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:

    If UM’s special sbd mix thru headphones is as good as Mike’s new live album, its gonna be very popular at shows. Would love to try that at phish

  2. angryjoggerz Says:

    Seems to me that 2013 is gonna be a big year for music if you are open to it. I mean, between the new MBV, Daft Punk and Boards of Canada – I am pretty set.

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    Bncb, check out Witch and Ghana Soundz from sumos orange. Like em both as much as Goat. In a different way.

  4. JanxSpirit Says:

    it seems like it would be weird to listen to the show through headphones while at the show. I’m there for the whole experience – even the chattery people if that’s the way it is.

    Now live sbd feeds for couch tour is something I would buy.

  5. snow Says:

    Shugie Otis fucking slays. Such a great show. Credit goes to the BB. Never would have gone without the BB rec.

  6. littleumbrellas Says:

    Invisible Orchestra!
    wait, new Boards of Canada?
    ..Snow was at the Mezzanine?

  7. jtran Says:

    worcester 3 98 is such a good show

    roses > simple, Gin, YEM in set 2 are all $$$

  8. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    i only listened to a few minutes of a show through headphones. it was at the “s” show in 2011. phish just finished playing sparks and i was very stoked.

    i put my fist in the air and yelled, “the who, the fucking who! wuwhooo!”

    this guy comes over to me and starts giving me a hard time, “you fucking asshole, what the fuck, i can’t stand people like you…”

    i look at the dude and say, “whatever i did, i apologize, i am just stoked that phish just played sparks, first time in a long time, ya know…”

    the dude says, “you have know idea why i am mad” i say, “in all honesty, no” he says, “look up” i look up and i am surrounded by microphones- i am shouting in the middle of the tapers section- the dude was pissed due to the fact that people do that shit on purpose so they can hear themselves when the listen to the aud tapes. the dude is extremely apologetic- hands me a bottle of whiskey, a spliff, and the headphones to his rig. i put them on for about a minute or two- it was cool, but i was way too spun and was happy that the situation was resolved and the harsh was mellowed- i had ingested some beautiful electricity and was ready to move on.

    sorry for the rambling story,but when i read about listening to a show through headphones, that is all i could think about.

  9. jtran Says:

    also phishtracks is $$$ – will use again

  10. littleumbrellas Says:

    Greater Bay Area Cats,
    playin at the New Parish tonight if your lookin for a Psych Motown Dance Party. Here’s our set list for tonight.

    Can’t Get Next to You>
    Heard it Through the Grapevine (Gladys Knight version)
    Reach Out (I’ll be there)
    Hard to Handle>
    Knock on Wood
    Mr Pitiful
    Stop, the Love You Save
    Set Me Free (keep me hangin on)>
    I Want You Back
    Nowhere to Run>
    Get Ready (cause here i come)
    Higher and Higher (your love keeps liftin me)
    25 Miles to go

  11. dorn76 Says:

    hilarious @heady. I love how it was ok because you had no clue. That taper gets it, clearly.

  12. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    littleu- that looks amazing- psych motown dance party- that is something i dream about- good for you, bro

  13. xpun Says:

    glad that was resolved headybro

    @jtran – if its your thing check out as well

  14. jtran Says:

    anyone up for some TT?

  15. xpun Says:

    now we need to search for the aud of the S show w heady yelling “The Fucking Who!!!”

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Xpun- I will send you an email re: Spac tix. We do have a deal, right?

  17. xpun Says:

    my iphone contacts have been going nuts lately. entire contacts disappearing, not matching names to numbers on texts and calls. wtf

  18. xpun Says:

    yes palmer its all yours

  19. dorn76 Says:

    Good lunchtime read, on secessionists in VT.

  20. IrieWalton Says:

    Nice, LilUm!

    Are you guys going to have any after shows for the BGCA run?

  21. littleumbrellas Says:

    Haven’t put together anything for that yet.. Civic Center Area is tuff…. not sure folks would come out to the Independent or the Rickshaw after seeing Phish at the Bill Graham. Smaller bars and clubs in the downtown area are kinda bunk.

    Plus I’ll probably be so spun and excited after seeing Phish indoors with 7000 other people…. but I’ll let you know if somethin comes up.

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    thanks xpun– email sent your way.

  23. BNCB Says:

    heady = quality, polite cat.

    sadly, i think i would have had some far less choice words for the guy. busting chops on the last tapers / video recorders is one of my last avenues of fun as a fan.

  24. BingosBrother Says:

    Over/Under on bncbs new mac? 1 week?

  25. jtran Says:

    Trade offer: My tickets to Tahoe 1 and 2 (1 each) for your BGCA (1 ticket to 2 of the 3 nights)

    jtranvt23 at gmail

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