The Palace Tweezer—Twenty Years Later

My Actual Ticket Stub—12.6.97

Twenty years later and I can still remember everything about that night—where I was, who I was with, what I was wearing. They say that live music can change your life, and that is exactly what happened to me on the sixth of December in 1997. On this night, something momentous happened. A piece of music harnessed from the outer realms of the universe came down through the instruments of a band from Vermont and transformed The Palace of Auburn Hills into a place of worship. On this night, we received “The Palace Tweezer.”

This jam is hands down, far and away, my favorite piece of music ever created by mankind. And it’s not even close. The Palace Tweezer has it all—the grimiest, subliminally connected funk grooves, a passage of ascension into spiritual realms of sound and soul, and an indescribable section of musical wizardry that I suspect was the soundtrack of the universe’s creation. The entire piece unfolds like poetry without a moment of hesitation, as if the music already existed—perfectly composed—and the band just allowed it to come through them. It seems impossible that a piece of improvised music so immaculate, so powerful, and so utterly dynamic could be generated by human beings on the fly.

I cannot begin to guess how many times I have listened to this jam over the past twenty years, but it sounds every bit as good today as it did when I got the analog copy sometime after tour. It has not lost a drop of freshness or power. The Palace Tweezer is a part of the fabric of my existence. Though I know the piece by heart, the feelings it produces on each and every listen are no less stirring than on the day I heard it.

Though Phish crafted so many sections of “funk” that fall, none approach the nuanced, four-minded mastery on display in this jam. The band members finish each other’s musical sentences, speaking as one entity rather than individual musicians. These grooves have a life of their own—locked in doesn’t begin to describe it.

The band gradually and ever so smoothly builds from these opening dance rhythms into a section of improvisation that opens a wormhole in space-time, allowing the music—and the Palace—to slip into an alternate dimension. This passage gives me chills every time I listen to it. Literally. Every time. Trey hits a lick in here that elevates the possibilities of the entire jam, and the band is right with him. From this point forward in the jam, words fail me. The music is beyond linguistic expression—a deeper magic from before the dawn of time.

I truly believe that the band communed with the divine while playing this jam. It is not far fetched, as we are all individual manifestations of the one divine energy of the universe. We are the universe awakening to itself and expressing itself as human beings for a short blip of time. Life is but a process of remembering not who we are, but what we are. Yet, because we are in human form, we are not in always in touch with this higher truth. But on that Saturday night in December, twenty years ago, Phish was not only in touch with it, they channelled this truth through music, through themselves and, subsequently, through everyone in the room.

It is this process that makes transcendent Phish jams such incomparably powerful experiences. This is the reason we keep going back—to remember and experience our truth. The Palace Tweezer is the greatest expression of my personal truth that I have ever heard. It is primordial music, an oracle of the infinite, telling a story of our past, present and future all at once.

Today—twenty years later—I will listen to the The Palace Tweezer again, and I will smile with awe and wonder, just as I did when the lights came on, oh so long ago.

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7,631 Responses to “The Palace Tweezer—Twenty Years Later”

  1. realoutcasty Says:

    Gdad, loving this Haklim. reminds me of slowed down soul groove mix of UMO & DeMarco. thx for the rec.

  2. Guitarpicker420! Says:

    Much love and many thanks to Sumo and Sex. Between the two of them I got everything I needed for my wife and I to head to Dick’s this summer. Amazing how quickly the BB is able to take care of those in need. See you guys at Dicks!!

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    Will someone make a mix of just all the stories?

  4. Drew Cluley Says:

    So post Dicks Ticket Frenzy: For a friend I am looking.
    I have 2 extra Field Fridays at Dicks: Looking for 1 Sat and 1 Sunday: Could be field or stands ( with $ difference equaled out if stands – fields cost $101.55 ea) LMK if interested drewcluley @ the ghee mail

    Will put up on CoT next week if BB is set.

  5. Guitarpicker420! Says:

    I have a buddy looking for Tahoe tix. One for each night. Please let me know if any shake loose.

  6. dorn76 Says:

    Trey Dick Riders Club: Member

  7. vapebraham Says:

    6.28.74 WeatherReportSuite – the brilliant 1/2 hour MLBish/Heaven Help the Fool? jam before US Blues is peak GD. flowing full band improvisation. $$$$

  8. vapebraham Says:

    so jazzy and soothing in its freedom of movement and tempo.

  9. Guitarpicker420! Says:

    @vape – that has been one of my favorites for 25 years. One of the first really great tapes I ever got, along with 12-31-76 II, which is still a big favorite of mine too.

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    Properly rated for sure

  11. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    Classic, classic version, Vape. Peep the one from 10 days earlier if you haven’t heard it. Another top notch version.

    1974: THE year for Weather Report

  12. jdub Says:

    Gosh dang, thanks for posting that Trey solo Cambridge show @Sumo. His story about playing guitar by his friends bed during the last days of his life sent shivers up my spine. The song ‘Til Ever More’ is such a touching tribute.

    Waiting for the emo Joy>Til Ever More combo to send us all balling thinking about the loved ones we’ve lost.

  13. MrCompletely Says:

    Trey Tour 2025: Literally Nothing But Songs About Dead People

  14. little umbrellas Says:

    Rad day. Shredded some O&FB rehearsal/audition.
    Played a packed show with an ethio lege.

    :: all your children are mine for the cheapening ::

    #MajorScales

  15. phishm Says:

    I wanted to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers over this trying time. It is with a heavy heart that I tell all of you that my mom passed away at 3:30am. She was a great person and very loved. She will be missed.

  16. sumodie Says:

    Phishm, my heart goes out to you & your family. May love & strength help guide you thru the grief process. And don’t forget to laugh now and again, esp when sharing good stories about your mom.

  17. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    love to you, phishm.

  18. Doc pro Says:

    Sending loving vibes, Phishm. Can always tell how devoted you are to family, and now may she rest in peace, and may you continue to cherish the memories of the good times

  19. Jerome Garcia Says:

    So sorry for your loss phishm. Love light & healing vibrations to you & your family. Hope your kids are holding up ok. You’re a good son & father. Much love to the family phishm.

  20. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    Phishm….my sincerest condolences to you and yours.

  21. realoutcasty Says:

    all the love and vibes to you and your family Phishm

  22. stapes Says:

    Thinking of you Phishm.

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    sorry for your loss, phishm. best to you and your family

  24. dorn76 Says:

    Love for all the Moms. They’re Saints.

    So very sorry for your loss.

  25. MiA Says:

    So sorry Phishm.

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