6.14.09 Bonnaroo (J.Kravitz)

6.14.09 Bonnaroo (J.Kravitz)

One of the most endearing moments of June’s tour was Bruce Springsteen’s guest spot at Bonnaroo.  Rumors swirled about Phish and The Boss taking the stage together, and with Trey’s known admiration of Bruce, a collaboration seemed likely.  Throughout our Phish lives, we have heard stories of Trey, growing up in New Jersey, looking up to the state’s most famous son as the epitome a rock star.  Now, as headliners of the same festival, the stage was set.

6.14 (J.Kravitz)

6.14 (J.Kravitz)

A legend of Americana’s  singer-songwriter tradition, Springsteen’s music spoke to a generation of youth, longing for freedom and adventure in the 1970s, a decade focused on reestablishing cultural stability in America.  His songs carried the voice of “everyman,” making his music emotionally universal.  Trey, as well as many of us, grew up listening to Bruce’s raspy folktales over his poignant hooks and melodies.  From “Greetings From Asbury Park” and “The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle” to “Born to Run,” and “Born In the USA,” the Boss brought many of us through our youth, dreaming about “get[ing] out while we [we]re young.”  And when we finally did get out, look what we found.  Maybe this wasn’t the scenario for everyone, but there is no doubt that Bruce Springsteen is an American rock and roll icon.

6.14.09 (D.Gunnels)

"Mustang Sally" (D.Gunnells)

After Phish had just completed a intense run through “Tweezer > Horse > Silent, Antelope,” it seemed that Bonnaroo’s first set was over, but as Trey stepped to the mic he began to tell us a story.  Reminiscing on the first concert he ever attended, Bruce Springsteen in Princeton, NJ, he explained how blown away he was by the intensity and energy in the room that night.  In a past interview, Trey said he had never witnessed someone command the attention of an entire room like Jerry Garcia or Bruce Springsteen.  Now, sharing the stage with the legend, he welcomed his “boyhood hero” to the stage.  His shit-eating grin told the rest of his story for him.  (Side note: Trey previously told us, on 12.15.95, that his first concert was Jethro Tull at The Spectrum. Hmm.)

Trey’s Introduction ——————— [audio:]

"Mustang Sally" (D.Gunnells)

"Mustang Sally" (D.Gunnells)

Just as we have heroes, so does Trey- and watching his dream come true was awesome.  The band started with “Mustang Sally,” a straight forward rocker in order to get acclimated to each other’s chops and to loosen up without any technical playing.  Having a grand time on stage, Trey and Bruce traded licks over a steady groove.  But when the standard ended, Bruce looked over at Trey and Phish, saying- “Alright, we’re gonna try this one,” as they started “Bobby Jean”- a dark-horse track from “Born in the USA.”  Interestingly enough, this song was considered a musical breakthrough for Springsteen upon its recording, with a more accented rhythm and danceable groove- a perfect selection.  As the band moved through the anecdotal song, it was very sublime to hear Trey’s guitar back Bruce’s composition in some stylistic Jersey-fusion.

Mustang Sally ——————————- [audio:]

Bobby Jean —————————- [audio:]

"Glory Days" (D.Gunells)

"Glory Days" (D.Gunells)

But the highest moment of their three-song performance was unquestionably “Glory Days.”  Taking a song that everyone in the massive crowd connected to in one way or another, Phish and Bruce tore through the ’80s hit more than proficiently.  And one of the best moments of the weekend came when Bruce turned the reigns over to Trey during the solo.  Taking liberty, Trey threw down a monster solo with many of his signature licks; like a kid in a candy store, he  shredded the classic.  There was also something overtly powerful as the two aging guitarists wailed together on the nostalgic “Glory Days;” certainly a moment.  Climaxing the song, the band and Bruce moved into the final verse and on into setbreak.

Much of the crowd buzzed during the break about the superstar-sit in, and many were overheard saying, “Best Glory Days EVER!”  As Phish prepared to come out for Bonnaroo’s final set, Trey had already lived a dream.  Sober, happy, and playing on the nation’s biggest summer stage with one of his heroes, his look said it all.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case, maybe more.

Glory Days —————————– [audio:]

=====Winged music note

Jam of the Day:

David Bowie” 6.24.95 II Philadelphia, Pa.


One of my all time favorite “Bowies.”  It’s amazing how intense, yet controlled, the jam is the entire time.



7.21.1996 The Forum, Nuremberg, GR ^TORRENT

7.21.1996 The Forum, Nuremberg, GR < MEGAUPLOAD


Europe '96 Poster

This is one of the most well-loved two-setters on Europe’s Summer ’96 tour.  Sprinkled between their opening sets for Santana, Phish played a series of headlining gigs, and none more on point than this night in Germany.  With a great setlist and tight playing, Nuremberg was a keeper.

I: Golgi Apparatus, Guelah Papyrus, Rift, Tweezer, If I Could, My Mind’s Got a Mind of It’s Own, Split Open and Melt, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Taste, Train Song*, Fee > Timber (Jerry), Johnny B. Goode

II: Llama, Theme From the Bottom, Reba, Life on Mars, Free, Run Like an Antelope, Simple, Prince Caspian, Suzy Greenberg

E: Harry Hood

*First time played.

Source: unknown

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208 Responses to “Bruuuuce!”

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  1. ColonelJoy Says:

    Musically speaking, I don’t think Bruce was the most insperational sit-in, but as far as Icon status, I guess only BB King beats him out….of course with BB the jamming was much better, although more led by Phish.

    I actually enjoyed the Kid-Cock sit-in. I’m not embarrassed to admit that, frankly. Fishman doing the side-kick parody was priceless, no?

    My dream sit-in is definately Pat Metheny, follwed by Jimmy Page/Plant, and Soleil Moon Frye

    7-21-96 was my sixth show, and my second in Europe. A very tight, and well played show, indeed.

  2. Corey Says:

    Pat Metheny would be nice.

    Actually, I took a Greyhound from Lexington KY to Las Vegas for Pat Metheny at the now defunct Blue Note in the Aladdin Hotel, and then Phish down front with who else, but Kid Rock. It was rockin’ in there.

    Oh, and Metheny’s Trio was beautiful, just beautiful.
    I can never see him enough, no matter whom he has tow.

  3. Twiggy Says:

    Not doubting you Miner, but was Jethro Tull Trey’s first concert or was it his first concert at the Spectrum? Seems like we’ve discussed this before, but we all know how mischievous Trey is. BTW, my first was Little Feat opening for Jimmy Buffett in Chattanooga. Should have paid more attention to the Feat, but Paps brought me up on Buffett. Awesome show, but we went to Springsteen in Rupp Arena on the Human Touch Tour and I can concur with Trey, it was incredibly energetic. No setbreak, just three plus hours of pure energy. Great show. Fellow posters, what was your first show?

  4. Twiggy Says:

    @ Corey

    Wow, two Lexington references in consecutive posts. Sweet.

  5. Dr SF Jones Says:

    I was tending bar at the Blue Note in Vegas for those Metheny gigs. Definitely pretty sweet.
    And Kid Rock was very disappointing for me. A tremendous let down to an otherwise great show experience.

  6. Corey Says:


    Ahh, Rupp. …wonderful Phish experience there too.

    As for my first “rock show,” that’d be Huey Lewis and the News with the Tower of Power. War Memorial, Rochester NY.
    My folks took me. They did five encores. It was awesome. Huey Lewis was a tight harmonica player. It was like a saxophonic holiday dipped in blues.

  7. Corey Says:

    @Dr SF Jones

    Small internet space, no?

    I did ask a bar tender if I could take a few pictures and he said it was cool as long as I left the flash off. T’was you?
    Anyway, I concur. Sweet indeed. Bill Stewart was intense. When they played Faith Healer, the whole place shook.

    Although I’m not a regular listener of Mr. Rock, I was pleased that they chose to do a few music staples. They were certainly hilarious at their worst and certifiably entertaining at their best. The next great jam, it was not.

    But, in Vegas, anything goes. An’ it did.
    …with a Bud Weiser in one hand and a white tank on the back.

    I smiled the whole bus ride back.

  8. Baxter Says:

    First concert ever was Grateful Dead in the Fall of ’83 in Portland ME. I was a 16 year old kid, and my mind was blown wide open.

    I love the boss, thanks for the audio Mr. Miner.

  9. Matso Says:

    On Glory Days, it sounds like Bruce also solo’d (after Trey) and more than held his own in doing so. Anyone else hear this and/or can confirm from being there?

  10. Marshall Says:

    Since this is “first” day, mine was Motley Crue in 1987 at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville AL. A crying shame! the terrible music I was exposed to during the 80s. Oh! and … a little known band which had just released it’s first album that week opened for them – That band was called Guns ‘n Roses and the album was Appetite for Destruction.

  11. ColonelJoy Says:


    I am from Gray, Maine. I was 10 when you saw the Dead at the Civic Center. They pretty much came to Maine every year in the early 80s, and you’d see the tour stragglers, even as far up as Gray whenever they came through. I remember being fascinated by them. Two were hitchhiking once, barefoot, and my Dad picked them up….not sure if they were heads, but I’m guessing so.

    My first show was U2, September 1987 at Foxboro……

  12. ColonelJoy Says:

    BTW, Baxter,

    I was working at the Turnpike Burger King in Gray when the Dead played Oxford Plains….the primary route to get there was the I-95 Gray exit. I was 15 then. People were partying on the turnpike!! It was fun working that day….but I wish I had gone to the show….wouldn’t see them till 92’….

  13. Andrew Says:

    First show was August ’84, the Beach Boys at the Garden State Arts Center. My older brother and I were terrors on the lawn, forced my Dad to take us out and sit in the car for the latter part of the show – my only vivid memory of the show other than whipping beach balls at everyone in sight. First show on my own was Warped Tour ’95 in Asbury Park – riding our beach cruisers up the boardwalk smoking a j just in time to catch Sublime…if we only knew how awesome it was to see those guys play at that point in time – only later did it become apparent.

  14. Cactus Says:

    First concert was the Grateful Dead at MSG in 1991. I was 13 years old. I had no idea what I was getting into. It was a truly amazing show. I think I knew 2 or 3 songs at the time. But the energy in the building was ridiculous.

    As far as Bruce goes, I was there and it was pretty cool seeing Phish share teh stage with Springsteen. I wish I was more familiar with Bobby Jean at the time. The song is really, really good.

    Good to see New Jersey representing the stage that night, and also in the audience.

  15. flyz51 Says:

    First show didn’t happen until my sophomore year in college, but it was well worth the wait. Late November 1970, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. This was the Flo and Eddie version of the band not long before they recorded the Live at the Fillmore East album.

    It didn’t take terribly long for the second show to happen after that. I got to see the Grateful Dead in Iowa City, IA on 3/21/71.

  16. BTB Says:

    The new feature to play the mp3 clips is great Miner. Thanks!

    If I have any cash available after my swing through Colorado at the end of the month you will be receiving a donation. Are you a non-profit? I would love to write Mr. Miners Phish Thoughts on my tax return, ha.

  17. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    First show was Crosby, Stills, and Nash on American Dream tour, I guess it must have been Summer of 87. I was 12 at the time and they sent me with my parish priest who was a big fan. Sports Center in Indy (which was host to at least one dead show). Kind of strange to see a concert at a tennis court, but definitely impressed me.

  18. BTB Says:

    Also, what’s the word on Darien Lake and ticket availability? Flooded with extras or shit out of luck???

  19. c0wfunk Says:

    I was surprised how well the bruce sit in came together. Bruce’s blues chops also shocked me – he stood toe to toe with our captain and held his own in mustang sally. Glory days musta been extra poignant for trey..

    My favorite moment is a little insider baseballish — at the beginning of glory days they come together a little off and there’s almost a trainwreck – fishman has the beat turned around .. The boss, the consumate band leader, steps to the mic and busts out his patented “1-2-3-4” and fishman is able to smack down on the one and off they go.

    First concert- bobby brown’s my perogative tour. First rock show gd @ rfk summer 94

  20. Mitch Says:

    My first show was Dave Matthews Band when I was 15 at deer creek on 6.22.99. My dad drove me and my friends. He made us get him pavilion and we thought the cool thing to do was go to the lawn. Now I try for pavilion all the time. Always love a good show at deer creek.

  21. Dr SF Jones Says:

    My first show was Black Sabbath with Ian Gillian from Deep Purple on vocals in 1983. I was 12. I remember this show because Quiet Riot was the opening band and they did “Cum On Feel The Noise” as an encore. It was my 1st concert but I distinctly remember thinking that it was strange that an opening act did an encore. And it was.

  22. punkmug Says:

    That Bowie set my morning just right. Thanks Miner.

  23. Dr SF Jones Says:

    That Sabbath show was at the Brendan Byrne Medowlands Arena in Jersey.

  24. Little Buddy Says:

    First show… The Monkees at Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center, not sure what year it was. Maybe 1989? First good show… Pearl Jam, Blues Traveler, Soundgarden and Neil Young in 1993 at the old Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. My parents drove me and a girl up from Rochester and let us walk down to the show from the hotel. I was 16. It was pretty sweet!

    Colonel and anyone else at Europe 1996 shows. There were three girls that did that whole tour together. I think most people, including the boys just referred to them as “the three girls.” One of them is now my wife. There’s a great pic of them in one of the Pharmer’s Almanacs sitting outside one of the shows – not sue which one.

    Thanks again, Miner. Great write up.

    Halloween costume’s that might be cool, IMO:

    Sabbath – Paranoid
    Zepp – Physical Graffiti
    White Stripes – White Blood Cells (too recent and only two band members, I know – but great tunes and it would be cool to see what a four piece band could do with them)
    Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
    Dead – Blues for Allah

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    BTB, I have two extra Darien Lake lawn if you need them. Coming with mail order this week (got my fedex confirmation email yesterday!).

    hit me up at b_crossen (at) hotmail dot com

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