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. Mr. Completely Says:

    @bearito, there were two upgrades in quick succession – a new version came out with a big security hole in it, so they had to do a new upgrade relatively quickly – I think I upgraded twice in a week, the second time was forced by Firefox

  2. Robear Says:

    Miner, it looks like JerZ will be heading to Indio.

    um, El Dude, you’ve seen a few shows.

  3. Robear Says:

    ^Mr. C, that’s what I found strange. Firefox never prompted me to update my player, and when I tried going to phish.com before, nothing would load, but nothing was telling me to update or anything. It’s fixed now, but still..

  4. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ Well played Robear…a win for our community!

  5. bearito Says:

    I’m good now. Adobe 10 update did the trick. There’s a lot of great albums up there and like Mr. C said, I actually think the costume is up there.

  6. Shafty Says:

    Rumors I have heard

    Stones- Exile on Main Street
    The Police- Ghost in the machine
    Robert Palmer- Robert Palmer

    I am very sad I won’t be making it this year. The smaller the ticket sales the more special it will be.

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    so if no one comes, does that make it the most special it could be?

  8. Chuck D Says:


  9. Leo Weaver Says:

    You guys go get those PhishThoughts Ts!!! They look great and are quality shirts. I wore my short sleeve one all weekend. And while I’m plugging good causes…at the next show, y’all drop by the Waterwheel Table to meet Robear, and donate a little while you’re there. I hit the “setlist book” donor level and the book’s been great…I keep it by the couch to make notes while reading comments here. Not gonna have any pages left for setlists by the time next tour rolls around.

  10. sumodie Says:

    “so if no one comes, does that make it the most special it could be?”

    LOL at all of us and our musings on tour dates delays etc. if Indio is 50,000+

  11. KWL Says:

    think I’m finally going to break down and buy the PT T. From those who have one already, how is the fit? Not sure whether to get L or XL

  12. Lycanthropist Says:

    @ bearito –

    sorry i am at work and my computer at work has the wrong link.

    I was talking about my trio which is in the works of getting in at the Dragon’s Den sometime soon

    the right link: http://www.4shared.com/dir/20846534/d46039ac/090924__Mockingbird.html

    @ Leo –

    Got my shirt, its awesome. Check out above link for new TSU with new drummer

    re: Halloween Album –

    I just dont think they will be giving away the album before halloween. Its always about a surprise. There has got to be some sort of trick involved in this list. Its no coincidence that it is all the albums that have been mentioned ad nauseum since we started speculating…

    I don’t think its on the list, or that it will be reincarnated from the list..

  13. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Robear

    That’s my tape/cd list brah! LOL

    I wish!

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    ^^^^ I’m curious to hear fit feedback as well – my prior experience is that cafepress shirts have very “average” fit i.e. order what most commonly fits you best, not up or down a size

  15. Robear Says:

    ^yes Leo! thx. That ‘JOTD’ brings it back for me. That was my first ‘Lizards’ coming back from my ‘hiatus’. Maybe my first ‘Wolfman’s’ period.

    My little setlist book is full of random thoughts, poems, and other short lists. I like your idea! I’m going to use that as one of my plugs at the table.
    Me: “Copy down cool tidbits you glean from Phishthoughts.com”
    Them: “What’s Phishthoughts?”

  16. Leo Weaver Says:

    @kwl…they’re a pretty “normal” fit. I got XL to fit my short round body type…fits great with room to bend and twist (you know, the kind of movements associated with shaking one’s ass to some funky Phish). I can’t stand those “tight/slim” cut Ts, these are not those (unless you order one…I think it’s an option). And they’re pretty heavy cotton. Quality stuff…

  17. Shafty Says:

    Mr. C

    Come on now. A show with no one is practice. We are not talking about practice. Practice!

  18. Robear Says:


  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    if phish plays a festival and nobody hears it, is it still awesome?

  20. Robear Says:

    you’d have to ask the birds and bees, Mr C.

  21. Robear Says:

    Gotta’ hit the road ya’ll! Maybe Phish has a new ticket system to unveil with the fall dates, hmmmm.

  22. Lycanthropist Says:

    re: phishthoughts t-shirts

    fits as normal. I ordered a large and I am a fairly thing guy, but tall, and it fits me just right… So go with what you would normally order…

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    come on Shafty, it’s a great idea – so Zen – in fact they’re so good, and we’re so tuned into them, they actually don’t even need to play at all

    we’ll all stay home and they’ll just think about playing and we’ll all hear it

  24. Leo Weaver Says:

    @lycan, thatnks for the reminder about TSu…have it noted in my Waterwheel Foundation Setlist Book, just haven’t had time to get to it yet…maybe tonight.

    @robear…that was my first Lizards. Was an interesting night for me…spur of the moment drive up, had to get back to Athens GA for a test the next day, ended up getting lost on backroads absolutely spun out of my gord. Did pretty good on the test as I recall, then headed up to Hampton. And that’s a good way to “sell” those books. My wife has taken over a few pages. When I see something here I want to go back to, I note the date, the page, and topic…then it’s easy to go back when I have time.

  25. bearito Says:

    @ Lycan

    Good to hear. If you play the Dragon’s Den try and make sure it’s the upstairs stage. Much better space. A friend of mine has a four piece and has trouble fitting on the downstairs stage. Also look into venues that are nearby on Frenchman Street. Blue Nile, D.B.A, etc… Lots of great spots.

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