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,ย  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 armย  — 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 aย  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”

  1. KfL Says:

    showing emotion is one thing. posting it on a phish blog is another ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  2. Mr.Palmer Says:

    12.12.95 Disease is what its all about….and antics of course ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kaya- that 12.12.97 Piper bolted to the top of my favorites list. A magic ride for the red, red worm….

  3. Jtran Says:

    Listened to that set again this evening (12/12/97). Hadn’t heard it until this weekend in a good year or so. Really great stuff.

  4. Jtran Says:

    The Saw it Again jam is great too

  5. BrandonKayda Says:

    I’m going to run through 12/12/97 II tomorrow morning – or part of it anyhow.

  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    12.12.95 Disease was hot. Felt longer than 30mins, but after they broke out of the rhythm part into the quiet section it got good. Wild ambient section at the end

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    just got a text from willowed. he told me his ears felt oddly warm. go figure…

  8. willowed Says:

    hello friends.

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    whoa. it’s like I turned around from one conversation and the same person was there ready to talk again.

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    and, yes, willowed, I took a liberty with “text” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    google chat is a form of texting, right?

  11. willowed Says:

    I am associated with wine. I am not sure if that is a good thing. As I sip a glass of merlot

  12. willowed Says:

    Yes. People may question our relationship.

    I can see it now

    BB: So TIII, You google chat with Willowed
    TII: Ummm, ummmmm

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    there are much worse things with which you could be associated, my friend

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    like me, clearly

  15. sumodie Says:

    this dude is so hardcore nutty:

    At AC on 10/30 i tested myself: i gave away my 100 level 30 mins before the show to a friend and went in search of a floor outside the venue. got it and got in before first tune.

    figures it’d be you, gdad ๐Ÿ˜›

  16. willowed Says:

    Later boys

    Revisit that JB # Line boys. It’s a smoker

    Good night

  17. butter Says:

    JB Cued up on the nano for the gym tomorrow Willowed

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    so, like, does anyone have any 12.31 and/or 1.1 tickets that need a home? I can help you out with that. typeiiijpd of the gmail

    I should probably start saving for diamonds for gdad’s wife

  19. angryjoggerz Says:

    listening to the Tweezer off this Phish Wisconsin Edition comp and it is the shizat.

  20. albert walker Says:

    Back from broker dinner

    Drunk and stuffed on their dime
    Good stuff

  21. ChefBradford Says:

    I realized at our restaurants’ employee Christmas party this weekend that a lot of the college kids in this town are essentially what I’ll call “redneck hipsters”


    douchebags (although douchebag is a more encompassing term)

  22. albert walker Says:

    Mastro steakhouse = $$$$

    Good stuff

  23. bigjig Says:

    aw Mastro’s is the shiznit. The original in LA is imo best steakhouse in La La land. Forgot it was opening in Chi or we would of eaten there this weekend. Ate Gibsons steaks @ Luxbar instead, got to meet Julius Peppers too. Mastro’s lobster mashed potatoes to die for. See you in a few weeks.

  24. JeffieM Says:

    Just sent in a term paper. Done for the semester.
    Time for bane, beer, and Phish.

  25. albert walker Says:

    Shit is dig yo!

    Our usual spot for steak in Chicago is joes stone crab

    But this place turned some heads

    See ya out east jig

    Laterz kids

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