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:

    Been caught stealing in albany 98 was out of this world man-what a great thanksgiving week-that and 3 fat worcesters wipeouts-I had seen 5-6 shows a year up to that point-I got off-HHAAAAAAARD and am looking forward to my 100th gig this summer

  2. Litteringand Says:

    Im feeling a Star Spangled Banner opener at Fenway

  3. Jay Says:

    Still blows my mind that Fish memorized all the word to “Get Jiggy With It” at Hampton. Pure amazing hilarity.

  4. SOAM Says:

    at my 100th gig I ‘m getting a huge phish tattoo on my ass cheeks-that guy Pollock is going to do it and put the picture right next to “dirty , hairy ballbags and saggy funbags on a runway from that festival somewhere”

  5. Mr.Miner Says:

    ok….back to ’95…lol 😉

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    I will get a tattoo of SOAM getting tattooed by pollock

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    In ’95 I had moved out to the west coast and was in the midst of a self imposed hiatus from big rock shows. I stopped seeing Phish in 92…what crappy timing. If I had randomly gone to a Phish show in 94 or 95 I would have spent the next 5 years on tour. I had a great time running around the woods outside Eugene with the pagan forest hippies but now I know I was missing out bigtime

  8. Jay Says:

    Phish ’93 – ’94 is like a amusement park ride – very thrilling but you know your strapped in securely. ’95 is like a bungi jump knowing you are only being secured by a strap to the leg.

  9. Los Says:

    ’95 was the year that changed my life. Up until than I was Grateful Dead all the way straight ahead…and then some dude randomly gave me A Live One…

    The rest was phishtory…I will be celebrating my 100th this summer tour also!

    I really enjoy the cover songs they choose to play, but man I’m all about originals these days…Cant wait to see what direction a ’09 tweezer, mikes groove, reba, etc. goes

  10. OlFactoryHugh Says:

    Fish didn’t memorize those lyrics, but he did did a damn good job anyway. They brought out giant cue cards for him.

    Don’t know if anyone mentioned this already, but when you load up the Mud Island show into Itunes the Tweezer (and only the tweezer) has its genre label as ‘other’. Love that!

  11. Manny Phresh Says:

    In 1995, I was 12 and my little league baseball team won the championship.

  12. SOAM Says:

    what was your batting average-how many steals

    boy am i old…

  13. Manny Phresh Says:

    I played 3rd base, batted 6th, but don’t remember anything else, except that I hit 3 homeruns that year.

  14. bcb Says:

    Can anyone think of songs from the past five years that Phish might want to work in? It’s been a lackluster half decade, as far as popular music goes, but that makes it all the more fun to imagine Phish playing some of this stuff. I want to hear Page sing Umbrella. It’s kinda a dark dirty fantasy…

  15. Jay Says:

    Have Fenway tickets started shipping?

  16. SOAM Says:

    The last five years there has been no phish-I think…..

    but if we are talking new tunes you gotta think Waves-which I love-pebbles, and walls

    Manny Ramirez ain’t got nothing on you Phresh

  17. Jack O Roses Says:

    @ Jay

    I got mine yesterday. Whoooohooooo! ;-P

  18. Rolling Papyrus Says:

    Some of the covers are barely covers any more — RnR, Crosseyed, Drowned, etc. — as Phish has basically made them their own. Those are show highlights.

    The one-offs can be exciting in person, but I can live without. I can’t see anything from the last 5 years that they would (or should) take on.

    ^Jay, Fish did not memorize Gettin’ Jiggy, they brought out cue cards which he tossed into the crowd after the song.

  19. Jay Says:

    Ahhh. my bubble is burst! I thought Fish memorized that song. Still awesome though.

  20. oneshowatatime Says:

    I agree with going to 100% torrents–why give away our precious recession dollars to the ISPs when this online community was practically built on sharing and exchanging of shows for free?

  21. voopa Says:

    Back in the Saddle with Page on second guitar! That was my dream opener for 2.0….maybe this time.

    Fishman singing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” FUCK YEAH!

    And more LiveNation BS:
    http://liquidgoggles.blogspot.com/2009/04/live-nation-bullshit.html

  22. Wax Banks Says:

    Can anyone think of songs from the past five years that Phish might want to work in?

    I think Phish would absolutely demolish one of the spacey Wilco albums – the atmospherics on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot would have made for a niiiiice segue out of ‘Twist’ on 6/14/00, not that I mind the choices actually made that night. 🙂

    I’d love to hear them do unto Andrew Bird’s music as well. Rich complicated tunes, dorky lyrics, plenty of space for improvisation, and then – voila – Bird walks out for a guest performance of ‘Guyute.’ Aaaaaaah, if only…

  23. fromthetub Says:

    @ voopa – Fishman singing “Single Ladies” would be hysterical! I have a great mental picture going of it right now.

  24. voopa Says:

    Sure enough…Shoreline:

    Ticket Info Ticket Type Price Quantity Subtotal Reserved
    Section 102, Row CC, Seat # 1 Live Nation Red Carpet $43.00 Charity $0.50 ZusatzGebühr 2 $482.34 Ticket Fee $12.85 ZusatzGebühr 5 $16.66 TICKET TOTAL $555.35

    I ain’t payin’ $482.34 for no damn ZusatzGebühr 2…

  25. Jack O Roses Says:

    Covers. M.I.A’s “Paper Planes” would be a fun cover. Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out,” would be absurd, but could be a fun one time thing… Or “In Da Club” from 50 cent.

    But, really, I just want to see em rip some sick Phish songs. And mebbe a Ballad of Curtis Lowe… 😉

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