Exploring On The Eighth

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.


Tweezer > Kung > Tweezer” 12.8.95 – Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland '95

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.



Piper > Dog Faced Boy” 12.8.99 – CCCC Portland, Maine

CCCC - Portland, ME

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.




2.12.93 Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, NY

Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

This one goes out to Highway Bill, who describes this special night as…

“…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: Unknown


343 Responses to “Exploring On The Eighth”

  1. Mitch Says:

    haha ae, of all the people i’ve met off this board, i think you’re a cyber bot that got linked to my email.

  2. Gavinsdad Says:

    AE – I never could pinpoint where you lived. Thought Phila area or Jerz. I do get up to nyc now and again and actually shot some stick at the Brroklyn Inn not too long ago (got pizza at Lucali taboot). Drop me an email at edlooram AT yahoo just so I can get in contact. Would love to do that itinerary with u Mitch and Palmer. Thx.

  3. albert walker Says:

    damn I missed all the talk about Mitch’s beard

  4. Mitch Says:

    gdad, ae says he’s in bk but i think he’s a cyber bot. 😯

  5. Mitch Says:

    AW, i’m still here. its often the topic of discussion, tho i had some serious beard envy with a dude today. he even complimented me on mine. patronizing a-hole. i saw flash-forwards of me in 5 years.

  6. ae Says:

    what’s a cyberbot?


  7. Mitch Says:

    i was teasing you. every time we try and meet it doesn’t work out so i was saying you’re just some program on the interwebs that follows me.

  8. Mitch Says:

    *nerd jokes aren’t funny when you explain them

  9. ae Says:

    yea, i figured as much. like i said, one day we’ll pull it off.

    gdad, sent you a note. go football teams that wear green (though i tossed my jets hat in the gutter monday).

  10. ae Says:


  11. vegas wolfmans Says:

    live rust= perfection. had been a while.

    I need to listen to more Neil + Horse

  12. Gavinsdad Says:

    His archived releases are solid for sure VW. That first one from the Fillmore is in heavy rotation.

  13. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Gdiddy- With you on that Fillmore East release. Deserving of the elusive fourth $. I’ve been diving back in lately. Rediscovering Harvest, Time Fades, On the Beach, Tonight’s the Night, etc…

    So damn good.

  14. garretc Says:


    I’ve been on a slight Neil kick lately too. I have to say, Down By The River is definitely one of my favorite songs…

    I know it’s unlikely, but it’d be awesome if Phish busted that one out sans Neil some time…

    ahem *new years!* cough cough…

  15. Robear Says:

    it’s actually around 19:39 mark of ‘Halleys’. listen for the little riff Trey starts under the soup, and it’s a steady climb to the stars from there.

    ::time out for excessive geeking::

  16. vegas wolfmans Says:

    GC- Word. Much of his music has such a unique and timeless quality to it. Just always feels…authentic when I spin. I love the kick the doors down rockin’ shit with the Horse. Up with NY!

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    @garretc – Wave That Flag is just the early version of US Blues. Basically the same changes but the lyrics are all over the place. Some of them are pretty comical. Lots of extra lines and verses that didn’t make it into the final version.

  18. [an unrelated] wilson Says:

    Standing by for UPS and nye tickets. Boy, do I need those about right now.

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