The Beginning of the End

phish-shoreline-00-pollock-leThe mere fact that we sit in 2009 discussing what Phish might do at their Halloween festival is a true cause for celebration that we must not overlook. Who knew nine years ago that we would be here today? No one knew much of anything as we made it up the coast to Shoreline in October of 2000, making the era-ending shows all the more nebulous. I approached the final two nights of Fall2k  as the last time I’d ever see Phish, because I knew nothing to the contrary. They said they were taking a hiatus, but once things ended, who knew what direction life would take everyone. Needless to say, my fingers weren’t crossed and after Shoreline, I never expected to be at a Phish show again.

We pulled into my own apartment in San Francisco the morning of the 6th, ready to take on the inevitable. Our music, our lifestyle, our inspiration was coming to an end – and that’s all we knew. We didn’t speculate when or if the band would come back – we didn’t need to. We had been there and lived it. There were no regrets and no expectations – just two more shows before life took on a completely new contour.

Though the band had gradually slowed over the previous couple weeks, they still had the ability to drop gems at any time, resulting in a certain frustration knowing that they still could make our heads spin – just no longer their own.  After the better part of two decades, Phish needed a break.  Was it understandable? Yes, absolutely. But nobody knew what to expect after the stage lights came on after the final encore. The rest of our lives were waiting.

Entering the penultimate show, there remained one more tomorrow; one more night to stay up, starry-eyed, dreaming of what could be. One more night to laugh carelessly, forgetting life existed outside of “Tweezers” “Splits” and “Mike’s Grooves.”One more night to live the dream. One more sunrise to hold onto that feeling inside. One more.

2000-10-06moAs we found our places in the pavilion, the lights suddenly dropped.  By opening with “Carini,” Phish got everyone’s focus immediately, smashing somber thoughts with growling metal chords and crashing bass bombs.  Just like that, we were at a Phish show, and -per usual- nothing else mattered. The first set contained all songs that everyone wanted to hear, with Bob Marley’s “Mellow Mood” ironically placed right in the middle with Trey crooning, “I’ll play your favorite song, darlin’.” Phish painted this set with a dark musical brush, crafting sinister highlights from the second-song “Stash,” the mid-set “Maze,” and the closing “Antelope.” It seemed that Phish cast aside distractions for their final two nights; as they played with a fiery purpose that had been lacking since the Midwest. After the first set ended, fans got the picture that Phish wasn’t going out like a sucka.

After the break, the band opened the second half with the lyrically appropriate “Heavy Things.” Lines like “Things are falling down on me” and “Stumbling as I fall from grace,” took on new meanings as we teetered on the brink. After the introspective pop concluded, one of two central jam sequences of the night revved its motor.  The unmistakable bass intro to “Down With Disease” sped the hearts of so many fans, as this would finally be the time that Trey really meant, “This has all been wonderful, but now I’m on my way.”

Fall 2000 (Unk)

Fall 2000 (Unk)

With no time for pontification, the band coaxed our minds into the music with a blistering rendition that took us on a thrilling, feel-good ride. With the pedal on the floor, the band tore through an engaging composed section to the jam, and exited the song’s structure led by Mike’s prominent bass work.  Moving into a mystical, more subdued milieu, spirits seemed to rise from their instruments as Phish molded an ambient sculpture infused with percussion. As Trey layered more dissonant wails atop these textures, the jam grew more abstract by the moment.

Seamlessly rejoining “Disease’s” melodic structure, the band stopped off in the composition before blowing right past it, turning their fast-paced jam into something far more groovy. Almost instantly, the band began teasing “Spock’s Brain,” and soon morphed songs without missing a beat, showcasing their elusive rarity. “Disease > Spock’s” gave us one unforgettable moment of the evening, and after a mid-set interlude of “The Inlaw Josie Wales” and “Rift” we met our second indelible memory of the set.

The Final Marquee

The "Final" Marquee

Out of the silence, Phish dropped into a welcome version of “Cities,” as its last incarnation in Minneapolis two weeks earlier had ballooned into a 20-minute highlight. This time around, the band didn’t take the cover into the cosmos, instead moving methodically through the thick funk rhythms.  Though “Cities” remained tightly knit, the band flowed from its grooves into the opening of “Sand.” Things were about to get dirty.

The ominous opening of Phish’s rhythmic juggernaut kept people moving with a real sense of musical motion. The composition opened into a sea of psychedelia, as Trey set up his loops for the excursion.  The band took their time in building sonic layers – there was no need to rush – and the pace of this  version complemented the band’s patience, facilitating some nasty grooves. Trey carved the music with signature licks, then splashed walls of sound and fury into the straight forward groove, adding another piece to the puzzle.  Continuing to crank out the dissonance, Trey’s offerings gave the jam a sense of chaotic order as the band continued to ferociously chug along.  Fifteen minutes later, we looked back upon one of the last epic dance sessions of our Phish lives, though something told us that the next night still had plenty left in store.

As we headed back to the city, we pulled in for one last night of Phish tour. There was one more. Things seemed different, but not nearly as different as they’d seem 24 hours later.

To be continued….

Winged music note=====

Jams of the Day: 10.6.00 II

Down With Disease > Spock’s Brain


Cities > Sand




10.6.2000 Shoreline, Mountain View, CA < Torrent

10.6.2000 Shoreline, Mountain View, CA < Megaupload

Shoreline Amphitheatre

Shoreline Amphitheatre

Keeping things thematic today, we have the band’s next-to-last show of their first career. Enjoy!

I: Carini, Stash, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Mellow Mood, Maze, The Moma Dance, Run Like an Antelope

II: Heavy Things, Down with Disease > Spock’s Brain, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Rift, Cities > Sand, Golgi Apparatus, Brian and Robert, Bold As Love

E: El Paso*^, Chalk Dust Torture*> West L.A. Fadeaway*^

* w/ Bob Weir, ^Phish debut

Source: AKG 480b’s (cardoids)  > Lunatec V2  > Graham Patton ADC-20 > DA-P1

Tags: ,

166 Responses to “The Beginning of the End”

« Previous1234567Next »
  1. whole tour! Says:

    sick JOTD miner!

  2. freshtracks420 Says:

    For those not readily familiar with this show, by all means check it out…it is, in my opinion, quite the rocker of a show which has unfortunately always played “second fiddle” to the next night and it’s then final show status. While there might be some bias involved as this was a birthday show for me, I still think that it holds up nicely, despite having always existed in the next night’s shadow. The setlist and the events of the evening all seemed to have an additional personal meaning for me…just listening to the recording often gets me emotional because it has always hit so close to home for me on a variety of levels. I haven’t listened to it in at least a few years though (REALLY wish that a SBD would be released of this night as well), but perhaps should revisit soon. Can’t hardly wait to see everybody in Indio!!!!

  3. Leo Weaver Says:

    Happy Birthday freshtracks420!

  4. spauldazzio Says:

    We got in a pretty wicked car wreck on our way to the airport outside Indianapolis. By the time I arrived in the Shoreline lawn on 10/6 I had developed a sizable lump on the top of my head. Then they opened with Carini, talk about getting someone’s attention! And of course the Spock’s Brain, since due to the accident we had indeed barely made it to our plane on time.

  5. Wax Banks Says:

    Was Weir any good?

  6. Delta Bravo Says:

    I had never heard that Slave from the 1995-06-15 show and keep listening to it. How bout some more summer 95 gems. First show for me was 1995-06-30 at Great Woods and I don’t listen to enough of that era.


  7. Stupendous Says:

    ^^hmmm I wonder if jerry wouldve ever been interested in sitting in with the boys?!

  8. SOAM Says:

    absolutely no mention of Bob Weir-phish snobbery at it’s finest Miner…

    I have heard that bob had no idea what to do during chalkdust-el paso is a first set dog 9 out of 10 and West LA -wasn’t that good when jerry did it…odd selection of tunes-even odder that minor makes no mention of Booby Weir….yes Booby “the beard “Weir-does miner have a beef with sir spit alot-the twangmaster flash aka-ACE?

    I suspect so-I understand bobn has not played a good show since 8-9-95 but ya still gotta show him some love…….

  9. notkuroda Says:

    I actually liked this show better than the next night. The first set was sick as hell, DWD>Spock’s Brain, and this was probably the first live Sand that I enjoyed. I’ve listened to this show a lot-without the encore

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I understand bob has not played a good show since 8-9-95

    I disagree. I have seen more than a few Ratdog shows that I have found to be “good”. It may not be Phish or GD, but that band can produce. Two off the top of my head include opening for Steve Miller (weird, I know) at Great Woods (included a great sit-in with Miller’s band as well) and with Keller Williams opening for Ratdog at Twin Rivers Casino in Rhode Island (included some awesome acoustic stuff with just Bobby and K-Dub)

  11. bhizzle Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Booby didn’t have a clue during Chalkdust…Also didn’t know he had so many knicknames. Don’t get me wrong I love me some Booby, wait I meant Bobby too.

  12. SOAM Says:

    I would never shit on a good experience bro-but imo-bob either needs kimock/jimmy to make electric music-for far too long bob had a band with no lead-just some sax guy trying to fake midi leads or Karan (kp-kant play) I find ratdog terrible-the jerry covers are the worst.-but I loved bob and rob-bob’s voice to me is the shit and his bands sound better acoustic-I heard a sirius radio special-just bob and his acouty and it was the best shit I have heard from him since the night jerry checked out-which was an unbelievable show-immfo

  13. SOAM Says:

    love to see bob do an acoustic twist around sit in at 8 durimng the am set


  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    SOAM, coincidentally, that show in RI had Kimock sitting in for the regular guitarist. That obviously improved the experience!

  15. Danny B Says:

    It was a sad day for me, when I found out Phish was taking their hiatus in 2000. I had done a nice little summer run, 7 shows, but at that time I had no idea they were taking a break. I was living in England at the time, and went right back over the pond after the shows I hit. I actually found out two weeks after Shoreline that they were taking a break, it was horrible. I was so happy after seeing 7 shows that summer, praying that they would come back to Europe, or that I would be able to take a vacation and catch a few shows

    When they announced they were coming back in 2002 I was so happy, but the shows I saw in february 03 were not great, and I missed most of summer 03 tour, but made it up to Limestone. After Limestone, I decided to just be happy they were playing at all, and every show since has been special.

    Look at where we are now, never thought I would see them again after coventry. Every show I saw this summer reminded me that I was lucky to even be able to see them play. Sometimes I have to keep myself in check when I get down on the boys, and complain about anything.

  16. Neemor Says:

    Spock’s Brains was one of those songs that was played so rarely that I had to really seek it out and didn’t hear it on tape until just before the 7/30/03 Camden show. One of the most truly psychedelic songs in the Phish Cannon.
    I will always equate it to Camel Walk because these two soongs I really had to go out of my way to find on tape and eventually found myself chasing them from late 98 until I finally got them live in 7/30 and 12/1/03, respectively. Two gems that really brought Phish 2.0 to life for me.
    I remember this was one of the first shows I got a copy of next day because my boss is a big Deadhead from back in the day.
    When he heard that Bobby had sat in, he burned me a copy. I distinctly remember Bobby sort of going generic with Chalkdust. I find it telling that as a musician, as much as I love Bobby (my daughter’s name is Cassidy), he wasn’t really able to add anything to the performance.
    It gave me a whole new level of respect for our boys and their abilities.
    I’ve been looking for a crisp copy of this Spock’s since ’03 (my boss only burned set II-cuz Bobby was in set II only) and it was nice to finally hear it done justice.
    These were emotional times not knowing what would become of our scene and band.
    Glad it’s in the past.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    we had great seats for this and had fun, but I don’t remember the details well at all. I haven’t heard it since the show, so thanks for the download.

    the Weir song choices were really strange. Bob dug in and did his best but was clearly a bit overwhelmed by the force of Phish. After the show he said: “those guys play like demons!” and other complimentary things.

    FWIW El Paso is the best cowboy tune IMO, and a good West LA Fadeaway is not to be overlooked – my bet is that Trey or Mike picked that tune – but just very weird choices nonetheless.

  18. Little Buddy Says:

    I’m gonna get flamed for this – but Spock’s Brain is overrated IMO. The harmonies are terrible anytime I’ve heard the tune live or on a recording and it’s really only interesting to me as a rare bust out. I never understood the hype re: Spock’s Brain, unlike other rare bust-outs like Curtis Loew, which is a fantastic song. I just never “got” Spock’s Brain, I guess.

    Flame away…

  19. SOAM Says:

    Kimock and bobby could have made a good band…bingo mo fo

    best cowboy tune is Big River>Maggies

  20. Stupendous Says:

    @ Lil Buddy – I agree 100%

  21. albert walker Says:

    The love of Spock’s Brain is not the song itself but the period in which it was played, and that it always has remained a rarity.
    If you toured in 95 chances are you love Spock’s because it evokes memories of this amazing year.
    The fact that fans named the song also contributes to this mystique.
    Ha, Ha, Ha is another song from this era that has a similar effect on me.
    Just brings me back to that golden age of Phish shows.
    Def not that ground breaking musically.
    Just a cool little weird Phish tune.

  22. albert walker Says:

    Love me a hot West LA

    You have to have fat man on vocals
    It is one of those songs he becomes the story as he tells it

  23. Pence Says:

    @Mr. C–I forgot to mention I got my first compliment on my phishtoughts shirt. From a girl nonetheless!! Granted it was a wook chick working at world market. But cool anyway.

  24. bhizzle Says:

    re: Spock’s Brain…my first time hearing was five min ago. Not bad. Sounds like it could have potential if they played it more.

    re: El Paso…love it. love all the wild west/cowboy tunes, Me & My Uncle, etc

  25. Little Buddy Says:

    AW – I can get on board with that explanation of why Spock’s Brain resonates with people. Although I saw about 10 shows in 94 and 95, I obviously wasn’t as in the know as I was after I’d done some significant touring through 96, 97, and 98.

« Previous1234567Next »

Leave a Reply