To take you through this Friday, I have created a ten-song playlist that you can listen to on the site and download. Click each individual orange track title to download the song; take all or some, it’s up to you. Enjoy!
“Ghost” 8.16.98 II Lemonwheel, Limestone, ME
Phish’s 1998 ambient experimentation began to emerge at their summer-emding festival. Taking a step away from pure-funk, the band started to infuse a more amorphous quality to their music, a development you can hear in its genesis via this “Ghost.” Phish capped a summer of decidedly funky episodes something distinctly different.
“Free” 12.15.99 II MCI Center, Washington, DC
Towards the end of, arguably, “Free’s” most exploratory year, Phish threw down a defining version of the song in the middle of the second set in Washington, DC. Showcasing some of Trey’s most creative work on his late ’99 keyboard, he hopped off guitar for a good portion of this jam playing sparse, yet engaging hooks. Then he slung his axe back over his shoulder and took this jam to the top; an upper-echelon version by anyone’s standard.
“Split” 11.6.98 I Kohl Center, Madison, WI
This well-known version of “Split” is famous for one reason – an insanely tight groove session. Absolutely locked together, the band shredded this first set closer to pieces. Not experimental, but staying on a driving course of menacing momentum, this version provided the jaw-dropping moment of the evening. Mike has called this jam one of his favorite moments from Fall ’98.
“Wolfman’s Brother” 11.13.98 I CSU, Cleveland, OH
An oft forgotten version buried in a lackluster show, this “Wolfman’s” is – straight up – the bees knees. Boasting addictive dino-funk and a pronounced “Mind Left Body” segment, this dark horse is a personal go-to version. Enjoy reacquainting yourselves with one of the hottest versions around.
“Reba” 12.29.09 I AAA, Miami, FL
A simply sublime version of “Reba,” soars gently through musical peaks and valleys on a stellar flight above a blissful sea of awareness. A dynamic mixture of delicate playing and liquid grooves, this jam rolls like water gently over a river bed.
“Scents and Subtle Sounds” Deer Creek 7.23.03 Deer Creek I
…And sometimes Phish opens with twenty-minute jams; gotta love ’03. One of three extended “Scents” during this summer tour, the band began their third and final night at Deer Creek with one of the song’s defining performances. As the song finally dropped at MSG last fall, here’s to some more summer explorations of post-hiatus’ most interstellar vehicle. (Apologies for the low bit rate on this track.)
“Waves” 8.2.03 II Limestone, ME
Another post-hiatus song that often stretched into psychedelic excursions, none were more profound than this twenty-minute odyssey in Limestone. With some of the most ambient psychedelia of the weekend, this jam helped define the glorious festival – IT.
“Tweezer” 6.24.00 I Lakewood, Atlanta, GA
A classic through and through, this “Tweezer” passes through some serious swamp funk on the way to a completely different and triumphant jam.
This gorgeous combination of songs peaked the first set of Vernon Downs with majesty. Laying out “Ramble On’s” melody in the peak of “Slave,” Trey combined these two pieces masterfully. A piece of aural reverie, this sequence held up as a Summer ’98 highlighht after an extensive tour.