6-21-09 - Alpine Valley Music Theater, East Troy, WI

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from mgagss date Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 2:41 PM subject Alpine Valley 6-21-09 Opened with Brother squared with their kids in the bathtub which was cool. Brother was short and to the point. Wolfman's Brother was also well played with about a 4-5min jam that was also to the point. Funky Bitch was by request and then as can be expected in the middle of any outdoor 1st set show - Divided Sky. Trey nailed the main solo as the clouds were hovering overhead. Joy, a new song, was next and I'll have to hear it more before I form an opinion. Back on the Train was the funkiest version I've ever heard and had Page melting my face with his Moog & clavinet. Taste was also well played, but the jam kept relatively tame. Poor Heart thru TMWSIY was somewhat uneventful for me although my Jewish friends really dug Malkanu. They closed the 1st set with Time Turns Elastic which I have a feeling will grow on me kind of like Fluffhead did some 25 years ago. Check with me next tour! 2nd set was the goods as far as jams are concerned. Crosseyed and the ensuing jam was monstrous as Page again was working the Moog. Disease was it's usual killer jam and clocked in at about 14min. I never liked Bug and this version seemed a little rushed. Piper was more like the '99 versions where they sing only a couple verses and then they launch. It got real thick around the 10min mark and a serious meltdown followed. Wading is a good song when they don't overplay it and I liked it tonight. Boogie on like Train was extremely funky but kind of short. Slave is always a great closer and tonight was no exception. Encores Grind and Frankenstein were a great way to end the tour. Especially like the 5 or 6 neck guitar and I LOVE the Keytar. I'd give the show an 8 out of 10.
from Bryan Pohl date Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 2:44 AM subject 6-21-09 Alpine Valley review. Let me open this by saying that this was my first show since New Yearís í99 at Big Cypress. -Set 1- Brother Wolfman's Brother Funky Bitch Divided Sky Joy Back On the Train Taste Poor Heart The Horse> Silent in the Morning The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday> Avenu Malkenu> The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday Time Turns Elastic -Set 2- Crosseyed and Painless> Down With Disease Bug> Piper Wading in the Velvet Sea Boogie On Reggae Woman> Slave To The Traffic Light Encore: Grime (a cappela) Frankenstein I was a little shocked when I arrived at how much the lot scene had changed since I was a 19-year old dreadlocked hippy kid selling veggie burritos. Actually, before my wife and I and our friends left the campground, wifey offered to make me a sandwich. I refused, saying that I would ďjust grab something on the lot.Ē Although I wish she had, she didnít protest too much and just let me ďdo my Phish thing.Ē We got to the show and I immediately realized that the crowd was much older and much mellower. I guess everyone else had put on ten years, gotten involved in careers, and had kids, too. While my wife and friends sat down and started drinking beers (I was the designated driver), I began my quest for a veggie burrito. Now, back on summer tour í98, this would have been about a thirty second quest to the end of our parking aisle. However, this was to be a quest that would test my mettle and my ability to deal with hunger. In all, I walked the hill from the green lot to the blue lot and saw lots of tents, and what LOOKED like a Shakedown area, but never found any vending. Resigned to the fact that I was going to have to pay venue prices for food, I walked back to the car, watched my wife and friends finish their beers, and began the walk back up the hill to the venue. As we entered the place, I saw the food prices and refused to pay them. $8.50 for two rubbery chicken fingers and some fries? Seriously?! So, I decided that I would just suck it up and hope that the show would be so good that I didnít even notice how hungry I was. We sat down in our pavilion seats, which were 25 rows back, directly in front of Page, and began the wait for the show to begin (it is very nice to be married to someone with connections). I canít even explain the anticipation I felt while waiting. I didnít want to talk to anyone, I just wanted the boys to come on stage. When they finally did enter the stage, I lost itÖ began screaming at the top of my lungs, and was dying to find out what theyíd play for my first show in ten years. Brother! Pretty cool, even though I specifically named it as a song that I didnít want to hear before the show. It was still fun to see all of their kids coming out and hopping into the tub, one by one. Wolfmanís was as great as itís ever been for a first-set fun dance song. Divided Sky sent me soaring. Couldnít believe they played it. I was convinced they wouldnít. And what a great versionÖ not necessarily as great as some Iíve heard, but it didnít have to be. Joy, Train, Taste, Poor Heart were fun, but nothing I was necessarily too excited to hear, until the first few strums of Horse made me jump up and start yelling because I knew Silent was coming. And they definitely nailed both. Just when I was a little sad to hear Silent being finished up, I heard another song. The sad thing is that it had been so long that I couldnít even remember the name of it at first. Of course, it was TMWSIY>Aevnue>TMWSIY. Iíve seen a LOT of shows in my life and have never been lucky enough to hear this live. I was absolutely on cloud 9. Time Turns Elastic closer was okay, but Iím honestly not very crazy about this song. The end of it is great, and I understand why theyíd use it for a closer, but the first ten minutes are just not at all what I was hoping to hear. Kind of a let-down in my book, but Iím sure others will disagree vehemently. All in all, great first set, though. As the lights went up for set-break, despite that Phish-induced buzz, my attention turned directly back to my stomach. I also felt extremely dehydrated from dancing so hard. I went on a food and water quest that took the entire set-break and only resulted in my paying $8 for two waters and still being about as hungry as I had ever been. Grrrrrr I donít even think I can describe the second set. Crosseyed>DWDÖ I called Crosseyed>Mikeís to open the second set, but I was fairly happy to be at least partially wrong. My wife went absolutely nuts when they struck up Crosseyed, and almost knocked me over from jumping up and down. I was surprised at how well they played it. It really was spot on. DWD was as great as ever and included a great spacey jam from which the first strums of Bug emerged. Iíve always loved Bug in a special way that I canít describe, but had never heard it with the new lyrics until very recently (thoughts faded, overrated, etc). the song is just very introspective, and Iíve found it to be an appropriate soundtrack for my feelings about the transition of the last ten years from dreadlocked tour head to husband, father, home-owner, bread-winner, etc. Ten years go by and to take a snapshot of the two times in my life and put them side-by-side would seem such juxtaposition, but both brought me joy beyond my comprehension. I can always think back on my tour days and thank god for allowing me to have such amazing experiences with such incredible people and such a great band. All of these feelings kind of hit me at once during Bug, and I think I cried the whole way through that song, especially at ďNothing I see can be taken from me.Ē Piper and Velvet Sea were more than I could ever ask for. They nailed them both, and I thought about how itís been really interesting to see the evolution of both of those songs since their inception. Velvet Sea was, again, a very emotional song, but didnít get my crying like Bug did. Boogie On was a fun way to send things back into more fun mode, and it was very good, albeit a little shorter version of the song than I was used to. At the first sounds of Slave to the Traffic Light, I went absolutely nuts, screaming, yelling, and waving my arms in the air. GOD, that was the one song I had wanted to hear more than anything else in the world. I would have paid $50 and driven from Indianapolis to Alpine Valley just to hear them walk on stage, play only Slave, then walk back off. Slave was wonderful, Slave was perfect, Slave was everything I remembered. There was a point where my eyes were closed, Slave was about half-way done, there was a huge smile on my face, and I just could have died right there, dancing in the twenty-fifth row of the pavilion. The Grind / Frankenstein encore was fun, and itís already been described in other posts, so I wonít try to add anything else. It was just plain and simple fun that reminded me of why I began seeing these guys in the first place. As we walked out of the venue, Slave still ringing in my head, I heard my friends talking about what a bad show it was and how Page had to save them a few times and how this or that didnít work, but I honestly didnít even want to hear it. I was floating, and I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts for a little while. I told everyone I had to go find a veggie burrito and just kind of went wandering around, thinking about the show and leaving the others behind. Phish had only ever made me cry once before, and it was when they played Terrapin Station at VA Beach. I donít know if this show was technically great or if the song choice worked or not, and I didnít care at all. I loved every second of it. These guys have given me more than theyíll ever know. Iíve traveled the entire country seeing them, meeting people, and just having a blast, and they had just blown my mind again. I had to get away from everyone and just soak it all in. Of course, I was still STARVING, when I was just looking up at the sky and heard, ďVeggie burritos!Ē A younger girl with dreadlocks was standing by her cooler. Ostensibly, that cooler was once full of burritos. I bought her last two burritos and remarked in my head that she was probably only about 18 or 19 and maybe doing her first tour. As I chowed down on my first burrito, I began to miss my little boy, who was staying with his grandma, and my wife caught up to me and gave me a hug and asked for one of my burritos. As hungry as I was, there was only one person in the world who could have had one of my burritos, and she was that person. I gladly handed it over, rubbed her back, smiled at her, and told her I loved her. Ten years doesnít feel like a very long time when you look back on how quickly time has passed. Yet, I think of all the things that have happened since I was that 19-year old with dreadlocks in a parking lot somewhere, thousands of miles from home, trying to sell my own veggie burritos, and ten years seems like forever. Iím thankful for all of the experiences Iíve had in that time and I know that things will only get better from here. While I know that Iíll never do another Phish tour again, or end up 2,500 miles from home while my mom thinks Iím just a couple hours away, I know that Iíll always have those memories, and Iíll know that those memories have added more to my life than I ever could have expected. And Iíll tell my son all about it, and Iíll encourage him to do something that he loves, even when others think heís crazy. And heíll do things that I donít know about. And heíll live through them and heíll tell me all about them years after the fact. And hopefully, like his father, heíll have no regrets.
from Brendan Fitzgerald date Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 10:13 AM subject phish show review 6/21/09 Oh man! This show blew the the night before out of the water! They were really on and had lots of super high energy jams that really smoked! The setlist: -Set 1- Brother Wolfman's Brother Funky Bitch Divided Sky Joy Back On the Train Taste Poor Heart The Horse> Silent in the Morning The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday> Avenu Malkenu> The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday Time Turns Elastic -Set 2- Crosseyed and Painless> Down With Disease Bug> Piper Wading in the Velvet Sea Boogie On Reggae Woman> Slave To The Traffic Light Encore: Grime (a cappela) Frankenstein Brother: Really great opening song. The guys brought out each of their kids one by one and sat them in a big tub on stage! Good fun, a solid high energy opener. And to go along with the "brother" theme... Wolfman's Brother: Great wolfman's jamming in this one. It's a solid song for them to loosen up with and just get comfortable groovin and feeling out the jams. Very solid. Funky Bitch: Taken by request. This song never disappoints, and trey was really on tonight Divided Sky: Hell yeah. Just what everyone needed. From what I could tell, they played the technical parts flawlessly, and trey really blew up at the end, lots of energy in this one. Joy: New song. I liked it, as far as new songs go. It had a easy going feel to it, as the title would tell you. Fun song to ease everyone down after the monster divided sky. Back on the Train: If not for anything else, check this set out for this song! The boys were on fire with it. Its naturally a really grooving, funky sorta tune, but the jamming they did with this one was really spectacular. Not in a shredding, or experimental way, in a really tight, super funky, synchronized way. Everyone was meshing really well, I personally think this is by far the highlight of the first set. They went off into the depths of funkytown with this one. Hot Dang! Taste: A great song live. As with everything so far, they're really crisp and tight, no sloppiness, no flubs; clean as a whistle. This one was especially cool because they extended it with a really cool jam. I'm not sure if they usually do that or not, but I think they were feelin so good comin off that super hot Back on the Train that they just wanted to go off some more. Best version of taste I've ever heard live considering the jam segment. Poor Heart: Perfect placement for this. Gets the energy back up again. Solid and lots of fun, as usual. The Horse >Silent in the Morning: Cool, all in all standard. It's good to hear this tune, the spaciness and syncopation of it was nice after the poor heart. Again, the guys sound really tight, really crisp tonight and it comes through in a song like this. TMWSIY >Avenu Malkenu >TMWSIY: Alright some gamehenge! Good placement for this, it kept the same sort of flow coming after silent in the morning. Great old school phish right here... into Avenu Malkenu! yeah! Some great jewish fun right here, heavy and epic sounding... and bring it back down ever so beautifully again with TMWSIY. Time Turns Elastic: This was another new one, my first time hearing it. It's quite the epic piece of song writing. It's got a bit of a progressive feel to it. Its like a new, heavier, bit darker sounding trey super song. The structure of the song seemed a bit erratic, or scattered, until the end which builds into an intense bombardment of sound. It's definetely worth making it through the long technical parts, which are cool, but different, to get to the ending. A truly epic way to end the set. -Set 2- Crosseyed and Painless>: Oh Yeah! What a great way to start the set! Super energetic, the boys are so on! Just tearing this one to pieces. It's so funky I feel like dancing out of my skin. It's the talking heads times 100, and that's really saying something. I don't know what else to say, it's reminiscent of the best shows from late 96 and 97. Super funky and energetic going all over the place here. And it's even hotter because trey is so on tonight. He's being real fluent and has no inhibitions it seems. LOTS of fun. They bring the energy down ever so gently, its almost unnoticeable...getting spacey... leads into Down With Disease: A monster crowd pleaser here. I totally called this one too during the spaciness beforehand. It just felt like the perfect place for it. Man, so much good jamming happening and its just the first 2 songs. DWD gets really high, I mean, sometimes DWDs can have good jamming but the energy doesn't quite go off too much. But THIS one really has it. Bug: This came out of nowhere. I personally think it was a little early in the set to bring the energy down again, and I mean, it's bug, eh. They do get some pretty sweet rocking in though. As my buddy said to me at the show, only Phish could make Bug a great song. That's how on they were, they made Bug sound great! haha Piper: GET THIS PIPER! It seemed a bit fast in the beginning, but it was still crisp as could be. The vocals were on too. This to me was the highlight of the whole show because of the insane jamming that came out of this one. Once they start jamming on this one, the energy just shoots this one off into outerspace. I mean, they really blow up on this tune. The tempo slowly accelerates, and everyone is on fire. After some really hot jamming which completely leaves any trace of piper behind, they really go off into risky experimental land. This jam is a perfect piece of everything I love about phish. It embodies the amazing skill and togetherness with which they can go off from a song and play around with sheer sounds. Really far out there, creative jamming. Wading: The placement of this one also caught me off guard after such a long crazy piper jam. But I guess it did the job of toning everything down again, bringing everyone back to earth so to speak. A pretty standard, powerful and velvety Wading. Boogie On Reggae Woman: Shoulda saw this one coming since they were playing so much Stevie Wonder on the PA before the show. The perfect way to bring the upbeat energy back. Good Lord they are sounding so funky, and so tight. Mike is SUPER hot in this one, laying down some of the funkiest bass you'll ever hear. They have lots of fun boogying down in this super funky tight jam. Slave: A great slave. Everyone needed another epic Phish tune here in this second set, Slave definetely does the job. They really take their time building the jam, its all very fluid and full sounding. A climactic way to end the set for sure. E: Grime. It's great hearing some good ol acappella from them. A very cooky version of grime where they sing the number of days they've been alive, not sure if that's what they usually do with it, i've never heard this one before. Frankenstein: YEEEAAAA! Perfect show stopping encore. Trey busts out a 5 neck guitar! Page has a killer solo on the keytar and mike's rocking this crazy bass that's in the shape of a giant flame. Oh yea this Frankenstein was really rockin hard. And brought the whole venue down with it. A great way to end a really amazing show. Overall, this is the best phish show I've ever seen in person. It blew the night before at alpine out of the water. From what other people were telling about the other shows on this tour, this show has been the best one so far. I can completely see how it would be one of the best. The jams in here are a perfect 10. I mean, they're not the same jams from 20 or 15 years ago, but obviously they shouldnt be. As far as what Phish sounds like in 2009, this show should be the model. Yeah, their sound will always be changing, but the way they jam, groove, rock out, and experiment with each other is still as tight as ever. This show is the perfect example of that. I think I had goosebumps for like 80% of the show. Check it out. Peace phellow phans. -Brendan
From arz703 date Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 10:38 AM subject Phish Show Review- 6.21.09 Alpine Valley this my 3rd show of the weekend, such a rager! the first set was so much phun, TMWSIY > anvenu malkanu > TMWSIY, seriouslly??? what a breakout. during setbreak couldn't even imagine what they'd do for the second set. when i heard the opener, i knew it was on! crosseyed > alpine jam was amazing and the piper jam was definitely the highlight of the night, you simply MUST hear it. boogie on was so much fun to dance to and slave to close the set was incredible. the a capella grind was cool and then when they brought out the new guitars, i literally could not stop laughing and dancing. bottom line: 09 (sober) PHISH is simply incredible peace adam
....reviews of the download or tapes of the show....
from Lane H. Jost date Tue, Jun 23, 2009 at 7:29 AM subject 6/21/09 Download Review Thanks, Dan for giving this page a Renaissance! 6/21/09 Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI I: Brother, Wolfman's Brother, Funky Bitch > The Divided Sky, Joy, Back On The Train, Taste, Poor Heart, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkanu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, Time Turns Elastic II: Crosseyed and Painless > Down With Disease > Bug > Piper > Wading In The Velvet Sea, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Slave to the Traffic Light E: Grind, Frankenstein Hi Folks, The following is a review of the final show of the early summer tour with hearty compliments to the "No Spoilers" crew, who have given those of us unable to go AWOL on the road, due to unfortunate obligations of life, quite a gift. I was not in the fields of dairy country last weekend, so this will be a sober critique of the music. I looked at no setlist prior to listening. Again, my gratitude to the "NS" folks, This is a hell of a good time, Reviewer's bio as per the great Charlie Dirksen's request (btw, anyone heard from this guy?; haven't seen one of his estimable reviews since 2000 Shoreline): I've seen over 60 + shows dating back to 1992. Though saddened by the breakup, I was actually happy for the band and have felt a little ambivalent about Phish 3.0. Nonetheless, the next time I see the lights drop and watch Big Red saunter out with the shit-eating grin (at Merriweather), you can better believe I'll be bouncin'. I've listened to a few sets of this tour and all of Hampton. My last show was the underrated first night in Brooklyn on 6/17/04. Overall impressions have been tha the band is better than the 2004 version, though all proclamations that they're back to 1993-1997 seem premature. There's no question that the "Brother" bustout was a nod to all things quintessentially Phish. These sorts of antics have been few and far between during the first 20 or so shows of the comeback, so I was happy to hear the tub routine with all the band kids. This is indeed a different era, and juxtaposition of the weirdly proggy "Brother" with children sitting in a bathtub on stage was well, Phish humor 3.0. I was pumped to hear this, and hope the band works it back into the rotation for late summer. This version basically has no improvisation at all, which doesn't bother me, considering how tight it is. This song works well as a opener and the performance is impressive given the long hiatus. Nice way to start a father's day show, and certainly sets an old-school mood in the shed. The "Wolfman's Brother" that follows is good, with a concise jam ("type I") that seems somewhat emblematic of this tour. I know folks seem to pan these coherent jams, preferring longer, more wildly exploratory passages. I personally think this is an excellent trend for a band that has always sought to evolve. Trey's acknowledgment of a fan holding the "Funky Bitch" sign was nice to hear, and the subsequent performance was hot. Not the tightest or most groovy Bitch, but had I been in the house, I would have been beaming, as I expect all the lucky ones in attendance were. Again, the Bitch coupled with "Brother" certainly signaled a fan-friendly show. "The Divided Sky" has been played admirably throughout 2009 and this version is no exception. I love this song, and while the jam section seemed to peak in 1994, I think they can keep playing this way forever if they like. Now "Joy" is honestly one of my favorite ballads off the forthcoming record (assuming this cut makes said record). Many folks will fold their arms in disgust, but let's face it, Trey LOVES writing these introspective songs, going back to 1993 (FEFY), so accept it. The lyrics in this one work well with family theme of this show, and I think this will sounds great on the record. One thing that's markedly better about Phish 3.0 are the vocals: harmonies and singing quality is basically on-point has it always was pre-2000. Phish will never be remembered for its lush singing, but they were always tight pre-hiatus, and I'm glad they've recommitted to this. "Back on the Train" is an excellent late era groove and was again played admirably with Fish leading the shuffle forward. And yeah, this song is particularly poignant on this tour. The "Taste" through "Horse/Silent" run was solid, if unspectacular. I like the return of "Poor Heart" though still wish "Uncle Pen" would be bustout. And Trey it seems, just can't play that hot opening lick to "Poor Heat" anymore. Oh well, evolution is cool too. "Taste" was OK, though I think it still finds both Page and Trey to be tentative with their solo sections. This is both harmonically and tempo-wise a very difficult piece, so it will come with time. TMWSIY > Avenu > TMWSIY! Yes!! Well-played. Mike was using this cosmic, drippy bass effect he has been tinkering with all tour. To be honest, while it may work for "Ghost" or "DWD," keep it clean for this one! A bit out of place. Still, nice bustout. Now, I am NOT a "Time Turns Elastic" hater. Yes, some of the lyrics need to be exhumed ("These silver sounds are reigning down on me..."), but boy is this an interesting composed suite! How many bands in 2009 could pull off a live version of something like this? I hear those of you who say it would probably work better in a jazz club or concert hall rather than a rock concert, but it just kick back and listen to the melodies. I think the band may have found that it works best as a first set closer. Tighter versions have been played on this tour, but I think the outro was more explosive here at Alpine. A good way to punctuate a generous, old-school set. No one performance stands out, but a fun set with interesting bustouts and band-audience interaction. The "Crosseyed and Painless" that opened set 2 was not a total shock given set 1's mischief, but was nonetheless exhilarating. To this point, the band had already dusted of a handful of tunes shelved for too long. I think the jam here which segued into "DWD" was the best of the night. Trey plays authoritatively, with excellent support from Fish. Not a TRUE segue into "DWD" but you can hear Mike teasing it for several minutes ahead of time, if only through his toying with fuzzy bass effects. Nonetheless, this must have been amazing to hear live, as "DWD" has become quite a crowd pleaser and seems to be a band staple for 3.0. The "Piper" that follows is good, fast and exploratory, but I found it sloppy and the vocals a bit off. I still prefer the summer 1997 versions that built more slowly and then reached a crescendo. Now, the band rushes through the composed section and jumps into the jam. This jam is very interesting and even screams a bit, but I guess I find it a bit amateurish. "Piper" on paper is a simple piece, but Phish's dynamics make it epic. "Wading" was good, though I am not the biggest fan of this song. I can't ever forget Page falling apart during the disastrous version of this song at Coventry. To me, the "Boogie On" was oddly placed and featured absolutely no funky jam. Maybe they were playing it for a friend backstage? Weird. "Slave" is universally welcome and was a great choice in a night of excellent choices. The soaring jam ala "Reba," "Hood" and "Theme" was good per usual. I hate to be a downer, but don't think "Slave" is fully back yet. They create a nice canvas, but the momentum never really tips for me. This version was a lot better than the one played at the Fox in St. Louis, but pretty tame nonetheless. Trey is not yet fully on his game on these minor-key, soaring music pieces. I think the "Hoods" from this tour are examples of this as well -- relative to 1993-1994, pretty darn aimless. "Grind" was excellent and seems to be the vogue acappella number of the day. I love the number of days aive gag. "Frankenstein" was about as sloppy as I've ever heard Phish perform it, but given the keytar, the flame bass and Trey's multi-neck axe, excused. The live experience must have been hilarious. Still, I think they preform this tune better with Page sitting in front of the organ and Trey concentrating on one neck. All in all, I enjoyed listening to this gig, and definitely am excited for my first show in five years in August. As per normal, the band grew stronger each night in June and I expect August to be another step forward. Cheers.
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