Mid-Month Moments

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on December 15th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

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.

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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.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph95-12-15d207.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph95-12-15d208.mp3]

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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.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ph1999-12-15d2t04.mp3]

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Jams of the Day:

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

Harry Hood” 12.15.95 I

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph95-12-15d102.mp3]

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Reba” 12.15.99 II

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph1999-12-15d3t01.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

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

Tags:

December Dark Horses

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on December 14th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

In the waning days of December ’95, Phish kicked off their final four shows with a stop in Binghamton, New York in show that has grown immortal with its LivePhish release. December ’99 took a day off on the 14th, before revving up their final, pre-Cypress,  run through the south. Since most people are familiar with Binghamton ’95 and there isn’t any other action on this day in December history, let’s circle back around to Sunday, and two exploratory December 12 jams that never got their proper due.

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Drowned > Caspian” 12.12.99 II – Hartford, CT

Providing an intense chunk of ’99 jamming, Hartford’s set opener kicked off the second half and then kept on going. Rolling from one experimental texture into the next, this piece formed an exploratory tapestry while giving the tour a psychedelic shot in the arm  — even within the crazed context of December ’99. Band members took turns guiding the core of this piece while the others painted its periphery. Bringing the audience on a field trip to percussive space camp, the band underlined the latter half of this jam with extraordinary communication and “millennial” sound-sculpting. This dark horse December ’99 monstrosity sprawled in various directions, including a gorgeous, yet urgent, ambient section, while Trey played drone patterns on his mini-keyboard. Hartford’s “Drowned” is a superb piece of late-’99 sonic exploration that hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it should over the years. Then Trey unleashes a solo for the ages in a  surreal comedown of “Prince Caspian.” Take a half-hour out of your day to enjoy this joyride into the universe from 11 years ago.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ph99-12-12d2t01.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ph99-12-12d2t02.mp3]

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Down With Disease” 12.12.95 II – Providence, RI

Miami '03 (M.Collins)

Before “Down With Disease” turned into a type-I anthem in 1996, Phish pushed the song through some hearty explorations in the song’s adolesence. And none were more explosive and downright exploratory than this half-hour epic from Providence ’95. Jumping into a type-II gold mine, the band began carving original pathways as soon as the jam dropped. Getting into a heavy groove early on, the band continued to build on this direction, careening into quintessntial December ’95 power rhythms before deconstructing the piece into a quieter canvas for sparser splatter painting. Building the jam back into completely original music, Phish took liberty over the next twenty minutes, coming together in a four-piece stunner. At a time when Phish cranked out new music on a nightly basis, this was one of their more innovative jaunts of a notorious month. Eating more famous December ’95 jams for lunch and spitting them out, Providence’s “Disease” is something to behold. Trying to narrate such a sublime tale of musical theatrics would be an excersize in futility, so take another half-hour out of your day and tune out to one of the greatest Phish jams you may never have heard. (Complete with money-back guarantee)

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Down-With-Disease.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

Will be back tomorrow. Requests always welcome.

Tags:

Thirteenth Throwdowns

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on December 13th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

On our trip down memory lane, today we honor December 13th: the final show of Fall ’97, a fiery stop along the road of December ’99, and the final night of rest during Fall ’95, before the last four shows. Today our focus shifts to centerpieces of Albany 97’s and Providence 99’s second sets — “Ghost > Mike’s > Llama” and “Sand,” respectively.

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Ghost > Mike’s > Llama” 12.13.97 – “The Knick,” Albany, NY

10.30.10 - Atlantic City, NJ (Dave Lavery)

Thirteen years ago today, Fall ’97 came to a close at Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York. Following an underrated and supremely exploratory show the previous night, Phish came out with all the crowd favorites in a scintillating final set of tour. At the heart of this celebratory last frame lied a combination of “Ghost and “Mikes” — two songs that had blown up all tour — that provided the fire for the finale. Most versions of “Ghost” played over the course of Fall ’97 transformed into dripping funk fiestas. The last incarnation, however, gradually migrated towards more aggressive textures and peaked far from the dinosaur-grooves that had became synonymous with the song. Moving through the requisite fall funk patterns, when Phish reached the core of this version, they were hardly immersed in over-sized rhythms. Following a gooey onset to the jam, the band cranked up the intensity and churned out a sequence that veered towards hard-edged rock and roll. Gathering a full head of steam, Phish converged in a scorching peak segment to the final “Ghost”of Fall ’97. As sonic residue of the song lingered in the air, Trey started up the now-famous “Bring In the Dude” version of “Mike’s Song.”

Pouring the show’s momentum into a song that had imploded more than a few venues over the previous weeks, one could slice the intensity in air with as Phish played blasted through the song’s composed verses with unbridled enthusiasm. When the jam dropped, shit went bonkers and the energy of the show immediately increased exponentially. Diving headfirst into a militant and crunchy groove, the band played with utmost urgency as Fishman began imploring Cactus to “Bring the DUDE!” Soon, the whole band cut out and Mike dropped a maddening bass solo which everyone rejoined with mind-blowing ferocity. Emceeing the jam like a maniac, Fishman then honored Trey’s two requests to “Bring the Dude,” and the band turned the “Mike’s” jam into an explosive showcase for their famed Fall ’97 stop/start jamming. Each member took their turn “Bringing the Dude,” and following Page’s solo, the band built the piece into a heavy plane that resembled the other side of ’97. The band broke down into soupy psychedleia out of the raucous explosion, then changed textures on a dime, heading right back into an increasingly psychotic movement, that minutes later transformed into “Llama.” Phish took of their most consistent funk staples of fall and created something wholly different for the tour’s final show; a move that illustrated the teeming creativity of a special tour.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/203-Ghost.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/204-Mikes-Song-Bring-In-The-Dude.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/205-Llama.mp3]

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Sand” 12.13.99 II – Providence Civic Center, Providence, RI

12.15.99 (Todd Wickersty)

As Phish worked their way through December ’99, “Sand” came out five times over a two week span. Sculpting soaring, psychedelic soundscapes amidst heavy grooves, these versions built on one another, as Phish honed in on different elements of their “millennial” sound each time. Often dissonant and always based in a thick, rhythmic foundation, these versions of “Sand” felt like they were building towards something monumental. And as time passed from one millennium to the next in The Everglades, deep into the night, Phish played us that “Sand” at the end of the rainbow. Though every version during December ’99 became a show highlight, some — like today’s featured version — still stand out over a decade later. Providence’s excursion provided the centerpiece of a groove-based, two-set smoker, and showcased the collaborative layering and textural jamming that defined the era. This “Sand” also illustrates the straightforward and repetitive rhythmic foundations on which these dense sound sculptures stood. In the latter half of the jam, Trey shifted to more narrative soloing that brought the jam to another level of intensity. His play coaxed divergent offerings from his band mates and catalyzed more dynamic interplay. Each time “Sand’s” bassline started December ’99, a rhythmic odyssey was sure to follow. Sit back and enjoy this version that celebrates its 11th birthday today.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/15-Sand-12.13.99.mp3]

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Jams of the Day: 12.13.97

If Phish diverted from cowfunk for much of this show’s second set, they certainly laid down some grooves in these first set highlights.

Yamar” 12.13.97 I

Perhaps someone missed a cue as the band came around to the end of the song, but what resulted was another sublime excursion through the funk of fall.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/102-Ya-Mar.mp3]

Tube” 12.13.97 I

This version was the middle man between Dayton’s bust-out and MSG’s all-timer on 12.29.97.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/109-Tube.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.7.90 Club Bene, Sayreville, New Jersey SBD

Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

Promotional Tour Poster - 1990

This one goes out to Lee, who has been looking for this show for quite some time. Here’s a soundboard copy to make the treasure trove extra special. Enjoy the 1990 show from Bon Jovi’s home town to start off another week of December.

I: The Divided Sky, Uncle Pen, Stash, The Landlady, Destiny Unbound, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, The Asse Festival, The Squirming Coil, Mike’s SongI Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Magilla, La Grange

II: Buried Alive, Bouncing Around the Room, Tweezer, My Sweet One, I Didn’t Know, The Lizards, Good Times Bad Times, Golgi Apparatus

E: Contact

Source: SBD

Tape Transfer Notes: This show as received had lots of flaws. There are missing sections between some songs I can’t do anything about. Lots of tracks were cut wrong and were merged with CoolEdit then re-cut with CDWave. There’s a major dropout in La Grange. The silent section is obviously the wrong length but I left that alone. There were various other smaller things that were done before running the whole thing through shntool to fix sector boundaries. I hope you enjoy the less than perfect results.

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Another December Holiday

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on December 11th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Continuing our run through Decembers of legend, today I am re-posting an article originally published on December 11, 2008, called “Two Anniversaries.” Discussed are the insane shows of 12.11.97 in Rochester and 12.11.99 in Philadelphia. Had I more time, the article might as well have been called “Three Anniversaries” and included the Phish’s top-shelf stop at Portland, Maine’s Cumberland County Civic Center on the same day in 1995. Audio highlights from all three standout 12.11’s are included below in “Saturday Jams.” (Click show dates for direct download, torrent and grab a 12.11 remaster below the setlists.)

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“Two Anniversaries”

Today we find ourselves on the anniversary of a couple very Phishy shows. In addition to the Cumberland County ’95 show, this date brought two monsters in 1997 and in 1999. These two nights in Rochester and Philly were both instant fan favorites of their respective tours, and both are vibrant illustrations of where the band stood at that time. Happy 12.11!

12.11.97 War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, New York (SBD)

First, let’s circle back to a cold and dreary winter day December 1997. Phish was on the brink of finishing their now legendary fall tour. On the heels of a monumental Midwestern weekend and a stop at State College, Phish pulled into the Rochester’s War Memorial Auditorium, a room that hosted the Grateful Dead on several occasions. The show proved to fall right in line with Fall ’97’s colossal outings featuring one of the best second sets of the month.

11.24.09 (C.Garber)

The night opened up with the energetic three-song combo of “Punch, Disease > Maze.” “Punch,” one of the great openers in the band’s catalog, set the table on this night for a phenomenal “Down With Disease.” Within this upper-echelon excursion, Phish tore apart the song’s thematic jam for ten minutes before slowing down into syrupy rhythms that quickly brought the music to a far deeper place. From this juncture forwards, it grew quite apparent that Phish was tapped into greater energies on this evening. As the piece developed, Trey began to solo with a menacing musical scowl while the band dropped into a dripping groove around him. This now-famous “Disease” became a significant tour highlight mere minutes into the first set. Phish flicked the switch on early in the night, and it remained locked in position for the duration of the evening.

Phish brought “Disease’s” delicate dance patterns to a slow and winding close, as they seamlessly morphed into “Maze.” Bringing maniacal madness into the mix, Phish took the energy already in the room, and channeled it directly into their harrowing improv, creating a forty-minute set-opening segment that jumped off the stage and directly down the throats of the audience. Allowing little time for warm up, the band reserved their mellower moments for the end of the set, decelerating with “Dirt, “Limb by Limb” and “Loving Cup” before closing with an out of place “Rocky Top.”

This mind-bending improvisation continued throughout the standout second set. Phish quickly upped the ante with a twenty-minute “Drowned” opener that immediately sat among the heaviest, most creative, and darkest slices of psychedelia dropped during the tour. After jump-starting the show in shredding fashion, the band put the pedal back to the metal as soon as set two began. About halfway through “Drowned,” the band gradually moved away from the song structure into original improv. Moving from uptempo ferocity into slow and murky textures, this jaunt, all of a sudden, became a lot more interesting. For the duration of the piece, the band explored eerie musical planes with the patience and precision of a surgeon, methodically juxtaposing the two halves of the jam. As Trey layered infectious licks over a thickening groove, this jam soon tramsformed into an ambient affair with loops and effects galore.

Bittersweet Motel DVD

In a now-famous moment, this standout jam wove its way into the debut of Ween’s “Roses Are Free,” a performance made famous by the documentary, Bittersweet Motel. While few were familiar with the song on this evening, all would come to know it as sacred ground come Nassau merely four months from this debut. The ending riff to the song proved a perfect launching point for the rare “Big Black Furry Creatures From Mars.” The lights went dark with white strobes, and the band dove into the quirky Phish-metal.  Trey ran laps around the stage amidst the maddening music, lending a deranged and tone to the already standout show. A version that lasted eight minutes, full of dissonant build and distorted climax, this was not your average “BBFCFM!” As if the band had gone temporarily insane, the asylum’s soundtrack morphed into an excessively slow and heavy groove, not unlike the ending of “Axilla.” Painting a sinister musical backdrop, Phish reveled in pushing the crowd to the brink. After a two-minute ending of beatless distortion, the band dropped into a perfectly placed funk-relief in “Ghost.”

Giving the crowd exactly what they needed, this “Ghost” leaped onto the top shelf of all-star versions in a standout year for the song. Providing the show with a much needed release of flowing Phish grooves, the band took liberty in precisely ripping the only “Fall ’97 funk jam” of the night – another factor that made Rochester so unique. A seamless “Disease Reprise” emerged out of this multi-dimensional odyssey, artistically closing the musical ideas sparked at the beginning of the show, and bringing the evening full circle.

I: Punch You in the Eye > Down With Disease > Maze, Dirt, Limb By Limb, Loving Cup, Rocky Top

II: Drowned  > Roses Are Free* > Big Black Furry Creature From Mars > Ghost > Down With Disease (Reprise) > Johnny B. Goode

E: Waste

*Ween cover, first time played

FLAC Torrent (SBD/AUD Matrix) < Link

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12.11.99 The Spectrum Philadelphia, PA

The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

When Phish came back to The Spectrum for the second consecutive night in December ’99, they had a little redeeming to do. After a botched transition from “Have Mercy” back into “David Bowie” the night before, the band bailed on the idea in full and awkwardly moved into a Fishman interlude of “Cracklin’ Rosie,” all but killing the momentum of the set. The band stumbled to the finish line with low-energy versions of “Twist” and “Waste,” but what a difference a night can make!

1999’s version of December 11 presented, arguably, Phish’s strongest outing of their climactic December 1999 tour. Opening with “Harry Hood” for the first time in almost ten years (1.20.90), the twenty-minute version let everyone know they we were in for a treat! Expecting a breather to follow the intense “Hood,” Phish brought “Mike’s Groove” – ya’ gotta’ love it! Giving the “Groove” full treatment, the band migrated from the evil soup into “Simple” then “Hydrogen” before closing the segment with a smoking “Weekapaug.” After a reflective moment in “When the Circus Come to Town,” Phish leapt into Gordon’s rarity, “Scent of a Mule”- all in the first set! The Spectrum buzzed loudly during setbreak with the feeling that set two would be extraordinary. And it was.

In one of the tightest sets of 1999, Phish destroyed their classic Philly haunt with a frame of celebratory segues and pure dance madness. If you liked to move at Phish shows, then “Sally > Ghost > 2001 > Disease” provided the perfect soundtrack. Packed to the hilt with dense Phish grooves and a complex ambient build before “2001,” this sequence stood on par with any music that reared its head in ’99. “Ghost” and “2001” were both top-notch versions, and the latter space odyssey spun The Spectrum with the ease of Medowlark Lemons, Spaldings and “Sweet Georgia Brown.” The entire segment totaled 55 minutes of pure Phish crack; one of those unquestionably special sets that everyone agreed upon when it ended.

An incredibly well played show comprised of almost all improvisation, December 11, 1999 was an unforgettable night. One can hear the crowd roaring on the tapes, responding to the full-on Phish carpet bombing all night long. A night of beauty in a the City of Brotherly Love, December 11 brought, perhaps, Phish’s greatest performance in The Spectrum (with 12.15.95 as the only contender).

I: Harry Hood, Mike’s Song > Simple > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, When the Circus Comes, Scent of a Mule, Cavern

II: Boogie On Reggae Woman , Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > Ghost > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Down with Disease

E: Possum

DOWNLOAD 12.11. REMASTER! < Link

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Saturday Jams: December 11th Highlights

Drowned > Roses Are Free” 12.11. 97 II

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ph1997-12-11d2t01.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ph1997-12-11d2t02.mp3]

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Sally > Ghost > 2001” 12.11.99 II

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/PH99-12-11D2T02.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/PH99-12-11D2T03.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/PH99-12-11D2T04.mp3]

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Reba” 12.11.95 I

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph1995-12-11d1-Track04.mp3]

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The Curtain > Bowie” 12.11.95 II

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ph1995-12-11d2-Track01.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ph1995-12-11d2-Track02.mp3]
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Ten Tunes For Worcester

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , , , on December 10th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

The Worcester Centrum

Phish has only played three shows on December 10th since 1992. The 10th was an off day for the Fall tours of ’95 and ’97, while the band played in Kalamazoo in 1992, Santa Monica, California to close out Fall ’94, and a stumbled through a rather off night in Philadelphia in ’99. So instead of going with December 1oth jams today and in the interest of sticking with the numerology theme, today we turn our attention to the “Top Ten Moments in December History at The  Worcester Centrum” (now affectionately known the DCU Center). With two more New Year’s Run shows at “The Centrum” around the corner, let’s look back at the best Phish had to offer in their December visits of ’93 and ’95.

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10. “Slave to the Traffic Light” 12.28.95 II

10.20.10 (C. Boire)

This solid ’95 version closed out the first night of Worcester ’95.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph1995-12-28d2t09.mp3]

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9. “Split Open and Melt” 12.28.95 I

The opener of the entire New Year’s Run in 1995.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ph1995-12-28d1t02.mp3]

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8. “Antelope” 12.31.93 I

10.31.09 (D.Lavery)

A vintage ’93 rendition that closed out the first set of New Year’s Eve.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/PH1993-12-31D1T08.mp3]

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7. “Tweezer” 12.31.93 II

Tight, ’93-style jamming.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/PH1993-12-31D2T01.mp3]

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6. “Harry Hood” 12.31.93 III

10.10.10 (C.Klein)

A scintillating cap to New Year’s Eve, Trey just about blows a gasket leading the band to a sublime mountaintop vista.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/PH1993-12-31D3T08.mp3]

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5. “Stash” 12.29.95 I

A harrowing trip into the underworld early in the show.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/ph1995-12-29d1t06.mp3]

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4. “Tweezer” 12.28.95 II

10.31.10 (G.Lucas)

A year that featured so many gargantuan “Tweezers” finished off with one more monster.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph1995-12-28d2t06.mp3]

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3. “Reba” 12.31.93 I

A gorgeous slice of Phish’s New Year’s Eve legacy.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/PH1993-12-31D1T05.mp3]

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2. “Auld Lang Syne > Down With Disease Jam > Split” 12.31.III

Live Bait 3

Perhaps the most cathartic moment in Phish’s midnight history, the genius debut of “Down With Disease’s jam” was followed by a crushing version of “Split Open and Melt” to kick off the New Year. Here is a  newly-remastered upgrade from Kevin Shapiro’s most recent “Live Bait” compilation!

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/phlb03d1_01_Countdown_Auld_Lang_Syne.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/phlb03d1_02_Down_With_Disease.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/phlb03d1_03_Split_Open_And_Melt.mp3]

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1. Bathtub Gin > The Real Me > Bathtub Gin” 12.29.95 II

A classic jam sequence that easily grabs top billing. Pure fire.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph1995-12-29d2t04.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph1995-12-29d2t05.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph1995-12-29d2t06.mp3]
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Number 9…Number 9…

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on December 9th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Today’s December time travel brings us back to the ninth of the month in Albany during Fall ’95, and in Arizona during Fall ’94. The highlighted pieces — Albany’s classic “You Enjoy Myself” and Mesa’s lesser-known “Antelope — showcase two outlandish mid-’90s jams that will leave your jaw on the floor.

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You Enjoy Myself” 12.9.95 – Albany, New York II

"YEM" - Fall 98 Unknown

Albany and “You Enjoy Myself” have always enjoyed each other. Phish has performed their seminal piece in all but two visits to New York’s capitol during their entire career. Though many of these versions brought highlights and exclamation points to shows at The Knick and beyond, none stand out like the version that went down fifteen years ago today. This breakout “YEM” — with no parallels through the years — brought wide open improvisation to a largely structured jam. Though stellar versions allowed for plenty of freedom within the groove, “The Albany “YEM” broke down walls and transformed into a triumphant masterpiece that is generally considered the “best version” ever played.

This all-timer got moving in full when Trey scripted a now-iconic, melodic theme early in the jam. This chord progression ran through the entirety of this monstrosity, setting the musical framework for the band to blast off. Amidst a slamming rhythmic template and in a moment of full-speed revelation, this free-form piece left any semblance of “YEM” in a wake of original dance music. The band toyed with the jam’s signature theme throughout sparser grooves, as Page and Mike each emerged for periods of prominence. When Trey assumed the lead again, he tore into a solo that kicked the band into another gear and Phish chugged forward as a four-headed machine fueled by IT. Fishman and Gordon took center stage as Trey tickled a series of repetitive “disco” licks. Fully immersed in a bass-led groove, the band slowly peeled out of the mix, leaving the stage quiet as Phish entered a “silent jam.” Continuing to play their instruments in animated fashion without making a sound, Phish infused this mind-bender with a brief dose of antics. But almost two minutes later, Trey led the troops in a cliff dive back into the conventional “YEM” jam, taking the adventure to one last peak. One for the record books — take a moment to celebrate the 15th anniversary of a “You Enjoy Myself” like none other.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph12-9-95d2t05.mp3]

***

Run Like an Antelope” 12.9.94 – Mesa, Arizona I

NYC '94 (C.McGann)

Frenetic. Diabolical. Psychotic. These are words that come to mind when describing “Antelope” from Mesa, Arizona on the penultimate night of Fall ’94. Taking a step into the desert during early December, the band hit the ground running in this skull-fucking set-closer. Phish demolished the opening of the jam, wasting zero seconds getting into the middle of a ferocious music. Moving directly into tightly-laced chaotic improv, the entire band crushed the type of “Antelope” that no longer grazes the Western plains. Aggressive and hardcore machine-gun patterns underlined this twisted blast from the netherworld, as Phish explored music that could only have come at the end of 1994. The band communicated so closely that their offerings fused into a sonic bolt of lightening in which one could hardly decipher a single instrument from the explosive whole. This is full-on, ballistic Phish, a style unseen since its mid-’90s hey-dey. Fasten your seat belt for this fifteen-minute trip — things could get hairy.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/08-Run-Like-An-Antelope.mp3]

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Jam of the Day:

Simple > Timber Ho!” 12.9.97 II

This unconventional take on “Simple” turned into the centerpiece of Penn State ’97; another jam that proves Fall ’97 wasn’t only about funk.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph1997-12-09d2t02.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph1997-12-09d2t03.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

11.28.98 The Centrum, Worcester, Massachusetts

FLAC Torrent (etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

Worcester '98

With Worcester fast approaching, here is a small dip into the venue’s history. The middle show of Fall ’98 three-night finale featured some hot moments, but didn’t carry the weight of its two surrounding dates. “Wolfman’s > Timber” and a late-set “Tweezer” held down the second frame, while “Gumbo” and “Split” book-ended a solid first.

I: Gumbo, Tube, Down with Disease, Guyute, Albuquerque, Foam, The Moma Dance, Split Open and Melt

II: Julius, Wolfman’s Brother > Timber Ho, Loving Cup, Scent of a Mule, Prince Caspian, Crossroads, Tweezer, Cavern

E: Sample in a Jar, Tweezer Reprise

Source: FLAC – Nakamichi CM300’s/CP4s :: MP3 – Schoeps cmc6/mk41

Tags:

Exploring On The Eighth

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on December 8th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Today our December focus shift onto two sprawling excursions that took place on the eighth day of the month in 1995 and 1999. Both selections — Cleveland’s “Tweezer > Kung > Tweezer” and Cumberland County Civic Center’s “Piper” — feature musical explorations that veer far off the beaten path, providing snapshots of the band’s experimental side as seen through the lenses of 1995 and 1999.

***

Tweezer > Kung > Tweezer” 12.8.95 – Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland '95

This multi-tiered adventure moves through several distinct stages in forming a musical labyrinth. Page led the troops through the first segment of the jam with heavy piano, while Trey selectively picked and chose his spots before slowing integrating a melodic theme. Quickly — but not abruptly — Phish descended into a quieter canvas painted, still painted by Trey and Page’s brushstrokes. Moving into an abstract, beat-less realm, this version evoked memories of the depths that plunged “Tweezer” seemingly every night in the experimentally-focused Summer of ’95. Even while Phish cranked out, perhaps, the tightest music of their lives during December ’95, they still carved out plenty of room for abstract exploration. Dipping back into “Tweezer” and building directly into the cosmos again, Phish passed through segments of groove, amorphous jamming, and ambient beauty before morphing into “Kung.” Oozing back into “Tweezer,” the band took a couple minutes to wildly peak the jam, and then several more to slowly bring it to a close in a hefty dose of Fall ’95.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph95-12-08d2t02.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph95-12-08d2t03.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph95-12-08d2t04.mp3]

***

Piper > Dog Faced Boy” 12.8.99 – CCCC Portland, Maine

CCCC - Portland, ME

On the second night of Phish’s visit to Cumberland County Civic Center during their smoking tour of December ’99, they dropped an unconventional “Piper” amidst a six-song set that has flown under the radar ever since. Setting sail into thrashing “millennial” waters, Trey fired off countless notes as Mike crushed frenetic bass-lines in lock-step with his guitarist. But instead of following this more traditional “wall of sound” path, the band peeled away layers, landing in stripped down and particularly un-noisy textures. Page added quintessential ’99 space-sounds and Fishman altered his beat as the band significantly down-shifted into a hauting-turned-beautiful exploratory passage. Trey played subtle melodies over a growing ambient canvas as the music turned into uncharted territory. This segment fused Phish’s more melodic ambient style of Fall ’98 with their abstract and layered psyechedelia of ’99, resulting in an awing musical concoction. Drifting though crystalline, space-aged bliss, the band sculpted a soulful ambient excursion. Concluding the adventure with a grandiose spacescape, Phish gradually melted into “Dog-Faced Boy.”

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/2-05-Track-05.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/2-06-Track-06.mp3]

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Jam of the Day:

Halley’s Comet” 12.7.99 I

A phenomenal version from the first night of Cumberland County ’99.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/1-07-Halleys-Comet.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

2.12.93 Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, NY

Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

This one goes out to Highway Bill, who describes this special night as…

“…my first real show, a snowy weekday night in Poughkeepsie. The venue was almost empty. I remember quite clearly walking right up in front of Trey (like 3 feet) in amazement of what I was seeing. I would then walk back to where the people I came with were standing and asking them if they were seeing what I was, they weren’t. I could not understand (and still can’t) why they were not being affected. I remember doing this several times…This show hooked me for life.”

I: Golgi Apparatus, Maze, Guelah Papyrus, Sparkle, Split Open and Melt, Esther,The Wedge, Chalk Dust Torture, I Didn’t Know, Take the ‘A’ Train, Run Like an Antelope

II: My Friend, My Friend, All Things Reconsidered, Reba, Poor Heart, Big Ball Jam, Fast Enough for You, You Enjoy Myself, Ya Mar, Hold Your Head Up > Terrapin > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood, Harpua

E: Amazing Grace, Good Times Bad Times

Source: Unknown

Tags:

And On the Seventh Day…

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on December 7th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Today’s flashbacks bring us into two legendary periods of Phish history – Fall ’97 and Fall ’95 – and showcase two pieces of music that define these eras to a tee – Dayton’s “Tube > Slave” and Niagara Falls’ “Split Open and Melt.”

***

Tube > Slave” 12.7.97 – Nutter Center, Dayton, OH

Fall Freakscene - (Unknown)

Capping off a fun-filled opening set at Dayton’s Nutter Center, Phish reeled off the defining musical segment of the entire show. Tw0-thirds of the way through a tour filled with dance grooves, “Tube” — still a three-minute song — had yet to make an appearance. Thus when Phish took the rarity off the shelf in Dayton for a rendition that many fans now know by heart, they completely redefined the song for the late ’90s and beyond. Instead of firing through a musical shot of adrenaline, Phish applied their Fall ’97 paradigm to the song, crafting a legendary dose of “cow funk.” A revelatory moment in which one could feel the burgeoning excitement deep within, Phish locked into an addictive groove clinic that set the Nutter Center afire. Phish, themselves, felt so good about the birth of the funk-generation “Tube,” that upon its ending, they burst back into the rhythmic crack that had just drenched the crowd. Lighting up thrilling back-to-back dance sessions, Phish built these grooves away from “Tube” and into an iconic slice of Fall ’97 music. The band slowly infused melodic leads into the bubbling brew, and Trey introduced the opening hints of “Slave” while the band still soared through a rhythmic wormhole. The band heard his idea and slowed the tempo for a gradual move into “Slave.” Capping this momentous segment with a glorious “Slave,” the band had invented a brand new improvisational vehicle for years to come.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/1.07-Tube.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/1.08-Slave-to-the-Traffic-Light.mp3]

***

Split Open and Melt” 12.7.95 – Niagara Falls Convention Cntr, NY

12.5.09 (Graham Lucas)

Surrounded by so many mind-stretching highlights in the same week, let alone the same month, this show from Niagara Falls doesn’t always receive the recognition it deserves. Boasting top-shelf renditions of “Reba,” and “Mike’s > Groove,” its most blistering piece of music remains the second-set opening “Split Open and Melt.” Illustrative of the rapid-fire communication of late-95, the band chugged their way into a vintage psychedelic jaunt. Spinning into a four-piece symphony, the band converged in a piece that pushed the limits of improvisational tightness amidst cacophony. A chaotic version that remained tightly glued together, the skills on display in this jam were the skills that made December ’95 such a spectacular month of music. Progressing into a more palpable rhythm, the band slowly built the abstract jam back into the back end of “Split’s” sinister build. Taking plenty of time to peak this enthralling rendition, Phish also traveled down a creative path to end the piece, softly closing one of the more impressive renditions of the year.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/ph95-12-07d2t02.mp3]

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Jam of the Day:

Mike’s > Weekapaug” 12.7.95 II

Another stellar nugget from Niagara Falls ’95.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ph95-12-07d3t03.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/ph95-12-07d3t04.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.27.1995 Wings Stadium, Kalamazoo, Michigan

FLAC Torrent (etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

This Fall ’95 reader’s request goes out to Vinnie in San Francisco. In his own words:

The “Runaway Jim > Fluffhead” opener was pure bliss. The “Suspicious Minds” cover was in tribute to the epic rumor of an Elvis spotting at a Burger King in Kalamazoo. The “Bowie” was a melter for all in attendance, and they finished off with a classy David Bowie cover of “Life on Mars?”

I: Runaway Jim, Fluffhead, Taste That Surrounds, Horn, I Didn’t Know, Rift, Stash, Fee > Suspicious Minds > Hold Your Head Up

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > David Bowie, Dog Faced Boy, Poor Heart, Simple, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Keyboard Army, Bouncing Around the Room, Possum

E: Life on Mars?

Sources: FLAC – (FOB) Schoeps cmc3/mk4, Mp3 – AKG 460s

Tags:

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on December 6th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

12.31.09 (Wendy Rogell)

December – one of the Phishiest months of the year. We have once again returned to the last page on the calendar, and with each passing day, memories of epic Phish shows flood our memories. This month is especially significant as it represents the 15-year anniversary of December ’95, one of the most powerful months of music that Phish has ever produced. In addition, early December brings memories of Fall ’97’s home stretch from Philadelphia out to the Midwest and back to Albany. And of course, December goes hand in hand with New Year’s Runs – one of Phish’s greatest traditions. Many monumental moments have come over the four final days of the year, and as Phish returns to the same two venues that hosted their epic run 15 years ago, it will be (in the word of living-legend Yogi Berra) deja vu all over again. Over the next few weeks, we will look back at significant December moments in Phish history, especially at the band’s legacies at Worcester and Madison Square Garden. But today, on December 6, there are two significant segments of music that celebrate their birthday. Hailing from 1997 – the all-timer – “Tweezer > Izabella,” and from Phish’s ’96 Vegas extravaganza, a sizzling “Mike’s > Simple > Hood > Weekapaug.”

***

Tweezer > Izabella” 12.6.1997 – Auburn Hills, Michigan

Fall 1997

The “Tweezer” from The Palace at Auburn Hills, Michigan on December 6, 1997 needs no introduction. Amidst a well-loved and uber-creative tour filled with superb “Tweezers,” this version took the cake. Carving out, and then transcending, the gargantuan funk grooves that defined Fall ’97 versions, this one opened the door to another galaxy. Taking the jam on an inter-galactic ride Phish threw one of the defining “Tweezers” of the late-’90s thirteen years ago tonight. An unforgettable experience, when the set ended I knew that it would stand any test of time. And sure enough, over a decade later, here we are. A full-band journey into the center of the universe and back again, seldom do jams come together like this one did. Last week a friend posed the absurd question – “If you had one day to live and could only listen to one more “Tweezer,” which would it be?” Without hesitation I replied “12.6.97.” With no further ado, Happy Birthday to my favorite “Tweezer!”

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph97-12-06d2t1.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph97-12-06d2t2.mp3]

***

Mike’s > Simple > Harry HoodWeekapaug” 12.6.1996 – Aladdin Theatre, Las Vegas, NV

Vegas ’96 Pollock

Phish pulled into The Aladdin Theatre in Las Vegas for the last stop on their extensive fall tour of 1996. Though everybody remembers the absurd and extensive “Harpua” encore featuring many Elvis impersonators, Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde of Primus, yodelers, and various other stage antics that punctuated the affair, earlier in the night, Phish dropped an hour-long “Mike’s Groove” that provided the musical meat of tour’s finale. Starting with a ferocious “Mike’s Song,” the band crunched the darkness, straddling the slowed down rhythmic style of late-Fall ’96 and their fleeting arena rock paradigm. Blasting through an aggressive version on the heels of San Diego’s monster two day’s earlier, the band landed seamlessly in “Simple.” This extended version contained the most original improv of the sequence, as Phish passed through a tranquil pond into a web of snarling musical textures, and then onto a soaring transcendent plane. Descending into an explosive and heart-melting “Harry Hood,” the band pushed the delicate music with exquisite energy and urgency, sculpting a top-shelf rendition of lore. Trey’s guitar leads took on a narrative quality that lent an especially cathartic aura to this “Harry Hood,” and the entire band stamped the tour’s “farewell jam” with a dizzying peak. A smoking run through “Weekapaug” bookended this adventurous musical suite, and added one last sprint to the end of Fall 1996.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph96-12-06d2t03.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph96-12-06d2t04.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph96-12-06d2t05.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/ph96-12-06d2t06.mp3]

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Jam of the Day:

Reba” 12.31.93 I

Here is the sublime version from the Worcester Centrum on New Year’s Eve 1993 to kick of the week.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/PH1993-12-31D1T05.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

8.26.1993 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, OR

Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

Summer ’93 Pollock T-Shirt

A relic from August 1993, this show from Portland, Oregon smokes from beginning to end. A particularly burly “Split” highlights the first set, while “2001 > Bowie” opens up the second half with a bang. Enjoy this show from one of Phish’s golden months in history, going out via reader request to Chuck D.

I: Runaway Jim, Guelah Papyrus, Reba, Fee, Split Open and Melt, Esther, It’s Ice, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > David Bowie, Lifeboy, Rift, Jesus Just Left Chicago, The Lizards, Hold Your Head Up > Mice and Bats*> Hold Your Head Up, Chalk Dust Torture

E: Free Bird

* w/ Baby Gramps, who was also the opening act.

Source: (FOB) Neumann km140 > Sonosax SX-M2 > Sony D-10 II pro (@ 48 kHz)

Tags:

Miner’s Picks – Fall 2010

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on December 3rd, 2010 by Mr.Miner

10.8.10 - ACL (Graham Lucas)

I have finally listened to Fall Tour enough to be able to drop “Miner’s Picks: Fall 2010.” But there were far too many highlights, that’s my problem right there. So instead of limiting myself to one version per song on a tour that featured a fairly tight rotation, I decided to split the run into three chronological chunks and form three mini-sets of fall jams. Obviously, I could have chosen multiple versions of almost all songs, but unless their was a dire need to double up, as in the case of a song combinations (“Pipers”) or two versions I couldn’t choose between (“Ghost”), I did my best to single out my favorite versions without repeating songs. Without further ado, here are my picks. (Torrent link is at the top of the list, direct download links are at the bottom.)

***

MINER’S PICKS: Fall 2010 < Torrent

I. Broomfield (10.11-12) / Charleston (15-16)

1. “2001 > Tweezer” 10.16 II

3. “Ghost” 10.10 II

4. “Twist” 10.11 II

5. “Split Open and Melt” 10.12 II

6. “Golden Age > Piper > Camel Walk” 10.11 II

9. “The Curtain (With)” 10.16 I

10. “Crosseyed and Painless” 10.16 II

11. “Slave to the Traffic Light” 10.10 II

12. “46 Days” 10.12 I

13. “YEM” 10.16 II

II. Augusta (10.19) / Utica (20) / Prov (22) / Amherst (23-24)

14. “Bathtub Gin” 10.19 I

15. “Reba” 10.19 E

16. “Wolfman’s > Cities” 10.20 I

18. “Light > 20 Years Later” 10.19 II

20. “Split > Have Mercy > Piper > Split” 10.20 II

24. “Rock and Roll > Carini > My Problem Right There” 10.22 II

27. “Stash” 10.24 I

28. “Piper > Hood” 10.23 II

30. “I Saw It Again > Antelope” 10.20 II

III. Manchester (10.26) / Atlantic City (29-31)

32. “Cities > 46 Days” 10.29 I

34. “Makisupa > Night Nurse > Makisupa” 10.26 II

37. “Sand > Carini” 10.29 II

39. “Ghost > Mango” 10.26 II

41. “Tube” 10.30 II

42. ” 2001 > Bowie” 10.30 II

44. “Chalkdust Torture” 10.30 I

45. “Stash”  10.31 I

46. “Fat Man In The Bathtub” 10.31 II

47. “Spanish Moon” 10.31 II

48. “Jibboo” 10.31 III

MEGAUPLOAD PT. 1 / MEGAUPLOAD PT. 2 < LINKS

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Jam of the Day:

2001 > Bowie” 10.30 II

One of the choicest cuts of fall.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/ph2010-10-30t18.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/ph2010-10-30t19.mp3]

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10.19 - Augusta (Ryan Gilbertie)

Tags: , ,