A Gallery of Possibilities

The Invitation

The Invitation

With their ever-expanding use of technology coupled with their desire to hype up Festival 8, yesterday Phish posted a “gallery” of 99 outstanding albums as the splash page on their web site, introduced by a Festival 8 invitation with the simple instructions: “Phish – Play the Last Record Alive.” Much like the Save the Date map that preceded this haunted galleria, albums have already been “killed off,” with Medeski Martin & Wood’s Shack Man, Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes, Huey Lewis’ and the News’ Sports, Talking Head’s Fear of Music, and Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man quickly getting the axe- literally. And much like the wild-goose chase of their Save the Date map, this list of albums could be just that.

Huey Lewis Is Dead - Or Is He?

Huey Lewis Is Dead - Or Is He?

With a list of 99 records, Phish put almost every Halloween suggestion ever made on the table and then some. The site includes many albums we all know, and most likely quite a few we don’t all know, giving us time to familiarize ourselves with some.  With a reputation of playing more obscure albums, some of the most popular recordings like, Led Zeppelin’s I or IV, The Grateful Dead’s American Beauty, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” or “Electric Ladyland” seem unlikely for Halloween. This gallery of possibilities also contains contemporary classics such as Radiohead’s Kid A, U2’s The Joshua Tree, Rage Against The Machine’s Evil Empire, Nirvana’s Nevermind, and Pearl Jam’s Ten. Although we’ve never seen Phish tackle a modern-day work in full, maybe this will be the year. In my gut, however, this also seems unlikely.

Anything Is Possible

Tom Petty Got the Axe

With defining albums of many genres and eras, along with several obscure gems, the gallery also hangs some records for humor of the imagination- see the offerings from Pork Tornado, Hall & Oates, Kiss, Metallica and Black Sabbath. (Some great albums, yes. Real possibilities, no.) At this point, it’s very difficult to take anything from Phish at face value, making me think this could be ploy to increase interest, boost lagging ticket sales, and divert attention from fall tour speculation.

But what is going to happen with this gallery? Are we going to know what the album is beforehand?! I seriously doubt it. At the same time, I don’t even want the possibilities narrowed to five- that would be incredibly anti-climactic, as the audience has traditionally known nothing about the bands’ musical costume when walking into the venue on Halloween night. While “The White Album” and Quadrophenia weren’t revealed until the set began, Remain In Light and Loaded were unveiled via “Phishbills” handed out as everyone entered the arena – but never has there been any level of knowledge before hand.  This album elimination is a clever idea, but I think they should stop at a certain number to maintain the suspense of the evening.  Is it going to be one of two options walking in?  That would be strange.

Anything Is Possible

Anything Is Possible...

Personally, I loved not knowing Remain In Light, and Loaded when Phish bust them out – it was like a genuine costume; a mystery to me. Each album had at least one song everyone knew (“Once In a Lifetime,” “Sweet Jane” and/or “Rock and Roll,” making it just familiar enough, but making the musical journey a genuine trip. Knowing the album well made for an entirely different – completely surreal – experience with Dark Side, but that was Dark Side.  While knowledge of the album note for note can bring enhanced appreciation, it can also carry preconceptions.  Would I like to know the album when they play it – for sure.  But I’m not gonna chase down every album on this list that I don’t know – and there are many – in the hopes of discovering the music that might transpire, though I’ll definitely download a few. Whether this gallery is a trick or a treat, Phish has certainly exposed us to a plethora of classic albums, a great resource in itself. And in the end, their choice is most likely on the screen right now – but who knows if it has been killed already? Halloween is all about the rising of the dead, is it not? With the masters of trickery at the helm, the suspense never ends.

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Wolfman’s > Lizards” 11.18.98 II


This set opening “Wolfman’s” highlights Phish’s ambient jamming they added to the mix during of Fall ’98. Moving out of the funk and into spacier textures, this little-known version kicked off a significant second set in Greenville, SC. The half-empty, brand-new arena was the perfect locale for a mid-week throwdown. (Note: Yesterday’s “Reba > Walk Away” is fixed.)



9.28.99 Oak Mountain Amp, Pelham, AL < Torrent

9.28.99 Oak Mountain Amp, Pelham, AL < Megaupload

Phish - Fall '99 (A. Foley)

Fall '99 (A. Foley)

On the topic of mid-week throwdowns, here we another that celebrated its ten-year anniversary just yesterday. After a rainy afternoon in the lot, Phish lit a fire inside the southern amphitheatre, bringing hot dance grooves right off the bat. Opening the show with”Wolfman’s,” “Sneakin’ Sally” and “Tube,” Phish set the plate with a hearty dose of funk. “Harry Hood” made a rare appearance as the first set closer, while “Tweezer > Makisupa” and a blowout “YEM” sealed the deal on a great evening in Alabama.

I: Wolfman’s Brother, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley, Tube, Ginseng Sullivan > Roggae, Maze, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Harry Hood

II: Farmhouse, Heavy Things, First Tube, Tweezer > Makisupa Policeman, Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself

E Halley’s Comet > Tweezer Reprise

Source: Schoeps CMC 641 > Apogee AD-1000 > DA-P1

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380 Responses to “A Gallery of Possibilities”

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  1. lot rat Says:

    indio is gonna rip. I hope they dont tell us what they are gonna play. Just got off a 6 hour flight and had a text telling me to check out he album update. The place looks sick!

    fuckin stones bro…

  2. Birddog Says:

    OK Computer didn’t make the list…

  3. BrandonKayda Says:

    I say, a big jammed out Electric Ladyland set (90min+) and some dark jams in 10/31 III. Then, they surprise us with American Beauty for part of the acoustic set. THAT, would be huge.

  4. meatsticktime Says:

    As almost always, nice job Mr. Miner. Hope the vacation went well….

  5. Robert Says:

    “I don’t even want the possibilities narrowed to five- that would be incredibly anti-climactic, as the audience has traditionally known nothing about the bands’ musical costume when walking into the venue on Halloween night.”

    This is not true. In 94, we had a choice between 3 albums. We knew something walking in the door. It was not a complete suprise.

  6. Leo Weaver Says:

    Thanks for the southern DLs Miner…’bout time the Oak Mtn show gets some love, I’m sure WT appreciates it 😉

    And that Greenville show was a real treat…like you said, a brand new half full arena at mid-week…perfect place for such a great Wolfman’s…and anytime’s a good time for Lizards.

    Check ’em out guys…

  7. K Says:

    They will play Meddle.

  8. PhrankieJ Says:

    Im not going to be able to make it this year to festival 8 (spent all my cash at knoxville, bonnaroo, deer creek, and alpine valley) but im going to be so angry if they do the yes album. i dont think they will but… you never know. they should not let people know before that would ruin the suspense!

  9. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    Has anyone seen a comprehensive list? I don’t know many of these albums, and would like to expand my itunes collection. I have no desire to learn the possibilities that they’ll play, in fact I’m one fan who could care less what album they choose, but would definitely like to find some music I don’t know to listen to…

  10. HarryHood Says:

    I think the “Save the Date” map was a fun idea that built up a little suspense leading up to announcing information that is critical to have before a show: the location. I don’t however think that narrowing down potential albums to be played is a great idea. One of the main things that keeps us all going to show after show is the expectation of the unexpected. I personally think that having even 99 albums takes away from the thrill of not knowing.

  11. albert walker Says:

    talk about some Halloween fear

    U2, Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Arcad Fire, Doors

    until this canon of worst bands ever is removed I’m going to be a little scared here

    don’t know if I could sit through either one of these

    most look amazing though

  12. sumodie Says:

    See page 9 from yesterday for a complete album list:

    Yesterday Mr Completely posted a follow-up album list with those axed in italics (I haven’t learned that trick). Perhaps we’ll have an updated list every day….

  13. Chalkdustin Says:

    @ VT, wvbrdr posted this list yesterday to an alphabetical list by artist on PT: http://www.phantasytour.com/phish/boards_thread.cgi?threadID=2042003&page=1

    Miner, I wholeheartedly agree that narrowing down to several choices will take away from the element of suspense and surprise at Indio. I want to be standing in that field and have the costume slap me in the face like I didn’t see it coming. But if they continue to “kill” albums at the rate they’re going, we might very well be left only a handful of choices. But this is Halloween and I have no doubt in my mind that this gallery is more than it appears to be.

    Hope you had a nice time off.

  14. Chalkdustin Says:

    ^Ah, sumodie beat me to it.

  15. albert walker Says:

    I know every record up there, but I think for fans that don’t listen to as much obscure music narrowing to 20 choices would be a good idea

    that way people can listen up to the choices

    I knew and loved VU and Quad, but I’m sure 90% of the crowd maybe would have liked to spun them before hand

    for myself the element of surprise would be fine, unless it is the Doors

  16. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    thanks guys

  17. Little Buddy Says:

    What? No David Lee Roth “Skyscraper” on the list!

  18. Mitch Says:

    Maybe they will play album 100 and this was just a diversion. I don’t like the possibility of knowing which album it COULD be when going in.

    In case anyone missed it yesterday, I finished the flac/shn scripts. Here they are:


    i’d like any feedback you might have. tickets at facemelt dot net

  19. Kenny Powers Says:

    Miner, i’m w/ you on this one. i actually don’t really like them publicly disounting ANY possibilities…doesn’t that take some of the fun out of it? Like if you were heading into the Halloween set “what if they bust out…” such and such. Well, now you can cross those off the list.

    I think it’s definitely a ploy to increase sales and divert attention from fall speculation (which is getting a bit redonk…i mean, just come out and make the announcement either way). it just doesn’t seem up to their usual level of cleverness.

    But then again maybe i should be patient and less cynical because either way, it’s gonna be a freaking blast.

  20. Todd Levy Says:

    Most of the lists that circulated yesterday were incomplete, for example missing the Beatles.

    This list is complete, numbered, alphabetized, and shows dead albums as stricken-through…

    Good luck to Appetite and hope to see you all in Indio!


    P.S. I realize Appetite is a long-shot, but is a Paradise City
    encore on Friday too much to ask?

  21. sumodie Says:

    Based on my musical tastes, I would not say that Phish has a reputation for playing more obscure albums (Loaded was huge in my mind years before Vegas 98). I’d say phish has selected less obvious albums by some very popular/seminal bands.

    I would argue that Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland and either Stones’ album would fit in perfectly with Phish’s previous selections. I doubt most phans know these albums very well beyond the top hits.

    “Halloween is all about the rising of the dead, is it not?”

    Miner, well put. Yesterday I didn’t think phish would pull the same stunt twice, but you’ve made me a believer today. Great observations today.

    And thanks for the sweet ’93 Holiday run!

  22. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    I think they’re just messing around, it’s gotta be another out of left field choice, and this is meant to just drum up interest.

    btw: my first instinct when I saw the e-mail was “the roots come alive”…. I think that would be a freakin blast to see. Not sure if Page can beatbox tho.

  23. sumodie Says:

    “talk about some Halloween fear

    U2, Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Arcad Fire, Doors

    until this canon of worst bands ever is removed I’m going to be a little scared here”

    @AW: I thought Halloween was supposed to be scary? 8)

  24. EL Duderino Says:

    @ AW

    OK we get it! You don’t like the Doors!

  25. Stupendous Says:

    Chicago’s Transit Authority w/ The Giant Country Horns would make me pee my pants!

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