An Anthem of August

Red Rocks (J.Kravitz)

Red Rocks (J.Kravitz)

If one thing was for certain this past tour, when the band cranked up the intro to “Down With Disease,” we knew were were in for a creative jam session.  Each of the the song’s four appearances on the second leg of summer was unique, and all were highlights of their shows.  Always a band and crowd favorite, Phish made no bones about pushing the classic vehicle this summer.  Using “Disease’s” safe and upbeat textures to get the audience going and the band united, their real creativity usually came after the searing composed jam.  Much like “Drowned” and “Rock and Roll,” the band’s other frequent summer springboards, “Disease” allowed the band to settle into a fool-proof rock groove before stepping up and taking musical risks.  Bringing the song to all corners of the musical globe, “Disease” was one of August’s most versatile jams.

8.1.09 (G.Lucas)

Red Rocks - 8.1 (G.Lucas)

Beginning an the third night of Red Rocks, Phish segued out of a set-opening “Rock and Roll” into the first “Disease” of the run.  Centering it squarely in the second set, this piece of improv took center stage , providing the most adventurous excursion of the evening by leaps and bounds.  After Phish crushed the initial part of the song, they careened out of its structure into some aggressive rock patterns, whose layers were gradually peeled away, leaving an oddly-percussive groove.  Taking this arrival point on an exploratory path, the band entered into some new musical turf, guided by Page’s prominent organ leads and Trey’s note bending complimentary patterns.  Fishman, however, stood as the player of this piece, continually flowing with unique rhythms that defined the sound of the jam.

Shoreline - 8.5 (voopa)

Shoreline - 8.5 (J.Florek)

When the band landed in the Bay Area for a Wednesday night affair at Shoreline, “Disease” was again showcased in the second set with a colossal twenty-minute version.  The composed section of this go-round featured some inspiring “type-I” shredding by Big Red, setting up, arguably, the most outstanding version of the entire summer.  Trey took the lead out of Shoreline’s composed jam, offering some gnarled leads and hard rhythm chops while Page killed his clavinet.  Trey began to change the pattern of his chops, slicing and dicing the jam from all angles, on top of a sparse, yet cogent, pocket.  As Mike and Fish engaged in some eclectic interplay, the rhythmic structure of the jam became its most unique quality.

Shorline (voopa)

Shoreline (J.Florek)

After using his guitar percussively, Trey oozed out of his grooves with a series of darker leads and effects, coaxing the entire band into a spacier milieu.  Trey  explored this realm with organic melodies while Page remained glued to his clav as if it were a matter of life or death.  This segment evolved into an eerie, ambient groove that was pure, unadulterated improv.  Phish settled into collective “type-II” experimentation- something that became the norm for “Disease” during August.  The exploratory epic landed in some intricately crafted drone soundscapes that reached deep into the abyss before segueing somewhat abruptly into “Limb By Limb.” Listen here.


After playing such a huge version of “Disease” at Shoreline, Phish turned right around and surprisingly opened The Gorge with the same summer anthem.  This time using the song to fire up the crowd, “Disease” opened a show for only the tenth time in its life.  Keeping this rendition within the song’s confines, the energy that the band infused into the jam was overwhelming.  With Trey jumping up and down before the song even kicked in, the band’s enthusiasm seeped directly into the audience.  Dripping with adrenaline from start to finish, this jam set the tone for what would be an unforgettable weekend.

Hartford - 8.14 (D.Vann)

Hartford - 8.14 (D.Vann)

The fourth and final appearance of  “Disease” came as the opener of Hartford’s second set.  Kicking off a frame of non-stop improv that would culminate with a visit from “Icculus,” this version climbed far beyond the boundaries of the song, resulting in one of the summer’s most surreal musical passages.  Getting the set moving with its high-octane rock and roll, Mike led the piece from behind the scenes with a flow of unique, pulsing rhythms.  In this version, the band rode out the composed jam a bit longer before sculpting the music- first with slick grooves, then percussive patterns, eventually getting to a final couple minutes of pure transcendence.  Breaking down the music into a slower groove, the band- all off a sudden- was surfing a spiritual wave out of nowhere.  If you were to craft a mix with of best minutes from the tour, these final two certainly be included.  But the blissful music was suddenly lopped off by the much-discussed “Wilson”-induced abortion.

Each time we heard Mike’s bass-slapping reverb this summer, it was like revving up the engine for a ride.  Four times we hopped in, and four times we came hopped out with a huge smile.  A feel-good summertime vehicle, “Disease” also gave Phish the perfect platform to craft multi-part jams, drawing in the audience with high-speed rock en route to deeper psychedelia.  As we move from Summer to Fall, we will likely see more diverse jam vehicles, but if there is one thing we know for sure, “Disease” is here to stay.

Winged music note=====

Jams of the Day:

Rock and Roll > Disease > Free” 8.1 II


“Disease” is at the anchor of this set-opening sequence from Red Rock’s third night.

Down With Disease > Wilson” 8.14 II


The beginning chapter of a larger second set story.



10.25.1996 Hampton Coliseum < Torrent

10.25.1996 Hampton Coliseum < Megaupload

Hampton '09 - ( J.DiGiuseppe)

Hampton '09 - ( J.DiGiuseppe)

Here we have the second Hampton show of the band’s career.  This is the night that Trey proclaimed Hampton to be his favorite room to play, thus  beginning the Phishy mystique behind the room they inherited from The Grateful Dead.  Before long, however, The Coliseum would transform into The Mothership- one of the Phishiest rooms in the land.

I: Ha Ha Ha, Taste, Makisupa Policeman, Maze, Billy Breathes, Mound, Guelah Papyrus, I Didn’t Know, Stash, The Squirming Coil

II: Tube, Prince Caspian, Timber Ho, TMWSIY > Avenu Malkenu > TMWSIY, NICU, Free, Strange Design, Harry Hood, Cavern, The Star Spangled Banner*

E: Johnny B. Goode

*A capella.

Source: Unknown

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448 Responses to “An Anthem of August”

  1. Leo Weaver Says:

    @wvbrdr…I didn’t listen to hardly any Phish from Coventry thru the Hampton announcemet. Bad taste in my mouth after the Muddy Massacre…and didn’t want to get back into it all ’cause I knew it’d just make me jones to see shows that wouldn’t happen. After the Hampton announcement, I dusted off some of the old CDs and began my reacclimation…now it’s almost all Phish all the time and it feels good! This site has been a PHENOMENAL resource in helping me (among other things) rebuild my collection which earlier this year consisted of a handful of mid-to-late ’90s shows on CD and about 50-60 early 90s on the good ol’ XLIIs (I’d lost 90-100 shows along the way)…again, Thank you Mr. Miner…and everybody else who’s fed the monster.

  2. Leo Weaver Says:

    BTW, Mr. C…question about the shirts…the ones that are color “dark” (organics), what exactly is “dark”? There are a couple labeled that way, but the images look a little different, one grey/steel blue, one black (or similar). Just trying to figure out which color(s) to get…thanks.

  3. wvbrdr Says:

    LOL …the muddy massacre…glad I was living in Montana at the time.

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Leo – each “dark” style is a little different depending on whether it’s organic or not, mens vs womens etc. Some of the “dark” styles actually have multiple color choices – they say “more colors available” – for example has 5 choices.

    Basically the difference between “dark” and not-dark is technical – they use a different printing process and you have to prep the image file differently. This design was created with a darker background in mind, so I recommend choosing a darker color, black, blue, whatever, even the dark reds. But I left a few light choices for those that just don’t want a black shirt.

    If it says “dark” but doesn’t offer choices, you can get an idea by just going to the details page…their previews are fairly good…most of them are either black or variations on dark blue.

    I agree that it’s confusing.

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    The men’s organic is definitely a dark steel blue; the organic men’s fitted is black.

    The organic stuff has many fewer color choices – just that and dark brown I think, which would have looked like ass with this design, so I removed it.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    ^^^ to be clear – it should print fine on the lighter shirts – I just think it will look better on a dark background

  7. whole tour! Says:

    one ghost to rule them all- 7 23 1997

  8. voopa Says:

    bt.etree just put up a Living Daylights show from 11/19/04…check out Jessica Lurie if you haven’t heard her, she is one badass sax player!

  9. Marshall Says:

    A few comments after being off for a few hours:

    @ LW – I think our paths were parallel with regards to WSP and Phish. I too saw WSP more than Phish back then for the same reason. I haven’t seen WSP in 12 years. Didn’t see Phish from 1999 on, but saw 5 shows this year.

    Re: Phish Companion – I’ve never had a copy but I do own a copy of The Pharmers Almanac (2nd ed maybe?). It’s been well-read and I still refer back to it every once in a while (nice to have hard copy, but internet searching is king).

    Re: A-List – no way to read everyone’s posts but I’ll throw out a couple of additionals that I didn’t notice at first glance

    Stevie Ray Vaughn
    Beastie Boys
    King Crimson
    The Police

  10. Leo Weaver Says:

    OK…thanks. And yeah, it’s the “dark” that doesn’t offer choices that had me wondering. I’m down with the steel blue and cardinal red…maybe one short sleeve, one long sleeve. Big props to you for doing this! If I could find one, I’d get you a photo of the shirt I designed and had printed for Big Cypress…have to say it was pretty sweet. My buddy (who’s a graphic designer and t-shirt guy by trade) printed up 2 designs and in the end was very envious of mine…I could’ve outsold him 2:1 easily. And I only had like 150 printed, should’ve done 500.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    @voopa – the Daylights were friends of mine – I have dozens of their shows if people are into them. Also some free-improv stuff they did with the Slip, “Slipping Daylights” – very cool.

    Arne Livingston from the Daylights is one of the heaviest bassists around

    @whole tour! – if you emailed me already I didn’t get it – if not no worries

  12. Lycanthropist Says:

    getting my shirt as soon as my paycheck gets here!

    long sleeve dark

  13. Marshall Says:

    Did any of you (especially southerners) ever catch the Zambiland Orchestra at The Variety Playhouse in Atlanta – it was an annual event around Christmas that was a tribute to Col. Bruce or something like that. Think, Col. Bruce and Friends. Fishman was present the year I caught it (1996 or 1997 I think).

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Leo thanks – I was a t-shirt guy for a while back in the long-ago day…way too much work for me now, not interested in working the lot

  15. whole tour! Says:

    @mr. c im still at work ill get u that email when i get home later!

  16. voopa Says:

    @ Mr. C.

    I wonder if you know my friend Matt from Seattle. He hung around with the Hanuman guys a lot back in the day…not sure how often he made it to PDX tho…

  17. Leo Weaver Says:

    @Marshall, I never made it to one of those, but had friends that went for a couple of years. They caught a bunch of Col. Bruce related shows there and at Brandywine (I think that’s the name of the place). They also went over for a couple of Vic Chesnut gigs which I missed as well.

  18. Lycanthropist Says:

    new streaming at link attached to my name.

    bout to undertake the 6.24.95 Bowie now. Starting off nice and growly with page at 5 min…

  19. Lycanthropist Says:

    Col. Bruce is supposed to be playing a block from my house in a month or two! Can’t wait.

    Going to see Marco Benevento and Stanton Moore tonight at the same place.

    Drinking and Driving – BAD
    Drinking and Walking – BETTER (hard though)

  20. Lycanthropist Says:

    jeez… and everyone disappears.. guess thats my cue to go practice my piano then.

    see ya guys later.

  21. Leo Weaver Says:

    @Lycan, have fun at that show tonight…I’m jealous to say the least.

    @WT!, good call on 7.23.97 Ghost…that was my first show.

  22. halcyon Says:

    Afternoon everyone….

    Thanks Miner for posting this show today, I always have a fond memory of this show, and had only a terrible sounding cassette of this until today. Looking forward to listening to this one once again.

  23. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    @ Señor C.

    I caught the Daylights with Wil Bernard at the Boom Boom Room in SF in 2002. Late May was the date. It was billed as Will and Friends Any chance you have that show?

    Great show!

    A few years later, I met Will B’s archivist online but he was less than helpful.

    I am on the quest to collect to show I attended and were captured on tape.

  24. whole tour! Says:


    you got mail!
    just got home from work.
    i put some links in the email to some of the transfers that i did that have been torrented.

  25. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    3 martini lunch impacts typing capabilities

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