MSG Memoirs: The 12.30.95 “Hood”

December 30, 1995

The first time I set foot in The Garden for a Phish show was December 30, 1995. The band was coming off two smoking nights at Worcester and landed in the Big Apple with a head full of steam. Concluding their marathon year of touring with their second and third shows at The World’s Most Famous Arena, Phish had reached the pinnacle of their career. Their dedication, incessant touring, and grass-roots growth of their fan base landed Phish in MSG on the biggest nights of the year. The following night on New Year’s Eve, the band would play one of the most masterful and complete shows of their career and, in many opinions, the most impressive night of music in a lush MSG legacy. But in a song-based second set on the 30th, Phish dropped on of the all-time versions of “Harry Hood,” and it fundamentally changed my life.

I was behind the stage in the 300s when Fishman hit the opening drum roll to the classic piece. Though I had arrived at the show with friends, they weren’t with me for the second set and I was smack dab in the middle of a transformative experience. Sometimes when you’re teetering—walking that delicate line between very high and absolutely overwhelmed—nothing but the Phish can help. And this was my situation during set break. I needed the music to come back.

MSG 1995 (Unkown)

As the opening calypso chords of “Ya Mar” rang out to open the second set, a new life was breathed into my being. Thoughts subsided and the show became the soundtrack of my mental movie. Fully enraptured in the moment, any thoughts of teetering vanished with ease. Following a soupy, ’95-style “Free” they seized the moment and unveiled an instant classic in “Harry Hood.” In a nutshell, this jam brought me to heaven. Catharsis doesn’t quite describe the emotions that this delicate-turned-blissfully–intense “Hood” invoked in me. There was a sense of new life, a rebirth on the astral plane.

Few “Hood” jams carry such an organic and effortless flow from its meticulous beginning to its climactic conclusion. With Trey’s Languedoc wired through the Leslie speaker—usually used in conjunction with the Hammond organ to create special audio effects— a la Fall ’95, his guitar narration carried a beautifully haunting tone as this musical revelation moved towards the Promised Land. Dreamy and ethereal, yet driving and powerful, the band’s nuanced communication never wavered throughout this jam, and a sense of collective mastery painted the music.

Trey - 1995 (Unknown)

Trey laced the entire jam with heartfelt phrases and melodies, coaxing the perfect accompaniment from Mike and Page. Illustrating the airtight communication that characterized Phish at the end of 1995, this “Hood” jam features all members intensely listening to each other from note one through the climax. And when the four band members are locked in such a blissful musical conversation, the venue, the crowd, the people, and the madness simply vanished. There I was, eyes closed and heart wide open, behind the stage somewhere up in the 300s having an internal experience I didn’t know was possible in live music. The sounds of the divine—of the universe—flooded my consciousness as my soul did backflips over the stage.

This was pure, uncut IT. As the piece reached its final build, my soul was met by Trey’s enthusiastic final guitar run to the peak. I’m not sure if I wound up laughing or crying—more likely some of both—but when the peak of this jam spiraled to a crescendo and slammed into ”AC/DC Bag,” I had been touched by that sacred spirit Trey so often referenced when discussing the musician’s role as an intermediary between the universe and the audience.

I had felt IT before and I would most certainly feel IT again, but given my personal context, nothing was quite like that “Harry Hood” sixteen years ago. Suffice it to say, I have never missed another Phish show at The Garden.

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Jam of the Day:

Harry Hood” 12.30.95 II

The jam you just read about in SBD quality.

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600 Responses to “MSG Memoirs: The 12.30.95 “Hood””

  1. Wilson123 Says:

    Please please please send your extra 12/29 my way – evan.hirschhorn@gmail.com

  2. sumodie Says:

    Pretty sure there’s one ring left at MSG -even the static seating chart seems to show it

    Otherwise you’re all raising legit issues about where to hang etc

    We’ll just have to hear reports from Further -the change in physical space will change both crowd behavior AND the ushers’ behavior. Let’s hope the ushers don’t get any more strict than in previous years

  3. Mike in Austin Says:

    Woot. New Mastersounds at the parish.

    Hetty crowd.

  4. bad nirvana cover band Says:

    get some for the team, Mike.

  5. ThePigSong Says:

    great post, great hood. All four members of the band were on FIRE Dec ’95, eh? Wish I would have been a cooler twelve year old.

  6. Mike in Austin Says:

    New Mastersounds are fire.

  7. sumodie Says:

    I’m sick and anxious….so why not feed the rumor mill?

    Dunno if this was posted earlier, but a columnist for the Las Vegas Sun tweeted this earlier today (via week4paug.net):

    “Phish fans: again, good source here in Vegas, says negotiations for 3 shows at T&M in May. Dates unknown at this point. More when i know it”

    http://twitter.com/#!/jpcoolican

  8. gavinsdad Says:

    post bar post: MSG Mtns in the Mist.

    i listened to the Charlotte Wolfs vs the UIC Wolfs and i personally think it’s a dead heat….but even tho i was at UIC for the Wolfs when i was in my car just now driving home it would have been a money move to go Wolfs, Mist.

    i dig some Mist cooldown.

    i love the energy around here. you know we had a great summer with the anticipatory vibe i’m getting from the board right now.

  9. gavinsdad Says:

    I guess I’m just an obstacle/a thing to overcome

  10. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Remember furthur recon needs to get the bolt head sizing down so we can just lift a few rows from the floor and barricade our own section.

    I still need a pair for 12/31 for Mrs. Berzerker and myself.

  11. Mike in Austin Says:

    Standing next to AW’s doppelgänger here.

    Very comforting. Feels like UIC3.

  12. garretc Says:

    Anybody else notice this over on phish.net:

    “Hats off to Phish’s manager, Coran Capshaw of Red Light Management, who is the first artist manager ever to receive the Humanitarian Award from Billboard.”

    Apparently Capshaw isn’t actually Beelzebub in human form? Who knew!

  13. sumodie Says:

    Interactive seat map for the new MSG. On NY Knicks website.

    http://knicks2011.io-media.com/

    Wow. Awesome virtual tool to check out the new Garden

  14. Robear Says:

    MiA, bust the sprinkler over their heads.

  15. Mr.Miner Says:

    i need 1 100 level for the 30th and 1 for NYE.

    I will trade 100 for 28th or 29th in a 2 for 1 situation.

    I can’t give up that NYE unless I get a NYE in return though

  16. Mike in Austin Says:

    Coffee action ready for Selector Thurs.

    Didn’t really sleep though. Today is gonna be a long day.

  17. Dorn76 Says:

    Did ticketbasterd do retail outlet sales last Saturday? Been talking to a guy who says he has them in hand and bought them at an outlet….

  18. faht101 Says:

    I was a babysitter for my 15 year old sister and 4 of her friends for this show. I had failed to get a ticket for the new years show the following night so I went to this one instead. I remember this hood clearly, and also remember my sister puking during Sample ha! She rallied though, and one of her friends was too hung over the next day so I took her 12/21 ticket off her hands – and that was one hell of a night!

  19. kenny powers Says:

    sumo

    i hope that’s true, i’ve never been to Vegas and can’t think of a better excuse.

  20. kenny powers Says:

    hey Berzerker –

    i just realized last night, that 3/13/93 show you had me remaster – the Wilson > Antelope was put out as SBD in Live Bait 6….not sure if you were aware. didn’t realize myself until now.

    psyched you’ll be hitting MSG!

  21. Willowed Says:

    I hope MSG brings a steam that goes really dark and dirty. I can see CK5 doing work to that jam. Pulsating the garden with his light work

  22. Michael Says:

    Thanks for this write up. I have been out of the scene since yes 1998. Prior to that had an amazing run of shows watching the band. Grew up around MSG saw Jerry Phish and heard stories of the greats from my uncles. A friend just got me tickets to the 28th. What a re intro to the lower 48 and Phish. Hope to get in another night. Cheers to all who will be there and all those we have left behind.

  23. Chris Says:

    Still think 12/31/93 is the penultimate hood, this one, as good as it is, I would call ’12/31/93 Lite’.

  24. Donald Says:

    Thanks for this. The MSG ’95 Hood has long been one of my favorites, next to ALO. The aud tape I have of the show, while very good, doesn’t compare to the mp3 you posted, so thanks also for that!

  25. Alec Says:

    Fucking beautiful version and experience. All i can say is, “me too!”

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