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. character_zero Says:

    WOW! Ive never heard that Halley’s before. Its quite amazing, thanks 🙂

  2. gavinsdad Says:

    @Miner – i’m definitely enjoying your microscope on these DEC dates. thanks alot.

    @Mr. C – while i won’t be the first guy to DL your alac GD picks i just wanted to make sure to thank you for all of your GD editorializing over the past 2 years. You provide another level of detail on a tour by tour basis that I never got even out of my most studious GD friends. kudos.

  3. gavinsdad Says:

    i caught 3 kungs. so rando.

  4. butter Says:

    i’m guessing not everybody doesn’t know the story behind the Dec 8, 1995 Pollock print at the top of the page?

  5. Robear Says:


    i too missed the 11/27/98 show. It was a very tough ticket, easily the toughest non-holiday to score I’ve seen. We didn’t really try though, as I opted to hang out with two girls at a little dive bar across the street. Turns out they were together in more ways than one, and had no interest in me.

    FTR, Miner and I pick the 29th over the 27th

    Thunder restored.

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ butter that’s not a Pollock I don’t think, is it? And I’ve ALWAYS wanted to know the story behind that poster…so random and so cool.

  7. voopa Says:

    What’s the story, butter?

  8. butter Says:

    ^^ i’m guessing everybody doesn’t …sorry for the double negative

  9. Mr.Palmer Says:

    I think they did one in Brooklyn ’04, right?

    Some under the radar ’04 shows imo. Obviously a notch and a 1/2 below the Spac throw down. The first night was great. Second night lost me w/ JayZ.

  10. Mr.Miner Says:

    29 > 27th def. (at least imo)

    though Mikes > h2 > Week >Antelope is an hour of straight fire from the 27th.

    That wipeout stuff is too gimmicky for me. Though Chalkdust > Mirror is sick!

  11. butter Says:

    Emmeck, that’s right

  12. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ gd word.

  13. butter Says:

    story comin

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    i’m guessing not everybody doesn’t know the story
    i’m guessing everybody doesn’t

    ha ha
    actually, it works both ways… but obviously you meant the latter.

  15. Mr.Miner Says:

    hidden track reporting on rumors of Watkins Glen NY 4th of July fest for 3 days…


  16. gavinsdad Says:

    yeah @Palmer BOAF, Kung, Mikes at Coney. that was a weird pair of shows. soaking rain the first nite, jay-z the 2nd. venue was aces and i lived in BK at the time so totonnos pizza>keyspan was the move each nite.

    money Halleys JOTD here and I never say that about Halleys.

  17. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    @miner i heard that rumor somewhere else too, a few weeks ago.

    also, did my friend who has every show ever contact you?

  18. sumodie Says:

    it is Halley’s like the JOTD that make us all yearn for what that song can be
    but then it is Halley’s like 95% of the ones ever played that remind us that we shouldn’t expect the exceptions

    I’ve enjoyed many standard versions of other songs in 3.0, but not Halley’s, not sure why that one rubs me sooo wrong

    (closely followed by Free, though I’ve enjoyed a few in 3.0)

  19. butter Says:

    So this is the version i know and understand:

    This poster was taken out of production/sales because it was controversial

    it depicts skeletons (with $ signs as pitchforks), stabbing a fish

    Dec 8th also was the day the Grateful Dead announced they would no longer be a band

    now, we all knew The Grateful Dead was done, because Jerry had passed away during August, but it was on Dec 8th the official announcement was dropped (which we basically took as, the remaining members would probably play in some form eventually, just never as “The Grateful Dead” again)

    so – you decide what it contains:

    skeletons, with $ sign pitchforks stabbing a large fish, on the day GD announced its retirement, all while we were right in the peak time of Dead heads jumping over to Phish tour

  20. butter Says:

    i used to have this Emek, one of the ones i’ve had a hard time getting over losing to the X

  21. butter Says:

    i always thought of it as depicting all the tension between GD and Phish – pre Phil and Phriends

  22. sumodie Says:

    the watkins glen rumormongering has returned again, this time for 2011?

    ok, i’m in


    MMW 12-6-00 Minneapolis is $$$$ (with Oren Bloedow on electric guitar)

    7 days of phish free listening…

  23. joechip Says:

    11/29/98 was the only show I saw between 7/25/92 and 5/31/09. It really blew me away, I walked out saying “wow, they are so much better than they used to be…not even close” I was also kind of freaked out/sketched by the crowd and the scene outside. So much of the material was unfamiliar to me, but I always remembered hearing even the tunes I didn’t know, like Roggae, Limb by Limb and Theme… And Gin was a tune I knew very well, but had never seen it jammed out at all…jaw was on the floor.

  24. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Think i heard that Watkins Glen rumor a couple weeks ago as well. I think the version i had heard included other bands as well, Furthur and Allmans i think. Don’t like the idea of multiple bands.

    Sounds like a fun weekend nonetheless.

  25. Mr.Palmer Says:

    interesting story behind that poster, thanks Butter.

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