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. Completely Says:

    I also just googled “The Fucking Book” and didn’t get what I expected

    lots of results though

  2. Foul_Domain Says:

    “Phish: The Fucking Book”

    By Mr. Miner

    ^ How about just “The Phucking Book” by Mr. Miner

    either way, I like it!

  3. garretc Says:

    I hope you’re taking notes Miner! We’re handing you riches on a silver platter right now!

  4. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I am so confused now. which is more exponentially (or infinitely) complex and intellectually challenging? was it football or football?

  5. Dublin97 Says:

    sorry, very little sleep going on the last few days… getting the work done in advance of vacay!!!! Perhaps I should study up on the fucking book to make the holidays more enjoyable.

  6. Foul_Domain Says:

    @T3 – football is more exponentially challenging, whereas football is more infinitely challenging.

    hope this helps…

  7. P.S.H.S. Says:

    footbell is infinitely more complex than football

  8. Dublin97 Says:

    Definitely football, T3.

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    your Illness – “What it was, was Football”


    and sorry for the baseball troll!!! no offense or nothin’!!! I kind of miss liking the game, but I’ve tried getting back into it and it just doesn’t work for me anymore.

  10. garretc Says:


    I always thought footbell was exceedingly simple:

    footbell = badass

    Have I been oversimplifying this whole time?

  11. Dublin97 Says:

    PSHA wins! Been lovin’ the footbell lately – did you guys check it out at the beginning of Sand in Charleston II? First time I heard it before even the lyrics started.

  12. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    thanks. clearly, footbell trumps all. this is what we should take from this exercise me thinks. as if we didn’t already know that…

  13. Litteringandd Says:


  14. Foul_Domain Says:

    I think the operator of the footbell is probably the most infinitely complex of them all

  15. P.S.H.S. Says:

    “footbell is infinitely more complex than football”

    in the mass market yes, on the BB, no

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    it’s ironic that the activity of a mind as abstract and convoluted as Mike’s sometimes culminates in such a simple, unitary signal as the footbell

    perhaps there’s a zen message encoded there

    or perhaps Mike just digs the footbell

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    i giggle every time someone calls me “tha illness” (or a derivation thereof). thank you autotext!

  18. Litteringandd Says:

    For me the first 43 minutes of a NBA game look like an And 1 tournament. Only thing missing is the guy with the mic on the floor

  19. P.S.H.S. Says:

    pre-sand footbell signifies, “Let’s get it on!”- Mills Lane

  20. Jtran Says:


    If I misspoke sorry. Pt. 2 , 12/99 picks is the one that doesn’t work for me.

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    Ah the George Will argument. Having grown up with both I can tell you that football is exponentially more complex and intellectually challenging that football. At least 10x, possibly 100x more complex and interesting.

    ^ I played both for years, understand the complexities of both, and find baseball far more interesting and intellectually stimulating. So I guess its personal preference.

  22. butter Says:

    baseball vs football

    and baseball vs every other sport

    love it…..never know what you’ll find when you come here

    Baseball is far more “pure” than Football

    to me Golf is the “purist” sport

    you hit the ball until you get it in the whole, nothing is debatable
    just add up your strokes

    for a team sport baseball is the purist

    Football has many flaws in the rules that open itself up to judgement calls

    obviously this is one reason you need instant replay…..see how far from pure we’ve already gotten

    i despise to see it entering baseball, but understand in the day of modern media you almost have to. 200 million can get the call right, but the ump can’t….that’s a problem

    Now, football’s greatest feature is the importance of each game, only 16 games, making each contest a heightened event. furthermore only 8 home games. Compare this with 162 game baseball season. Miner’s
    “short attention span” argument is valid here. But you can make the argument that the baseball season is mucho watered down and the excitement doesn’t start until after the all-star break. The NFL offers much more in the “what have you done for me lately” department.

    i also despise making the NFL season longer, i believe you will start to see players sit out games like in basketball and baseball for rest. the players are already at their limit of injury and pain threshold

    if you watch the NFL you understand this, the only reason to make the season longer is $

    i like both alot, but unless my team is in the playoffs in baseball, i am more excited for NFL Sunday’s

    My wife is an avid NFL fan also making Sunday’s a holy day in the butter house

    we’ve probably seen the peak in the NFL due to the league limiting the brutal hits

    baseball will go on and on, as it’s a more pure sport

    there is something quite zen about sitting at a day game in the summer, with the green grass, smell of the ball park and crack of the wood bat

  23. voopa Says:

    “you hit the ball until you get it in the whole, nothing is debatable”

    Except what constitutes a bunker on those funky courses.

  24. albert walker Says:

    love that fuckin baseball

    even if the cubs are a fuckin joke and will be rebuilding for years

    fucking cubs

  25. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ JTran.

    I just tried to fix Dec 99 pt. 2 and it looks like that file has been deleted from my mediafire existence. Hmmm.. that sucks. Does anyone have this folder/flle somewhere to zip up and resend me so I can get in back online. Again this is:

    Miner’s Picks: December ’99 part 2

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