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. gavinsdad Says:

    Crazy. Walmart as of today slashes iPhone 5 price to $129 if u buy a 2 year carrier plan.

  2. RoosterPizza Says:

    The green hornet

  3. sumodie Says:

    Voopa, sounds like a great night!

    Have a great Saturday all. Bangor looms large

  4. neemor Says:

    Sumo, thank for that post.
    The sign language Gin was awesome.
    Funny part for me is that I sometimes find myself doing this (what I consider) annoying dance where I act out the lyrics with my hands.
    Guess this is what that looks like. 🙂

  5. neemor Says:

    Second video of the Bonnaroo Rock and Roll brought me to tears.
    To think of the music being brought to life this way for the hearing impaired…watching her joy in interpreting it…..
    Something about the beauty of the sound we take for granted.
    The videos of children with new implants hearing their mother’s voice for the first time?
    Nice thought for Saturday.

  6. gavinsdad Says:

    See u @pnc neems

  7. phlorida phan Says:

    I remember watching the interpreter during Caverns ribbon reflector section in Miami ’09, was good for a laugh. Guy had a sheet music stand with this huge book of songs. Was the first time I noticed at a show.

    Also check out that Hood 12.28.09, $$$, close second to the plinko hood.

  8. gavinsdad Says:

    one more time before i head to pool:

    friend looking for all 3 nites Dicks fields. holler if you have em dadgavins AT yahooooooooo

  9. voopa Says:

    Our surprisingly affordable Tahoe Custy Crib…can’t wait!

  10. voopa Says:

    I think we might have to host a massive BB cook-and-smoke out on the 31st.

  11. BNCB Says:

    Phlorida I loved that Miami hood. Haven’t spun in ages. Gonna have to add it to the to listen list.

  12. Joe Says:

    Fun set of picks here. Love the picture too.

  13. DavidSilver Says:

    Soul Shakedown Party opener at Alpine. Cool breeze on a Sunday afternoon. People smoking smiling and swaying. Yeah.

  14. phlorida phan Says:

    While waiting to get through security on 12.29.09, dude next to me missed the first night, said he came to see his first hood, I told him that was last night, he than asked if it was a good, with a semi sad face, I lied and said it was ok. Didn’t want to crush him.

  15. BNCB Says:

    Good man. Wish people would have considered MY feelings when I showed up for CCCC and asked about the Albany run!

  16. joe Says:

    anyone hoping for Bangor Tweezer better hope my car breaks down en route (actually about a 52% chance of happening). O for 3.0 since Fenway for tweezers. I haven’t hit too many shows, though, but more than enough to catch another tweezer. Only here would something like 20 shows in the last 4 years be considered not too many, but it really is way too few.

  17. phlorida phan Says:

    Just seems like a Dick move to be all ” dude, you missed that shit, best ever brah”

  18. voopa Says:

    That’s why I don’t ask.

  19. joe Says:

    2013: a)The return of the Whale or
    b) The Whale Strikes Back

    (listening to fenway tweezer for the first time since show. not half bad

  20. little umbrellas Says:

    I like the BGCA Tweezer quite a lot too. Great Vid of it available.. So yeah the MSG Tweezer had that crazy peak and tons of energy (Major major). But musically I think I will listen to the BGCA Tweez more. Nasty Clav Funk and immaculate restraint by Trey.

  21. plord Says:

    Bangor ticket in hand. Hotie confirmed. Maps with 4 mile walking route planned out. Getting psyched now 🙂

    Still on the fence for SPAC; thinking Sunday only but would have to StubHub it and the tax is still hovering around $50 for a balcony. Decisions decisions.

  22. little umbrellas Says:

    just watched that Tweez Vid again. amazing work by the boys.. so it’s only 15 minutes.. but the 10 minutes of it is soaring glory.

  23. little umbrellas Says:

    sorta fun when my girlfriend pointed me out in the one of the shots..

  24. voopa Says:

    I’ve been tasked with researching water softeners. Any advice welcome.

  25. BNCB Says:

    Voop-Star, lemme ask my pops. They’ve used for years. I think he just got new one.

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