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. Mr.Miner Says:

    weed talk has taken over…i like 🙂 I’m still using lighters and Roors…call me old school 😉

  2. rivertrance Says:

    yeah Miner

    Roors were the first generation of the new school style though

    they were innovators

    ROor makes a real nice classic bubbler though also

  3. joe Says:

    I use matches from 7-11 and an old Mountain Dew can with pin holes in it….that’s old school. 🙂

  4. garretc Says:


    Haha, don’t trip about it, I’ve never paid more than $12 dollars for a smoking device, and that was only because my beloved corn cob pipes aren’t convenient for smoking snaps…

    They key is to have friends with extravagant pieces…

  5. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Lighter, glass onie, while freezing in the garage. Now that’s living!

  6. joe Says:

    it’s called recycling….when I’m feeling organic, I use a hollowed out carrot stick.

  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Llfa@ Joe. Been there. Brutal.

  8. rivertrance Says:

    I don’t get my first puff till 6:00 cuz my gig and puffin aren’t a good mix

    but when I do get home. I want the 2 ft double bubble medicali with the ice catcher filled to the top with fresh cubes

    my lungs are toasted. those onies are way too hot. they kill me.

    I need the water cool down.

    medicali is smooth.

  9. jdub Says:

    @GarretC, that’s how I roll these days.

    Nice Joe! An apple leaves a sweet taste and is organic as well.

  10. Jtran Says:

    Personally still using the small piece Silly and I bought before AC2. It’ll be at MSG, along with the AC fb

  11. garretc Says:

    Apple pipes have definitely come in handy a few time over the years…

  12. Jtran Says:

    Love smoking out of apples. That’s how my buddy and I rolled in HS.

    Leave no trace

  13. Jtran Says:


    If you ever do get that 12/99 Pt. 2 up and running again I’d be appreciative. Love those mixes.

  14. garretc Says:


    We should roll w/ apple pipes to MSG… That’d be classy as all get out!

  15. joe Says:

    Do the sell all the apparati in the medical dispensaries in California as well? I think my head might explode as soon as I walked into one of those places.

  16. neemor Says:

    12.15.99 Free is absolute bliss.
    Try not dancing.
    Try it.

  17. Jtran Says:


    If they allow food into MSG I’m not against it at alll… 🙂

  18. neemor Says:

    Bee Line was a pretty nifty way to go.
    Robear brought that ish into my world and I’ve never looked at the culture the same way again.

  19. rivertrance Says:

    I fought the beeline for a while. but my local shop keeps kicking me down a few feet every time I’m in there for cleaning solution or a new slide or whatever

    for me it is amazing how much the butane clouds the real taste of the herb

    I’m sure there are health benefits but I’m in it for the pure taste.

    gonna go hit the beeline right now see if the Hawks can actually win one tonight


  20. rivertrance Says:

    just had a flashback of me and Robear pulling tubes in the Miami sky box on new years with some Bee-line

  21. joe Says:

    guy unloading Worcester and 12/30 tickets for face:


  22. neemor Says:

    The night Robear walked backwards through security ticketless and scaled the twelve-foot-high concrete divider to enjoy the benefits of a NYE sky box.

  23. neemor Says:

    That craigslist is a hefty sum…you’ve got to have a dedicated crew or something to make that reasonable.

  24. joe Says:

    yeah, I got fooled by the $60 Headline. don’t look like great seats either…back to the drawing board I guess.

  25. garretc Says:


    Or a scalper looking to flip a profit…

    Or a really rich humanitarian who wants to miracle a bunch of Phish fans…

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