Reader’s Picks: Wilson Walker

8.22.12, Kansas City, MO (Ryan MacNeill)

8.22.12, Kansas City, MO (Ryan MacNeill)

All selections text and by Wilson Walker.

Makisupa Policeman > Maze” 11.19.95 I, Charlotte, NC

The old Hive was a special place for a lot of reasons. That cavernous room – with great curves – made every band that played the joint sound a little bigger – and boomier. As for the evolution of our favorite law enforcement officer, I’ve always preferred the older, lazier, loping reggae stylings of a ’94/’95ish Makisupa to the modern, peppier versions. I mean, is it a comedy piece now?  Also, who could argue with the vintage “Maki > Maze” pairing? As an opener, those two always went together like good wine and good cheese.



Ghost” 7.31.97 I, Mountain View, CA

The Shoreline ’97 show is understandably overshadowed by the previous night (“Bowie > Cities > Bowie”), but there were plenty of great nuggets in this one. The whole evening had a nice, laid back feel, and it all started with the band’s newest centerpiece. Remember the first time you heard Trey tell you the Story of the Ghost? Remember what “Ghost” sounded like that summer?



Rhinoceros > Halley’s” 8.3.98 I, Noblesville, IN

What, on paper, looks like a total bizarro cover instantly turns to gold, followed by a jammed-out “Halley’s” to begin a strangely compelling first set. This was one of those weird nights in ye olde corn fields, just look at the setlist. The show, as a whole, wasn’t exactly stellar, but the opening sequence was certainly some high-caliber Creek. Anyone else feel like a lot of the Creek nights kind of bleed together?



Moma Dance” 8.9.98 I, Virginia Beach, VA

“Terrapin Station?” Of course. The “Bag?” Oh yeah. The “Gin?” Blistering. That said, I think truly great Phish shows are built around more than just the big-ticket items. Great shows happen when those unforgettable big-ticket items are held together by some very important and often overlooked glue. That glue is when the band nails the small stuff. “Moma” never sounded any better.



Slave, Fluffhead, Character Zero” 11.18.98 II, Greenville, SC

Like many of you, I was stunned – STUNNED – when Phish released Hampton ’98 – as opposed to ’97. Even more baffling to me was that they would release two shows I found rather uninspired, when just a few nights prior they unleashed an absolute monster. The Bi-Lo Center is the only show I’ve seen that I think was a certifiable masterpiece – while no one else seems to regard it as such. Give the 2nd set finale a good loud spin. It packs the best versions of “Slave,” “Fluff” &” Zero” I’ve seen, all lined up in one scorching fastball. It still blows my mind every time I hear it.



2001” 7.7.99 II, Charlotte, NC

Well kids, this is about the time the dark vibes started creeping into our little funhouse. The scene in the parking lot this night veered between messy and slightly scary. Our crew – and we certainly weren’t the only ones – got popped by some really aggressive undercover cops. For me, it was an instantaneous dawn to the dark days ahead. That said, we all made it inside. Barely. Perhaps fed by the juju that spilled in from the lot, the show exploded into a mind bending piece of Phish. Start to finish, this one was stunning. The highlight: about 10 minutes of noise to lay the groundwork for the stickiest, swampiest, ’99-iest 2001 there ever was… and that was just the start of the second set.



Bathtub Gin“7.26.99 I, Noblesville, IN

Again, a show eclipsed by the previous night (which happens to be the only show i was ever shut out of – stupid time zone confusion.) Needless to say, I laced ’em up pretty tight for the tour closer. That disclaimer provided, I think this show deserves a little more love than it gets. It had a nice big ’99 feel to it, and I was a sucker for those. I submit for you a “Gin” that seems a little lost, before it finds its way to pure scorchery.



Limb by Limb” 7.25.03 I, Charlotte, NC

Huge – huge – peak in this one. Also, check out the way-groovy “Gin” in the same set. This was the only show I really enjoyed in 2003. It just wasn’t working for me. When I walked out, I looked at my sister and said ‘you know, i feel like that might be the last time I ever see those guys play. It almost was. I didn’t see Phish again until Fenway Park. Now, 37 shows into 3.0 and nine more on tap for this summer, I couldn’t be happier to have the band back. See y’all on the road.

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897 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Wilson Walker”

  1. sumodie Says:

    Swedish metal band named Ghost playing SF, not the Japanese band Ghost

    Swedish Ghost band members wear masks too. Sound familar? This band digs satanism i think

  2. marcoesq Says:

    Love me some Hatfield. Place is cool, kind of reminds me of the Fleet Pavilion in Boston. Cool little amphitheatres on the water

  3. Calpain Says:

    strings, drums and voices. the tones and textures that GOAT is able to produce is remarkable. so much going on during the performance. picked up their vinyl on the way out. well worth the price of admission.
    oh yeah and the voodoo temptresses on stage were channeling dark magic.

    Holy Wave, the opener has some chops as well. some young kids from Austin. very early 60s garage psych rock vibe. the drummer had it going on and was really propelling the band with his 6 piece kit. felt like a young fishman (dare i say). the guy doing the “lights” for them had a large concave lens filled with oil/dye on a overhead projector, a neat concept.

  4. marcoesq Says:

    Can’t ever go wrong with a Tie Your Shoes>Fishwater opener

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    ::Commence Fake Date Over-Analyzation Protocol 1A::

    Evansville? two nights? there’s your tell for “fake dates” right there. you can’t make any argument why they would play two nights in such a remote “city” when they could just as easily slide over to Indy, Louisville, Chicago, or St. Louis instead. Evansville. that’s funny.

    I like the other dates though. Suwanee for NYE Run would be pretty epic.

    yes, very similar feel to harbor lights up here.

  6. BNCB Says:

    First post from the iMac, and I’m loving it. Streaming morning edition, checking email, phishtracks cue’d up for later. really makes me realize how turrible my little ASUS was!

    Xpun, those Dogfish didn’t impress me either. I did enjoy my first Racer 5 last night, however.

    Working on a list of 10 tunes, now that I have the technology at my finger tips. stay tuned!

    happy anniversaries to the fLegion!

  7. Guyute711 Says:

    Why in the world would they play Nassau and then go to Barclay the next day. That would be some stupid shit right there. Whoever leaked those needs to tighten up their fake dates game.

  8. BNCB Says:

    sumo, the boss lady said MSG for one more year, but I may have been buzzed and I may have mis-heard.

  9. MiA Says:

    Often in computers you really do get what you pay for. Nice BNCB.

    Live Oak FL for NYE? That’s just funny crazy talk.

  10. BNCB Says:

    my orange is only relevant to those wanting to search property behind the Redwood Curtain…….feel free

  11. BNCB Says:

    sumo, can you post that link from a few days ago for the live Holydrug Couple from Soundcloud?

    Also, what’s the best way to stream stuff from Soundcloud? The website, or is there an app or widget thing for these Mac’s?

  12. alf Says:

    caught greensky last night, as has been said they are must see

    a band that is better than the sum of its parts. they create such a full, percussive sound that steadily does its work during the course of a set – it is definitely music best taken in in the long form, building tension & release across a set, with pulsating waves of sound

    great individual chops too that were sharper than last time i caught them, but they are at their best when working as a unit rather than featuring individual soloing

    i mean, it was no goat, but a fun fun night. goat vinyl been sitting on the shelf for a couple weeks now. think it’s time to bust that bitch out.

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Good luck with the new hardware BNCB. Life changing..

    Why is that so dumb, G$$$? I mean, I guess they could just play 2 nights at one or the other.

  14. BNCB Says:

    awesome Alf! We’ve been part of Greensky’s growth. They’ve taken their game and their touring up another notch each season. So great to see the BB taking part.

    Also, Stoney has been looking pretty slick, going to the local record shop and having cool new recs the employee’s haven’t even heard of! Won some major cool points, turning the owner onto GOAT.

  15. kayatosh Says:

    ^^ nice greensky review, alfred. love that band. truly a great band.

    Goat is similarly greater than the sum of its parts. and Goat is very much a live band. still digesting what went down last night. in your face, swirling psychedelia.

    Neither goat guitarist could be considered a featured player, like trey, but the rhythms and textures they created were awesome.

  16. jtran Says:

    just getting into this site. spinning the Italy 97 soundcheck. mmmbop and only shallow

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    Alf, check that new Quasimoto lp that dropped on Stones Throw, love that shit.

  18. alf Says:

    90 is one of those beers where freshness REALLY matters in my experience. the malt sweetness really takes over & dominates after it sits on the shelf too long. fresh (especially on tap) it’s top notch with a great balance b/t hop & malt

    but def an east coast style, and west coast is what the kids like these days (sculpin, flower power, green flash, etc)

  19. littleumbrellas Says:

    •Hadnt hears about new Quasi…
    •World Music vs. Lonerism… champion? GOAT!
    •Hoping to hear new Page stuff soon.

  20. alf Says:

    planning on DLing today AJ along with jonwayne cassette 2. the previous 2 quasimoto been in heavy rotation. also digging the homeboy sandman which really picks up after the first 2-3 tracks.

  21. RoosterPizza Says:

    I never speak up at work, but sometimes an asshole needs to hear it directly. Have a good Thursday everyone.

  22. alf Says:

    spin this shit!

  23. littleumbrellas Says:

    Dancing Fool, I hope for your sake that the boys throw down at Dickz, been great the last two, but I try not to let expectations grow to wildly.

    Jealous of BNCB’s post… im still commenting from my phone. Getting that computer soon!

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    BNCB, I use the Soundcloud app on my phone and tablet but just via the website on a desktop

    I’m always looking for new soundcloud accounts to follow so hit me with any recommendations

  25. MiA Says:

    Love this Carlton Reba.

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