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. Jay Says:


    What’s up w/ the show list??

    That is a list of the shows I have attended. Get yourself an account on beta.phish.net and create/save your own list 🙂

    Also, go to gravatar.com and sign up to get yourself a gravatar icon to use on this blog.

  2. msbjivein Says:

    Man have i been outta the loop………….This is like some kinda futuristic Phish board isn’t it. Where’s the time machine??

  3. Jay Says:

    Welcome to the machine

  4. sumodie Says:

    Wow -MMW’s 9-20-09 show in Asheville NC sounds great (torrent link below). I’ll have to put their two Mass shows in November on my calendar. It’s been too long since I’ve seen them live.


  5. bearito Says:

    Listening to todays Oak Mt. Tube got me thinking of an old mix that I once had and it contained one of the sickest, disco inferno style Tube’s ever. I’ve always wondered what show it’s from, and where to find it. I think it clocked in somewhere btwn 23-28 minutes. Any ideas?

  6. EL Duderino Says:

    The lossless version of this Oak Mtn. show is here:


  7. sumodie Says:

    thanks, Dude. I’m starting to go a little nuts dl’ing shows now that I’ve got my 1TB hard drive hooked up.

  8. EL Duderino Says:

    The lossless version of 9/29/99 The Pyramid – Memphis, TN.

    10 years ago today.

    Is here: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=528529

  9. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    @bearito – only one I can think of close to that long is Dayton 1997. Available as a livephish release. One of the best shows I ever saw.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    The Phish Bookie’s Halloween List
    Just based on my own thoughts. I struck most metal, prog and punk, as well as most really recent stuff and those that seem like obvious jokes.

    Part of my thinking is that this version of Phish – well, they want us to be happy. I think this makes a well known and loved album much more likely.

    Most Likely: (in the 2:1 to 5:1 range)
    Allman Brothers Band | Eat A Peach
    Bob Dylan | Blood On the Tracks
    David Bowie | Ziggy Stardust
    Jimi Hendrix | Electric Ladyland
    Led Zeppelin | IV (Zoso)
    Neil Young | Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
    Radiohead | Kid A
    Rolling Stones | Exile on Main Street
    The Band | The Band

    my guess: Exile or Ziggy Stardust
    if I was choosing: Electric Ladyland

    Very Possible: (5:1 to 20:1)
    Bob Dylan & the Band | The Basement Tapes
    Blind Faith | Blind Faith
    Brian Eno | Before And After Science
    Bruce Springsteen | Born To Run
    David Bowie | Hunky Dory
    Frank Zappa | Hot Rats
    Grateful Dead | American Beauty
    Jane’s Addiction | Ritual de Lo Habitual
    Jimi Hendrix | Are You Experienced?
    Love | Forever Changes
    Led Zeppelin | I
    Neil Young | Tonight’s The Night
    Nirvana | Nevermind
    Rolling Stones | Sticky Fingers
    Steely Dan | Pretzel Logic
    Television | Marquee Moon
    Wilco | Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

    my guess: Marquee Moon
    if I was choosing: Ritual de lo Habitual

    Long Shots 20:1 to 100:1
    David Bowie | Scary Monsters
    Elvis Costello | This Year’s Model
    Eric Clapton | 461 Ocean Blvd
    Frank Zappa | Apostrophe
    John Lennon | Plastic Ono Band
    Modern Lovers | The Modern Lovers
    King Crimson | Larks’ Tongues In Aspic
    Miles Davis | A Tribute To Jack Johnson
    Pavement | Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
    Pink Floyd | Meddle
    Queen | A Night At The Opera
    T.Rex | Electric Warrior
    X | Los Angeles

    my guess: Apostrophe
    if I was choosing: Jack Johnson

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    @sumodie – just remember – as long as you spend more time listening to music than you spend searching, downloading and cataloguing, it’s a healthy hobby and not an obsessive habit

  12. EL Duderino Says:

    Come On Mr. C it’s a frickin’ sickness and you know it! LOL

  13. Chuck D Says:

    I stumbled upon Page’s senior thesis titled “The Art of Improvisation.” Since we are all familiar with Trey’s senior project, I thought I’d spread it. I found it interesting to hear about Page’s history and such, but there is nothing overly insightful other than the exerpts from “Zen and the Art of Archery”.


  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    @El Dude – that’s my defense and I’m sticking to it!

    ….no, what *do* you mean by “denial” ?

  15. bearito Says:

    @ GuitarPicker

    I’ll give it a listen. It may have been closer to the 20 min mark. It’s been a while since I’ve heard it. It sure is a monster though.

  16. Lycanthropist Says:

    @ Mr. C –

    Those are pretty fair odds I believe. Although I am surprised that you placed Kid A in the most likely category. I would of course be stoked if they did it, but I find it doubtful personally.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    for some reason I feel like Radiohead is a good bet. if they do something recent I bet it’s that.

  18. Lycanthropist Says:

    yeah i could definitely see that

    recent would definitely be Radiohead… something they can tackle well. Plus Kid A is uber trippy so it would be a good fit for Halloween. Some really fun songs to play too, plus plenty of room for improvisation.

    I would literally cream myself if they did it. And then blow my brains out cause I couldn’t figure out a way to get there.

  19. pence Says:

    i think that Boston : Boston should have at least 10:1 odds

  20. Lycanthropist Says:

    ^ ugh.. i would not shoot myself for that one.

  21. bhizzle Says:

    Bowie or Neil Young

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    no way on Boston, too many people hate that stuff – might be worth putting at 10:1 to pick up some sucker money 😮

    Radiohead is borderline odd wise. Maybe it should really be in the second tier, but my thought was that they might really want to do something current, and if so I think that’s the most likely pick

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    Marquee Moon at about 15:1 would be an excellent bet I think

    A little surprised Big Star isn’t on the list

  24. Danny B Says:

    I think Marquee Moon might be more of a long shot…….the whole foundation of that album is built on two guitars jamming….No to say they couldn’t arrange it in a way where it sounded good…..but it would definitely be missing a lot, even if they re-arranged all the songs.

    Los Angeles by X is an amazing album, but hearing Phish cover it would be really weird, and probably comical.

    Either way, if by putting these albums as possibilities it encourages phish fans to buy them (or download) and experience some cool punk rock, then I think that’s awesome (disclaimer: there is a lot of debate as to whether Television is punk, and whether X is punk, in my humble opinion they both existed in a time and exhibited attributes of a style that is punk rock, they were just able to break from the three chord shouting approach, and create something really unique that doesn’t fit any particular musical mold)

  25. albert walker Says:

    big star big star would be the shit

    Alex Chilton is the man
    don’t think Phish is quite cool enough to dig on Big Star though
    those first 2 albums are amazing
    kind of mellow, but amazing
    very beatles influenced, that light pop rock with great songwriting

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