Step Into Space

(A.Foley)

Albany ’99 (A.Foley)

A tour that started in Vancouver exactly one month earlier, had traversed the nation moving down the west coast, across the south and back up the east coast. We had made it to Albany on October 9 for the final two-night stand of tour. Boasting many fine shows along the way, Phish returned to their home turf of the Northeast to close another tour in the friendly confines of “Knickerbocker” Arena. Fall ’99 saw Phish experiment with sound in a different direction, favoring abstract dissonance and amorphous spacescapes. Following a trend that began during summer, their jams became increasingly layered, veering from the groove and calm ambient playing of ’98 to more aggressive, distortion-based textures and artistic sound sculptures. Phish displayed these trends in droves this night on this next-to-last night in Albany.

Albany '99 Pollock

Albany ’99 Pollock

The first set had its own space-excursion, as a straight-forward “Ghost” grew outwards in scope, then seamlessly merged into a primordial soup that suggested “My Left Toe.” In the middle of the first set, Phish set their controls for the heart of the sun, morphing from a fast-paced rock-groove into a slower arrhythmic pattern that suggested a voyage to the other side. Page layered walls of sound that supported the jam, while Fishman flowed with all sorts of polyrhythms. A magnificent showcase of one of the band’s current foci, they wasted no time merging with the infinite. Deep into space exploration, Trey looped one pattern while adding others; Fish played a shimmering ever-shifting beat; Page’s favored sound over melody; and Mike blended his notes in a non-linear pattern. The band took a high dive into celestial sludge before emerging with the heavy opening of “Free,” back in the era when “Free” was still a legitimate piece of improv. The thick groove showcased Trey’s classic “millennial” style, moving from searing sheets of resounding terror into growling leads. With the end of tour within reach, Phish rejected complacency in favor of cerebral creativity – good to the last drop.

Fall '99 (Unk)

Fall ’99 (Unknown)

Phish stepped back into the cosmic realm at the beginning of the second set, combining “Limb By Limb” and “2001” into 35 minutes of millennial madness. Slaughtering the typically complex “Limb” jam with super-glued communication. Just before the band collectively peaked, they descended from their melodic heights into a darker, rhythmic milieu.  Fish kept the polyrhythms flying at lightning speed, as Trey and Mike’s dark interplay led the band down the road less traveled. Creating an abstract sonic brew, Phish embarked on a distinctly ’99-esque segment of improv that the band absolutely annihilated – you can hear the response from the crowd on tape.  Effortlessly re-merging with “Limb’s” cathartic theme, the band – and specifically Trey – smashed the peak of the jam to smithereens, leaving approximately 17,500 jaws firmly lying on the arena floor.

Fall '99 (Unk)

Fall ’99 (Unknown)

Trey joined Fish’s ending drum solo, and as the song formally ended, Trey continued his pattern over a blanket-like ambiance that the rest of the band instantly created.  Oozing back into a quiet jam that suggesting “Limb’s” rhythmic structure, Phish began to build a spacescape whose intensity and stature grew with each passing moment. Entering a gorgeous plane, Fishman faded his drum beat in, the lights came up, and the arena lifted off into the tour’s last “2001.”  Leaving the laid back grooves in the summer amphitheatres, this version took off with a faster pace and an enhanced zest. After joining the dance party with a series of choppy funk licks and leads, and once the the band locked into some full-on grooves, Trey left his axe behind, hopping onto his mini keyboard. He immediately complemented Page’s Rhodes with staccato patterns he might play on guitar. Mike and Fish pulsated consistently, never coming apart, providing the adhesive for the top-layer experiments.

1999-10-09moTrying all his tricks, Trey used his keyboard proficiently and enhanced the groove with an array of sounds and effects. But once the band passed through the song’s first theme, he stuck to his guitar. Mike’s super-sized bass patterns dominated the second half of the piece, as Trey and Page wrapped slick melodies around them. Thumping throughout the arena, his diverse lines led the band away from clap-able rhythms into alternate grooves during this “2001” marathon that lasted almost 20 minutes.

Segueing into “Disease,” Phish’s space-camp ended for the evening, as they closed the show with the energetic anthem followed by “Simple” and “Loving Cup.”  But our galactic treks in both sets comprised the enduring memories from this night in Albany ten years ago.

Winged music note=====

Jams of the Day: 10.9.99

Ghost  > Free” I

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/I-04-Ghost-My-Left-Toe-.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/I-05-Free.mp3]

Limb By Limb > 2001 > Disease” II

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/II-01-Limb-by-Limb-.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/II-02-2001-.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/II-03-Down-With-Disease-.mp3]

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.9.99 “Knickerbocker” Arena, Albany, NY < Torrent

10.9.99 “Knickerbocker” Arena, Albany, NY < Megaupload

The "Knick" Today

The “Knick” Today

This is the typically darker and more exploratory first night of Phish’s two-night finale to Fall ’99. Getting to some spaced-out jams, the band showcased their abstract millennial sound that grew throughout the tour.  A great setlist with great playing – good stuff all around.

I: Punch You In the Eye, Wilson, Guyute, Ghost > My Left Toe > Free, Sparkle, Possum

II: Limb By Limb > Also Sprach Zarathustra*> Down with Disease > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Simple, Loving Cup

E: Slave to the Traffic Light

*Trey on keys for part of jam

Source: Unknown

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388 Responses to “Step Into Space”

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  1. Panzarotti Says:

    “space-camp”. Love it.

  2. landz44 Says:

    My first show! Gotta give this one a listen again…

  3. Little Buddy Says:

    “It’s Canadian”

  4. BTB Says:

    Miner takes the request – 10.9.99, quality show!

  5. Matso Says:

    Ah, finally the 10.9.99 LxL receives its due! This one has been included on many a Phish mix for me and transformed me into a robot at the show itself.

  6. danno Says:

    Finally this show gets some attention. One of my fav’s from 99.

  7. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    you had me at LxL>sprach.

  8. tela'smuff Says:

    my god i so want them to release the tour schedule!!! i am dying over hear.

  9. albert walker Says:

    Holliday gets hit in the nuts by a fly ball causing the Cardinals to choke.

    It’s the little things in life that make it worth living.
    Def putting a smile on my face, every time I see that replay today.
    Go Dodgers.

  10. Neemor Says:

    Today’s writing transported me to the jam.
    I felt the segues more than usual.
    ’99 was a good year to be a Phish fan.
    Very danceable, tranceable.
    The birth of space kids and UNO cards and closed out with The Show.
    It’s fun to revisit.

  11. Neemor Says:

    Also, the ticket stubs from this tour were the best.
    The 7/13/99 ticket (Great Woods) has a robot hacky sacking on it.
    Awesome.

  12. Little Buddy Says:

    AW – I knew you cubs fans would love that Holliday play. My wife was cracking up when that happened. I actually felt kind bad form him. That’s one of those plays that will be replayed forever. Reflecting on yesterday’s post and the ensuing discussion – Holliday’s play is the Phish equivalent of the Coventry Curtain.

  13. SOAM Says:

    I have always loved Albany-My favorite experiences there are as follows:

    91-Bought a ticket off a brother for 50.00-surprise surprise-Fake-boogied in the gargae with Krishna’s tripping balls-very early in my touring career-started seeing shows in 90 and had no clue at that point if I’m honest.

    93-3 night run with the Dead-outstanding shows-Jerry dropped 50 lbs and was only doing 300.00 bucks of dope a day as opposed to 750.00 in years past. spring 93 was solid-but Albany had some great bustouts-Casey Jones-Comes a Time…great shit

    95-last visit to the Nick for the old dogs-not bad all things considered

    98-The phish show where I decided seeing them 5 times a year was not enough (Been Caught Stealing-Peaking)-Worcester followed-was historic and a 100 shows later here we are.

  14. MOONSHAKE Says:

    …listening to the JOTD right now… so far so good…

    …fingers crossed for tour announcement today…

  15. beepaphone Says:

    Ah yes. Word is, today is the day. If tour dates aren’t up by midnight, I might start to worry.

  16. MOONSHAKE Says:

    SOAM: you’re lucky to have started GD in 91, I started seeing them when I was 15 and that was 93. Was in Albany 1995 last Franklin’s Tower ever, if what’s left of my memory serves me correctly…

  17. llamalee Says:

    i told everyone a week ago it was gonna be rush – moving pictures, no one listened, look at the album today

  18. Robear Says:

    SOAM, I was at the ’95 Albany Dead Shows. I told my friends that I was riding with to hurry up, so we wouldn’t miss the ‘Morning Dew’. My buddy bought a fake ticket for that show, got turned back at the door, started heading back to the car, found a sack of nuggles on the ground, traded half for a real ticket, then found me on the floor with the other half!

    I was also at the ’98 Phish show there. I got on the local news talking the scene, and swinging ‘Goo Balls’.

  19. llamalee Says:

    they also changed the electric ladyland cover and was queen – night at the opera there before, i dont remember seeing that album before today.

  20. MOONSHAKE Says:

    haha its trey and mike had to look real closely but its them…

  21. len Says:

    Date Venue Event Tickets
    Tue, 11/24/09
    07:30 p.m. Wachovia Center
    Philadelphia, PA Phish On Sale 10/24/09
    Wed, 11/25/09
    07:30 p.m. Wachovia Center
    Philadelphia, PA Phish On Sale 10/24/09
    up on live nation

  22. llamalee Says:

    its the colorado ’88 album cover inserted into the album cover

  23. beepaphone Says:

    Yep – Philly, PA is up! Come one Cincy, come on Detroit! give me some love!

  24. randomreader Says:

    ha, go philly. they’d better start announcing now.

    is it just me or in that picture of phish on the livenation concert page, does fishman look like russell crowe from a beautiful mind?

    that or curly from the 3 stooges.

  25. VTsnowboarder802 Says:

    @random – TOTALLY looks like crowe. HA!

    spending my morning listening to and hoping for london calling…

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