The Last Great Tweezer (For A While)

Phish 2000 (Unk)

While Phish’s energy began to wind down during the second half of 2000, the year still boasted many bright musical highlights.  From Radio City, to clubs in Japan and back again, Phish threw down many significant jams in the year before their first hiatus.  One of the most memorable moments came on June 24th at Lakewood Amphitheatre, during the band’s third show back from Japan- only eight days removed from Osaka’s tour closer.   Following a bombastically improvised “Moma” opener, the band ran through “Runaway Jim” and “Bouncin'” before greeting the summer sunset with the growling opening licks of “Tweezer.”  What ensued for the next half-hour exists as one of the most magnificently improvised portions of Phish2k.

Taking daytime into night, Phish explored several musical feels, weaving them seamlessly into a tapestry of sound and groove. Phish was excited to be back in their summertime sheds, and they were celebrating their stateside return musically.  While Japan brought diverse venues and cultural experiences for the band, they were more than ready to return to their comfort zone- annihilating amphitheatres across the US.  And in only their fifth set back, they would unveil this unique masterpiece.

2000-06-24moAs the jam dropped, Mike immediately took the lead, generating a tight and heavy groove with Fish, as Page painted the backdrop.  Meanwhile, Trey set up some loops and sat back, awaiting the perfect entry point.  Upon joining the rhythmic fray, Trey began with a series of licks that fit perfectly into the preexisting patterns.  This driving, spacious funk characterized the initial part of this jam and led everyone through some addictive dance music as the sun dipped low.  Clicking right away, the band was off and running through a melange of engulfing crack-grooves.

Radio City 2000 (B. Stephens)

Radio City 2000 (B. Stephens)

As Gordon retained the lead for much of this initial segment, Trey gradually transformed his rhythm chops into a subtle melody that pushed the band to a divergent musical plane.  Soon the band’s playing picked up a certain motion, as all four members layered their offerings atop Gordon’s pillow.  Trey began climbing a melodic path that guided the band’s ascending improv.  As the rhythm shifted, it was clear that this “Tweezer” jam was going further than your average first- or second- set offering.

Continuing their upwards path, the band came together, moving the music outwards at the same time.  Further momentum sprouted as Phish passed into a third distinct musical canvas.  Adding urgency to the music, this section began to take a different shape, straying from the swamp funk that had sprung this journey.  Trey picked up a thematic pattern, and as usual, Fish picked up on Trey.  They both began to push the jam, resulting in a driving rhythm and melody that was purely Phish, not resembling its origins at all.  The band had transcended any semblance of a “Tweezer” jam and had launched into something far more grandiose in scope.

Chicago 2000

Chicago 2000

As the band hit this first peak, they took the time to settle the music back into a quickly-moving and straight-ahead groove that allowed them to collect their thoughts and determine their direction.  Trey soon picked a melody out of this groove, influencing his mates to alter their phrases to fit into the progressing puzzle.  Before long Phish had plunged into a spiritually uplifting section of music that grew directly from Trey’s original lines.  As the band brought this part to the top, they entered the true peak of this monster jam.  The entire band created a far more regal feeling to the music as Trey hit a fierce and emotional rolling melody.  From here, the band maintained this level of energy, careening past the peak into a denouement of lightning quick patterns.

Allowing their musical path to organically peak, Phish took time to wind the music back down to earth via slowed down bass lines, effects, and sonic residue.  After the triumphant arrival of this extended adventure, the band slid into the perfectly placed “Stange Design” to reorient the audience from their altered reality.  Although Phish would go on to play five more “Tweezers” before calling it quits, none would approach the magnitude of Lakewood’s first set epic.  For a couple of years, this one would hold the title of “The Last Great “Tweezer.””


Listen to 6.24.00 “Tweezer” Now! < LINK (Roll over, click play)




6.24.00 Lakewood Amp, Atlanta, GA < LINK

6.24.00 Lakewood Amp, Atlanta, GA < TORRENT LINK

phish-astron00Beyond the massive “Tweezer,” the first set really stole the show this evening. With a classic setlist and ripping jams, it was almost like the sets were reversed.  Nonetheless, the second frame boasts a ripping “Antelope” and solid versions of “Birds” and “Carini.”

I: The Moma Dance, Runaway Jim, Bouncing Around the Room, Tweezer > Strange Design, Cavern

II: Birds of a Feather, Bug, My Sweet One, Run Like an Antelope, Frankie Sez, Carini, The Squirming Coil, Prince Caspian

E: Guyute, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Driver, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Unknown



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138 Responses to “The Last Great Tweezer (For A While)”

  1. soulish Says:

    Thanks for all the advice all. I actually hadn’t thought about that Amy’s Farm show which is the first show I ever heard as well. That might work. And actually this Roseland show from ’92 has a pretty good variety of stuff as well. In the end I might just look for a show with a lot of their heavily composed songs, like YEM, Bowie, Reba, Divided Sky, Fluffhead, etc. And ALO might be good too. Thanks again for the help.

    Also, I was at those 2000 Lakewood shows and met Trey at a restaurant at lunch. My buddies and I sat down and looked at the table next to us and Trey and some friends were there. Great day. The Raliegh show was a clusterfuck, listened to the first set in the lot and got in by the SOAMule, almost wish I hadn’t it was so bad, but as Miner said, the WTU->Slave ended the night well.

  2. Uberchef Says:

    ^^ Irony upon irony!!!!

    Speaking of icculus, I really dug the ‘read the book’ rant at Oswego…I was definitely laughing my ass off during that 🙂 Read it!

  3. Selector J Says:

    @Miner: I’ve always thought it was supposed to be understood just as it sounds: read icculus = ree-diculous

    This being direct commentary on the Helping Friendly Book that supposedly holds all the knowledge of the universe. Furthermore, it is taught to children at a very young age and therefore forms their beliefs to which it holds ultimate power over. Maybe we’re saying the same thing, ultimately, but that is just my take.

    @ Soulish:
    I might try a set or two from recently officially released Roxy ’93 run. That Mike’s Groove could make a believer out of anyone and there’s a good Stash (and a Manteca) later that will impress most jazz nerds.

  4. Wax Banks Says:

    Hey Miner!

    What are the chances of a ‘Phish2K’ Miner’s Picks compilation? I’ve been digging the Summer ’95 assortment lately and have partly come around on Big Cypress, and I’d love to get a sense of which ’00 shows to check out (other than the all-time-top-10 6/14/00 II of course)…

    Thanks as ever for the downloads.

  5. Jay Says:

    my first show was 05-13-89 Orange Grove, Syracuse, NY
    second was 12-30-89 Wetlands Preserve, New York, NY
    third was 02-27-91 Flamingo Cafe, Knoxville, TN

    After that I was hooked and pretty much weened myself off the Dead.

  6. Wax Banks Says:

    @soulish –

    How about 10/31/94 or 10/31/98? The former certainly shows off the band’s range and technical side (great ‘Reba’ etc.), while the latter gets into some heavy shit in Set III and has that glorious VU set amidships.

    Plus, both are available in nice SBD style – with the added bonus that 10/31/98 ships with that fantastic 10/30/98 II filler. A great ‘Stash’ is definitely enough to show off the complexity of the band’s approach, moreso than e.g. a big molasses-slow ‘Tweezer.’

  7. Wax Banks Says:

    More generally I’d say head for some Fall ’97 material – 11/30/97 if you can find a non-muddy recording of it, or 12/6/97 II (which is Big Funk but gets into gnarly stuff too)…then again there’s 12/14/95 II, 11/30/94…

  8. Wilson Says:

    re: Raleigh ’00. i’ve listened to the tapes a few times since then. I dare anyone to find a bigger Phish attrocity than the “Fast Enough.” The first 15 minutes of the show were ok, then total shite till the very end with the What’s the Use > Slave … only problem, Trey butchered (and i mean just fell to pieces) at the very end of the jam and the “wrap up” notes. I don’t demand perfection, but it was so striking to see them really struggle. I was about five rows back, and I saw Trey – very, very visibly – get really angry with himself as he walked off the stage. Almost looked like he was going to throw the guitar down. At that moment, I knew Phish was heading towards (at the very least) an extended break, if not the end. Sloppiness is just not in their nature.

    that said … the Polars storm show a few weeks later is the single concert i’d like most to go back in time and experience again. The weather, the music, my buzz, the people I met during the whole experience – it was something I could never put into words … I can close my eys and still feel it., and hear the storm sirens blaring in teh neighborhood beside teh ampitheater. it was just insane.

    thank god this band is back.

  9. Wilson Says:

    as for my “Fast “Enough” comment – Coventry doesn’t count. 😉

  10. msbjivein Says:

    @ MinER, No problem. I figured that would happen. Seriously would love to hear what you have to say about that run. Did you catch any of those shows w/ GCH???

  11. Jack O Roses Says:

    A “turn someone onto Phish” show I’d throw out there would be second set of 6-11-94 Red Rocks. The 2001 -> Antelope is so perfect. Monstrous, concise jams. Fluffhead yummyness. Then you say, “they get wacky, too” as Scent comes on. I hate lazer beams!!!!!!!!! Melt seals the deal and the rest is gravy. There are A+ sbd’s of this show in wide circulation.

    06-11-94 Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, CO
    1: Wilson, Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself, Rift, Down With Disease, It’s Ice, Tela, Stash
    2: Also Sprach Zarathustra-> Run Like an Antelope, Fluffhead, Scent of a Mule, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil, Maze, Contact-> Frankenstein
    E: Suzy Greenberg
    Last “Frankenstein”, 07-26-91.

    Also, I didn’t do the Mr. Miner challenge, but I can’t wait to see what the shows are….And hear the shit talking about who won. 😉

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’m not the Phish heavyweight like a lot of ppl on this board but if I was trying to turn a musician on to Phish I would absolutely go 97 over the earlier stuff – Slip Stich and Pass over ALO or Roxy for example. I think the earlier you go the more chance there is of someone hitting one of those oddball Phishy things that fans love but are too “inside baseball” and/or silly for outsiders…

    Plus SS&P is very diverse for a single disk – the deep funk of Cities and Wolfman’s, the be-sure-to-emphasize-it’s-improv transition into JJLC, the raging oddness of the Mike’s, and the intricate polyrhythms and spectacular shredding solo in Taste…

    my $.02

  13. Wax Banks Says:

    the be-sure-to-emphasize-it’s-improv transition into JJLC

    Quoted for hilarious awesomeness.

  14. Frankie Says:

    I’ve turned many friends onto Phish with Slip, Stitch & Pass. Great great record! It opens a good window on the Phish sound too… Funk, Insane Improv, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Barbershop, Humor…

    “And he walked on down the hall…”

  15. Jay Says:

    @right on mrC. Why I love ST&P. “Mother?, I want to cook you breakfast, Father?, I want to borrow the car.” Just some cool ass jams and awesome covers. Definitely shows their diversity, range, and maturity as musicians.

  16. Mugician Says:

    Me too…

    Speaking of ignorant dismissals… a kid I know once described Phish as “retarded happy metal” and proceeded to try and convince me that Jimi was better at IT than Trey. I told him to take his pills, and stop using the “X is better than Y” thing, because it makes him look like a fucking child.

  17. Mugician Says:

    Whoops. “Me too” as in… I thought it was Ridiculous.

  18. Mugician Says:


    I’m a musician and ALO melted my socks off! I haven’t heard Slip Stitch and Pass yet (don’t ask!). Dunno. I think ALO is a good appetizer because the band CHOSE those tracks to represent their sound during that era, and they’re all *perfect*. They’re all incredibly musically stimulating and even after having listened to it almost everyday for the last 3 years, I still am impressed and surprised and finding tiny new little things happening in those recordings all the time!

    My first choice would be ALO, then NYE ’95.

    Dang though… I really gotta get a copy of Slip, Stitch and Pass…

  19. Mr.Miner Says:

    @Miner: I’ve always thought it was supposed to be understood just as it sounds: read icculus = ree-diculous
    ^^ def a joke…Children are old enough to Read Icculus

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    @Wax- planning a Phish2k Miner’s Picks Compilation…look for it next week sometime…

  21. whole tour! Says:

    lakewood 2000 ‘tweezer’ stole the show that night. i remember watching airplanes criss cross the sky during the jam. definitely the best tweezer i ever saw along with oak mountain 99 and the cypress ‘mind left body’ tweezer. hope you dig the sbd miner 😉

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    only have a few Fall 97 entries, so give it a shot!

  23. whole tour! Says:

    i live by one rule: never miss lakewood phish!

  24. whole tour! Says:

    does anyone remember trey speaking jibberish during the ‘carini’ jam at this 6-24-00 show? I remember that he kept yelling things into his mic during the jam, but i could never make out what he says.

  25. Read Icculus Says:

    …well…from now I will use the name Highway Bill, because my first name is William.

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