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. voopa Says:

    I was great with obtaining all of the new releases this year, but I’ve only listened to a few. Of those, I’d recommend King of Limbs, Tuneyards and Foster the People.

  2. tzara's Says:

    Also, not hipster, but one I got purely from the BB (tela’s?): Raphael Saadiq — Stone Rollin’. Hands down one of my very favorites from the year.

  3. alf Says:

    is it still a hippie speedball if its at 9pm?


  4. Tom Says:

    Just going to plug Chris Poland and Ohm. Chris’s bending and vibrato is crazy, sounds like he is playing another instrument sometimes. First link is just him showcasing some sick techniques. Second link is his band Ohm, and I track I can’t get out of my head. Defiantly worth the few minutes to check him out if you haven’t heard of him before.

  5. voopa Says:

    Nice Tom. A friend who I hung with before the HBowl show is friends with and has played with Poland. They collaborate w/some of the UM guys as OhmPhreys too.

  6. angryjoggerz Says:

    I’ve never heard of Robert Glasper before, but this is sick. I guess he is on Blue Note. Gotta try to catch him next time he is playing in Chicago.

  7. Lycanthropist Says:

    Anybody up for TT?

  8. Esteban Says:

    Back at it tonight. Feeling a show from my earlier days tonight: 12/28/94. This one got the tiny tape case treatment on long road trips back and forth from school. Appropriate as the holiday run looms larger each day.

  9. Esteban Says:

    How do I make this my new screen saver?

  10. voopa Says:

    Heh, Este- check it…my cassettes from the next night.

  11. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Let’s go.

  12. Esteban Says:

    @Voopa you made me go back into the case searching… Found it.

  13. voopa Says:


  14. Esteban Says:

    I have stacks of tapes that I pull from when I work in the garage. Most still sound clean, and I dig the nostalgia.

    But the recordings that have been coming out in recent years: Man. I wouldn’t have known what was going had they been available during my formative years.

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    turntable in session

  16. Esteban Says:

    Not to mention the speed with which one can readily access an entire catalog of tour. Those weeks between the news of a setlist and the ability to listen to the show, given that you had access to someone who had a contact or a collection…

  17. voopa Says:

    Yeah, I remember waiting months for tapes. Seems impossible now.
    AJ- I’d join, but am too wrapped up in chores and other shit right now.

  18. Lycanthropist Says:

    @voopa you could come listen..

  19. Esteban Says:

    Yeah, jump in and just stand by (plenty of tunes to be spun)

  20. MrCompletely Says:

  21. thedayman Says:

    ^ that’s awesome Mr C. I particularly enjoy goths liking satan, just cracks me up.

    Physio exam manana, gonna be up all night, but all I can think about is M S G. Cannot wait.

  22. tzara's Says:

    RIP Christopher Hitchens. He was one of us (at least some of us).

  23. butter Says:

    09 Miami Ghost

  24. butter Says:

    you lost your ghost tzara’s

  25. butter Says:

    Phish sounding really tight after a 14 hour work day

    over to Halloween 98

    Stash > Manteca > Tweez

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