March Madness

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

As the NCAA tournament takes peak form this weekend in the rounds of sixteen and eight, a different type of March Madness has swarmed the Phish community in the form on ticket on-sales.  After the near-impossible Red Rocks mission, fans look to have more success against the weaker seeded shows this weekend.  Big match-ups against both Ticketmaster and Live Nation headline today’s slate. The host venues of these battles will be The Gorge, Merriweather, Darien, and SPAC.  The fans look to give it 110% in their quest for paper glory.  After today the first nine tickets of late summer will have come and gone, and only Shoreline and Hartford will remain.  On a raucous Friday in March, the madness is most definitely in the air.

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

“Madness” is a word often used loosely to describe Phish music.  Honing in on this idea of “musical madness,” I compiled eight Phish jams that embody this word.  A friend on mine recently posted on Facebook “The Best Five Albums to Listen to After a Phish Show,”  and yesterday, another buddy retorted, “What are the best albums to listen to while frantically trying to score Phish tickets via public sale?”  Well here is my response.

Hampton (P.Washburn)

Hampton (P.Washburn)

The music should match the mania, and these eight selections fit the theme of the day.  In honor of March Madness- both ticket and basketball- I have collected an “Elite Eight” jams that are the musical definition of madness; allow them to color your weekend in any way you please. The download link is above the track listing.  Good luck today!  I’ll always take any extra pavilions off your hands.  Just drop me a line!




“Bathtub Gin” 11.23.97, Winston Salem, NC

This one is a beast that dominates the second set that could be better than its legendary Hampton predecessors.

“Simple” 11.29.98, Worcester, MA

Hampton (P.Washburn)

Hampton (P.Washburn)

I’ve written about this one before- a masterful, tour-ending  piece of psychedelic sorcery.

“David Bowie” 10.27.95, Kalamazoo, MI

A dark and monstrous “Bowie” from Fall ’95, one high point for the song.

“Split Open and Melt” 12.1.94, Salem, OR

A dark-horse jam in the first set that illustrates ’94 Phish going for the jugular.

3.8.09 (Unknown)

3.8.09 (Unknown)

“Tweezer” 12.2.95, New Haven, CT

A “Tweezer” like none other- fifteen minutes of the most seething music you’ll ever hear.

“Maze” 10.18.96, Pittsburgh, PA

A highlight of this dark-horse ’96 show, this “Maze” gets way out there in a hurry.

“Stash11.12.94, Kent, OH

Dark and terrorizing, like “Stash’s” should be, this version characterizes the depths to which ’94 Phish plunged to in no time at all.

12.7.95 “Mike’s > Weekapaug,” Niagara Falls, NY

One of the best “Grooves” out there, each half boast stand out jamming- though the “Mike’s” takes the cake.

(Note: This is not meant to be a definitive list of “the” eight craziest jams.  ever- just eight pieces of madness.)


8.20.93 Red Rocks SBD < LINK

Phsh @ Red Rocks (Coventry Blog)

Phsh @ Red Rocks (Coventry Blog)

Since we are going through the history of Red Rocks, here is the legendary first show the band ever played there, smack dab in the middle of August ’93.  This is a re-post, but it fits the season.  New readers- enjoy!

I: The Divided Sky, Harpua, Poor Heart, Maze, Bouncing Around the Room, It’s Ice, The Wedge, Ginseng Sullivan, Rift, Run Like an Antelope

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Slave to the Traffic Light, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil, My Friend My Friend-> Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself > Purple Rain*> HYHU, Cavern

E: The Mango Song, Freebird

*With Mimi Fishman (Fish’s mom) on vacuum.


Hampton Space – Photo: Jeff Kravitz /


400 Responses to “March Madness”

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  1. hairy pood Says:

    as i prepare for sleep, its all about positive actualization. i already have my gorge tickets in my mind, because i’ve replayed the scenario of my transaction going through so many times. I’m stoked to listen to these picks; I grabbed the Kent show when you posted it a few weeks ago, and that’s definitely a monster “stash.” I lived the first two years of my life in Kent, so the show is closer to my heart, just like all the shows from any of the towns I’ve lived in. Thank you Mr. Miner.

  2. hairy pood Says:

    also, miner: do you happen to know this photographer jeff kravitz? there was a guy by that name in my brother’s class in high school, and i know he went into photography & was into phish. interesting…

  3. Nate Hoover Says:

    I’m really thankful that I have the sets to the shows I want to go to (Great Woods and SPAC)…the stress of getting tix is ridiculous. Good luck to you all.

    I may end up needing to trade my SPAC’s for Hartford … hope not though.

  4. bhizzle Says:

    The “Hampton Space” photo is sweet! It looks like the band has called in interplanetary vehicle surrounded by pods (upper right) to descend and tractor beam everyone off to another world.

  5. bhizzle Says:

    In addition, good luck to all in their quests for tix today.

  6. AbePhroman Says:

    IMO, the Memphis 11/18/96 Simple owns the woosta version.

  7. jer-z Says:

    My heart can’t take the “madness” much longer. Life used to be so much easier. If I didn’t have a ticket, I would just show up and always get a ticket. What happened to the good old days?

    On a more positive note- if anyone is able to show up to Red Rocks a week early, there is an awesome festival going on- 2 nights of WSP, RRE, and a lot of other fun music

  8. Billy Breathes Says:

    I have 2 Darien Lake, 4th Row Center (Sect 102, Row 4, Seats 11/12), and looking to TRADE FOR SIMILAR SEATS to either Deer Creek or Alpine Valley. Lemme know…

  9. SOAM Says:

    Trey’s guitar during “sleep”-

  10. DannyB Says:

    Merriweather and SPAC!!!! I am hopefull!!!! Good luck to everyone out there!!!

  11. SOAM Says:

    who knows how to do livenation-internet

  12. nonoyolker Says:

    Love the write up today, very fitting… BIG fan of the song selection too. Some serious heart racers in there. That Tweezer is a sick frenzy. For me this is the last day to scramble for tix which would complete what should be an epic summer of shows. Going to start stretches around 12:45, get limber, and man the controls. I already pushed all meetings out; this obiviously takes precident. Good luck too all of you out there today. It’s going to be a scrap. Times like this, i miss the good old days. My ticker can’t take this madness…

  13. Mr. V Says:

    Best of luck today everyone.

  14. MannyPhresh2009 Says:

    Are Gorge tickets being sold through ticketmaster or livenation? I’m confused.

  15. cottle Says:


    Gorge and Merriweather are through TM. All other shows will be sold through LiveNation.

    Good Luck today everyone! I’m hoping I can get lucky enough to pull the Hartford>Merriweather>SPAC run.

    50 minutes to go-time!

  16. Mitch Says:

    I dunno about you guys but I need quiet with no music or peaceful music when buying. Otherwise I’d harm my comp.

    !!I have a jones beach / Camden for your spac or gorge today!!

  17. Jeff Says:

    can somebody throw up one of the backdoor links for LiveNation Darien show?

  18. RobAins Says:

    Hartford Tix go on sale at 12pm EST, and SPAC at 1pm, right? It’s only 10:15 now…..:)

  19. Jer Says:

    Great great great song selection today Miner. I was just listening to the 11/23 Gin the other night, and that dark thematic jam that takes place over the last ~7 minutes is just incredible. The 10-27 Bowie has long been a favorite of mine as well…I can’t remember is that the one where they start chanting some inane babble over the jam and it builds off of the chanting and just erupts back into a scorching Bowieesque melody? I can’t remember if that was on 10-28-94 (which everyone should hear as well) or the Kalamazoo show. FWIW, the 12-2 Tweezer scored an 11.0 on Dirksen’s 1-10 scale. Finally, I really love the way they were playing all of the dark/dissonant jams in Fall ’96 (Maze, Stash, SOAM, Bowie) and that Maze (10-18) is no slouch.

  20. SOAM Says:

    cottle-got merriweathers and camdens for trade spac/hart/darien or jones beach

  21. SOAM Says:

    Robains you are incorrect

  22. SOAM Says:

    11 and 1 pm est

  23. Mitch Says:

    maybe we can work a trade. lets talk after on sales and we see what we all need. i have jb1 and camden.

  24. R1 Says:

    I thought Hartford goes on sale tomorrow, no??

  25. slave2traffic Says:

    The Winston Gin is so great… that was my first show, and I was treated to a monster – Fluffhead, and that Gin segued into a DWD > Low Rider > DWD > Bold as Love. So yeah, I was hooked.

    Senor Minor, I’m interested in seeing what your buddy’s top post-show albums were. Care to share?

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