Three Days

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June 1995 (C.Taylor Crothers)

For three consecutive nights during the Summer of ’95, Phish dropped timeless jams that absolutely defined what that era of improvisation was all about.  As discussed in this piece, Summer ’95 was a time of unparalleled risk taking and explorations into the abyss.  On every single night, Phish seemed to drop at least one crazy, dark, extended jam- whether it was “Tweezer,” “Stash,” “Bowie,” or “Mike’s”- that forced you to confront your maker.   But on June 14th, 15th, and 16th, the band took things to a different level.  Totaling 102 minutes of sheer psychedelia, Mud Island’s “Tweezer,” Lakewood’s “Bowie,” and Walnut Creek’s “Runaway Jim” illustrated the severely alternate realms Phish visited throughout the summer, as they stretched the boundaries of improvisational music.

June 1995 (Unk.)

June 1995 (Unk.)

The first of these three excursions came in Memphis, Tennessee at Mud Island Amphitheatre- a venue literally on an island in the middle of the Mississippi.  After opening the second set with a quick “2001 > Poor Heart,”  the next fifty minutes would be enveloped by one of the most captivating “Tweezers” ever played.  Spanning the spectrum from soaring grooves to the most abstract planes, this jam was a microcosm of the summer in itself.  Showcasing the band’s willingness to launch into the void with no expectations, Phish took this “Tweezer” to the edge and back many times with mind-bending results.  Featuring multiple peaks over nearly an hour, Phish brought the initial improv down to virtually nothing before building it back up and, essentially, restarting the jam with the “Tweezer” lick.  And there is still thirty minutes left when that happens.  Strewn with more unique improv than many whole shows, this one simply never gets old, and despite such length, never gets lost or boring.  It is truly a gem.

Summer '95 (photorazzi)

Summer '95 (photorazzi)

The next night, Phish opened up their second set at Lakewood with “My Sweet One” and “Ha Ha Ha” before sitting into a near half-hour “David Bowie.”  Appearing early and often in Summer ’95, “Bowie” was one of the band’s favorite jam vehicles with which they launched into the stratosphere.  This jam quickly built a head of steam, focused on intricate interplay rather than any outright groove.  Fish’s driving beat pushed the band along a frenetic path of musical mayhem, creating a real sense of urgency to the music.  Growing darker and bigger in scope as it progressed, this “Bowie” transformed into a fiery mind-fuck, attacking your brain with masterful ferocity.  Illustrating their mastery over the madness, the band collectively slowed the jam down as if controlled by a machine, and began chanting over the canvas they created.  Delving even deeper, Phish moved through several other textures before all was said and done.  This is what “Bowie” is all about- controlled chaos.   The band would resolve this maniacal jam later in the set with one of the most beautiful “Slaves” ever played.

June 1995 (C.Taylor Crothers)

June 1995 (C.Taylor Crothers)

And on the third day, Phish played Walnut Creek.  This amphitheatre became a household name in the Phish world, and this “Runaway Jim” was one of the early reasons why.  Building on the insane music produced the previous two nights, Phish came right out with IT to start the second set.  Cracking open the frame with a half-hour plunge into the depths of improvisation, Phish was playing mind games once again.  After a tight and spirited run through conventional “Jim” territory, and while maintaining that upbeat rhythm, Trey and Page began to bring the jam outwards.  Soon, Mike and Fish were right there on the precipice with them, and what was first a ripping “Runaway” transformed into a whole different monster.  Aggressive and intense are two words that characterize the early psychedelia of this jam, yet before it was over, it moved into some of the most abstract spacescapes of the summer.  In between, the band cruised through periods of spacious groove, ambient exploration, and driving dissonance.

phish-314x400Not for the faint-hearted, this is some truly amazing- and absolutely crazy- Phish music.   Featuring some eerie and bizarre whole-group vocal layering over the most abstract segment, Fishman chanted about “little doggie” being “sooo far from home.”  This jam is truly a Phishy opus.  Building back from the deepest section, the band eventually guided the music into “Free.”

While Summer ’95 was a crazy adventure from Boise to Sugarbush, these three jams, on three consecutive nights represented a high point of Phish’s successful risk-taking.  Typifying the outward psychedelic nature of the band’s music during this summer, these three jams pretty much sum it up.  The level of creativity and energy the band brought to the stage that summer was staggering, and the wake of legendary music they left behind them would live on forever.

***

LISTEN TO 6.14.95 “Tweezer” NOW! < LINK

LISTEN to 6.15.95 “David Bowie” NOW! < LINK

LISTEN to 6.16.95 “Runaway Jim > Free” NOW! < LINK ———————– (Roll over, click play)

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DOWNLOAD $$ UPDATE: First off, I want to thank everyone for their generous donations to Phish Thoughts thus far.  After we collectively paid for the absurd No-Spoiler-induced $743 bill in March, I want to keep you abreast of current finances.  I just got the bill for April’s bandwidth, and with donations, I have just barely have enough money to cover download costs for the month ($567.)  At this point there are zero dollars in the Phish Thoughts account.  If donations continue to come in at this rate, I can continue to offer regular downloads (for non-current shows,) otherwise, I will only be able to offer torrents.  FYI: All  ’09 shows will only be available in torrent form.

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DOWNLOADS OF THE DAY:

6.14.95 Mud Island Amphitheatre Memphis, TN < LINK

6.14.95 Mud Island Amphitheatre Memphis, TN < TORRENT LINK

1995-06-14gnI: Don’t You Wanna Go, Gumbo, NICU, Mound, Cavern, Possum, All Things Reconsidered, Amazing Grace, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Spock’s Brain, Split Open and Melt

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Poor Heart, Tweezer > Acoustic Army, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

E: Simple, Rocky Top, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Neumann RMS 190i

***

6.15.95 Lakewood, Atlanta, GA < MEDIAFIRE LINK

1995-06-15gnI: My Friend My Friend, Sparkle, AC/DC Bag, The Old Home Place, Taste, The Wedge, Stash, I Didn’t Know*, Fluffhead, Run Like An Antelope

II: My Sweet One, Ha Ha Ha > David Bowie, Strange Design, Theme From the Bottom, Scent of a Mule, Acoustic Army, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Bouncing Around the Room, Frankenstein

*With Fish on trombone, Mike on electric drill and Trey on megaphone.

Source: Nak 300 w/ cp-4 & Senn 441 > Sony Mixer > D10 Pro

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174 Responses to “Three Days”

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  1. shpongleyez Says:

    95 rules.

    97

    99

    98 is the odd even year.

    09!

  2. Bobby Caplewood Says:

    6-15-95……..1st show……feels like yesterday

  3. Myhkel Says:

    6-19-95…my 1st show…just a few days later…

    The Reba, Bowie and YEM from this show are………….^fill in with Mr. Miner’s wonderful words to decribe how special those 95 jams were….my words: scary, spacey, joyous.

    Iceing on the cake… a Tela for my 1st show(1 of only 2 so far for me…the 2nd being the next year at Deercreek again). Maybe I’ll be so lucky to get my 3rd at Deercreek 09 : )

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    haven’t listened to this tweezer in a long time..look forward to it without 4 analog generations of hiss!

    will there be a torrent of the atlanta show?

  5. Myhkel Says:

    Thank god I decided to go see Phish instead of the GD that year at Deercreek(re:the show where the fence was crashed)

  6. Al Says:

    I fell in love with 1995 when the fall tour started. Before, they were starving for melody, as Mike put it.

  7. Mr. Icculus Says:

    Miner lets get out of the past for awhile and just look to the future. What phish will step up to the plate at Phenway? Lets focus on the new summer tour, what we may here at certain venues and why. I hate all this phish hype of 95 and 97 shit all the time. Its 2009.

  8. whole tour! Says:

    95 and 97 will live forever…there is no escaping the past….two of the best years ever, hardly ‘shit’….there is no magic crystal ball for summer 2009. if you can’t handle the HEAT(95, 97) then get the f**k out of the kitchen!

  9. whole tour! Says:

    95 and 97 were hardly ‘hype’ either….if you were there then you’d know.

  10. Pence Says:

    Miner get rid of the regular download, I hate to hear that you get bills like that. To me the regular download is worthless. I havent heard the mud island tweezer and am looking fwd to D/Ling the torrent.

  11. Al Says:

    I’d rather not have any shows from the past as regular downloads (>torrents), but I would love to have ONLY the 2009 shows as regulars.

  12. Pence Says:

    I was watching the Blackhawks/Canucks game last night and heard them playing Chalkdust Torture at the stadium between puck drops. Just thought that was cool. Anyone else hear it.

  13. Little Buddy Says:

    Uh, Icculus… He just wrote about ’09 sleeper shows this week. What do you want him to write about re: ’09. They aren’t playing yet. There will be tons of ’09 writings once the tour begins. I’m loving the old school talk (and downloads) for now.

    Thanks for keeping the site up, Mr. M.

  14. RobAins Says:

    I second the idea of getting rid of the downloads. Terrents are great. Setting your computer up can be a little confusing at firts though….

  15. whole tour! Says:

    if you use playstation 3 for internet, then the individual downloads are a god send. please keep them….even if i have to donate to keep them alive 😉

  16. Rolling Papyrus Says:

    Mr. Miner, thanks for the post on these. The Walnut Creek Jim is definitely a challenge, sometimes I forget what I’m listening to in the middle. Looking forward to checking out these other ’95 monsters. As for past vs. present, the band wouldn’t be where they are today without having explored this stuff, so it is certainly a relevant discussion.

    I support discontinuing the regular downloads in favor of torrents. Yes the ports and settings can be a project to set up, but once it’s done you can set it and forget it, not to mention seeding for everyone else’s benefit.

  17. wanderin Says:

    1995 was such a fun year. So many top notch shows. Some of my favorite shows ever seen were from 95. As for torrents, once you figure it out (in an hour reading some how-to’s) they are real easy. Thanks Miner.

  18. Frankie Says:

    Hey Mr. Miner! Thank you for pointing people to this huge creative PEAK in the band’s career… I believe this is mandatory listening for any fan… even just once… ’cause it’s not saturday night dinner music… it is really mind-bending, scary stuff… they were building on past achievements like the Murat Gin ’93 and Tweezerfest ’94 to build the confidence onstage to play those jams… the Mud Island Tweezer never gets old as you said and i even prefer it to the Runaway Jam from 11.29.97. Thank you for sharing like you do!

  19. lovematicgrandpa Says:

    Mr Miner does a nice job mixing up the archival and current Phish discussions. Come Summer Tour, I’d imagine everything will relate to the current tour (understandably). So let’s enjoy these historical discussions that provide a wider view of Phish before we embark on what could be the best Phish tour in 10 years.

  20. Billy Breathes Says:

    I’m 11th Row Front and Center to The Dead next week.

    Think that will make a difference in the experience, honestly?

    Heard so many bad reviews it’s almost hard to believe them.

    For a mid-life old school deadhead, I just can’t help but think the show is going be a real good time.

    PS – can’t wait till June!

    -Alter Ego

  21. Danny B Says:

    I used to have the Mud Island show on tape, but it wasn’t the best source, similarly to what Cowfunk said, my tape was probably 4 or 5th generation and therefore not in my regular rotation due to that fact. How is the sound quality for Mud Island, is it an sbd? Also, the sound quality fo the Runaway Jim from the Left Nuts CD is spectacular!!!!! As soon as it came in the mail (with the Walnut Creek DVD) I blasted it at top volume, and it scared both my girlfriend and my dog out of the house. Mind warpingly psychedelic!!! I love it!!

  22. SOAM Says:

    It was a slow Chalkdust intro during game last night-I almost thought it sounded like the guitar intro to Possum no ? But yeah gotta be alot of phreaks in Vancouver-fucking weed is legal and they are all drunk north of the border-they start drinking after games in squirt/pee wee leagues god bless em.

  23. Litteringand Says:

    Still waiting on the Deer Creek tour stop miner you could write about that

  24. Los Says:

    @ Danny B

    Anyway you could please burn me a copy of the left nuts cd? I missed out on the preorder…

    95 is such quality…but I like all years…good stuff in each year

  25. SOAM Says:

    Billy-sell your tickets and go get drunk and or laid-way better time.

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