Thirteenth Throwdowns

On our trip down memory lane, today we honor December 13th: the final show of Fall ’97, a fiery stop along the road of December ’99, and the final night of rest during Fall ’95, before the last four shows. Today our focus shifts to centerpieces of Albany 97’s and Providence 99’s second sets — “Ghost > Mike’s > Llama” and “Sand,” respectively.

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Ghost > Mike’s > Llama” 12.13.97 – “The Knick,” Albany, NY

10.30.10 - Atlantic City, NJ (Dave Lavery)

Thirteen years ago today, Fall ’97 came to a close at Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York. Following an underrated and supremely exploratory show the previous night, Phish came out with all the crowd favorites in a scintillating final set of tour. At the heart of this celebratory last frame lied a combination of “Ghost and “Mikes” — two songs that had blown up all tour — that provided the fire for the finale. Most versions of “Ghost” played over the course of Fall ’97 transformed into dripping funk fiestas. The last incarnation, however, gradually migrated towards more aggressive textures and peaked far from the dinosaur-grooves that had became synonymous with the song. Moving through the requisite fall funk patterns, when Phish reached the core of this version, they were hardly immersed in over-sized rhythms. Following a gooey onset to the jam, the band cranked up the intensity and churned out a sequence that veered towards hard-edged rock and roll. Gathering a full head of steam, Phish converged in a scorching peak segment to the final “Ghost”of Fall ’97. As sonic residue of the song lingered in the air, Trey started up the now-famous “Bring In the Dude” version of “Mike’s Song.”

Pouring the show’s momentum into a song that had imploded more than a few venues over the previous weeks, one could slice the intensity in air with as Phish played blasted through the song’s composed verses with unbridled enthusiasm. When the jam dropped, shit went bonkers and the energy of the show immediately increased exponentially. Diving headfirst into a militant and crunchy groove, the band played with utmost urgency as Fishman began imploring Cactus to “Bring the DUDE!” Soon, the whole band cut out and Mike dropped a maddening bass solo which everyone rejoined with mind-blowing ferocity. Emceeing the jam like a maniac, Fishman then honored Trey’s two requests to “Bring the Dude,” and the band turned the “Mike’s” jam into an explosive showcase for their famed Fall ’97 stop/start jamming. Each member took their turn “Bringing the Dude,” and following Page’s solo, the band built the piece into a heavy plane that resembled the other side of ’97. The band broke down into soupy psychedleia out of the raucous explosion, then changed textures on a dime, heading right back into an increasingly psychotic movement, that minutes later transformed into “Llama.” Phish took of their most consistent funk staples of fall and created something wholly different for the tour’s final show; a move that illustrated the teeming creativity of a special tour.

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Sand” 12.13.99 II – Providence Civic Center, Providence, RI

12.15.99 (Todd Wickersty)

As Phish worked their way through December ’99, “Sand” came out five times over a two week span. Sculpting soaring, psychedelic soundscapes amidst heavy grooves, these versions built on one another, as Phish honed in on different elements of their “millennial” sound each time. Often dissonant and always based in a thick, rhythmic foundation, these versions of “Sand” felt like they were building towards something monumental. And as time passed from one millennium to the next in The Everglades, deep into the night, Phish played us that “Sand” at the end of the rainbow. Though every version during December ’99 became a show highlight, some — like today’s featured version — still stand out over a decade later. Providence’s excursion provided the centerpiece of a groove-based, two-set smoker, and showcased the collaborative layering and textural jamming that defined the era. This “Sand” also illustrates the straightforward and repetitive rhythmic foundations on which these dense sound sculptures stood. In the latter half of the jam, Trey shifted to more narrative soloing that brought the jam to another level of intensity. His play coaxed divergent offerings from his band mates and catalyzed more dynamic interplay. Each time “Sand’s” bassline started December ’99, a rhythmic odyssey was sure to follow. Sit back and enjoy this version that celebrates its 11th birthday today.

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Jams of the Day: 12.13.97

If Phish diverted from cowfunk for much of this show’s second set, they certainly laid down some grooves in these first set highlights.

Yamar” 12.13.97 I

Perhaps someone missed a cue as the band came around to the end of the song, but what resulted was another sublime excursion through the funk of fall.

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Tube” 12.13.97 I

This version was the middle man between Dayton’s bust-out and MSG’s all-timer on 12.29.97.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.7.90 Club Bene, Sayreville, New Jersey SBD

Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

Promotional Tour Poster - 1990

This one goes out to Lee, who has been looking for this show for quite some time. Here’s a soundboard copy to make the treasure trove extra special. Enjoy the 1990 show from Bon Jovi’s home town to start off another week of December.

I: The Divided Sky, Uncle Pen, Stash, The Landlady, Destiny Unbound, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, The Asse Festival, The Squirming Coil, Mike’s SongI Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Magilla, La Grange

II: Buried Alive, Bouncing Around the Room, Tweezer, My Sweet One, I Didn’t Know, The Lizards, Good Times Bad Times, Golgi Apparatus

E: Contact

Source: SBD

Tape Transfer Notes: This show as received had lots of flaws. There are missing sections between some songs I can’t do anything about. Lots of tracks were cut wrong and were merged with CoolEdit then re-cut with CDWave. There’s a major dropout in La Grange. The silent section is obviously the wrong length but I left that alone. There were various other smaller things that were done before running the whole thing through shntool to fix sector boundaries. I hope you enjoy the less than perfect results.

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246 Responses to “Thirteenth Throwdowns”

  1. joe Says:

    it’s not that bad whole tour. not great, but I wouldn’t really feel unsafe in most of Worcester. just not really much interesting in Worcester and more than likely really shitty weather the couple of nights phish is playing.

  2. Mr.Palmer Says:

    It can’t be worse than Camden or AC. Can it?

  3. joe Says:

    not even close

  4. whole tour! Says:

    I take everything my brother says with a grain of salt. He was once cool, but a second marriage, a baby, and a stressful job took away what if any cool he had left. I’m sure Worcester scares him, but that’s just him.

    I know he didn’t win any more cool points by not wanting to go to phish in Mass, again. Third time he’s bailed on me for a show up that way.

    He lived 2 blocks away from fleet center for the 20th anniversary show. Didn’t want to go.

    I had tix to great woods 2009. He didn’t want to go. Had to sell tickets.

    Has no interest in seeing the upcoming worcester shows. super lame.

    I still love him, cause he’s my brother, but he is not very hip or cool to hang with these days.

  5. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Seeing as how Camden was named the most dangerous city IN AMERICA in 2009, I’m going to go ahead and say Worcester is relatively safe.

  6. joechip Says:

    Mr. C obviously had it nailed down re: 74 Dead. I’d like to second his endorsement of the 6/23 Miami show, and specifically the FOB Matrix that is out there. I think it’s spectacular sounding, just has an almost eerie “you are there” feel to it. As he said, unusual show, Garcia seems to have been in a mood calling a lot of ballads. Like pretty much all shows from the period, it takes a while to get going, but eventually settles in beautifully. Great Dark Star>Spanish Jam>US Blues if memory serves. The unique pastoral jam that starts the second set and melts into Ship of Fools is legendary. One of my favorite shows for sure.

    One great show worth seeking out and not mentioned is 7/31/74 Hartford, a very well-played 3 set stadium show with a good sounding SBD out there.

  7. Jtran Says:

    Conan on the final week of Larry King

    $$$

  8. kayatosh Says:

    2.17.79 GD — check it out. the highlights (high time, jack a roe II. Terrapin Station ->Playing In The Band ->Drums ->Space ->The Wheel ->Shakedown Street->Playing In The Band ->) are $$$.

  9. HarryHood Says:

    Anyone here from western PA? I’m jonesin for some banery. Damn airlines don’t let you bring the shit on board. It’s a travesty.

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    Anybody know where I would go about obtaining ticket stubs for both Alpine shows this year? Trying to obtain them to put together a xmas gift for one of my good friends. Any help would be appreciated.

  11. sumodie Says:

    Worcester map with some points of interest highlighted

    http://tinyurl.com/2fsna5o

    All things Worcester (all restaurants, bars, etc)

    http://www.worcestermass.org/

  12. sumodie Says:

    I’ve lived in Worcester (anyone wanna buy a condo? walking distance to Centrum?) -it’s a fairly safe place and worlds apart from the worst of Camden NJ, Philly, etc. The area around the Centrum is very non residential and quite safe to smart individuals, even most of the dopey ones

    Probably the most dangerous thing is if you’re spun and you’ve parked in that massive parking garage across the street from the venue. Back in the day we did some serious laps in that place. No need to park there if you’re willing to walk a few blocks.

    Oh, and that shopping mall that was adjacent to said parking garage? That’s long gone…

  13. sumodie Says:

    @Bingos: Try posting on the green board and searching ebay for old ticket stubs

  14. sumodie Says:

    And a key point about Worcester, and Massachusetts in general, is the 2AM closing at bars & clubs

    Best option for live music after the Monday show will be the band Kung Fu at Tammany Hall, a 5 minute walk from the Centrum:

    http://www.tammanyhalllive.com/about/

    neemor has raved about them several times and I caught part of their show after the Manchester Phish show and would agree they’re worth a look

    Indobox will be at Tammany Hall after the Tuesday show

  15. KfL Says:

    thanks for the kung fu info @sumo. not a big fan of post-show shows, but i might have to check that one out.

    so… you’re hosting the big BB party in your condo then, right? 😮

  16. joe Says:

    the mall is gone? was it there in 2003 (or was that 2004)? seem to remember applebee’s pre-show in the mall, but that could’ve been 1995 and tgi friday’s the way my memory works.

  17. ChefBradford Says:

    Used to love those live Kung Fu streams Neemor used to post. I’d wondered if they were still playing

  18. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    those of you who dont have the sbd o 11.28.97 ghost, get it, and you will get it. pure funk. pure 97

  19. Stupendous Says:

    What up BB!
    been a while!
    but i feel the pre game energy in the air and im getting excited for some new phish here in a couple of days!
    Been working away from the cpu a lot so my bb presence has suffered a bit.

  20. frottage Says:

    “Mr. C obviously had it nailed down re: 74 Dead. I’d like to second his endorsement of the 6/23 Miami show, and specifically the FOB Matrix that is out there. I think it’s spectacular sounding, just has an almost eerie “you are there” feel to it. As he said, unusual show, Garcia seems to have been in a mood calling a lot of ballads. Like pretty much all shows from the period, it takes a while to get going, but eventually settles in beautifully. Great Dark Star>Spanish Jam>US Blues if memory serves. The unique pastoral jam that starts the second set and melts into Ship of Fools is legendary. One of my favorite shows for sure.”

    nailed it
    that shit is from another universe better than ours in every sense

    just read dirksen’s thing. 15 years i’m reading his bullshit and it took me ages to realize he knows less about music than i know about carburetors

    and i’m not exactly the fuckin car talk guys up in here

  21. KegleTheElf Says:

    MSG ’97 Tube, best ever. EXACTLY!!!

    Every time I hear people say Dayton, my jaw hits the floor.
    It’s def in contention for 2nd or 3rd place, but no more.

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