Reader’s Picks: Chris “Topher” Mont

Junta Promo

Junta Promo

All selections and text by Chris “Topher” Mont

The 80’s Like Totally Didn’t Suck…

Hello. I feel I should preface this by saying that in no way am I actually qualified to speak facts about Phish in the 80’s. While I was alive and well during that decade, I did not even discover Phish until ’97. I don’t want to give anybody the wrong idea. That being said, I do love to study up and do lots of research on the band. So, I hope this can help to expose people to an era of the band that I feel is very underappreciated. I tried to choose songs based more on historical interest as opposed to “best versions.” Hopefully it will be enjoyable regardless. A quick shout out to all the ATLiens. I look forward to another great summer this year. Be excellent to each other, and party on dude!


Whipping Post” 5.3.85 II, UVM, Burlington, VT

No better place to start than the beginning, and for me this show is it. This was Page’s first time playing live with the boys…boys being the operative word there. It is very interesting to listen to the band at such an early stage. It is quite unpolished, but you get to hear the potential that was eventually fully realized. Plus, it’s interesting to hear two guitars.



Run Like An Antelope” 10.15.86 III, Hunt’s, Burlington, VT

In the next year, Phish made some changes and entered a new phase. Jeff Holdsworth left the band in the summer, and they added Paul Languedoc into the mix. This was his first show as the band’s sound engineer. Perhaps he was partially responsible for bringing some new effects to Trey, which help to put some fire on this otherwise very humorous, early version.



Peaches En Regalia > David Bowie” 10.31.86 II, Goddard, Plainfield, VT

It seemed like a tradition for a while to play “Bowie” on Halloween, which I would assume is because this concert was its official debut. I wish they actually would play some Bowie for a musical costume, or in my wildest dreams some Zappa. But, I guess this is as close as it gets.  There is some different treatment in the composed section that makes it especially fun to hear. Also, “Peaches” was played a little differently, albeit not really as good as the later versions in my opinion.



Punch Me In The Eye” 4.24.87 UVM, Burlington, VT

That’s right! It’s not a typo. No, not those few times Trey called “PYITE” by this name. There was one time when Phish had an entirely different version of this song. Can you call this the same song? It definitely somehow brought about “PYITE,” and also some sections from other future Phish classics. It was just too interesting to resist putting on this playlist.



 “Melt the Guns -> Dave’s Energy Guide” 4.29.87 II, Nectar’s, Burlington, VT

First off, this entire show from Nectar’s is quite enjoyable. It is simply an awesome setlist, plus there are pretty decent recordings as far as audio is concerned. I chose “Melt the Guns” because it is absolutely my number one, single most desired bustout. I friggin love this song! Speaking of bustouts, I felt very lucky to be at the Charlotte show for the bustout of “Fuck Your Face,” which debuted at this show. Shout out to the Queen City.



Skin It Back -> Low Rider -> Back Porch Boogie Blues -> The Sloth” 8.21.87 II, Ian’s Farm, Hebron, NY

One, two, buckle my shoe…Rock on Marley, and rock on Ian, wherever you are!



Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley” 2.24.88 II, Gallagher’s, Wattsfield, VT

This certainly is not the best version of this song, but, I thought it was interesting to hear since some other dude named John Carlton sat in on the drums allowing Fishman to really let loose on the trombone!



The Curtain (With)“5.24.88 I, Nectar’s, Burlington, VT

This is another one of those old school classic shows, and this song opened up the first set of three. This is probably my favorite version of “The Curtain.”



Jesus Just Left Chicago” 5.24.88 II, Burlington, VT

This song opened up the second set, which was a rare example of a three-song set from concerts pre-97. Don’t think Phish didn’t jam back in the day. Much thanks to Fish and Mike for playing along with the drunk dude in the audience who was yelling “slower…”



Reba” 10.26.89 II, Wetlands, NYC, NY

I went in chronological order for this playlist since I figured it is worth noting how much growth the band made in the three years from May ’85 to May ’88. But, as far as saving the best for last goes, I’m so glad that this works out to have the final spot because this is really what I was most excited about. This is what really started my idea for an all old school playlist. I really wish they kept in the “Don’t Get Me Wrong” segment. I absolutely love it! For those of you who have not heard how Reba once was…

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392 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Chris “Topher” Mont”

  1. DavidSilver Says:


  2. little umbrellas Says:

    short film starring Rooster as Gonzo in a satire of Fear and Loathing which includes a Kaereoke scene.
    -Mmmhmm, well put. Dont fear the setbreak, and the electricity is all around. Gorge celebration time it is then! Im planing to camp offsite this time. inside of a year in my current relationship and it’s her first show. So hoping to spend time with her Outside and not subject her to the lot scene for 48+ hours.

    Slick, not sure any one really grabbed a picture, these days someone would have easily grapped a shot. What can I say? Years ago, very young at the time. The delusion has it’s own spiral but is easily overcome. Fear is the Mind killer.
    But good point phishm, life magnification, how healthy is one’s headspace…

    Business time is almost upon us. Looking forward to Miner’s review and listening to the emminent monster jam. Let the lights go out!

  3. gavinsdad Says:

    Well substance or not I hope
    Everyone gets what they need this Summer

    For us it was always about “being hot”. Pretty much a guarantee that if a spun pup came up and complained about being hot it wouldn’t be more than 30 mins before you saw dude naked.

    Stay cool out there.

  4. RoosterPizza Says:

    By August, I would say 5 pre rolls in Denver will probably have me set for the whole entire weekend.

  5. little umbrellas Says:

    Silver, your proposition is down right scary. Even worse would be Help>Ben. can you imagine the depths of the anticlimax… Beyond Let down.

  6. RoosterPizza Says:

    Yup, performed this too

  7. little umbrellas Says:

    Stay cool Dadios. Getting spun isn’t really a priority for me anymore. Been a while since I combined the experience with live Phish, since Indio. I like to pay attention.
    …think this years Gorge calls for a little treat though…

  8. little umbrellas Says:

    “look at you people, buncha dirtbags with your tanks and trash everywhere, look at yourselves!”

  9. kayatosh Says:

    Mowed the shit out of the lawn. Did not use a Bowie.

  10. sumodie Says:

    MMW crushed the final set of the Solid Sound festi today. Unquestionably the set of the festi for me

    Best show I’ve seen from MMW in a while. Furthermore, they invited David Hildago (Los Lobos), Marc Ribot, and Nels Cline up individually as guests, all of whom shined & shredded magnificently. Tweedy even came up to sing a closing song.

    Cannot freakin wait to get this AUD. Even though it was the smallest main stage crowd all weekend, we cheered so much they unexpectedly came back out for a special encore, also with Nels

    What a weekend, bookended with White Denim to kick off the festi and MMW to show everyone what sick improv is all about (Foxygen threw it down like Jim Morrison, also a huge highlight but for different reasons)

    MMW’s set was only 1h15m too. Another beautiful day, trains occassionally going by not 50 ft from the stage, another random aspect of this festi that made it so cool


  11. DavidSilver Says:

    Wavy Gravy is terrifying.

    Kaya mowed his lawn
    Didn’t listen to Bowie

  12. little umbrellas Says:

    MMW 2013! Oh I concur, same page as you on the afterglow depths of that band. jealous.

  13. tela'smuff Says:

    thanks for the updates Sumo. sounds like a great fest. from youtube clips i’ve seen, it looked fun. that MMW show sounds real nice.

  14. mmmhmm Says:

    lilum my girl of one year is going too. She saw her first Phish last year. Gorge will be double digits for her. I think we are camping at Vantage for the river access and low keyness. They also have a really cool fossilized forest there. Complimentary shuttle bus to and from Gorge from the good folks at Vantage with plenty of time for the lot pre and post show. Its a really good setup over there if you have not locked in a campsite yet.

  15. tela'smuff Says:

    also, get rady for my constant hyping of this new Jon Hopkins release. Immunity.

  16. mmmhmm Says:

    First Deer Creek Bowie is a gem!

  17. little umbrellas Says:

    Mmmhmm, dude, this is kinda crazy, we are also staying at Vantage! I have yet to camp there and was planing on asking the BB… Had included that in my earlier post but edited it out as I thought, maybe if I wait till monday morning more BB’ers will be on here and comin with the feedback…. But thanks! Sounds like Vantage is gonna work perfectly!
    …. Sounds like our paths are having similar reflections.
    See u there! Lady in hand, 30th birthday petrified forrest camping style.. What’s better than Phish at the Gorge!?!

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