What’s Up With Halloween?

"Loving Cup" 10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

With a haunted gallery of 99 possible cover albums and a wild-goose chase with the infamous “Save the Date” map, Phish put together elaborate guessing-games for their fans to hype up Halloween 2009. This year, we have heard nothing at all. The silence around Halloween – the band has made no official announcement as to their intent for the show – has caused some people to question whether Phish will be covering an album at all. With a similar ticket time as the other two Atlantic City shows and billed as a “very special Halloween show,” fans have been left to their own devices to figure out what Halloween will bring.

Halloween 1996

Conventional wisdom – and tradition – dictates that Phish will cover an album during the show’s second set. With nothing stated to the contrary, one would assume business as usual. In addition to fun and mystery, last year’s fanfare around Festival 8 was – in large part – a marketing campaign to get east coasters to Indio. But it was also an aberration. Aside from the fan balloting in 1994 and 1995, the band didn’t made a lot of noise about their Halloween plans in the past, and with a $3 price increase to pre-order the show on LivePhish, the band has all-but confirmed a three-setter. Thus far, fans have stuck with more classic rock hypotheses for Phish’s likely musical costume with Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” leading the charge. Will Phish stick to their path of covering classics, or might they step to a more contemporary record as suggested by several of last year’s finalists? Might they take a stab at the long-time fan favorite, “Thriller,” test the rock and roll fantasy of “Ziggy Stardust,” or honor New Jersey’s native son with “Born to Run?” Would they really try to play Radiohead as rumored was the orginal plan for Indio? The questions abound, but there have been no clues leaked as to the answers.

Halloween 1995

As Fall Tour mail order tickets trickled in over the past couple days, fans began to wonder if the ornate ticket designs – each representing a different Phish song – could be a clue to an alternate Halloween plan. Of six venue-specific designs, four depict Gamehendge-based songs – “Llama,” “Mockingbird,” “Sloth,” and “Punch You In the Eye” – prompting some to theorize that Phish would play Trey’s hallowed musical fable on Halloween…until the last two tickets were discovered to be “Ocelot” and “Dog-Faced Boy.” Others saw an animal theme aside from “Punch” and followed that clue to Pink Floyd’s “Animals.” But having already covered Dark Side during Fall ’98, a repeat artist seems highly unlikely. Like sleuths looking for a needle in a haystack, fans tried to pull any clue from the ticket layout, but, in all likelihood, there are none there.

Per usual, Phish has their fans guessing what is coming next, and that is part of the fun of Halloween. The band has clearly kept their plan under wraps and things will likely remain that way until we walk into Boardwalk Hall on October 31st. And that’s how it should be. While last year’s album elimination brought a lot of fun and the introduction to droves of new music, the essence of Halloween is the unknown – trick or treat? Between now and then, fans will continue to guess what album will fill the second set of October 31st – but if things follow past patterns, Phish will likely surprise us all. “Houses of the Holy?” “Electric Ladyland?” “The Band?” “Lark’s Tongue In Aspic?” “Greetings From Asbury Park?” “Hot Rats?” Your guess is as good as mine…


Jam of the Day:

Free” 12.15.99 II

A stellar ’99 “Free” from Washington, DC that featuring a segment of Trey on keyboard that works masterfully.




10.10.1994 Palace Theatre Louisville, KY < Torrent asap

10.10.1994 Palace Theatre Louisville, KY < Megaupload

The Palace - Louisville, KY

I: Sample in a Jar, The Divided Sky, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Sparkle, Stash, Guyute, The Old Home Place*, Ginseng Sullivan*, Nellie Kane*, Chalk Dust Torture

II: Golgi Apparatus, Maze, Esther, Tweezer, Fee > Rift, Down with Disease, Hold Your Head Up > Love You > Hold Your Head Up, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Foreplay/Long Time*, Tweezer Reprise

* w/ Steve Cooley on banjo

Source: AKG 460 (likely)

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606 Responses to “What’s Up With Halloween?”

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  1. Robear Says:

    billed as a β€œvery special Halloween show,”

    ^that in itself is pretty frickin’ exciting.

  2. garretc Says:

    Robear’s right. If the normal Halloween shows are so awesome, are we even ready as a nation for a “very special Halloween show”?

    I say no…

    Also, Radiohead was rumored as the original F8 plan? I didn’t know that!

  3. joe Says:

    didn’t know that Zepplin was leading the charge in the guessing game, but that’s what I think too (maybe not that album, however). I feel like they are the missing “classic rock act” in the group with the Beatles, Stones and Who. But I’m never right guessing what Phish is going to do, so maybe cross them off your list right now.

  4. Matso Says:

    Maybe they’ll have another band covering a Phish album…

  5. Armenian Man Says:

    Im guessing another band will be sitting in for some translation of a very famous album, just my guess. Oh, and I’m still looking for my Halloween ticket, thats right I just need one very special “golden” ticket so I can get down!!

  6. Too Much Like Dave Says:

    could be Zepp, because that could incorporate the organ in the hall (the world’s largest) in the tune No Quarter.
    My vote is for Spinal Tap

  7. willowed Says:

    10/31 set list
    Set 1 – Split>jam
    Set 2 – Ghost>jam
    Set 3 – Tweezer>jam
    encore: no encore – stage explotion due to the heat Phish just brought!

  8. Jtran Says:

    I liked the way you think willowed πŸ™‚

    I also like not playing a guessing game this year. With no build up it’s almost impossible to be let down.

  9. Jtran Says:

    JOTD is pretty nice

  10. dognamedwilson Says:


    I’m curious, what is the title of the book that is the source of your avatar?

  11. Rivertrance Says:

    I feel the classic rock blues based album is off the table since that style was fully explored with exile making Zep or Jimi very unlikely. Like others have stated I expect a more experimental album like late seventies Bowie, solo Eno, or possibly the long awaited Zappa. Have a good day BB.

  12. kenny powers Says:

    awesome Willowed.

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    mornin all

    hope the day finds you well. nice setlist there, willowed. my only critique is that there isn’t enough jamming involved. πŸ˜‰

    A Clockwork Orange is the source of tickethunter’s avatar.

  14. lastwaltzer Says:

    My picks:


  15. Prince Nabby Says:

    I’m with Robear; “very special” is good enough for me! No guessing here. I’m going to surrender to the flow and let what happens happens πŸ™‚

  16. BeantownBoy Says:

    Trade of the Day:

    1 10/29 Reserved (Sec. 214) for 1 GA Manchester

    Hit me up:

  17. BeantownBoy Says:

    and good morning, BB.

    Feeling so good after yesterday’s chaos.
    Thanks again for all the encouragement and I’m “all in” for AC–again.

  18. lastwaltzer Says:

    I think its going to be:


  19. BTB Says:

    Armenian Man – haven’t seen you post before. Must say, that is an excellent BB screen name!

    ‘Pasty White Cheeks’ screen name still available?

    My vote is for Zappa. Long overdue.

  20. lastwaltzer Says:


    where did you hear that the original choice was Radiohead?

  21. lastwaltzer Says:


    which one?

  22. P.S.H.S. Says:

    Any Bowie album would be a treat. Isn’t there some weird story about led zep, a fish, and a groupie? I think I saw it on vh1 crazy rock and roll moments, it may of even happened in nj

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I hope they decide to really take on something truly challenging this year.
    maybe something that’ll shock everyone with how well they have mastered their musical craft again.
    or something that no one expects.
    perhaps something with so much face melting potential that they need an extra permit from the city due to the threat to the audience.
    but definitely something so legendary it will be talked about for generations.

  24. SillyWilly Says:


    That’s great news!

    Good morning, Kids

  25. Leo Weaver Says:

    Morning folks! A nice rainy day here in Charlotte. Good day for some CAD training and bagels. Y’all have a good one!

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