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.

Tags: , ,

9,676 Responses to “The Palace Tweezer—Twenty Years Later”

  1. Gumbomaniac Says:

    @phishm sorry for your loss. Sending love and prayers your way.

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Hi just dropping in to say NEW PHISH 98 RELEASE!

    Is it good?

  3. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Forgot about bakers tweez > seven below. Some really great major bliss jamming if you’re into that kind of thing

  4. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    who has the presale code for Ween at Red Rocks


  5. Sex&City Says:

    Phishm… not much I can add except for being another person that is truly sending vibes to you and your family. Much love!

  6. Sex&City Says:

    If anyone does have that Ween presale code… holler at my email. If you don’t have it let me know.

  7. phishm Says:

    Thank you so much for all your kind words and condolences. I appreciate it so very much. Still kind of in a haze. Trey just started. Figured some music couldn’t hurt. Esp Trey.

  8. phishm Says:

    Full on Hood so very well played. Thank You Mr. Miner. You connected me with some amazing folks. If there was anyone but my mom that would get me I figured it would be this crew. Not sure why either.

  9. MrCompletely Says:

    Block sheep family represent

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    Black* lol

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    Block Board

    Peace Phishm. Seriously hope Trey plays y’alls song tonight. Fate.

  12. wilbard Says:

    Condolences to you and your family, phishm. Sorry to hear about that.

  13. phishm Says:

    Wasn’t to be Bingos. He did something better. Listen to the show. Maybe it won’t translate. I don’t know. Something very special I felt inside the music tonight. Amazing how they seem to know exactly what to play at just the right time when the emotions run high. It freaked her out but she got the music. Even felt like she was levitating one night during a webcast. I kept telling her it’s all in her mind. Sometimes it was too much for her. She felt everything. One of them amazing people that can feel everyone’s emotions when in proximity. I bet it’s overwhelming at times. I know it was. But she knew me. I think she knew me better than I know me. I’m gonna miss that. This fucking sucks.

  14. BingosBrother Says:

    They always know better than we do. Might possibly be the most thing I love about Phish. Glad to hear they got your back.

  15. BingosBrother Says:

    And the release of Vernon Downs. Time to Ramble on. Summer 98 so fun.

  16. little umbrellas Says:

    Denizens of the Block board.

    … Vernon Downs Mike’s>Simple .. .. ?

    What say u oh great jam lovers? Cast down your thoughts upon it..

    Is IT good? Which part did you like? Why?

    I think i need some salivating inspired posts from lovers of the jam to amp me up for this release.

    one mindblown or excited comment aught to do it.

  17. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Lil umb the ramble on with jam is sick

  18. gavinsdad Says:

    Wasn’t on here work a bit crazy – phishm wanted to send my condolences – very sorry to hear about your loss. You were/are a loving family man glad you were there for her.

    In phish news Trey in Wilmington tonite – first time with this particular setting just gonna soak it all in.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    enjoy it, gdad. it’s a pretty awesomely unique way to get yer trey on

  20. RoosterPizza Says:

    Today’s edible before work situation can best be summed up by the following video:

  21. Sex&City Says:

    Rooster… 10mg max!!!

  22. Sex&City Says:

    Lol that video

  23. Guitarpicker420! Says:

    lil um – The first set has some meaty, meaty stuff. Character 0 > Ramble On > Slave with funny narration about Frodo thrown in. La Grange opener. Mike’s is pretty heavy, not the crazy heavy metal jam that they put in there summer 99, but pretty heavy nonetheless. Simple is blissy as hell and quickly so.

  24. Guitarpicker420! Says:

    About 9 minutes into Simple, Mike leads them into a deep bluesy groove. Trey has tone for days and Page is just laying in these Rhodes accents and then switches to Wurly.

  25. Guitarpicker420! Says:

    A rare mid-set Loving Cup gets way, way rocked out.

Leave a Reply