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.
“Slave to the Traffic Light” 12.3.94 II, San Jose, CA
“Slave.” Horns. Enough said.
“Maze” 12.31.94 II, Boston, MA
A standout version from an overlooked NYE show.
“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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
“Let It Loose” 10.31.09 II, Indio, CA
Page at his best vocally.
“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.
Tags: Reader's Picks