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”

  1. guyforget Says:

    what’s this gorge website you speak of?? maybe i’m retarded, but i can’t find it??

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    @AintNoTele that’s new then, cool, good info

  3. AintNoTele Says:

    Go to then check under the gorge show, it will give you a link to the gorge website. I think that is where I read about the camping situation.

  4. guyforget Says:

    what’s the difference between regular and premier, i feel like an internet newbie not knowing how to find this shit myself…..sorry.

  5. guyforget Says:

    also, what’s the closest airport to fly out of back to AZ? Portland, Spokane, Seattle

  6. AintNoTele Says:

    Some people on PT were trying to arrange a bus to take us form the airport on friday to the Gorge, then back on sunday. I if 56 people did this it costs only 25 bucks!!! Renting a car for that drive is gonna be way more expensive. I’ll be back with more info later on this, anyone interested?

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    @guyforget: probably Spokane. Seattle’s not too far. Not Portland.

  8. guyforget Says:

    Thanks Mr.

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    alternately I’d love to just buy for face (including service) 2 Saturday Gorge tix. If I can’t get that I’ll trade Friday for Saturday.

  10. Davey Says:

    FYE worked fellas. Out of 7 people in line 6 of us got tickets, my number was drawn for first in line too. YEAH!!!!!! Karma wanted me to go to this show. Now to pay 83 bucks for camping, YEESH!

  11. Davey Says:

    I got 4 two day passes.

  12. Andrew Says:

    @Mr. Completely – I live in NC and will be making the trek out to be there on Friday, and as long as I am able to set up camp, I’ll hold one for you to swap, we can meet up on the grounds. It’s me and my lady so I’m really hoping to get both at once, either beforehand or out there.

  13. AintNoTele Says:

    Premier is closer, has showers, and convenience store type thing. I’m not gonna have a car so a general store might help. I really wasn’t thinking this through, but if we are flying in, we’re gonna have to ship all the camping stuff plus chairs, coolers, something soft to sleep on…uh oh. We all have some planning to do

  14. AintNoTele Says:

    *not ship, check

  15. Mitch Says:


    I need 2 of those. space, camden or jb 1 for your trade

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Andrew let’s see how things play out a bit – you need 2, I only have 1, etc – we have each other as backup but I think we might both find easier transactions

  17. Mitch Says:

    i meant spac in case you didnt get it already. phish doesnt play shows in space. ticketmaster has a stronghold on that venue too.

  18. Mugician Says:

    Congrats Davey.

  19. Davey Says:

    Mine are all spoken for sorry Mitch. I’m deciding on premier or regular camping. Does premier have shade?

  20. voopa Says:

    “phish doesnt play shows in space.”

    Actually, they kinda do…

  21. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    I’m in the process of lining up two Gorge 1st nights, and I’ll need to turn one of them into a Saturday. Anyone who may have an interest, please get at me at jrosenquest AT hotmail DOT com.

  22. Davey Says:

    I guess in person is the only way to go these days. I’m so psyched though. FIRST IN LINE!!! Couldn’t believe it.

  23. Weyoun42 Says:

    ^voopa beat me to the joke.

  24. los Says:

    Im sooooooooooooo fucking stoked pHISH is BACK!!!!

  25. Mugician Says:

    I’m trying to turn a Shoreline lawn into a Gorge either night. I also need one more Gorge for face.

    I’m trying to line up 2 for each night of the Gorge and trade that for 2 Thursday RR and 2 Friday RR. I don’t think I’m gonna be able to afford to get out to the west coast this summer…

    If anyone would be interested in helping me and my friend get to our hometown show, we would be forever in debt!


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