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”

  1. butter Says:

    Honestly, its something they’ve improved upon greatly

    tunes like Joy, and Shine a Light

    or the perfect use of a “Have Mercy” or “Corrina”

  2. harryhood Says:

    KfL huh? You aren’t fooling anyone buddy

  3. KfL Says:

    there taking you out there power was so much greater than their ability to bring you back

    this is why it was OK to like strange design in 1995

  4. Mr.Palmer Says:

    what up BB? less than 2 weeks = fresh Phish!

  5. harryhood Says:

    I go away for a few days and people start changing their names……. How am I supposed to know who anyone is when I stop by?

  6. KfL Says:

    no fooling intended, for i am KfL, King of the fLEGIONAIRES

  7. Mr.Palmer Says:

    el dude- you folk set any plans to come up for the ABB in March yet?

  8. JeffieM Says:

    Never seen that one, El Dude. Looks like a cool movie.

  9. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Listen to JB Hood yesterday for the first time in a long time. Great version! So patient. top shelf stuff.

  10. Kaveh Says:

    @Mr. Palmer. This may be the dumbest question; ABB at the Beacon? I know last year there were some issues when they played elsewhere.

  11. Mitch Says:

    Just went to barnes and noble and got alpine DVD. 38 bucks!! Ouch! Good thing msg are home shows. I woulda rather paid them 25 and they leave out the audio discs. Oh well, baning tonight will be way better with this DVD and my buddy getting back in town from the farm.

  12. Kaveh Says:

    @Mr. Palmer…just checked their site. Nevermind. I should do my homework before opening my dumb mouth.

  13. Mitch Says:

    Abb and beacon go way back. Last year cirque de sole sp? Rented it out and then abb couldn’t play there. Pissed off a lot in their group when the cirque thing bailed after a short run.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    dang it! how could I forget them?

    go with your gut. if’n you think it is someone, it probably isn’t.
    btw, are you coming down to worcester?

  15. Mitch Says:

    That said, a lot of people weren’t sure if they would still do runs there. But a few shows were announced for this month I thought.

  16. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Kaveh- 8 shows at the Beacon this March. They did take the show to the United Palace in Harlem a few years ago ( a fantastic venue by the way). In ’09 they did the 40th anniversary run at the Beacon with guests every night. The Trey and Page appearance that March ( right after the hampton reunion) was an incredible show!.

  17. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Mitch

    did the AV dvd come with the bonus audio disc for 38.00$ ???

  18. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Mitch- lets do a beacon show! Or we can hit Furthur at Radio City in late March. Palmer b-day show on the 27th….

  19. Kaveh Says:

    @Mr Palmer. Yep I remember the blistering shows in 2009. 03.20.09 is pure money with EC! I would love to see them their. It is always over my wife’s b-day and she likes the ABB too. So we’ll see what we can come up with. Of course the weekend shows are sold out for normal seats. I’ll have to dig around.

  20. EL Duderino Says:

    The United Palace shows were in ’10
    No Beacon shows in ’10

    @ Palmer


  21. butter Says:

    i was so jacked up on 95 Phish, i had to race back over to GD to get a “Standing on the Moon”

  22. butter Says:

    ^to come back down

  23. Mr.Palmer Says:

    that’s right @ Dude. I didn’t see ABB at United Palace. I saw WSP there, It is still a great venue. Only problem is it’s in Harlem. More bands should play there.

  24. butter Says:

    can’t wait to do a big fat line of Phish in a few weeks

  25. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Kaveh

    There were 2 EC guest nights… the 19th as well

    What’s cool about the 3/19 and 3/20 shows are the EC tunes are the same but in different order and the “HOT” tunes are different between the 2 nights.

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