What Lies Ahead…
With many of us departing in the coming days, there are so many things to think about. One is how the band’s new songs will develop. What will the next step be? How will they inject their rediscovered creativity into these new numbers, and what direction will they ultimately take? These are the types of questions that are starting to fill our heads with the first set only days away.
Party Time, which has yet to arrive, features several songs that have yet to be played. A few are likely to debut over the weekend, with endless possibilities as to which direction they will take. Many of the recordings we are going on are from the Bearsville Sessions, which took place over a decade ago. It’s safe to say they have likely evolved. The songs on Joy also were just begining to develop. And to add to the mix, many of the songs off Undermind have yet to receive proper treatment. Here are 8 songs that we think are likely to further develop either this weekend, or during the upcoming fall tour:
Performed twice by Trey with his solo band on 8.7.08 and 10.21.08, “Gone” is a darker song that would be a perfect jam vehicle once the sun goes down. I can easily see this one coming out on Halloween night, making its debut and leading into a heavy jam. The song’s standard rock focus fits well with the band’s new direction and shows a more personal side of Trey’s songwriting. Both times Trey played the song, he seemed to be pouring his emotions into the solos. I can’t wait to see what direction this song takes.
“Splinters of Hail”
Splinters of Hail has a very CSNYish vibe, and sounds very different from anything Phish has ever written. The song features all acoustic instruments, and therefore will most likely be played during the acoustic set. The vocal harmonies in this song are incredible, as are the arrangements. Likely to lead into a delicate acoustic jam, the fragile music will provide the perfect soundtrack to our morning of coffee and figure 8 shaped donuts.
“Splinters of Hail” Party Time studio version
Another song that is likely to be debuted during the acoustic set, “Misty Glade” could turn out to be very interesting. “Misty Glade” features Jon on vocals and was originally recorded during the Bearsville Sessions. The song’s contrasting major and minor sections make for a very interesting listen.
“Misty Glade” (Bearsville Sessions)
Featuring a slow, reggae groove, this song would fit perfectly in a day-time set in the California sun. Again sung by Jon, and featuring one of his quirky drum patterns, the song could potentially explode into a full out reggae jam. With the ground surrounded by palm trees, and hot weather, it’s likely we’ll see the band delve into some reggae-grooves. “Shrine” seems like a perfect place to start.
“Fishman Tune 1″ (Bearsville Sessions)
This song is sure to blow into an all out jam at Festival 8. The song was only played once in Columbia, where the band seemed to be loving every minute. The song’s deep percussive groove, and playful lyrics are sure to lead to an extended jam. In Columbia, as Trey soloed along the feel-good melody, the song’s potential was hinted at. “Party Time” would make for the perfect opener to the festival in my opinion.
“Party Time” 8.15.09
“Only a Dream”
“Only a Dream” was explored heavily by Mike’s band over the course of the summer and is sure to make its debut soon enough. The song’s standard rock rhythm fits well the band’s new direction, similar to “Gone”. Trey builds a solo similar to “Carini” toward the end of the song which then fades out. If this is any indication of the song’s jamming potential, all signs seem very good.
“Only a Dream” Party Time studio version
“Backwards Down the Number Line”
Since last summer when the song was debuted, we slowly saw “Backwards” come into its own as a defining song for Phish 3.0. The feel good lyrics, and upbeat rhythm make for a perfect launchpad for an extended jam. Over the course of the summer tour, the song grew with the culmination of its growth taking place at SPAC in the form of a 20 minute psychedelic jam. Up until that point, the song had slowly been growing, as the band gradually extended the jams. In Chicago the song saw a 14 minute journey, offering a glimpse of the excursion that would take place days later in Saratoga. Everyone knows this song is ready to make its next leap, and we personally can’t wait.
“Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan”
Arguably the best song on the new album, but yet to make any sort of extended improvisational journey. This leaves us wondering, and waiting for the time when the song will make its inevitable journey into the unknown. The energetic guitar lines throughout the song create the ideal platform for a raging jam.
“Stealing Time” 7.31.09