Mid-Month Moments

Today’s stop on our tour of December’s past brings us to the 15th, and two high-profile east coast arena gigs at the tail ends of their respective tours. With the tour closers of Fall ’95 and Fall ’99 within sight, Phish channeled the musical momentum of their extensive runs in crafting the following, quintessential highlights.


2001 > David Bowie” 12.15.95 II – Philadelphia, PA

Fall 1995 (Unknown)

Today marks the 15-year anniversary of Phish’s first stop at The Spectrum in Philadelphia — their last show before Lake Placid’s two-night tour finale. Oozing with the energy and creativity that defined the legendary month of December ’95, the band dropped an adventurous second set that saw “Bathtub Gin” morph into a “Rotation Jam” — where the band members “seamlessly” switch instruments — and then into “Mallory,” a solo Fishman song on piano. But once this novelty act came to close, the band sat into the jam sequence of the show in “2001 > Bowie.” Typical of so many highlights from this month, as soon as “Bowie’s” jam commenced, Phish immersed themselves in creative, open jamming. Needing no buffer between composition and the cosmos, Phish dove directly into heavy rhythmic textures. Building out of this menacing section into a more spacious sea of improvisation, Fishman took off on a quickened beat that drove the entire piece into a fast and fluid conversation. Throughout “Bowie,” Phish showcased the lightening-quick and super-glued communication that had evolved over the previous 51 shows of fall tour. Transforming the music into a mind-numbing chase through an apocalyptic maze, the band simultaneously crept their way back towards “Bowie’s” structured build until they burst into the final peak with unparalleled cohesion. Another vintage slice of a vintage era; crank this one up to eleven for optimal enjoyment.



Free” 12.15.99 II – MCI Center, Washington, DC

12.15.99 - MCI Center (Todd Wickersty)

While plenty of fans had plenty to say about Trey’s mini-keyboard during Fall ’99, there were some times when this accoutrement directly enhanced the music. Offering a separate layer of sound in a millennial mixture strewn with them, the tactful use of his additional instrument added hypnotic and drone patterns to Phish’s bubbling brew. One of these instances came 11 years ago today in Washington, DC’s MCI Center during a mid-second set “Free.” Playing a keyboard line that added both rhythm and melody to the jam following Mike’s bass attack, Trey contributed to a unique musical fabric. Laying the foundation for a mechanical monster, his keyboard offerings helped set the ideal tempo for Phish’s percussive collaboration. Page stepped into extensive, layered interplay with Trey on keys, adding spacey, delay effects to the jam, while Mike and Fish assumed the roles of groove assassins. Many minutes into this successful experiment, Trey slung his guitar back over his shoulder and began to shred similarly infectious leads atop the music. This multi-faceted “Free” continued the band’s unstoppable momentum in December ’99, as they approached their last three shows before entering The Everglades.




Jams of the Day:

Here are some additional jams from today’s featured shows.

Harry Hood” 12.15.95 I



Reba” 12.15.99 II




12.2.1996 America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona

FLAC Torrent (etree), Mp3Torrent, Megaupload, < Links

America West Arena - Phoenix, AZ

Phish made this seldom-discussed stop in Phoenix before capping their fall tour in San Diego and Las Vegas. This show comes at you as a reader request for Dr. B — just what the doctor ordered!

I: Rocky Top, AC/DC Bag, Bouncing Around the Room, You Enjoy Myself, I Didn’t Know, Theme From the Bottom, Gumbo, Julius

II: Ya Mar, The Divided Sky, Wolfman’s Brother > Taste, Free, Scent of a Mule, Harry Hood, Sweet Adeline

E: Fire

Source: AKG 391’s (FOB) > Graham Patten DMIC-20 > Tascam DA-P1


450 Responses to “Mid-Month Moments”

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  1. JeffieM Says:

    First! Good stuff, Miner, can’t wait to check this tomorrow. I don’t know if i’ve heard anything with the keyboard.Looking forward to it.

  2. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    mmmm love me that 12.15.99 free.

  3. Lee Says:

    The 95 spectrum show was one of my favorites – was down in the first 10 rows that night and was freaking out when Trey started talking about how excited he was to be playing there and how is first show (Tull) was at the Spectrum. Oh that and the HaHaHa>Sally that followed….great night.

  4. neemor Says:

    R.I.P. Philly Spectrum.
    I feel old.
    Good day, BlackBoard!

  5. Jtran Says:


    this reminds me…the link to December 99 Pt. 2 Miner’s picks is inactive on the front page.

  6. lumpyhead Says:

    and good day to you!

  7. lastwaltzer Says:


    Amen, I grew up in that building, definitely gonna miss it.

  8. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Morning Gang-

    Miner- Thanks for all of the delicious jamz. Definately makes the waiting more bearable.

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    as it has been quite some time since we last read from the good book…

    A Reading from the Book of Phish
    Chapter 3.1.12, Verses 1-42

    Lo, then, in the days preceding the annual pilgrimage to celebrate the time of renewal and the coming of the four it came to pass that many of the faithful found joy in adulating what came before. The duodecimate period of the annual movements of the sun and earth has long held special favor in the memory of the true believers, as the four have praised this month and bestowed transcendent jams upon the masses in fulfillment of their glory. These jams stirred the faithful to speak of their grandeur in terms that glowed with hyperbole yet dripped with undying devotion. Many voiced the belief that the roots of this practice lie in everything leading to the joyful celebration with which the time of plenty ends each year, acting as a form of advent in preparing the purest of heart. Still others voiced belief that these jams give example that the month is simply good in and of itself and provides IT without cause, being yet another example of the beneficence of the four to their followers. And in concordance with the teachings both views were known to be valid and fitting of faithful devotion.

    Yea, the good prophet Miner did tell of the epic majesty of diseases that had stricken the following with mindfuckery unparalleled, comets that melted faces with abandon, the storied miracles of past visitations to The Shrine At Worcester, that wondrous beauty of one of the yem of yems, the simple tale of a timber gone ho, a tweezer that kunged, the healing power of the funk that had come to pass, and so so much more. The tales wove the tapestry and the music played the band. and it was good. holy fucking shit was it good.

    Rejoice, my brothers and sisters, for now is the coming! Prepare yourselves for the inevitable onslaught of musical domination with which The Phish From Vermont will lay waste to the haterz and remind the faithful that it is through them that IT flows. The prophet Miner has laid forth the path for you, oh denizens of Gamehendge. Know that what has gone before will come again as the four take the stage for another December to remember! Go forth and make haste in your preparations and revel in the glory of what they have bestowed upon us in the years gone by.

    The time is near. The Shrine At Worcester and the Garden In The Island City await us. May your faces be melted and your minds blown asunder. The Power of Phish compels you!

  10. P.S.H.S. Says:

    i like mini keyboards

  11. nonoyolker Says:

    My favorite version of Free. One of the few times where Red wielding the keys paid off huge. He gets that crack like keys riff going and lays into it. He was grooving hard on his accoutrements during this jam, yessssir

    Tweezer ’99 tomorrow? Please, please?

    Touched down in San Diego yesterday for biz. Nice to get some Vit D before the holiday. Hope everyone is having a good holiday season

  12. KfL Says:


  13. kayatosh Says:

    This Free is $$$. exceptionally good. go trey.
    have a good one guys. I’m dedicating today to listening to music.

  14. Spasm Waiter Says:

    @T3- The Good Word.

  15. Kaveh Says:

    @T3 – The Power of Phish compels you!

    ^ Fine words. Amen.

    Good morning everyone; have a great day today!

  16. lumpyhead Says:

    Fans of Daft Punk who have good headphones handy:


  17. kayatosh Says:

    spinnin 12.12.95 – 2001. December 95 could be the pinnacle. so $$$. the sharpness of the playing, especially the drumming really stands out.

  18. kayatosh Says:

    make that 12.15.95 – 2001>bowie.

  19. lumpyhead Says:

    I think December 95 IS the pinnacle!

  20. lastwaltzer Says:

    “December 95 is the pinnacle. so $$$. “kaya

    fixed it 😉

  21. lumpyhead Says:

    It was as if every idea they’ve had since was coming all at once and causing seizures and the like.

  22. lumpyhead Says:

    LW, you going to MSG?

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    “December 95 is the A pinnacle. so $$$. “kaya

    fixed it 😉


  24. kayatosh Says:

    12.95 so intense and sharp.

    had to take a break from the heat. switched over to Greek Light. ahhhh.

  25. lastwaltzer Says:

    just 31 lumphead.

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