2009/12/29 American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

by Holger 30. December 2009

Yesterday we went to Key Biscayne during the day. There's a state park with an old light house where you can walk along the water and the marina. After that we enjoyed a sunny but quite chilly afternoon at the beach park on Key Biscayne - it is one of the best beaches around with hundreds of palm trees right on the beautiful white sand beach. The light around 4-5pm was amazing. It was actually so good that some company had a photo shooting with five bikini girls doing a cushion fight going on - can't give you any more details right now ;) Unfortunately it was too cold to swim but we will return on NYE during the day.

After a blitz dinner with "shrimp and angel hair pasta" (that's ultra thin spaghetti) at Shuckers Bar + Grill we headed towards the arena for the second time. We got there by 7.15pm which was still too early as they didn't start until 8.10pm again. You wouldn't dream of what to come...

First set started with "Golgi" which is definitely a classic Phish tune and a perfect opener and already more uptempo and danceable like "Sample in a jar" and most of the rest yesterday. It should pave the way for the whole night. "Maze" got it going before "Driver" and "The Connection" brought some of the more relaxed first set tunes. I am not sure if many people do but I like "The Connection" a lot. The next 3 songs were j ust awesome: "Wolfman’s Brother", then "Ocelot" (especially for my wife Natalie who loves this tune), an unbelievable "Reba" with beautiful lights by CK5. "Access Me" was maybe the only low point (you can hardly name it this way but if you need to pick one this was it). "The Divided Sky" was from another planet taking it really long. The melody is just lovely. Personally I thought that's the closer for set 1 but man was I wrong! A really nasty "Cavern" left everybody hungry for more. This was pretty solid compared to night one - a 7.5 out of 10 I would say. Setbreak.

Set 2 started with a really rocky version of "Kill Devil Falls" followed by one of the best "Tweezer" jams I've ever heard. They had ultra groove last night! Page was incredible, Mike was slapping it like hell all night long making the songs mega-funky, Trey did his high signature tunes after taking it higher and higher and Fish was working the drums like a dervish. The "Tweezer" was probably around 20min as far as I remember (please forgive me as I did not listen to the show yet and write this completely out of my memory from my Blackberry standing in front of a Hollister store in Aventura Mall while my wife is shopping - one of the reasons why she came to Miami. 8am to 8pm belongs to her - 8pm - 12pm belongs to me) . Unlike first night there was no stopping anytime. "Prince Caspian" made me sing until I almost lost my voice. After "Divided Sky" and "Tweezer" the next couple of songs, jams were the highlight of the night. It was unreal. I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. I text messaged Justin who was in another section to ask him if we were dreaming. "Gotta Jibboo > Wilson > Gotta Jibboo > Heavy Things" left everybody with mouth wide open. It was either from another galaxy, wonderland or hell or all together. And still no signs of slowing down. An energetic "2001" let everybody freak out. In brightest possible light all arms were up and bodies were shaking. And then they played "Slave to the Traffic Light". I almost had tears in my eyes. What do they want to play the next 2 days? Are they trying to create the ultimate set, a "best of / greatest hits" live album? I was full of happiness, couldn't stop smiling, pumped with adrenaline and thanking god for being able to be here.

The Encore brought "Sleeping Monkey" (for Justin) and the obvious "Tweezer Reprise" following the "Tweezer" of the second set. What else do I need to say? After the show we all met at the same corner like last night and drove back to our hotels. I needed to stop at a gas station to buy a sixpack of beer because I knew that without drinking a couple of cans I would not be able to sleep. I was so right: 3 beers later I fall asleep around 2.30am - totally satisfied. I wonder what phishthoughts.com and everybody else writes about the show - set 2 was a 9.5 out 10!!! Can't wait for tonight...

More pictures on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/treyanastasio/sets/72157623084195140/



France Yome NetSan 12/31/2009 5:55:14 PM

I don't like the studio version of The Connection (sounds like a chewing gum commercial music to me) but I really enjoy the 2 live ones we got this year.

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