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. kayatosh Says:

    good call (type III, I believe) on the 7.30.2009 stash. also picked up the billy breathes from that show on your rec. taylorc’s 2009 red rocks recordings are $$$, especially for that tricky venue to record in.

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    Janelle Monae and Of Montreal seems like an ideal pairing. OM has a track on the JM album. haven’t seen the Letterman, I just got hip to this album recently. I have her earlier EP too but haven’t spun it yet.

    I’ve liked a couple earlier Arcade Fire better than I do this one, but I’ve never really been blown away by them

  3. halcyon Says:

    angry j

    been digging in the catalog and listening to

    charlatans uk
    jonell monae
    belle and sebastian
    Black Heart Procession
    Camera Obscura
    David Grisman

    to name a few that have been in rotation

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    taylorc’s aud is I think what was used on the publicly circulating TeamHood vid from RR, it sounds great, very punchy and clean

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    for me it’s this JM album, the Deerhunter, and fall ’95 phish.

  6. InAMinute Says:

    Here’s Janelle on Letterman – great stuff.


    If you’ve not, I suggest seeing a live Arcade Fire show, very impressive, actually met Bowie at the first show I saw of theirs – at Irving PLaza in NYC. David Byrne came on and played Naive Melody with them for the encore and I was blown away.

  7. angryjoggerz Says:

    Halcyon, I had a weird year where I met the Charlatans UK 3 times in 2 cities. I was not stalking them or anything, but I did like them a lot (was pretty into that whole manchester thing, i admit). nice guys. I guess they are still around.

  8. kayatosh Says:

    he used a 10′ split at RR, which is apparently the way to go.

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    wow. I haven’t listened to charlatans uk in too long. I got into them while working in a record store after college. some friendly and between 10th and 11th are albums I wore out. if anyone is interested in that brit sound from the mid-90s I can upload a bunch of that stuff.

    not sure if you ever saw it, but I still haven’t located my stash of john prine. just seems to have vanished. I can’t find it anywhere.

    glad you liked that stash. I recall thinking right as it ended that it was the type of version that told me they were back for real.

  10. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Here’s a Fall ’95 new source.. 9.29.95 Greek Theatre.

    Disc 1:
    -Set I-
    1.AC/DC Bag
    3.Divided Sky
    4.Strange Design
    5.Cars Trucks Buses
    6.You Enjoy Myself
    7.Sweet Adeline
    8.Suzy Greenberg

    Disc 2:
    -Set II-
    1.Also Sprach Zarathustra >
    4.Ya Mar
    5.Split Open and Melt
    6.Billy Breathes
    7.HYHU > Cryin’ > HYHU
    8.A Day in the Life
    9.crowd noise

    10.E: Chalk Dust Torture

    FOB Schoeps. I’m gonna pull it and check it.


  11. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Alright, I’m out. Thanks for the pick-me-up, BB, maybe Calexico will be good. And live shows can always surprise you. If not, there’s always the rest of my fall: Black Keys, Of Montreal, Cactus, and of course the NW Phish tour in December that Miner promised.


  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    ah that’s the track with big boi on the album. excellent performance

  13. Selector J Says:

    “I recall thinking right as it ended that it was the type of version that told me they were back for real.”

    My sentiments exactly.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    oooh a mid second set ’95 Split, got my attention

    definitely let me know if you dig the source @kp

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    the RR ’09 Stash? yeah that was a pivotal moment for them last summer no doubt. It was like “oh YES!! they CAN still do that…!”

  16. Selector J Says:

    re: big boi
    Read a review of his new one in Austin’s free weekly paper where the guy compared Andre and Big Boi to MJ and Pippen. Apparently the guy knew nothing about Outkast, basketball, or both.

    Awful, awful, awful analogy.

  17. voopa Says:

    That LA Greek show is great. Fuckin’ great! Nice to see a new source.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    that’s the total outsider meathead view of Outkast. Big Boi’s flow is redonkulous. Mad respect to him as an MC.

  19. voopa Says:

    Actually that’s a reseed. That source has been in circ since 3/04.

  20. Mr.Palmer Says:

    voopa or C. I’m a relative torrent noob. this Greek ’95 show only 688MB. seems small, no? Maybe because its shn not flac? does this take away from quality?

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    I’ve been saddened to discover that the burner on my macbook pro is starting to error. a bunch of disks I’ve burned recently have glitches starting in the last 15-20 minutes of the disk, which is an odd but very annoying error.

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    shn and flac are identical quality (lossless, by definition, that should be the case)

    flacs are actually supposed to be slightly smaller on average I think, dunno

    have you heard the source @voopa?

  23. voopa Says:

    No, shn is still lossless, in fact this show in FLAC would probably be a little smaller. It’s just on the short side. But it’s fun filled and “jam packed”!

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    688MB isn’t crazy small for a 2 CD show, to answer your actual question

  25. voopa Says:

    I haven’t heard it in a long, long time. I’ll dig it up right now.

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