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. butterflyeffect Says:

    god i want a festie so badly

  2. butterflyeffect Says:

    how’s errbody doin tonight?

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ check out that concert photo from the 1973 Watkins Glen festival
    the stage is soooooooooooo far away

    ^ got no prob with this if there are delay towers. Never did see the stage at any of the Phish festivals…that’s for sure.

  4. BingosBrother Says:

    I was next to the board at the Ball, and had a very interesting experience. Ran in early and never really noticed all the people coming in behind me. Lights came on at setbreak and I’m still convinced everyone sat down. I stayed standing, completely spun, and turned to see the biggest mass of people I’d ever seen, all sitting down. I felt like the biggest man in the whole universe.

  5. Mr.Palmer Says:

    I’m down w/ Watkins as long as there are a few nice hotels close by. This old man’s camping days are over, especially in the dead of summer.

  6. garretc Says:

    Plus, I believe something like 130,000 people were at the ’73 Watkins Glen fest, right? I don’t think a Phish fest pulls 130,000, especially not in 3.0!

    So you’ll be closer if you want…

  7. Selector J Says:

    Nice eBay scores there, @aw!

    I just got a Columbia Collie repress for $5 ($1 + $4 s/h) the other day. I have the OG press but $5 on a repress is a no brainer. Might give it to my brother as a x-mas gift.
    That OG Pablo press on Message is fantastic, too. Completely different (READ: way better) mix than the Shanachie CD I had.

    I’m on a self-imposed eBay hiatus myself. Spent way too much the last month or so. Scored some crucial stuff, though. Can’t complain with the bounty.

    Mrs. Selector actually gave me the “cool it on the record buying.” Not a card she plays often. Can’t blame her since we were averaging about 3 in the mail per week. So yea, I think I’m done for a little while.

  8. Chuck D Says:

    toke up at least one between this sunset and the next. :mrgreen:

  9. willowed Says:

    If you ever find me close to the stage during a festival, please pick me up and bring me back to the open space because I am obviously spun and totally lost.
    I agree with you Miner..In the back is where it’s at. Nustle up next to a delay tower and let the shananigans begin.

  10. Mr.Palmer Says:

    This from an email i just got regarding Gov’t Mule NYE shows in NYC. Including the fans in the scripting of the setlists. They want fans to send in their requests.

    We are looking for
    * Your 10 Favorite Gov’t Mule songs
    * Your 5 Favorite Songs that Gov’t Mule covers
    * 5 Cover Songs you always wanted to hear Gov’t Mule play

  11. poop goblin Says:

    No doubt selector

    I’m on self imposed vinyl buying hiatus

    Shit got ugly this summer

    Trying to solidify the must haves the next few years before prices get crazier
    At least double what I paid first time around in the 90s
    Don’t sell your records for rocks and dope kids

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    best wishes to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, in her health battles – much R-E-S-P-E-C-T and all that

  13. Kratos Says:


    Selling records for crack is better than selling soul for vengeance!

  14. willowed Says:

    Hamden, CT > Watkins Glenn 5 hours 21 minutes

    I am hard right now!

  15. Mr.Palmer Says:

    3 hrs 58 minutes here willowed…..

  16. Mr.Palmer Says:

    …spoiled east coast phishies……

  17. butter Says:

    i’m just remembering details about the Emek poster

    there is also a Jerry sketch right above the clouds on the left hand side, glasses and all

  18. butter Says:

    its hard to see on the screen, but when your looking at the real poster, i can assure you there is a Jerry sketch

  19. willowed Says:

    That’s a crazy story Butter. I can see how that is offensive.


  20. Mr. Completely Says:

    OK a friend of mine turned me on to this hip hop collective about 6 months ago but I wasn’t in a rap mood and kind of spaced it out…I just saw the link come across another site and remembered it….these kids are killing it…tons of great YT vids, mixtapes and and stuff, cool design ethic too…all 100% DIY too for real


  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YH28RhTowU

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    note: they really are a bunch of kids, and their stuff is very offensive if you can be offended by kids rapping.

    but if you can put yourself in that teenage frame of mind I think you’ll see what I mean

  23. gavinsdad Says:

    i’m def spoiled over here in the NE. watkins glen? i mean c’mon, phish picking up on that mythology would be amazing. perhaps they’d even flip some of the history of lackluster shows on it’s head.

    never knew they were called delay towers but yeah, 2nd set back pageside is where you’ll find me and my merry band.

    too early for hotel deposits? @palmer can you make mine?

    4.5 hrs from my front door.

  24. butter Says:

    AW – sweet vinyl scores

    just got my Allen Toussaint Jazzfest poster from 2009 framed


  25. gavinsdad Says:

    MR C you are killing it with that crazy teenage skater LA raps shit. nice callout. we all need to stay in touch with the kids. one of those kids is finishing up a juvie bid right now. love that photo of them with WakaFlockaFlame.

    this is like another 2 steps or possibly three past the entire Anticon late 90s thing.

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