December Dark Horses

In the waning days of December ’95, Phish kicked off their final four shows with a stop in Binghamton, New York in show that has grown immortal with its LivePhish release. December ’99 took a day off on the 14th, before revving up their final, pre-Cypress,  run through the south. Since most people are familiar with Binghamton ’95 and there isn’t any other action on this day in December history, let’s circle back around to Sunday, and two exploratory December 12 jams that never got their proper due.


Drowned > Caspian” 12.12.99 II – Hartford, CT

Providing an intense chunk of ’99 jamming, Hartford’s set opener kicked off the second half and then kept on going. Rolling from one experimental texture into the next, this piece formed an exploratory tapestry while giving the tour a psychedelic shot in the arm  — even within the crazed context of December ’99. Band members took turns guiding the core of this piece while the others painted its periphery. Bringing the audience on a field trip to percussive space camp, the band underlined the latter half of this jam with extraordinary communication and “millennial” sound-sculpting. This dark horse December ’99 monstrosity sprawled in various directions, including a gorgeous, yet urgent, ambient section, while Trey played drone patterns on his mini-keyboard. Hartford’s “Drowned” is a superb piece of late-’99 sonic exploration that hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it should over the years. Then Trey unleashes a solo for the ages in a  surreal comedown of “Prince Caspian.” Take a half-hour out of your day to enjoy this joyride into the universe from 11 years ago.



Down With Disease” 12.12.95 II – Providence, RI

Miami '03 (M.Collins)

Before “Down With Disease” turned into a type-I anthem in 1996, Phish pushed the song through some hearty explorations in the song’s adolesence. And none were more explosive and downright exploratory than this half-hour epic from Providence ’95. Jumping into a type-II gold mine, the band began carving original pathways as soon as the jam dropped. Getting into a heavy groove early on, the band continued to build on this direction, careening into quintessntial December ’95 power rhythms before deconstructing the piece into a quieter canvas for sparser splatter painting. Building the jam back into completely original music, Phish took liberty over the next twenty minutes, coming together in a four-piece stunner. At a time when Phish cranked out new music on a nightly basis, this was one of their more innovative jaunts of a notorious month. Eating more famous December ’95 jams for lunch and spitting them out, Providence’s “Disease” is something to behold. Trying to narrate such a sublime tale of musical theatrics would be an excersize in futility, so take another half-hour out of your day and tune out to one of the greatest Phish jams you may never have heard. (Complete with money-back guarantee)




Will be back tomorrow. Requests always welcome.


333 Responses to “December Dark Horses”

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  1. Jtran Says:


  2. Jtran Says:


  3. Matso Says:

    Second! and, um, Third!

  4. Foul_Domain Says:

    Nice showcase of jams, Miner.

    Im really digging this Drowned. This song used to be one of my least preferred openers, but in the last year Ive sought out a few different versions that I had never heard before and the song has really grown on me.

    I was actually kind of hoping for it in Utica and sure enough they opened the 2nd with it.

    Killer Droened->Sand was more than welcome!

    Morning All


    Remember that Drowned>Caspian well. That was the night Trey announced his grandfather had passed away. This Drowned was sort of a release of some heavy emotions. A great thirty plus minutes.

  6. gavinsdad Says:

    seriously, i can hardly keep up with all these jamz. there is simply too much good music on this site. more props to Miner for, er, mining the gold, separating the wheat from the chaff, etc etc.

  7. Mr.Miner Says:

    Keep up, people…keep up 😉

  8. lumpyhead Says:

    yeah seriously miner, it’s been an onslaught

  9. SillyWilly Says:

    If Miner’s site is a race, I’m the kid who’s just in it for the free beer at the end.

    I started out strong, but, man, this is a tough run.

    Good morning, all!

    The clock continues to countdown….

    Hope everyone is doing well. Stay warm. Stay safe.

  10. KfL Says:


  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    and we’re jamming
    and we’re jamming
    please don’t touch the displays
    and we’re jamming
    keep your eyes out for the wookdown
    and we’re jamming
    and we’re jamming…

  12. lastwaltzer Says:

    The lesson of the month on Phish Thoughts: If you think your collection is okay with only a few December 95 shows, your wrong. GRAB THEM ALL

  13. jdub Says:

    A srsly frosty morning here in the north east. A little coffee, a little Drowned>Caspian, a little work, and a whole love for all these December jams. Srsly though, my mind is just drifting back to my desk after floating away with today’s Drowned>Caspian.

    Onto DWD. And thank you Miner for making it easy to get my daily dose of December to Remember.

  14. icculus503 Says:

    So I must say that two of December’s most overlooked shows are the ’99 run in D.C. and Raleigh. Two phenomenal shows that for me took me to places spiritually that no drug could compare to.

  15. Jtran Says:

    Spinning 12/14/95 here at work. Snowy VT day, very nice.

    Then onto the JOTDs

  16. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Morning BB. Yeah, winter is here fo’ sho. Got the boat put away in the nick of time.

    Really trying to get all areas of my life in order prior to the holidays and more importantly, prior to the shows. I want a really clear mind before diving into the shows. Listening and succombing to the music 100% requires me to have a really clear mind. No loose ends w family, work, etc… Getting all that squred away should ensure some good tripz to woostah and msg.

  17. jdub Says:

    Yeah, today’s DWD is a monster. Today I am spending most of the day drafting at my desk, which means a day catching up on some of these December jams. Joy.

  18. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Would you say that today’s JotD offering is Drowned with Disease?

    I’ll stop.

  19. angryjoggerz Says:

    Mornin’ all,
    Back in the office, jetlagged out of my mind, 11pm China time is not good for work. I cannot believe it is holiday time already, where did this come from? I really need a bit of time to catch up… next thing I know it I will be at MSG!

    Hope all is well.

  20. Chuck D Says:


  21. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Awesome pocket work by Mike and Fish for the last few minutes of the Drowned.

    Page must’ve been jonesing sooo hard on the other side of the stage.

  22. Spasm Waiter Says:

    deep space exploration on this drowned.

  23. Jtran Says:

    12/14/95 set I complete

    Fun set, not mind blowing. Set II is a different story

  24. BingosBrother Says:

    4:21 BANED :green man:

    If any of you kind souls come across some PTBM stubs from Alpine this year, please give me a shout out. Trying to put together a xmas present for a good friend. Any help is appreciated.

    Miner drowning us in quality jams and its only halfway through the month! Kudos. And welcome to all the new posters over the last couple days. I see you out there.

  25. sumodie Says:

    Hot December Phish requires cold temps – it needs to be colder here in Worcester (and NYC). Snow on the ground this morn is a good sign for things to come (rain all day like last Sunday, very bad).

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