This week, two awe-inspiring video clips from Big Cypress surfaced, unannounced, on the band’s Festival 8 The8tre, signifying the first- ever public footage from Phish’s New Years blowout almost ten years ago. While rumors have circulated about both a return to the festival site and the release of an elusive DVD box set chronicling the weekend, these two clips may lend some credence to the latter . One would expect the band to recognize the ten-year anniversary of their career defining concerts, and with Miami a lock for New Years, the multi-disc box set may be just the way to do it.
When I first saw the links in an email, I clicked on the first only to see my favorite segment of the all-night show unfold right in front of me. With no visual memory of the jam stemming from the “After Midnight Reprise,” a jam imprinted in my memory, the intimate quality of the video was quite the experience. This piece of improv, coming in the wee hours of the new millennium, was/is/and will always be my favorite musical moment of the night- and there are plenty of reasons why. But after listening to it constantly for a decade, it was a beautiful synchronicity for the first piece of Cypress video that I ever saw was this jam.
The sheer connectedness of the band as they clicked into the downtempo groove has always amazed me, and to watch their expressions and body language as they- as one- move through each change and measure is priceless. The quality of the video is as warm as the music being played; an intimate portrait Phish’s emotional interplay on their sacred night-long quest. The music of that night took on a different, more patient, quality that conveyed the magnitude of the occasion, and this feel is clearly illustrated by both of these videos. To watch Cypress in widescreen video ten-years later is completely surreal; a far cry from our spot of power behind the speaker towers in the open Florida field .
The second video is the tail end of the “Piper” jam into the entirety of “Free.” The mechanical grooves and liquid textures ooze off the screen as the memories flood your cortex. Deep in the set, bordering on morning, Phish was knee deep in swamp funk in the middle of the Everglades- could life have been any better? The joy of the band members, as they are living the experience of a lifetime, is quite evident as you can clearly see each gesture and connection. When you consider how engaging this footage is, one could imagine getting lost for hours feeding disc after disc into the player. But if organized correctly, it could turn into also turn into quite the party… if they release the box set.
Without having any knowledge other than these videos, I can’t see why they won’t. Virtually every Phish fan in the world would gobble this product up at $100 a clip- and with a nice accompanying booklet, this could be the ultimate Phish souvenir. If these video leaks are any indication, we just might be ringing in 2010 with a memento from the dawn of the decade.
“After Midnight Reprise”
“…Piper > Free”
Phish Thoughts Audio Archive:
In an effort to create a comprehensive archive of every show posted on this site, some volunteers-Paul, Marshall, Jason, and Steve- have worked hard and transferred all the shows over to Megaupload, a server with a much better deal for me. I have met with my design and programming team and we have great ideas for a state of the art audio archive with separate pages for each year and each show- with setlists, source details, and a short write-up, like the ones found on the “Download of the Day.” We will be creating a easily navigable database of unlimited free downloads forever! This will be a high-quality archive of all the shows from this site, with quality that would blow away the “spreadsheet” and most other mp3-based sites. All in 320 kbps mp3 format. Stay tuned!
Jam of the Day:
“Roses Are Free” 1.1.00 Cypress
This piece brought darkness into light; a gorgeous ambient odyssey.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
10.1.1989 The Front, Burlington, VT SBD < Torrent
10.1.1989 The Front, Burlington, VT SBD < Megaupload
Rewiiiiind! Today we take it back two decades to the first of October in ’89 when Phish was still an emerging regional phenomenon. Playing bars and colleges, the band was in their formative years, but already boasting a large catalog of originals. This old school nugget holds plenty of treats, including “Fluffhead” broken up into its many sections and interspersed throughout the show, and the debut of “Reba.” In addition, this is the first show in which the band used “Hold Your Head Up,” a song Fishman absolutely hated, to introduce / torment him, and the rest is history. Check it out…
I: Alumni Blues, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Who Do We Do > Golgi Apparatus, Harry Hood > The Chase, Wilson, Foam, Ya Mar, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Run Like an Antelope
II: AC/DC Bag, My Sweet One, Reba*, Dinner and a Movie > Bundle of Joy > Possum, You Enjoy Myself, HYHU**> If I Only Had a Brain > HYHU, Contact, Split Open and Melt, Lizards
E: Highway to Hell
*debut (with additional verse and instrumental section) **First time used as taunt/intro for Fishman