Reader’s Picks: Poster Nutbag of OPT

9.2.2012 (Graham Lucas)

9.2.2012 (Graham Lucas)

All selections and text by Poster Nutbag from Online Phish Tour

Curtain With” 5.24.88 I, Burlington, VT

One of my favorite ’80s tapes. Had this show mislabeled as 5/25/88, but that seems inconsequential right now. This jam shows what Phish could do at a very early age. I always like listening to this stuff because you can just hear how good they will be. Other noteworthy items to check out in this show are “Whipping Post” (absolutely shreds) and “Ya Mar” with Jah Roy for some reggae stylings.



Rift” 2.25.90 I, Baltimore, MD

I wanted to put this on here for those who haven’t heard it yet. As sad as I was to see the “With” leave “Curtain” from 1988-2000, I’m glad the music found a home in “Rift,” as I cannot imagine “Rift” being played in this form. The one part I do wish they had kept was the line “And so fell the weight I never can lift/Behind us the darkness between us the rift”.



Landlady > Destiny” 4.11.91 II, Northfield, MN

The classic 1-2 punch of “Landlady > Destiny” executed to perfection here. This is from the same show that features the “Prison Joke.” This show is your average/great show from 1991 and this “Landlady > Destiny” exemplifies how tight the band was back then, a few minor flubs in “Landlady” notwithstanding. I’d also love to hear another standalone “Landlady” (i.e. not in PYITE), but that’s about as likely as me seeing “Peaches” (still chasing that one).



Run Like an Antelope” 11.19.92 I, Colchester, VT

This show was released by the band as the Haiti earthquake benefit and features really fierce playing throughout, but no moment more fierce than at the 4:24 point in Antelope where Trey releases what I think might be the most perfect guitar lick he has ever played. I also love the “Those Were the Days” teases sprinkled throughout, especially the one preceding “rye, rye, rocco.” Just turn it up and listen…



Mike’s > Leprechaun > Weekapaug” 7.17.93 II, Vienna, VA

Digging deep yet again, this sequence is quintessential 1993 Phish. 1993 is one of my top 3 favorite years of the band, falling behind 1997 and constantly changing places with 1995. We all know about August 1993 and most of us know about the Roxy run in February and the May shows (thanks to the releases of 5/3/93 and 5/8/93), but the July shows which led up to the August shows get lost in the mix. July doesn’t really have the moments of pure insanity that August does, but it has some truly excellent moments of its own like the one above. “Leprechaun” makes a worthy replacement for “Hydrogen here,” and I would certainly be game to see this song make an appearance once again.



Slave to the Traffic Light” 12.31.94 II, Boston, MA

A monumental “Slave” to close out a monumental year. All New Year’s shows should end like this.



David Bowie” 6.19.95 II, Noblesville, IN

This may be my favorite “Bowie” of all time. The jam is typical for Summer ‘95: dark, meandering yet focused, visiting different themes, and incredible peaks. This “Bowie” does all of that. For one, listen to the theme that Trey establishes at the beginning of the jam, then listen to how he brings it back at various times (the same should be noted for the “Reba” in ths show too). That is the kind of stuff only Trey, and the band for that matter, can do and its one of the reasons why Phish is such a special band. I also like the use of effects Trey uses as the jam gets going. Very unique and I can’t say that I have heard them before or since.

Summer 1995 is such a pivotal point in the band’s history. I think today we tend to forget the impact the death of Jerry Garcia had on Phish. Just to refresh everyone’s memory, in the summer of ‘95 the Grateful Dead were imploding and Jerry was not much longer for this world, while at the same time Phish was approaching an apex of sorts. The death of Garica couldn’t have come at a better (or worse) time for the band. It gave the emerging Phisheads who were splitting their time between the Grateful Dead and Phish the ability to focus 100% on Phish and gave all the fence-sitters a place to go. It was a coincidence that this influx of interest came at the precise moment when the band was fully realizing their powers, which brings us to…



Simple > Sparks” 11.29.96 II, Daly City, CA

1996 has been discussed at length, both here and elsewhere. 1996 was a transitional year, both for the music, the band, and the fanbase. Fall 1996 generally isn’t the strongest tour ever but there are many gems in there waiting to be found. This “Simple > Sparks” is one of those. It should be noted that to fully appreciate this sequence, you should listen to the “Wilson” that precedes the “Simple” and the “Sparkle” that follows the “Sparks,” but in order to highlight the meat of this sandwich I chose this segment to highlight.



Buried Alive > Disease > Makisupa > Chalk Dust” 12.2.97 I, Philly, PA

Anyone who knows me knows that I sing the praises of this show to anyone who will listen. Overlooked because of the preceding shows (the three night Worcester run) and the show that followed it (12/3/97 with its huge jams), 12/2/97 might be the most consistent show of Fall ‘97. Most people know the “Mike’s Groove” from this show (and if you don’t, you should) which I think is better than Hampton (flame away if you must), but this opening sequence really kicks things off in style. Phish really needs to find an indoor home in Philly now that the Spectrum is gone. Nothing could ever beat a show in the Spectrum.



Free” 7.31.98 II, Columbus, OH

My chronological journey through 1.0 is coming to an end a bit early (sorry 1999 and 2000. Had I not been limited to 10 picks, for 1999 I would have chosen the encore from 10/7/99 because it’s so weird or the “Bowie > Have Mercy > Turd Sandwich > HYHU > Cracklin’ Rosie” because even when Phish screws up they can still run with it, and for 2000 the 9/9/00 “MFMF > Gumbo > Maze” for the silky smooth groove of Phish 2000) , so I thought I’d highlight this “Free” from one of my favorite sets from the summer of 1998. This “Free” exemplifies how “Free” should be played. Out of all the songs Phish has played in 3.0, I think I am disappointed in the drop off in quality of “Free” the most. The way they play it now just doesn’t do it for me, but fortunately we have a record of “Free” in all its glory to listen to whenever we are in the mood.


Bonus Pick: Stand! > Izabella” 6.13.97 E, Dublin IR

Sick encore from a forgotten tour. First time played for both. Would have loved to see “Stand!” make it into the regular rotation in 1997. For another awesome version of “Stand!” check out the side project Trey and Mike played in called “New York” where they also do a cool cover of the La’s “Timeless Melody”.

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980 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Poster Nutbag of OPT”

  1. Mr. Palmer Says:

    That Arizer solo vape is kinda big, no? Size of a soda can. That seems large, bordering on not so portable.. Someone set me straight.

    Looking for small portable vape for flowers… no oils, wax, or other weird shit.

  2. phoammhead Says:

    At old crow medicine show . . . adub would love this psychedelic hillbilly music

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Here’s one for you: those kids born on tour back in 95 are graduating from high school this year.

  4. joe Says:

    oh man, Beat Street is even better than I remembered.

  5. phoammhead Says:

    I kid, of course … nothing psychedelic about this noise with out of place light shtick

  6. MiA Says:

    Hot daughters of Summer ’95.

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    Good job Bulls. Suck it Heat. For shame D Rose.

  8. gavinsdad Says:

    Actually had to call the docs after hours for an additional allergy med. I could rip my head off the inside of it itches so badly. Lame.

    And yeah @sumo. The nicpens were being “smoked” in a non smoking bar.

  9. little umbrellas Says:

    Live Evil is an all timer for me, glad you dug it Hazel.
    In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew being the most classic of the era (i would like to assume that everyone here is very familiar with this work, if not please check!),
    But if you like Live Evil, check Get Up With It. Some of the most psychedelic groove music i have ever heard!!!
    $$$ MTUME $$$

  10. little umbrellas Says:

    BGCA Pliny the Elder mission– right next to my spot, Alameda, Pints on tap for $6 at Lucky 13.

  11. MiA Says:

    Quit paying attention when Bulls were up by 10+ and went over to Wings/Hawks game.

  12. little umbrellas Says:

    Sumo, love the Amon Duul, and yes Cluster is also a key group from the era.

    Link is to Mtume, hard heavy beat with ballistic psychedelia. You will love (wait for the heaviest organ drop 4/5’s of the way in)

  13. MiA Says:

    You like the Live stuff or the studio stuff or both?

    Always though McLaughlin was a bit stiff on the live side.

  14. MiA Says:

    You like the Live stuff or the studio stuff or both?

    Always though McLaughlin was a bit stiff on the live side.

  15. MiA Says:

    Self paddlin’

  16. little umbrellas Says:

    So true about John being stiff. On Sivad he’s playing all these angular notey licks and it just sounds on top… when Miles comes out and solo’s every note counts, and the whole band is following his arc.

  17. Iriewalton Says:

    Love crazy, Miles.

    Also, don’t sleep on his Big Fun album.
    So true, so true,

  18. little umbrellas Says:

    I love the Hermatio compositions. Day dream for sho. Medeski studied under him and his music on Live Evil is like a Film score.

    Silent Way and Brew for me are through listens. Get Up and Evil not every track is my favorite, but half of them are some of the best shit ever.

    Any self respecting lover of Sand and Ghost should know Miles 69-75 era.

  19. little umbrellas Says:

    Big Fun!
    ….. and On the Corner (gives you the drum n bass tabla dream Miles Wah primal throwdown)

  20. little umbrellas Says:

    I guess Both. The studio work on Brew is interweaved into the process of making the music and the results are immeasurable.

  21. MiA Says:

    Love On the Corner.

  22. redredworm Says:

    Well for my 2 cents, I feel like the IT Chalkdust and Waves are not mentioned enough when we talk “best-all-time”. The IT Waves is simply the final evolution of the band’s 1999-2003 abstract/ambient style and has some amazing aliens-landing-outside sounds, while the Chalkdust has all four locked into some sickening polyrhythms with Fishman dominating the jam. Aside from the King Crimson-esque grooves from the beginning of the jam, this one also sees some of Trey’s best straight-ahead soloing since 1999 in my opinion.
    Fish Chalkdust,5DQjSKg
    Trey Chalkdust

  23. redredworm Says:

    MIA: Trey’s NEEHAN shirt. Last seen, pre-breakup? Here’s Trey at IT.

    Has he worn it since? Bad juju.

  24. Roberto luongo Says:

    Pax Palmer

    I’ve used em all. Best and most discreet flower vape with 10 yr warranty

  25. plord Says:

    +1 Pax.

    LU, assume you have the whole collection including Dark Magus? Might be my favorite of the live Miles fusion releases (Live Evil, Pangea, Agharta, Dark Magus…there are more, I’m sure of it, but the jazz is boxed up during renovation).

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