Step Into Space


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


Limb By Limb > 2001 > Disease” II




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

Tags: ,

388 Responses to “Step Into Space”

  1. Mr.Miner Says:

    keep bringing ideas…..

  2. voopa Says:

    I went to phishthoughts via my iPhone one day last week and was disappointed to not be able to access the comments, just the initial posts. Having the ability to comment and view comments is essential, IMO.

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    Miner, just something kind of like that, yeah

    locked/permanent info:
    a map link
    parking info
    seating chart
    hotel/camping info
    cab companies

    user editable info (basically a wiki – not nec. editable via iPhone, but people should be able to submit updates/opinions somehow over time):
    where to eat/drink/get wasted
    where NOT to do those things
    yes, in legal/medicinal states, where to hook up – why not?
    hell, in NV you could have hooker ratings

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    what @voopa said – I guess I was assuming that

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    ^^^ link to one of those websites that lists local speed traps

  6. voopa Says:

    There’s already an app called Trapster…I haven’t used it much, since I haven’t traveled at all since getting it, but it’ll get some use in 3 weeks. Supposedly it zaps your battery because it actively triangulates as you’re driving.

    3 WEEKS!

  7. Bapslap Says:


    when using an iPhone you can turn off the mobile theme at the very bottom of the page. That will make phishthoughts appear in the normal way. Btw, I’m posting this from my iPhone.

  8. voopa Says:

    Cool, thanks Bapslap!

  9. ColonelJoy Says:


    Originally I had planned on just Indio and John Paul Jones, but 1st night Philly is my B-day (never had a B-day show), but my orders indicate I have to report to duty on the 25th, but I think in reality that date is the 30th….so maybe I can do Philly, too!! I may do Cincy too….what the hell….

    still laughing from the Hittler vid

  10. shpongleyez Says:

    Definitely needs Mr. C’s heady nugget detector

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    okay, there was a lot to get through today, so apologies about the tardiness. Today’s setlist…

    One Decade On>
    Who’s Got My Tour Dates?*>
    One Decade On>
    From Albany
    Live Nation (w/ Album Jam)
    Venue Banter**>
    Tour’s On!>
    Def Trick>
    Travel Considerations>
    Tour’s On!>
    Everything’s Coming Up Milhouse***

    Making Plans^
    Tiger (Irsay)>
    Conflicts Jam****>
    Dissonant Chatter>
    Euro Tour?
    Cobo (interpolating Michiganders Jam)>
    Go, Ocelot, Go>
    Beer Me^^>
    E: We Got Apps>

    * Holliday teases
    ** Archive tease
    *** Mango teases throughout
    ^ Hits and Misses teases; extended multiple peak jam
    **** SOAM wins
    ^^ Sisters Jam
    *****Lycan solo

    Have a great weekend, everyone. I’ll be back with this again on Monday

  12. Pence Says:

    Damn pork tornado got really fucked up

  13. wvbrdr Says:

    i access phishthoughts on my instinct. i use OperaMini, so it’s just like looking at a condensed website. but it would really be nice to access the JOTD or to download the shows to my phone.

  14. Uncle Ebeneezer Says:

    So I’m looking for anyone’s extra ticket to Indio, and possibly a ride from the airport in Ontario, about 90 minutes west of Palm Springs. Any help?

  15. PBS Says:

    @ T3 – Another EPIC day at Phishthoughts. Your addition is def becoming a must have for any good daily thread.

    Nice work as always.

  16. MoOnShAkE Says:

    How about a little bio about yourself, Mr. Miner.

    I often wonder things like…

    when/where was your first show?
    how many shows have you been to?
    How’d you get turned on to Phish?
    How is it that you can go to and get into every Phish show? (I am extremely curious about Japan, that’s not easy, near, or cheap)
    How did you hone your craft of writing Phish reviews?

    I’m sure I could come up with 100 more questions but… I digress

  17. sumodie Says:

    RE: phone app

    Here’ s hodgepodge of comments/ideas to skim:

    Sometimes I use my Samsung Omnia to read AND post here -I have no problems with that. However, my phone’s browser (Opera) cannot (yet) use Flash, so I can’t listen to the jams of the day (or look at animation). I can download from livephish -but haven’t tried from here. I suspect I can dl from places like Megaupload, SS, etc.

    Would this phone app be ONLY for the iphone? Or would it be universal?

    Other thoughts to ponder:

    -How could a phone app better serve the mission of phishthoughts? Is it about music, communication, ?

    -A phone app to help with touring? Not sure of this -I’d rather use google, mapquest, etc. to do my own data gathering about specific cities. Even the green board is good to get tour info, restaurant info, even info on speed traps.

    -What about a phone app that makes it EASIER to download phish music. While on tour I’d love to get a copy of no spoilers ASAP. (Again, I think I can already do this -maybe a phone app that would make it easier).

    -I guess I keep coming back to music for a phone app: I’d love a way to easily access a variety of live phish when I’m not at home.

    -While I have full internet access on my cell, others don’t. Some websites automatically detect that you’re using a smartphone and modify their homepage for cell users (like New York Times, CNN, many others). What about a phone app that simply makes this site easier for cell users to navigate?

  18. fromthetub Says:

    For the iphone app, I like the idea of having a photo gallery where people can post pics from shows, kind of like the camera roll where you just scroll through. I also especially like the idea of having city info for tour — where to grab a beer post-show or breakfast, etc. Someone did this for Hampton on a website and it was so useful.

  19. beepaphone Says:

    I use my iphone heavily like an ipod. My car, running, around the house, etc….

    JotD’s and such – anything streaming would be heavily used by me.

  20. sumodie Says:

    They really brought the knives out for Pork Tornado!

    And Lennon is gone too.


    My only thoughts on ticket demand is that Red Light/Phish is playing it safe with city selection by staying close to the northeast. These dates will all sell out.

    Maybe after a full year under their belt they’ll consider broadening their tours to include more of the rest of the country. Of course, I live in central Mass, so I’m not complaining.

  21. Skyballs Saxscraper Says:



    I love New York!

  22. voopa Says:

    Awesome setlist yet again!

    *posted via iphone- yay!*

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    So maybe others have seen this, but I just discovered that if you add the text “source: life” to a google images search it will bring back pictures of that topic from the Life magazine archive if available. Pretty cool.

    This is my favorite that I’ve found so far:
    Billy Graham sitting and talking with Grace Slick & Paul Kastner with Jerry standing in the background all while a Zappa poster oversees everything.

  24. Comrade Says:

    Has anyone gotten their JOY box yet?

  25. Comrade Says:

    Was i just high or did they change the release date? I thought i was to be released on October 8?

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