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. SOAM Says:

    other than Coventry and a couple odd shows in 04 phish has never bored me like that-not even close. I’m not going to say another word although when you say “other than you didn’t like their performance and think you paid to much for tickets” what happened?-it makes you look …

    Fenway opener? Everyone is saying Tweezer but not many people called Fluffhead-I’d like Curtain>Wedge>Timber Ho>Pebbles and Marbles>Runaway>Carini>Birds>Cicrus>antelope opener-again that is just the opener-20 songs-3 sets are my expectations for this epic event.

  2. Billy Breathes Says:

    How about that Lemonwheel soundcheck?

  3. Manny Phresh Says:

    I would love to hear Phish cover Aerosmith at Fenway, a Sweet Emotion, Dream On would be nice.

  4. Frankie Says:

    Tweeprise>Birds!

  5. SOAM Says:

    Manny P-
    Back in the Saddle with Mike on vocals-you feeling that.

    whoo

  6. Frankie Says:

    Good calls! 🙂 I’m BACK!

  7. EL Duderino Says:

    Do you think Mike will bring back the Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)? I enjoyed that very much!

  8. Billy Breathes Says:

    screw the covers. they never seem to live up to the hype.

    gimme originals.

    sloth.

  9. EL Duderino Says:

    I don’t know about that BB. The Been Caught Stealin’ @ Alpine was off the hook. If you were there, the place went ape shit.

  10. fluffced Says:

    I think the bad taste i have from The Dead is really only based around them charging so much. I mean its not a great time economically and I just dont understand the need to hit all their fans up with that kinda fee. I know the grateful dead never made all that much money in all their years of touring, but i doubt this machine needs half the $$$ to maintain than that of the 80’s and 90’s Grateful Dead.

    That being said I am glad that the core 4 are making music together again and I have listened to the first show of the tour and it sounded danceable to me.

    I will be going to the show with an open mind, and I hope they bring it in Chicago like they did at msg!

  11. fluffced Says:

    On the topic of Fenway…

    —-Mound!—–

  12. SOAM Says:

    If you think the price is bad wait to hear the product-sorry couldnt resist.

    how bout them bruins-

  13. SOAM Says:

    Mound-I want to listen and lick all night

    Meatstick into Mound -symetrical segues-could be the new Scarlet/Fire

    whoo?

  14. SOAM Says:

    Meatstick into mound-IEM

  15. Billy Breathes Says:

    was there for the Been Caught Stealin’.

    and what’s the big deal? the place went apeshit?

    where’s waxbanks?

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Miner as a deadhead I feel I should apologize for the constant hijacking of your site by debates over whether the current “Dead” suck or not. Thanks for more 95 Phish, this is exciting stuff.

    @Frankie the perfect quote for this thread.

    @Manny Phresh is precisely on point.

    SOAM speaks from the heart and in a way that irks people who don’t agree with him – but if you think you are making yourself look sharp taking him on you are making a big mistake – because we all know that SOAM knows his shit when it comes to what’s IT and what ain’t.

    The fact is that most people of discerning musical taste and a history of love for grateful dead music despise this current lineup and see it as a pure cash grab with no motivation in the love for music or an honest desire to play together. The point that Warren is a nice guy (which he is) doesn’t make him either appropriate or prepared for this situation (he is neither). I’m a nice guy too…I am almost established on the Hard level of Rock Band 2…maybe I can sit in?

    Now you can say that you enjoy it, or want to, and that’s fine. You can enjoy it for the crowd, or nostalgia, or you can delude yourself and think the music is actually good. And as long as you’re nice about it, that’s ok. Most of us will just roll our eyes, though SOAM will speak his mind. But don’t get all snippy about it, ’cause on any reasonable basis you’re flatly in the wrong.

  17. bhizzle Says:

    my friend, my friend….opener at fenway

    as for ratdog….would rather see bobby than phil anyday. the only time i was dissappointed was last year when the dog was with the bros and they invited bobby out and you couldn’t even hear him playing. Warren and derek poth pulled in the reins to give him space, but to no avail. can’t wait to see the dog this summer.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    …and then I re-hijacked the thread my commenting from a page before the last one…the discussion had moved on…I apologize and will do the same

  19. Manny Phresh Says:

    @SOAM

    Hockey is over in my eyes. Both the Devils and Rangers lost in seven. WTF!

  20. A_Glide Says:

    CTB will open Fenway

  21. A_Glide Says:

    Hawks Wings Western Finals is going to be the matchup

  22. Jack O Roses Says:

    My guess for opener at Fenway: Golgi -> Simple

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    My guess is that they’ll do something unexpected – but if I had to pick I’d say it’ll be heavy on the tunes shut out of Hampton. We’ll see how soon cover tunes start working their way back in more heavily…

  24. Jay Says:

    @BB – I disagree whole heartily. I love the covers. Rock & Roll, Loving Cup, Roses Are Free, Boogie On, Sneakin Sally, etc… Are some of my favorite moments at a Phish show.

  25. snigglebeach Says:

    I think i have seen The Dead for the last time. I agree this is the worst lineup ever. On paper it looks good, but Warren, Bob, Phil, just does not work at all. It was much better with Jimmy Herring. ALthough i doubt he is leaving Widespread anytime soon.

    I sat about 30 rows back (for a $110) and it did little to add to the overall aura. And the light show was a joke… someone said MSG was good (light-wise). they must have brought in something extra cause Worcester was pathetic. a giant oval above the stage that shined a lightning bolt. Was like a 6th grade science project.

    If i want to see Warren Haynes i will go to the Allman’s

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