All selections and text by Greg Schneider aka Mr. Palmer
I tried to avoid some of the obvious choice selections while sitting down to do this. I’m sure there are a few that everyone on here knows well and I hope there are a few others that are new to some folks…
“Harry Hood” 12.11.99 I, Philadelphia, PA
One of my all-time favorite shows in an all-time favorite venue. This “Hood,” with a near five minute intro, opened this special night in Philly. And the rest, as they say…is history.
“Vultures” 9.21.99 II, Tucson AZ
This is a song I have always loved because, unlike most Phish songs, for me, this song is more about the vocal stylings than the music. However, this version is the outlier, and to my knowledge the only one. A Type II Vultures? Indeed. If you are going to blow up the Dirty Bird, it might as well be in a dusty, desert venue, don’t ya think?
“Fee” 7.8.99 I, Virginia Beach, VA
A 23-minute version of “Fee.” Just sit back, chill out, and let this beautiful version take you on a trip out to sea with the weasel and his friends…
“Antelope” 7.29.97 II, Phoenix, AZ
This “Antelope” was played in the second slot of the second set this night in Arizona. This was one of only two shows I saw in ’97( I know, I know.) A tremendous overall show after the band returned from their historic and game changing tour in Europe. Not your every day, standard “Antelope.” This one goes deep…real deep.
“Tube” 7.21.98 I, Phoenix, AZ
My third selection from the state of Arizona…yes, this caught me by surprise also. It is my opinion that 1998 was Phish at their peak. Each band member was truly a master at their craft and combined, they brought a fierce, tight sound with incredible ambient textures. This is maybe my favorite Tube with it’s start-stop action. Each band member sounds at the top of their game here. If this version doesn’t get you up and dancing then I don’t know what to tell you.
This selection likely needs no introduction. Just an absolute killer jam out of this “Bitch.” Turn this one to “11.”
“Tweezer ->DEG -> Tweezer” 6.28.95 II, Wantagh, NY
A true heater from the Summer of ’95. Tough to describe this one with a few words. It’s Phish, it’s “Tweezer,” it’s 1995…Enjoy.
“Wolfman’s Brother” 12.28.98 II, MSG. NY
This was the highlight of the first night of the first four-night stand at Madison Square Garden. Expectations were through the roof for this run and Phish did not disappoint. This “Wolfman’s,” at times, has an eerily similar feel to the version played roughly two months prior in Las Vegas. This NYE run in 1998 is still my favorite run that they have played to date. The consistency and jams from night to night were magical. Let’s do it again this year, huh?
“Bathtub Gin” 6.28.00 I, Holmdel, NJ
I was lucky enough to have third row seats for this night—right in front of Trey. He was totally “on” this evening. Some nights in ’00 this wasn’t the case. We truly got the hose this night. This “Gin” is all about Trey and his guitar annihilation. Fast paced and precise, a top three version for me and many others as well. Enjoy.
“Down With Disease” 9.14.99II, Boise, ID
It is probably weird to see this date and a song other than “AC/DC Bag” or “Gumbo” attached to it. This isn’t one of those huge “Diseases” with massive improv. This version always grabbed me for Trey’s ferocity. Check the You Tube video of it if you get the chance. Trey is jumping (prancing?) around and really feeling it.
LAWN MEMO’S “33 in 33”
Perhaps you followed @LawnMemo‘s massive project, “The Daily Ghost” in which he reviewed each and every “Ghost” ever played. The same @LawnMemo is back with another big project, but this time around he is the behind-the-scenes orchestrator of “33 in 33,” in which he invited 33 different writers to chronicle a single jam from a single show from the 33 shows of 2012—all in the 33 days leading up to Summer Tour! The project has been underway for just over a week, and you can check out all the entries so far. My contribution will be posted on Sunday, and chronicles a selection from June 22nd’s show in Cincinnati. It was the first piece I’ve written in quite a while and I had a great time doing it. I’ll link it here when it’s posted, but bookmark “33 in 33” and peep it every day as we countdown to Bangor!Reader's Picks