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. Mitch Says:

    I don’t like rosemont er allstate. There I said it.

  2. butter Says:

    lol – i meant to post that a few pages back when Butterfly said he was not happy with his bunker play

    got distracted with emails, faxes and other bs

  3. Mitch Says:

    Made sense when you said close to the pin. But it was funny in my own head.

    The fly bys are fun before the shows tho.

  4. Jtran Says:

    7/2/97 and 11/14/95 Stash

    can’t decide which is higher on the $$$ shelf

  5. Litteringandd Says:

    I don’t like alpine. The music is very good but can’t handle that lawn. Allstate not great either

  6. butter Says:

    did you know in Scotland it’s strictly “hole location”

    not “pin cut”

  7. butter Says:

    the pav at Alpine rules

  8. Litteringandd Says:

    stub me down then butter geez

  9. butter Says:

    particularly the 100’s

    i do understand that its a rather large venue, to have 2000 good seats

    but they do play rippin shows there

  10. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Thats a tough one Jtran. I’ll give the slight edge to 7.2.97 .

  11. butter Says:

    i’ll stub you down next Alpine show, Litteringandd, just had to ask 🙂

  12. Litteringandd Says:

    The trench between lawn and pav at Creek is homebase to me.

  13. butter Says:

    loving this 12.15.99 Free, this is a tune that 2010 versions don’t want to step into the ring with

  14. butter Says:

    i used to rock the moats between pav and lawn

    now the moat between 100’s and 200’s is my moat

  15. Litteringandd Says:

    Looks like i need to get my boat over to your moat, better view

  16. albert walker Says:

    Allstate = one of the worst venues ever

    Alpine is one of my favorite pavilions and one of the worst lawns

    it’s like 2 different concerts going on there

  17. Spasm Waiter Says:

    @Butter- Best tip I got on bunker play was to imaging that the ball is on a tee hidden under the sand. Try to swipe the imaginary tee from under the ball. Visualization that works for me.

    One of Faldo’s FAVORITE talking points; Visualization.

  18. Jtran Says:


    They’re both on the $$$ shelf. I’m choosing not to decide.

  19. butter Says:

    bunker play:

    good visualization for sure Spasm

    also: open the stance, open the club, pick the club up quite steeply during the back swing and accelerate thru the ball while trying to hold the club face open

    the real key after making these adjustments is to swing much harder than you think you need to, as you have added loft by opening the club face, thus making the ball come out higher and softer

    sorry for golf hi-jack, i’m done

  20. lastwaltzer Says:


    damn son, thought we were cool……….now your all hostile and shit……………its the tapes isnt it………………i never sent the tapes………………

  21. kayatosh Says:

    7.2.97 stash

  22. joe Says:

    also aim a half a foot behind the ball and swing down hard.

  23. joe Says:

    re: sports. I love em all to a fault. I’ll watch fucking darts on tv instead of a sitcom any day of the week. actually kind of pissed that I don’t get the channel that used to show dart matches anymore.

  24. joe Says:

    bb open next summer?

  25. P.S.H.S Says:

    TPC Boston is right next to GreatWoods, I’ll give anyone on the bb a stroke a hole. Wait that sounds funny…

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