Reader’s Picks: Joe Bakaitis

12.28.12, MSG (Graham Lucas)

12.28.12, MSG (Graham Lucas)

All selections and text by: Joe Bakaitis (a couple audio clips were edited to save bandwidth)

2001 > Bowie” 10.27.95 II, Kalamazoo MI

This was my first show and still to this day the best “Bowie” I have heard. When the jam starts up Trey is chanting some pretty strange stuff under his guitar work. This is a must hear for any “Bowie” fan.



Mike’s > Lifeboy > Weekapaug” 8.13.96 II, Noblesville, IN

What a night this was. Everything about this show was great. The last four songs of set one are also worth checking out, but this is by far the best “Mike’s” from the whole 96 summer tour. For the most part summer 96 seemed pretty tame, but they really let it out in this “Mike’s.”



“Theme, Punch, Ghost > Taste” 8.9.97 I, East Troy, WI

97 has so many gems, and it seemed like the bands style would change every show. The first four songs of set one was some of my favorite Phish music I have ever heard. This was my first time seeing them play “Ghost” and what a “Ghost” it was. These first four songs still seem fresh in my memory 16 years later.



Julius > Slave” 12.5.97 II, Cleveland,OH

For a 97 show this one seems to be overlooked alot, and on paper this might seem like a let down as being the heart of the second set, but this “Julius” swings harder than any Phish song I have heard them play, and then the “Slave” is out of this world.



Tweezer > Izabella” 12.6.97 II, Auburn Hills, MI

This is the best “Tweezer” ever. I’m sure just about everyone has heard this one. You really just need to listen to the whole second set.



2001 > Mike’s > Weekapug > Zero “7.17.98 II, George, WA

My friends and me did this whole summer tour and even though the tour opener in Portland was a great show, summer tour really felt like it started this night. What a magical night in the desert.



Mike’s > Simple > Bittersweet Motel” 7.21.98 II, Phoenix, AZ

This “Mike’s Song” is dark, rocking, and just out right awesome  but the best part of this show is the “Simple.” This “Simple” is just great. Trey and Pages playing is so sweet and light. This whole second set is worth listening to, but I always find myself enjoying the “Mikes > Simple” the most. I believe this was the first time they played “Bittersweet” too.



Bathtub Gin” 7.29.98 I, Maryland Heights, MO

This is the “Bathtub Gin” of all “Bathtub Gins!”



Mike’s Song” 12.30.99 III, Big Cypress, FL 

From my top ten list it would seem that I really like “Mike’s Song,” and who doesn’t, but I wanted to pick only songs from shows that I was at and I also wanted to pick out songs that are forever my first thoughts when I am asked about Phish, so behold another “Mike’s Song.” I remember CK5 filling up the swamp with the most smoke I have ever seen at a Phish show and this is one dark, electric, rocking “Mike’s Song.” I am sad to say that I feel that this is one of the last true “Mike”s Songs” with a real jam.



“Moma, Light > Taste, Fluffhead, Joy, Gin> Hood. E. Slave” 8.7.09, George, WA

For my tenth pick I’m going to have to pick this whole second set. I have thought Phish has played some great shows in their new era, but maybe its’ the openness of the Gorge but to me this show has a feel that you don’t hear very much nowadays. Every song has a pop and a lightness to them. The jams do not seem forced and the “Light” and “Gin” have epic jams for 3.0 Phish. I have not been to a lot of show in the 3.0 era, but have downloaded most of the shows, and I keep finding myself listening to this show the most out of all of the 3.0 Phish. Great Phish music all around.


This was a fun project and than you Mr. Miner for the opportunity to share my memory’s with everyone.


780 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Joe Bakaitis”

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  1. RoosterPizza Says:

    2001>Bowie is a solid, solid 1-2 punch to these ears.

    Big Cypress Mike’s never gets old.

    Interested to dive into the Julius later– I know it as a disappointing first set closer in 3.0

    Nice picks!

  2. Joshua Says:

    I remember the first time I heard that Bowie!

    I was riding around Taylor, MI in that back woods with my Friend Joe, his lady at the time Mellisa, and my lady Carlie. My buddy Joe said that trey is messed up! He starts moaning and growling and all sorts of crazy shit goes down!

    I remember how excited I was to hear something that someone else was SO excited about! And although I don’t get to see Joe that much, He is still in my heart. And this Bowie is burnt into my mind…

  3. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Great picks, Joe. Thanks!

    I would strongly encourage you fine people to catch Junip if they come to your town. As I am terrible at dancing about architecture, I’ll just say that it was really, really good and far exceeded my expectations. Trance-like, meditative, deep, profound, and visceral are all words that come to mind.

  4. MiA Says:

    Thanks for the rec VW.

    A whole second set from ’09 as your 10th pick?

  5. MiA Says:

    Good picks though. Thanks Joe B.

  6. Dr Pronoia Says:

    These reader picks are bringing so much new shit to light for this dilettante

  7. dorn76 Says:

    Interestin’. Gonna jump on this Bowie.

    Great Gin!


  8. dorn76 Says:

    I actually dig the picks and feel the same way as Dr. P.

    Gives some direction to my phishtracks rambles.

  9. BNCB Says:

    there goes my Bowie pick! Good one Joe, the Noah’s Ark Show. Heads were passing out, two by two.

  10. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Hey gang- Been out of the loop for a little bit. Anxious for summer tour to say the least. Great pix the last few weeks. No exception with Joe B. Gonna go do some weeding and get down to some much need “The Phish”. Stayed away from the BB to acoid GOT spoilers yesterday. Holy cow is all I can say about that. Date w Bowie…. Out.

  11. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Cannot even discuss hockey today. I want to wretch.

  12. dorn76 Says:

    Mediafire can just fuck right off having me watch an ad and then type in the Amex tag line to “authorize” a download.

    How long before I have to watch a 30 sec spot to use a public urinal?

  13. dorn76 Says:

    I want commercial free downloads and pisses. But I don’t want to pay for them.

  14. marcoesq Says:

    Morning all. Some cool picks here, 2001>Bowie and Cypress Mike’s! DIrtiest Mikes I’ve ever seen.

    I’m gonna “chase” Julius this summer so that will hopefully mean:

    -I’ll never catch it
    -If I do happen to catch it, I won’t be as dissappointed

  15. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Love the Immigrant Song tease in the Cypress Mike’s!

    Make it a good one, BB!

  16. BNCB Says:

    still have no idea what trey trey is chanting in Jedi language. Sounds like an alt / pop song from the era. Someone help.

  17. voopa Says:

    Yes, 1st Bittersweet. Man it was hot that day.

  18. angryjoggerz Says:

    (un)Happy 24th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square

  19. marcoesq Says:

    Broke my 5 wood last night. Looking to pick up a 3 wood or something comparable today. Any good recs?

  20. marcoesq Says:

    Hybrids are smaller than woods and bigger than irons, right? Don’t think I need that

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I heart that whole Kalamazoo show. Such a fun night in the sweatbox. The bowie naturally gets the praise but check out the simple>mcgrupp>keyboard army too. Shit, even the possum closer had some extra stank on it, what with the secret language and beat it teases.

  22. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers!

    @marcoesq: F the woods….put a 2 iron in your bag and let it rip!

  23. viola Says:

    nice pix joe b. bold move to go ahead and include an entire second set as one of your pix. a 3.0 set i might add. late summer 09 definitely has IT and gorge09 has solid replay value. treking to the gorge is a must imho.

    gorge ph is def a right of passage. gotta be in their top 3 places to play.

    20dirtteen george wa are the 13th and 14th shows alltime at the venue. no doubt that history will continue to be written here. i can imagine the gorge box set will be massive

  24. Joe Bakaitis Says:

    What up Josh! I still remember driving around in the convertable listining to the Kzoo Bowie. I hope WA is still treating you well. I’ll email you on Facebook today! Word Joe

  25. marcoesq Says:

    ha. I’ve been using a 3 iron off the tee but want something bigger

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