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. albert walker Says:

    The best is when Phish would play a shitty song as a joke and the dumb Phishies cheer because they actually like the song.

    This happened when the played Collective Soul. Half the place was cheering in excitement cuz they digged the song. Funny ass shit.

    Only at a Phish show.

  2. Little Buddy Says:


  3. Lycanthropist Says:

    the Beatles Love show is one of the most amazing things I have seen. Well worth a trip to Vegas for.

  4. beepaphone Says:

    How does one get down to a band they love playing a song they hate? Pretend you like the song

  5. whole tour! Says:

    nellie cane*#%

    #w/ NELLY
    % w/ nelly furtado

  6. Lycanthropist Says:

    smelly furtaco

    my friend came up with that one.

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I have a recording of a band called Blue Magoo (think Leftover Salmon meets Rusted Root – sort of) who used to cover Gin and Juice just like The Gourds. They included it as a “hidden track” on an album, including a recording of one of the band members’ answering machine message from another band member stating how he thought they should leave it off the album because of the subject matter and the fact that his parents, etc. would be listening to the album.

    Pretty sweet version that goes Gin & Juice>Buffalo Soldier>Gin & Juice

    It’s still not Phish doing it though!

  8. Kenny Powers Says:

    @ voopa

    “midnight to dawn flatbed truck orchestra ambient tower jam with acrobats
    in the disco tent at the lamppost”

    with the coos-coos and coconut juice.

  9. Frankie Says:

    Early Sunday morning Phish acoustic the day after the Halloween Madness sounds really good to me…

    Wish I was going…

  10. pence Says:

    @lyc’s friend bwahahahah

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    thank you again @wt! much appreciated

    psyched to hear the partial Santana show that’s on there too – that was my ayahuasca show


    @miner – well, first half of Sgt. Pepper’s is fairly boring to me, yeah. At least half the songs I kinda tune out. It’s just not one of my favorite Beatles albums anymore. Abbey Road, Revolver, White Album…

    The song Uncle Pen is about an actual guy, Mr. Bill Monroe’s Uncle Pen, who was a famous fiddle player. He taught Mr. Monroe how to play…there’s a verse in the song:

    He played an old piece he called “Soldier’s Joy”
    And the one called “The Boston Boy”
    The greatest of all was “Jenny Lynn”
    To me that’s where the fiddle begins

    All 3 of those are now bluegrass fiddle standards. And during the instrumental break – I don’t know if it’s on every Phish version, but it’s on all the ones I’ve heard – they actually quote at least 2 if not all 3 of those songs. I was impressed by that, and I’ve actually heard or read some interview where one of the band members refers to it.

    I can dig up Mr. Monroe’s versions of all 3 over the weekend and post them for reference – but I know you’re not a bluegrass guy so maybe just the info is enough 😮

  12. Mitch Says:

    First off.. you’re back! Secondly, we can go if we work. 🙂

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Little Buddy – totally with you on that! I find the rest of that album to be tremendously dull, but that track’s damn clever and really works. It’s actually on the Beatles Rock Band – the only thing on there I know of that isn’t the original track. At first I was irked to not have the regular TMK, it’s a shakedown since you can buy it separately, but whatever. That track is pretty fucking sweet.

    Hardest thing about Beatles Rock Band is how fucking distracting the visuals are. It’s beautiful and trippy as hell…

  14. albert walker Says:

    Not a beatles fan, can’t handle Paul

    I never liked Pepper’s either. All the orchestration, trying to copy Brian Wilson. Just too much going on. More George Martin than the Beatles

    This would be my favorite 3 in order

    Abbey Road
    White Album (love Lennon’s tunes on this one)

  15. voopa Says:

    …and the jugglers with FIYA!

  16. Frankie Says:

    Hey Mitch! Yeah saw that but i would never want to work at a Phish fest and miss music, that would be like a blind man goin’ to a strip club!

  17. Kenny Powers Says:

    @ mitch

    “I hate flac for a few reasons (download time, file size, having to convert to mp3 anyway) but even I get that a remaster should be heard in its actual form.”

    (just humor me for a minute with my shameless plug for the FLAC format)

    – I used to have the same concerns about FLAC file size, but it’s amazing how that changes when you get an external hard drive or upgrade your internal one. memory/storage is getting so much cheaper all the time, before you know it this will no longer be a concern for pretty much anybody.

    As for having to convert to mp3, a way around that is to get one of the increasingly more common portable mp3 players that support FLAC (sometimes via a quick firmware update), like the Sansa Fuze. Not only do they have built in memory but they also have a microSDHC slot that can handle up to 32GB cards.

    Of course this is all a moot point if you already have an iPod and will not consider something else, but i’m just saying these Fuze players can be had for less than $50. Then you can drag and drop a show you just torrented and listen to it right away w/o having to convert.

    ok enough techno-babble, i digress.

    p.s. I heart lossless

  18. Mitch Says:

    Blind man still has hands and can feel boobs. More like a deaf man going to a phish show. You can still see and CK5 is cool but without the music, that would be a bummer.

    I’m with ya, I can’t work it. Just saying we could make it happen, then be bummed we were missing music.

  19. beepaphone Says:

    @Mr. C
    Ayahuasca show? What was that like?

  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    got I hate Nelly Furtado

    one of the worst singers I’ve ever heard. Flatter than Wile E. Coyote after a full day spent testing Acme products.

    Have you all heard the acoustic cover of “Baby Got Back?” It’s actually excellent.

  21. Frankie Says:

    Yeah, but if could find a way to get there, i would gladly pay the 200$ for the ticket, it’s the plane ride to California that’s too steep right now… oh well!

    Can’t do them all…

  22. whole tour! Says:

    it’s 98 degrees here
    but this phishthoughts longsleeve is still being rocked
    my new fav shirt
    pretty cool!

  23. llamalee Says:

    flatter than wile e. coyote, really going for it with the metaphors there

  24. Mitch Says:

    Totally hear you and would love to eventually start caring more about the quality. Here are my excuses:

    1. I live in NYC and all of my turntables, floor speakers, receivers, etc are in a storage shed in Indiana. The quality of my current speakers isn’t shit so it wouldn’t matter if I had great qual auds.
    2. I have a 500GB internal, 1TB external and a few other couple hundred gig externals. I also have so much freaking music that its redonk and if I start getting shows in that format or .shn then my already redonk amount of space will be even crazier. The backups of my backups will even be out of hand.
    3. I store music on my iPhone (8gb) and usually play everything through and then decide to reup. I put off redoing my music til the last minute. It might not take that much time but organizing what I want gets to be a hassle. Having to load one show at a time would get to be old.

    Now these may sound like lazy issues but I work for a well known tech company repairing computers all day. The last thing I wanna do at home is work on my own computer or transferring music. Also, I am hooked on iTunes for my formatting, organizing and the fact that I have multiple iPods and iPhones. I need a plugin for flac and we’ll start talking.

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    @beep – it was like

    for 16 hours
    I was in cartoon land – it was a lot like Roger Rabbit, really – people kept turning into giant animated versions of their spirit animals
    I saw the 30 foot tall ghost of Stevie Ray Vaughn
    Rita Marley led a snake dance through the crowd (actually did happen I found out later)
    The tour was a reunion with the full original Santana lineup – Michael Shrieve and those guys

    hands down the highest I have ever been and not really in a good way, though the long term effects were positive

    ayahuasca is a ritual drug, not a party drug. I learned that the hard way, but at least I never forgot it.

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