From Darkness Into Light

Big Cypress Poster

Darkness and light, opposite symbols that go to the very core of cultural mythology. The psychedelic journey often mirrors these poles, taking one from the eye of the beast to the most glorious, self-realizing peaks. Staring down the dark side in order to most clearly see the light of one’s new self. While Phish regularly condenses these introspective rites into three-hour sessions, on one occasion they had all night. In the swamps of Florida, on the brink of 2000, Phish finally had the setting to match their goal – an all-night affair with no restraints. In the Clifford Ball DVD extras, filmed in 1996, the band spoke of the “LG,” or the “Long Gig” they envisioned one day, where the band would just keep playing and playing, outlasting even the fans who stayed all night and beyond. They claimed it would happen; they’d get port-potties onstage, and one day they’d play their “Long Gig;” it was the ultimate goal. While the band exaggerated in typical fashion throughout the interview, the glimmer in their eyes told a different story. Through their goofy looks and hyperbole, one can see the sincerity behind their claims. They meant it. And finally, on December 31, 1999, Phish had their “LG.”

Big Cypress - 12.31.99

In their 1996 interview, Trey pondered what type of music the band would play after 60 or 70 hours straight. Well on this night, eight would have to be the test. And the results were other worldly. Producing jams that were connected by a certain ethereal quality, like a patient thread splicing together the band’s divine musical offerings. Without time constraints, and armed with their port-o-potty, Phish played as the spirit moved, extending jams as long as felt natural. While no single piece of music broke any record, (somewhat surprisingly), the night included many extended jams, first highlighted by the night’s opening features of “Disease,” “Bathtub Gin,” and a sublime “Twist > Caspian” which truly began to set the musical tone for the evening. Following next came one of the nights longer, thematic and defining jams, “Rock and Roll.”

The darkest chunk of the night kicked off with a scorching “Crosseyed,” which carried a melodic progression throughout the jam, and peaked with a percussive 40-minute apocalyptic grooves of “Sand > Quadraphonic Toppling,” bringing the many climactic late ’99 versions to an unquestionable head. Resolving this darkness with a multi-tiered “Slave,” the band commenced the jam without even a beat remaining until it became time to move. Phish let is all hang down on this night, playing a macrocosm of any regular show, we all finally had a place to be instead hallucinating in hotel rooms until the sun came up.

The Beginning of "Roses" (D.Clinch)

Perhaps the most connected piece of music came in the depths of the evening, as the band brought a reprise of “After Midnight” into one of the most hallowed musical passages of their career – set and setting considered. Powerful, soulful, music, channelled from the ether, where every note mattered as much as the next. The final peak of the night came as the sky began to turn a dark grey, foreshadowing the oncoming day. Phish sat into “Roses Are Free” for one of few times since their epic Nassau adventure in April ’98, but never had they again transcended the composition. But when they unshelved the song on the brink of dawn to bring in the millennium’s first sunrise, everyone knew this time would be different. Moving right out of the song into multi-faceted epic, the band passed through several planes of ambient, melodic, and, finally, deeply dark and churning music. The ultimate stage seemed as though the universe’s final plates were shifting into alignment for the onset of the new era.

Before the sun began to rise in earnest, the sky boasted stunning patterns of pink puffy clouds that nobody who witnessed will ever forget. Phish and the forces were at work again, this time collaborating on a soundtrack for the passage of time. And while that is what the entire night represented, the entry back into morning’s light boiled down to the second-only “Roses” jam.

And it was good.

Almost eight hours, or a lifetime later, Phish had finally done it. They had played their “LG.”


“The Long Gig” – Clifford Ball Extras, 1996


Jam of the Day:

Roses Are Free” 12.31.99 > 1.1.00

Here’s the epic piece that brought darkness into the dawn of the millennium, and a sampling of the newly circulating Cypress FOB source, taboot.




7.7.1999 Verizon Wireless Amp, Charlotte, NC < Torrent

7.7.1999 Verizon Wireless Amp, Charlotte, NC < Megaupload

Verizon - Charlotte

Continuing our tour of Summer 2010 venues, here’s Phish’s stop in Charlotte in the Summer of ’99. The second set really brings the heat with its 35 minute “2001 > Disease” and grows more abstract with some ambient sound-sculpting out of “My Left Toe.” After a guitar-driven “Bug,” a catalog of Phish grooves closes the night in one of the summers most infectious “YEMs.”

I: Back on the Train, What’s the Use?, Billy Breathes, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley, Axilla, Rift, Wolfman’s Brother,  Maze, Loving Cup

II: 2001 > Down with Disease,  My Left Toe > Wading in the Velvet Sea > My Left Toe > Bug, You Enjoy Myself

E: Possum* > Funky Bitch*

*Derek Trucks on slide guitar

Source: Schoeps cmc6/mk4v > Lunatec V2 > Tascam DA-P1 (@ 48 kHz)

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963 Responses to “From Darkness Into Light”

  1. bhizzle Says:

    thanks for the hint Luther..he does enjoy reading, but I must ask…will it add fuel to the fire? I really only do serious talking if my pupils are bigger than the moon or if the misses insists

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    no way man I am totally serious about hating the fucking Swiss

    that’s why I posted a Canadian comedy routine to support my position

    this shit is from the heart, it’s personal twixt me and them

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    wife turned me on to Kids in the Hall too luther

    Brain Candy is an all timer for me

    “there were only a couple flipper babies…!!!!!”

  4. voopa Says:

    “i do believe it’s the price of entry.”


  5. bhizzle Says:

    re: the swiss…i really couldn’t give a long as i’m left to my devices

    @ C did you get paid in pocket knives?

  6. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Biggest secret about the swiss I never knew before spending time there is that they can buy really good bud in a shop. Shit, I even saw (and smelled) huge bushes growing in people’s yards. This was fall 98 but I imagine it’s still valid

  7. Foul_Domain Says:

    I wont hold ya back, C. Let ‘er rip.

    Just throwin out some positives, fwiw.

    I feel the same way about French Canadians (sorry, frogs – you just rub me the wrong way)

  8. albert walker Says:

    swiss are turning over all the names of people with bank accounts

    aint good for nothing no more

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    the only thing about them that actually did piss me off

    worked together 2 years, everything went great all the time

    did I ever get some fucking chocolate?

    no I did not.

  10. bhizzle Says:

    are the swiss the only country that have, or used to have, “invisible” accounts? aren’t there some island countries

  11. Luther Justice Says:

    It starts off trying to make these extremist look crazy but as the author gets more into it, he starts to wonder how crazy they really are. However, its use of humor really balances the whole thing out. It might validate some of his beliefs, but it will also get him to think about the validity of his other beliefs.

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    I know @aw

    lot more competetion now too

    used to be like the swiss and the caymans and a couple others

    now every asshole with an island is a data and finance haven

    old school enablers can’t be naming names and think peeps won’t take their loot elsewhere

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    sounds like Illuminatus! without the acid Luther

    never sure if they’re paranoid, or making fun of paranoids, or making fun as part of the coverup, or….

  14. bhizzle Says:

    I ight have to read that myself…i’ve put books down since the little one has arrived…maybe it’s time to pick something up again…but who am i kidding? summer knockng at the door, lawn work, house work, shows….

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I think that’s the root right there, C.

    All work and no swiss chocolate makes Mr. C a pissed off mother fucker

  16. albert walker Says:

    yeah the Cayman’s where it’s at

    the King of England just declared they would never pay taxes for some fucked up reason hundreds of years ago

    there is a good story I can’t remember

    a lot of funds are out of the Caymans
    that’s the place to be

  17. Luther Justice Says:

    Sounds like a great Cayman review! Sorry, had to throw that out there.

  18. gus Says:

    20:56 AC/DC Bag – 1999.09.14

    i’ve listened to this so many times but this is the first time ive heard the birdland tease from mike right there

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’m gonna teach y’all a foolproof method of money laundering

    modern art

    say you find yourself with some cash that is hard to account for

    set yourself up as a modern artist

    spend two hundred bucks setting up a studio and half a day learning how to make semi interesting shapes, maybe incorporate some random found objects

    develop a “style” and then “sell” them for about $500 each…in cash…to yourself. write receipts and burn the art after taking pictures to file with the reciepts.

    50/50 chance after a year someone will decide you’re an actual artist and start buying your shit for real no matter how random it is

  20. jdub Says:

    The book I mentioned earlier refers to the law of attraction, not neccesarily money but more spirit manifest, which in the real world could be wealth. Or phish tickets. It takes karmic law and uses meditative practices to rise above karma rather than be controled by it. It’s nothing new, just a different angle.

    Sorry about the sporadic post, I was pulled away and wanted to finish a thought.

  21. bhizzle Says:

    prolly had dirt on the king

  22. Foul_Domain Says:

    Cayman banking is like a little boy’s piggy bank compared to the Swiss.

    Chump change.

  23. albert walker Says:

    in 1788 some local Cayman cats saved the crew of a Jamaican merchant ship

    must have been some connected cats huh

  24. albert walker Says:

    you saved our bros

    you will never pay taxes

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’d take that chump change. you can even call me chump if you kiss me first

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