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. SOAM Says:

    You bet bro

  2. RobAins Says:

    What am I missing? The Live Nation site says 12 EDT…..

  3. cottle Says:

    Thanks SOAM….I’ts gonna be a busy day. I’ll be trying for SPAC on the phone while I’m on my downtown for a meeting, and I’ll try for Hartford tomorrow w/ online and phone at the same time. Once everything is finalized, we can discuss who’s got what and who needs what.

  4. R1 Says:

    yeah, 12 EDT on SATURDAY, 3/28

  5. R1 Says:

    Is there a “better” phone number to try for Live Nation?

    Shit, I can’t find any number at all . . .

  6. R1 Says:

    here it is: 877.598.8497

  7. RobAins Says:

    Woops! Thanks for pointing that out!

  8. A_Glide Says:

    I haven’t heard the 11-23-97 Gin since me and a buddy threw a bathtub gin party. We burnt a disc of only gin’s, got a bottle of bombay saphire and drank saphires with a splash of water from the bathtub all night. got wrecked and listened to bathtub for hours.

    good times.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^^ LOL. Sounds great! Good luck all….

  10. RobAins Says:

    Just spoke with a Live Nation Ticketing person. She said she’s been working for 45 min and has received 30 phone calls from Phans! She was really friendly and told me not to call any earlier than 5 min before they go on sale. She said even that is cuting it close, b/c if you get an operator right away, they are not allowed to stay on the phone with you…..
    She also said that they have a ton more operators working today compared to what they usually have, and that it should go smoothly, given that the tickets release times are staggered.

    We’ll see! Good luck everyone!

  11. c0wfunk Says:

    merriweather time ..

    my brother-in-law at the box office said they have no block of tickets there, and they are selling either 2 pavillion or 4 lawns. He’s like 12 in line and they should be opening 3 or windows. Probably right on the border of all good there.

  12. c0wfunk Says:

    woah merriweather was gone in about 2 minutes.

  13. Billy Breathes Says:

    Yep. All Gone.

  14. cottle Says:

    Crazy, I got through w/ no probs, and my wait time was “more than 15 minutes”, then it dropped to two minutes, and I thought I was golden…. got in at 11:02 and all tix are gone.

    No temper tantrums today, I promise. Try and try again.

  15. Little Buddy Says:

    How does Merriweather sell out in 2 minutes? This is just getting silly… WTF?!?!?

  16. Little Buddy Says:

    Madness indeed! O’well…

  17. c0wfunk Says:

    I know tons of people up there who can only go to that show… pretty small place too, saturday show. Crazy

  18. KRIVRAQ Says:

    Darien gone in 6mins

  19. SOAM Says:

    4 dariens – in shock

  20. c0wfunk Says:

    funny that my one sister who doesn’t even care about the shows is the one who got lotto tix for me..

  21. c0wfunk Says:

    congrats SOAM!

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    anyone else having trouble accessing Darien tix? I keep getting an error message.

  23. Jeff Says:

    i actually got my 1 Dairen!!!! super easy!!

  24. R1 Says:

    1 Darien via computer, 1 via phone

    both lawn

  25. KRIVRAQ Says:

    Had the first 3 tries with error, Miner. Then 4th went to actual tix, then gone by time to checkout.

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