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”

  1. Uberchef Says:

    Check this out y’all…moichendizing moichendizing…and coming soon: the phish phlamethrower! the kids love this one.

    http://www.zazzle.com/phish_fenway_mens_tee_shirt_29_95-235577369395548012

  2. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^^ worst ever. 😉

  3. Manny Phresh Says:

    We should see which seats are still available through Live Nation, and the day of the show we should go up to the people sitting in them and give them a piece of our minds.

  4. ColonelJoy Says:

    95’…Yes!! 10-2 and 10-3 in Seattle were my third and fourth shows respectively. My first being 12-30-93, and second, 11-30-94 (both epic for those years in most circles).

    I was totally into both shows I had seen to that point, but “totally into” does not equal Trancendental Meltdown….that is what those Seattle shows did to me. Honestly, Kuroda is partly responsible. Before 95′, he really didn’t have the rig to pull off big arenas. 95′ was the first year he was Kuroda, IMO.

    Now, by that time I had maybe 2 or 3 Phish tapes, and as far as albums, I only listened to Nectar and Rift. I had heard David Bowie on a Junta cassette back in 90′, but I dismissed it as a poor attempt at art rock…What a dick….So, the first time I ever heard YEM, or even new what it was…. live, tripping balls….vocal jam, with spooky strobe-light effect…yeah….toast!

    I took people to that show, including some inner city brothers who lived in the barracks with me at Ft. Lewis, who had never heard one note of Phish……their heads have never been the same…Oh, was that Arena ever dripping with the crust of northwest heads….and there is no crust like the crust of northwest heads…..Us Soldiers dug that….

  5. Billy Breathes Says:

    Jay – I should’ve specified. I’ll take any of those you mentioned any day of the week!

    Throw in a Golden Lady and we’re set for life:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqU5aWj3dSQ

  6. KRIVRAQ Says:

    Afternoon all…..

    After an earlier meeting, finished for the day!!! Just have to wait for my ride to show up in another 2 hours 🙁 The new jobby-job treating me well.

    Been reading previous posts to kill time. ‘Pence’ mentioned a Chalk Dust being heard on the PA during the Canucks/Black Hawks game last night. Had to mention that last season during a NY Rangers game the organ/keyboardist at MSG was playing his version of a Bathtub Gin medley during the TV timeout. I thought at the moment, “I’m probably the only one here out of 18,000 that ‘heard’ it.”

  7. whole tour! Says:

    sorry to burst bubbles, but i also feel the new dead SUCKS. what i have heard was TERRIBLE and cheesey over hyped fluff. i love GRATEFUL DEAD and i respect the living members, but i agree with soam, this new stuff is really bad. it bored me to tears. just because they can tour dosen’t mean they should. the jams are aimless and meanderingly hollow. the drums are good, but they don’t carry a show. i’m sorry, but in my eyes and ears it is crap. makes me so glad phish still has what the core 4 dead don’t: ENERGY – EXCITEMENT – FOCUS –

  8. whole tour! Says:

    btw…thanks for the lakewood 95 love…my 1st show. i saw all 8 lakewood shows. it was half full in 95. great show.

  9. Pence Says:

    yeah KRIV, but the chalkdust was just a recording prob just off nectar. But neat none the less. I commented to my wife that it was phish, she said who cares, and I back hand slapped her leg. It was rather funny. She screamed OOWWW. While i got in her face and said dont you ever say that.

  10. ccammack Says:

    Thanks for the clean copies. I think mine were about 10th generation. I was at Memphis and Lakewood for my 4th and 5th shows. Got the cleanest dose I had ever had up to that point outside Mud Island. I remember security being ruthless on the way in and people were ditching bowls everywhere. Needless to say that Tweezer was insane.

    On the GD topic, I was at the Greensboro show. I traded my floor seats for an Asheville ticket and couldn’t be happier. This was my first concert after the Hampton run and it was a total let down. Set list looks good on paper but the sound was horrible and what light show? I know I was holding it up to a pretty high standard but I was not impressed musically. I will probably still go if they come around again for the lot fun, etc., but definitely won’t travel to see it or pay above face.

  11. voopa Says:

    I don’t think I could love a woman that doesn’t love Phish…

  12. pages_sandwich Says:

    Thanks Minor was definitely a great period in Phishstory. Keeping with tis time period perhaps you could post 6/17/95 from Nissan Pavilion in VA. This was my 2nd show and also contained a mind-bending Tweezer>JohnyBGoode>Tweezer. Thanks for all you do for the community.

  13. Jay Says:

    Yea, it’s hard loving someone you feel sorry for cuz they just don’t get it 🙂

  14. whole tour! Says:

    nothing like a well played back hand to keep the ho in line…lol

    ‘where’s my money and undermind cd?…B***H!’ LOL

  15. Jay Says:

    ^^ That should be “don’t get IT.”

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    my wife is more into phish than I am, even – lives for it ever since the Fat Man left us – nothing, nothing, nothing beats being at shows with her

    she likes the crazy parts best, too – her favorite song is “jam -> “

  17. whole tour! Says:

    does she have a single sister? lol
    cool chicks who dig phish are rare…diamonds amongst coal.

  18. Manny Phresh Says:

    @Pence
    LOL, I could just picture how it went down.

  19. Jay Says:

    yea, like find a girl who likes science fiction or D&D or WoW or football etc…

  20. Pence Says:

    yeah I have to put her in her place often, like when she changes the ipod in the car during a 20 min ghost. WTF! “I thought after they stop singing, its over” ….SLAP

  21. Billy Breathes Says:

    Take the A Train. Buried Alive. Curtain.

    St Lewy opener.

  22. whole tour! Says:

    i’m not gonna call or predict or expect any songs….but rather do what a wise man once said the trick was:

    SURRENDER TO THE PHLOW!

  23. whole tour! Says:

    aka… TURN OFF YOUR MIND – RELAX – AND PHLOAT DOWNSTREAM

  24. Manny Phresh Says:

    TGIF, boy do i really hate my job. I used to make fun of the people that had 9-5 jobs, and told myself I would never be one, now I’m one of those people I used to make fun of.

  25. Billy Breathes Says:

    LOFL Manny.

    You’re not the only one. Glad to know we’re not alone, right?

    BOY MAN, TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT!

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