March Madness

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

As the NCAA tournament takes peak form this weekend in the rounds of sixteen and eight, a different type of March Madness has swarmed the Phish community in the form on ticket on-sales.  After the near-impossible Red Rocks mission, fans look to have more success against the weaker seeded shows this weekend.  Big match-ups against both Ticketmaster and Live Nation headline today’s slate. The host venues of these battles will be The Gorge, Merriweather, Darien, and SPAC.  The fans look to give it 110% in their quest for paper glory.  After today the first nine tickets of late summer will have come and gone, and only Shoreline and Hartford will remain.  On a raucous Friday in March, the madness is most definitely in the air.

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

“Madness” is a word often used loosely to describe Phish music.  Honing in on this idea of “musical madness,” I compiled eight Phish jams that embody this word.  A friend on mine recently posted on Facebook “The Best Five Albums to Listen to After a Phish Show,”  and yesterday, another buddy retorted, “What are the best albums to listen to while frantically trying to score Phish tickets via public sale?”  Well here is my response.

Hampton (P.Washburn)

Hampton (P.Washburn)

The music should match the mania, and these eight selections fit the theme of the day.  In honor of March Madness- both ticket and basketball- I have collected an “Elite Eight” jams that are the musical definition of madness; allow them to color your weekend in any way you please. The download link is above the track listing.  Good luck today!  I’ll always take any extra pavilions off your hands.  Just drop me a line!




“Bathtub Gin” 11.23.97, Winston Salem, NC

This one is a beast that dominates the second set that could be better than its legendary Hampton predecessors.

“Simple” 11.29.98, Worcester, MA

Hampton (P.Washburn)

Hampton (P.Washburn)

I’ve written about this one before- a masterful, tour-ending  piece of psychedelic sorcery.

“David Bowie” 10.27.95, Kalamazoo, MI

A dark and monstrous “Bowie” from Fall ’95, one high point for the song.

“Split Open and Melt” 12.1.94, Salem, OR

A dark-horse jam in the first set that illustrates ’94 Phish going for the jugular.

3.8.09 (Unknown)

3.8.09 (Unknown)

“Tweezer” 12.2.95, New Haven, CT

A “Tweezer” like none other- fifteen minutes of the most seething music you’ll ever hear.

“Maze” 10.18.96, Pittsburgh, PA

A highlight of this dark-horse ’96 show, this “Maze” gets way out there in a hurry.

“Stash11.12.94, Kent, OH

Dark and terrorizing, like “Stash’s” should be, this version characterizes the depths to which ’94 Phish plunged to in no time at all.

12.7.95 “Mike’s > Weekapaug,” Niagara Falls, NY

One of the best “Grooves” out there, each half boast stand out jamming- though the “Mike’s” takes the cake.

(Note: This is not meant to be a definitive list of “the” eight craziest jams.  ever- just eight pieces of madness.)


8.20.93 Red Rocks SBD < LINK

Phsh @ Red Rocks (Coventry Blog)

Phsh @ Red Rocks (Coventry Blog)

Since we are going through the history of Red Rocks, here is the legendary first show the band ever played there, smack dab in the middle of August ’93.  This is a re-post, but it fits the season.  New readers- enjoy!

I: The Divided Sky, Harpua, Poor Heart, Maze, Bouncing Around the Room, It’s Ice, The Wedge, Ginseng Sullivan, Rift, Run Like an Antelope

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Slave to the Traffic Light, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil, My Friend My Friend-> Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself > Purple Rain*> HYHU, Cavern

E: The Mango Song, Freebird

*With Mimi Fishman (Fish’s mom) on vacuum.


Hampton Space – Photo: Jeff Kravitz /

400 Responses to “March Madness”

  1. My only fear with this whole ticket mess is that they go to some kind of credit card ticket system. Meaning when you arrive at the event, the card you used to purchase the tickets is your ticket. While it would obviously stop the brokers, it would present a problem for trading, much like the current situation with tickets being mailed out at the dates they are for second leg of the tour. Imagine you couldn’t get off work or just still couldn’t get through and get tickets for a particular show but did manage to get them for another. How would trading go then? Or would you just be locked out again, this time with no hope of trade, or just far more difficult. I agree as all do that something needs to be done, but its also important to note that when it comes to phish phans, the way we deal with tickets for shows is different than almost any band and always has been. I just hope that in a hope to fix the problems, some other beast is created that is almost harded to deal with.

  2. Testing… 1…2…3… can anyone see me? Just wondering, because I’ve posted about 6 posts since last night and nobody has even acknowledged me.

    Is this shit on? Testing… testing…

  3. @ Wanderin –

    GO FOR IT! When we were at Hampton, a friend out in Denver said “if you guys find an extra Sunday, let me know and I’ll fly out there”…this was Saturday afternoon just before showtime. Someone found her an extra, and she booked a flight that night, we picked her up at 9:00 am the next morning. She came to the Sunday show, raged it, and flew back to Denver the next day. I think she’d tell you that if you have an opportunity to see the boys play….don’t squander it.

  4. Chalkdustin Says:

    Welcome, Mugician. I know how you feel……

  5. shpongleyez Says:

    I need 17 tickets for Saturday at the Gorge?

    Who is with me!

  6. Where in Utah you from Bandnana?

  7. shpongleyez Says:

    Also, I really only need 2 for Saturday.

    Who is with me!

  8. I think I like the credit card idea. I understand it’ll make trading tougher but really, consider the options. Maybe we should only buy tickets to the shows we can go to. If the theory works, and keeps the brokers away, and if the only people trying to buy the tix are those who are planning on going, it would be a ot easier to get them online.
    I bet you could also leave the at Will Call if you were to trade with someone.

  9. wanderin Says:

    @ Cottle
    I woke up this morning and decided IT is worth it. I needed a good shaking after being too discouraged from recent onsale disappointments. Thanks and have a great weekend.

  10. themanatee Says:

    oh miner….

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