Three Days

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June 1995 (C.Taylor Crothers)

For three consecutive nights during the Summer of ’95, Phish dropped timeless jams that absolutely defined what that era of improvisation was all about.  As discussed in this piece, Summer ’95 was a time of unparalleled risk taking and explorations into the abyss.  On every single night, Phish seemed to drop at least one crazy, dark, extended jam- whether it was “Tweezer,” “Stash,” “Bowie,” or “Mike’s”- that forced you to confront your maker.   But on June 14th, 15th, and 16th, the band took things to a different level.  Totaling 102 minutes of sheer psychedelia, Mud Island’s “Tweezer,” Lakewood’s “Bowie,” and Walnut Creek’s “Runaway Jim” illustrated the severely alternate realms Phish visited throughout the summer, as they stretched the boundaries of improvisational music.

June 1995 (Unk.)

June 1995 (Unk.)

The first of these three excursions came in Memphis, Tennessee at Mud Island Amphitheatre- a venue literally on an island in the middle of the Mississippi.  After opening the second set with a quick “2001 > Poor Heart,”  the next fifty minutes would be enveloped by one of the most captivating “Tweezers” ever played.  Spanning the spectrum from soaring grooves to the most abstract planes, this jam was a microcosm of the summer in itself.  Showcasing the band’s willingness to launch into the void with no expectations, Phish took this “Tweezer” to the edge and back many times with mind-bending results.  Featuring multiple peaks over nearly an hour, Phish brought the initial improv down to virtually nothing before building it back up and, essentially, restarting the jam with the “Tweezer” lick.  And there is still thirty minutes left when that happens.  Strewn with more unique improv than many whole shows, this one simply never gets old, and despite such length, never gets lost or boring.  It is truly a gem.

Summer '95 (photorazzi)

Summer '95 (photorazzi)

The next night, Phish opened up their second set at Lakewood with “My Sweet One” and “Ha Ha Ha” before sitting into a near half-hour “David Bowie.”  Appearing early and often in Summer ’95, “Bowie” was one of the band’s favorite jam vehicles with which they launched into the stratosphere.  This jam quickly built a head of steam, focused on intricate interplay rather than any outright groove.  Fish’s driving beat pushed the band along a frenetic path of musical mayhem, creating a real sense of urgency to the music.  Growing darker and bigger in scope as it progressed, this “Bowie” transformed into a fiery mind-fuck, attacking your brain with masterful ferocity.  Illustrating their mastery over the madness, the band collectively slowed the jam down as if controlled by a machine, and began chanting over the canvas they created.  Delving even deeper, Phish moved through several other textures before all was said and done.  This is what “Bowie” is all about- controlled chaos.   The band would resolve this maniacal jam later in the set with one of the most beautiful “Slaves” ever played.

June 1995 (C.Taylor Crothers)

June 1995 (C.Taylor Crothers)

And on the third day, Phish played Walnut Creek.  This amphitheatre became a household name in the Phish world, and this “Runaway Jim” was one of the early reasons why.  Building on the insane music produced the previous two nights, Phish came right out with IT to start the second set.  Cracking open the frame with a half-hour plunge into the depths of improvisation, Phish was playing mind games once again.  After a tight and spirited run through conventional “Jim” territory, and while maintaining that upbeat rhythm, Trey and Page began to bring the jam outwards.  Soon, Mike and Fish were right there on the precipice with them, and what was first a ripping “Runaway” transformed into a whole different monster.  Aggressive and intense are two words that characterize the early psychedelia of this jam, yet before it was over, it moved into some of the most abstract spacescapes of the summer.  In between, the band cruised through periods of spacious groove, ambient exploration, and driving dissonance.

phish-314x400Not for the faint-hearted, this is some truly amazing- and absolutely crazy- Phish music.   Featuring some eerie and bizarre whole-group vocal layering over the most abstract segment, Fishman chanted about “little doggie” being “sooo far from home.”  This jam is truly a Phishy opus.  Building back from the deepest section, the band eventually guided the music into “Free.”

While Summer ’95 was a crazy adventure from Boise to Sugarbush, these three jams, on three consecutive nights represented a high point of Phish’s successful risk-taking.  Typifying the outward psychedelic nature of the band’s music during this summer, these three jams pretty much sum it up.  The level of creativity and energy the band brought to the stage that summer was staggering, and the wake of legendary music they left behind them would live on forever.

***

LISTEN TO 6.14.95 “Tweezer” NOW! < LINK

LISTEN to 6.15.95 “David Bowie” NOW! < LINK

LISTEN to 6.16.95 “Runaway Jim > Free” NOW! < LINK ———————– (Roll over, click play)

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DOWNLOAD $$ UPDATE: First off, I want to thank everyone for their generous donations to Phish Thoughts thus far.  After we collectively paid for the absurd No-Spoiler-induced $743 bill in March, I want to keep you abreast of current finances.  I just got the bill for April’s bandwidth, and with donations, I have just barely have enough money to cover download costs for the month ($567.)  At this point there are zero dollars in the Phish Thoughts account.  If donations continue to come in at this rate, I can continue to offer regular downloads (for non-current shows,) otherwise, I will only be able to offer torrents.  FYI: All  ’09 shows will only be available in torrent form.

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DOWNLOADS OF THE DAY:

6.14.95 Mud Island Amphitheatre Memphis, TN < LINK

6.14.95 Mud Island Amphitheatre Memphis, TN < TORRENT LINK

1995-06-14gnI: Don’t You Wanna Go, Gumbo, NICU, Mound, Cavern, Possum, All Things Reconsidered, Amazing Grace, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Spock’s Brain, Split Open and Melt

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Poor Heart, Tweezer > Acoustic Army, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

E: Simple, Rocky Top, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Neumann RMS 190i

***

6.15.95 Lakewood, Atlanta, GA < MEDIAFIRE LINK

1995-06-15gnI: My Friend My Friend, Sparkle, AC/DC Bag, The Old Home Place, Taste, The Wedge, Stash, I Didn’t Know*, Fluffhead, Run Like An Antelope

II: My Sweet One, Ha Ha Ha > David Bowie, Strange Design, Theme From the Bottom, Scent of a Mule, Acoustic Army, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Bouncing Around the Room, Frankenstein

*With Fish on trombone, Mike on electric drill and Trey on megaphone.

Source: Nak 300 w/ cp-4 & Senn 441 > Sony Mixer > D10 Pro

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174 Responses to “Three Days”

  1. Billy Breathes Says:

    SOAM – I knew I’d get that type of response from you. I know you have a sour taste in your mouth.

    Was it really THAT bad? I just don’t get it.

    I mean, they are talented, right? And they’re playing Dead tunes, right? And they’re the original founding members, right?

    Yes, wouldn’t it be nice if Jerry were here.

    But seriously – 11th row center.

  2. RobAins Says:

    Billy:
    I’m seeing the Dead tonight at the Spectrum. I haven’t heard many bad reviews at all, and am psyched! First Dead show in 14 years! I know, I know, it’s not the same but whatever, I can’t wait and couldn’t sleep last night. Downloaded the Wed show from etree and have only listened to the Ramble On Rose so far, but is sounds pretty good.

  3. Jay Says:

    Icculus, start your own blog about ’09, otherwise STFU.

  4. SOAM Says:

    It’s just not there and i have never gone to a post jerry dead show expecting much but they are in denial-they are trying to play like it’s 68 but they are 68-They have moments-but even my wife -who doesn’t know much about the music-just knows fun and even at phil and friends -dances and smiles-but it was not even close-if it wasn’t for the people-the laughs -even though it cost me 180 for 2 tickets-which is insane-I had fun but it had nothing to do wiht the music-I certainly don’t hope that people have a bad time or show-but I don’t get them-their stubborn refusal to just not try to be all things and just do a couple things well.
    If I think about how broke I am and I just dropped 200 on a show I should have paid 40 for 2 it’s yeah a little depressing-This was a last stop at the money pit before sailing off into the sunset-I’d prefer to remeber those guys for being in the hottest band to ever walk the face of the earth-who broke all the barriers and did not give a fuck about anything other than the live music experience-your only as good as your last show menatlity-But alas–FAREYOUWELL…. MY HONEY

  5. Manny Phresh Says:

    @Billy Breathes

    Saw The Dead at Nassau, and MSG. I had floor seats for Nassau and that show was still the worst Dead related concert I’ve ever seen. It was flat, uninspired noodling before every song, jams fall short, whenever Warren had the opportunity to shred, he wouldn’t. MSG on the other hand was by far a different story, I’ve talked some friends that had been on tour (Why they would put themselves through that I don’t know) and they all agree MSG was the best show of the tour up to that point. I had decent seats, but not floor, and the difference was night and day. So, the Dead was really hit or miss in my case, but from the shows I’ve heard and reviews of friends at concerts, they’ve been more of a miss.

  6. Jay Says:

    Hey Billy B, you already have the tickets in hand, your are 11th row. Go, have fun. Enjoy the scene and vibe of your fellow deadheads. It’s all cool.

  7. Al Says:

    I don’t want to take any surprise away, but I believe Phish is going to broadcast Fenway just like Keyspan 2004. That could be the reason for not getting Fenway for preorder on the official website. What do you think?

  8. Billy Breathes Says:

    no worries…11th row center will be quite the experience and we will all be sharin’ in the groove.

    was just curious on people’s experiences. i think we’ve all seen phil and friends, ratdog, etc, and i never really hear from the majority that these shows SUCK. and that’s what i’m hearing about The Dead, which is surprising.

    i will be sure to report back in.

  9. Mitch Says:

    It’s been a while, but I’m BACK! (from the future)

    First off I saw Nassau and MSG Dead shows. MSG ROCKED!! Have fun!

    ^Manny, What show did they say was better? I’m at work and am rockin’ archive.org streams so I wanna pick one.

    Secondly, I suggest 2 options to save on cost. 1. Only torrent 09 shows because everyone will be downloading them anyway or 2. Only torrent the other shows because even if there’s only one seed we all prob have a lot of Phish from this site to hold us over until it finishes.

    I’ll donate for your troubles even if there were no fees.

  10. lanser Says:

    bravo mr. miner!!!! great writing. If this phishthoughts don’t get you excited for june nothing will. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Pence Says:

    Al, I dont think you are wrong about them possibly simulcasting it, but why would they not also put the option to download the music too? I dont think them simulcasting and not offering having anything to do with each other. Im no marketing guru though. It does seem odd that they havent put it up for preorder. If it is going to stream or simulcasted it should be announced soon.

  12. SOAM Says:

    good to have you back Cumstein

  13. Mitch Says:

    its good to be back. however i prefer the mitchy, mitchy, mitchy dazed and confused movie reference over caddy shack… then again, if it weren’t me i’d prefer the cumstein reference.

  14. Frankie Says:

    Are you cool man? 🙂

  15. c0wfunk Says:

    ..watch the leather man..

    wooderson is one of the all time greatest movie characters – with slater a close second.

  16. Frankie Says:

    No shit!

    I used to bring a cassette player on the last day of school and blast “School’s Out” at top volumes…

    Best two party soundtracks too… 🙂

  17. Frankie Says:

    Black Sabbath’s PARANOID

    Deep Purple’s HIGHWAY STAR

    ZZ Top’s TUSH

    DR. John’s RIGHT PLACE WRONG TIME

    Can’t go wrong there to get the night going…

  18. EL Duderino Says:

    SOAM – Why would you diss the ’68-’69 repertoire? (sp?). Seems pretty dumb to me. St. Stephen > The Eleven any of that shit I’m glad they are performing. Talk about hate, if it’s not Trey or Phish everyone else isn’t as cool or as much of an expert. It is what it is! Yes JG is dead, so what. You remind me sometimes of this douche I know here in Chi-town. To cool for school. Next thing you know you’ll start bragging how you scored some h on the west side…. Yeah we know Phish is the best and Trey is a jedi- so lame

  19. Billy Breathes Says:

    Well said, El D, Well said.

  20. SOAM Says:

    Duchedino-

    you are an imbecile if you even think I’m trying to convey a diss on 68-69-My point and if you were literate you would have understood it- is this-they are trying to recreate the music (the exploratory long jamming, dunce)they played in 68-have some balls shitbag or I will walk around summer tour looking for you. Whats lame is acting all tough with a computer from 5000 miles away. The shows fucking sucked they are a rip off and you have your head up your ass-lay off that H-hmo

  21. Billy Breathes Says:

    SOAM – relax man…it’s only music.

  22. EL Duderino Says:

    Bring it on SOAM!

  23. SOAM Says:

    Keep your head up

  24. SOAM Says:

    Yes JG is dead, so what.–

    That says it all.

  25. Billy Breathes Says:

    This is funny.

    Can’t wait to see this fight in the lot, 3PM, after school is out, at the south lot porta-potties.

    No weapons allowed.

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