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 ?”

  1. MOONSHAKE Says:

    what I am wondering about is the logistics of handing out hot coffee and donuts to 30,000 people (not to mention cream and sugar) in a timely fashion… but then again, they’ll probably handle all of that around 10 or so and let everyone just sit and chill until the set begins…

    I for one am interested in this acoustic set announcement, it’s different, it has potential and could be quite good.

    Too bad though, unless a miracle happens, I won’t be at Indio…

  2. Kenny Powers Says:

    don’t forget, prior festivals have been only two days of music. even with the acoustic set, we still have SEVEN electric sets in less than 72 hours. And you can bet at least a couple of those sets will eclipse the 90-minute mark. No worries, chaps.

  3. albert walker Says:

    I said it yesterday and Miner posted similarly today

    I’ve seen over 300 electric sets
    4 late night sets
    0 acoustic sets

    I’m pretty stoked even if the set fails
    taking chances with something I have never heard is why I see this band
    gotta love it

  4. bhizzle Says:

    “what 70,000 donuts looks like”…no shit…that’d be sweet…someone said yesterday donut war in the middle of Hood.

    @ Little Buddy…prolly not. As much as I would like to I will be celebrating my lil girls third birthday all weekend and since I went to see Down last week and I want to go get BASSED next week I do not want to use up all my get out of jail free cards, ya know?

  5. Little Buddy Says:

    I hear ya, Bhizzle. I’ll be getting bassed next week too. Fortunately my wife is willing to set me free tonight while she hangs with the boy.

  6. fat bastard Says:

    acoustic mexican couisin

  7. Michael Says:


    The coffee and donuts comment is a clue to the Halloween album. Who is commonly known for drinking coffee and eating donuts? That’s right, the Police. Mark it down. Ghost in the Machine.

  8. pence Says:

    whos getting bassed tonight?

  9. fat bastard Says:

    IM GETTIN BASSED TONITE! lookin for guitar picker for a review of INDY

  10. beepaphone Says:

    Got bassed last night. Good stuff, I tell ya

  11. JerZ Says:

    The acoustic set is actually going to put me over the top and make me go. I am psyched. Whether it works or not, I think that it will be great

  12. pence Says:

    They play Meat Beep?

  13. beepaphone Says:

    I saw him there…GP420 was rockin’. Didn’t talk to him after. It really was sick. Sick sugar shack>meat. Dropped a badass 15 Steps after Gordo announced that his daughter just walked 14 steps for her first time, so he dedicated it to her. Very rhythmic show, great musicians all around.

  14. fat bastard Says:

    what time did it start, one or 2 sets?

  15. Scott Bernstein Says:

    Glad to see you came around Miner. Glad they are trying something completely different.

  16. albert walker Says:

    when is Chicago Mike show?

  17. beepaphone Says:

    Got 2 sets. Started at 9:10. Set break was long enough to exit the venue and get a couple bowls in.

  18. fat bastard Says:

    sweet! chi is tonite tickets still avail

  19. beepaphone Says:

    By the time we got there at 8, which was the time on the tickets, it wasn’t sold out. I don’t think it did, but I could be wrong. I was lucky I got face value for my extra ticket.

  20. Kenny Powers Says:

    FWIW the Boston Mike show started 8:55, one long set (there was an opener) ending around 10:45-ish i think…

  21. fat bastard Says:

    trey was in chi yesturday at wxrt. any chance he shows up tonite?

  22. halcyon Says:

    I heard from various radio interviews that Trey has done, that he picked an album, and the other members nixed it, and that they decided to go with another album they had in mind. Very vague I know, but its fun to speculate what they have in mind.

  23. Panda Says:

    Why all the hate about an acoustic set?

    Opposite of you Miner, my first thught was Wow how cool

  24. bhizzle Says:

    Little Buddy…now you got me wanting to hear some Shady Grove. Do you have a tix for Mike’s next Sat? I’m not in possession as of now,but last I checked there were some still available and from looking at this board they don’t seem to be sellinig out. (crosses fingers) You going to be around next Fri so we can talk about possibly meeting at the show?

    Re: Joy…I finally d/l the album earlier this week and gave it a listen yesterday and then again this morning. They were my first time hearing it. Still like Ocelot, Stealing time and Joy. Still not a fan of KDF. I am a better fan of Sugar Shack and TTE. The beginning of Light is cool, but then blah. BDTNL blah. 20 Yrs later prolly my fav. I’ve Been Around is nice to..makes me giggle.

  25. Chuck D Says:

    KDF is definately the weakest song on Joy IMO.

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