Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Phish @ Alpine Valley 6/20

Posted by shore On June - 21 - 2009

phishalpineone @AndyShore Alpine Valley is a treacherous place for a person on crutches. It is all hill. After parking in the handicapped lot and being golf carted through the back stage area, I had to crutch up a steep hill just to get to the top of the pavilion area. They placed us just to the left of the soundboard, at the rear of the pavilion. The seats were actually perfect. Almost as perfect as the opener.


“Punch You in the Eye” was just what the doctor ordered. I quickly forgot how tired and sore I was from crutching up the hill as Phish nailed my personal favorite. There is something noticeably pleasant about the band this time around. The smile on Trey’s face never faded as he tore through solos, beckoned to Cactus and bounced on the trampoline.


The first set reflected this upbeat nature, featuring songs like “Runaway Jim,” “Ya Mar” and “Bathtub Gin.” The 40,000 strong at Alpine Valley chanting during “Bathtub Gin” showed the staying power of a band that has gone through some trials and tribulations. I managed to make it to my feet (or foot I should say) for the entirety of the set closing “Run Like an Antelope.” Unfortunately, I can’t quite run like an antelope right now. It’s more like stand like a flamingo.


After a fun set one, Phish brought the fire in set two. Early in the set, “Sample in a Jar” had be back on my foot and singing along with everyone else. During “Makisupa Policeman,” Trey quipped that he “woke up this morning, and called my probation officer.” From there, there was no looking back.


“Story of a Ghost” segued into “The Lizards,” the classic from Gamehenge and highlight from the show last night that had eluded me in my previous Phish shows. There are few notes that pack more punch and have the power to make tens of thousands of people scream like the sustained note Trey hits during the opening jam of “You Enjoy Myself.” It’s perfection in a single note.


Phish – “You Enjoy Myself” at Alpine Valley 6/20/09 from on Vimeo.

The set began to wind down, with “Prince Caspian” and “Waste” before Phish hit us with one last knockout punch. From the opening riff of “Fire,” the crowd exerted the last of their energy to dance, sing and throw up too much rock for one hand.


A rocking encore of “Character Zero” put a perfect finish to a truly amazing night. This band is back, seemingly with a newfound fondness of performing for their adoring fans. The band is tight, and rumors of them being sloppy and out of practice were unfounded. I’ll put it this way. They were so good, that I’m going to do the trek back up Mount Alpine one more time this evening.

1 Response

  1. Matt Kukowski Said,

    phish at alpine…was by far one of there best performances on the 09′ tour…and they ended with a bash… the first night was way better then the second night…especially after the mushrooms started to kick in. everybody in phish was clicking…trey wasnt getting carried away with the solos…and phishman, page, and mike were just rocking it on the vocals…fuck yeah PHISH!!!

    Posted on June 24th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

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