The Beginning of the End – Pt. II

shorelineRising over the bay and visible from my apartment, the sun came up for the first time in our lives without Phish. The morning after Phish’s final show felt surreal as we watched the dawning of a new age. Gazing out the massive windows, across the Panhandle and up to Haight-Ashbury, where all this madness began – a different post-show vibe than ever before permeated the room. We had Phish to thank for our friendships, but were all about to transition to a life without them – our dreamlike experiences would be deferred, put on “hiatus” indefinitely. Things would be different now.

Phish had just delivered their definitive final statement from Shoreline’s stage, a statement that summed things up perfectly. Flawless from start to finish, and composed with utmost care, the band executed a perfectly scripted curtain call. Beyond the music, this evening celebrated the grandeur of the Phish experience and the mutual love between the band and their fan base- a relationship unparalleled in music to this day.

2000-10-07moNo time would be wasted in Phish’s last foreseeable performance, as they broke out of the gates with an inspiring “First Tube,” a song that often seemed to exorcise Trey’s inner demons and got everyone into the here and now. Coupled with a classic, concise “Mike’s Groove” the show kicked off with a double-dose of adrenalized Phish grooves, getting things underway in a flash. A nod to the old-school with “Fee,” preceded an emotionally driven “Bathtub Gin” that carried a bittersweet melodic theme and developed into the centerpiece of the smoking first set. Phish passionately crafted a jam that represented a final musical farewell, despite being placed in the opening set. The symbolic “Glide”meant more to the band than we surmised at the time – an homage to their friendships and collective journeys over time. Closing with a randomly placed “My Soul,” the second to last Phish set came to an end. Setbreak adopted an indescribable feeling; one that couldn’t have been predicted. We sat, we puffed, we dreamt, we reveled, and we remembered. The next set would be the last. And it was clear from the band’s opening statement that they would leave us with something to remember.

Shoreline 2000 (

Shoreline 2000 (

Opening the final stanza with the late-90’s staple of “Twist”, the band passed through its Latin-sounding grooves into a mellow psychedelia featuring Page on piano and some patient Trey soloing before he started chopping out some rhythm chords. But before too long, “Twist” gracefully stepped aside for the final “2001” of our lives. I distinctly remember gazing over the pavilion, taking it in, knowing that tomorrow would be so drastically different. Following the few minutes of ambient buildup, when the snare hit kicked, Shoreline exploded. Super-charged from the get go, this “2001” carried a dynamic sense of urgency that many contemporary versions left behind in favor of wide open funk-scapes. For 11 minutes, the band led us through a veritable catalog of Phish grooves, satisfying our inner dancer.  But as the second theme peaked, the band oozed into the opening of “Tweezer.”  Yes, they were most definitely leaving it all on stage.

The final “Tweezer” shied from any overt funk and traveled directly into a guitar-led jam that built in sound and intensity rather quickly, with Trey taking liberty to shred atop the evolving groove. Moving away from its smooth inception, about halfway through, the improv took a turn into a more dissonant, aggressive and dirty place, stylistically resembling a jam from the mid-90s. Phish played their biggest, most poignant songs on this evening, beautifully settling into “Velvet Sea”out of “Tweezer.” Fitting the contour of the set like a glove, “Velvet Sea” had always been a Phishy song to play after some serious music went down. The beautiful composition and crying guitar solo carried extra emotional weight given the somber circumstances.

Shoreline 2000 (

Shoreline 2000 (

Just when things seemed the most bittersweet, the beginning of “Meatstick” whispered through the speakers in a classic Phishy maneuver. Finding the perfect place for some comic relief to honor the band’s theme song of their final two years, this show wouldn’t have been complete without “Meatstick” – and nobody would have said that before hand.  Ultimately, Phish wound their way to their quintessential show closer, “David Bowie;” boasting a set that flowed impeccably. “Bowie” provided a last introspective journey, one more time to move inward following the band’s sublime musical path; our last guided mediation. Pouring all the momentum from both sets into the likely set closer, the band held nothing back as they tore their way through the dark and intricate improv. Then, instead of saving “Tweezer Reprise” for their encore, the band decided to drop the bombast as a climactic and unexpected set closer. The crowd simply couldn’t have responded more enthusiastically.  “YEM” encore – perfection.

I’ve often thought of this show as one of the most consummate shows I ever experienced. Not the best or the craziest – just simply perfect. Sometimes a show flows naturally from beginning to end, without any glitches or slow points, and this was one of them – it had to be.

Shoreline 2000 (

Shoreline 2000 (

As the DAT of this second set provided our soundtrack for the surreal San Francisco sunrise, we all felt a sense of thankfulness for having been a part of the Phish experiment. So many tiny factors in life could have pushed out lives in just a slightly different direction, and we would have missed Phish – and all of each other – without even knowing it. It was impossible to imagine who we’d have been without Phish; a powerful moment of realization. It didn’t really matter whether they came back from this “hiatus” or not – we had lived the magic. Someone along the way blessed us with the good fortune of discovery, and we never looked back. Memories lasted forever, and we already had enough of those to carry us through eternity. Regardless of Phish’s destiny, we had befriended some of the greatest people on earth, and discovered ourselves along the way.  Phish had given us everything. And they owed us nothing.

Phish provided us a constant portal to the divine and the mysteries of the universe – access to unimaginable realms we never knew existed. Phish provided us a way to experience life’s majesty in a unique way that we couldn’t have found in any other corner of the globe; an indelible and irreplaceable force on the rest of our time. As the post-show selection of “Let It Be” filled the pavilion, The Beatles song delivered a poignant message of  tranquility, as many fans stayed – clapping, crying, cheering – emotions swirling. The band left all they had out on the stage that night; a proper exit for an unrivaled career.

So as we reflect on the unsurity that defined the end of Phish 2000, let us not get bogged down in the minutae and remember how lucky we are to be staring down the first Phish festival in five years. If you had told me this nine years ago, I would have chuckled and demurred. Yet here we are – sitting atop the mountain again – and the view could not be finer.

Winged music note=====

Jams of the Day: 10.7.00

“Bathtub Gin” I


“Twist > 2001 > Tweezer” II




8.2.96 Wolf Mountain Amp, Park City, UT < Torrent

8.2.96 Wolf Mountain Amp, Park City, UT < Megaupload

phish96rectredallThe first show of Phish’s brief US summer run took place at Wolf Mountain in Park City after the a change of venue from the Delta Center in Salt Lake City. Overshadowed by the impending Red Rocks run, Page debuted his theremin on this relatively mellow night of adjustment from Europe’s smaller stages.

I: Somewhere Over the Rainbow*, Ya Mar, Down with Disease, Guelah Papyrus, Poor Heart, Foam, Theme From the Bottom, Golgi Apparatus, Tweezer, Hello My Baby, Possum

II: Runaway Jim, Simple, Taste, Free > Fluffhead, Prince Caspian, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Run Like an Antelope

E: Punch You In the Eye

*Performed solo by Page on theremin.

Source: AKG C568 EB’s > Aerco preamp

Tags: ,

259 Responses to “The Beginning of the End – Pt. II”

  1. fat bastard Says:

    miner- you would have to include your tale of burning one at 7am and then watching the new clerk botch your hampton ticket order.

  2. whole tour! Says:

    has anyone else been having issues with the new firefox? It won’t let me right click or left click on many pages. It’s annoying as shit!

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    Very nice Miner. Finding time to write is hard. I have two books partly written that I haven’t had time to pursue in recent years.

    Count on me for a pre-order as soon as one is available.

    freezing time power malfunction = classic twilight zone ep

  4. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    By the by, I know this place is full of Yankee’s and Cub’s fans, but I gotta say Go Cards, kick the Dodgers’ butts tonight. Carp is pitching for the Cards, and though Wolf has had some success against the Cards, if Pujols and Holliday get on a roll together, then watch out!

  5. sumodie Says:

    “I’d buy a book on the Phish Life by Mr. Miner, hardcover 1st edition hot off the press, without hesitation

    ^ will be an anthology of the my best writing over this time edited for literature”

    @Miner: I wonder if technology & phish would let you include the JOTD too? 🙂

    (I just heard that tiny video screens are being tested in print media like magazines)

  6. HarryHood Says:

    Dammit Miner. I didn’t know that you were a Yankee fan. It’s really going to be upsetting to have to find another site spend time on 😉

  7. whole tour! Says:

    velvet underground and neil young got the axe!

  8. Mr. Completely Says:

    if anyone wants a PT benefit T, click my name (or Robear’s) for the ordering page, and please note that I’m not taking any cut from it.

  9. whole tour! Says:

    that would be a great idea….if you could get past the red tape and tapoing policy….

    to have a cd or 2 included with the book highlighting jams of the day or certain shows.

    I’ll buy a first edition….signed copy 😉

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    @wt! I use the new FF and have had no probs – example of a site that’s not working for you?

  11. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    I’ll end any more analytical attempts moving forward and put the crack pipe down.

  12. whole tour! Says:

    @mr. c

    various sites won’t work….if i go to copy something it highlights but then the right click dosen’t work.

    Then just now on the phish page neither the left click of right click would work…i had to reboot firefox.

    Also….when i type in web pages it acts like it is loading and nothing happens.

    someone told me to try the new version of “opera”….

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    I think this blog counts as bonus media content. The book can just point here for music streaming and downloads. Perfect “multimedia convergence” actually.

  14. whole tour! Says:

    @mr. c…

    Did you get those santana/mclaughlin shows seeded anywhere?
    I have friends at Lossless legs, dime, zomb, BTL….ect that have helped me seed stuff before. If you’d like your tapes seeded there….let me know and i can get the discs to the right folks…full credit to you of course.

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    Opera is fine. I am very accustomed to my FF shortcuts and add-ons though. And I have no such FF issues at all. That’s pretty weird…you on Mac or PC? Maybe just reinstall it?

  16. whole tour! Says:


    i’ll try reinstalling it…and see where that gets me.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    I haven’t done it yet, no. I got sick for a few days and have been digging out of the hole that put me in. If I can’t get to it this weekend I may ask for help on that.

  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    that would be a great idea….if you could get past the red tape and tapoing policy….
    ^^ yeah, this will never happen. Trust me. I’ve had EXTENSIVE discussions with Shapiro…but what Mr. C said, using the book to direct to the blog is genius. I can have my write ups of jams in the book, and a post to reference on the site….love it…all you guys are def in for a 1st edition signed copy….no doubt…prob won’t be for a little while though…aiming for a yearish….

  19. guyforget Says:

    word, Miner!! Yanks!!

  20. gavinsdad Says:

    miner and fellas (no girls on this board, right?) –

    i usually don’t do this…if you’ve seen anything from me it’s that i don’t hype rumors, and i don’t really do much phishcrit, but i can say this: i have a relationship with a person in phish’s mgmnt office. i’ve known said person since 1991. i was just informed, via email, that the announcement for additional dates will be this Friday.

    i did not ask for dates or locations, only if there was going to be an announcement.

    seriously, i don’t do this sort of thing ever. i am not a firestarter.

    that’s all.

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    The problem with most books that come from blogs is that one adds nothing to the other. F U Penguin comes to mind, and Stuff White People Like. All they can do is put some extra writing in there, that’s not available on the blog.

    But the book version of PT can have the big, beautiful photos that you can’t really do in the blog – big spreads of text and images.

    And the blog can provide the downloadable content to extend the value of the book.

    Any canny publisher or marketer would have a field day with this, it’s very much “of the moment” publishing wise

  22. Jay Says:

    miner- you would have to include your tale of burning one at 7am and then watching the new clerk botch your hampton ticket order.

    As well as the gettting to Jones Beach fiasco. Also, you must do a write-up on the times you’ve been late to a Phish show. One includes a visit to Tijuana jail I believe?

  23. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    @Mr. C – I agree completely with assessment of Stuff White People Like book, but that site is freaking hilarious. Plus, Miner is just aiming for the lucrative movie option right? There has still yet to be made a GOOD movie about tour life. I have seen some bad ones and some half-assed ones, but it is a perfect milieu for a rom-com or a buddy roadtrip movie.

  24. Robear Says:

    Hey all, just catching up. The kids are quietly writing. Accidentaly dropped my first ‘f-bomb’ today in front of the kids. I think they forgot already…..

    So, gavinsdad, that sounds about right. A couple surprises too, from the original posted dates on this site.

    Indio is coming together, more and more. Hopefully I’ll have some sort of large Salmon related banner to hang above the oasis…. Just heard a fun drink suggestion: “Rum and Rockstar”. I guess that’s in the class with “Vodka and Red Bull”. Funny stuff, helpful for late night.

    Mr. C, they do hit another plane sometimes. The shows afterwards usually involve more cuddling than launching.

    Guyforget, come on, you’ve got to come. Have your boss call me, we need your help photographing the event!

  25. sumodie Says:

    @gavinsdad: me thinks you started a bonfire, maybe even a forest fire…..

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