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”

  1. kayatosh Says:

    yes, palms. quality sources for 12.6 and 12.12.97 on new 12.6 source is awesome.

  2. garretc Says:

    @Mr. P

    Aww, don’t worry, you’re a famous Phishie to me!

  3. Spasm Waiter Says:

    @Lumpy- For music, NYC is really tough to beat. For women, NYC is really tough to beat. For food, NYC is really tough to beat. For weather, NYC is really easy to beat.

  4. gavinsdad Says:

    fly famous palmerbird

  5. joe Says:

    I guess I didn’t even know there were famous phishies until I started coming here.

  6. Mr.Palmer Says:

    I remember Waldo and Lawn Boy from the mid 90’s. Those cats still around. Lawn Boy used to throw out the jolly ranchers to everyone.

  7. gavinsdad Says:

    btw – i have west coast phish on my mind. 2011.

    just sayin.

  8. joe Says:

    top 10 famous phishies… (for some reason the creation of such a list cracks me up)

  9. DukeOfLizards Says:

    1) Midget nitrous wookette

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    2) your mom

  11. gavinsdad Says:

    3) meat on stick vendor

  12. KfL Says:

    4) homer simpson

  13. DukeOfLizards Says:

    4) The Cape

  14. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Alright, a little late to the discussion – seems like Dirksen is a little too keyed in on Trza. I know plenty of people think that the three most important ingredients for a great show are Trey, Trey, and Trey, but it seems like he sells short the quality of the full-band (and often times not Trey-led) improv this fall.

    Can’t see the forest for the trey, so to speak.

  15. andrewrose Says:

    CD was hard to miss if you were on RMP back in the day. Makes me wonder how many BBers were, actually…

  16. KfL Says:

    6) this guy

  17. lastwaltzer Says:

    7. wook down

  18. ae Says:

    anyone have the link of the worcester map with good places to eat and drink? and on that note, any plans or places for a meet-up? i’m going to nite 1 with one old friend only and not a big crew so it may be in my cards to say hi to some peeps.

  19. angryjoggerz Says:

    lumpy; in response to your question before, I would say if going abroad is an option, then def do. My fav cities that I would want to live in:


  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    8) the jumper

  21. lastwaltzer Says:

    9. Peiree

  22. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    Missed fall, 2010

    Going to rage 12/30 and 1/1

    Just thought I’d share

    …any plans laid down for MSG meetups?

  23. whole tour! Says:

    My brother lives in Mass. He tells me that Worcester is not the place you want to get lost in. He told me to stick to close by the venue and not to wander. He also told me that he would never go to worcester. ever. Not even when i offered to buy him tickets to phish. He still said no. And yes, he is lame, but he knows the area. Bottom line. Be safe. Be smart.

  24. whole tour! Says:

    10.) NAKED GUY!!!

  25. Mr.Palmer Says:

    12.12.97 Set II is a must hear.

    Set 2: Saw It Again -> Piper > Swept Away > Steep > Prince Caspian > Jam -> Izabella, Tweezer Reprise

    Encore: Guyute, Run Like an Antelope

    Piper and Fuckerpants go WAY deep. The 1-2 punch of Izabella, Tweeprise to end a show is a show of adrenaline. Set I isn’t bad either. Nice 2001, Taste and Tweezer. Check this show out if you’ve yet to.

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