Reader’s Picks: Dustin Lewis

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on April 25th, 2013 by Mr.Miner
12.28.2012 (Graham Lucas)

12.28.2012, MSG (Graham Lucas)

 All selections and text by Dustin Lewis

Gumbo -> Sanity” 8.15.98 II, Limestone, ME

A groovy piece from Lemonwheel that perfectly illustrates Phish’s Summer ’98 sound. Tight (but loose), focused and funky. This is one of the truly great (yet somewhat forgotten) segues.

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Halley’s -> Roses” 7.13.99 I, Mansfield, MA

How I miss first set jamming like this pairing. This combo comes in the first frame of the (possibly) last great show at Great Woods. Several other readers picks have mentioned that late ’90’s Halley’s represents an “effortless” type sound. This piece, which somehow merges groove with more abstract soundscapes, sounds as effortless as it gets.

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Split Open and Melt” 12.4.99 II, Cincinnati, OH

With Big Cypress around the corner, Phish was plugging away at the sound that would take them from midnight to sunrise. Trey switches from effect-laden sustains, to the Mini-Keys, and then back to a raging guitar finish in what was one of my all-time favorite indoor dance sessions on a cold night in Cincy.

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Mike’s Song” 12.30.93 II, Portland, ME

I can’t leave out the early ’90s entirely! My favorite “Mike’s” of all-time rages from start to finish. Trey’s ripping dark leads gradually morph into bright, blissful glory. PLEASE BRING BACK THE SECON…….ok, I know, it’s been asked enough at this point.

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Free” 7.31.98 II, Columbus, OH

Not your father’s version of “Free.” Trey ditches the guitar god soloing in favor of soupy Summer ’98 funk. A stellar version that, again, makes you yearn for the days when “Free” was free to run wild.

[audio:]http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ph98-07-31d2t02.mp3]

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Theme -> Dog Log” 9.17.00 II, Columbia, MD

Another reader recently highlighted the “Mango Song” from this spectacular night at Merriweather. This set was one of the most unique of all time and carried a distinctly dark vibe throughout. This “Theme->Dog Log” is really one piece and you can’t help nodding your head back and forth to those distinctly ’00 grooves. Mr. Gordon owns this one.

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Tweezer” 6.18.94 II, Chicago, IL

This is one of my Top-3 “Tweezers.” The aggressive, “in your face” ’94  grooves explode out of the speakers for the first act. After a bit of meandering, Page comes in with a Mind Left Body progression that Trey jumps on like a man possessed. The peak of this jam could only come from those four musicians, in the year 1994.

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Down with Disease” 2.21.03 I, Cincinnati, OH

Another choice from Cincy, but a completely different time. It is jarring just how different the band sounds when comparing Cincy ’99 to Cincy ’03. This piece, taken just about 10 shows into 2.0, captures the band getting to know each other musically again. Though it would take until the summer for the band to really hit the gas full speed on a night to night basis, it was fascinating watching the rust gradually come off the car.

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Roggae” 8.5.11 I, George, Washington

I know that most people have probably heard this one, but I just can’t leave out the obvious highlight from my first set at the Gorge. Walking up and over that precipice to see the wonder that is the Gorge was one of the true highlights of my life. If you have never been, please go. It is a truly special place. This bluesy rendition of “Roggae” brought the sun down with style…

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Mercenary Territory” 10.31.10 II, Atlantic City, NJ

Though “Spanish Moon” seems to be the consensus highlight from the Columbus set, “Mercenary Territory” was my favorite. The full-band peak, including the horns, must have taken hours and hours to get down (though they still didn’t totally nail it.) If you’ve never heard the original Columbus, give it a spin….”Mercenary” is the real highlight.

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Reader’s Picks: Wilson Walker

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on April 21st, 2013 by Mr.Miner
8.22.12, Kansas City, MO (Ryan MacNeill)

8.22.12, Kansas City, MO (Ryan MacNeill)

All selections text and by Wilson Walker.

Makisupa Policeman > Maze” 11.19.95 I, Charlotte, NC

The old Hive was a special place for a lot of reasons. That cavernous room – with great curves – made every band that played the joint sound a little bigger – and boomier. As for the evolution of our favorite law enforcement officer, I’ve always preferred the older, lazier, loping reggae stylings of a ’94/’95ish Makisupa to the modern, peppier versions. I mean, is it a comedy piece now?  Also, who could argue with the vintage “Maki > Maze” pairing? As an opener, those two always went together like good wine and good cheese.

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Ghost” 7.31.97 I, Mountain View, CA

The Shoreline ’97 show is understandably overshadowed by the previous night (“Bowie > Cities > Bowie”), but there were plenty of great nuggets in this one. The whole evening had a nice, laid back feel, and it all started with the band’s newest centerpiece. Remember the first time you heard Trey tell you the Story of the Ghost? Remember what “Ghost” sounded like that summer?

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Rhinoceros > Halley’s” 8.3.98 I, Noblesville, IN

What, on paper, looks like a total bizarro cover instantly turns to gold, followed by a jammed-out “Halley’s” to begin a strangely compelling first set. This was one of those weird nights in ye olde corn fields, just look at the setlist. The show, as a whole, wasn’t exactly stellar, but the opening sequence was certainly some high-caliber Creek. Anyone else feel like a lot of the Creek nights kind of bleed together?

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Moma Dance” 8.9.98 I, Virginia Beach, VA

“Terrapin Station?” Of course. The “Bag?” Oh yeah. The “Gin?” Blistering. That said, I think truly great Phish shows are built around more than just the big-ticket items. Great shows happen when those unforgettable big-ticket items are held together by some very important and often overlooked glue. That glue is when the band nails the small stuff. “Moma” never sounded any better.

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Slave, Fluffhead, Character Zero” 11.18.98 II, Greenville, SC

Like many of you, I was stunned – STUNNED – when Phish released Hampton ’98 – as opposed to ’97. Even more baffling to me was that they would release two shows I found rather uninspired, when just a few nights prior they unleashed an absolute monster. The Bi-Lo Center is the only show I’ve seen that I think was a certifiable masterpiece – while no one else seems to regard it as such. Give the 2nd set finale a good loud spin. It packs the best versions of “Slave,” “Fluff” &” Zero” I’ve seen, all lined up in one scorching fastball. It still blows my mind every time I hear it.

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2001” 7.7.99 II, Charlotte, NC

Well kids, this is about the time the dark vibes started creeping into our little funhouse. The scene in the parking lot this night veered between messy and slightly scary. Our crew – and we certainly weren’t the only ones – got popped by some really aggressive undercover cops. For me, it was an instantaneous dawn to the dark days ahead. That said, we all made it inside. Barely. Perhaps fed by the juju that spilled in from the lot, the show exploded into a mind bending piece of Phish. Start to finish, this one was stunning. The highlight: about 10 minutes of noise to lay the groundwork for the stickiest, swampiest, ’99-iest 2001 there ever was… and that was just the start of the second set.

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Bathtub Gin“7.26.99 I, Noblesville, IN

Again, a show eclipsed by the previous night (which happens to be the only show i was ever shut out of – stupid time zone confusion.) Needless to say, I laced ’em up pretty tight for the tour closer. That disclaimer provided, I think this show deserves a little more love than it gets. It had a nice big ’99 feel to it, and I was a sucker for those. I submit for you a “Gin” that seems a little lost, before it finds its way to pure scorchery.

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Limb by Limb” 7.25.03 I, Charlotte, NC

Huge – huge – peak in this one. Also, check out the way-groovy “Gin” in the same set. This was the only show I really enjoyed in 2003. It just wasn’t working for me. When I walked out, I looked at my sister and said ‘you know, i feel like that might be the last time I ever see those guys play. It almost was. I didn’t see Phish again until Fenway Park. Now, 37 shows into 3.0 and nine more on tap for this summer, I couldn’t be happier to have the band back. See y’all on the road.

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Reader’s Picks: Ryan Baird

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on April 18th, 2013 by Mr.Miner
12.31.2012, MSG (Jesse Herzog)

12.31.2012, MSG (Jesse Herzog)

“This One Goes to Eleven—My First Eleven Shows” by Ryan Baird

Ghost > Halley’s > Tweezer” 11.24.98 II, New Haven, CT

After being shut out at my first phish show 4/4/98, getting arrested days before the Lemonwheel, and missing the first set of this show due to traffic on I-95, I was not off to a good start to my phish show career. This second set trifecta was just what I needed to be hooked for life.

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Gumbo” 11.28.98 I, Worcester, MA

For the first night of the tour finale [the night before] I found myself in a familiar place, on the outside looking in. Things were not looking good for this noob, but once again, these first notes I heard [on night two] reaffirmed that I was in the right place.

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Bathtub Gin” 11.29.98 II, Worcester, MA

$$$, I got IT for the first time.

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Foreplay/Longtime” 7.12.99 I, Mansfield, MA

I was beginning to understand that Phish could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, with a bit of humor, and completely nail it. This was my first outdoor show, I was front row, and the place exploded for this one.

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Tube > Boogie On” 7.17.99 I, Volney, NY

My first festi of any type, and I was in way over my head. Completely broke after about five minutes of being on lot, but happy as I could ever be. There’s nothing that compares to the vibe of a Phish festival, and this opening sequence set the tone for the weekend.

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Runaway Jim” 7.18.99 II, Volney, NY

“It was so hot!” was the understatement of the year. I can remember the start of this set, and thinking that I can’t believe that they’re going to play another set after this one. Festivals are sometimes overwhelming and after my first one, I was happy to have made it out alive.

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Walk Away > Rocky Top” 12.7.99 E, Portland, ME

I honestly do not remember seeing the CCCC “Halley’s.” This might be one of the best jams that I was in attendance for but have no recollection of. And since it gets so much love around here, I don’t need to restate the obvious. However, I do remember the encore, which I thought was bitchin’!

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The Lizards” 12.8.99 II, Portland, ME

After hearing Trey’s thesis and listening to Great Woods ’94 a few times that fall, I had greater appreciation for the epic tale. This was my first real trip to Gamehenge that I can remember to this day. I think that Trey’s solo might be my favorite piece of composed phish.

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Sand” 12.13.99 II, Providence, RI

After hearing it for the first time live a week earlier in Portland, I was hooked. “Sand” has remained my favorite song since December of 1999. This version is pure fire, and foreshadowed what was to happen at my next show/festi.

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Light Up or Leave Me Alone” 12.30.99 I, Big Cypress, FL

“Water in the Sky” got everyone’s attention and “Light Up” set the place on fire. This special event needs the Shapiro treatment, asap. The swamp is one of my most cherished memories, every aspect, especially the amount of music they packed into two days.

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After Midnight Reprise” 12.31.99 II, Big Cypress, FL

The birth of my children, getting married to an amazing woman, and “After Midnight.” There are special moments in life, but as far as Phish goes this one can’t be beat. The vibe circulating within my friends, the crowd, everyone in the Everglades was pure bliss. Phish was sending a clear message, and I was pickin’ up what they were puttin’ down!

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Reader’s Picks: Joe M.

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on April 11th, 2013 by Mr.Miner
8.24.12 (Ryan MacNeill)

8.24.12, Pelham, AL (Ryan MacNeill)

 All selections and text by Joe M.

YEM” 12.28.93 II, Washington, DC

The first of many “Oh man, you really should have been there last night!” lot conversations. Some fiery work by Trey once the jam hits stride.

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If I Could” 7.1.95 I, Mansfield, MA

I had this tape from the FM broadcast (RIP WBCN) in my car and played it exclusively for quite some time. Love this rendition which came early in the night.

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Simple” 12.31.96 II, Boston, MA

Another WBCN tape that doubled my collection at the time. Not a noteworthy two-night stand in most people’s opinion. A highlight was night one when the sound went out and we couldn’t figure out if they were just fucking with us. This version of “Simple” is pretty compact but brings back fond memories of my beat up Toyota Corrola.

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Timber (Jerry)” 11.28.97 II, Worcester, MA

My one and only time in the front row. Epic staring contests with Trey all night. This is the second set opener. Gets into a pretty dark place in the jam before coming back to the lyrics.

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Maze > Shafty” 4.5.98 II, Providence, RI

My buddy’s first-show-going girlfriend dropped to the floor between us during the middle of this one. The lights and jam were a little too intense for her.

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Piper > Dog Faced Boy” 12.8.99 II, Portland, ME

The night after everyone’s favorite CCCC ’99 jam [‘Halley’s Comet”]. General Admission in the whole building for those two nights. I have vivid memories of being really moved by “Dog Faced Boy” after an intense “Piper.”

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Harry Hood” 7.6.00 II, Toronto, ON

In honor (honour) of the band’s return to Canada this summer.

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Cool it Down” 7.29.03 I, Burgettstown, PA

A swanky take on the Velvet Underground cover.

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Backwards Down the Number Line” 8.16.09 II, SPAC, NY

The second set opener from first summer tour closer of the return. Gets pretty far out. I wish they’d tack on an abstract jam to this tune again.

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Undermind” 11.29.09 I, Portland, ME

Another song from ’09 and another one from Portland, ME? This ten tune thing isn’t as easy as Mr. Miner makes it look after all. Love the sonic freakout portion of this one though.

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Reader’s Picks: Heady Brosevelt

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on April 9th, 2013 by Mr.Miner
7.8.12 (R.MacNeil)

7.8.12, SPAC (Ryan MacNeil)

All selections and text by @HeadyBrosevelt

Picking ten Phish songs for other folks to listen to is a difficult task. The easiest and most fun method, I found, was to pick selections from shows that I attended (with the exception of “It’s Ice,” explanation below.) While picking from “my” shows, I omitted classics that constantly get played and/or discussed (obvious picks from Fall ’97 and Summer ’98 were left off.) While there may be a few classics below, I don’t always hear them getting hyped. Some selections may not deserve any hype, but they all hold a special place in my mind, body, and soul.

It’s Ice” 4.8.94 I, State College, PA

While I didn’t attend this show, “It’s Ice” is the song that turned me on to Phish.  I remember hearing it in my buddy’s car and thinking to myself, “I need to go see these guys.” I loved the imagery. There was no looking back from that moment on. This version from Penn State is wonderful. Cool digi loop jam.

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2001 > Halley’s > Bowie” 6.24.95 II, Philadelphia, PA

This was my first Phish show and it took place two days after seeing the fat man for the last time at the Knick. I drove the twenty minutes from my parent’s house over to the Mann and got my mind fucking blown. The “2001” and “Halley’s” are integral to the flow of this three pack, but the “Bowie” is where we blast off into the psychedelic stratosphere. A good version of “Bowie” from Phish’s most psychedelic summer.

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Gumbo” 8.13.97 I, Burgettstown, PA

Summertime “Gumbo” at it’s finest. This is a stellar version of a song that may be the epitome of outdoor Phish.

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Drowned” 12.11.97 II, Rochester, NY

Fall 1997 was the first time I went on the road with Phish. I caught Philly through Albany. While most nights consisted of funky throw-downs, this “Drowned” was a helpful reminder that Phish could still scare with psychedelic wizardry.

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Swept Away > Steep > Caspian” 12.12.97 II, Albany, NY

An absolutely rad version of “Prince Caspian.” In my opinion, this is a must hear. The jam is a brilliant mixture of machine gun assault and heavenly patience.

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Down with Disease” 12.29.97 II, NYC, NY

I felt like I had to add something from the holiday run that hasn’t already been discussed. MSG ’97 was an incredible holiday run filled with multiple highlights.  This “Disease” flies under the radar because of the stupendous playing throughout the run. Spacey and weird, but eventually finds it’s stride—this “Disease” is worth a listen.

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Reba > FEFY” 7.16.98 I, George, WA

Gorge ’98 was one of the best Phish experiences of my life (despite the raging heat.) I had just finished working in YNP for the summer and was following Phish tour home. The Gorge started my mini tour back to the east. This “Reba” is not one of the best “Reba’s” of all time, but it was a majestic complement to the sunset on the Columbia River. Phish was playing to the sunset and as went dark they segued into “FEFY.”  That sunset moment is etched very clearly into my memory.

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Ghost > Free > Birds” 7.23.99 II, Columbus, OH

Originally, I was only going to post the “Birds,” however, after listening back, this is a triumvirate (as Miner would say) that needs to be listened together. The front half of a great set.

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Ghost” 10.9.99 I, Albany, NY

“Ghost” is my favorite Phish song. I admit it, I have a slight infatuation with it, thus I am placing a second “Ghost” on this list. This is a unique “Ghost” that reaches the nether regions. Phish takes a lot of risks in this version and they are successful in every aspect.

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Mr. Completely” 7.15.03 II, West Valley, Utah

I only saw two shows in 2.0 and this Utah show was one of them. I saw this show by accident. I was driving from Colorado to Washington to climb. and I stopped in Little Cottonwood Canyon to boulder. Some hippies saw my Colorado plates and long hair/beard and asked if I was going to the show. I inquired who was playing and they told me Phish. I hopped in my car, scored a ticket at a gas station for $15.00, and saw this “Mr. Completely.” I left the show so stoked that I made it into Idaho that night. I have had a mild obsession with 2.0 Phish ever since.

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Reader’s Picks: Chasin Holden

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on April 4th, 2013 by Mr.Miner
7.8.2012 (Ryan MacNeil)

7.8.2012, SPAC (Ryan MacNeil)

All selections and text by Chasin Holden

Drowned” 12.3.97 I, Philadelphia, PA

Eight days later, Phish would use “Drowned” to bring us the debut of “Roses Are Free.” On this night, they hit on Stevie Ray before finding their way to the sacred fall ’97 sound. An outstanding 1st setter from a cold Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

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Slave to the Traffic Light” 12.3.94 II, San Jose, CA

“Slave.” Horns. Enough said.

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Maze” 12.31.94 II, Boston, MA

A standout version from an overlooked NYE show.

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Timber” 7.26.97 II, Austin, TX

The Bob Gullotti sit-ins worked very well during the Texas shows in Summer ’97. This “Timber” is one of the highlights.

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Harpua > Waterloo > jam > Llama” 6.23.95 II, Waterloo, NJ

It’s hard to find the silver lining in what will always be remembered as a bad show because a fan lost his life [in the traffic mess], but this sequence is fun and rocking and will bring a smile in the face of sorrow.

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Simple” 11.21.95 II, Winston-Salem, NC

I’ve always loved this “Simple.” While not earth-shattering by any means, it runs through teases of “Maze,” “Possum,” “Bowie” (twice) and “A Day In the Life.” Very cool to hear for the first time or the 50th time.

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Mike’s -> Rotation Jam -> Keyboard Cavalry > Mike’s” 11.25.95 II, Hampton, VA

The first ever rotation jam is interesting, to say the least. What surprises me about rotation jams as a whole is how they usually stay pretty melodic despite the band members playing outside their element. This one is my pick for the best of the three.

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Curtain > Halley’s > Roses > NO2”  7.13.99 I, Mansfield, MA

One of my favorite runs of tunes ever. A lot of people focus on 7-25-99, but this sequence is better than any part of 7-25-99 in my opinion. The “Halley’s” in particular is top notch and the segue into “Roses” is maybe one of the most overlooked of the band’s career.

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Let It Loose”  10.31.09 II, Indio, CA

Page at his best vocally.

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Harry Hood” 12.17.95 II, Lake Placid, NY 

The last “Hood” of a tour rich with excellent versions. While probably not the best version of the tour, this one still finds the stratosphere and is a precursor of the all-time great version from the Garden two weeks later.

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Reader’s Picks: Marc “Kaya” Tosh

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on April 3rd, 2013 by Mr.Miner
SPAC 2012 (SammyC via Crowdseye)

SPAC 2012 (SammyC via Crowdseye)

All text and selections by @Kayatosh

Mango Song > Jam” 9.17.00 II, Columbia, MD

A loose, tired sounding version that feels like it might fall apart at any moment but doesn’t thanks to Page Piano. After the triumph of successfully holding it together, a dark, percussive, free-form jam emerges.

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Yamar” 11.2.96 II, West Palm Beach, FL

 

One that slipped through the cracks the last time Miner covered 1996. Karl Perazzo enhanced.

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David Bowie” 6.24.95 II, Philadelphia, PA

This long form version starts off promisingly with a spacey intro.  The “Low Rider” flavored jam hints at the funk the band would actively mine in the next few years.  From the chunky funk, the jam journeys into a slower, softer vibe that retains the trademark 95 dark edge. A subsequent move into speed metal features Trey out front blazing a white hot path with the other three matching his intensity.

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McGrupp” 8.7.93, Darien Lake, NY

A confident version of a favorite Phish tune from a golden era. Page tickling the ivories; Fishman tickling the washboard. See also, 11.30.94 McGrupp for more of Page channeling Keith Jarret.

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Jam > Leprechaun” 8.24.93 Sndchk, Vancouver, BC

Four-way bluesy, uninhibited play. A pocket so deep you could lose a joint in it. Listen to Fishman’s super human fills. Midway through the 10 minute jam, Fishman settles on a steady groove, and the jam becomes a composed sounding romp. And then the elusive Leprechaun does his jig.

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Chalkdust Torture” 7.16.94 II, Sugarbush, VT

A take no prisoners, almost off the rails, “Barracuda” teased Dust, featuring Trey in berserker mode.

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Sneakin Sally > Frankie Says” 4.2.98 II, Uniondale, NY

Slower, thicker version of a classic phish groove vehicle. Your head will involuntarily bob as the laid-back, syncopated riffs start bumping up against your brain.   “Sally” jam slides smoothly and gradually into “Frankie Says,” which features a nimble fingered Trey.

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Ghost > Drowned” 12.28.97 II, Landover, MD

Silky, late ’97 funk feel with a healthy dose of clavination. “Ghost’s” jam is of the hypnotic variety with intermittent hints of “Psycho Killer.” After you’ve been mellowed to the point of floating, the jam inconspicuously swirls into a funnel cone (twice), stops on a dime, and then launches into “Drowned!” Trey’s strong Hendrix impression in the “Drowned” jam finishes off the listener. Listen for The Note. “Drowned” jam concludes in soft, spacious fashion.

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Makiuspa Policeman” 11.23.96 II, Vancouver, BC

“Woke up in the morning. Border Guard in my Bunk.” Listen for the Star Wars effects.

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Bathtub Gin -> Cities -> Jam” 7.1.97 II, Amsterdam, NL

July ’97, Amsterdam — a time traveler’s dream destination. There’s a segment mid-“Gin” that mirrors the feeling of falling down stairs in slow motion. After a slick “Gin” theme tease, the jam patiently builds to a murky, not quite peaked conclusion that becomes the intro to “Cities.” The “Cities” jam sonically represents what it might feel like to be adrift at sea on a gelatinous raft. After all “Cities” flavor has been wrung from the jam, an ambient, looped section takes hold of your dome and places you right on the back of the worm. By mid ’97, this band was an ear candy machine.

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Timber Ho!” 7.26.97 II, Austin, TX

More liquid gold from July 97 with a looped out, cosmic jump rope jam conclusion before the “Timber” themed coda.

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