Today our December focus shift onto two sprawling excursions that took place on the eighth day of the month in 1995 and 1999. Both selections — Cleveland’s “Tweezer > Kung > Tweezer” and Cumberland County Civic Center’s “Piper” — feature musical explorations that veer far off the beaten path, providing snapshots of the band’s experimental side as seen through the lenses of 1995 and 1999.
This multi-tiered adventure moves through several distinct stages in forming a musical labyrinth. Page led the troops through the first segment of the jam with heavy piano, while Trey selectively picked and chose his spots before slowing integrating a melodic theme. Quickly — but not abruptly — Phish descended into a quieter canvas painted, still painted by Trey and Page’s brushstrokes. Moving into an abstract, beat-less realm, this version evoked memories of the depths that plunged “Tweezer” seemingly every night in the experimentally-focused Summer of ’95. Even while Phish cranked out, perhaps, the tightest music of their lives during December ’95, they still carved out plenty of room for abstract exploration. Dipping back into “Tweezer” and building directly into the cosmos again, Phish passed through segments of groove, amorphous jamming, and ambient beauty before morphing into “Kung.” Oozing back into “Tweezer,” the band took a couple minutes to wildly peak the jam, and then several more to slowly bring it to a close in a hefty dose of Fall ’95.
On the second night of Phish’s visit to Cumberland County Civic Center during their smoking tour of December ’99, they dropped an unconventional “Piper” amidst a six-song set that has flown under the radar ever since. Setting sail into thrashing “millennial” waters, Trey fired off countless notes as Mike crushed frenetic bass-lines in lock-step with his guitarist. But instead of following this more traditional “wall of sound” path, the band peeled away layers, landing in stripped down and particularly un-noisy textures. Page added quintessential ’99 space-sounds and Fishman altered his beat as the band significantly down-shifted into a hauting-turned-beautiful exploratory passage. Trey played subtle melodies over a growing ambient canvas as the music turned into uncharted territory. This segment fused Phish’s more melodic ambient style of Fall ’98 with their abstract and layered psyechedelia of ’99, resulting in an awing musical concoction. Drifting though crystalline, space-aged bliss, the band sculpted a soulful ambient excursion. Concluding the adventure with a grandiose spacescape, Phish gradually melted into “Dog-Faced Boy.”
Jam of the Day:
“Halley’s Comet” 12.7.99 I
A phenomenal version from the first night of Cumberland County ’99.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
2.12.93 Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, NY
“…my first real show, a snowy weekday night in Poughkeepsie. The venue was almost empty. I remember quite clearly walking right up in front of Trey (like 3 feet) in amazement of what I was seeing. I would then walk back to where the people I came with were standing and asking them if they were seeing what I was, they weren’t. I could not understand (and still can’t) why they were not being affected. I remember doing this several times…This show hooked me for life.”
I: Golgi Apparatus, Maze, Guelah Papyrus, Sparkle, Split Open and Melt, Esther,The Wedge, Chalk Dust Torture, I Didn’t Know, Take the ‘A’ Train, Run Like an Antelope
II: My Friend, My Friend, All Things Reconsidered, Reba, Poor Heart, Big Ball Jam, Fast Enough for You, You Enjoy Myself, Ya Mar, Hold Your Head Up > Terrapin > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood, Harpua
E: Amazing Grace, Good Times Bad Times
Source: UnknownTags: Jams