Upset City

11.2.1998 - E Center (T.Wickersty)

11.2.1998 - E Center (T.Wickersty)

The first two rounds of this past weekend’s NCAA tournament were defined upsets, those improbable scenarios that actually come true. These occasions, when the unexpected unfolds, provide moments of real-life drama, and not without parallels to Phish’s forays into musical adventure without knowing what lies around the corner. The excitement of both live experiences are united by the unknown, and the essence of each connected moment. Nobody knows how things are going to turn out, and that is precisely why people flock to both events. Just as people live and die by that buzzer-beater or the dramatic overtime win, so do others quest for glory in crunchy Phish grooves and full-throttle improv. If one were to stretch this analogy a bit and ascribe “upsets” to Phish shows, they would be discussing those special nights in history when down-low venues blew up in shows that were far more than the sum of their parts. Today, let’s look back at three significant upsets in Phish history. (Click on orange dates to download each show.)


11.2.1998 – E Center, West Valley, Utah

Dark Side of the Moon

After the high-key Las Vegas Halloween shows, most people dispersed home across the country, while Phish moved on to a half-filled arena outside of Salt Lake City. Equivalent to a 15 seed beating a 2 in the first round, Phish played virtually an entire show before dropping into “Harpua” and beginning their trip to the Dark Side of the Moon. No one could believe what they saw, much like that little guy on Northern Iowa pulling up for a game-clinching, three-point dagger, falling the invincible Goliath of Kansas. Immediately making waves in the community before the next day, this Dark Side show will go down as one of the most memorable “upsets” in Phish history. (Regardless of your opinion on how it holds up on tape.)


9.14.999 –¬† BSU Pavilion, Boise, ID

9.14.99 - Boise, ID

After the Northwest run of Vancouver > Gorge > Portland at the beginning of Fall 1999, Phish headed inland to Boise, Idaho, before returning to the coast for a couple nights at Shoreline. A long and completely out-of-the-way trip, many fans opted for a personal day, and drove directly down I-5. But for those who made the trek across Orgeon and into Idaho were rewarded with one of the most outstanding shows of the year. In a sparsely filled gymnasium where anyone could walk right to the front of the stage, Phish threw down the gauntlet in the form of “Peaches > Bag > Gumbo.” “AC/DC Bag” provided one of the most¬† soul-touching moments of the entire year, peaking with surreal, layered melody and harmony, before galloping into the sunset in a “Crosseyed-esque” groove. Coupled with “Gumbo” in the now-famous combo, laced with a thick and extensive quote of Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust,” this show became an instant classic, despite a relatively forgettable first half.


6.26.1994 – Municipal Auditorium, Charleston, WV

Amidst a particularly smoking run during June 1994, Phish found themselves playing West Virginia for the first time in their career, and they decided to commemorate the occasion. Known simply as the “GameHoist” show, this night would be remembered forever – but not for any jams. Instead, Phish opened the first set with “Kung” and went directly into a full-blown Gamehendge set, complete with narrations between the songs. And after closing the set with a blistering run-through of the lizard’s sacred chant, “Divided Sky,” the band decided to turn their show upside down. Having released “Hoist” three months earlier, Phish came out and played their album, top to bottom, as close to the original recording as possible. The band even included a “Split” jam after the album’s final track, “Demand,” which was spliced into the album from a 1993 recording. Phish concluded the set, as they did the album, with “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.” This unsuspecting outing in West Virginia turned into one of the most unique shows in Phish lore history.

These are but three of countless “upsets” throughout Phish’s career. Share your own “upset”stories in the comment thread below.


Jam of the Day:

Ghost” 7.3.97 II

A little-known beast from Nuremberg, Germany that a friend brought to my attention this weekend. Check it out!




7.10.94 SPAC, Saratoga Springs, NY < Torrent

7.10.94 SPAC, Saratoga Springs, NY < Megaupload

SPAC - Saratoga Springs, NY

Continuing our look at big time summer Phish from upcoming venues, here we have SPAC’s 1994 installment.

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Horn, Peaches en Regalia, Rift, Stash, If I Could, My Friend, My Friend, Julius, Cavern

II: Sample in a Jar, David Bowie, Glide, Ya Mar, Mike’s Song > Low Rider > Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Bouncing Around the Room, The Squirming Coil, Crimes of the Mind*

E: Golgi Apparatus, Rocky Top

* w/ Dude of Life on vocals

Source: Set I: (FOB) Schoeps MK4/CMC5 > Sonosax SX-M2 > Apogee AD500E > D10 (through Rift, Apogee battery died) Stash to end of Set I : OTS AT- 4053; Set II: (FOB) Schoeps MK4/CMC5 > Sonosax SX-M2 > D10

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790 Responses to “Upset City”

  1. Worthless Swampy Fool Says:

    BK – good stuff, I know that feels so good

    WT – if you want to ride some time or more info hit me at matt_hinely AT yahoo dot com.

    night all.

  2. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Silly – I think I’ll pass on that one, haha. Good luck though, I’m sure you can pull it off

  3. Halden Says:

    “canandaigua is perfect for getting some canadian fans without trey leaving the u.s., ”

    Lets hope so…

  4. Foul_Domain Says:

    Halden – Count this Canadian in!

  5. Halden Says:


    Where u at? I’m in Ottawa.

  6. Foul_Domain Says:

    Halden – Im in Barrie. Nice to meet u my phriend!

  7. spartachris Says:

    i cant seem to download the .rar files onto my ibook g4 maybe cuz my op. system is older…. but of course so very grateful for all the stuff that mr miner has shared.
    .rar no worky. really was hoping to hear some mike

  8. Halden Says:

    FD – Nice I have good friends in Barrie. Just down from cookstown mall. Are you hitting Canandaigua for sure? (assuming you get tix)

  9. SillyWilly Says:

    Just thought I’d throw it out there, BK. haha.

    the last thing you’d want to do is take a big test after writing a paper.

  10. Foul_Domain Says:

    I’ll be there for sure. neemsbane shirt and all!

  11. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Are you guys seriously making a neemsbane. t-shirt?

    The inside joke of all inside jokes!

  12. CushionConvector Says:

    T-shirt ideas would be awesome, would totally be down!

    @ Dr. Pronoia, just looked up your BB name and I love the term:
    from wikipedia: Pronoia is a neologism that is defined as the opposite state of mind as paranoia: having the sense that there is a conspiracy that exists to help the person. It is also used to describe a philosophy that the world is set up to secretly benefit people.

    Totally in the spirit of the BB!!

  13. KWL Says:

    i will ride the bus

  14. Halden Says:

    I may have just convinced a non-phish friend to come for the trek to Canandaigua

  15. KWL Says:

    the lady agreed to go to miami for new years 2010.

    today is an epic win for this kid.

  16. Robear Says:

    @KWL, but what if the shows are in NYC?

  17. Leo Weaver Says:

    ^nice KWL…and congrats on your job!

    Things were really rolling here a couple of hours ago. Count me in for one of each of the shirts (neemsbane. and other). I’ll try to scratch a few ideas out in the next few days.

    @jdub…I’ve been thinking of something Simpson’s-related to work in the blackboard from the opening credits, good call!

    @Pham Bezerker…thank you for sharing that story (from both me and the Mrs.)…great stuff there!

  18. Leo Weaver Says:

    well played Robear!

  19. KWL Says:

    cold weather will be a much harder sell.

    but even if she backs out, she can no longer keep me from going.

    and i am prepared to go solo!

  20. KWL Says:

    my money is on someplace warm though.

    these dudes from ‘the phish’ are old and their families want vacations.

  21. Robear Says:

    she’ll love NYC for new year’s eve.

    i’m hoping for somewhere warm, too.

    last year was pretty under-sold in Miami, though.

  22. gavinsdad Says:

    miner links over to the “demand” split in todays post.

    love what phish is up to these days but damn if a 93 split couldn’t perform a real time lobotomy on ya.


  23. gavinsdad Says:

    ::sheepishly admits that he hasn’t spent far enough time with the cincy 09 split::

  24. Henry Says:

    @Mr. C

    I believe that show you speak of was the first show of the author of Growing Up Dead, a book about the experiences of a teenage deadhead in the late 80s.

  25. gavinsdad Says:

    ::goes to phishows, puts on the cincy split::

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