All Sorts of Encores

Merriweather '09 (K.Pusey)

Phish shows are made up of two sets…and an encore. Often an afterthought, or a buffer zone between the Phish world and outside reality, encores provide the come-down of any show. As the band plays different types of shows nightly, it only follows that they also hold a spectrum of encores; various flavored cherries to top off their unique musical sundaes. Below are a general categories of Phish’s encores, and some examples of each.


Jones Beach 6.4 (W.Rogell)

Standard Buffer Zones: These encores neither add to a show nor take away. They are often the meaningless, missing pieces of many a late-night, hotel room, setlist re-creation. Sometimes these encores are exactly what one needs to gather their wits and personal belongings before exiting the vehicle. These encores can pop up after any two sets of music, standard or superb, representing the requisite 5 to 8 minutes that the crowd has come to expect, in essence, mere formalities and definitive farewells until the next show.

Examples: “Julius,” “Suzie,” “Frankenstein,” “Character Zero,” “Loving Cup,” “Squirming Coil”


Signature Encores: After particularly stellar shows, Phish often comes out with one signature piece that leaves an indelible stamp on the evening. These encores not only bring the show to another peak, they are played to celebrate the mastery that has just ensued. Like putting the finishing brush strokes on a masterpiece, these encores are Phish’s musical autographs on unforgettable shows.

Examples: “You Enjoy Myself,” “Slave,” “Harry Hood,” “Harpua”


12.29.09 (W.Rogell)

The Rocking Encore: Often following high-energy sets, Phish will come out with a ballad into a rocking finale, or simply a rocker alone. Meant to leave everyone geeked-out and drooling for more, these encores, often taking the form of covers, generally leave everybody smiling.

Examples: “First Tube,” “Good Times, Bad Times,” ” Sleeping Monkey, Tweezer Reprise,” “Rock and Roll,” “Fire,”Chalk Dust Torture”


The Token Encore: Falling within the conceptual framework of the “Standard Buffer Zone,” these encores are even less significant. Providing time to spark a final joint, or do whatever it is you need to do, these encores are going nowhere from the get-go, and that is their point. Often squeezed into shows running late, or tacked onto sets in which the band wanted to get off stage, these encores represent the minimal required effort for the band.

Examples: “Bouncin,” “Rocky Top,” “Waste,” “Sample,” “Contact,” “Golgi,” “Cavern”


12.30.09 (S.WIlliams)

Wild Cards: Occasionally Phish will come out and play a encore so disjointed from the show, one wonders where they came up with the idea at all. These are not necessarily poor encores, just final statements that come directly out of left field. The one you never saw coming, and nobody in the place predicted. Odd song placement to end a show can end an evening with a strange vibe, not spoiling anything – just plain odd. The following encores, with dates, provide some concrete examples of some of these bizarre phenomena.

Examples: “Axilla, Taste” – 9.18.00, Blossom, “Reba, Bold As Love” – 9.21.99, Tucson, “Rocky Top, Hydrogen, Julius” – 10.7.99, Nassau


Multi-Song Finales: Sometimes Phish will kick down two or three songs at the end of the show, exciting some more than others on a routine basis. Perhaps stringing together a couple “Token” encores, or featuring one larger song amidst some slower ones, these encores come in all shapes and sizes. I’ll choose one long encore over couple shorties any day of the week, but to each their own. These final couplets can feature bust-outs in their run of songs as well.

The Classic Example: “Glide, Camel Walk, Alumni Blues, Tweezer Reprise” – 7.24.99, Alpine


Jam of the Day:

Bathtub Gin” 7.5.94 II

This scorching and creative Summer ’94 “Gin” morphed into the second set’s improvisational highlight in Ottawa, Canada.




5.2.92  Cabaret Metro, Chicago, IL < Torrent

5.2.92 Cabaret Metro, Chicago, IL < Megaupload

Hitting their stride in Spring ’92.

I: Runaway Jim, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Icculus > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Sparkle, Reba, Maze, Bouncing Around the Room, Stash, The Squirming Coil, Llama

II: Glide, David Bowie > Band/Crew Football Theme Song > David Bowie, Tela, Foam, You Enjoy Myself, Chalk Dust Torture, Cold as Ice > Cracklin’ Rosie > Cold as Ice, Cavern

Encore: Sleeping Monkey, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars

Notes: Both Forbin and Stash referenced the Los Angeles riots that ensued after the Rodney King verdict was announced.

Source: (FOB) Neumann RSM191A-S > Neumann MTX191A > Panasonic SV255(@48K)


524 Responses to “All Sorts of Encores”

  1. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    I had a very odd dream last night. All I remember is “Houses In Motion” playing and a bunch of freaky shit was going on. It did one of those things where I “woke up” but was still in the dream. Strange way to start the morning

  2. jdub Says:

    AintNoTele, I have never had very lucid dreams aside from very rare occasions. That is wild that you are able to connect with your dreams. I really like the idea of jumping off of stuff, what a liberating experience that may carry with you in waking states in the form of releasing from fears.

    Now Alex Grey has been in a few altered states, he paints with the sole purpose of connecting the viewer of his art with the higher planes of consciousness. He may have indeed been communicating with you.. cool indeed.

    Somehow this all relates to phish…

  3. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    I’ve had a few lucid dreams, but usually right as I realize i am having a lucid dream I wake up 🙁

  4. KWL Says:

    hey BB

    going through BB withdraw w/out internet at home anymore.

    ruination is a top 5 for me, best of 3 great IPAs at stone (the others being IPA and arrogant bastard). the price means i only get it in 20oz bottles, and only for special occasions. always worth it.

    like it when people get their meditation thoughts on ’round here.

  5. jdub Says:

    T3, look out for post number 420 tomorrow. I’m thinking SOAM is on top of that. If the board paces itself it could happen at the appropriate time, todays #420 was around 5.

  6. cal Says:

    Evening, folks! Glad I decided to catch up.

    SW, thrilled to hear about your breakthrough with meditation! Don’t get discouraged when that doesn’t happen every time…but prepare for the possibility of your whole understanding of the universe beginning to slowly and irrevocably change. (for the better, of course)

    TIIIPD–That is a high-grade IPA for sure.

    Tele–I’ve had some totally insane lucid dreams in the past. It is very rare for me these days. I’ve never determined exactly why. I know that when I used to have a really messed up schedule, sleeping for 3-4 hours in the afternoon every day, I had lucid dreams constantly. It took me a long time to be able to repress the urge to freak out and force myself awake, but worlds opened up after that…

    There were times I woke up so freaked out I had to leave my house and just walk around for a while. Seeing close friends’ faces morphing into other people in a super-lifelike dream, yeah, kinda makes you feel ill, especially when you force yourself awake, but you just wake into another dream over and over again. But I kind of relish those memories now. Not as much as the flying ones or the ones where I’d discover some guru who’d walk me through crazy mystical alternate universes…

    Or the Phish dreams, of course. Not much beats those.

  7. AintNoTele Says:

    Yeah BK, its like something clicks and you suddenly realize that you are in a dream, then you get all excited and wake yourself up.

    jdub: Becoming lucid happens every few months or so, few and far between no doubt. But i got to sleep every night telling myself I will become lucid.

    I always end up jumping off really high stuff into the water. I’m in a situation I dont like and jump away and end up in an awesome place, baptized or born anew in the water if you will. I have some crazy ass dreams, like parasailing behind a car without a sail and just being dragged high up in the air and not liking it, so i grab a telephone wire and slingshot myself into the sky and fall into a pond of which i dive down into the darkness to find an underwater base (like in the abyss). And i could breathe underwater with all the sharks…wtf

  8. jdub Says:

    ^Sounds like a blast Tele, I think i am going to try and have some Lucid dreams and see what happens.

    I remember as five year old dreaming I got a new bike. I was so excited when I woke up in the morning that I ran outside to ride it. Only to be bummed when I finally realized it was dream. Funny what stays with you.

  9. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    A lot of the dreams I have (the ones I remember the next morning anyways) are normally very dark/strange/sad. Not sure if this is a good thing or not.

    I read that if you have happy dreams all of the time it is your sub-conscious trying to avoid the reality of what is going on in your life. So maybe my dreams are a good thing?

    Interesting conversation.

    Well, I am off to bed for tonight. Sweet dreams! 🙂

    Like to make final happy birthday wishes to Robear. Hope you enjoyed it!

  10. AintNoTele Says:

    Bummer Jdub!

    Everynight I convince myself that I’m in control, hopefully once a month shit will go down

    I’ve also tried laying on my back and holding an arm straight up. When you start to fall asleep your arm drops and you catch it. This get you comfortable in that state between sleep and awake because you catch yourself right in that zone. But I dont like that in between area, freaks me out cuz you can open your eyes but still be in a kind of dream ( like sleep paralysis), can be scary in the darkness

  11. AintNoTele Says:

    Alright, I gotta go. kinda psyched to go to sleep now.

    This is why the song sleep kicks to much ass. Perfect lyrics in my book and they always follow it with something that has meaning, like the gorge destiny unbound (subconsc becons you to sleep into a place where there are boundless destinies) or 98 grand rapids sleep.tela. Go to sleep into gamehenge. Be on the lookout for sleep into something cool. Its one of my favs along with driver. Awesome lyrics.

  12. jdub Says:

    So the key is to work on being conscious (as much as you can) of your transition state which may then lead to lucid dreaming?

    Was it Castaneda who claimed he was able to transport himself around the planet and communicate with other people while dreaming. Whether he did it or not I would like to believe it is possible. No harm in believing that I suppose.

    Glad I jumped on late night. Time to work on that lucid dreaming thing.

    Sweet Dreams all.

  13. jdub Says:

    ^^Love sleep for those exact reasons. The only time I caught sleep was 2.28.03 after a Gin and before one of the best standard GBOTTs.

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    Im off to bed, but I wanted to say thanks a lot, Cal, for all your insights!

    re: dreaming

    I dream every night and I can usually recall more than one of my dreams from the previous night.

    I always have this dream where I can fly. I fly over trees, buildings, anything. It’s cool, but troubling in its inexplicableness.

    I don’t know much about dreaming. There seems to be a lot of truth in dreams being the desires of your unconscious.

    Im also an extremely light sleeper after two or three hours in.

    I have lucid dreams all the time. Whenever I take a nap, I have dreams that I need to wake up and I know I have to be somewhere. I usually know, too, that my dreams are just dreams.

    Whenever I have nightmares, I usually break the tension by yelling “Fuck you!!” to whatever is about to get me and flipping it off. Don’t know why, but this happens very often.

    Dreams are eerie. Scare me both for their content (nightmares) but also for what my unconscious is trying to tell me.

  15. bwana sun Says:

    my favorite in-person encore ever: “smells like teen spirit”!!!

    purely for THE show that it capped off…

  16. Henry Says:


    The late night Bonnaroo set was my first, and yes they didn’t go off til about 2:15 if i remember correctly.

  17. halcyon Says:

    Beautiful evening. Dales Pale Ale, great dinner, and to cap it off, just watched UP with the Mrs. Good Flick.

    Good Night BB.

  18. sumodie Says:

    Wonder what kind of tour Phish would have to do to break the MSG sell out record? Entire fall/winter tour is only one city?

    Still praying for a festival…

  19. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:


    For a while i was having this reoccurring dream that really was any dream,
    then all of a sudden i would feel my teeth were feeling loose, then proceeded to either spit out all of my teeth like bloody pearls on my hand or yank em with great ease one by one… I looked it up in a dream dictionary and it said that
    I wasn’t at ease with my current situation and I was afraid or stressed about something… It totally made sense with my living arrangements a the time…

    I love the transitional stage, to me thats just like being on psychedelics

  20. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    The boys from vermont could pull off the first indoor festival at MSG if they open other areas, ive heard that place is huge…. would be awesome
    locked up in the MSG in the middle of winter

  21. brother Says:

    GOOD GOD! just listened to the weekend JOTD 2001-bowie. i’m gonna need a moment to gather myself…..and I just got home, packed a bowl while 2001 was playin, just held the bowl in my hand during the bowie and didn’t think to puff it……completely engrossed. I never listen to enough bowie’s and I don’t know why cause they always blow me away. Besides 12-29-94 what are some of the faves out there off the top? (not the waaaay out there ones per se but intense 12-18min variety)

  22. brother Says:

    Ok, I’ve just listened to the end of that bowie again….in the first manteca tease, the guitar riff that trey is playing is not manteca, even though they are singing it, it is “tequila” or whatever that song is that is in “pee-wee herman’s big adventure” when he is dancing on the bar with the big shoes??? I am not trippin. take a listen and tell me if i’m wrong. the very end of the jam when he teases it, it is manteca, but not the first time, it is a very distinct difference.

  23. brother Says:

    actually it is page playing the “tequila” part in the first tease…no doubt about it

  24. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    happy holidays everyone!
    celebrating with 12.7.97 which i havent heard in a very long time… amazing.

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