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.


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.



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.



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.


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.




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”

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  1. BrandonKayda Says:

    Nice Miner

    12/11/99 is fantastic, BTW. I haven’t heard that show in awhile. Glad I checked it out.

  2. Peace Says:

    Touching on dates and shows, the 12/6/97 show is etched in my memory because of the 2nd set Tweezer>Isabella>Twist>Piper. When Tweeprise hit, I was jumping up an down. My first tweezer in 20 shows that I have gone to. Yesterday, I revisited this show on my cassette walkman (my kids make fun of me) while running the hills here in Pretoria. It made me realize that I must continue to prod Phish on towards a South Africa tour – 2 nights Pretoria, 4 Capetown, 1 Mossel Bay and 2 Durban. Anyone got a line to the boys to make this happen in 2011. I am here and can assist with logistics. Phish must tour Africa!

  3. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    hey all, said it yesterday, figured i’d keep trying

    I need 1 or more extra 12/30’s if anyone has.

    Have a friend and long time phish fan visiting from Hawaii. he used to catch a lot of shows back in the day but since he moved to HI hasnt been able to see much. really wanna get him in the building.

  4. Lee Says:

    Thanks for posting that 90 show for me my brother =) 20 years later and I’m still loving every min of every show

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    mornin’ all

    hope your weekends were better than that of the metrodome’s roof!

    so I go up to Burlington to see friends this weekend and get convinced by my wife’s really good friend that I should tag along with him to MSG, which is definitely not something I am opposed to. Just wanted to see what I’m getting myself into if I decide to hit at least 12.31 and maybe 1.1.

    so does anyone have any ins on a 12.31 single or am I crazy to even look at this point?

  6. lumpyhead Says:

    I hope lookin works out well for you type 3. It’s going to be a good week, right fellas?

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    thanks, lumps.

    oh, and if anyone does have a 12.31 and/or 1.1 single ticket they want to unload (or a pair if you are so inclined) please hit me up at

    typeiiijpd yadda gmail yadda yadda

    thanks in advance

  8. Jtran Says:

    Gonna spin the 12/13/97 show at work today. Never heard the whole thing.

  9. gunslinging parrot Says:

    Nice Miner, 12/13/97 my phirst show!! Thanks for the memories…have holidays everyone…see you in all in woosta!!

  10. jdub Says:

    That’s exciting news T3! There could be a ticket release this Friday.

    2 weeks to lift off. Been practicing some dance moves this weekend in preparation.

    Also, I’ve been wondering about the chances of an official stream from MSG. Not likely but it would be a mighty fine gift to the fans.

  11. BTB Says:

    The Dude abides

  12. lumpyhead Says:

    dudes, the downloads from today are the dirtiest.

  13. jdub Says:

    I am thrilled, as we all are, to have Phish back but all these December memories bring up a tinge of regret. Too many I could’ve easily been there shows. If there was one tour where I had the time, money, and awareness to hit it would’ve been Winter ’99. Which would’ve propelled me to Big Cypress. But it was not to be. And I think that feeling of missing out makes this retro New England New Years run even more exciting for me.

  14. Fastenuff4who Says:

    Damn that’s a great Ghost

  15. Jtran Says:


    Ya Mar to start $$$

  16. plord Says:

    Alpine DVD preview last night was good and loud. Once they fixed the aspect ratio or whatever peculiar display problem they had going on during the first set, it was clear that the shots they are getting with this 7 camera crew are some great, great stuff.

    Tix were a donation to Waterwheel, I think between the show and the raffle they took in over $2K. I walked out with a copy of the DVD but struck out on the Pollack poster and Woostah tickets :/

    Fun night. But: people were getting up and leaving in the middle of set 2? Does.not.compute.

  17. redredworm Says:

    Just a heads up for anybody who’s interested, the Alpine Valley Box Set is now 15.99 on Amazon. Hell yes. In other news, the new years run is so close I can taste it… extremely excited for my first Phish NYE. Stay warm, BBers.

  18. jdub Says:

    And to think Phish has that kind of footage from every show since their return. At some point they will be releasing batches of DVDs like they did with the Live Phish series.

  19. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Hey gang- hope this finds everybody well. I am sure excitement levels are rising. Mine sure is. Just found out my wife will not be joining me to visit my dad after xmas. This significantly lowers her level of disapproval regarding my ventures to woostah and msg. Yep.

  20. lumpyhead Says:

    damn 7 camera…can’t believe there’s 7-cam footage in HD of every single one of these shows and most of it we’ll never see.

  21. Spasm Waiter Says:

    T3- stay on it and you’ll find tix. People are still adjusting plans etc… as they get it figured, tix will surface. Also, friday ticket releases as well. I think you can sign up for tweets of msg ticket releases. Worth a shot.

  22. Spasm Waiter Says:

    My buddy just got worked onstub hub for the 28th. 2. Floor tix for close to 499. Yikes.

  23. Spasm Waiter Says:

    ^close to 400

  24. Jtran Says:

    12/30 needed for me here (while we’re on the subject)

    jtravt23 at gmail

  25. gavinsdad Says:

    people taking their finger outta the dam around here. cant wait to see who else jumps on board this run. i’m currently going thru what i need to say to the wife to get me sprung for 1/1. mmmwwaahh hhhaaa haaaa

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