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. neemor Says:

    One of the above, I suppose.

    It’s crazy…I’m just realizing how head and shoulders above 12.12.99 12.15 was.
    There was almost nothing besides the Drowned in HTFD that’s even remotely similar to that Philly Free.

  2. lastwaltzer Says:


    i saw you said you were gonna hunt down ok computer b side, fuck that. If you like radiohead hunt down “Towering Above The Rest”, its like a 10 disc set with all the b-sides, outtakes and a ton of other good shit

  3. butter Says:

    aj – i dig my iolite walkie talkie, a once in a while thing for me
    slight butane taste, not bad but noticeable (make sure to use the 5 times re-fined butane)

    i am mostly puffing thru what i cal the “car stereo” vaporizer

    best, tastiest vape ever. it’s about the size of a car stereo and has a digital temp. read out for you to dial in your preferred temp, comes in white and black. it utilizes the wooden box vapor brothers style, but improves vastly. wider whip, larger diameter more durable glass. made by some artisan up in Oregon. hard to get, hand made, and not marketed.

    need to get some of that beeswax for when i do smoke, because that is a noticeable difference when i smoke vs my car stereo vap

    had a similar experience as GD when i went rolling paper shopping down on the Haight. i got into it with a shop owner and he told me all the trends and what the kids are using. so much new. i never really rolling paper shopped, i just used clubs. now that they don’t make the cabaret double width glueless, i’ve had to adapt. at first i went to Elements and Raws, which sufficed. i like Elements better (1-1/4’s)

    i found:

    “holy rollers” – very good, light, easy to roll with, burn great, a generously

    “OCB” – dutch made, hemp papers, includes tips (i picked up that term while shopping, before i called them crutches or filters, but all the packs say “tips”) small paper, corner cut, perfect for personal joints or 2 people, or when you need to conserve weed. easy to roll with, glue sticks great yet they burn light

    “Raw – Connoisseur kingsize slim + tips – this pack has it all, the long tour ready fatty’s come out elegant and burn for a while, includes tips

    best tips:

    “Quintessential – Organic Hemp Coated” smoking tips (50 to a pack)
    medium size, hemp coating feels right

    current glass tube is a “Lux”, replaced my “Roar” after it broke a few Christmas’s ago

  4. Mr.Palmer Says:

    knicks giving celts the business. Amare is mvp!

  5. butter Says:

    yea, watchin too, Palmer, Amare is killing

  6. Gavinsdad Says:

    Just knocked out 4 doz cookies. Thank you Colorado butter.

  7. Themanatee Says:

    12/28 sec 126 two available
    chriscalarco at gmail

  8. Mr.Palmer Says:

    what a great bball game!

  9. jdub Says:

    Celts will pull it out

  10. jdub Says:

    Tis nice seeing the garden, gets me dreaming…

  11. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Celts are a championship caliber team. KG is a tool though imo. Amare ate him for lunch. Pierce and Allen are tough as hell. I;m just thrilled the Knicks are competitive again.

    It is nice seeing the garden rock….

  12. gavinsdad Says:

    @jdub – what NYE run you hittin, if any?

  13. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Pierce will bury one right here…

  14. Mr.Palmer Says:

    ….told ya

  15. Mr.Palmer Says:


  16. butter Says:

    Allen 4-5 from three point land, cold faced killer

  17. Mr.Palmer Says:

    looked like a catch and shoot to me. oh well, great game.

  18. jdub Says:

    No way, too late. Great fire by the knicks.

    @Gdad, only 1/1. Same boat as you with a homefront a bit sore that I’ve spent this much money/time on Phish this year. Worcester will be my playground and then close out the year in style.

  19. butter Says:

    Sports blog page needed, like the Lost one

  20. Selector J Says:

    Felton was a helluva pick up by the Knicks.
    To think, people were saying he was probably headed to Miami at one point…

  21. butter Says:

    Great game, and stoked for the Knicks and fans

  22. jdub Says:

    Allen is shooting like his days at UConn. Lights out from behind the arc this year. My favorite UConn player, he was just so smooth from day 1.

  23. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Knicks get the Heat at the Garden on Friday. Should be another good one.

    Felton has been amazing. Dantoni offense seems to have taken off with Amare and Felton running the show. He’s no Nash, but he’s playing great.

  24. neemor Says:

    That was a fun finish.
    And so to bed.

  25. Mr.Palmer Says:

    If the Knicks get their hands on Carmelo, they could be a real playoof contending team. Probably a year off still though.

    Finally starting up this Free. Love ’99!

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