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”

  1. garretc Says:


    You mean wrestling like the WWE?

    Cause that shit is dope! Especially watching with the volume turned down and a really great ICP show playing instead!

  2. butter Says:

    no way AZ or NM or CO is the midwest

    completely different feel than the midwest

    agreed CO is not the west coast, no way no how, but after the Rocky Mtns. the west starts.

  3. Lycanthropist Says:

    Phish >>> Sports

  4. Lycanthropist Says:

    yeh cant say i agree with LW’s geography either

    for one the South is definitely a region all to its own and Alamaba and most of Florida is part of that region.

  5. BingosBrother Says:

    “more possibilities and variables”

    Oh definitely. Are his gloves on tight enough? Will he tap the bat 2 or 3 times before almost being ready to play? Is coach grabbing his balls or giving the take sign? Did the game start yet? Is Gonzalez wife looking at me? Or LOOKING at me? Did I spit yet? Oh shit if I didn’t spit I’m doomed, should I spit twice? 😉

    “Ncaa march madness = best postseason event in all of sports”

    Agreed. And I despise basketball.
    D1 Football AD’s are retarded for not having a playoff. If someone like me who hates basketball can love March Madness then how much would I, as a football lover, love December Destruction?

  6. butter Says:

    12.15.95 vs. 10.30.10 “2001>Bowie” Steel Cage Match

    10.30.10’s “2001” pwns face on 12.15.95’s

  7. lastwaltzer Says:

    “And can we do it without getting rid of Philadelphia, so we can keep Kaya and Gdad around?”gavins

    ummm are you saying my freinds and family are expendable?

    “no way AZ or NM or CO is the midwest

    completely different feel than the midwest”butter

    I’m just speaking geographically.


    your absoulutley right. The south should get its own thing going. Everything west of texas and south of Misery.

  8. butter Says:

    95’s Bowie is much more open and experimental, though

  9. BingosBrother Says:

    Aw snap! Butter’s layin it down! 10-30-10 2001 = Sargeant Slaughter

    @garret : I got my eye on you. 😯

  10. butter Says:

    we can have our own maps @LW 😉

  11. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Because the NCAA loves $$$ more than drama, excitement, and fairness.


    I think 10/30/2010 takes it.

  12. butter Says:

    Bingos – i saw Big Boss Man vs Hulk Hogan in a steel cage match….epic

  13. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Even though a lot of people despised Trey’s drum kit and keyboard it did allow for the band to stretch out some songs which otherwise would have gotten boring without. Maybe boring is wrong word.

    Its allowed them to stretch their legs, so to speak, a lot of patient experimentation was the result of Trey dropping the ax for a few minutes here and there.

  14. BingosBrother Says:

    @duke : I think way more people would make way more $ with a playoff personally. I don’t give a shit what happens in any of these bowl games, but if they did a playoff the right way, me and millions of others would be glued to our idiot boxes.

    @butter : that is epic. Macho Man was always my guy. Love me some Elizabeth.

  15. butter Says:

    butterfly – i pretty much guarantee, that with a 20 min bunker lesson, i could redefine your expectations when you get in a bunker

    its just a technique, plain and simple

    once you have the technique you no longer say “oh shit, i’m in a bunker, i’m screwed”

    you say: “how close can i get this to the hole?”

    ebutter1 at mac dot com if you want to talk bunker play

  16. garretc Says:



  17. plord Says:

    Fuck all these team sports.

    Give me one person absolutely kicking all known ass in their chosen athletic endeavor. It doesn’t get more pure than Usain Bolt. “Run faster than the other guy.” Or, in his case, “faster than all known other guys.”

    Ditto Michael Phelps.

    Greg Louganis was *so much better* than anyone before or since in his sport that the only possible comparisons are Secretariat at the Belmont (for an individual performance) and Tiger Woods (over a whole career, although so far Louganis’ peak of performance was both longer and more consistent. Dude basically took gold in every diving event from 1978 to 1988 including NCAAs, Pan Am games, World Championships, and Olympics).

    Oh, and that wheelchair tennis player who hasn’t lost in forever. Hang On…Esther Vergeer. Hasn’t lost since 2003, 400 straight matches. National champ 11 times in a row. Check the youTubes, she is a crazy good tennis player, no modifiers required.

  18. lastwaltzer Says:


    remember how i was gonna stub you down on NYE, your sitting in the 400 level all night…………… 😉


    thats fine, my real problem is that we have a thing called the midwest. It just sounds dumb, thus my idea of incorporating a middle east 😉

  19. butter Says:

    so i went to the cage match with my Dad’s friend. He smoked weed (out of a three foot bong) and openly took steroids. Not completely unusual habits of WWF fans.

    My Father was straight laced except drinking. So he didn’t have very many, if any, friends like this. We ended up stealing a hotel courtesy shuttle that was running outside Rosemont Horizon after the match to get back to our car that was parked a few miles away.

    good times

  20. garretc Says:


    Oh no! If only there were other BBers who were gonna be there that night to perform the same function! I’m screwed!

  21. BingosBrother Says:

    thats cool plord, but I don’t enjoy watching people run or swim no matter how fast they are.

    I’ll raise you plord.


    And if any of you haven’t seen Murderball, you should.

  22. butter Says:

    hear ya Plord, but running and swimming isn’t really a “game”

    going to check out Esther Vergeer, that’s a crazy streak

  23. butterflyeffect Says:

    @butter i’ll be the fly in your ointment anytime. you’ve got mail

    @plord appreciate very much your story, would love to talk more. email me at yetanotherfakeemail420 at gmail if you like

  24. BingosBrother Says:

    That is awesome butter. I have also gone to Rosemont Horizon for WWF. Circus too. And my 1st Phish show. AllState Arena my ass.

  25. Mitch Says:

    I had no context on butters bunker comments. I thought you were ready for ww3 or something. You’ll stop thinking “I’m doomed, I’m in a bunker” to “hey, check out this sweet bunker setup”

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