And the weeks continue to peel off the calendar, moving ever closer to the beginning of June. Telluride is all but confirmed, and a full tour should be announced in a couple of weeks. But until then, here we are on Friday again, and here are another ten jams to move the day along just a little bit quicker; a short cut to the weekend. All the selections can be downloaded using the orange song titles, per usual. Enjoy the tunes!
“Antelope” 8.28.93 II
Kicking off this Friday is a fierce piece of improv from the band’s last show of Summer ’93 at Berkley’s Greek Theatre. Phish played six out of seven months between February and August, taking only June off, and you can hear the results in the communication during this mind-numbing “Antelope.” Typifying the peak month of August, Phish took this jam to several dynamic places before setting the gearshift for anywhere.
This extended trip into the dark side opened up the second set at South Park Meadows, the now defunct venue in Austin, Texas. Both Dallas and Austin this summer featured Bob Gullotti on a second drum set, as he sat in with the band for four straight sets. This is the fourth of these sets, and perhaps the most impressive segment from both nights.
“Tweezer” 4.21.92 II
This personal favorite took place at a Fairgrounds in Eureka, CA, and catches the band on one of their earliest stretches of truly sublime music out west in the spring of ’92. In this “Tweezer” Phish fuses rhythm and melody in a soaring groove that is truly ahead of its time. Check out one of the greatest gems from the band’s west coast swing of lore.
“Reba” 8.16.93 I
Another multi-part journey, this “Reba” bears no resemblance to the song’s usual contour. Moving as far from usual territory as possible, Phish morphs from an eerie canvas into a somewhat more conventional feel, but this adventure never stops, as Phish annihilates this jam like few other “Rebas”in history. And it’s the fourth song of the show. (Bear with the less than ideal recording, trust me, its worth it.)
With a airplane runway doubling as an over-sized dance floor, Phish took this “Runaway Jim” into the realm of funk, turning the afternoon jam into an overtly playful piece. Eventually segueing into “Free,” the festival-sized grooves continued to flow all day long.
“Drowned” 12.3.97 I
On this night, Phish gave “Drowned” the Fall ’97 treatment. Funking up this version at the onset of The Spectrums’ second night, the band prepped the crowd for two sets of non-stop dance music. This is another piece that drifts far from charted territory.
“Wolfman’s Brother” 8.6.98 II
This multi-faceted version opened Lakewood ’98, moving from classic Summer ’98 grooves into a more intricate mid-section, and then an ambient outro. This standout version flies way under the radar with so much shining from Phish’s beloved summer tour.
“YEM” 7.19.03 II
This stellar “YEM” ended Phish’s two-night, post-hiatus return to Alpine Valley. Within this excursion, the band engages in some thematic jamming that stands up as one of the era’s defining versions of their classic.