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. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    @LUs … would totally hit that if it weren’t a school night.
    when’s the next weekend gig?

  2. BNCB Says:

    sumo, your name’s lacking that certain, helpful, fruit coloring.

    AJ, where’s that latest mix?

  3. kayatosh Says:

    12.3.97 funk jam post possum — $$$.

  4. snow Says:

    lilum confuses me…
    I saw Shuggie Otis in Seattle last night. It was a good show.
    Also, Shuggie is playing in SF tonight too. So something.

  5. littleumbrellas Says:

    Also heard a lot of good reviews about Shoogie. Saw his Fallon performance, but it sounds like the concerts have been much better. TV will do that though. Sterilizer.

  6. littleumbrellas Says:

    Oh, i thought the Shoogie SF show was at the Mezzanine last night….

  7. BNCB Says:

    Bingos! AHHHHHHHHH! Of course was just thinking the same thing!!!

  8. littleumbrellas Says:

    Excuse me Snow, thought you we’re sayin you caught him in the Bay last night. I was wrong

  9. angryjoggerz Says:

    BNCB, I have to re-up it tonight, cannot do it from work.

  10. snow Says:

    I’ll let it slide this time, LilUm.
    Finally figured out the shuggie pronunciation – it’s short for Sugar.
    Hence Shoog-ee and not Shug-ee…

  11. littleumbrellas Says:

    Can let you know Wilson, we’re playin at the Great American on Saturday, but it’s a private event. Gotta check Calendar for things farther in the future.

  12. roberto luongo Says:

    Shuggie is a true genius. crazy as shit. probably a bit hammered. a bit of a psychedelic casualty. nervous as shit on stage at times. vocals def a bit haggered compared to his young years.

    but damn I haven’t seen a guitar player slay like that all year.

    talk about a technical genius of a player. Troy stops playing he forgets how. SHuggie chills on his couch for 30 years schwillin and has chops for days still.

    some of the tastiest psychedelic blues playin I’ve ever heard.

    good stuff.

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Guys, what is greensky?

  14. ren Says:

    Check it DF

  15. snow Says:

    So much intention and skill with the axe, Shuggie has. I was really surprised by the hendrix-esque jamming. awesome.
    Interesting you can it pysch blues. I thought they played more funk. They really touched on a lot of genres. some tunes even had a little prog rock going on.
    I thought everybody in the band could play. My personal fave was the ugly ass physicist on flute, baritone sax and tambourine.

    In case you can’t crush your nuts by yourself and want help, it appears Counting Crows is on tour. When I saw the dude improv on ‘Round Here (On Palladia), I laughed and cried. It’s a multi-emotional experience.

  16. kayatosh Says:

    driftin and dreamin
    maybe going on a feelin

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    Can anyone identify the sample in this tune? I feel like it is super familiar and wondering if it is a Bitches Brew era Miles sample. Really loving this tune, big it Sandman.

  18. BingosBrother Says:

    I have a love for Counting Crows. Unguilty pleasure.

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    holy shit anyone heard this story or know these dudes?

  20. phishm Says:

    I have a love for women that make their own money but yet know how to have fun. They have to have their own place and good family values. They have to like dog’s and children (not that they are allowed to meet mine anytime soon). Be good looking and below 40 in age.
    Anyone know if these are still available? Just kiddin of course. I love all woman. Just some more then others.
    OK not sure where that came from. Going into the office does things to people from what I’ve learned this week. A lot of talent out there IMHO.

  21. MrCompletely Says:

    greensky is one of very very very very very few modern bluegrass bands I’ll cosign for. greensky, stringdusters, maybe a little hot buttered rum.

  22. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    holy fuck. that’s crazy, mRc

  23. tela'smuff Says:

    dropped my iPhone in a glass of water this morning, where it sat for an hour. fuck.

  24. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ” Your taking some chick to BGCC instead of me?” “Fine, I’m going to shoot you”

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    pittsburgh area heads are no joke

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