What’s Up With Halloween?

"Loving Cup" 10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

With a haunted gallery of 99 possible cover albums and a wild-goose chase with the infamous “Save the Date” map, Phish put together elaborate guessing-games for their fans to hype up Halloween 2009. This year, we have heard nothing at all. The silence around Halloween – the band has made no official announcement as to their intent for the show – has caused some people to question whether Phish will be covering an album at all. With a similar ticket time as the other two Atlantic City shows and billed as a “very special Halloween show,” fans have been left to their own devices to figure out what Halloween will bring.

Halloween 1996

Conventional wisdom – and tradition – dictates that Phish will cover an album during the show’s second set. With nothing stated to the contrary, one would assume business as usual. In addition to fun and mystery, last year’s fanfare around Festival 8 was – in large part – a marketing campaign to get east coasters to Indio. But it was also an aberration. Aside from the fan balloting in 1994 and 1995, the band didn’t made a lot of noise about their Halloween plans in the past, and with a $3 price increase to pre-order the show on LivePhish, the band has all-but confirmed a three-setter. Thus far, fans have stuck with more classic rock hypotheses for Phish’s likely musical costume with Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graffiti” leading the charge. Will Phish stick to their path of covering classics, or might they step to a more contemporary record as suggested by several of last year’s finalists? Might they take a stab at the long-time fan favorite, “Thriller,” test the rock and roll fantasy of “Ziggy Stardust,” or honor New Jersey’s native son with “Born to Run?” Would they really try to play Radiohead as rumored was the orginal plan for Indio? The questions abound, but there have been no clues leaked as to the answers.

Halloween 1995

As Fall Tour mail order tickets trickled in over the past couple days, fans began to wonder if the ornate ticket designs – each representing a different Phish song – could be a clue to an alternate Halloween plan. Of six venue-specific designs, four depict Gamehendge-based songs – “Llama,” “Mockingbird,” “Sloth,” and “Punch You In the Eye” – prompting some to theorize that Phish would play Trey’s hallowed musical fable on Halloween…until the last two tickets were discovered to be “Ocelot” and “Dog-Faced Boy.” Others saw an animal theme aside from “Punch” and followed that clue to Pink Floyd’s “Animals.” But having already covered Dark Side during Fall ’98, a repeat artist seems highly unlikely. Like sleuths looking for a needle in a haystack, fans tried to pull any clue from the ticket layout, but, in all likelihood, there are none there.

Per usual, Phish has their fans guessing what is coming next, and that is part of the fun of Halloween. The band has clearly kept their plan under wraps and things will likely remain that way until we walk into Boardwalk Hall on October 31st. And that’s how it should be. While last year’s album elimination brought a lot of fun and the introduction to droves of new music, the essence of Halloween is the unknown – trick or treat? Between now and then, fans will continue to guess what album will fill the second set of October 31st – but if things follow past patterns, Phish will likely surprise us all. “Houses of the Holy?” “Electric Ladyland?” “The Band?” “Lark’s Tongue In Aspic?” “Greetings From Asbury Park?” “Hot Rats?” Your guess is as good as mine…


Jam of the Day:

Free” 12.15.99 II

A stellar ’99 “Free” from Washington, DC that featuring a segment of Trey on keyboard that works masterfully.




10.10.1994 Palace Theatre Louisville, KY < Torrent asap

10.10.1994 Palace Theatre Louisville, KY < Megaupload

The Palace - Louisville, KY

I: Sample in a Jar, The Divided Sky, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Sparkle, Stash, Guyute, The Old Home Place*, Ginseng Sullivan*, Nellie Kane*, Chalk Dust Torture

II: Golgi Apparatus, Maze, Esther, Tweezer, Fee > Rift, Down with Disease, Hold Your Head Up > Love You > Hold Your Head Up, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Foreplay/Long Time*, Tweezer Reprise

* w/ Steve Cooley on banjo

Source: AKG 460 (likely)

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606 Responses to “What’s Up With Halloween?”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:

    ah hell here’s the fast stuff, just with still photos


    ok done

  2. yematt Says:

    watching the rest of the isle of white vids.

    i’m getting this DVD too. good looking out MrC!

  3. yematt Says:

    peace BB. i could stay up all night watching youtube vids. alas i got responsibilities n’ sheit in the morning.

  4. joe Says:

    interesting article in the New Yorker for some late night/early morning reading (if you get bored of watching videos)


  5. buddhistprodigy Says:

    For the show in Charleston there are also Fly Famous Mockingbird tix, which fits with the “Animals” theme…

  6. Diron Baker Says:

    Top 10 Reasons Why This Year WILL BE PINK FLOYD:

    10. Obviously, the “Animals” theme on the tickets.
    9. A serious chance at a “redo” of the 1998 debacle. The amount of time put into learning a performing Dark Side is really pretty disrespectful. Plus, does Utah really fall into the Halloween conversation with best album? Its tough to say… Some say yes, others say no. This will clear all that up with either Meddle or Animals
    8. The Vida Blue’s cover of Sheep on Live at the Fillmore is dope!
    7. Its hard to ignore the Echoes and One of These Days teases at Telluride… especially given the remarkable expectations of that show… maybe that was one of the greatest hints Phish has ever dropped.
    6. With the talk of “A special night” versus “A musical costume” leading some to think there might not even be 3 sets at Halloween, a double album is not guaranteed. For what it’s worth, I think Remain In Light was one of the greatest Halloweens… and that’s a single album.
    5. A long shot guest appearance- Roger Waters is off on 10/31 and his next show is 11/03 in New Jersey
    4. Either Meddle or Animals are both albums that allows each band member to sing a song as opposed to something Led’ed
    3. Pink Floyd is more forgiving to a larger range of vocal capabilities than say, Robert Plant.
    2. Because a scripted Gamehendge goes against all that gamehendge is about, and I really don’t think they’ll do it there… planned, scripted like that.
    1. And the number 1 reason Phish will play Pink Floyd this year at Halloween is… because I won’t be there… and that’s Phish!


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