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)

Tags: ,

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

  1. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    @halcy/others. I can play a Calexico album from rhapsody on my way into town. What should I check out? Thanks

  2. Mr.palmer Says:

    Marijuana Inc on CNBC right now.

  3. KWL Says:

    best shows that don’t typify a year’s sound:

    6/14/00 and 4/3/98 come to mind

    the former completely unique, the latter the culmination of fall 97 sound

  4. halcyon Says:


    Feast of Wire
    Hot Rail
    Garden Ruin
    Convict Pool

    In the Reins – Album recorded with Iron and Wine

    Any of these will provide a good intro to them.

  5. plord Says:


  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    who knows dude Arcade Fire could be fun live (he says encouragingly)

    12.31.95 actually doesn’t resonate that well with me compared to the rest of 95. most of this fall 95 stuff I listen to has a kind of chaotic, wild energy I don’t hear in that NYE show for the most part…its great though…and of course I’m still a n00b when it comes to 95

    someone recommended 10-11-95 as a nice aud from that era and they were right, I remembered I already had that and hadn’t spun it in awhile. Pretty clean pull.

  7. MisterChristian Says:

    Roger Waters in Boston tomorrow!

    No, its not Pink Floyd, and the Rog’ isn’t the most respected member of the Floyd, but this could quite possibly be the closest we’ll get to a real Pink Floyd show. Wish Roger and Gilmour could work things out.

  8. brother Says:

    see C, i feel that 12-31-95 sorts of wraps of all of fall 95 quite nicely. you can find the best of what they were doing that run in jams like Drowned, Jim, Mikes, Week>Sea and Sand, Yem. And many versions rival the best played in that period (or ever some would argue).

  9. brother Says:

    “wraps up”

  10. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Sad story here locally. A Ridgewood NJ kid ( gdad’s hometown and 10 minuted from me) who was freshman at Rutgers apparently jumped off the GW Bridge and killed himself after his roommate and his friend thought it would be funny to set up a hidden webcam and record a homosexual encounter the man had.

    The two will be charged with something. Hopefully something harsh.


  11. Jtran Says:

    Anyone see zzyzx’s post on facebook today re: Kid Rock 10 years ago? Funny he forgot to mention the Gin jam that show 😉

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    In my personal pantheon of mid-era Pink Floyd I actually place Waters higher than Gilmour, though obviously the dynamic between them is really what made that era of Floyd. Post-Waters “Pink Fraud” doesn’t do a damn thing for me, is really the evidence…

    I’ve seen Waters a couple times and really liked it. I bet you have a great time! Last time, the second set opening “Set the Controls” was the definite highlight. Very cool.

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    I saw that story @palmer

    cruel, thoughtless morons…

  14. InAMinute Says:

    i’m surprised anyone would say the new arcade fire album is boring – i couldn’t agree less. but to each his own.

    hi all Fired up for a few weeks!

    Set 1: Gamehendge
    Set 2: Bowie – Hunky D (what I’d really like to see)
    Set 3: Greetings from Ashbury w/ Bruce
    E: UB40: Red Red Wine

    I’d be impressed if Phish could pull off any radiohead album.

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    I dunno @brother. I agree there are lots of like prototypical versions of songs in that show, and I do understand why it’s so highly regarded, but it sounds more like 96 than 95 to me somehow. But like I said, that’s the era (95-96) that I’m still really learning my way around.

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    @InAMinute, it’s interesting how polarized the response is. Everyone I know that checks it out either really likes it or really doesn’t, or that’s how it seems…

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    I think I need to be much, much higher to really approach this Janelle Monae album correctly. I feel like I’m doing it wrong and missing the point.

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    that’s a fucked up story, palmer. those two have some bad karma coming their way for sure.

    as a huge floyd fan growing up, roger was always my favorite aspect of the band (though gimlour’s soaring solos were pretty intergral to my appreciation of the band as well, I suppose). Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking is still a favorite album of mine.

    I wish I was catching his Wall show here this week, but I had to choose my live music battles and the cost of that one would pay for more than one other night of music. so it goes.

  19. InAMinute Says:

    @C – I assume you’ve seen her performance from letterman a few months back – pretty impressive stuff. have not heard much more.

    people who liked previous arcade fire albums that don’t like the new one or people who don’t like arcade fire in general?

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    What new music are people liking lately? Fall time brings a new music mood for me in general.

    Some stuff I have been liking lately:

    Digital Mystikz – Return II Space (Mala, the greatest sound in dubstep)
    VA – New York Noise comps on Soul Jazz (no wave stuff from the late 70’s)
    Laetitia Sadier – The Trip (singer from Stereolab, very fallish and nicoish)
    Caribou – Caribou Vibration Ensemble featuring Marshall Allen (awesome)
    VA – Jamaica to Toronto Soul Funk & Reggae 1967-1974
    VA – Psychedelic Jazz & Soul (from the Atlantic and Warner vaults)
    King Cannibal – The Way of The Ninja [2010] [Mixtape]

  21. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Janelle Monae opening for Of Montreal here in Seattle in November. Should be a great show. My jury is still out for Monae, but I love oM. Should be a truly weird show in both cases.

    Oh right, the Arcade Fire show…

    Will check out Calexico. I LOVE Iron and Wine. The Creek Drank the Cradle is profound.

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    ha! “gimlour” looks like a Tolkien character name.

  23. KWL Says:


    thank you for saving, and ruining, my weekend

    (with this: http://www.rydercup.com/2010/usa/multimedia/video/live_video.cfm)

    – kwl –

  24. KWL Says:

    make that, this: http://www.rydercup.com/2010/usa/multimedia/video/live_video.cfm

    – kw ‘fore’ l –

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    “roger was always my favorite aspect of the band”

    ^^^ that’s well put. you can really hear how their personalities meshed to create the different aspects of the music and it was Roger’s contribution that seemed like the root of it to me (post syd of course)

    not meant as a dis to Gilmour who is one of the greatest and most influential guitarists ever, without question.

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