TTFF: First Set Fire

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on April 29th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

6.26.10 (G.Lucas)

This Friday’s installment of Ten Tunes was inspired by Twitter banter between fans and fellow Phish bloggers throughout the week about the band’s most devastating first set jams. Though I didn’t want to repeat songs, I did bookend the playlist with “Bathtub Gin” (and a couple more could have easily made it as well). This list is hardly comprehensive as its comprised of only ten jams, but these are some of my favorite first setters in history. May these tunes assist you in your ticket-finding missions today and tomorrow! (And join the conversations—follow me @mrminer on Twitter!)

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Bathtub Gin” 7.29.98

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

The Riverport “Gin” gets my vote for the best opener in history.

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Ghost” 11.17.97

And Denver’s “Ghost” from ’97 gets my vote for best first set jam in history; and can be in any sort of discussion about elite performances.

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Tweezer” 6.24.00

10.31.10 II (G.Lucas)

10.31.10 II (G.Lucas)

Lakewood’s “Tweezer” from 2000 isn’t far behind; a top-shelf version through and through.

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Gumbo” 8.13.97

My favorite “Gumbo;” gooey summer funk followed by a melodic release in a “Franklin’s Tower”-esque jam.

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Tube > Slave” 12.7.97

3.09 (J.Volckhausen)

Dayton’s set-ending combo needs no introduction.

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Ya Mar” 8.2.03 IT

Phish often dove deep early in the show in 2003, and this “Ya Mar” from IT is but one example.

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Down With Disease” 12.11.97

12.30.2010 (G. Lucas)

A classic jam from Rochester ’97; hard rock into dripping brain candy.

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Mike’s Song” 11.22.97

The opener from Hampton’s iconic show on 11.22.97.

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Weekapaug” 4.3.98

8.10.10 (G.Lucas)

And The Island Run’s “Crosseyed” and “Mozambique”-laced “Weekapaug;” arguably its most impressive outing of all-time.

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Bathtub Gin” 6.28.00

This shredfest from Summer 2000 at PNC is too fierce to leave off this list.

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Pronouncing It In Several Ways

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on April 26th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

12.29.09 (Wendy Rogell)

Though Phish has many protean songs whose jams reach differing musical realms, few launchpads hold such diverse possibilities as “Twist” every time out. Since the song debuted in Dublin to kick off Summer ’97, “Twist” jams have never held a predestined path, while leading the band into many different musical pastures. Covering all ground, from groove to ambient soundscapes and rock and roll to avant-garde quasi-jazz escapades, “Twist” has always featured dips into the musical unknown. The versatility of the song is clearly illustrated when looking at some of the seminal (and obscure) versions.

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Desert Sky Pavilion 7.29.97 II

This early version of the song, during the first week of the band’s US Summer Tour in ’97, immediately illustrated the jam’s propensity for psychedelia. Entering a dark and abstract jam amidst a summer best-known for funk music, this new song did’t always lead into chunky grooves.

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Nassau Coliseum 4.2.98 II

Nassau '98 (livephish)

One of the most iconic “Twists” ever played, this blissful escapade in melodic space-groove remains a defining relic of Spring ’98’s Island Run. No other versions touches the convergence of rhythm and catharsis that this one does, and the melding of the two elements created one of the driving, danceable, and smoothest versions ever played. On this night, “Twist” touched the divine.

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Big Cypress, Florida 12.31.99

Big Cypress

As the band got a few songs into their midnight set at Big Cypress, “Twist” whispered into the Florida night. A gorgeous rendition that featured a hypnotic melody over a soft ambent backdrop, this “Twist” provided an introspective journey as we passed into 2000. Combining with “Caspian,” this version soothed the soul as we seeped deep into night.

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Drum Logos, Fukuoka, JP  6.14.00 II

If the Island “Twist” represents one peak for the song, this jam from Fukuoka, on Japan’s southern island, is unquestionably the other. In a tiny club, Phish played the most cerebral and coherent ambient music of their career; a nuanced and delicate conversation that could have only happened within such intimate environs. This version likens a silk carpet on which the audience rode into outer space. Well known as part of LivePhish 4, this “Twist” is one of the band’s timeless jams that never gets old.

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Tweeter Center, Camden, NJ 7.30.03 II

7.30.03

When Phish came back from for the second phase of their career, they continued to push “Twist” into new places. During an era when the band took musical risks like they were going out of style, “Twist” was often the beneficiary of such exploration. This churning and sprawling rendition represents the full-throttle, psychedelic experiments of Summer ’03 and one of the darkest jams of the tour.

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Alpine Valley 7.18.03 II

Only weeks before the aforementioned Camden odyssey, Phish had a close encounter with extra terrestrial lifeforms while engaged in this space-aged, mind-control experiment.

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The Spectrum 11.29.03 II

Circa '03

11.29.03

One of the few defining jams of an underwhelming Turkey Run, this “Twist” got quite melodic before gradually descending through a sequence of groove, into an uncompressed dungeon of guitar terror. A stellar snapshot of post-hiatus jamming, a growling and unexpected segue into “Simple” brought this menacing sequence back into the light.

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SPAC 6.20.04 II

SPAC 2004

Part of Phish’s last burst of creativity the second time around, this “Twist” stood up with “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” and “Piper” as the brightest stars from an unforgettable weekend at SPAC. This multi-faceted version featured furious full-band, bass-led grooves, that saw Mike going beserk before the band brought it down and Trey’s delicate rhythm licks revved the second half of this summer highlight—a truly elite rendition.

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TTFF: Through The Years

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on April 22nd, 2011 by Mr.Miner

12.31.10 (G.Estreich)

This week, Ten Tunes For Friday features one selection from each year between 1993 and 2003. Enjoy the juxtaposition of jamming styles, and hopefully it will take you right into the weekend!

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2001 > David Bowie” 11.11.95 II

This combination kicked off the third night at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, a run that revved up the second half of a marathon Fall Tour.

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8.10.10 (G.Lucas)

Mike’s Song” 12.30.93 II

A classic piece of Phish history.

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Down with Disease” 12.30.03 II

A passionate version that gets lost in the shuffle of Miami ’03 that features a spine-tingling re-entry into the song’s theme at the end of the jam.

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Reba” 8.14.96 I

An eternally underrated show in Hershey ’96 finally began to get its props over a decade after the fact.

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Piper” 6.10.00 I

In the band’s second night in Tokyo, this 20-plus minute “Piper” batted third in the first set after a near half-hour “Disease” sparked the show.

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Ghost” 11.11.98 I

One of my favorite Fall ’98 “Ghosts” from Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Limb By Limb” 12.3.99 II

This version from Cincy ’99 is far more your average “Limb.”

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6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

Split Open and Melt” 12.7.94 I

 

A shredding first-setter from Spreckels Theatre in San Diego near the end of Fall ’94.

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Harry Hood” 11.16.97 II

The night before Denver ’97’s monumental show, Phish dropped this stellar “Hood” towards the end of the second set.

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Woke Up This Morning…

Posted in Uncategorized with the on April 20th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

"Makisupa Policeman" (Bruno)

On the ultimate stoner holiday, 4/20, let’s take a look at the band’s lone reggae song and herbal reference, “Makisupa Policeman.” This article was first posted a year ago today and I excerpted the intro below with a link to the entire piece.

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Of all the musical genres in which Phish dabbles, reggae is, perhaps, the least significant. With mere passages of “Harry Hood” and “Slave” flirting with a roots-based groove, “Makisupa Policeman” is Phish’s lone original foray into the genre.  A relic from the band’s stonier days, “Makisupa” is actually the first known publicly played Phish original, making its debut on 10.23.84. Mentioning this fact in Philadelphia on 11.29.03, Trey also also noted that its lyrics were written by Tom Marshall as a kid. Though it was the “original Phish song,” the band’s homage to ganja has been somewhat of a rarity throughout their career. Always eliciting comedic cheers with Trey’s chosen “keyword,“ ”Makisupa” is Phish’s only musical reference to many fans’ recreational smoke. Usually highlighted by the creative dub lines of Gordon, this song has played multiple roles throughout Phish’s career….Read on!

Click here to read the entire post strewn with audio clips!

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“Makisupa -> Night Nurse -> Makisupa” 10.26.2010 II

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“Makisupa” 10.4.99 Normal, IL II

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One Crazy Summer

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on April 18th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

8.10.10 - Telluride, CO (G. Lucas)

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Phish will travel the long and winding road of Summer 2011. Totaling 30 shows right now, and with one more announcement on the horizon, this will be the largest tour the band has undertaken since their return. Granted their are breaks in between the four portions of shows, but when the band plays together this much within a short period of time, magic begins to happen in a different way. Regardless of how well Phish is playing at the time, there is only so far their jamming will go in the context of a 14 show tour like last fall. But when you combine nearly 35 shows within one season of playing, musical trends develop, improvisational themes emerge, and styles of play become crystallized as a portrait of a point in time.

Summer '93 (Pollock)

Think back to the longer tours of the mid-’90s when the band toured incessantly. The iconic months of August ’93, November ’94, and December ’95 didn’t pop out of nowhere, rather they were a direct result of extensive touring and constant improvising night after night after night. And while Summer 2011 can’t replicate the group dynamic that arose over a 54-show fall tour in 1995, the countless shows that comprised the winter, spring and summer of 1993, the number of shows does correlate much more with summer tours of the late ’90s.

Phish’s 1997 Summer Tour consisted of 38 shows (19 in Europe), Summer ’98 equaled 33 shows (9 in Europe), Summer ’99 clocked in 23 shows (3 in Japan), while the band’s Summer Tour of 2000 was comprised of 25 shows (7 in Japan). Add the 30 shows already on this summer’s slate with a few more around Labor Day, and Summer 2011 lands right in the same ball park as many well-loved summers of lore. Over the course of these previous summers, though less so in 2000, distinct jamming styles developed with such focused playing. Could we be looking an earnest stage of musical change this summer? With the tightness, creativity and momentum of Fall Tour and New Year’s Run in tow, alongside successful side-projects from Trey and Mike, the band could be on the brink of quite the memorable season.

7.4.10 - Alpharetta, GA (W.Rogell)

Starting in Bethel, slated through UIC in mid-August, and rumored to end in Colorado around Labor Day, any way you cut it, Summer 2011 is shaping up to be a monster. With that much time on stage together, things will happen that are unplanned, go unspoken, and will bring surprise to everyone, band included. This amount of playing, though broken up into four segments over three months, will still provide a certain density of improvisational minutes unseen by the band since their return. Might we witness some of their most impressive playing thus far in this era? In my opinion, the odds are high. Broken into legs of 18 shows, a three-show festival throwdown, and nine shows, where the treasures will arise is anyone’s guess. And legitimate theories could be posed as to why each of  the three scheduled segments will blow up. Whether it be classic East Coast venues and the most shows at once, a super-sized festival, or the inspiration of west coast nature, each part of summer seems to have its own perks and potential. Pick and choose where you must, but remember, it’s about the shows you hit, not the ones you miss! (Most of the time.)

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Jam of the Day:

Twist -> Izabella” 7.31.98 II

A classic summer nugget from Polaris ’98.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.20.1998 Venura Co. Fairgrounds, Ventura, CA

FLAC Torrent (via etree)Megaupload < Links

Ventura 1998

Highlights of Ventura ’98 include the opening “Bathtub Gin” (Riverport’s little brother), “Drowned -> Makisupa,” a rare appearance of The Who’s “Sea and Sand,” and “Harry Hood.”

I: Bathtub Gin, Dirt, Poor Heart, Lawn Boy, My Sweet One, Birds of a Feather, Theme From the Bottom, Water in the Sky, The Moma Dance, Split Open and Melt

II: Drowned -> Makisupa Policeman > Maze, Sea and Sand, Prince Caspian > Harry Hood

E: Sexual Healing* > Hold Your Head Up, Halley’s Comet

*debut

Source:AKG c568eb (OTS, pointed at stacks) -> Aerco Pre-Amp -> Sony D-8 @ 48KHz

Tags:

Weekend Nuggets: Pure Magic

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on April 16th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

Twelve years ago…

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“Shakedown Street” 4.15.99 II

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“Row Jimmy” 4.16.99 I

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Jam of the Weekend:

Dark Star -> It’s Up to You” 4.17.99 I

The peak of a jaw-dropping weekend.

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Bonus Jams:

Wolfman’s -> Uncle John’s Band” 4.15 II

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Prince Caspian > St. Stephen -> The Eleven” 4.16 II

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Downloads of the Weekend: Phil and Friends April ’99

4.15.99 SBD, 4.16.99 SBD, 4.17.99 SBD < Megaupload

ALL THREE NIGHTS - SBD (FLAC via etree) < Torrent

4.15.99

I: Viola Lee Blues, Big Railroad Blues, Jack-a-Roe, Cosmic Charlie, Wolfman’s Brother -> Uncle John’s Band

II: Alabama Getaway, Sugaree, Like a Rolling Stone > I Know You Rider, Row Jimmy, Shakedown Street -> The Wheel > Not Fade Away

E: Mr Tambourine Man

4.16.99

I: Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower, Wish You Were Here, Tennessee Jed, Stella Blue*, Alligator

II: Bertha**, Prince Caspian > St Stephen -> The Eleven > Unbroken Chain, Chalkdust Torture, Mountains of the Moon, Scarlet Begonias**-> Fire On The Mountain**

E: Ripple (acoustic)**

*instrumental ** W/ Donna Jean Godchaux MacKay

4.17.99

I: Dark Star -> It’s Up to You, Days Between -> Dark Star (first verse) -> My Favorite Things, Mississippi Half-Step, Birdsong

II: Terrapin Station -> Down with Disease -> Dark Star (second verse) -> Friend of the Devil, Casey Jones, Morning Dew, Goin Down The Road Feelin Bad* > And We Bid You Goodnight

E: Box of Rain

* w/ Donna

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The Gorge Sound: 1.0

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on April 14th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

The Gorge 8.7.09 (G.Lucas)

I’ve always said that Phish both plays and sounds different at The Gorge. With nothing containing their sound, the tempo of their music slows down as the notes take time to boom over the crowd; and this dynamic creates a unique tempo and sound for Phish music. The results are patient, wide-open jams whose sound is simply not replicated anywhere on the planet. As we are heading back to this stunning locale in August for two more shows, let’s look at some jams from Phish’s first era that define their “Gorge Sound.”

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Disease -> Tweezer -> Disease” 8.2.97 II

The Gorge (G.Lucas)

The funk-laced and bass-led “Diseezer” highlighted Phish’s first show ever at The Gorge.

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Reba > Fast Enough” 7.16.98 I

A funked-out, laid back rendition of “Reba” was played to the sunset and fused the Summer ’98 sound with The Gorge sound.

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Tube” 7.16.98 II

The Gorge (G.Lucas)

This wide-open version from late in the second set typifies the open-air Gorge sound.

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Gumbo” 7.17.98 I

This slowed down version on a hot afternoon matched The Gorge’s vast surroundings.

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2001 > Mike’s” 7.17.98 II

The Gorge (Rogell)

A quintessential nugget of Gorge history.

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Wolfman’s -> Sand” 9.11.99 II

Wolfman’s molasses funk morphed into the first-ever Phish version of “Sand;” a big-time experience.

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Harry Hood” 9.11.99 II

The Gorge (G.Lucas)

A beautiful version from ’99 in a long lineage of gorgeous Gorge “Hoods.”

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Tags: , ,

UIC Jams

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on April 12th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

UIC Pavilion - Chicago

Mind Left Bowie” 6.18.94 II

One of the most classic pieces ever dropped at UIC.

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Bathtub Gin” 11.9.98 II

And this “Gin” is not far behind.

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Tweezer > Lifeboy” 6.18.94 II

Nor is this “Tweezer,” with a massive “Mind Left Body” peak.

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Free” 11.9.98 I

A crunchy first half “Free” that gets forgotten due to the monstrosity of the second set; a reminder of what the jam once was.

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Mike’s” 11.7.98 I

Funk into bliss; a great way to start a show.

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Disease > Piper” 11.8.98 II

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A classic pairing in high-octane, Fall ’98 fashion.

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Stash” 11.8.98 I

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Another first set beast that gets lost in the six sets of 1998.

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Reba” 11.25.94 I

The sole track on this playlist reppin’ Fall ’94’s UIC offering.

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Summer’s Swan Song?

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on April 11th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

The Gorge '09 (Graham Lucas)

Phish added one more piece to their massive summer puzzle of 2011 yesterday, announcing a dream-like West Coast stint at the beginning of August and a three-pack to follow at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion—a venue rich in Phish history. Totaling 30 shows for the summer at this point, the season’s most recent addition looks to be the most intriguing leg of all. And adding a twist to things, the band worded their announcement ambiguously—they did not state that these would be the final shows of summer, nor did they say that there would be another announcement—leaving many fans wondering if UIC marks the end of the road.

Hollywood Bowl - Los Angeles

Could Red Light possibly wait for another cycle of on-sales to release more dates? Yes. In fact, in response to an email inquiry about any further shows, Red Light respectfully wrote back “We are considering a small amount of dates around Labor Day, but will be a minute before they are confirmed.” Really? Let’s look at the situation here. August’s tour had been rumored to travel back to the East Coast, hitting venues such as Hartford, SPAC and Jones Beach. But with a supersaturation of Northeast Phish shows this summer, and only one of them sold out, perhaps management nipped those in the bud and replaced them with a Labor Day run. Perhaps Labor day will be in Colorado. But let’s throw speculation out the window for now and look at what is officially on the books, because this run looks to be the peak of the summer!

After one year off, the band will return to The Gorge on August 5th and 6th to kick off the second leg of Summer Tour. Opening up on the most stunning stage of in nation, get ready for two nights of wide-open Phish jams like only The Gorge can provide! After a quick day off, on August 8th Phish will finally play the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles for the first time in their career after years of ongoing rumors. With a capacity of 17,376 (and The Gorge’s 20,000+), nobody should have any problems finding tickets to the first three nights of tour. But the next couple might be different.

Harvey's - Lake Tahoe

Fans will hit the road immediately after the Hollywood Bowl show, because the very next day Phish will arrive in Lake Tahoe on the California / Nevada border for a two-night stand at Harvey’s Casino make-shift 7,000 person amphitheatre on August 9th and 10th. Located in a leftover parking lot with bleacher seating at the back, Harvey’s Outdoor Amphitheatre may prove to be a bit more difficult to grab tickets for. Though the venue, itself, may be a bit roughshod, Phish will visit another beacon of West Coast nature in Lake Tahoe, and fans will enjoy two days in mountains with rental properties and hotels on the lake during a spectacular time of year.

Following another day off, Phish will head from Tahoe to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to headline the city’s Outside Lands festival on Friday, August 12th. Headlining the other two nights will be Muse and Arcade Fire, and though the schedule has yet to be released, you can check out the full lineup here. And there’s still rumor floating that the band will also play a solo show at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco the following night.

UIC '98 (Pollock)

Phish may bookend a summer that will open with three shows at Bethel Woods with three shows at UIC Pavilion in Chicago. These shows will mark the band’s first return to UIC’s intimate environs since a legendary three-night stand during Fall ’98. Phish also played two standout shows at UIC  in 1994—6.18 and 11.25—and will undoubtedly add to their legacy with a three-pack that could close out the touring season. Moving into Chicago’s gritty, undersized venue for the final nights of summer with a tour’s worth of momentum is the recipe for the perfect storm; an end-of-tour blowout of the highest degree.

Tickets requests are now open for an unusually long, two-week period ending April 25 at 11:59 am est. The Gorge and Tahoe are full General Admission shows and cost only $50 each. The Hollywood Bowl has tiered pricing at $60 and $45 for reserved seating only, and UIC will be $60 for reserved seats or GA floor.

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Jam of the Day:

Sneakin’ Sally” 8.7.09 II

A gem from Phish’s last visit to The Gorge.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

11.7.98 UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Megaupload < Links

UIC 1998

My favorite of the three nights in ’98, primarily because of the other-wordly improvisation that took place within “AC/DC Bag > Ghost.” Secondary reasons include a blissful, classic “Reba” and a darkhorse “Mike’s that gets the show underway with some dirty funk grooves. During an awesome fall tour, the shows at UIC were among the best, and they are all available for download in Phish Thoughts’ Audio Archive.

I. My Soul, Mike’s Song > Driver, Brian and Robert, The Wedge, Limb By Limb, Fikus, Billy Breathes, Beauty of My Dreams, Weekapaug Groove

II. AC/DC Bag -> Ghost, Reba, Farmhouse

E: Guyute, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Source: Flacs: Audio Technica 815 (shotguns) > Sony SBM-1 > DAT (@ 48 kHz), MP3s: Schoeps

Tags:

And Just Like That…

Posted in Uncategorized with the on April 11th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

 

Phish Summer 2011 - Leg Two

We have our summer dates! Thoughts to follow!

8/05 – The Gorge Amphithetare, George, WA

8/06 – The Gorge Amphithetare, George, WA

8/08 – Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA

8/09 – Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s, Lake Tahoe, CA

8/10 – Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s, Lake Tahoe, CA

8/12 – Outside Lands Festival, San Franscico, CA

8/15 – UIC Pavilion, Chicago, IL

8/16 – UIC Pavilion, Chicago, IL

8/17 – UIC Pavilion, Chicago, IL