WARNING! :: This post contains spoilers about the set-up of Festival 8!
As Indio is less than a week away, a leaked copy of an overall schematic for Festival 8 titled “Battle Plan” hit the internet this week, uncovering some potentially revealing details about The Halloween Set. In the festival site, there are eight campgrounds, each named after one of the potential musical costumes. Conventional wisdom would say that these campground names will be the final eight albums left alive. The campground names are:
Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones)
The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (Genesis)
Hunky Dory (David Bowie)
Electric Ladyland (Jimi Hendrix)
Purple Rain (Prince)
Kid A (Radiohead)
Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (King Crimson)
Oracular Spectacular (MGMT, Rumored, not visible on map)
Now there are multiple ways to interpret this information. The first, and most obvious, way to make sense of these campground names is that Phish will play one of these eight albums. In this scenario, all other albums should be “killed off” by the time we head into Indio. Maybe there will be a process of elimination at the festival to get down to the last album alive, maybe we’ll get “Phishbills” as we walk in on the 31st and maybe the band will just get on stage and begin one of these records – who knows?
The second going theory is that there is a secret 100th album that has been “murdering” all the other records in the gallery. In this hypothesis, the entire elimination process has been a decoy, and Phish will solve the “Who Dun It?” mystery by playing the “murdering” suspect – widely conjectured to be The Rolling Stones’ appropriately named “Let It Bleed.” This scenario would certainly fit Phish’s prankster spirit and provide the “Trick” in the holiday’s “Trick or Treat” tradition.
A third way of looking at the leak of these campground names is to call their bluff; this could be all bunk information to mislead us to the very end. Everyone will listen to these eight albums at their campsites to make sure they are familiar with them, and then Phish will come on stage and play “Thriller” or “Ziggy Stardust,” or something different altogether. I certainly wouldn’t put it past the band to have led us on a month-long wild-goose chase while they sat behind the scenes and laughed while rehearsing something else.
It’s hard to believe that the band will conclude this album elimination game without any twists or turns – this is Phish after all. With the spirit of Halloween trickery in the air, and with a band known to fuck with their fan base, the only thing to expect is the unexpected. I, personally, believe there is a missing piece that has yet to be revealed.
A bit about the potential Final 8. Noticeably absent from the campground titles is many fans’ favorite, “Ziggy Stardust.” Again, these name may have no predictive value whatsoever, but if they do, the band has opted for “Hunky Dory,” a more mellow, lyrically-based Bowie album that wouldn’t seem to fit for a Halloween blowout. “Larks ‘ Tongues” has awesome potential, though I suspect it would lose the interest of many fans not familiar with King Crimson. Radiohead? MGMT? They just don’t seem to fit, but could push the band in completely different directions. If this really is the final eight, it leads me to think they will play “Exile” “Electric Ladyland” or “Purple Rain.” But, again, who knows?! The questions and theories will continue to flow until the answer is revealed, and, in the meantime, all we can do is keep guessing!
Phish Thoughts Ticket Exchange
The ticket exchange board has been revamped for Fall Tour and ready to facilitate trades. Check it out, post your extras, find the trades you need!
Jam of the Day:
The stellar end to a monumental show in Niagara Falls during December ’95.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
10.28.94 Galliard Auditorium, Charleston, SC < Megaupload
Back in 1994, the band was on the road leading up to Halloween, and this night this night in South Carolina marked their second-to-last show before they debuted The White Album. Along the path of a momentum-building tour, this show was no exception. The second set sequence of “2001 > Bowie > Manteca > Bowie” highlights a well-played show. PS : The Audio Archive is well on its way!
I: I Didn’t Know, Llama, Guelah Papyrus, Scent of a Mule, Stash, Glide, Axilla (Part II), All Things Reconsidered, Sample in a Jar, Carolina
II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > David Bowie -> Manteca -> David Bowie, The Lizards, Peaches en Regalia, Rift, Lifeboy, Chalk Dust Torture, The Old Home Place*, Nellie Kane*, Foreplay/Long Time
E: Fee, Highway to Hell