Monday Mix – Fenway, Star Lake or Knoxville!

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

108_08051The weather was so gorgeous in the Bay Area this weekend, that combined with the NBA playoffs on Sunday, I haven’t been in front of a computer much this weekend to write an extensive post.  Sunday afternoon, however, in between playoff games, I jumped behind the wheels of steel to create another Fall ’97 Mix-up contest! I thought about using other tours, but I figured we’d keep it simple and stick with the beloved and well-circulated tour, thus eliminating all the jams from the last mix from contention.  And who can get enough Fall, 97?

So, in honor of sunshine, the playoffs heating up, and Phish Tour in TWO WEEKS, we have another Fall ’97 Mix-up contest to kill some of your time during this penultimate week of waiting.  This round, however, we are upping the ante to encourage more participation.  For this contest, the winner will have their choice of a Sec 23-135 Row KK ticket to the tour opener at Fenway, a lawn ticket to Phish’s much-anticipated return to Star Lake, or a Sec 119 seat for Knoxville’s sleeper show.  Yup- admit one to the winner- for free!  The ticket will be shipped to the winner at the end of this week.  The runner-up will able to choose three “Downloads of the Day” next week, with short, accompanying write-ups.  So put off that task, procrastinate doing your work, and get checkout the newest mix.  Here’s the details on the contest:


DOWNLOAD / LISTEN to FALL ’97 MIX-UP Pt. 2 < LINK                                — (Roll over, click play to listen, or right click, save as to download)

  • Identify the 14 jams from Fall & NYRun 1997 in order
  • Get your entries in by this Thursday, May 21st by 10 pm eastern / 7 pacific to
  • One entry per person (with subject line “Fall ’97 Mix Up Part 2”)
  • The winner will be the entry with the most correct jams identified.
  • No hints will be given.
  • 1st Prize = Choice of 1 Sec 23-135 Fenway ticket, 1 Star lake lawn ticket, or 1 Sec 119 Knoxville ticket



11.4.98 McNichols Arena, Denver, CO < LINK

11.4.98 McNichols Arena, Denver, CO < TORRENT LINK

phish-denver-98This is the show directly following Utah’s Dark Side show which gets understandably overlooked by many who weren’t there.  While not sharing the level of fireworks as Utah, this follow up to Denver ’97 was no slouch.  With a first set that centered on the “Bathtub Gin > Yamar” combo, it was book-ended by “Buried Alive” and “Bowie,” creating an high energy first set; and the second set didn’t slow down at all.  The meat of the set came in the “Moma, Piper > 2001, Chalk Dust,” with the “Piper > 2001” being the gem of the show.  A psychedelic roller coaster into the cosmos, the transition into “2001” is sublime.  A dark horse offering amidst all the fire of Fall ’98.

I: Buried Alive, Character Zero, Guyute, Bathtub Gin > Ya Mar, Birds of a Feather, Brian and Robert, Frankie Says  > David Bowie

II: Runaway Jim, The Moma Dance, Piper  > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Chalk Dust Torture, Loving Cup

E: The Squirming Coil

Source : B&K 4011 > Lunatec V2 > Apogee AD1000

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Weekend Nuggets: Phishin’ the UK

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on May 16th, 2009 by Mr.Miner


phish-london-97In response to a UK reader request, this weekend I am featuring two gigs from England’s capitol city in 1997.  The first show, at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, was Phish’s first performance of the year, kicking off their Winter ’97 European tour.  The second evening took place at Royal Albert Hall, the classic London venue cited by The Beatles in “A Day In a Life.”  While Phish doesn’t have an extensive British catalog, these two shows are high points of their time on the isle.

2.13.97 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, UK < LINK

2.13.97 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, UK < TORRENT LINK

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Wolfman’s Brother, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Stash, Walfredo**, Taste, Waste, Poor Heart, Character Zero, Peaches en Regalia, Love Me*, David Bowie

II: Julius, Cars Trucks Buses, My Soul*, Punch You in the Eye,  Slave to the Traffic Light, When the Circus Comes*, Maze, Rocko William**, Harry Hood, Frankenstein

E: Prince Caspian, Johnny B. Goode

*debut, ** debut & with instrument switching

Source: Source: Schoeps cmc64


6.16.97 Royal Albert Hall, London, UK < LINK

6.16.97 Royal Albert Hall, London, UK < TORRENT LINK

I: The Squirming Coil, Dogs Stole Things, Taste, Water in the Sky, Sample in a Jar, Beauty of My Dreams, Theme From the Bottom, Chalk Dust Torture, Wolfman’s Brother, Oblivious Fool

II: Limb By Limb, Ghost > I Don’t Care*, Reba, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Dirt, Harry Hood

E: Cities, Poor Heart


Source: Schoeps CMC64 > Sonosax SX-M2 > DA-P1



“A Day In the Life” 3.7.09

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The Beauties of Summer

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on May 15th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
6.26.04 Alpine (Morst)

6.26.04 Alpine (Morst)

With summer tour just around the corner, things are setting in motion.  Ticket re-releases are happening, mail orders should be coming in the mail soon, and our routes to Boston have been planned.  On the verge of embarking on the first full tour in five years, excitement fills the air of spring.

Summer tour is a uniquely blissful experience.  Combining daytime summer fun with the all-night Phish parties, life becomes a vivid and cyclical barrage of the senses as you roll across the country.  Traveling open-road-nvfrom state to state overnight or during the day, life becomes a singular mission- get to the show! Reminiscing over so many summer tours past, I came up with a short list of things that are special and unique about summer Phish tour.  Let’s keep the list going in Comments all day and see where we get to!

1.  The ability to walk in to the show with nothing but a t-shirt, shorts and your ticket

sunset_awesome2. The nightly sunset jam

3. The Hari Christnas that rage the lot at Star Lake

4. The drive from Alpine to Deer Creek, or vice versa

5. Kicking it in the lot post-show, casually gathering your wits

6. Sunrises- whether on the road, camping, or wherever you may be

7. The the west coast drives (though not totally applicable this year)

535015279_45f58f1cfd8. Deer Creek campgrounds and their “nitrous-is-ok” policies

9. Succesfully finding an few open sqaure feet to rage in the Alpine pavilion (they are few and far between)

10. Freely puffing joints on the lawn during setbreak

11. Raging RVs for festivals

12. The woods and setting of SPAC (and Merriweather)

rv-solar13. Summer evenings in uptstate New York

14. Camden’s post-show open-air drug market

15. Finding backroads to avoid the traffic

16. Deer Creek “Antelopes” and Alpine “Tweezers”

17. The sound at open-air venues like The Gorge or Sandstone or any venue without a roof

18. Looking out at the water at Jones Beach while Phish grooves fill the air

gatorade19. The “Yamar” opener

20. The ability to see all your friends raging during the first set

21. The unexpected lot tan (my wife’s contribution)

22. “Rebas,” “Rebas,” and more “Rebas”

23. That first post-show beverage- beer, water, Gatorade, or otherwise

24. How Kuroda’s lights pop out when its just getting dark

25. Hearing “Divided Sky” – whenever it shows up


R1’s DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY (Written by contest winnner- R1)

12.31.98 MSG, NYC < LINK


For my final download, I bring you another reader request. This one from cOwfunk.

The final show of 1998. My 21st birthday show as it just so happens.

Phish @ MSG

Phish @ MSG

I think one word sums up this show: Joyous.  The music is just incredibly jubilant. Starting the night off with the highly-anticipated Prince cover “1999,” Phish came right out and explained the manner in which we were meant to party that evening.  This number set the cheerful tone for the night. And what tune brings a larger smile to one’s face than “Mike’s Song?” This one has an early, triumphant peak before a lovely and enchanting, mellow jam ensues. The classic Mike’s Groove is wrapped up with a “Weekapaug” that contains a “1999” tease and bodacious bombing from Miguel.  The “Ghost” features a bright, layered groove that kept the light mood afloat.  It never really enters into murky territory . Crowd-pleaser “Ha Ha Ha” had everyone laughing with mirth and the sing-along ending to “Cavern” closed things on a high note.

1998-12-31mo“NICU” reintroduced the same gleeful tone to open the second set. “Tweezer > Cities” is a definite highpoint of the night.  This “Tweezer” is a patient, undulating seether that, like the “Ghost”, for the most part keeps its distance from the realm of the truly grimy. Yet the jam does seem to take a turn to the darkside just before making an immaculate segue into a damned sexy “Cities.” A hot “Antelope” with another “1999” refrain and a raucous “Frankenstein” left the crowd giddy.



The special New Year’s third set was kicked off by a “Runaway Jim” that mounted with intensity right along with crowd’s excitement for the countdown.  Now, the “Auld Lang Syne” at a Phish NYE extravaganza has repeatedly proven to be a singularly emotional moment for me, and I’m sure many of you hold it in similarly special regard.  The lights come up to let you see everyone, you’re hugging your dear, sweaty friends, an enormous grin on your face (perhaps a tear in your eye) and you can’t imagine being ANYWHERE else in the world.  This is sweet JOY.  Enough said.  A quintessentially merry Phish song, “Simple” is disrupted for several minutes by balloon-bursting, but ironically develops into a a pretty dirty, snarling jam. These were some highlights from a great night in Phistory!

I would like to thank Mr. Miner for allowing me to contribute to his site. I’d also like to thank everyone for their show requests and kind words. It’s been great fun, but I must admit I am happy to be done with the responsibility! See you all in 16 days!

I: 1999*, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Ghost > Ha Ha Ha, Cavern

II: NICU, Character Zero, Tweezer > Cities > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Run Like an Antelope, Frankenstein

III: Runaway Jim > Auld Lang Syne > Simple,  Harry Hood, Tweezer Reprise, Llama

E: While My Guitar Gently Weeps

* debut

Source: Schoeps CMC641 > Lunatec V2 > Apogee AD1000 > DAT

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Tour Stop: Darien Lake

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on May 14th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Darien Lake PAC, Darien Center, NY

Darien Lake PAC, Darien Center, NY

Phish’s three stops at Darien Lake in their career have not only made the venue a legitimately Phishy destination, but all three shows illustrate, perfectly, the band’s musical development at that point in their career.  With performances in ’93, ’97, and ’00, the band had ample time between gigs to evolve into a completely different animal each time; every show providing a snapshot of Phish’s musical place in time.

The first show at Darien Lake’a amusement park setting, on August 7, 1993, saw a much younger Phish, amidst a peak month in their career, incorporating all of their eclectic musical trickery and zany humor into an absurdly intense show.  One needs to go no further than the opening of the second set to uncover this.  A newly-conceived “2001” upped the psychedelic-ante, blasting into a blistering “Mike’s” that carried a suicidal intensity that could only have been produced in ’93.  The band was jamming hard- like their lives depended on it- and the quality of the music was wholly overwhelming.  While squeezing in secret language cues, the band abruptly entered an enthusiastic rendition of “Kung,” and a return to “Mike’s” that had the place blowing up with musical fireworks.  “Speedjazz” at its finest, the band was ultimately precise and shredding with a purpose on this evening.

Darien Lake PAC

Darien Lake PAC

Typical of their insane month of August ’93, defined by breakneck jazz-rock psychedelia, the show also included dense, layered adventures in “Stash,” “Antelope,” and “Maze.”  Offsetting some of this crazed improvisation was a segue into the reggae rhythms of “Makisupa” out of an unfinished “Stash,” a relaxing and groovy ride through a first set “Reba,” and a serene second-set stop in “McGrupp.”  Additionally, many compositions stood at the top of their game during this month, and on this night, the band threw down “Llama,” “My Friend,” “Forbin’s > Mockingbird,” and “The Sloth.”  If someone asked you to illustrate what Phish sounded like in the Summer of ’93, this show would be a good starting point.  In Trey’s own words,this was “a roller coaster of the mind!”


1997-08-14moIf Phish’s first Darien Lake show was a portrait in time, their second gig in ’97 was an absolute definition.  Culminating their funk revolution of Summer ’97, Phish stopped in western New York before leading the circus up to Limestone for the very first time.  The theme of this show was the theme of this summer- raw, bass-driven funk.  Quoting Trey, “The funk was too deep,” in the second set, and the band never emerged from their Bozo-laced funked up adventure into Colonel Forbin’s Gamehendge.  Averting “Mockingbird” in favor of further groove, the band took a left turn into “Camel Walk.”

Ken Kesey

Ken Kesey

One of the finest outings of the summer was highlighted by one of the best “Harry Hoods” ever played.  Smack dab in the middle of the second set, this jam was the unfolding of a mystic fairy tale, and included a post-“Hood” jam that needs to be heard to be believed.  In addition to the heavily improvised second set, the first included a second-song “Fluffhead,” an early-funk-era “Free,” and a ferocious “Antelope” to close.  But beyond the divine music, this show held cultural significance as Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters joined the band onstage in a Wizard of Oz-type skit.  Kesey was looking for the “Bozos” who had been missing since 1995 (when Jerry died and Dead tour ended.)  Finding the Bozo’s on Phish tour, Kesey gave a stamp of approval to the Phish scene as the rightful inheritors of America’s counterculture.  (A detailed write-up of this show and its historical significance can be read here.)


2000-09-14mo2Fast-forward to the year 2000;  Phish was on their final tour as they passed through Darien Lake one more time.  Though the band’s energy and creativity was on a decline at this point, you could never tell from listening to this show.  One of 2000’s most impressive efforts, 9.14 turned out so well that it wound up mastered as a Live Phish release.  The no-brainer highlight of the evening was the colossal mind-fuck that emerged out of “Drowned.”  Delving into abstract psychedelia and ambient madness, this was arguably the craziest and most “out-there,” terrorizing, and successful jams of the fall- all wrapped into one.   Accessing alien atmospheres during this mind-bending excursion, this jam illustrated the ’99-’00 millennial exploration of abstract soundscapes, an element of the band’s creative direction during these years.

ph000914_01Segueing from an epic “Drowned” into a dark “Crosseyed and Painless,” the band combined the two covers to create a definitively dirty forty-five minutes of millennial Phish.  Beyond this central section of the show, we were treated to an incredibly energetic first set that opened with a “Punch,” “Reba” combo, with the latter being a choice version.  After a mid-set “Carini,” the band ended with a smoking “Oh Kee Pah > Suzy” that included a dynamic funk explosion after the song’s natural conclusion.

Looking back on the theatrics Phish has pulled off under the circus tents of Darien Lake, it is no surprise that the community is amped for the band’s return.  Coming during the final four shows of the tour, you can be sure Phish will be firing on all cylinders when they pull into the amusement park this August, and something tells me this is a can’t-miss show.  If the band’s history at Darien Lake is any indication, this will likely be a highlight of Summer ’09.


8.7.93 Darien Lake, NY < LINK

8.7.93 Darien Lake, NY <  TORRENT LINK

I: Llama, Bouncing Around the Room, Poor Heart, Stash > Makisupa Policeman, Reba,  Maze, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Famous Mockingbird, Cavern

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Mike’s Song > Kung > Mike’s Song > TMWSIY > Avenu Malkenu > The Sloth, Sparkle, My Friend My Friend, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Purple Rain, Run Like an Antelope

E: Carolina, La Grange

Source: AUD (FOB)>AKG460b/ck61>Custom Preamp>Sony D10>Sony D7


R1’s DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY (Written by contest winner, R1)

7.21.98 Desert Sky, Phoenix, AZ < LINK

7.21.98 Desert Sky, Phoenix, AZ < TORRENT LINK


Desert Sky Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ

“The fellas ate their Wheaties before this one. This is a high-energy Phish show.  “AC/DC” opens the first set forcefully and “Fluffhead” keeps the juice pumping.  “Tube” brings the funk and “Antelope” closes the set with more of the unbridled power.

This second set is straight nasty.  Trey simply rips the shit out of the first portion of the “Mike’s” jam before things slow down a bit and get seriously funkified. Mike is throwing around Molotov cocktails, as the band fully locks in, slowly building, with Page moving from clav to piano, as Trey just relentlessly assaults our ears and minds.  The always natural-sounding segue into a bopping “Simple” is followed by a beautiful 1998-07-21mo1evolution into the debut of “Bittersweet Motel.” “Weekapaug” ripens pretty gently before Trey begins to dig in and the band speeds up, with Fish keeping up a blistering beat. Another highlight of the set, “Ghost” follows a steady upward trajectory along Rage Mountain, before cooling out and strutting into Taj Mahal’s “She Caught The Katy”, featuring some nice organ from Page.”

I: AC/DC Bag, Fluffhead, Roggae, Tube, Sparkle, Cavern, Frankie Says, Run Like An Antelope

II: Mike’s Song  > Simple > Bittersweet Motel* > Weekapaug Groove, Brian and Robert, Ghost > She Caught the Katy**,  Funky Bitch

E: Sleeping Monkey, Rocky Top

*First time played **Last played 04-29-87, 862 shows before.

Source: B&K 4011 > Lunatec V2 > Apogee AD-1000 > HHb Portadat @ 48k


Madison Square MikeSong

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on May 12th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
12.31.95 (

12.31.95 (

The 1995 New Year’s show at Madison Square Garden is often seen as the coronation of one of the greatest years of Phish, and also the culmination of their their career to that point.  Showcasing a musical smorgasbord of all things Phish, the band tore the roof off the most famous arena in the world announcing their definitive arrival to the music industry.  After years of grassroots touring and dedication to their craft, Phish had proved to themselves, and to all, that they had succeeded.  Peaking their musical style of the fall with boisterous arena improv and tightly wound compositions, Phish was at the absolute top of their game, and it showed.

phish-new_years_eve_1995_bChurning out what many consider to be the finest Phish show ever, the band played several top-notch versions of their most popular jam vehicles.  The towering highlights included a divine first set “Reba,” second set adventures in “Drowned” and “Runaway Jim,” and a third set that featured a celebratory “Weekapaug,” and a near-flawless “YEM.”  But despite these multiple peaks throughout the night, none were more engaging, vicious, and masterful than the “Mike’s Song” that concluded set two- the final jam of 1995.

The band built on the outrageous momentum created over the fist two sets, and as they approached their second setbreak, the piercing riff of “Mike’s” jumped off the stage like a shotgun blast of adrenaline flooding our collective consciousness. The Garden was soon engulfed in the heaviest improv of the evening, and with their razor sharp chops of December ’95, Phish created a timeless piece of improv that is still revered today.

Gamehendge Time Laboratory (C.Taylor Crothers)

Gamehendge Time Laboratory (C.Taylor Crothers)

Launching into the jam, Page brought his classic organ swells as the band climbed into a fierce and dirty “Mike’s” groove right off the bat.  Fish and Mike developed a tight pocket in this initial part of the jam, allowing Trey to freely express his thoughts within the framework of a slammin’ groove.  Trey got into some vicious lead lines quickly, and the room transformed into a sinister sonic dungeon as the band furthered their foray into darkness.  The intensity of the music was palpable, as there was no laying back during ’95 “Mike Songs.”  The band attacked the music with aggression and created a smoke-filled monster out of the first jam, but the real improv started when Phish dropped into the second.

For years, the most creative section of “Mike’s Song” was the second jam, following the power chords- the same chords that signaled the song’s conclusion in latter years.  Somewhere along the way in the late ’90s, the band neutered one of their greatest songs, lopping off its ballsiest segment without notice.  But we were still in ’95 here, and when Phish dove into the more menacing and improvisational jam, what resulted was the stuff dreams are made of.  Following the drop, Trey almost immediately entered some solo-shredding that led the band into the meat of the song.  On point and playing like one entity, Phish locked onto Trey’s pattern, entering some full-band grooves that got the room shaking in earnest.

Fall '95 (T.Mosenfelder)

Fall '95 (T.Mosenfelder)

As the jam progressed, it got more and more coherent as they collectively created passages of pure improvisation, related, but not connected, to “Mike’s” structure.  This was 1995 Phish doing their thing, exploring outer rings of the musical galaxy with enthusiasm, determination, and a sense of unbridled adventure.  Unsure of where they would end up, the band was squarely focused on the moment-to-moment progression of this masterful music.

phas20-11Bringing the jam to a dissonant crescendo, the textures fell away, and the only sounds left audible were Trey’s multiple loops at the onset of a digital delay jam.  One by one, the other band members left the scorching stage, eventually leaving Trey on stage, silhouetted by the smoke and lights, continuing his innovative one-man jam.  Providing a psychedelic denouement to one of the raunchiest pieces of the entire Fall, the drone patterns created a fitting end to a raucous set.   In the midst of this sonic collage emerged Trey’s voice, bringing us out of our meditative dreamstate, quietly saying, “We’re gonna be back in about 15 minutes. Don’t go away. Thank you.”

It was safe to say that no one was going anywhere.  We had just witnessed a piece of Phish history, one of those moments you didn’t need to hear on tape to confirm its magnitude.  Phish was in the process of annihilating The Garden in their first New Year’s Eve performance in the building, and we were all lucky to be along for the ride.  When the band came out to “Auld Lang Syne > Weekapaug,” 1996 had arrived, and though many lasting moments came from the last night of ’95, this “Mike’s Song” was a crowning homage to one of the greatest years of the band’s career.





R1’s DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY (Written by contest winner, R1)

7.17.1999 Oswego County Airport, Volney, NY < TORRENT LINK


Oswego 7.99

“Continuing my trend of showcasing sick first sets, I come to you with another reader-request, suggested by several folks.

On an obscenely hot weekend in upstate NY, Phish matched the intense temperatures by bringing the heat, albeit a slow burn, for their weekend mini-festival. Busting out of the gate with a fiery, funktastic “Tube” replete with ubiquitous ‘Crosseyed’ phrasing, followed by a smooth “Boogie On,” it was clear that the fellas were in a dancing sorta’ mood. The highlight of the first set is the “Tweezer > Have Mercy” combo, featured in Miner’s Pick’s: Summer ’99. The jam starts off gooey thick, with a descending progression, before the band takes a collective inhale and releases as Trey’s notes seem to ping-pong between Mike’s bass bombs. Wonderfully melodic, yet full of searing Trey work, this relatively laid-back version segues sublimely into the Mighty Diamond’s plaintive reggae gem.

The second set saw the band welcome to the stage “Funky Bitch” sribe, blues guitarist Son Seals, to join them for a ripping version of the frequent cover as well as another one of his tunes, “On My Knees.”  From there, the set blasted off with a ferocious” DWD.” What followed was some more of the relaxed summer flow, with a beautiful, fluid “Wolfmans > Sally > Timber” sequence and a “YEM” that struts to a similar reserved groove.  This is some oxymoronic chilled-out, summer heat.”

I: Tube, Boogie on Reggae Woman, Birds of a Feather, Guelah Papyrus, My Sweet One, Roggae, Tweezer  > Have Mercy*, Taste, Character Zero

II: Funky Bitch**, On My Knees**, Down With Disease*, Wolfman’s Brother > Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > Timber Ho!, You Enjoy Myself

E: The Squirming Coil, Tweezer Reprise

*Trey on keys. **With Son Seals.

Source: Schoeps cmbi + mk2s > AD1000  15″ spread 130 degrees FOB

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Phish2k- Two Thousand Done

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on May 12th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
The Dawning of Phish 2000 (D. Clinch)

The Dawning of Phish 2000 (D. Clinch)

In retrospect, there have been many different opinions posed about Phish 2000.  Many point to the year as a downward spiral to Shoreline when the band officially went on hiatus.  Others feel the band’s playing was inconsistent on a night to night basis, yet recognize that they still created some very memorable moments.  And others tout 2000 as something wholly different, and not such a musical decline at all.  To be fair, if we were to negotiate these positions, we could most likely agree upon the fact that despite a loss of momentum and creativity towards the end of the year, Phish was still Phish and created many amazing evenings during the year 2000.

After the incredible peak of Big Cypress, and without adding any innovation to their sound, the band seemed to lack a new musical direction, something they had traditionally incorporated every year, if not every tour.  Nonetheless, 2000 doesn’t get the credit it deserves and is usually generalized by jaded fans as a year worth forgetting- well, that’s simply not the case.  Let’s take a look back at the year that was.

Radio City Soundcheck (C.Taylor Crothers)

Radio City Soundcheck (C.Taylor Crothers)

The hype couldn’t have grown greater after the band announced their first post-Cypress shows of the year would take place in New York’s Radio City Music Hall in May.  With a capacity of 5,900 on a weekend in New York City, and with a national ticket demand that shot through the roof, these were certainly the hardest Phish tickets to date.  This would be the first Phish ticket mission in which many people didn’t succeed, something that had become commonplace in this day.  But those who did were treated to two standout performances- specifically the second- that took on an enhanced quality and elegance in the storied venue.  The immortal remnant from this weekend was the masterfully extended “Ghost” that came towards the end of 5.22’s second set.

phish-handbill-japan2000bFollowing a fun, but sardine-packed, surprise gig at Roseland for VH-1, Phish would take off for Japan in only a few weeks.  Their seven show run over eight days provided some of the most lasting musical highlights from the year 2000.  On their first outright tour of Japan (they had played the Fuji Rock Festival in ’99), the band treated the incredibly respectful, mostly Japanese, crowds to some absolute gems.  The exploratory and adventurous Tokyo “Tweezer,” that opened up the first show’s second frame, set the bar quite high for the week’s jamming, and the band wouldn’t disappoint.  Highlights oozed from every show-  the “Disease” and “Piper” at Zepp Tokyo,  the “Wolfman’s”, “Antelope” and “Sand” from Nagoya, the entire show from Fukuoka, the “Ghost” and “Disease” from Big Cat in Osaka, the “Runaway Jim” from Zepp Osaka- and those are just the creme de la creme.  With these Japanese tapes getting immediate circulation, many stateside fans were unaware of the magic going down in tiny rooms across the Pacific.  This week abroad was truly a cultural and musical adventure to be reckoned with, and one of rhe most unique Phish experiences ever.


Deer Creek 2000 T-Shirt

Upon returning to America, Phish hopped right into their amphitheatre circuit, announcing their presence on night one in Antioch, TN with a blistering “Jibboo > 2001 > Sand.”  Songs from the recently released Farmhouse would dominate summer setlists, as every other night you were sure to hear “Jibboo,” “Sand,” “Twist,” and “Heavy Things.”  The summer was highlighted by the two-night stand in Camden for July 4th, which featured a heavily improvised July 4th second set, which many consider to be the best music of the US summer tour.  The month wound up in the Midwest, with one show at Alpine, a first-ever three night stand at Deer Creek, and the tour closing two-nights at Polaris.  This last week of shows provided some of the most exciting playing of the tour, as each of the final five shows included some incredible high points.  Such peaks included “Fee > What’s the phish-polaris-00Use, Limb” from 7.10, the Moby Dick set from 7.11, and “Curtain With” and “Crosseyed > Caspian” from 7.12- all Deer Creek.  The entire second set of Polaris’ 7.14 show featured incredibly dark and intense jamming, as the band squeezed a “Mike’s” “Bowie” and a “Sand” into this ominous frame.  And while the tour closer didn’t hold up to the first Polaris gig, Phish played a shredding “Disease > While My Guitar Gently Weeps” that stood out among the rest as the farewell jam of the tour.

All in all, Summer 2000 was a very successful run.  While some songs may have been overplayed a bit, Phish still had their improvisational chops with them, and hadn’t begun to fully lose steam yet- that would take place in the fall.

9.8.00 Albany, NY - Fall Tour Opener

Fall Tour Opener- 9.8.00 Albany, NY

Beginning in Albany, and traversing the country to Shoreline over the course of a month, Phish’s playing grew more inconsistent over this tour.  There were still scorching pieces of improvisation- they just came a bit less frequently as the band’s creativity wasn’t always quite as prevalent.  Don’t get me wrong- Phish was still Phish- and I never once left a show with an inkling of disappointment, but when looking back and comparing the many eras of Phish, it was the consistency of excellence that slowed.  Phish brought us on exciting full-length psychedelic treks at Great Woods on 9.11, Darien Lake on 9.14, Merriweather on 9.17, Rosemont 9.22, Minneapolis 9.24, Desert Sky on 10.1, and Shoreline to end it all.  However, while many other shows boasted great individual highlights, the entirety of these efforts was not always up to snuff.

But despite all the nay-saying in the scene about Phish 2000, I enjoyed the year to the last drop and believe it has a lot of music to offer.  As said in the very first sentence of this piece, these observations come in retrospect, and there certainly wasn’t a prevailing vibe of bitterness or negativity at these shows of Fall 2000.  Phish was, and always will be, a celebration of life, and all of its mysteries and splendor, and that element was never lost.  Phish was still our soundtrack as we broke into the next millennium.

9.8.00 Albany, NY

9.8.00 Albany, NY

But after Shoreline, we would be forced to wait; the band needed a break.  After touring incessantly since 1990, the guys wanted some time to themselves, and went on an indefinite hiatus.  Some believed that was all we would ever see from the band, while some knew that it wasn’t.  But Phish would be back at it before we knew it, and probably a bit too soon, re-taking MSG’s stage only two years later for New Years 2002- and the rest is history.  Lasting only a year and a half before needing to disband once again for health reasons, Phish would “retire” after Coventy’s debacle.  But here we are in 2009, and while it’s taken us a long time to get back on the train, our train is about to leave the station in a mere few weeks- this time, bound for glory.

phish-allstate-00-pollockTo commemorate all that was good in the year 2000, I present to you two editions of “Miner’s Picks: Phish2k- ‘Summer’ and Fall.” Trying to be as comprehensive as possible without overdoing it, I collected 12 hours of jams from the Summer and 9 hours from from the Fall.  (These are the compilations that chomp tons of bandwidth, so if you decide to download them, please consider a small donation.)

I chose to leave out out the must-hear entire sets of 7.4 II (Camden) and 9.17 II (Merriweather) and 10.7.00 II (Shoreline) for sake of file size, and because those sets shouldn’t be broken up. These shows are available on Phish Thoughts in their entirety.  I also had to leave out Live Phish releases (Alpine, Darien) for which I don’t have AUD sources handy.  Otherwise, there is a ton of great music contained within that chronicles Phish’s last year featuring something from just about every show.  But don’t listen to me, check it out, and come to your own conclusion on the great debate of Phish 2000.







1. Disease- 5.21, Radio City II

2,3. Ghost > Rock and Roll- 5.22 Radio City II

4. Tweezer- 6.09, Tokyo II

5. Piper- 6.10 Tokyo I

6. Wolfman’s- 6.13, Nagoya II

7. Sand II

8. Ghost- 6.25, Osaka I

9. Disease II

10.Reba- Osaka, 6.16 I

11.Runaway Jim II

12,13,14. Jiboo > 2001 > Sand- 6.22 Antioch, TN II

15. Moma Dance- 6.24 Atlanta I

16.Tweezer I

17. Antelope II

18,19. What’s the USe > Slave- 6.25, Raleigh II

20. Bathtub Gin- 6.28, PNC I

21, 22. Disease, Hood II

23. Mike’s II

24,25,26. Birds > Catapult > Heavy Things- PNC 6.29 II

27,28,29. Halley’s > Mango > Twist- 6.30 Hartford, II

30. Ghost- 7.1 Hatford, II

31. Runaway Jim- 7.3 Camden II

32. Sand II

33,34. Limb > 2001- 7.6 Toronto II

35 Gumbo- 7.07 Star Lake I

36,37,38. Maze > Shafty > Maze II

39,40,41.Drowned > Chalk Dust Reprise > Chalkdust 7.11 Deer Creek I

42. The Curtain With- 7.12 Deer Creek I

43. Free I

44,45. Crosseyed > Caspian II

46,47,48. Mike’s > Frankie Sez > Bowie- 7.14 Polaris II

49.50. Disease > WMGGGW- 7.15 Polaris II


1. Ghost- 9.08 Albany I

2,3,4. My Friend > Gumbo > Maze- 9.09 Albany I

5,6. Curtain > Sand II

7,8,9. Piper > What’s the Use > YEM- 9.11 Great Wooods II

10. Piper- 9.15 Hershey Park II

11. Tube > jam II

12,13. Boogie On > Twist- 9.18 Cleveland II

14,15,16. It’s Ice > Velvet Sea > Sand– 9.22 Cincy II

17,18,19. Tube, Reba, Ghost- 9.22 Chicago II

20. Tweezer- 9.23 Chicago II

21,22. Cities > Free- 9.24 Minneapolis II

23,24. Piper > Gumbo- 9.27 Englewood, CO II

25. Bathtub Gin- 9.29 Vegas I

26-29. Dinner, Moma, 2001 > Fluffhead II

30,31. Twist > Sand- 9.30 Vegas II

32,33. Piper > Guy Forget- 10.1 Phoenix II

34. Reba- 10.4 Chula Vista I

35,36. Wolfman’s > Sneakin’ Sally- 10.5 Irvine I

37-40. Drowned > NICU > jam > Bowie II

41,42. Disease > Spock’s Brain- 10.6 Shoreline II

43. Sand II


R1’s DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY (Written by contest winner, R1)

7.25.97 Starplex, Dallas, TX < LINK

7.25.97 Starplex, Dallas, TX < TORRENT LINK

phish-dallas-97“This one comes from reader Al’s request. In their 4th show back on U.S. soil following their famous European tour, Phish put together a sweet little show in the currently-threatening-to-secede Longhorn state. Another show with a very hot first set, the boys didn’t take long to delve into a bit of improv with the combo of “Wolfman’s > Maze.”  The “Wolfman’s” features a syncopated jam that moves into a spacier realm- with a tight pocket and the beloved “Crosseyed” teasing and line-ripping from Trey- while the “Maze” is a pretty much a straight rager. The rest of the first set includes an uplifting “Bathtub” into a “Makisupa” that turns a bit bluesy at the end, finished off by a super-energetic “AC/DC.”

The second frame here had renowned jazz drummer Bob Gullotti playing along with the boys on a second kit. I think, had I been in attendance, the out-of-nowhere cymbal crashes and such throughout the set may have hampered my groove a bit. However, Gullotti’s additions definitely do not hamper any of the grooves in the set’s highlight of “Ghost.” Fish and Bob seamlessly churn the beat throughout this exotic rendition, which morphs into a sonic whirlpool unto which cascades of drum fills pour.”
Miner’s note: The entire second set is a dark-horse scorcher, filled with top notch improv from start to finish.  Gullotti fit in beautifully with the band and certainly added to the show.  This is an overlooked highlight along the long road of Summer ’97

I: Beauty of My Dreams, Wolfman’s Brother > Maze, Water in the Sky, Bathtub Gin > Makisupa Policeman > AC/DC Bag

II: Chalk Dust Torture > Taste > Ya Mar > Drums*-> Ghost > Character Zero

E: Theme From the Bottom

Entire second set with Bob Gullotti on drums.  *Trey turns the jam in Ya Mar over to “Leo and the Drummers”; Page drops out of jam leaving only Fish and Gullotti.

Source: Schoeps CMC641 > Oade Preamp > SBM-1 > D8

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The Evolution of “Wolfman’s”

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on May 10th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Hampton '04

Hampton 2004

When “Wolfman’s Brother” debuted at the Flynn Theatre on 4.4.94 in accordance with Hoist’s release a week earlier, it was nothing more than a groovy filler tune that played second-fiddle to the album’s more played anthems of “Disease,” “Julius” and “Sample In a Jar.”  Early arrangements, including the Burlington debut, included horns to enhance the song’s bouncy texture.  But throughout its early life, “Wolfman’s” never really found a direction, and was shelved after 6.26.94’s “Gamehoist” show for over a year.

Reemerging to open Fall Tour ’95 at Cal Expo in Sacramento, “Wolfman’s” made only sporadic appearances over the next two years.  The song didn’t quite sit with Phish’s breakneck style of play, but as the band began its transformation into a millennial groove machine toward the end of ’96, the potential for the song was reinvented.  On December 28th, at Philadelphia’s Spectrum, “Wolfman’s” sprouted a tail for the first time as the band extended the song’s groove for the first time ever, albeit for six minutes, foreshadowing what was to come.

21a6fe8b9cb047de956c1c6e6dd0b378During the band’s early Europe run of ’97, Phish continued peeling away the layers, seeking a certain collaborative groove-based style of play- a process that began with their cover of  Remain in Light the previous Halloween.  On the penultimate night of tour, on March 1st in Hamburg, Germany, Phish would realize their musical transformation during a “Wolfman’s” jam forever immortalized on Slip, Stitch, and Pass.  The summer of ’97 saw several “Wolfman’s” that far surpassed anything anyone imagined from the song.  Beginning during the band’s exploratory tour in Europe, “Wolfman’s” became an improvisational vehicle for deep, liquid funk grooves that defined Phish’s new musical direction, often stretching out over twenty-plus minutes.  Culminating with a memorable and monster version at The Great Went, “Wolfman’s” was officially on the map as one of the newest great Phish jams.

dscf0160Fall ’97 offered four versions of the song, each seemingly bigger than the next.  While the band transcended mere funk in Utah, creatively working their way into “Piper,” Champaign’s version on 11.19 absolutely blew up.  Boasting an extended funk jam and a subsequent foray into crazy psychedelia that incorporated a “Crosseyed” jam, this immediately stood out the as the most epic version to date.  This tour would also see the longest “Wolfman’s” ever played with the well-known heavy-metal, repetitious, and surreal version from Worcester on 11.30.  Famously used to birth the comeback of “Boogie On” in Dayton, after Fall ’97, “Wolfman’s” was one of the band’s most prominent launch pads.

Yet the foundation laid  in ’97 as was expounded on even further in “Wolfman’s” finest year- 1998.  Beginning with the Island Run’s scorching version that segued seamlessly into “Sneaking Sally” during the year’s first show, it appeared that there was no slowing down for the funk-laden vehicle.   Blending seamlessly with the laid-back funk of summer tour, Phish wove multiple versions throughout the season that integrated this style and fit perfectly into summer shows.  Though the summer funk was fun, some of the greatest versions ever dropped in Fall ’98.

phish-halloween-98Following the club-style grooves at The Fillmore in San Francisco, the subsequent version in Las Vegas on Halloween would become the new standard against which all are judged.  Integrating Fall ’98’s textured, ambient and abstract style of jamming into the dark musical milieu of “Wolfman’s,” the result was both monstrous and mind-boggling.  Taking the song on its most intense journey ever, Phish used “Wolfman’s” as the eerie, scare-the hell-out-of-you, Halloween jam that drew a legendary response from the crowd, including a spontaneous glowstick explosion at one of the deepest points in the jam.  This was pure Phish, and although many were confused by a jam so maddening, this is truly the song’s definitive version.

Beyond Vegas’ epic, “Wolfman’s” would make notable appearances at Cleveland (11.13) featuring a Mind Left Body jam, and at Greenville, SC, including an abstract exploration out of the funk before eventually segueing into “Lizards.” No conversation of ’98 “Wolfman’s” would be complete without mentioning the second half of MSG’s 12.28 raucous and masterful “Carini > Wolfman’s.”  Incorporating spaced-out textures into funk mixture, this version was a centerpiece of a notoriously dark set.

1998-12-28moBeyond the peak years of 1997 and 1998, “Wolfman’s” lost a bit of its edge, and was used primarily as a funk vehicle when that was no longer the band’s primary focus.  Dancy, yet less experimental, versions continued to pepper setlists as the band kept it in rotation throughout 2000 and post-hiatus.  While some versions certainly stood out more than others during these years, the improv had been toned down a notch.

It will be interesting to see what direction the band take’s “Wolfman’s” as they enter this summer.  Hampton’s version was uber-funky, yet contained as most of the improv in Virginia, and was no real sign as to where it might go.  As things stretch out in the heat of June and August, we will discover where “Wolfman’s” fits into the path of 3.0, or if it will primarily remain a relic of another era.

***A Sampling of “Wolfman’s” Through the Years***

LISTEN to 12.28.96 Philly “Wolfman’s Now! < LINKS (roll over, click play)

LISTEN to 6.24.97 Strasbourg, FR “Wolfman’s” Now!

LISTEN to 11.18.98 Greenville, SC “Wolfman’s” Now!

LISTEN to 12.28.98 MSG “Wolfman’s ” Now!

LISTEN to 7.26.99 Deer Creek “Wolfman’s” Now!

LISTEN TO 6.13.00 Nagoya, JP “Wolfman’s” Now!


R1’s DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY (written by contest winner, R1)

2.1.91 Brown University, Providence, RI SBD < LINK

2.1.91 Brown University, Providence, RI SBD < TORRENT LINK

Brown University, Providence, RI

Brown University, Providence, RI

“This show, from my alma mater, kicked off a massive spring tour (63 shows) in the formative Phish year of 1991.  This tour saw the band honing its chops at small theatres, festivals, bars, college gymnasiums, and even a prep school.  These guys are young and obviously having a damn good time.  The first set is where it’s at here.  The rare “Tweezer” directly into “Reprise” is pretty scorching, with Trey ripping it up.  “Guelah Papyrus” is played for the first time, a short-but sweet “Jim,” and an interesting, if somewhat odd and discordant, “Bowie” finish out the set.  The second set begins with the premiere of “Chalk Dust,” features a sweet “Reba” with a little Dixieland tease thrown in at the onset of the jam, and a funky “Cavern.”  All in all a nice start to an epic tour.  If only I was 5 years older…”

I: My Sweet One, Foam, Tweezer > Tweezer Reprise, Magilla, Guelah Papyrus*, Runaway Jim, Split Open and Melt**, Bouncing Around the Room, David Bowie

II: Chalk Dust Torture*, Reba, The Landlady, The Mango Song, Cavern***

E: Alumni Blues, Carolina

*debut. **Screwed up on master recording. ***Interrupted by security telling the band informing the band of the midnight curfew.  The Mango Song was played for the first time since August 19, 1989 (132 shows).

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Weekend Nuggets: Arrowhead Ranch

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , on May 8th, 2009 by Mr.Miner


Arrowhead Ranch '91

Arrowhead Ranch '91

These are the shows that everyone had on analog at some point in the ’90s.  Some of most circulated tapes, these Arrowhead Ranch shows were a staple of any fan’s listening rotation at one point or another.  Smack dab in the middle of Phish’s famed Summer ’91 tour with the Giant Country Horn, these shows were an early signpost on Phish’s road to glory.  With Dave Grippo on alto sax, Russell Remington on tenor, and Carl Gerhard on trumpet, songs such as “Stash,” “Split,” Gumbo,” and “Cavern” took on new life with new arrangements.  Bringing a fusion feel to Phish’s unique form of rock and roll, the horns added an undeniable dynamic to their music and improvisation.  These two shows, the second in SBD fashion, are a hallmark of Phish history.


7.20.91 Arrowhead Ranch, Parksville, NY < LINK

7.20.91 Arrowhead Ranch, Parksville, NY < TORRENT LINK

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Foam, The Squirming Coil, Llama, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, The Landlady, Bathtub Gin, My Sweet One, David Bowie

II: Buried Alive, Reba, Caravan, Dinner and a Movie, Flat Fee, Golgi Apparatus, Stash, TMWSIY > Avenu Malkenu > TMWSIY, You Enjoy Myself, Rocky Top

E: Possum

With The Giant Country Horns

Source: AKG 451+ck8a in sbd booth, by Kevin Shapiro


7.21.91 Arrowhead Ranch, Parksville, NY  SBD < LINK

7.21.91 Arrowhead Ranch, Parksville, NY SBD < TORRENT LINK

I: Cavern, The Divided Sky, Guelah Papyrus, Poor Heart, Split Open and Melt, Lizards, The Landlady, Bouncing Around the Room, Mike’s Song > I am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

II: Tweezer, I Didn’t Know, Runaway Jim, Lawn Boy, The Sloth, Esther, AC/DC Bag, Contact > Tweezer Reprise

E1: Gumbo* > Gumbo reprise*, Touch Me*

E2: Fee*, Suzy Greenberg*

With The Giant Country Horns. *With Steve-O from New Orleans on washboard.



“Buried Alive” 7.20.91, Arrowhead Ranch


“Foam” 3.7.09, Hampton

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Friday Facts

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on May 8th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Hampton (J.Volkhausen)

Hampton (J.Volkhausen)

With a famously obsessive fan base, trivia has become part and parcel of the Phish world.  Not only are the dates of shows and versions of songs fodder for conversation, but band history, song origins, stage gear and the like also provide endless reference points in Phish culture.  Often brought up in post-show debates or on-the-road symposiums, trivial Phish knowledge is a pseudo-badge of honor in the scene.  So in honor of the community’s obsession with facts about their favorite band, I present to you twenty things you probably didn’t know (or care about) about our fearless foursome.


1. Mike’s dad, Robert Gordon, founded the Store 24 convenience store chain located on the east coast.

38012. Trey’s morning radio show in college was called Ambient Alarm Clock.

3. “YEM” is the most often played Phish song with 473 total appearances.  The next closest is “Mike’s,” almost 100 behind, at 379.

4.  Marley, Trey’s loyal dog of legend, passed away on 10.8.00, the day after Phish’s last show at Shoreline.

5. Fishman wrote the lyrics to “Gumbo.”

hot_chocolate5166. Phish has played more shows in July than any other month- 175.

7. “Foam” was orginally called “Marijuana Hot Chocolate.”

8. The first pressing of Junta had a pink and white photo of a screaming man on the cover.

9. “Runaway Jim” has opened the most shows with 80.

10. “Funky Bitch” has been played in every year (that Phish played) since its debut in 1986.

11. Tom Marshall’s band, Amfibian, performed “Heavy Things” (before Phish) as a dark, biographical mini-rock opera.

love_goat12. Before joining Phish, Page played keyboards for “Love Goat,” an R & B band.

13.  The longest Phish jam is “Runaway Jim” from 11.29.97 at 58 minutes. (“Tweezer” from 6.14.95 comes in second.)

14. Trey decided not to play “Fluffhead” at IT, not Mike. (The famous “Mike says no.”)

15. “Rocky Top” is the most popular encore with 102 renditions.

16. “Forbin’s > Mockingbird,” “My Soul,” and “If I Could” have not been performed post-hiatus.

17. Phish played 43 shows at Nectar’s, but played 53 shows at The Front, a now defunct bar in Burlington,

phish-front-3-9-9018. Fish’s Senior Study at Goddard was called A Self-Teaching Guide to Drumming Written in Retrospect.

19. Phish has never performed in North or South Dakota. (The two states I’ve never been to. Hmmm.)

20. “Uncle Pen” is the band’s most played cover song (191.)

Thanks to The Mockingbird Foundation, ZZYZX Stats, and Relix for the help!




After receiving several setlists for the contest, we have a winner.  Nailing 11 out of 12 tracks in order, reader R1 is our Fall ’97 Mixup Champion!  Congrats, R1, your hard work paid off!  R1 will be choosing the “Downloads of the Day” for next week, and writing an accompanying paragraph for each. Second place goes to Eric R., who only missed two tracks.  Also, big ups to Mark L. who submitted his setlist on his lunch break on Monday and missed only three tracks!  Thanks to all who participated, I hope it was fun.

1. “YEM” 12.29 MSG >

2. “Tweezer” 12.12 Albany >

3. “Free” 11.30 Worcester >

4. “Gumbo” 12.3 Philly >

5. “Gumbo” 11.26 Hartford >

6. “Ghost” 12.28 Landover >

7. “Bowie” 12.3 Philly >

8. “Runaway Jim” 11.29 Worcester >

9. “Simple” 12.9 Penn State >

10. “Disease” 12.11 Rochester >

11. “Tweezer” 12.31 MSG >

12. “Tweezer” 11.17 Denver


The Bonnaroo Schedule is out!  Phish will be playing from 11pm-2am on Friday, and 8:30-midnight to close the festival on Sunday. Looks like it should be the heat!


Check out this great article about Trey lobbying for drug courts on Capitol Hill.  The guy is amazing.



11.22.95 USAir Arena, Landover, MD < LINK

11.22.95 USAir Arena, Landover, MD < TORRENT LINK

1995-11-22gnThis show is famous for the colossal 40-minute “Free” that emerged from an aborted “Rift” opener of the second set.  Known for its exploratory nature, this version is an all-time gem, and certainly remains the longest “Free” ever played. Often overlooked is the  show’s stellar first set with an “Antelope,” “Fluffhead” combo wedged in the middle.  Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

I: Cars Trucks Buses, Wilson, Run Like an Antelope, Fluffhead, Uncle Pen, Cavern, Fog That Surrounds, Lizards, Sample in a Jar, Sweet Adeline

II: Rift*, Free > Llama, Bouncing Around the Room, You Enjoy Myself, Strange Design

E: Poor Heart, Frankenstein


Source: Unknown


The Last Great Tweezer (For A While)

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on May 7th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

Phish 2000 (Unk)

While Phish’s energy began to wind down during the second half of 2000, the year still boasted many bright musical highlights.  From Radio City, to clubs in Japan and back again, Phish threw down many significant jams in the year before their first hiatus.  One of the most memorable moments came on June 24th at Lakewood Amphitheatre, during the band’s third show back from Japan- only eight days removed from Osaka’s tour closer.   Following a bombastically improvised “Moma” opener, the band ran through “Runaway Jim” and “Bouncin'” before greeting the summer sunset with the growling opening licks of “Tweezer.”  What ensued for the next half-hour exists as one of the most magnificently improvised portions of Phish2k.

Taking daytime into night, Phish explored several musical feels, weaving them seamlessly into a tapestry of sound and groove. Phish was excited to be back in their summertime sheds, and they were celebrating their stateside return musically.  While Japan brought diverse venues and cultural experiences for the band, they were more than ready to return to their comfort zone- annihilating amphitheatres across the US.  And in only their fifth set back, they would unveil this unique masterpiece.

2000-06-24moAs the jam dropped, Mike immediately took the lead, generating a tight and heavy groove with Fish, as Page painted the backdrop.  Meanwhile, Trey set up some loops and sat back, awaiting the perfect entry point.  Upon joining the rhythmic fray, Trey began with a series of licks that fit perfectly into the preexisting patterns.  This driving, spacious funk characterized the initial part of this jam and led everyone through some addictive dance music as the sun dipped low.  Clicking right away, the band was off and running through a melange of engulfing crack-grooves.

Radio City 2000 (B. Stephens)

Radio City 2000 (B. Stephens)

As Gordon retained the lead for much of this initial segment, Trey gradually transformed his rhythm chops into a subtle melody that pushed the band to a divergent musical plane.  Soon the band’s playing picked up a certain motion, as all four members layered their offerings atop Gordon’s pillow.  Trey began climbing a melodic path that guided the band’s ascending improv.  As the rhythm shifted, it was clear that this “Tweezer” jam was going further than your average first- or second- set offering.

Continuing their upwards path, the band came together, moving the music outwards at the same time.  Further momentum sprouted as Phish passed into a third distinct musical canvas.  Adding urgency to the music, this section began to take a different shape, straying from the swamp funk that had sprung this journey.  Trey picked up a thematic pattern, and as usual, Fish picked up on Trey.  They both began to push the jam, resulting in a driving rhythm and melody that was purely Phish, not resembling its origins at all.  The band had transcended any semblance of a “Tweezer” jam and had launched into something far more grandiose in scope.

Chicago 2000

Chicago 2000

As the band hit this first peak, they took the time to settle the music back into a quickly-moving and straight-ahead groove that allowed them to collect their thoughts and determine their direction.  Trey soon picked a melody out of this groove, influencing his mates to alter their phrases to fit into the progressing puzzle.  Before long Phish had plunged into a spiritually uplifting section of music that grew directly from Trey’s original lines.  As the band brought this part to the top, they entered the true peak of this monster jam.  The entire band created a far more regal feeling to the music as Trey hit a fierce and emotional rolling melody.  From here, the band maintained this level of energy, careening past the peak into a denouement of lightning quick patterns.

Allowing their musical path to organically peak, Phish took time to wind the music back down to earth via slowed down bass lines, effects, and sonic residue.  After the triumphant arrival of this extended adventure, the band slid into the perfectly placed “Stange Design” to reorient the audience from their altered reality.  Although Phish would go on to play five more “Tweezers” before calling it quits, none would approach the magnitude of Lakewood’s first set epic.  For a couple of years, this one would hold the title of “The Last Great “Tweezer.””


Listen to 6.24.00 “Tweezer” Now! < LINK (Roll over, click play)




6.24.00 Lakewood Amp, Atlanta, GA < LINK

6.24.00 Lakewood Amp, Atlanta, GA < TORRENT LINK

phish-astron00Beyond the massive “Tweezer,” the first set really stole the show this evening. With a classic setlist and ripping jams, it was almost like the sets were reversed.  Nonetheless, the second frame boasts a ripping “Antelope” and solid versions of “Birds” and “Carini.”

I: The Moma Dance, Runaway Jim, Bouncing Around the Room, Tweezer > Strange Design, Cavern

II: Birds of a Feather, Bug, My Sweet One, Run Like an Antelope, Frankie Sez, Carini, The Squirming Coil, Prince Caspian

E: Guyute, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Driver, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Unknown



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