Halloween ’94: The Beginning

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on September 18th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
phishpumpkin

Phish & Halloween

A beloved tradition started fifteen years ago in Glens Falls, NY. Phish hadn’t played a Halloween show since 1991, having been in the studio the previous two autumns recording Rift (1992) and Hoist (1993). But in 1994, the band upped the ante. Via Doniac Schvice, their newsletter, Phish announced that the show would contain three sets, but that wasn’t all. Along with an audience costume contest, Phish would don a “musical costume” of their own, covering an entire album of another band. And there was yet another twist- they were leaving to the fans to vote on the album, and they would play the most popular choice. Many have since debated whether or not Phish went with the actual winner or selected between the most popular, but nonetheless, it brought the entire community into the process.

During the weeks leading up to the show, fans drooled with anticipation, constantly hypothesizing on which album would be selected. The leading contenders were thought to be Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage, and The Beatles’ self-titled record known as “The White Album.” The other mystery hovering around the 8,000 person show was that no one knew when the album would be played; there was no precedent and nothing had been announced. So when Phish took the stage at 10:15 for their first set, everyone was on the edge of their seats.

1994-10-31gnRipping into the holiday-appropriate “Frankenstein,” the game began.  An extended “Simple” and a poignant “Divided Sky” anchored the beginning of the set, when unsuspectingly, the band dropped into “Harpua!”  With the opening “Oom Pah Pahs” many thought that the forthcoming narration would bring out the cover album. As the Halloween story progressed, encompassing the “Vibration of Life” and the “Vibration of Death,” Jimmy stepped to his record player. Seemingly on the brink of history, the story took a left turn as Jimmy put on a Barney album- but accidentally had placed the record on backwards.  And as the record spun in reverse, Phish played what Jimmy heard- twenty second of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.” A classic moment in its own right, the cover would have to wait.  But before ending the set, Phish carved out room for one of the thickest, most emotional “Rebas” ever played.  In 1994, the year that “Reba” shone the brightest, this version is one of my favorites.

beatles-white-album-1During setbreak, the obvious conversation piece was the album.  Would it come in the second or third set?  Which one would it be?!  The answer came soon enough.  At midnight, the band took the stage, and through the PA the audience heard the opening heartbeats of Dark Side of the Moon, drawing howls and cheers from much of the crowd. But suddenly the heartbeat stopped, and the voice of Ed Sullivan came from nowhere introducing The Beatles.  Over the recorded squeals and screams of teeny boppers thirty years ago, Phish broke into “Back in the U.S.S.R.” It took a minute to hit everyone that they were about to cover the entire double-album, but one song at a time, over the next 90 minutes, that is exactly what they did.

Glens Falls Civic Center

Glens Falls Civic Center

While the band played most of “The White Album’s” songs  earnestly and accurately, they wouldn’t have been Phish if they didn’t add a little of their own flavor. By modifying the end of “Helter Skelter” with a barbershop quartet ending, changing the “fool on the hill” in “Glass Onion” to “Guyute the pig,” and adding some Electrolux to “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?,” Phish dappled the album with spots of Phishiness. Other interpretive moments included Mike’s bluegrass take of “Don’t Pass Me By” and a now-classic rendition of “Revolution 9”, when upon the concluding line, “You become naked,” Fishman lifted his frock over his head and pranced around nude while Page, Mike, and Trey blew bubbles and chanted behind him. This bizarre moment was forever immortalized in the booklet of liner notes for “A Live One”- page 11.

But aside from these moments, Phish’s performance was incredibly reverent, playing each song true to form. The only onstage flirtation Phish had with The White Alum was an “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” jam- not even the whole song- hence the band learned each and every one of the albums 30 songs. Several appeared sporadically throughout the years, but “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”- the song that stood out at Glens Falls- was adopted into the band ever-expanding catalog of covers.  The band stepped offstage at 1:30 am, to the recorded version of “Good Night.” But the night was hardly over.

ph941031_01About a half -hour later, Phish reemerged to a venue of mind-blown fans, some who had dozed off during the break. The band could have come out and played a five minute encore and the show would still be talked about in the annals of Phish history. But instead, they opened set three with an extended journey through a menacing “David Bowie”- this was Halloween after all! And after a “Bouncin” interlude, the band resolved the immense darkness of “Bowie” with a magnificent mid-set “Slave.” Bordering on absurdity, especially with the timing of everything, Phish raged on. The band closed the set with a smoking “Antelope” only to start the audience costume contest during the encore!  After a “Mound” Bar won the competition, the band chose “Squirming Coil” to end one of the most epic nights of their career. There would be many more, but this one was special.

And there started the Halloween tradition that we will rekindle so soon in Indio. Following up the White Album with The Who’s Quadrophenia in 1995 (another double album),Talking Head’s Remain In Light in 1996, and Velvet Underground’s Loaded in 1998- Phish firmly established the musical costume as one of their most loved annual rites. Halloween became a big as New Years Eve on the Phish calender, though the band never found their way back to October 31st after ’98’s Vegas escapade. But in2009, the year everything is coming back together- Halloween returns!

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“Reba” jam 10.31.94 I

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” 10.31.94 II

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Bathtub Gin” 9.12.99 I

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A perfect piece to take us into the weekend, this gorgeous jam came in a forgotten first set at Portland Meadows in ’99. An ideal tempo, the open-air sound, and some heart-tugging playing by Trey will have you grooving at your desk, cubicle, or wherever you may be. Some feel good Phish took for a Friday, this one will make you smile.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

9.12.99 Portland Meadows, Portland, OR < Torrent

9.12.99 Portland Meadows, Portland, OR < Megaupload

Portland Meadows - Portland, OR

Portland Meadows - Portland, OR

This show has always lived in the shadow of The Gorge’s two-night stand that came directly before.  But with the “Gin” posted above and a monster second set, this show has plenty to offer. One of the most psychedelic “Ghosts” of the year kicked off this five song second set to the tune of 20 plus minutes. After this night we walked away with more than a few memories too go along with our black boogers.

I: First Tube, Poor Heart, Mozambique, Bathtub Gin, Get Back on the Train, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Frankie Says, Birds of a Feather, Lawn Boy, Possum

II: Ghost > Runaway Jim , Roggae, Also Sprach Zarathustra > You Enjoy Myself

E: Theme from the Bottom

Source: Unknown

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Weekend Nuggets: The Heartland ’94

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on September 12th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Spring 1994 (phish.com)

Spring 1994 (phish.com)

This weekend we feature two smoking shows from Summer ’94 from the Great Plains.  Kansas and Iowa, not Phish’s every day stops- so all the more reason to throw down.  The Kansas City second set ripped, containing a ’94 “Reba” to be reckoned with.  The Iowa show features a tripped out “Asse Festival” which segues into “Sweet Adeline” and then a Digital Delay jam before finishing “Guelah Papyrus.”  A “Split” punctuates the first set before a huge “Bowie” and a “YEM” anchor the second.

6.13.1994 Memorial Coliseum, Kansas City, KS < Torrent

6.13.1994 Memorial Coliseum, Kansas City, KS < Megaupload

I: Buried Alive, Poor Heart, Sample in a Jar, The Divided Sky, Wolfman’s Brother, Dinner and a Movie, Stash, Ginseng Sullivan*, Julius

II: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Esther, Cavern, Reba, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Scent of a Mule, Big Ball Jam, HYHU > Terrapin > HYHU, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Golgi Apparatus

*Acoustic and without mics

Source: Akg 460/ck1’s

***

6.14.1994 Civic Center, Des Moines, IA < Torrent

6.14.1994 Civic Center, Des Moines, IA < Megaupload

I: Llama, Guelah Papyrus > Sweet Adeline* > Guelah Papyrus, Rift, Down With Disease, Fee, My Friend My Friend, Uncle Pen, I Didn’t Know > My Sweet One > I Didn’t Know, Split Open and Melt

II: Frankenstein, Demand > David Bowie, If I Could, It’s Ice, Sparkle, You Enjoy Myself, HYHU > Bike > HYHU, Possum

E: Sample in a Jar

* with Digital Delay Loop jam

Source: DAUD/OTS>AKG 460b ck61>AKG B-18 Phantom Power>Sony D-10 Pro II (@ 48khz)

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Weekend:

Crosseyed and Painless” 1.1.00, Cypress

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One of the most exciting jams from the all-night set.   Trey threads a melodic theme throughout the excursion that peaks with a fury.  Have a great weekend!

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VIDEOS OF THE WEEKEND:

“Undermind > Drums” w/ Billy Kreutzmann 8.2.09 —————————- (partial, but great footage)

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“2001” w/ Billy Kreutzmann 8.2.09 (CK5 blowout!)

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Weekend Nuggets: Gamehoist

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on January 31st, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEKEND:

6.26.94 Municipal Auditorium, Charleston, WV < LINK

savegamehendge-395x561Here is one of Phish’s most unique shows of all time.  For starters, imagine walking into a show that opened with “Kung.”  The odd opener proceeded to be the portal to a complete first-set Gamehendge narration in the band’s first visit to West Virginia. Capped with a triumphant “Divided Sky,” the first set was enough to carry any show. But the second set was even more unique than the first.  Coming on stage, the band played their newly released album of Hoist in its entirety.  Not only did they play all the songs in the same order, they played them identically to the album versions; or as close as humanly possible.  The band even tacked a “Split” jam on the end of “Demand,” though not quite as nasty as jam from 4.21.93 in Columbus, OH that is featured on Hoist.  Throw a rare “Tube” in a four song encore, and you’ve got a certifiable piece of Phish history that is a must have for any collector.

I: Kung > Llama > Lizards > Tela > Wilson > AC/DC Bag > Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Famous Mockingbird > The Sloth > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > The Divided Sky

121996757_593853d83eII: Julius, Down With Disease, If I Could, Axilla [Part II], Lifeboy, Sample in a Jar, Wolfman’s Brother, Scent of a Mule, Dog Faced Boy, Demand*

E: The Old Home Place**, Amazing Grace, Tube, Fire

*With “Split Open and Melt” jam & “Y-Rushalayim Schel Zahav” ending.**First time played.

***

VIDEO OF WEEKEND:

6.21.94 “Mound” Cincinnati, OH

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Weekend Nuggets: Great Woods ’94

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on January 10th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

7.8.94 Great Woods Mansfield, MA < LINK

phish-great-woods-94-metAs we continue our virtual download tour of the Summer ’09 venues, right after Jones Beach comes Great Woods.  A site of so many Phishy evenings throughout the years, few were more exciting then this two night stand in ’94.  The first night featured the last performance of the Gamehendge saga.  Entering the alternate reality via a dentist’s chair, we were off on the last full narration of Trey’s senior thesis right as the show began.  With Phish unlikely to ever bust out the story again, this is a must have show for any collection.

I: Llama > N2O* > Lizards > Tela > Wilson > AC/DC Bag > Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird > The Sloth > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > The Divided Sky

II: Rift, Sample in a Jar, Reba > Y-Rushalayim Schel Zahav, It’s Ice, Stash, You Enjoy Myself > Frankenstein > You Enjoy Myself, Julius, Golgi Apparatus

E: Nellie Cane, Cavern

First set contained a complete “Gamehendge” narration. *The idea was being in a dentist’s chair, with the gas slowly putting you to sleep, and on your way to Gamehendge.

7.9.94 Great Woods Mansfield, MA < LINK

The band followed up the legendary first night with a second night filled with Phish anthems.  Both sets were absolutely scorching, but set two was something special.  Check it out.  This is some great Phish.

I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Gumbo > Maze, Guelah Papyrus, Scent of a Mule, Down With Disease, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Run Like an Antelope

II: 2001 > Split Open and Melt, Fluffhead, Poor Heart > Tweezer > Lifeboy > Sparkle, Big Ball Jam > Harry Hood, Suzy Greenberg

E: Sleeping Monkey, Tweezer Reprise
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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“Divided Sky” 10.31.94 Glens Falls, NY
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

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TICKET UPDATE: I guess Tickemaster hasn’t been cut out of things, because when you go to their scalping website, TicketsNow, the entire sumer tour is up with hundreds of tickets for sale.  Who the heck knows at this point?  Hey, it’s only $375 for an orchestra seat for The Fox and $431 for two to Asheville!

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RUMOR MILL ’09: (Reminder: Rumors are things I hear that I do not know to be true.  When I hear something I feel would be interesting to people, I post it.  Nothing is confirmed until you read it on Phish.com)

For what it’s worth, this was posted by SOMEBODY on Phantasy Tour today.  This is NOT me speaking:

“The same source that gave me the scoop about summer tour told me that there will be no dates in august, and no red rocks. he said that fall tour will start in early to mid-September on the west coast, possibly at the gorge and go until early October. thereafter, there will be a short break followed by east coast dates ending with Halloween at MSG. take it for what it’s worth, but the dude was spot on about the routing for summer tour. he said that big cypress is being discussed, but that the band is exploring some “new” options (i.e., other than MSG, Miami or BC).”

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November ’94: On the Brink

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on September 10th, 2008 by Mr.Miner

If assessing best-ever eras in Phish history, Fall 1994 has to be thrown into the ring.  In particular, November 1994, will always be remembered as one of the creative peaks of the band’s career.  November of 1994 will never be recreated in its cacophonous psychedelia, deep raucous exploration, and style that made it seem like Phish was constantly playing for their lives.  They had a sense of urgency and mania never before seen in a quartet.  As the band’s fan base continued to grow, slowly drawing more attention from coast to coast, their tour remained mostly in college towns while beginning to expand into bigger venues on the east coast.  Yet, as they grew in underground stature, Phish consistently maintained their stage pranks and humor; never taking themselves too seriously as they left a burning wake of fire on stage each night.

November 1994 officially started on Halloween in Glens Falls, NY.  Not to mention the marathon White Album Halloween set, Phish also tore apart sets one and three with standout versions of Reba, Bowie, Slave and Antelope-with even a Harpua thrown into the middle of the first set.  As Phish embarked on their month of madness, they left behind 21 shows that had brought them to this point in the tour, and were ready to dig to deeper places than ever before.  This era of Phish featured the most daring musical risk-taking of their career, as 30 minute exploratory Tweezers became the norm, and mind-numbing intense jams were strewn throughout every show; this month represents Phish at their most “balls-to-the-wall period.”  Adopting their model of jazz-based improvisation to a milieu of dark, churning, psychedelic dissonance, the results were some of the more adventurous musical journeys ever taken.  During an era focused on mastering the audiences’ psyche with space exploration and insane tension building and release- Phish was indeed a different monster.

A seventeen show month started in Bangor, ME on the second of November, and started out with a second set opener of Halley’s > Tweezer that set the tone for the month.  This was the first truly extended experimental Tweezer.  Featured on “A Live One,” this stretched out Tweezer would soon be well known even tangential Phish fans.  Two nights later, the band stopped in Syracuse, NY for a standout show that featured a first set Forbin’s>Mockingbird, and an ominous second set opening sequence of Curtain > Mike’s > Simple > Mike’s > Tela > Weekapaug.  Eight days off showed no ill effects when Phish returned to action on the 12th at Kent State, OH, for a college gig that was highlighted by a now-famous Disease>Have Mercy>Disease that recently made an appearance on my Labor Day Mix.

The 16th, saw Phish at another college- this time Ann Arbor, MI- for the appearance of bluegrass legend “Reverend” Jeff Mosier, who began a week-long traveling bluegrass clinic, appearing every night on stage with the band, teaching and leading them though traditional arrangements.  This style of play would integrate into Phish’s array of tricks after this fall, and some of these songs would pop up in the years to come.  This show also featured a fierce 40 minute Mike Groove at the beginning of this second set, punctuated by a “best ever” unique Simple jam.

As the month progressed, the trend of longer dark experimentation continued in the form of David Bowie. With Dayton’s David Bowie on 11.17, Madison’s Bowie on the 20th, and the the monumental Bowie, just released from the archives, from Minneapolis on 11.26, this composition provided a perfect launching pad for the type of intricate and maniacal improvisation that the band honed in on during this month.  In the same vein, the show on 11.22 at the University of Missouri included a huge standout jam to start the second set that emerged out of Funky Bitch.  Filler on one of the Live Phish releases, many are familiar with this diamond in the rough.  As the month headed into its final week, there was still a tremendous amount of top-notch Phish that was yet to unfold.

The Fox Theatre in St. Louis housed one of the more magnificent Tweezers of 1994 on November the 23rd.  With lengthy and abstract exploration leading to a spiritual guitar release by Trey, this version is a can’t miss- you may have heard it featured in the Labor Day Mix as well.   The band dropped a fantasy second set at UIC Pavilion in Chicago on the 25th, reading “2001>Mike’s>Simple>Harpua> Weekapaug>Mango, Purple Rain, Antelope!”  Yet the month’s most magnificent show may have come on the 26th in Minneapolis.  The aforementioned Bowie absolutely stole the show with its extended celestial psychedelia, while the overwhelming darkness was brought into set-ending light with the now renowned, and incredibly triumphant, Slave from “A Live One.”  This represented what a Phish show is all about- a dark inner journey, bringing you face to face with your soul, only to deliver you to glory with invigorating bliss and life-affirming wonder.

Not to be outdone by their own theatrics, the following show at the University of Montana in Bozeman, will always be remembered for the 45 minute Tweezer than defined the show.  The longest jam from the fall, this Tweezer remains particularly engaging the whole time, and a segment of it was featured as “Montana” on “A Live One.”  One of the deepest dives of the month for the band, the word “Bozeman” will live in Phish history for the Tweezer that was born that evening.  On the final night of this historic month, 11.30, Phish found themselves at yet another college- this time at the west coast hippie-haven of Evergreen University.  This show, later released on livephish.com, was a start to finish masterpiece.  The second set of this show was another massive segue fest strewn with incredibly locked-in jamming throughout the night.  The famous Antelope-laced set will go down as the triumphant conclusion of one of the Phishiest months in history.

With just a week left on the west coast before wrapping up their 46 show jaunt, Phish had reached a high point in their career.  Getting ready to begin the transition from colleges to arenas, Phish was on their way.  For their upcoming New Years Run, they would already be stopping at MSG and The Boston Garden.  The intensity of their playing and the sheer aggressiveness of how they went for the jugular every single night represented a young band, with unbridled enthusiasm, on the brink of making it.  With growing attention and word of mouth, Phish had become a new force in the improvisational musical landscape.  This fall tour completed a year of 122 shows; evenings where Phish explored, challenged, and redefined their own musical creativity.

This individual month of standout shows was Phish exploding at the seams; energy bursting from the stage, barely containable by four walls; Phish was now a sincere power to be reckoned with.  The band’s playing was unparalleled, their attitude, focused as a drill bit, while still having a blast every single night.  Phish’s momentum gained a head of steam through the end of 1994, getting ready for the year in which they would ascend to the soon-to-be vacated throne of the psychedelic universe.  Phish’s reign was just about to begin.

In honor of this momentous month of momentum, I have put together MINER’S PICKS: NOVEMBER ’94, which will take you on a chronological ride through this historic month.  Totaling seven and a half hours, this compilation should give you a pretty solid idea of what November ’94 was all about.  Many say it’s as good as it gets.  The download links and track listing are below.  Enjoy!

MINER’S PICKS: NOVEMBER ’94 PT. 1 << DOWNLOAD NOW!

MINER’S PICKS: NOVEMBER ’94 PT. 2 <<DOWNLOAD NOW!!

1,2. Halley’s > Tweezer 11.2 Bangor, ME

3. Split Open and Melt 11.3 Amherst, MA

4-9. Curtain > Mike’s > Simple > Mike’s > Tela > Weekapaug 11.4 Syracuse, NY

10. Stash 11.12 Kent, OH

11. Reba 11.13 Erie, PA

12. Run Like An Antelope 11.13 Erie, PA

13,14. Peaches > Bowie  11.14 Grand Rapids, MI

15,16. Mike’s > Simple 11.16 Ann Arbor, MI

17, 18. You Enjoy Myself ( > vocal jam) 11.17 Dayton, OH

19. Slave to the Traffic Light 11.17 Dayton, OH

20,21. Tweezer > Contact 11.18 East Lansing, MI

22. Harry Hood 11.19 Bloomington, IN

23,24. 2001 > David Bowie 11.20 Madison, WI

25,26. Funky Bitch > Jam 11.22 Columbia, MO

27. YEM 11.23 St. Louis, MO

28. Reba 11.25 Chicago, IL

29. Slave to the Traffic Light 11.26 Minneapolis, MN

30. Tweezer 11.28 Bozeman, MT

31-36. Antelope > My Sweet One > Antelope > Fixin to Die > Antelope > Yamar > Mikes > Catapult 11.30 Olympia, WA

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