The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

12.31.09 (Wendy Rogell)

December – one of the Phishiest months of the year. We have once again returned to the last page on the calendar, and with each passing day, memories of epic Phish shows flood our memories. This month is especially significant as it represents the 15-year anniversary of December ’95, one of the most powerful months of music that Phish has ever produced. In addition, early December brings memories of Fall ’97’s home stretch from Philadelphia out to the Midwest and back to Albany. And of course, December goes hand in hand with New Year’s Runs – one of Phish’s greatest traditions. Many monumental moments have come over the four final days of the year, and as Phish returns to the same two venues that hosted their epic run 15 years ago, it will be (in the word of living-legend Yogi Berra) deja vu all over again. Over the next few weeks, we will look back at significant December moments in Phish history, especially at the band’s legacies at Worcester and Madison Square Garden. But today, on December 6, there are two significant segments of music that celebrate their birthday. Hailing from 1997 – the all-timer – “Tweezer > Izabella,” and from Phish’s ’96 Vegas extravaganza, a sizzling “Mike’s > Simple > Hood > Weekapaug.”

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Tweezer > Izabella” 12.6.1997 – Auburn Hills, Michigan

Fall 1997

The “Tweezer” from The Palace at Auburn Hills, Michigan on December 6, 1997 needs no introduction. Amidst a well-loved and uber-creative tour filled with superb “Tweezers,” this version took the cake. Carving out, and then transcending, the gargantuan funk grooves that defined Fall ’97 versions, this one opened the door to another galaxy. Taking the jam on an inter-galactic ride Phish threw one of the defining “Tweezers” of the late-’90s thirteen years ago tonight. An unforgettable experience, when the set ended I knew that it would stand any test of time. And sure enough, over a decade later, here we are. A full-band journey into the center of the universe and back again, seldom do jams come together like this one did. Last week a friend posed the absurd question – “If you had one day to live and could only listen to one more “Tweezer,” which would it be?” Without hesitation I replied “12.6.97.” With no further ado, Happy Birthday to my favorite “Tweezer!”

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph97-12-06d2t1.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph97-12-06d2t2.mp3]

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Mike’s > Simple > Harry HoodWeekapaug” 12.6.1996 – Aladdin Theatre, Las Vegas, NV

Vegas ’96 Pollock

Phish pulled into The Aladdin Theatre in Las Vegas for the last stop on their extensive fall tour of 1996. Though everybody remembers the absurd and extensive “Harpua” encore featuring many Elvis impersonators, Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde of Primus, yodelers, and various other stage antics that punctuated the affair, earlier in the night, Phish dropped an hour-long “Mike’s Groove” that provided the musical meat of tour’s finale. Starting with a ferocious “Mike’s Song,” the band crunched the darkness, straddling the slowed down rhythmic style of late-Fall ’96 and their fleeting arena rock paradigm. Blasting through an aggressive version on the heels of San Diego’s monster two day’s earlier, the band landed seamlessly in “Simple.” This extended version contained the most original improv of the sequence, as Phish passed through a tranquil pond into a web of snarling musical textures, and then onto a soaring transcendent plane. Descending into an explosive and heart-melting “Harry Hood,” the band pushed the delicate music with exquisite energy and urgency, sculpting a top-shelf rendition of lore. Trey’s guitar leads took on a narrative quality that lent an especially cathartic aura to this “Harry Hood,” and the entire band stamped the tour’s “farewell jam” with a dizzying peak. A smoking run through “Weekapaug” bookended this adventurous musical suite, and added one last sprint to the end of Fall 1996.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph96-12-06d2t03.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph96-12-06d2t04.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph96-12-06d2t05.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph96-12-06d2t06.mp3]

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Jam of the Day:

Reba” 12.31.93 I

Here is the sublime version from the Worcester Centrum on New Year’s Eve 1993 to kick of the week.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/PH1993-12-31D1T05.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

8.26.1993 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, OR

Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

Summer ’93 Pollock T-Shirt

A relic from August 1993, this show from Portland, Oregon smokes from beginning to end. A particularly burly “Split” highlights the first set, while “2001 > Bowie” opens up the second half with a bang. Enjoy this show from one of Phish’s golden months in history, going out via reader request to Chuck D.

I: Runaway Jim, Guelah Papyrus, Reba, Fee, Split Open and Melt, Esther, It’s Ice, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > David Bowie, Lifeboy, Rift, Jesus Just Left Chicago, The Lizards, Hold Your Head Up > Mice and Bats*> Hold Your Head Up, Chalk Dust Torture

E: Free Bird

* w/ Baby Gramps, who was also the opening act.

Source: (FOB) Neumann km140 > Sonosax SX-M2 > Sony D-10 II pro (@ 48 kHz)

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524 Responses to “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

  1. Mr.Miner Says:

    re: sneaking stuff into shows. Not like this is hard, but nothing like the festival bong…1-2 foot glass tubes for in show puffing.

  2. ren Says:

    Hey Miner! Thanks for getting the clock up

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    Rl be trollin. Tryin to ruin my tweezer. Snuck myself into the Clifford Ball. Both days.

  4. Multibeast Says:

    I wonder how many view of that vid RL has contributed to?

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    about 75% at least

  6. Multibeast Says:

    Is it similar to the situation where a republican is publicly anti gay but is truly in the closet? Is RL in the ‘fake jerry’ closet spinning the bouncin’ coda on the daily?

  7. ren Says:

    For all you SLR guys

    http://www.alexandrosmaragos.com/2012/12/canon-eos-remote-app.html

    pretty sweet

  8. BingosBrother Says:

    He’s def watched it more times than anyone else on this planet. aw yeahhhh…

  9. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ren, need a Wi-Fi capable D-SLR for that. eg. the new 6D. most pro cameras don’t have that functionality.

  10. MmmHmm Says:

    Any advice for MSG champagne? Brought in small bottles last few years and kept them cool in cups full of ice under the seats. Tried to sneak in a big bottle in pant leg and in camelback under all shirts on different folks. both got found. Best thing in: Brought a cooler backpack with a false bottom in MSG 2 years back. snuck 10 beers w. ice in the false bottom and sec didn’t find. Just put the back on the floor, opened the top up and pulled out jackets and enough mess where people were getting antsy and I got pushed thru. Saved me $125 in beer that night at least…

  11. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ^in fact, that app is only for the 6D.

  12. voopa Says:

    Yeah I was surprised to find out that my DSLR wouldn’t do WIFI unless the memory card had it.

    “What is this, the olden days?”

  13. ren Says:

    Thanks for clarifying @DF….only a hobby photog here. Seems pretty cool though

  14. PigSong Says:

    Right on Jogz and Bingo. Think I’ll pick Cloud Atlas back up then. Book has mad good reviews, might be over my head though. Read maybe fifty pages and had to look up a half dozen words on each one.

  15. BingosBrother Says:

    Cloud Atlas is the best book I’ve read in a long time. Power through the beginning, which is very confusing. The payoff is enormous. Ready Player One is excellent thus far. Futuristic, adventurous, nostalgic. Highly rec’d.

  16. BingosBrother Says:

    12/6/86 Bowie has a Streets of Cairo tease.

  17. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    voopa, i don’t think it has anything to do with the memory card

  18. roberto luongo Says:

    laterz bitches

    find my MSG tix please

  19. Multibeast Says:

    I dug Ready Player One. Quick fun read.

  20. 4thDimension Says:

    8:09 of the 95 NYE Reba = welcome to the 4th dimension

  21. PigSong Says:

    That good? Guess I’ll power this first section.

  22. voopa Says:

    Df actually it does, at least for mine:
    http://support.eye.fi/cameras/canon/eos_digital_rebel_t2i_/_550d_/_kiss_x4

  23. 4thDimension Says:

    5:05 of 12/30/95 Hood = welcome, old tender one

  24. snow Says:

    I hate UFC. I’m sure this is hypocritical on some level since I love football.
    Watching actual fighting is painful for me.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    With ya snow. Hate that stuff. Saw Mike Tyson at work today. Classic.

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