We are officially one week from 2010’s opening night in Chicago, so this will be the last installment of “Ten Tunes” until July. Sticking with the theme of tour openers, all of today’s selections come from the first show of summer tour, chronologically ordered from 1993 to 2000. Enjoy the last Friday with old Phish jams, and start preparing for new ones!
The debut of Trey’s serene instrumental led into a Phish classic to punctuate set one of Summer ’93 in Weedsport, New York. “Leprechaun” would only see the stage twice more in its life, both times during this summer. “Runaway Jim” continued its well-trodden path to become one of the band’s most popular songs, appearing 330 times in its career. (Currently at 14th.)
Though Spring blended into Summer in ’94, the band took a week off after Laguna Seca Daze before returning in June in Salt Lake City, Utah. This “Mike’s Groove” provided a heavy ending to a relatively lite show.
“Stash” 6.7.95 I
Opening up Summer ’95 in Boise, Idaho, Phish used this first-set “Stash” as an initiation into the many dark excursions that would characterize the tour.
“Antelope” 8.2.96 II
After an extensive tour of Europe, primarily opening for Santana, Phish returned to the states for a two-week trip across the country. This “Antelope” closed the second set of ’96’s tour opener in Park City, Utah.
“David Bowie” 7.21.97 II
Following a mythological tour de funk in Europe, Phish came home to Virginia Beach in one of the most anticipated tour openers ever. The stories of thick molasses dance parties traveled across the pond, and US fans were starved for a taste. This “David Bowie, however, didn’t follow the rhythmic trend, forming the psychedelic centerpiece of the second set. A tasteful quote of The Weather Report’s “Birdland” emerges in the intro.
“Ghost” 6.30.98 I
The reworked version of “Ghost” kicked off Summer ’98 as the opener in Christiana’s first show. While one of the all-time great versions of the song took place in the same building only two nights later, the exploratory process started right here.
“Free” 6.30.99 II
Like a freight train running straight through your brain, this “Free” came out of the second set-opening “Squirming Coil” and rightfully baptized Summer ’99 with its militant jam. Phish began this tour in the open-air environs of Bonner Springs, Kansas.
“Tweezer” 6.9.00 II
Sparking the second set of Summer 2000, “The Tokyo Tweezer” set the tone for Japan’s excellent adventures.