TTFF: 1996—The Transitional Year

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on March 8th, 2013 by Mr.Miner
8.4.96 Red Rocks

8.4.96 Red Rocks

Inspired by some recent banter in the Twittersphere…

Wilson > Disease” 8.14 I, Hershey, PA

Right off the bat in Hershey, the band dropped this opening sequence

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Mike’s > Lifeboy” 8.13 II, Noblesville, IN

An adventurous mid-’90s “Mike’s” in the yet-to-be developed Cornfields of Deer Creek.

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Tweezer” 8.14 II, Hershey, PA

Legend has always said it that this Herhsey show before The Clifford Ball wasn’t so hot. I never understood that assessment. Here’s another reason why.

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Mike’s Song” 10.29 II, Tallahassee, FL

A percussion-drenched “Houses in Motion” jam laces the latter part of this jam in the final show before their seminal “Remain In Light” Halloween set.

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The Great Curve” 10.31 II, Atlanta, GA

Speaking of “Remain in Light,” I saw this Tweet yesterday and I immediately agreed.

If you’re not familiar…

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Crosseyed > Antelope” 11.2 II, West Palm Beach, FL

The band began to shape-shift on the first night after Halloween as Karl Perazzo stayed on tour for a few.

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Tweezer” 11.11 II Grand Rapids, MI

A post-Halloween signpost on the long road to Cow Funk.

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2001 > Llama” 12.6 I, Las Vegas, NV

One of the early, jammed-out versions from the final night of tour.

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Tweezer” 12.1 II, Los Angeles, CA

Three “Tweezers” on Friday? I dig it. This is a monster from the tail end of Fall Tour.

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Slave to the Traffic Light” 8.17 II, Plattsburgh, NY

An all-time classic.

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TTFM: Summer ’96

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on May 21st, 2012 by Mr.Miner
Summer 1996—Pollack T-shirt

1996 Summer Tour T-Shirt (Pollock)

With Summer Tour 2012 rapidly approaching, let’s continue a look at summers past with ’96. I’m not trying to pull the ten “best” jams from each summer, but just ten great ones. Enjoy the picks from this underrated tour!

Wilson > Disease” 8.14.96 I, Hershey, PA

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Reba” 8.4.96 II, Morrison, CO

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Antelope” 8.12.96 II, Noblesville, IN

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Split” 8.12.96 I, Noblesville, IN

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Tweezer” 8.14.96 II, Hershey, PA

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Harry Hood” 8.16.96 III, Plattsburgh, NY

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Mike’s > Lifeboy” 8.13.96 II, Noblesville, IN

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Slave” 8.17.96 II, Plattsburgh, NY

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THE SLOPING COMPANION ESSAY CONTEST

Robert Champion of The Sloping Companion is running an essay contest for those that “Like” The Sloping Companion Facebook Page. The winner will win a recycled/upcycled wood art piece. All anyone has to do to enter is write a short, two-to-three paragraph essay about why they are so passionate about Phish. The contest is running for about two weeks and the winner will have their piece aired on the show, will be on the station, and will win a specially-created, one of a kind art piece.

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A Fix From ’96

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on February 29th, 2012 by Mr.Miner
Summer 1996—Pollack T-shirt

1996 Summer Tour T-Shirt (Pollock)

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The Curtain > Tweezer” 8.6 II, Morrison, CO

A timeless piece of Red Rocks history.

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Mike’s > Lifeboy” 8.13 II, Noblesville, IN

They don’t make “Mike’s” this anymore.

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Harry Hood” 12.6 II, Las Vegas, NV

A heart-wrenching, end-of-tour classic from The Aladdin.

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Bathtub Gin” 11.7 II, Lexington, KY

The Rupp Arena “Gin”—an all-timer.

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Reba” 8.17 I, Plattsburgh, NY

After waking up from the first night of The Clifford Ball, the band continued the dream sequence with this blissful, afternoon “Reba.”

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Run Like an Antelope” 11.24 I, Portland, OR

A ferocious and under-the-radar version that put an exclamation point on the first set in PDX like a musical freight train.

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TTFF: 11/18 History & Afterparty Update

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , , , on November 18th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

12/29 Irish Times Update: $5 Cover Added to Afterparty

Book Cover (Masthay)

I did all I could to throw a free afterparty in New York City, but after negotiations with the owner of the bar, there will need to be a $5 cover charge in order to staff the event—specifically to have someone to run the “book check” so that anyone who purchases a book at the signing can enjoy the show without worrying about its safety. I can assure you that I am not making cent with the afterparty and this is a simple issue of the owner changing his mind after the fact. Nonetheless, $5 in New York City will hardly buy you a dog and a soda on the corner, so come across the street after the 29th show and celebrate a fantastic year of Phish with friends. Music all night long will be provided by provided by Coltrane and friends. The details are below for the sake of repetition:

12/29/2011 @ The Irish Times

254 W 31st St. (b/w 7th and 8th Ave)

Less than 1 block from MSG!

The Book Signing: 4 pm – 6 pm

The Afterparty: Post-show – 3 am – $5 cover charge

Come one, come all!

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(Around) Ten Tunes for Friday: 11/18 in Phish History

11.16 / 11.18.94 Michigan Poster

November 18th has been a prolific date in Phish history, as the band performed on this day in the powerhouse years of ’94, ’95, ’96, and ’98. In addition, Phish also kicked of their first fall tour of the modern era in 2009 on this date, but though the “46 Days” and “Disease” were noteworthy, this playlist will consist of the other four shows. In 1994, Phish sat smack dab in the middle of one of the peak months of the mid ’90s, and on the 18th, they took their blistering chops up to Michigan State University in East Lansing for a smoking affair. The following year, Phish was on the second half of a marathon Fall tour when the passed through North Charleston Coliseum for a solid Fall ’95 show with some unreal peaks in. In 1996, November 18th brought the band to Memphis, Tennessee, where they played a phenomenal second set on their at the tail end the end of their Midwestern leg of the tour. And in 1998, the band played one of the first-ever shows at Greenville, South Carolina’s Bi-Lo center, a dark horse mid-week affair that is barely talked about though contains several great jams. When plucking the highlights from this quartet of shows, we are left with quite the Friday playlist! Let’s get right to it.

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Split Open and Melt” 11.18.94 I

This jam vividly illustrates the band’s ferocious jamming of November ’94. Communicating as well as ever, they ridiculously shred this version to pieces.

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2001 > Simple” 11.18..96 II

One of the first jammed out “2001s” leads into a sublime “Simple” led by Trey’s cathartic lead playing.

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Reba” 11.18.95 I

This soaring rendition flies way under the radar in terms of ’95 “Rebas,” but can hold its own against the best of them.

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Tweezer > Contact” 11.18.94 II

A quintessential Fall ’94 “Tweezer” starts with some snarling textures before the band hits a hard-edged “Wedge” tease, then settles into a groove and moves far beyond it into totally original places.

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Wolfman’s > Lizards” 11.18.98 II

The band moves from the funk into an extended and groovy take on their ’98 melodic ambient style before merging with “Lizards.”

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David Bowie” 11.18.98 I

This extended first set closer lit a fire under the band for the second half.

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You Enjoy Myself” 11.18.95 II

This experimental 30-minute beast is best known for its “Brick House” jam, but offers a whole lot more.

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Slave to the Traffic Light” 11.18.98 II

One of my personal favorites, much of this jam’s beauty lies in its initial section of delicate interaction. Flowing from start to finish, Trey shines throughout, bringing the jam to a massive peak.

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TTFF: 11.11.11

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , , on November 11th, 2011 by Mr.Miner

9.14.11 - Essex Junction, VT G.Lucas / webcast)

This Friday, we’ll take a break from MSG memories and look at what Phish has done on Veterans Day, November 11th, throughout their career. Since 1990, the band has only played three times on 11.11—in 1995 at The Fox in Atlanta, 1996 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and again at Van Andel in 1998! And lo and behold, these three nights have plenty of meat to compose a Friday playlist. The Fox show was the third of a three-night stand that kicked off the second half of a marathon (54 show) fall tour. Taking a week off after Halloween in Chicago, Phish reemerged in Atlanta and would wind their way over six plus weeks up to Albany. I’ve always thought of 11.11.95 as the strongest of the trifecta. The following year, Phish was on their Midwestern leg of Fall tour on the 11th of November, and they were at the very beginning of a metamorphosis. The band had just stunned their audience with their interpretation of Remain In Light for Halloween, and from then on, their slow transformation to groove-based playing was underway. In 1998, Phish had just crushed three nights at UIC Pavilion amidst a standout fall tour when they landed back at Van Andel, in a case of cosmic routing, on the same date they had played there in ’96. This show continued the band’s hot streak and featured one of the best second sets of tour. Let’s reminisce…

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Mike’s Song” 11.11.95 I

This raucous jam kicked off the show in the ornate Fox Theatre after a short “Cars, Trucks, Busses” opener.

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Ghost” 11.11.98 II

This rarely talked about “Ghost” came as the second set closer at Van Andel, and is one of the most impressive versions of the tour.

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Tweezer” 11.11.96 II

A jam that was ahead of its time with sections that sound like they could be plucked from Fall ’97.

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2001 > David Bowie” 11.11.95 II

This ferocious “Bowie” vividly illustrates the band’s creative psychedelia of Fall ’95, as they rode with a missile on their back towards December.

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Halley’s > Simple > Walk Away” 11.11.98 II

One of the greatest “Halley’s Comets” of the song’s late-90′s renaissance that moves from rock to groove into lunacy…and then into “Simple.”

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Gumbo” 11.11..98 I

This slow and methodical standout often hides out of sight, tucked in the beginning of the the first set of Van Andel ’98.

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Stash” 11.11.95 I

The dark and overpowering Phish of Fall ’95. Trey goes on quite the rampage in this version.

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Slave to the Traffic Light” 11.11.96 II

The melodic endpoint of a relatively dark second set.

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Weekend Nuggets: Florida ’96

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on September 18th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEKEND:

11.3.1996 O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL < Torrent

11.3.1996 O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL < Megaupload

O'Connell Center - Gainesville, FL

In the days following their transformative Halloween in Atlanta, Phish headed back to Florida with Karl Perazzo along for his third and fourth consecutive shows. After their well-documented escapade at Coral Sky in West Palm Beach, the band played this show at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Perazzo played his final two sets before Phish traveled to the Midwest, off and running on their percussive pathway to 1997. Remain In Light took immediate effect as the band continued their collaborative grooving. Check out the late-set “Tweezer” for a show-stopping  highlight featuring this  emerging style of improv.

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Jam of the Weekend:

Mike’s Song” 10.29.96 II

Phish blew up this second set “Mike’s Song” in Tallahassee, Florida, the show before Halloween. The band got some down-low practice during “Mike’s” second jam as they grooved significantly on Talking Head’s “Houses In Motion.” With Karl Perazzo on board, this piece really took off.

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“Stash” 11.2.96 - More from Phish’s upcoming Coral Sky release

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Weekend Nuggets: Pacific NW ’96

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on May 22nd, 2010 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Portland '96

Since Phish has shied away from the Pacific Northwest this time around, here are a couple shows from ’96, when Phish was a nationally touring outfit. These shows were part of an extensive west coast run that concluded Fall ’96. (This Portland show may have been posted once, but now it will be in the permanent archives as well.)

11.24.96 Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR < Torrent

11.24.96 Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR < Megaupload

I: Poor Heart, AC/DC Bag, All Things Reconsidered, Bouncing Around the Room, Reba, Character Zero, Strange Design, Taste, I Didn’t Know, Sample in a Jar, Run Like an Antelope

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Sparkle, David Bowie, A Day in the Life, You Enjoy Myself, Loving Cup, Suzy Greenberg

E: Ginseng Sullivan, Cavern
Source: Unknown

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11.27.96 Key Arena, Seattle, WA < Torrent

11.27.96 Key Arena, Seattle, WA < Megaupload

I: Julius, My Friend, My Friend, Ya Mar, Chalk Dust Torture, The Sloth, Uncle Pen, Free, Theme From the Bottom, Bold As Love

II: Down with Disease > Jesus Just Left Chicago, Scent of a Mule, Tweezer > Sweet Emotion Jam > Down with Disease, The Star Spangled Banner, Fire

E: Waste, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Unknown

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Jam of the Weekend:

Bathtub Gin” 11.7.96 II

A beast from Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY.

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“Sneakin Sally” 10.31.98 - Las Vegas, NV

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From Darkness Into Light

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on March 24th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Big Cypress Poster

Darkness and light, opposite symbols that go to the very core of cultural mythology. The psychedelic journey often mirrors these poles, taking one from the eye of the beast to the most glorious, self-realizing peaks. Staring down the dark side in order to most clearly see the light of one’s new self. While Phish regularly condenses these introspective rites into three-hour sessions, on one occasion they had all night. In the swamps of Florida, on the brink of 2000, Phish finally had the setting to match their goal – an all-night affair with no restraints. In the Clifford Ball DVD extras, filmed in 1996, the band spoke of the “LG,” or the “Long Gig” they envisioned one day, where the band would just keep playing and playing, outlasting even the fans who stayed all night and beyond. They claimed it would happen; they’d get port-potties onstage, and one day they’d play their “Long Gig;” it was the ultimate goal. While the band exaggerated in typical fashion throughout the interview, the glimmer in their eyes told a different story. Through their goofy looks and hyperbole, one can see the sincerity behind their claims. They meant it. And finally, on December 31, 1999, Phish had their “LG.”

Big Cypress - 12.31.99

In their 1996 interview, Trey pondered what type of music the band would play after 60 or 70 hours straight. Well on this night, eight would have to be the test. And the results were other worldly. Producing jams that were connected by a certain ethereal quality, like a patient thread splicing together the band’s divine musical offerings. Without time constraints, and armed with their port-o-potty, Phish played as the spirit moved, extending jams as long as felt natural. While no single piece of music broke any record, (somewhat surprisingly), the night included many extended jams, first highlighted by the night’s opening features of “Disease,” “Bathtub Gin,” and a sublime “Twist > Caspian” which truly began to set the musical tone for the evening. Following next came one of the nights longer, thematic and defining jams, “Rock and Roll.”

The darkest chunk of the night kicked off with a scorching “Crosseyed,” which carried a melodic progression throughout the jam, and peaked with a percussive 40-minute apocalyptic grooves of “Sand > Quadraphonic Toppling,” bringing the many climactic late ’99 versions to an unquestionable head. Resolving this darkness with a multi-tiered “Slave,” the band commenced the jam without even a beat remaining until it became time to move. Phish let is all hang down on this night, playing a macrocosm of any regular show, we all finally had a place to be instead hallucinating in hotel rooms until the sun came up.

The Beginning of "Roses" (D.Clinch)

Perhaps the most connected piece of music came in the depths of the evening, as the band brought a reprise of “After Midnight” into one of the most hallowed musical passages of their career – set and setting considered. Powerful, soulful, music, channelled from the ether, where every note mattered as much as the next. The final peak of the night came as the sky began to turn a dark grey, foreshadowing the oncoming day. Phish sat into “Roses Are Free” for one of few times since their epic Nassau adventure in April ’98, but never had they again transcended the composition. But when they unshelved the song on the brink of dawn to bring in the millennium’s first sunrise, everyone knew this time would be different. Moving right out of the song into multi-faceted epic, the band passed through several planes of ambient, melodic, and, finally, deeply dark and churning music. The ultimate stage seemed as though the universe’s final plates were shifting into alignment for the onset of the new era.

Before the sun began to rise in earnest, the sky boasted stunning patterns of pink puffy clouds that nobody who witnessed will ever forget. Phish and the forces were at work again, this time collaborating on a soundtrack for the passage of time. And while that is what the entire night represented, the entry back into morning’s light boiled down to the second-only “Roses” jam.

And it was good.

Almost eight hours, or a lifetime later, Phish had finally done it. They had played their “LG.”

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“The Long Gig” – Clifford Ball Extras, 1996

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Jam of the Day:

Roses Are Free” 12.31.99 > 1.1.00

Here’s the epic piece that brought darkness into the dawn of the millennium, and a sampling of the newly circulating Cypress FOB source, taboot.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.7.1999 Verizon Wireless Amp, Charlotte, NC < Torrent

7.7.1999 Verizon Wireless Amp, Charlotte, NC < Megaupload

Verizon - Charlotte

Continuing our tour of Summer 2010 venues, here’s Phish’s stop in Charlotte in the Summer of ’99. The second set really brings the heat with its 35 minute “2001 > Disease” and grows more abstract with some ambient sound-sculpting out of “My Left Toe.” After a guitar-driven “Bug,” a catalog of Phish grooves closes the night in one of the summers most infectious “YEMs.”

I: Back on the Train, What’s the Use?, Billy Breathes, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley, Axilla, Rift, Wolfman’s Brother,  Maze, Loving Cup

II: 2001 > Down with Disease,  My Left Toe > Wading in the Velvet Sea > My Left Toe > Bug, You Enjoy Myself

E: Possum* > Funky Bitch*

*Derek Trucks on slide guitar

Source: Schoeps cmc6/mk4v > Lunatec V2 > Tascam DA-P1 (@ 48 kHz)

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Halloween ’96 – Changing the Game

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on October 1st, 2009 by Mr.Miner

pb1Never has one show affected the course of Phish’s musical direction as much as Halloween 1996. Deciding to cover Remain in Light, an album centered on percussive grooves, forced the band to acclimate to a different style of play. Phish approached its tracks from a rhythmic point of view; different from the arena rock psychedelia that captivated audiences throughout Fall ’95. As 1996 moved into its second half, Phish hovered in a holding pattern, ready for a fresh musical path, but not exactly sure what that would be. As a result, their initial east coast run of the Fall was nothing to write home about. But as they prepared to unveil The Talking Heads’ album for Halloween, Phish brought other musicians into the mix, and their extensive practice sessions pushed the band towards their destiny.

With the addition of Dave Grippo and Gary Gazaway on sax and trumpet, and more specifically, Santana’s percussionist, Karl Perazzo, the band worked on executing the collaborative patterns that were strewn throughout the record. Phish’s meticulous preparation for their third musical costume resulted in a masterfully interpretive set in which they killed the album from beginning to end.

During a 1998 interview with David Byrne for Sessions at West 54th, the band discussed each of their Halloween “costumes” and how they subsequently affected the band’s style. Page noted the profound influence of covering Remain In Light.

It may have had the biggest effect on us because we really learned the grooves and we really tried to get inside the grooves on the album…I took so much away from that. And the groove-oriented playing that we’ve done in the last few years – repetition, pulling things out, putting them back – all that sort of thing, a lot of it was from learning [Remain In Light].

The effects Page spoke of began to emerge at the very next show in West Palm Beach. To open the second set, Phish launched into an extended groove exploration of “Crosseyed > Antelope,” and the music sounded more like the rhythmic jamming that defined Remain In Light rather than the fast-paced, guitar-centric playing that peaked in ’95 and spilled into ’96.

10-31-96 The Omni (T.Wickersty)

10-31-96 The Omni (T.Wickersty)

“Crosseyed > Antelope” began a gradual evolution of the band’s sound throughout the rest of the fall. Starting to slow down and funk out, Phish started moving towards their groove-based playing of 1997 and beyond. When comparing the pre-Halloween shows with those after October, the changes leap out. Pieces that helped define this shift included the Auburn Hills “YEM” (11/9), the Grand Rapids “Tweezer” (11/11), the San Diego “Mike’s” (12/4), and the Vegas “2001”(12/6).

While ’96′s New Year’s Run didn’t necessarily capture this emerging style of jamming, the band was poised for a transformation come 1997. And during their winter tour of Europe in Markthalle, an intimate club in Hamburg, Germany, this evolution came together. The band references “Wolfman’s” from 3.1’s Markthalle show as the moment they realized the type of 3329098551_6cb1b984f6collaborative playing they had quested after. Everything simply clicked, bringing the community their first helping of “cow funk,” mastered and released on Slip Stitch, and Pass. And so it began – 1997’s rhythmic revolution was underway – but the process of transformation started late one Fall night in Atlanta – and Phish never looked back.

Winged music note=====

Jams of the Day:

Crosseyed > Antelope” 11.2.96 II

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Ghost > Runaway Jim” 7.2.98 II

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Capping a three-night stand at The Grey Hall, Phish threw down a four-song second set; this is the first half. Only the second version featuring the song’s new intro, this “Ghost” sits among the upper echelon of all-time renditions.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.1.00 Desert Sky Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ < Torrent

10.1.00 Desert Sky Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ < Megaupload

Desert Sky Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ

Desert Sky Pavilion - Phoenix, AZ

The night after Vegas ended, Phish made their way into the desert for the last show before the final four.  Markedly better than the previous performance, “Piper > Guy Forget” (an old soundcheck song never performed live) held down the opening segment of the second set, while a thick “Camel Walk” and a solid “Bowie” closed it out.  After Phoenix started the fateful final four of 2000.

I: First Tube, Wolfman’s Brother, Back on the Train, Beauty of My Dreams, Vultures, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Billy Breathes, Llama, Lawn Boy, Runaway Jim

II: Roses Are Free, Piper > Guy Forget* > When the Circus Comes, Camel Walk, Driver, David Bowie

E: Waste

*debut

Source: B&K 4011′s > Lunatec V2 > Apogee AD-500 > Tascam DA-P1

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Weekend Nuggets: SoCal ’96

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

phish-pauley-pavillion-96DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Phish concluded Fall ’96 with a famed run down the west coast.  Ending in Las Vegas on December 6th, these two shows came directly before- with a stop in Phoenix in between them.  Both shows illustrate the band’s developing sound, as they finished the tour with far more musical direction than when it began.  Converging in more groove-oriented playing, the transition to funk was underway.  The LA “Tweezer” and San Diego “Mike’s” stand head and shoulders above the rest of their respective shows.  Enjoy the weekend.

12.1.96 Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA <TORRENT

12.1.96 Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA <MEGAUPLOAD

I: Peaches en Regalia, Poor Heart, Cavern, Cars Trucks Buses, Character Zero, The Curtain, Down With Disease, Train Song, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Sample in a Jar, Run Like an Antelope

II: Tweezer > Sparkle, Simple > A Day in the Life, Reba, Swept Away > Steep > Tweezer Reprise > Johnny B. Goode, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Highway to Hell

***

12.4.96 Sports Arena, San Diego, CA <TORRENT

12.4.96 Sports Arena, San Diego, CA <MEGAUPLOAD

I: My Friend My Friend, Chalk Dust Torture, Horn, Uncle Pen, Timber (Jerry), Sample in a Jar, Train Song, Guyute, Character Zero, Lizards, David Bowie

II: Ha Ha Ha, Mike’s Song > Prince Caspian, Sparkle, Punch You in the Eye, Life on Mars, Reba, Lawn Boy*, Weekapaug Groove

E: Jesus Just Left Chicago

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Weekend:

Bathtub Gin” 11.9.98 II Chicago, IL

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This “Gin” that highlighted night three of UIC’s ’98 stand, saw Trey carry a melodic idea throughout the entire jam, creating an melodic anthem.

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VIDEO OF WEEKEND:

“Bug,” “Reprise” 3.8.09 E Hampton, VA (Three-Camera shoot)

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