second set. I'm sure the balcony was bouncing up and down. The jam is
launched around 7 minutes with Trey picking it big time - rapid fire notes
in here. I imagine the Fox crowd was going off throughout this as it is
extremely danceable. 10:06 killer trills from Trey. The jam does start to
mellow out at 11 minutes. Fish comes in and along with Page and Mike
create a nice backdrop for Trey to noodle around in. Trippy effects from
Page at 12 minutes, like you would hear in What's the Use (hope we get
this at Deer Creek). The whale is let loose at the very tail end here.
Kick ass segue >
Runaway Jim 7:48
Having listened to the monstrous Jim from 6/16/95 yesterday, I couldn't
help but wonder if the band had anything crazy like that in store. Uh, no
they didn't. Nice peak to end it.
Frankie Says 5:37
Ouch. Kiss the momentum goodbye. Last played 12/28/03 which actually had a
beastly jam to it. This one did nothing for me and is totally Mehtastic.
Time Turns Elastic 16:46
Fast forward to the last five minutes and it's all good.
Last played 2/28/03.
Mike's Song 9:26
Page funking it up bigger than life after the 'tramps' segment. Was there
any fog for this one? If so I can just see Trey with that half scowl on
his face - head bobbing in and out of the fog. It would have gone well
with the dark, dirty, evil groove they have going on. Trey sticks with
this one theme that really works well. Nice snappy playing. Kick ass
Mike's. They are starting to stretch out a bit.
I Am Hydrogen 3:12
Not exactly airtight...
Weekapaug Groove 7:04
Features some really fun, danceable beats. Fishman on woodblocks when they
break back into the chorus. Not the tightest of 'Paugs but still fun.
Boogie On Reggae Woman 6:58
Funked the hell out. Check out Cactus throwing down a few lines from
Frankenstein @ 6:14. Sick!
Character Zero 7:53
Same old, same old.
The Star-Spangled Banner 1:40
Trey, "Play Ball"
McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters 8:55
Last played 7/29/03. Played well until Trey forgets to play his riff there
at the end of Page's section. Strange. I am sure they have been practicing
it considering how well it was played up until Trey spaced out.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
I've always wondered why Page doesn't sing this. Trey takes his time with
the solo and does a admirable job. Pretty incredible way to end the show
with those two tunes. Seemed like Trey wanted to just keep playing WMGGW.
Well, people had ungodly expectations for this show that they couldn't
have lived up to. Good show, not great. My second set highlights would be
the Halley's, Mike's and the encore.
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