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”

  1. axillalot Says:

    Pearl Jam and/or the Beastie Boys on a list of “worst bands ever”

    Right. That’s just silly.

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    One of the things I have been thinking about with regards to the costume is that they have always picked an album that has at least one tune they can add to the on-going reportoire. Maybe not something to be played every 2-3 shows but something they go back to fairly regularly:
    The White Album has WMGGW
    Quadrophenia has Drowned (although I always hoped they’d break out 5:15 again)
    Remain in Light has C&P
    Loaded has Rock and Roll
    Some of these albums (in my mind) just don’t have that seminal song that I can see Phish breaking out more than once for costume’s sake. Thankfully, most do.

  3. Danny B Says:

    I’m not going to Indio (wish I was), but this list kind of spoils some of the excitement.

    As a huge music dork, who does know every album on that list, I wish they wouldn’t narrow down the choices. I like the element of surprise, and I know that ultimately they won’t tell us what they are going to play, but I would rather not have any idea what so ever about what album they are going to play.

    Unfortunately like evryone has been saying, I think this just a gimmick to drum up ticket sales, and distract people from the fact that no fall/winter tour dates have been announced.

    Although even if they come right out and tell us what album they are going to play, it won’t change the fact that there are so many other sets of phish music where the song selections remain unknown.

  4. Jam on Dude Says:

    Hey Miner
    fyi..the Yamar link plays the song but downloads Circus.

  5. posterkid Says:

    I’m surprised at the cynicism here…you all really think a Flash animation would have an effect on ticket sales? Like someone’s just been waiting to hear there’s a 99-to-1 chance they might cover Duran Duran to pull the trigger?

    It seems like the same good-natured fun that the Save the Date map was, and I’d rather have teases like this than complete radio silence from HQ. If anything, the elimination process might throw up a smokescreen in case the identity of the actual album leaks out…it was a poorly-kept secret that they were going to play Indio, after all, but the Save the Date map kept some intrigue in play until the very end.

    But I see the point of people not wanting the surprise spoiled or limited…I remember checking the internet in 96 and 98 and being mad that they even tipped their hands an hour early with the phishbill, heh. I like the idea of not knowing what they were going to play until the very first note of the second set (or in the case of 94 and 95, even later), but I think with the internet rumor mill in overdrive, that was unlikely to happen anyway.

  6. Bapslap Says:

    I’m racking my brain trying to remember if Phish played any songs from their Halloween albums before the Halloween performance. I think the answer is no, but correct me if I’m wrong.

    If that’s true perhaps we can rule out “Back in Black”, “Toys in the Attic”, “Hunky Dory”, “Born to Run”, and many more.

    It is strange that they only list 99 albums and not 100. I’m betting that this activity is just a ploy and the 100th album is their choice. I don’t see “Joe’s Garage” on this list…;-)

  7. Jay Says:

    This is just a big Halloween trick. What I think is going to happen is all the albumns that have been axed will come to life a zombies 🙂

  8. afroskully Says:

    @bapslap… sweet jane was played at merriwether 2 1/2 months before loaded/halloween.

    and am i the only one who flipped out at the possibility of phish playing genesis Lamb lies down on broadway???

    oh my lanta.

    that would be freekin incredible!

  9. runawayjim37 Says:


    I too, am geeked at the prospect of Lamb. However, I am not holding my breath. While too short to hold the attention of a set. Acrade Fire would be cool.

  10. beepaphone Says:

    The whole narrowing down a little bit is fine with me, but it would be nice to have a wide array of possibilities going into the set…say like 10-15 at least.

  11. Birddog Says:

    Lamb Lies Down on Broadway would be insane. I know Fish is a huge Genesis/Phil Collins fan. Would be interested to hear how they dealt with all the crazy electronic parts from disk 2. That said, I’m thinking Exile or Hot Rats

  12. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    @bap – what have they played off of Born To Run? This summer with Bruce they played stuff off of Born in the USA. I would dig Born to Run though. The album I was surprised to not see listed was Layla. I was pleasantly surprised to see This Year’s Model, but I would be shocked if they played it. Electric Ladyland is one that I have been hoping to see since ’95, and since this is the best year of my life (so far), maybe they have been saving it for me!

  13. Mdawg Says:

    bring on the hendrix!!

  14. beepaphone Says:

    Having issues posting…….

  15. beepaphone Says:

    nice thats better. Haven’t been on here since the new hijinks has started.

    The last online game they played, I really cared, as my proximity to the event was to play a huge role in my likelihood of going. With this new thing, it doesn’t really matter. They could play a terrible album, rock it out, make it Phishy, and I’d eat it up. Whether you know it or not, like it or not, everyone there is going to get down on second set Halloween.

  16. Posterus Nutbagus Says:

    i like it. it gives me some homework to do because there a bunch of albums on the site that i have never heard in full.

  17. beepaphone Says:

    ^ true…if nothing else, it is a nice compilation/list and will probably boost my horizons a bit

  18. EL Duderino Says:

    If it’s gonna be Hot Rats then there will be a horn section! ie: Gumbo Variations

  19. EL Duderino Says:

    Did anyone talk about the Blind Faith Album? I’m just thinking about Phish doin’ Had To Cry Today and Do What You Like. That would be pretty frickin’ sweet IMO

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    anybody else check out the new http://www.phish.net setlist page beta yet? could be a pretty powerful tool. I like that they linked in the stats for each song and have a summary page that includes notes about the version where applicable.


  21. voopa Says:

    Born to run was an encore w/Tom Marshall in ’99 or ’00 in NJ.

    In other news, the setlist files have been taken down from mockingbirdfoundation.org! Oh no!

  22. voopa Says:

    Ah. ^That must be why.

  23. Chuck D Says:

    If nothing else, this gives me a few albums to hunt down. Regardless of whether they play one of the discs I dont know, at least i’ll get a new perspective on some of phish’s influences. They wouldnt put a disc up on their site that they didnt respect themselves…

  24. Jay Says:

    anybody else check out the new http://www.phish.net setlist page beta yet?

    freakin sweet.

  25. JMelby Says:

    We will know going into Indio what that album will be.

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