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. Brandon Kayda Says:


  2. phishm Says:

    You hitting up the festival this year BK? Love to have you.

  3. Brandon Kayda Says:

    I’m definitely hitting MPP, would love to hit Georgia or Curveball but not sure if I’ll be able to make it happen or not

  4. Brandon Kayda Says:

    black magic woman jam in minglewood

  5. Brandon Kayda Says:

    ->space->Let it Grow. Fucking bananas

  6. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    BK. Please go to Curveball. The hour is getting late. You will not regret it. I went to The Clifford Ball like 22 years ago and count it among my favorite experiences ever. Just sayin.

  7. Brandon Kayda Says:

    This Let it Grow jam is insanity

  8. Brandon Kayda Says:

    More Gin teases in let it grow. Sounds like dancin reprise

  9. Brandon Kayda Says:

    Fucking 3 song set so far

  10. Brandon Kayda Says:

    Let it Grow->Loser i think….

  11. phishm Says:

    Got to love it when they jam like this. It’s like you feel like you contributed it’s so good.

  12. Brandon Kayda Says:

    Sorry for the ongoing commentary but man they are murdering this shit.

    I’d love to make Curveball @Poster. We’ll see what’s in the cards

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    make your own cards holy shit

  14. Brandon Kayda Says:

    Loser blowing up!

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:


  16. Brandon Kayda Says:

    Fucking Blarney Stone ween encore. I’m so so so fucking happy rn

  17. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Jer Side jawn namely Jer & Merl is crucial Sun AM listening.

    Goodbye Cleveland! Amazing finish to a great tournament. Great to be w/ some of my father’s oldest & bestest & guys that have been a huge influence on me over the past 35 yrs.

    To the read back! Have pen & paper will travel.

  18. The Flesh Says:

    Who’s got my heady, soft, melodic Sunday phish YouTube link

    Y’all know what we are looking for

  19. BingosBrother Says:

    Bo Nickel is a wang, but he sure can rassle.

  20. realoutcasty Says:

    here you go Flesh.

  21. MiA Says:

    ^good call

  22. BingosBrother Says:

    Spinning Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Keep On Moving. Gnarly. Love Disease. Recorded at The Hit Factory. Dang right. Cheers peeples.

  23. little umbrellas Says:

    Boom Boom was a blast last night. Packed.

    Santa Cruz tonight with the Seshen.

    After adventures w Case to get this thing going. All other flavs taste like hay. But we’re more awake now.

  24. BingosBrother Says:

    Heady? Bethel. Soft? Waves. Melodic? Soundcheck.

  25. The Flesh Says:

    $$$ thanks

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