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?”

  1. ThePigSong Says:

    “Maybe theyโ€™ll have another band covering a Phish albumโ€ฆ”


  2. phoammhead Says:

    Glad to hear it @Beantown! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. ThePigSong Says:

    oh wait…

    two in a row suggested the “other band” idea – am I missing something?

  4. SillyWilly Says:

    this may sound silly, but I like it when Phish plays Phish.

  5. b-rock Says:

    Morning all! Great writeup and great Free today. The “Trey on keys” really works in this one.

    11 years ago today — Memphis Pyramid. Sickest 2001 EVER.

  6. EL Duderino Says:

    They’re gonna do SCI – Born On The Wrong Planet.

    Mark It 8 Dude

  7. BTB Says:

    waltzer – any of Zappa’s 56 or so albums ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I just really want to hear PH play “moving to Montana”

  8. EL Duderino Says:

    “11 years ago today โ€” Memphis Pyramid. Sickest 2001 EVER.”

    I wonder how much coke and dope Trey did that night?

  9. BTB Says:

    b-rock – I listened to that 2001 yesterday. Crunchy grooves brah

  10. nonoyolker Says:

    I’m with rivertrance 100%. they did their classic/blues rock album last year. also leaning toward bowie or eno. ziggy, hunky, before/after science, another green world – all high in the running me thinks.

    though it was a marketing gimmick (and a good one), i liked the format of the killing off albums/save the date antics. definitely whipped this community into a frenzy. got my east coast self out west (but i would’ve gone anyway…)

    just got a fed ex confirmation on my lotto tix ::unclenches jaw muscles for the first time in a week::

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I really need to stop trying to post comments with so many links. the humor is lost when it ends up getting moderated after the fact and ends up five pages behind. ๐Ÿ™

  12. b-rock Says:

    @dude – whatever he did put him in some unique head space to make those ridiculous sounds. I think that night was as far as he ever took the machine noises and loops.

  13. SillyWilly Says:


    dont get down on yourself.

    you play with a lot of heart, hustle, and tenacity.

  14. Uncle Jam Says:

    Uncle Jam wants you to do what your supposed to do and play Electric Spanking of War Babies.

  15. EL Duderino Says:


    Just tell us how you really feel!

  16. EL Duderino Says:

    @ b-rock

    I went to the show the night before @ Oak Mountain…

    Best show of Summer/Fall ’99 IMO.

  17. EL Duderino Says:

    Are both nights of Charleston tix Mockingbirds???

  18. b-rock Says:

    yeah dude – 9/28 they kicked the funk hard and served up a meaty Tweezer to go along with it. Good stuff there.

  19. Guyute711 Says:

    Are both nights of Charleston tix Mockingbirds???


  20. EL Duderino Says:

    @ guyute711

    They’re exactly the same???

  21. ThePigSong Says:

    if anyone is still unclear about how many requests via PTBM I just called music today.

    Dude said all you need is a different email. I’m not going to risk putting multiple requests in my name, but it gives me a little piece of mind submitting under my wifes card and my card. (same addy/name)

  22. EL Duderino Says:

    That doesn’t sound right.

    1 CC # and 1 name per order.

  23. Guyute711 Says:

    Yeah they are the same duder

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    ::puts on flame retardant jumpsuit::

    while I understand the appeal of the 9.29.99 2001, it doesn’t grab me quite like the uber funked ones (like 11.19.97, for example). sure it’s nice and elongated, but there’s more noodling about than anything in there to my ears. maybe that’s patience or maybe that’s where they were then or maybe it is the aforementioned potential intake that night, but I’ll take my 2001s raging, funky, and peaked out, thank you very much. and I’m confident that my opinion of this one would be completely different had I been there that night so there goes your use of that argument. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  25. BingosBrother Says:

    Length and Width are equally important.

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