An Acoustic Set ?

festival8-caIn an unexpected twist, Phish announced yesterday that one of their Festival 8 sets will be an acoustic affair. At the “crack of noon” on Sunday, Phish will perform a their first “full length” acoustic set to a combined flock of early risers and those still reveling from the night before.  Following the darkness of Halloween night, Phish will balance things out with a light afternoon offering. With the virtually-guaranteed weather of Indio, this set should be a laid-back way to kick off the last day of the festival.  And yes, coffee and donuts will be served.

To be honest, my first reaction to the announcement was -“Wow, that sucks!”  And while I would still rather hear a straight up Phish set any day of the week, I’ve begun to think this may be something special.  First, off – it’s not gonna be Trey solo on a stool – the watered-down sing-along experience most of us are used to.  Second, I don’t think Phish would unplug just to unplug, they must have a concept of what form this set will take.  Third, I’ve seen over hundreds of electric Phish sets, and zero acoustic, so the pure novelty of the experience will make it worth the while. Sunday morning Phish – coffee and spliffs – sounds good to me.

Acoutsic Mini-Set '96 (J.M.Richter)

Acoutsic Mini-Set '96 (J.M.Richter)

One immediately wonders what music they will play during this set at high noon. The Bridge School Benefit shows in October 1998 – apparently not qualifying as “full-length sets”- saw the band play many of their standard tunes in the acoustic setting.  Their sets got rave reviews and were highlighted by a first-night “Harry Hood > Helpless” with Neil Young. And during Summer ’96,Phish used acoustic mini-sets to showcase some of “Billy Breathes” songs. This time, left to their own devices, Phish will craft an afternoon that will most likely be quite memorable. Much like the unexpected “Harry Hood” at Shoreline 11 years ago, I’m sure Phish will pull out more than a few surprises in their afternoon escapade. I can’t see them dedicating an entire set of their festival to something that won’t be great; they haven’t done that in their previous seven festivals, why start now? But it will have to be some pretty damn good acoustic playing to sit in for an “full-length”set of electric Phish; these guys aren’t the Grateful Dead after all.

But bring it on – the only rule is it begins after all. With seven other electric sets throughout the weekend, and many more to come, we can all chill for a bit with our favorite band on the outskirts of the California desert. If Phish is feeling it, everything should work out. And with so many other sets surrounding this afternoon oasis, I don’t think we’ll be leaving Indio lacking any improv.


The entire Festival 8 Schedule is as follows:

FRIDAY (10/30)
4:00PM Concert field opens
7:30PM Set I
10:00PM Set II

SATURDAY (10/31)
12:00PM Concert field opens
3:00PM Set I
7:30PM The Halloween Set
10:00PM Set III

SUNDAY (11/01)
10:00AM Concert field opens
12:00PM Acoustic Set
5:30PM Set II
8:30PM Set III

From With lush green fields and palm trees, and surrounded by vistas of California’s majestic Santa Rosa mountains, the festival site is simply breathtaking. The band will play eight sets over the course of three days, and as with all past Phish festivals, fans will enjoy on-site camping, numerous attractions and art installations throughout the weekend.

Winged music note=====

Jams of the Day:

Harry Hood > Helpless” 10.17.98


The acoustic highlight from The Bridge School Benefit.

AC/DC Bag > Ghost” 11.7.98 II


This combo from UIC is one of the enduring highlights of Fall ’98. Did you really think I would leave you hanging with an acoustic Jam of the Day?



9.25.00 Sandstone Pavilion, Bonner Springs, KS < Torrent

9.25.00 Sandstone Pavilion, Bonner Springs, KS < Megaupload

Unofficial Poster

Unofficial Poster

Today is the nine year anniversary of one of the coldest outdoor shows in memory.  The end of September in Kansas- whew!  Steam rose from dancing bodies as Phish pumped through the piercing air.  Opening the show with “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” for the first time since Halloween of ’94, the show took off into a rather large first set with a “Disease” and a “Tweezer.”  The second set brought the anthems of “Mike’s Groove” and “Hood.”  All in all – a solid show.

I: Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey, Down with Disease, Lizards, Tweezer, Back on The Train, Water in the Sky, Bug, Julius

II: Gotta Jibboo, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Axilla, Harry Hood, Funky Bitch

E: Boogie On Reggae Woman, Driver, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Neumann KM184’s


10.17 & 10.18.1998 – Bridge School Benefit < Torrent

10.17 & 10.18.1998 – Bridge School Benefit < Megaupload

DSC_0061-752349Some acoustic Phish to get prepared for the upcoming acoustic set.

Setlists are here.

Source: Schoeps CCM4

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278 Responses to “An Acoustic Set ?”

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  1. Baxter Says:

    Boy! … Man! … God! … Shit! I think I will enjoy myself some acoustic Phish, should be one for the memory books. See you in Indio. Thanx 4 the blog.

  2. Yome NetSan Says:

    Phish + Festival + Halloween + Acoustic set + Coffee & donuts = SICK !!

  3. Yome NetSan Says:

    On the other hand, I guess it’s pretty clear we won’t have a surprise late-night-instrumental-ambient-jam set like the Tower jam…

  4. Sam Says:

    i would too like to hear a late night set, too bad…

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    if you go to phish to see something new, like I do, this is great news. I’m excited just to hear it the next day!

    It’s a new day kids – I imagine Trey has a lot more energy at noon than at 3 am right now, and health of course is the prime concern .. Following up a dark All Hallow’s Eve with a light Sunday All Saint’s Day is brilliant really.

    The fact that so many’s people’s first reaction is negative is precisely the reason I’ve distanced myself from this online community for a little while!

  6. dyda Says:

    i wouldn’t totally discount the notion of a 9th set. probably a 4th set on halloween or else a 3rd set on the first night. rumored curfew issues may negate this though. i don’t know, but i do know that when you start thinking ‘they can’t or won’t’ you’re often proven wrong. maybe not this time, but…

    there’s going to be the souncheck set too. festival radio station?

    now i know which set i’m absolutely getting right up front for though.

  7. dyda Says:

    oh, and about japan … the mr. sparkle simpsons was on tv last night … way to go fishbulb

  8. Tela.Seidel Says:

    Takes me back to the fall of ’94 with the Reverend. Those were fun shows if you like you some bluegrass. I am in the camp that would love to see where that sound has progressed to 15 years later, but not bad enough to go to Festy 8.

    An awesome way to kick off a Sunday afternoon. Phish is not just about Type 2 Jamming, they have always been the place where musical styles converge with the sum being greater than the parts. This acoustic set totally lends itself to festy 8.

  9. bhizzle Says:

    I would love to see Phish and their acoustic set. The only problem I see is not on the band’s end but on the crowd’s. Will it be quiet enough to hear the music?

  10. Little Buddy Says:

    Glad to see you’re on board with the acoustic set, Miner (well, almost anyway). I think you’re right though. This should be special. I mean seriously, what better way to wake up than with some acoustic lifeboy and a cup of joe. Wish I could be there…

  11. Little Buddy Says:

    bhizzle – you going to Grisman tonight?

  12. Kenny Powers Says:

    “I imagine Trey has a lot more energy at noon than at 3 am right now”

    great point. whether this is just the boys or w/ guests, whatever songs they play, i think this will be a very focused and special performance. even if there are 30,000+, i am betting there will be a feeling of intimacy.

    “The only problem I see is not on the band’s end but on the crowd’s. Will it be quiet enough to hear the music?”

    I think given the timing of the set (remember, noon will feel more like 8am after two days of craziness), and the whole “donuts and coffee” thing, this will be a super mellow sit-down affair and the fans will be respectful. any leftover ragers who haven’t passed out from the night before and are boisterous and inappropriate will be swiftly put in place by the masses of well-doers, methinks.

  13. RobAins Says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about them not announcing a surprise late night set. Seeing how it’s supposed to be a surprise and all 😉

  14. Chalkdustin Says:

    Miner, I’m glad you changed your opinion. This is something very special we should all be approaching with open minds and ears. Let’s just go with the flow and see where we’re taken. We’re being invited into Phish’s living room for some sweet sounds, coffee, and donuts, and I don’t think we’ll be disappointed, as long as we leave all expectations at the door.

    I also want to take the time to thank you for continuing your amazing site. It’s such a sanctuary for me, even if I’m not completely active in it, and I humbly respect you and everyone who shares their thoughts here. I’ve been doing a lot more lurking than posting, but I hope to build some relationships over the next few weeks with the hopes of meeting some of the regulars on this site.

    With that said, anyone getting bassed in Madison tomorrow?

  15. good buzz Says:

    ugh. some things aren’t worth the over analyzation.

  16. AbePhroman Says:

    “To be honest, my first reaction to the announcement was -‘Wow, that sucks!'”

    Ok, I don’t understand that in the least.

    “And while I would still rather hear a straight up Phish set any day of the week, I’ve begun to think this may be something special.”

    That’s intuitive.

  17. BingosBrother Says:

    I’m Mr. Sparkle?

    I love seeing my brother rip it up electric, but sometimes I just wanna sit on the couch and listen to the acoustic. Perfect timing Phish. Respek.

  18. albert walker Says:

    That Bag is epic
    if you don’t know this jam check it out
    one of my fav AC/DC’s of all time

    I hear you about the acoustic sets
    The first thought of Trey’s old solo acoustic sets kind of scared me also
    Like you said this is the whole band
    imagine a YEM or Fluff, who knows?
    throw in a few of the old banjo, fiddle, washboard tunes
    and you have potential for a great set

  19. Kenny Powers Says:



  20. Little Buddy Says:

    Yeah. The JOTD is pretty sick. Haven’t listed to this AC/DC since Miner posted this show back last fall sometime.

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    so much potential with the acoustic set. yeah, it’s not going to be rip-your-face-off shredding but we will be treated to something unique. I am definitely looking forward to stumbling over from the RV for coffee and donuts to catch this.

  22. whole tour! Says:

    east staines massive!

  23. whole tour! Says:

    liquid filled donuts are the best!
    fuckin gonuts!

  24. jon_hansen Says:

    My first reaction was the same as Miner’s: I was disappointed that 1/8 of the festival was going to be acoustic. However, maybe they can continue on with the costume thing by exploring some never-before heard covers of artists like Dylan, Young, or Kottke? That might have some potential.

    Plus I’m curious to see what 70,000 donuts look like.

  25. BingosBrother Says:

    Mmm…Boston Cream.

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