Three Favorites For the Weekend

It’s the weekend, you have some download time, so I figured I’d feature three of my favorite shows from three different years.  Below you will find descriptions of them and a link for download.  They’re not exactly dark horse selections, but if you don’t have a good copy of them, you can re-up here. Cheers- here they are.

12.6.97: The Palace at Auburn Hills, MI: Arguably the best show from Fall ’97, or of all time for that matter, this show needs no introduction.  With a great two sets, and a second set that is within the elite ever, this show at The Palace was a defining moment for Phish.  With a set one opener of Golgi, Antelope, and featuring a Gin > Foam, this frame merely set the table for the band to tap into the divine and absolutely slaughter the second set. Tweezer>Izabella>Twist>Piper- some objectively best-ever Phish. The Tweezer, certainly one of the top versions ever played, merges dinosaur funk with the astral plane; it is a masterful piece of music. You probably have this, but if you don’t. click download now; do not pass GO and do not collect $200!


I: Golgi Apparatus, Run Like an Antelope, Train Song, Bathtub Gin > Foam, Sample in a Jar, Fee, Maze, Cavern

II: Tweezer > Izabella > Twist > Piper > Sleeping Monkey, Tweezer Reprise

E: Rocky Top

12.28.98 MSG, NYC: The first night of the four-night MSG run, and the darkhorse show of the four, this show is a personal favorite.   While much attention shines on the 29th and 31st, this light is not often cast on the 28th.  With a magnifying lens on the dark side of human experience, with neon worms crawling through the stage, Phish ripped a second set for the ages.  A year after the band dropped the first US Carini in the same building, they blew it out in best-ever fashion with a screaming journey that sunk into in a darkened cave of Phish grooves before transitioning into Wolfman’s.  This song carried the slow deep vibe into the next fifteen minutes with some complimentary funk.  An epic piece of music, this Carini > Wolfman’s is the best thing to come out of an amazing New Years Run, possibly rivaled by set two of new years.  With a Quinn the Eskimo, and a Bowie to close, this set was a journey into darkness; one of truly profound psychedelia.


I: Axilla (I)*, Stash, Farmhouse, Taste, Sleep**, Albuquerque**, Driver**, Tube, Golgi Apparatus, Good Times Bad Times

II: Carini > Wolfman’s Brother#, Birds of a Feather, When the Circus Comes, Quinn the Eskimo > David Bowie

E: Been Caught Stealin’

*With “Axilla (Part II)” ending. **Acoustic (played on a “mini-stage” setup to the side of the main stage); “Sleep” preceded by a “Wish You Were Here” tease. ^With glowstick war. #With long ambient jam, during which three people in green accordian worm/caterpillar suits appeared from the back of the stage and crawled around slowly onstage for the rest of the set.

new york times

photo: new york times

7.23.99 Polaris Amp. Columbus, OH: An explosive second set is the reason this show is up here.  Amidst a summer tour with so many great shows, this sequence of Ghost > Free, Birds is some of the most bombastic stuff from the month.  A standout Ghost in a summer that featured many, this one took in a direction of heavy groove.  With a thunderstorm brewing, this militant Ghost echoed out from the pavilion into the dark skies above.  Sliding into a Free that brought the show up a notch, with Trey lunging and jumping with the jam, the venue felt as if it was bouncing wih the music.  Totally massive Phish.  The Birds that followed was a meandering and exploratory twenty minute jam that was both intricate and resolved with a darkly triumphant section.  Enjoy this one- especially if you have never heard it.


I: Ya Mar, NICU, Back at the Chicken Shack, Punch You in the Eye*, Fast Enough for You, Get Back on the Train, Davie Bowie, Strange Design, Possum

II: Ghost > Free, Birds of a Feather* > Meatstick##, Fire

E: Bouncing Round the Room, Rocky To

*Trey on small keyboard ##Trey, mentioning that the world record to be broken with The Meatstick Dance is 74,000, announces that the millenium shows with be in Florida.



4 Responses to “Three Favorites For the Weekend”

  1. shpongleyez Says:

    12.6.97 makes me thinki of 98 van andel, for some reason. what a haley’s! looking forward to the ghost free birds. cheers.

  2. scott Says:

    yay, hometown greatness (michigan shows)

  3. jer Says:

    yes! 12/06/97 was my second show ever (first being the palace show the previous year), and i crown it the show where i “got it”. i feel so lucky to have been at this one, considering i wasn’t a tour-er until a bit later.

    this word is thrown around too loosley these days, but this second set can only be described as completely and purely EPIC. this was one of those shows that make you question your reality when as-of-yet unheard of waves of the most amazing and frighteningly badass sound soared all around you amongst the mothership lights. oh man, thanks!

    oh, and what’s a dark horse show? i don’t know what that means exactly, so i figure i might as well ask ; )

  4. Dabchick Says:

    Politically speaking, a dark horse candidate is one who is nominated unexpectedly, without previously having been discussed or considered as a likely choice…

    The term dark horse is also used outside the political context however (see Phish show reference). Surprising or unlikely nominations for such prizes as the Best show EVER! are referred to as dark horses. It is also used in sport, in connection with competitors or teams that, despite not being favourites, are expected to challenge to win.

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