Mid-Month Moments

Today’s stop on our tour of December’s past brings us to the 15th, and two high-profile east coast arena gigs at the tail ends of their respective tours. With the tour closers of Fall ’95 and Fall ’99 within sight, Phish channeled the musical momentum of their extensive runs in crafting the following, quintessential highlights.


2001 > David Bowie” 12.15.95 II – Philadelphia, PA

Fall 1995 (Unknown)

Today marks the 15-year anniversary of Phish’s first stop at The Spectrum in Philadelphia — their last show before Lake Placid’s two-night tour finale. Oozing with the energy and creativity that defined the legendary month of December ’95, the band dropped an adventurous second set that saw “Bathtub Gin” morph into a “Rotation Jam” — where the band members “seamlessly” switch instruments — and then into “Mallory,” a solo Fishman song on piano. But once this novelty act came to close, the band sat into the jam sequence of the show in “2001 > Bowie.” Typical of so many highlights from this month, as soon as “Bowie’s” jam commenced, Phish immersed themselves in creative, open jamming. Needing no buffer between composition and the cosmos, Phish dove directly into heavy rhythmic textures. Building out of this menacing section into a more spacious sea of improvisation, Fishman took off on a quickened beat that drove the entire piece into a fast and fluid conversation. Throughout “Bowie,” Phish showcased the lightening-quick and super-glued communication that had evolved over the previous 51 shows of fall tour. Transforming the music into a mind-numbing chase through an apocalyptic maze, the band simultaneously crept their way back towards “Bowie’s” structured build until they burst into the final peak with unparalleled cohesion. Another vintage slice of a vintage era; crank this one up to eleven for optimal enjoyment.



Free” 12.15.99 II – MCI Center, Washington, DC

12.15.99 - MCI Center (Todd Wickersty)

While plenty of fans had plenty to say about Trey’s mini-keyboard during Fall ’99, there were some times when this accoutrement directly enhanced the music. Offering a separate layer of sound in a millennial mixture strewn with them, the tactful use of his additional instrument added hypnotic and drone patterns to Phish’s bubbling brew. One of these instances came 11 years ago today in Washington, DC’s MCI Center during a mid-second set “Free.” Playing a keyboard line that added both rhythm and melody to the jam following Mike’s bass attack, Trey contributed to a unique musical fabric. Laying the foundation for a mechanical monster, his keyboard offerings helped set the ideal tempo for Phish’s percussive collaboration. Page stepped into extensive, layered interplay with Trey on keys, adding spacey, delay effects to the jam, while Mike and Fish assumed the roles of groove assassins. Many minutes into this successful experiment, Trey slung his guitar back over his shoulder and began to shred similarly infectious leads atop the music. This multi-faceted “Free” continued the band’s unstoppable momentum in December ’99, as they approached their last three shows before entering The Everglades.




Jams of the Day:

Here are some additional jams from today’s featured shows.

Harry Hood” 12.15.95 I



Reba” 12.15.99 II




12.2.1996 America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona

FLAC Torrent (etree), Mp3Torrent, Megaupload, < Links

America West Arena - Phoenix, AZ

Phish made this seldom-discussed stop in Phoenix before capping their fall tour in San Diego and Las Vegas. This show comes at you as a reader request for Dr. B — just what the doctor ordered!

I: Rocky Top, AC/DC Bag, Bouncing Around the Room, You Enjoy Myself, I Didn’t Know, Theme From the Bottom, Gumbo, Julius

II: Ya Mar, The Divided Sky, Wolfman’s Brother > Taste, Free, Scent of a Mule, Harry Hood, Sweet Adeline

E: Fire

Source: AKG 391’s (FOB) > Graham Patten DMIC-20 > Tascam DA-P1


450 Responses to “Mid-Month Moments”

  1. sumodie Says:

    @neems: I’m not gonna see kung fu -gotta save my energy for NYC. Sure, I’ll throw down inside the Centrum, but post show it’ll be chill time

  2. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Just tried the Free again. Dance music for sure. Maybe I’m just looking for more space-out music from ’99, which I expect after listening to some of Miner’s other jams. I’m listening to the 12/13 Sand now.

    Maybe I just need to get up off my ass and appreciate it for what it is. Accepted.

  3. butter Says:

    bigjig -get some of those candies for our holiday travels, will ya?

  4. neemor Says:

    That’s sort of my thoughts, but you never know.
    I never really understood the idea of a post-show show but in my younger days, that sort of thing might’ve come in handy once or twice.
    Coming quickly.
    Night all.

  5. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Sand is more textures, drones, and groove. More avant gards and evolving. This is the stuff that makes me want more ’99.

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    did noone notice the tongue in cheek “tempo” reference today? Do you guys even read the posts? 😉

  7. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ Trza…wait till you hear tomorrows sand…which you probably already have….late 99 is the space-aged psychedeleia

  8. garretc Says:


    Wait… posts?

    Oh, is that what all that is up there?

    I’m here for the smiley face…

  9. Lycanthropist Says:


    you out there?

  10. butter Says:

    his keyboard offerings helped set the ideal tempo for Phish’s percussive collaboration.

    ^ha ha….worked in too smooth, i missed that

  11. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Word, Miner–bring it! I don’t have a big collection yet, but working on it. If it’s even better than 12/13, I’m in. I’ve been torrenting tons of December ’95 and ’99 this month.

    Did you check out that Watkins Glen soundcheck yet?

  12. garretc Says:

    Yup, I agree w/ butter Mr. Miner, you were too subtle!

    Too damn smart Miner, that’s your problem!

  13. gavinsdad Says:

    posts are the bread, bb is the butter. every morning like clockwork miner.

  14. Lycanthropist Says:

    bout to start uploading the 12-04 Chance Fisher show

    lots of big jams

    O Jeremiah (12:15) >
    Cosmic Dirigible (14:09)
    Blueberry Pie
    Dead Flowers ->
    Old Town Manitoba (16:16) ->
    Dead Flowers
    Square Root of One (16:11)
    Atrophy Road
    Schizo (18:54)
    Brown Eyed Women
    Sun Guy (21:34)
    Apple Pie
    Chemical Parade (16:42)

  15. ChefBradford Says:

    16 minute Old Town?
    14 Minute Dirigible?

    Huge Sun Guy?

    count me in

  16. Lycanthropist Says:

    uploading now Chef

  17. Lycanthropist Says:


    there ya go

  18. Lycanthropist Says:

    dont sleep on the Schizo

  19. ChefBradford Says:

    DL complete, this looks pretty sweet, I look forward to digging in over the next couple of weeks

  20. ChefBradford Says:

    By the way Lycan, Christmas Vacation may be my favorite Christmas movie ever. Forced the entire clan to watch it last year. Nice avatar

    very nice Jud work on the initial Dirigible jam

  21. ChefBradford Says:

    And you’re clearly rockin the keys hard early in Dead Flowers, Lycan

    this is a very, very good recording

  22. Lycanthropist Says:

    thanks chef!

    yeh i was pleased with the outcome of this recording myself!

  23. ChefBradford Says:

    I’m not going to make it through all of the show tohight, but I’m in the middle of, or really near the end of, OT Manitoba. Some wild stuff here, I had to check to see what song I was in. But this really is a great recording, man, incredibly solid and full-sounding. I’m sadly going to have to cut it off now, but I’m gleefully awaiting hearing the rest of this show

    I lie, I’m waiting for the segue back in to Dead Flowers

    but I’m pretty floored so far

    Judd sounds more “on” and more precise than a lot of the other shows I’ve heard

    I’m out

  24. EllJefe Says:

    12/15/95 was my 1st Post-Jerry show. One of those shows that had it all. Fishman tune, signals, chess, great setlist, great jamming, rotation jam!, 2 tweeprises, met the first people @ a “show” that were interested in music outside the jamband scene. A term that didn’t exist then. Talked to people about Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, Pat Metheney and John Zorn and MMW!!!! Made me realize that this was the place to be. I missed Jerry but this seemed light years away from where the Dead were. Thank you MR. Minor Indeed!!!!

  25. EllJefe Says:

    And I swear there was an acoustic tune (Mike and Trey both on acoustic guitars) that sounded like Zeppelin? Anyone remember this??

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