Fourteen years ago tonight, Phish stepped on stage in Albany, New York, and finished one of the most creative and well-loved tours of their career. Each and every night brought a new musical assault on the audience, and this night would be the last. Following a gritty and exploratory second set of Albany’s opening show, the band threw down a celebratory set of anthems to conclude a tour that fans still celebrate to this day.

The meat of the second half is a full throttle romp through “Ghost,” “Mike’s” and “Llama.” After “Ghost” had been such an extravagant vehicle of groove throughout the tour, Phish gradually built this jam into a seething excursion that favored a shreddier path. And as “Ghost” wound down, Phish wound up another heavy-hitter of the season, “Mike’s Song.” Splashing into ballistic Fall ’97 stop/start funk around the comical, in-jam banter, “Bring In the Dude!” the guys alternated solos during the breaks and absolutely blew the roof of The Knick with adrenalized musical fury and one of the more energetic band-audience exchanges in memory. The end of such a legendary tour would not go quietly into the night.

Building the jam into dirty, clav-painted rock textures, the band then took it way down before bursting back into the piece at a breakneck pace. Taking their head of steam into an aggressive jam that saw its way out of “Mike’s” structure, the band was playing not like it was their last night of tour, but as if it was the last night of their lives. Building into a quickened pattern, Trey took the idea and turned it into a scorching mid-second set “Llama.” Phish finished the set with the more uplifting playing of “Weekapaug -> Catapult -> “Weekapaug” and “Harry Hood,” and although Fall ‘97 was finally over, the community was shits and giggles after a month of the best music we’d ever heard from the band. And New Year’s Run was only two weeks away…

I: Ya Mar > Axilla > Theme From the Bottom, Ginseng Sullivan, Strange Design, Sample in a Jar, Vultures, Tube, Good Times Bad Times

II: NICU, Punch You In the Eye, Ghost > Mike’s Song -> Llama, When the Circus Comes, Weekapaug Groove -> Catapult -> Weekapaug Groove, Harry Hood

E: My Soul, The Squirming Coil


Jam of the Day:

Ghost > Mike’s -> Llama” 12.13.97 II

Phish brought it home in Albany and this sequence provided the dark meat of the set



Sand” 12.13.99 II

And while we are celebrating anniversaries, this big-time “Sand” dropped in Providence 12 years ago, tonight.

[audio:] Tags:

1,005 Responses to “Albany—Twelve-Thirteen”

  1. MrCompletely Says:

    i keep forgetting how different it is off the left coast

  2. Mike in Austin Says:

    I haven’t seen the Herren doc, but just read this after googling…

    Holy crap. Stunning stuff. A must read. Now I want the book.

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    super interesting to be sure

    but then I’m a sucker for redemption songs

  4. Guyute711 Says:

    Just in case you want to feel old, I know most of you are like me, Dr Dre’s The Chronic came out 19 years ago today.

  5. Mike in Austin Says:

    Don’t know if it was mentioned today, but 5 years ago today, Dec 15, 2006, Trey Anastasio was arrested in Whitehall, NY.

    Keep Trey Sober!

  6. lumpyhead Says:

    ^ nice.

  7. Mike in Austin Says:

    From Herren’s book.

    OxyContin began as a pain medicine for cancer patients, a very powerful narcotic. Now it had become a street drug, as kids were getting it from people who were dying of HIV, dying of horrible things like pancreatic cancer. You weren’t taking Vicodin, something that people with toothaches were taking. Or Percocet, what people with bad backs were taking. You were taking painkillers that people with terminal illnesses were taking.

    You were crossing a line.

    I knew they were the most powerful things I had ever put in my body. I knew I shouldn’t be taking them.

    I took them anyway.

    They came in a pack of four little pills in different colors, all increasing in strength. The 20 milligrams were pink. The 40 milligrams were yellow. The 80 milligrams were green. And the 160 milligrams were blue. From the beginning, OxyContin made me feel comfortable in my own skin, and I went strong at it. Alcohol made me angry and aggressive. Cocaine made me severely depressed. OxyContin made me mellow. It took the edge off, took away the anxiety. I was able to trick myself into thinking I was better off taking it, that it was helping me.

    My friend and I called them “Scooby snacks,” like they were some little kids’ thing.

    “Got any Scooby snacks?”

    Like they were no big deal.

    But very soon my whole world depended on them. They were $50 a pill, and I started off at two pills a day, but that soon became a $500-a-day habit, then more.

    That’s when the nightmare began.

  8. Willowed Says:

    Great interview on Miner.

    Can’t wait to get my copy!

  9. P.S.H.S. Says:

    im hooked on weed wars, much cheaper habit than puffing. although it makes me crave herb. random testing sucks

  10. kayatosh Says:

    that herren doc. on espn? was riveting. almost too outrageous to be true. extreme shit.

  11. kayatosh Says:

    never went the Rx route. however, had valium twice in my life in conjunction w/ hernia surgery. best drug bar none.

  12. Fly Says:

    ur still cool AW

  13. kayatosh Says:


  14. tzara's Says:

    How’s everybody doing with the hipster recs we were throwing around the other day? I’ve been following BB recommendations and so far I think I like War on Drugs best, followed by The Antlers. That White Denim album isn’t doing it for me yet.

    Thanks @gdad for the UO top 25. That helped me out, along with Paste magazine. Some of the others are too hip for me to access.

  15. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I dug Iron and Wine. Really nice chill out music.

    Of Montreal- made it through 4 or 5 tunes, wasn’t really doing anything for me. Same as the Antlers.

    War and Drugs and White Denim are my hipster stand outs so far.

    Bon Iver and Kurt Vile are enjoyable as well.

  16. eljefe Says:

    Hey Tzara- Long time no see. Hows it?

  17. eljefe Says:

    Palmer- Is it the new Bon Iver? Is it kinda Jammy? Or is that another project that dudes in?

  18. tzara's Says:

    Of Montreal is really individual. From everything they steal from I should totally hate it, but the weirdness and genius of it won me over. One more album to try is Sunlandic Twins, a little mellower. But I won’t harp on it, totally understandable.

    @eljefe, going good here, need to make it down to your bar one of these days, you still working there?

  19. tzara's Says:

    Kind of liked the Kurt Vile also. One thing I came across, from the Rolling Stone list of all things, was Josh T Pearson — Last of the Country Gentlemen. Very slow folky stuff but captivating IMO. I’m in for another listen after I recover from the ennui it caused.

    Total wild card: tUnE-yArDs — Whokill. Should hate it in every way, but it started growing on me immediately


  20. eljefe Says:

    Tzar- Still there… Check out Tuneyards live stuff. Pretty cool how she loops all the vocals and stuff. not sure I’d like the album though.
    Of Montreal is playing w/ Deerhoof here in March if you like OfM you would prolly like DH. Not that they are similar…

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I think it was the new one Eljefe. Don’t remember it being very jammy. I’ll have to spin it again. I only listen twice and it was a week ago.

  22. eljefe Says:

    Word Palm. I read an interview w/ the guy and he’s kinda a Phish fan. He has some project that is jammy not sure it’s called Bon Iver though…

  23. tzara's Says:

    @eljefe, saw that. I’m there. Already saw them at the Showbox/Sodo (incredible!) and at the Paramount with Janelle Monae where they were plagued by sound problems. I think Showbox should be just right for the show.

    Will check out live tuneyards. youtube?

  24. vegas wolfmans Says:

    I’m with Palmer- War On Drugs and White Denim stand out above the other hipster shit we’ve been throwing around on here. I did download the Wooden Shjips record, but haven’t made time to listen. The new Bon Iver does nothing for me and I really dig the first one (For Emma Forever Ago).

    All in all- War On Drugs for the hipster win IMO.

  25. ae Says:

    i saw wye oak at a small club in brooklyn last night. pretty good. one woman singing and guitaring and one man drumming with one hand and using a keyboard/synth with the other. fairly hipster-ish.

    going to brooklyn bowl tomorrow night – a phish cover band is adding a horn group and playing 7/21/91 from the arrowhead dude ranch. not hipster-ish. and appropriate timing since i saw that the place burned down today.

    it’s our new years warm up.

    bob d, you coming?

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