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. Danny B Says:

    Johnny the boy- totally agree about the “head exploding” factor with some of those albums. Some albums on the list were a total shock to me, that Phish would even consider playing them (although just because they are on the site, doesn’t mean they actually considered it).

    Most of the list would be awesome, although some stick out as just plain wrong, not to split hairs over which albums would be cool and which ones wouldn’t. The only example i will give, is The Roots Phrenology, I just think it would be a disaster

    Honestly…….I think the best prank ever would be if they covered the Pork Tornado album, it won’t happen , but it would be such an awesome joke….I might have to go home and dig out that album tonight just to remember what it even sounds like.

  2. EL Duderino Says:

    EL Dude’s Show List:


  3. bearito Says:

    I think Phish will keep it classic with their costume choice. All of the modern albums are certainly just a ruse to throw everyone off. I’ve been listening to a lot of these albums lately and several stand out as perfect options. Electric Ladyland seemed to be a very fitting option due to it’s psychedelic/blues-rock glory, and Trey would have a field day with the guitar parts. An album like Ziggy Stardust would have to bring the addition of a killer sax player, and I’m just curious as to wether or not the boys will want to bring guests on stage for the costume. They haven’t before, right?

  4. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    phrenology = suckage.
    roots come alive = potentially awesome.

  5. ajm Says:

    you’ll note that more albums are being added….i think it will remain a mystery.

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^^ if this is true, this is all just a stunt to keep our minds off Fall

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    and I’m just curious as to wether or not the boys will want to bring guests on stage for the costume. They haven’t before, right?

    1995 they had a horn section for Quadropenia as well as parts of the third set
    1996 they had Carl Perrazo on percussion

  8. bearito Says:

    Of course they did. Geez…brain fart.

  9. bearito Says:

    For some reason i can’t view the albums on the Phish splash page. Anyone else having the same problem?

  10. Robear Says:

    bearito, I can’t get it going either. I can’t even figure out how to install the flash player. I did have some maple donuts this morning, though.

  11. sumodie Says:

    “you’ll note that more albums are being added….i think it will remain a mystery.”

    What albums got added? I didn’t see any new ones. If you refresh the album order gets changed.

  12. Chuck D Says:


  13. Lycanthropist Says:

    ^ lol bearito..

  14. sumodie Says:

    “For some reason i can’t view the albums on the Phish splash page. Anyone else having the same problem?”

    You can’t see any albums (flash isn’t working at all), or you can’t scroll using the slider to view albums?

    Initially I couldn’t even see the slider until I zoomed in using control + (Firefox windows user).

  15. HarryHood Says:

    Holding out on releasing fall tour dates until the last minute is going to create another ticket disaster. The more time there is between the announcement and the actual show date, the more time there is for the hype to die down and ticket prices to drop. The secondary ticket outlets are going to have a field day if they wait until a month before the shows to announce them. I can only imagine what prices for MSG are going to be if you aren’t lucky enough to score with the lottery.

  16. Lycanthropist Says:

    @ bearito –

    click my name for a peek into whats coming to NO soon hopefully.. finally got an in.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    I don’t see any new ones either

    sumodie, if you care, you italicize things by wrapping them in [em]tags[/em] like that except you use angle brackets ( > ) instead of the square ones

    [b] and [strong] give you variations on bold

  18. Robear Says:

    sadly, HarryHood is correct on^

    Livenation and scalping go hand in glove.

    I can’t even see the flash animation, any albums, nothing. I’ve tried ‘Firefox’ and ‘Safari’.

    The are being very tight lipped about the fall / winter shows.

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    poll is broken for me. funny error message though!

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    @Jam On Dude -= Yamar download from weekend is fixed

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    good chance you need to update your flash player Robear. There was a major update recently, the old version has some huge security hole in it so everything new that’s being added to the web only plays in the updated version.

    free of course


  22. sumodie Says:

    I don’t see phish’s ‘last record left alive’ as a distraction from fall/winter dates. I still want to know the dates, and I still have a hold (and hotel res) on those rumored shows I might attend.

    Sure, the album game is great marketing, but it’s also creative and fun. True, it might spur sales, nothing wrong with that either. I don’t know of any other band (and its management team) that is as inventive and playful with its fanbase.

  23. jon_hansen Says:

    I’m thinking it will be “Basement Tapes.” It almost has to be a double disc, because Phish hasn’t really been stretching things out as much nowadays. Plus, that’s the album they wanted to do in 2003, had they done Halloween that year. Trey mentions that he would have “argued heavily for it” in that 20th Anniversary Relix article, but maybe that’s changed since then.

  24. sumodie Says:

    sumodie, if you care, you italicize things by wrapping them in [em]tags[/em] like that except you use angle brackets ( > ) instead of the square ones

    [b] and [strong] give you variations on bold

    As usual, mr c, thanks for your expertise.

  25. sumodie Says:

    I passed the test!

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