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!”

  1. R1 Says:

    First show: RUSH – 12.13.91 @ Hartford Civic Center. I was 2 weeks short of my 14th birthday. I remember some dudes behind me dropped their joint and I picked it up for them and handed it back . . . w/o taking a toke. I saw two more shows on that Roll The Bones tour. That was a rock n’ roll show, that’s for sure.

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    oh, and my first show was Ray Charles at Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA. 1983ish? First real show was probably CSN at Stabler Arena in 1986. I was 12 and my brother took me and my friend. Soon thereafter I was going to Dead shows with him too! Phish opened a Fall Tour there once upon a time too…

  3. bearito Says:

    First show – Page/Plant 3/11/93 Lakefront Arena, New Orleans – I was 10.

  4. halcyon Says:

    1st show…..Samantha Fox @ Great Adventure NJ! LOL if you can call that a show. I did get a souvenier poster and t-shirt too! Second show later that summer was The Beach Boys after a Yankee Game. Billy Joel was my third show. U2, Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, and Phish followed soon afterwards.

  5. Stupendous Says:

    Yo Hal i replied to your email…Samantha Fox!!!! she was a babe back then…lol
    I cant really remember my first show…It def wasnt in the states….I think it was
    a band called Mana from mexico? they were like a latin rock pop band with a slight similarity to the police but with a lot of cheese.

  6. Jay Says:

    ist show was Aerosmith with Golden Earing at the Syracuse War Memorial. Golden Earing’s lead singer was hammered and sat on the drum riser most of the set. Aerosmith never showed and when the promoter came on stage to make that announcement he got hit in the head with a bottle and was sent to the hospital.

  7. Mr. V Says:

    1st show — Allman Brothers Band (w/ Duane) @ Winterland, SF, 10/9/1971.
    Elvin Bishop was the opener.

  8. Brian Says:

    first show was Phish at Nassau collesium…1999.

    man I’m feeling young!

  9. sumodie Says:

    My first show was seeing Billy Joel from 6th row at the Portland ME Civic Center back in 1983 -it remains an amazing show in my mind (my first Phish show was also there when the HORDE came to town in 1992).

    I still kick myself for missing the Dead at Oxford Plains Speedway. I was heavily into 60s music at the time but it took me the longest to like the Dead, until 1990 I think…managed to squeeze in 10 shows before the end.

  10. Leo Weaver Says:

    @ Marshall…what an 80’s lineup with the Crue and GnR. I missed it when they came thru Albany Ga (mom wouldn’t let me tag along with big sis)…heard GnR was boo’d off the stage.

    First concert was Motley Crue Dr. Feelgood tour…man i’d have given ANYTHING to have been in the stageside cages with all those large-breasted scantily-clad “nurses”…and Tommy Lee did the bungee jump thing from his hanging drum kit after he spun around a little. My show list quickly grew in quantity and quality after that one.

  11. sumodie Says:

    From the orchestra pit, watching the interplay between Bruce and Trey was unreal -a real magical moment. I’ve said this elsewhere before, but I’ve never liked (though I respected) Bruce’s music, but Sat. & Sun. at the roo changed all that.

    As for the soloing at the end of Glory Days, I thought that was all Trey. You could tell Bruce was mightily impressed with Trey’s abilities during the final soloing -a priceless experience to witness.

    Trey’s shit-eating grin said it all and more!

  12. msbjivein Says:

    I saw the Famous Mockingbird this morning. He was on his way to Red Rocks to help Colonel Forbins find the Help and Friendly Book. Who’s having trouble dragging his shit ass up the Mnt to see the Great and Knowledgeable Iculus. The Mockingbird said he and forbins plan on attending one of the Phish shows after they find the Help and Friendly book. I said “Sweet, See you there”!!!!

  13. msbjivein Says:

    My 1st show was pretty fucking lame compared to everyone elses. It was the B-52’s @ Riverbend in Cincy. I was 12yrs old. One thing I remember was the Tranny’s purrring at me like cats. Fucking weird shit when your 12 and high on weed.

  14. jbailey Says:

    First Show — Huey Lewis and the News “Heart of Rock and Roll Tour”
    Providence Civic Center
    I have no clue what year. may have been 88.

  15. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    OT – I just picked up a crazy DVD I found at a used store called “Go Ride The Music”. Its a two disc set with 2 documentaries by Ralph Gleason from the late 60’s on the San Francisco scene. Crazy interviews, and great footage, funny stuff with the Dead in a sinking canoe. Plus, weird to hear of all these bands that I have never, ever heard of. Definitely worth checking out if you are into that sort of thing.

  16. Jay Says:

    Oh, and my 1st show was in 1977 or 1978.

  17. Jay Says:

    Anybody hook up with that NPR girl in Portland? Or is that tonight?

  18. msbjivein Says:

    My bad the Mockingbird is helping Forbins find the Helping Friendly book. Not the “Help and Friendly” book. LOL!! I’m sure everyone knows this but me…..Oops.

  19. Litteringand Says:

    First Show- Tommy James and the Shondelles at the Morris Civic Theater in South Bend, IN I was like 8-9

  20. hawkinbj Says:

    Not a fan of sit-ins at all….and I must admit I was not too happy when Bruce came out on stage (not a fan at all)…BUT – after Glory Days, I was grinning ear to ear 🙂 Also of note, Bruce saves the beginning of Glory Days because Fishman is off 2 beats, counting it out and getting everyone together. A master showman and live performer, just not my favorite compositional musician.

  21. msbjivein Says:

    It’s pretty obvious but I’ve never seen a Forbins>Mockingbird. Lots of cliff,climbing and Mtn references. No better place than RR to Bust it out!!!

  22. themanatee Says:

    first show at Lake Compounce (!) in CT…Cinderella, Extreme, David Lee Roth ..height of More than Words… yes…

  23. hawkinbj Says:

    and first show was James Taylor in 1990 with my parents at Va Beach amphitheater 😉

  24. Jay Says:

    Noob alert LOL!

  25. R1 Says:

    @Mr. V: “1st show — Allman Brothers Band (w/ Duane) @ Winterland, SF, 10/9/1971.
    Elvin Bishop was the opener.”

    That’s sick.

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