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

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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. voopa Says:

    I know butter, just being contrary.

  2. Mitch Says:

    That desert sky post stands out in my mind more than others as well AW. “a desert antelope”. That lope has some teeth on it.

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    thanks. I figured as much but wanted a little outside validation of my belief.

  4. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Drive by…

    The DOTD was my parents’ second show. A “skip show” perhaps. They had the

    Rocky Top Opener! I get a kick out of interesting song placement as long as it doesn’t break the flow.

    The Divided Sky was intense but that was me then and that was then then.

    As you were, unless you were me.
    SOAM was unfinished and they dropped into Hood out of one of page’s klezmer keyboard runs, to f with page. The Hood had a unique jam and still sits high on my lists of hoods, ymmv. Check it though and get back with me.

  5. voopa Says:

    Vegas and Phoenix are about as West Coast as Red Rocks.

  6. Mitch Says:

    T3, email me re: your drive. No big deal, just gotta get a new enclosure.

  7. Mr.Palmer Says:

    I figured as much @ Voopa. Its west coast to me though. 🙂

  8. butterflyeffect Says:

    @Palmer got you

    here’s a change-up (wink): can any of you career cats, to use AW’s parlance, comment on the behavioral/ontological choices you may or may not have made to transition from bohemian dionysian to bread-winner?

    i find myself almost out of grad school (with or without phd, remains to be seen) and still having a very hard time envisioning involving myself with any kind of work ethic. academia almost seems to be an impossibility given it’s draconian bureaucracy, and, well, demands

    this seems to be a pervasive question and i would love to hear some of the nuanced opinions from you folks

  9. Mitch Says:

    Mr C, I/O errors are often reported when the drive fails. So we aren’t confusing the two.

  10. albert walker Says:

    Yeah not having a coast Colorado is tough calling a west coast state

    But to me any states west of Nebraska are considered western states

  11. Mitch Says:

    I included at the end of that but the html’s ate it

  12. Mitch Says:

    <…../…..dork rant…..}

    Was trying for end dork rant. I give up.

  13. sumodie Says:

    west of Mississippi river = west coast

    east of West Virginia = east coast

    fact! 😉

  14. st8 of mind Says:

    Baseball / Classical
    Hockey / Jazz

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Will do Mitch
    Headed into meeting but will emailio laterz

  16. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Listening to Hampton 2003-1-3 Tweezer. So far really bad. Holy shit Trey is not owning this. 6 mins into a 14 min Tweez.

  17. lastwaltzer Says:

    do i really have to do this again?

    Here is how it should be:

    Califorina, oregon, washington= west coast
    Arizona, coloarado, new mexico, illinois, texas = mid west
    Ohio, Pennsylvania, west Virgina, Alabama = middle east
    New Jeresey, maine, rhode island, florida = east coast


    I was born and raised in the middle east 😉

  18. plord Says:

    @butterfly I dunno man, I stayed a bohemian dionysian through my first 3 jobs. It was a critical survival skill because the non-academic breadwinner thing was ass-monkeys 24/7 (I started out in the public sector, working at the Patent Office).

  19. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    F that shit LW!

    AZ is SW at a minimum. At a maximum AZ is inter-mountain west.

    Midwest is flat like pancake!

  20. garretc Says:


    When can we get around to bombing that middle east, @lw?

    And can we do it without getting rid of Philadelphia, so we can keep Kaya and Gdad around?

  21. BingosBrother Says:

    Live baseball is awesome. Radio baseball is great with the right announcers(RIP Ron Santo). Baseball on TV is awful.

    Live football is okay unless you have great seats. Radio football is decent with good announcers(Jeff Joniak). Football on TV rules.

    But Wrestling kills them all and is the OG pure sport.

  22. plord Says:

    If you’re not constitutionally adapted to performing your job with a hangover/still drunk/still tripping/post-bacchanal-cracked-out then it might not work out so well, but my first few jobs were all non-dangerous desk jockey jobs related to my primary geek-out hobby in college, so I could and did perform them under all manner of adulterated conditions.

  23. garretc Says:

    Baseball on TV is awesome when the volume is turned down, and a really good GD or Phish show is playing instead.

    Well, I still like it when I have to listen to the announcers, unless either of them has names that rhyme with Slow Duck or Gym MickLarver. In those cases, I want to claw my brain out through my ears so I can save it from absorbing any of the massive quantities of stupidity that is flowing from the speakers…

  24. kayatosh Says:

    baseball. no contest.

    far more exciting for me than football; more possibilities and variables.. easier to follow the action.

  25. Mr.Palmer Says:

    College hoops>Pro Hoops. everyday and twice on tuesdays. ( where did that dumb saying come from? )

    Bad football is better to watch than bad baseball. I love almost all sports though. Whatever season we are in, its my favorite sport. If sports are going on simultaneously then its whichever is in the playoffs or closer to those playoffs.

    Ncaa march madness = best postseason event in all of sports, not even really close IMO.

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