Twas the Night Before Hampton

As we enter the home stretch of the Christmas season, we also find ourselves on the anniversary of an amazing show in Raleigh on 12.16.99.  I thought I’d combine the two themes. (Read to the rhythm of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”)


Twas the night before Hampton, and Raleigh appeared,
Exploding in groove, and mind-bending cheer.
Wilson began and the ‘Dust followed up,
A raging beginning to start, sure enough.

The floor was wide open, the stands they were packed,
The wooks were all spun and the yuppies were jacked.
The tapers were taping, their mics were held high
As hallucinations danced in the sky.

Soon there was Lawn Boy, and then there was Limb,
Get Back, Roggae and a second-set Jim.
To close the first half were two beasts of the earth,
A Camel and Possum, both scribed by Holdsworth.

Set break had come and theatrics would follow,
Far greater than Hampton’s 18th or tomorrow.
This followed a trend, a pattern complete,
That the night before was quite often the heat!

There maybe less pressure, there maybe no nerves,
But on the eve of the big ones, Phish always threw curves.
Yet take history’s proof, don’t listen to me,
Take Vernon and Darien before Limestone, now see?

Like Boise pre-Shoreline, a path Phish did forge,
Just like Vancouver came ‘fore The Gorge.
The shows before New Year’s were always much thicker
With free-flowing jams, and clearly less liquor.

The hype for the big shows routinely allowed
For the band to surprise the night before’s crowd.
Calls would be made, and messages played,
“Don’t bother, stay home! You missed IT, I say!”

This night in Raleigh would be just the same,
With a second set reaching the top of their game.
The best “Sand” of the year, not counting the swamp
Commenced a dark set in which Phish would soon romp.

Thirty-minutes of groove from the stage emanated
While all of us dancing were feeling elated.
A brief stop in Mango and a wade in the sea,
Before Tweezer took over, and set us all free.

One to cherish and keep; that millennial sound,
With deep walls of texture, distorted and round.
Weaving through darkness, the jam crept along
When the band, out of nowhere, hit a triumphant song.

The music moved smoothly, to the top of a Slave,
Peaking the jam with improv so brave.
Nothing at Hampton would be quite like this,
Though it would contain its own share of bliss.

For two nights of bombast and Mothership spells,
All coming to Hampton would arrive with bells.
Happy to be there, as well they should be,
They all wished they’d made it down to Ra-leigh.

One of the best throughout all ninety-nine,
Hampton wouldn’t even enter that line.
With a sense of the moment, and a penchant for drama
While donning their magical music pajamas;

Phish touched the divine on the night before hype,
‘Ere the people dressed up came down the next night.
So next time you plan a trip to see Phish,
Leave an extra day early, and you won’t have to wish.


12-16-99 Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, NC

I: Wilson > Chalkdust Torture, Lawn Boy, Limb by Limb, Horn, Get Back On The Train, Roggae, Heavy Things, Camel Walk, Possum
II: Sand, The Mango Song, Wading in the Velvet Sea > Jam > Tweezer > Runaway Jim
E: Bittersweet Motel > Tweezer Reprise

DOWNLOAD 12.16.99 Raleigh, NC NOW! < LINK



6.15.95 Lakewood Amphitheatre, Atlanta, GA < LINK

2850125432_3b2e497f38A standout show from the psychedelic summer of ’95, this one comes off of the request wire.  A quality show from start to finish, a dark “Stash” and “Antelope” highlighted the first set.  The second set was a classic Summer ’95 odyssey.  Going excessively deep with a near half-hour Bowie, the darkness is resolved first with Theme, and finally with a magnificent Slave.  A beautifully patient jam, this one is the version I go to when I want to hear Slave at sunrise.

I: My Friend My Friend, Sparkle, AC/DC Bag, The Old Home Place, Taste, The Wedge, Stash, I Didn’t Know*, Fluffhead, Run Like An Antelope

II: My Sweet One, Ha Ha Ha > David Bowie, Strange Design, Theme From the Bottom, Scent of a Mule, Acoustic Army, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Bouncing Around the Room, Frankenstein

*With Fish on trombone, Mike on electric drill and Trey on megaphone.


23 Responses to “Twas the Night Before Hampton”

  1. By the looks of it, I think we have another Robert Hunter on our hands. Nicely penned Miner, nicely penned.

  2. nonoyolker Says:

    Wow, truly impressive. Heck of a colloquial. Makes me ready to throw down a quart of nog, stoke the home fires, and nuzzle up to my speakers. Well penned indeed.

  3. Fun, fun, fun!

  4. Jerrydamule Says:

    hah! why do I suddenly feel like donning my reindeer sweater and burning the download of the day

  5. Well done, sir!

  6. BingosBrother Says:

    Magical music pajamas… Watch out Marshall, there’s a new sheriff in town. Brilliant.

  7. The Tweezer will be stuck in my head for eternity. I didn’t know you were trying out to be Dr. Seuss ghost writer!

  8. Rumors are gaining steam as the Bonnaroo rumor has now got enough legs to be on the Rolling Stone blog!!

  9. ^^If you read this site, you knew this about a month ago 🙂

  10. Oh…I do, every morning. Just thought I would let you know your prediction is showing up in mass media…

  11. And a poet taboot!

    I commend you Miner.

  12. wow! that was really fun. you sir are a loon! A+!!!!!

  13. A nice treat combined with my morning cup of joe.

    Hope phish doesn’t play the roo, don’t think i will go.

    This site is the dead nuts, but that we all know.

    Now i will treat my ears to a listen and burn one real slow.

  14. ^ cheers Dave 🙂

    Thanks all…this was a fun one

  15. Keep Stella blue Says:

    Nice post. Another example of this would be the Denver show 0n 9.27.00 just before the two Vegas shows. Phish threw down in Denver, and in my opinion, played a far better show than either night in Vegas.

  16. themanatee Says:

    jolly ol work my pal…jolly ol work

  17. Anyone think they will have their own fest or is it too much work as they ease back in? And why roo? Someone a while back said they thought it was the managers doing. Anyone have the inside scoop?

  18. i think they will have there own fest. limestone.

  19. good stuff my friend :o)

    and as you know, I am in love w/ the Tweezer from 12/16

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    I hope you’re as bad at predictions as great as you are a writer. But I know after that Bohemian story, that simply isn’t true. I don’t want to share with people that don’t care.

  21. no to the roo, let kayne West headline

  22. well done sir! 12/16/99 Tweezer is a stairway to the stars….one of my faves, for sure…Cant wait to see friends old and new on board in 09. Happy Holidays to all!

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