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. MrCompletely Says:

    has the original Gordo style bell hits for emphasis. :chefs_kiss:

  2. lumpyhead Says:


    so you obviously prefer it without the ‘true surround’ sound, then?

  3. joe Says:

    I just don’t watch enough tv/movies to need that effect. my prime listening spot is at a table kind of in between 2 rooms so the set up is better for that.

  4. lumpyhead Says:

    i should prolly tinker with turning that off

    thank ya

  5. joe Says:

    I have them in 3 separate rooms so that’s the prime reason I don’t use that set up.

  6. sumodie Says:

    Even more dates added up & down the east coast in Sept / Oct

  7. wilbard Says:

    Tune-Yards is opening for Byrne, cool. I saw her a few times in Montreal over the years and they were fun shows, good fit with Byrne

  8. vapebraham Says:

    one more jazz rec. that I’ve undoubtedly pimped before – Charles Llyod (sax, flute). Dream Weaver (1966) and the live album Love-In (1967) are two faves. All My Relations (1994) is another fave although from 30 years later. AMR is meditative and third eye opening. supreme music.

  9. vapebraham Says:

    Here’s a taste of one of the more tuneful tunes on Love-In:

  10. vapebraham Says:

    see I love the flute. and Charles LLoyd is one of the best flutists I know.

  11. Selector J Says:

    Keeping it Greasy with the Greasy Fizeek.

  12. vapebraham Says:

    Warm Waters (1971) another one to check out. I love it, but critics thought /think otherwise. jazz/folk rock intersection. free and dreamy.

  13. little umbrellas Says:

  14. vapebraham Says:

    New Anthem/ Warm Water from that Warm Waters album is one of my favorite cuts of all time. That whole side 2 is $$$$. hazy george harrison vibed out mellow hectic cloud whips.

  15. vapebraham Says:

    random jazz rec: David “Fathead” Newman – Newmanism (1974). gorgeous tone to the whole album. ron carter on the bass. roy ayers on vibes. got this lil gem on vinyl. the bass is so honey rich.

  16. HadToHaveThat Says:

    Stumbled upon the 7/21 7 below the other day, it was the perfect remedy to combat the noisy day! Pretty and blissful, explorative but not too far gone

    I dream of festie

  17. HadToHaveThat Says:

    I pretty much just rotate donuts and shuffle these days
    It’s like the best goodie bag ever
    So much sugar

  18. vapebraham Says:

    7/21 is the sleeper. love that show. you gave me water in the dungeon.

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    I don’t know that Fathead album vape. I’ll look it up. It made me think of an old school favorite I haven’t spun in years – Satch Plays Fats

    Good clean fun

  20. phlorida phan Says:

    Don’t forget to fill out them BB brackets before noon Eastside.

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    which one are we doing? BB or 2.0?

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    geez or Blackboard Madness?

  23. phlorida phan Says:

    I did both. I think Kaveh started the 2.0 last year?

  24. bobby weird Says:

    CBS, ESPN? sorry, i forget.

  25. bobby weird Says:

    nevermind. giot it

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