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

  1. jdub Says:

    You guys ever find vintage weed? I found a compressed nugget in a book I bought at a tag sale. Why would that be the hidding spot?

    He was probably stoned, reading late at night, and packed the pipe. Closed the book before putting away the weed and never finished book. Or something like that.

  2. dorn76 Says:

    Ambler on
    And now’s the time, the time is now
    To sing my song

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    MiA knows all about vintage weed, so they say

  4. dorn76 Says:

    I’ve tossed my house multiple times in search of the jar.

    Stoner fuck’d.

  5. dorn76 Says:

    Very cool re: the pistola.

    Mrs d’s grandpa had a sack of old WW2 pistols, German and US that my father in law found in the basement after he died. He was in the Army and was in Germany during 44/45. Guess he ended up with some lute.

  6. phlorida phan Says:

    1 time I went thermo nuclear when she took my prized Green Bean nug. This was the greatest weed ever grown locally here, where if you smoked just the sugar trim, you would get the full flavor and effects of nug. So I have that in a jar by itself, and 3 other jars with decent nugs in. She decided to take the fire jar with her on vacay with friends.

  7. phlorida phan Says:

    Now she comes visit every month or so, and I see if her dab skills have gotten better. Still chokes like it’s the first time no matter how small a dab, lol, noob.

  8. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    Double Rando’d again.


  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


  10. Sex&City Says:

    Anyone still need Dicks?

  11. aj Says:

    LOL @ vintage weed

  12. jdub Says:

    super rando super rando

  13. jdub Says:

    Ok, so I am going to listen to this Vernon Downs Mikes>Simple since that is what you are supposed to do the day after a phresh release.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    jdub, start at ramble on

  15. jdub Says:

    Rando On, got it.

  16. realoutcasty Says:

    jar got luted

    ^they just keep coming. gold.

  17. Drew Cluley Says:

    Sex – Yes I am looking for 1 Sat and 1 Sun – stands or Field to complete our possee.

    I have 2 Field Fridays to trade with. Any leeds appreciated.

  18. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Untzy J doesn’t appreciate my humor. Guess I’m just a lute-ite.

  19. jdub Says:

    Or a lute-r

  20. jdub Says:

    But I lub ya jerome

  21. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Neo Luteism if you will.

  22. jdub Says:

    The Rando On Jam really worked for me. Thanks for the nudge T3

    Slave is as Slave does but a fiery peak for sure.

    Onto Mikes….

  23. realoutcasty Says:

    your lute joke was a little tiery man. sorry.

  24. jdub Says:

    My office at the shop is my salvation at the moment.

  25. Jerome Garcia Says:

    You clearly have tier bais. & quite frankly I’m sick of it.

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