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. SillyWilly Says:

    So I finally sat down and watched the Coral Sky dvd.

    I should have waited until after new years to watch.

    I’m fucking jonesin right now.

  2. BingosBrother Says:

    “On the AC ticket thing, my friend chris ‘ buddy John needed a ticket. It was a half hour before posted show time. I looked at him in the eye. He didn’t have the hunt in him. I could sense it. Plus he’d eaten the vehicle. So I just hooked him up and went at it myself. Trust me, it was intense because I’d eaten the vehicle myself and didn’t want it to kick in before I got my ticket. It all worked out in the end”

    “Ticket”Hunter S. Thompson

    I don’t want to say I won’t be at MSG, but its gonna take a Doug Flutie at this point(You broke my heart Dougie).

  3. sumodie 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.

    You have no idea….

    I had the luck to visit one in Berkeley (which, as an out of stater with no prescription, is technically a no-no) before one of the Greek shows last summer

    mind BLOWN

    the place sold everything imaginable regarding herb -as an east coaster I felt like I was visiting an alternate universe

    somehow we accidentally visited one of the best dispensaries in the Bay area….and it turns out the manager was off to the Greek that night too

  4. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Sorry for the night shift barge-in, but things seem a little slow, so what the heck.

    Read KfL’s admission that he wasn’t digging the ’99 jams. I really have been liking them a lot, wishing I had more shows from that year. Loved the 12/11 jams for sure, and really like the electronic influence and very dank jams. But today’s Free kind of bored me. I didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. Then I put on the 12/12/95 Free, and I thought that was a lot more interesting. Lot of tension and release.

    Glad I don’t have to choose. And all in all, as I think has been mentioned today, if I was on tour, or couch tour, I think I’m as happy with ’10 as either ’95 or ’99. And especially ’97, which can get repetetive if you listen to it all the time.

  5. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    And this 12/12/95 is driving my young kittens insane. In a good way. Maybe I should name one of them neemor.

  6. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    *12/12/95 Antelope that is. Might make more sense now.

  7. Selector J Says:

    Not sure why but… I just volunteered to do an extra (early) hour of radio show tomorrow AM. (Sleep… pft.)

    I’ll be on from 6-9 AM CST aka Texas Time.

    Kind of doubt anyone here will be up and at ’em that early but thought I’d get the word out, just in case. And since I’m sure that I’ll be struggling to get even the most basic tasks done and therefore won’t be able to post a reminder in the morning:

    “When the right time come…” (i.e. in ~7 hours)
    click here.

    High time to go home, I guess…
    Good night, BB.

  8. Selector J Says:

    ” And all in all, as I think has been mentioned today, if I was on tour, or couch tour, I think I’m as happy with ’10 as either ’95 or ’99.”-TzG
    Amen to that!

    I’m digging ’99 more and more lately. The Raleigh Sand that Miner is writing about right now :mrgreen: was in heavy rotation for a while last month.

  9. Selector J Says:

    seriously, leaving now.
    :chunks the deuce:

  10. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    srsly, you mean


  11. neemor Says:

    neemor kitty.

    For Kenny Powers, a classic we all should enjoy:

    Forgive the stupid long link.

  12. butter Says:

    bigjig turned me onto thc candies, great for air travel

  13. neemor Says:

    As stated before, I thought today’s Free was stupendous.
    Different Strokes.

  14. gavinsdad Says:

    butter – thanks for the paper recs. you guys turned me onto elements/raws here last year. place in the city still had club cabarets so mine are hangin on for dear life. glueless is still the shit.

    wow holy strong cookies.

  15. butter Says:

    not the hash lolipops, much lighter and less time consuming, whole different thing

  16. neemor Says:

    ‘Course, when I stated it before, I think I referred to it as the Philly Free.
    And that makes me wonder.

  17. neemor Says:

    Mmm….hash lollipops

  18. butter Says:

    “holy rollers” – very good, light, easy to roll with, burn great, a generously sized 1-1/4

    ^it should have said

  19. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Just listened to the 12/12/95 disease, that shit’s epic. Reminded me of a ’73 dark star. Neemor, the Philly jam, Bowie was great. The Free from ’99 seemed a little repetitive, but I was at work. I’m more focused now, and have good wine, so will try again. For science.

  20. sumodie Says:

    @neemor: you know there’s kung fu in worcester after the monday phish show? At Tammany Hall, 5 minute walk from centrum

  21. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Just listened to 12/12/95 disease, that is epic, reminded me of a ’73 dark star Rolling today’s Free again for science. When I listened to it earlier I was at work. Now I have focus, and good wine.

    Just thought it was a little repetitive before. The Philly Bowie was great.

  22. bigjig Says:

    element nation!! Finally done with enough life shit that I can finally begin to think about NY in NYC. Can’t wait.

  23. neemor Says:

    I did know that sumo…
    Depending on my energy levels, I may or may not attend.
    I can easily see going to Tammany and feeling like I did at that Creek show in Providence….a little “sillied” out by the whole thing.
    We’ll see.
    Nice to know the option is there, for sure…
    Any thoughts?

  24. neemor Says:

    Hey jig.
    Tzara, I guess I can see what you mean by repetetive, but to me…pure dance music.

  25. BingosBrother Says:

    I want a goddamn lollipop. Stupid Illinois legislators.

Leave a Reply