Archive for Venues

Weekend Nuggets: Red Rocks ’95

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 21, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Phish @ Red Rocks (CoventryBlog)

Phish @ Red Rocks (CoventryBlog)

Everyone vividly remembers Phish’s four-night stand at Red Rocks during Summer ’96, but by that point, the band had already played five shows at Colorado’s live music mecca- one in ’93, two in’94, and these two in ’95.  This two-night stand came towards he beginning of Summer ’95’s space camp.  Featuring extended and exploratory improv every single night of tour, the band reached some incredibly dark places. Check out the “Split,” “Bowie,” or “Mike’s” for musical illustrations of this type of jamming.  Enjoy the history of Red Rocks, as the future will soon be written!

Check out this cool interview with Trey from Red Rocks ’95!

1995-06-09gn6.9.95 Red Rocks < LINK

6.9.95 Red Rocks < TORRENT LINK

I: My Friend My Friend, The Divided Sky, Strange Design, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony, AC/DC Bag, Theme From the Bottom, Taste, Sparkle, Run Like an Antelope

II: Split Open and Melt, The Wedge, Scent of a Mule, Cavern, David Bowie, Acoustic Army, Sweet Adeline, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: The Squirming Coil

Source: B&K 4006 (8’high/10′ spread/5rows back of SBD)>Lunatec 316>Audio Magic cables>Panasonic SV250 @48kHz

Taper: Marc Nutter

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1995-06-10gn6.10.95 Red Rocks < LINK

6.10.95 Red Rocks < TORRENT LINK

I: Makisupa Policeman > Llama, Prince Caspian, It’s Ice, Free, Rift, You Enjoy Myself, Lonesome Cowboy Bill > Suzy Greenberg

II: Maze, Fee, Uncle Pen, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Amazing Grace, Sample in a Jar

E: A Day in the Life*

*First time played.

Source: Microtech Gefell M270 (spread 8′) > Oade M148 > Oade mod Panasonic SV-250

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND

“David Bowie” 3.6.09, Hampton (Stormchasingmonkey)

“Bouncin'” 3.6.09, Hampton (Pauly)


Weekend Nuggets: The Hampton Comeback

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 14, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Please use torrents if possible.

Photo: J.DiGiuseppe

Photo: J.DiGiuseppe

3.6.09 Hampton Coliseum < LINK

3.6.09 Hampton Coliseum < TORRENT LINK

I: Fluffhead, The Divided Sky, Chalkdust Torture, Sample in a Jar, Stash, I Didn’t Know, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Farmhouse, NICU, Horn, Rift, Train Song, Water in the Sky, The Squirming Coil, David Bowie

II: Backwards Down The Number Line, Tweezer > Taste, Possum, Theme from the Bottom, First Tube, Harry Hood, Waste, You Enjoy Myself
E: Grind, Bouncing Around the Room, Loving Cup

Source: {16 Bit} Schoeps mk41 > kc5 > cmc6 > Lunatec V3 > Sonic AD2K+ > MT2 @ 24/ 48kHz Lineage: CF > Sound Studio, > xAc

Taper : Jesse Hurlburt

***

3.7.09 Hampton Coliseum < LINK

3.7.09 Hampton Coliseum < TORRENT LINK

I: Back On The Train, Runaway Jim, Brian and Robert, Split Open and Melt, Heavy Things, Punch You in the Eye, Gumbo, Reba > Mexican Cousin, It’s Ice, Halley’s Comet, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Guelah Papyrus, Lawn Boy, Run Like An Antelope

II: Rock and Roll > Limb By Limb, Ghost > Piper > Birds of a Feather, Wolfman’s Brother, Prince Caspian, Mike’s Song > I am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Character Zero
E: A Day in the Life

Source:  (FOB) Schoeps mk22 > kc5 > cmc6xt > Audiomagic Hyperconductors > Grace Design Lunatec V2 > Darktrain Custom Cables > Sound Devices 744t (@ 24 bit / 48 kHz)

A Team BTG Production brought to you by:Dave F, Scott G, baustin, Greg L, Mikey K, Carrington C, Matthew, Rick, Eliot, Oliver, Foxy, Steve F, Tara, Jimbo, BHadella, Jenny, Jerryfreak, and more; Transferred by Jason Sobel

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3.8.09 Hampton Coliseum < LINK

3.8.09 Hampton Coliseum < TORRENT LINK

I: Sanity, Wilson, Foam, Bathtub Gin, Undermind, AC/DC Bag, My Friend My Friend, Scent of a Mule, All of These Dreams, Maze, She Thinks I Still Care, Army of One, Tube, Cars Trucks Buses, Free, Frankenstein

II: Down With Disease, Seven Below, The Horse> Silent in the Morning, Twist > Also Sprach Zarathustra > The Moma Dance, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Slave to the Traffic Light
E: Contact, Bug, Tweezer Reprise

Source: {16 Bit} Schoeps mk41 > kc5 > cmc6 > Lunatec V3 > Sonic AD2K+ > MT2 @ 24/ 48kHz Lineage: CF > Sound Studio, > xAc

Taper : Jesse Hurlburt

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VIDEOS OF WEEKEND: “FLUFFHEAD”

3.6.09 – The Moment the Lights Went Out

Great “Fluffhead” Footage!

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PS: Expect to see the rest of Summer Tour announcement in the next couple days!

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web-2

3.8.09 – Photo: David Overend

Weekend Nuggets: The Back of the Worm

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 14, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Paradisio 7.2.97

Paradisio 7.2.97

In the middle of their revolutionary Summer ’97 Europe run, Phish stopped for two nights in Amsterdam.  Following up their amazing show on 2.17.97, Phish brought the heat in the former church turned venue, The Paradiso.  Legend has it that during their weekend in the worlds psychedelic capitol, Trey had some “adventures” resulting in this stage banter:

Now be careful when you walk out of here tonight…because you don’t want to be swallowed up by one of those worms in the canal. You know those toilets on the side of the road here — don’t go in there — because you’ll get sucked down into the canal and be stuck all night riding along those giant worms….you might think I’m kidding around, but it happened to me last night and it was scary.

One can only imagine the antics that went into that story!  Nonetheless, “the back of the worm” became the theme of the weekend, as the phrase was repeated and catcalled by Trey and Fish throughout several jams during both shows.

"Wormtown jam" 7.2.97

"Wormtown jam" 7.2.97

The music over these two shows stellar was very illustrative of the changes the band was undertaking during their Europe run.  The first night started with an extended “Ghost” story, setting the laid back and funked-out tone for the stand.  Both second sets were perfectly flowing sets of improvisational Phish.

7.2 began quickly with a massive first set “Mike’s Sandwich,” while set two featured a 30-minute masterpiece in “Stash,” and a “Llama” that found its way into a jam that brought everyone onto the “back of the worm.”  This legendary set was capped with a double encore- taboot, taboot.  These shows were classic pieces of the Summer of 1997.

7.1.97 Paradisio, Amsterdam, NL < LINK

1997-07-01gnI: Ghost, Horn, Ya Mar, Limb By Limb, Ain’t Love Funny, I Saw It Again, Dirt, Reba, Dogs Stole Things

II: Jam* > Timber Ho!,  Bathtub Gin > Cities, Loving Cup, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: When the Circus Comes

*Fish alone on piano, then builds into a jam distinct from “Timber Ho!”

7.2.97 Paradisio, Amsterdam, NL < LINK

1997-07-02gnI: Mike’s Song > Simple > Maze, Strange Design, Ginseng Sullivan, Vultures, Water in the Sky, Weekapaug Groove

II: Jam > Stash > Llama > Worm Town Jam* > Wading in the Velvet Sea

E1: Free^

E2: David Bowie

*A jam on “Swing Town”  (Steve Miller tune) with dark vocals about “Back of the Worm.”  ^Band left stage after Free.

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VIDEOS OF THE WEEKEND: CLIFFORD BALL DVD PREVIEWS

“Punch You In the Eye”

“Fluffhead”


Weekend Nuggets: Radio City

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 7, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

Radio City '00

Radio City '00

As the first shows after Big Cypress, these Radio City gigs made a huge splash in the community.  With a 6,000 capacity in New York City, these were the hardest tickets to get your hands on (before the comeback).  Phish did not disappoint, playing two phenomenal shows in the legendary home of The Rockettes.  The defining jam from this weekend was the second night’s “Ghost,” arguably the greatest version ever played.  But there are plenty of great jams to go around over these two intimate evenings.

5.21.00 Radio City, NYC < LINK

5.22.00 Radio City, NYC < LINK

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PHISH THOUGHTS TICKET EXCHANGE:

3251307416_fd2bc41136The ticket exchange is off and running!  Successful transactions are officially underway with many more waiting in the wings.  Take some time to scan the spreadsheet- people have the extras you need!

Remember, there is permalink to the board near on the right side of the home page, right under “Recent Comments.”  Also, if you would like to post tickets or a request, you must email ticketexchange@phishthoughts.com for an invite!

Thanks, and happy trading!

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SURRENDER TO THE FLOW SURVEY:

badwookieSurrender To the Flow is a tour magazine published “By Phish Kidz For Phish Kidz,” with new editions coinciding with each new tour.  The magazine, which many of you are familiar with, contains Phishy musings, articles, and tour tips about each venue and their surroundings.  The Hampton edition is in its final stages of preparation, and you can help by filling out this fun online survey!  It takes about five minutes and it’s a interesting way to reflect on your last five years.

SURRENDER TO THE FLOW SURVEY (The survey has reached capacity. Thanks for helping!)

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“Mike’s” 4.3.98  Nassau

The Island Run: Providence

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 6, 2009 by Mr.Miner

Exiting the Coliseum at Nassau and preparing for our trip north, spirits could not have been higher.  We were smack dab in the middle of some crazy-ass Phish, and we just left one of the most transcendent musical experiences of our lives.  The drive through the night to Rhode Island was fun and refreshing, trying to replay the nights events in our mind.  As The Beatles once sang, “It [was] all too much.”  The entire community was juiced after the first two episodes of The Island Run, and they brought every ounce of that juice up to New England.

4.4.98

phish-providence-4-4-98There was quite the scene outside the Civic Center on Saturday night, as fans congregated in the streets and lots surrounding the venue.  The hardest ticket of the four, many sought out extras to get themselves into what would surely be another outlandish event.  Never were you so sure that a show would blow up than this one on 4.4.98.  Following Nassau, everyone knew Phish were knee deep in IT, effortlessly creating masterful music.  Everyone wanted in, and those who found their way through the threshold were treated to a show they would never forget.

As many fans predicted from Nassau’s closing “Reprise,” the band opened up the Providence weekend with “Tweezer.”  But this was no standard “set-opening” jam, rather a deep exploration into the groove-based ethos of the song.  Complete with multiple improvisational segments, much like the Nassau “Mike’s” did, this “Tweezer” gave us the impression we were far into the show already.  Phish didn’t need to warm up  for these nights, they were feeling IT, they were living IT, they were IT.  As soon as the jam dropped, Mike led the band out of the gate in a patient opening before the band dove in earnestly.  What came out was a near twenty-minute groove-fest that sparked the Providence crowd, catching them up to what went down in Long Island.

Trey stepped in, providing guiding rhythm guitar patterns that framed the jam flawlessly.  This was one of those moments that I couldn’t help letting out a somewhat maniacal laugh while raging, just pondering the sheer absurdity of this colossal opener.  This jam existed as a measure of how balanced the band’s playing was at this time, with no one member dominating the textures, yet churning out amazing music like a machine.  Interestingly, Trey introduced a melody in this jam that he would toy with and carry throughout most jams in this show- a sort of themed lick for the evening.  (For those who care, it comes at about 12:25 on the SBD).  This “Tweezer” grew out of the funk and into its more climactic space.  Once the jam peaked, the band settled into some late ’97 stop/start solos before dripping into a smoking version of “Taste.”  Despite a nice “Limb by Limb,” the rest of the set was filled with fun, yet composed pieces.  The stage was set for what was sure to be an epic second half.

511609734_ae413fe390The buzz that had began in Nassau had traveled to Providence.  Setbreak had a tangible vibe of excitement as everyone knew that the second set would be epic- there was no doubt.  And everyone was right. The upcoming frame would be composed of some of Phish’s biggest songs, all magnified under the almighty lens of The Island Run.

They opened with the quickened drum beats of “Birds of a Feather,” and it took a moment to place the song, due to hearing it for the first time only two nights before.  They never repeated songs over four nights, so if Phish was opening this second set of this show with a song they debuted in Nassau, you knew there had to be a reason.  Over the course of the next 17 minutes, the reason became evident as the improvisational potential of “Birds” was wholly uncovered in a fiercely psychedelic odyssey.

Creating an intense jam that went beyond the typical aggressive rock rhythms of “Birds,” Phish engaged in some intergalactic communication, playing one of the definitive jams of the run.  As the band engaged in improv, it was as if they were collectively sailing the smooth strings of the universe, playing with no hesitation whatsoever.  About halfway through, when the band diverted their course into some chunky and locked music, effects were layered onto the jam and it adopted a certain outer-space quality.   Possibly foreshadowing the upcoming “2001,” it was at this point that Trey returned to his “4.4.98” melody, integrating it into this building jam artistically and with slower phrasing.  The band was passing musical ideas as easily as a spliff, tearing through sublime improvisational planes at a breakneck speed.  Gradually, they brought the music back to the song’s lyrical refrain, completing the high-speed chase through spacetime, and leaving the arena drenched in sonic residue.

1998-04-04gn2Yet, these residual textures soon developed into an intro to a larger-than-life “2001.”  As the band brewed their aural stew, the crowd was perched at the edge, waiting for Fish’s snare hit to transform the Civic Center into a space-aged dance hall.  And then it happened- the band entered the crack-groove as the lights dropped; only colored rays danced around the arena (see video below).  The grooves were straight slammin’; the band was subconscious yet again, effortlessly creating some of the best music of their career.  This “2001” doesn’t get mentioned nearly enough with top versions, but I would challenge anyone to find 20 more intense and  coherent minutes to ever come out of the song.  Sure, there are longer renditions (The Went, The Gorge), but they don’t hold up to the insane tightness and urgency of this version.  This was a perfect example of the band members playing as one entity- they may as well have had one brain- as they flew through grooves like never before.  Trey absolutely annihilated this jam with far more aggressive leads than usual for the song.

Ironically, one of the best versions of “2001” ever unveiled only moved through the theme once.  The band spent most all of their time improvising like never before.  The post-theme section of the jam was fairly succinct, as they created a sparser palate colored by Page’s Rhodes washes.  Cleverly, the band broke down the groove piece by piece, eventually landing in a vocal jam!?  Yes, this is how spontaneous the band felt during these nights, bringing one of their most intense jams to a quirky conclusion before Trey, in rhythm, strummed the beginning chords to “Brother!”

508818184_8994fa2000While most renditions of “Brother” focused on brain swelling intensity and seeing how far the music could be pushed before it imploded, this version grew quite differently.  Following the initial high-paced section, the band entered some surreal improvisation that brought the maniacal jam to a place of beauty with its odd time signature; like a ride on a psychedelic swing set.  Leaving the song far behind, this turned into a completely original jam, and one of the true highlights of the show.  Beauty and delicacy after such bombast lifted up people’s souls.   It’s hard to claim any band member “stood out” in such a collective effort; this was pure Phish, plain and simple.  Ending in cacophonous dissonance before returning to the song’s theme, this was a bona fide Phish adventure.

Following a second 15-second “radio friendly” version of “Brother,” Trey explained that the next song was “radio unfriendly” because it was “really long and really slow.”  Following the build-up, Phish dropped into the old-school opening of “Ghost,” automatically upping the ante of the set.  Often overlooked due to the plethora of stand-out “Ghosts” in this era, the Island version deserves its proper credit.  This 4.4 rendition didn’t focus on thick funk, but rather an eerie climbing melodic theme.  Ridiculously patient, the band allowed the jam to evolve organically, again complementing each other as if using ESP.  Latching onto each other’s phrases, and building the jam like a psychedelic construction crew, Phish built a swirling peak of harmonic melodies, seemingly levitating the venue.  Quickly popping from his plane, the band segued jokingly into the “Blues Brother’s” theme they had bust out during the 12.29.97, telling us they hadn’t forgot about those MSG shows either.

508843989_25d12a8c62Following the non-stop hour of intense psychedelia, the band used a Gamehendge centerpieces, “Lizards,” to provide for some breathing space and reflection.  As we tried to wrap our minds around the madness, Trey’s “If I Were a Dog” solo in the second part of the song gave every one the space to move inward.  This song couldn’t have been more randomly placed, and it couldn’t have been placed more perfectly.  Everything was clicking, we were fully immersed in Phish’s power.

This marathon set had to be coming to a close soon. And with the signature cymbal hits of “David Bowie,” we knew how things would wrap up- with another dark journey.  The entire set had an “unknown space-age” feel to it, with each jam more unique than the next.  This set created a powerful counterpart to the previous night’s in Nassau .  The band’s enthusiasm was indicative by the fact that every song in this set, with the exception of “Lizards,” extended beyond fifteen minutes.

“Bowie” was the ideal closer for this set of super-stardom.  The effortless quality of their jamming continued, quickly translating into a vintage version of the classic song.  In a set that favored darkness over light and madness over calm, “Bowie” served as the only fitting punctuation to the set. With the encore drop of “Harry Hood,” the crowd exalted in what was to come.  A twenty-minute pristine “Hood” put a sublime exclamation point to a night of menacing mania. It was crystal clear that Trey ‘s melodies were flowing directly from his soul as he gazed up into the rafters while losing himself in the music’s majesty.  Intricate and perfectly played from note one, this fantastic voyage landed us exactly where we needed to be.  As the poignant music washed over me, I felt so lucky to be there.  Not just “there” as in Providence, but “there” as in the era of the Phish.  As my mind spun with dizzying realizations and was flooded with sublime music, I felt an overwhelming sense of bliss and an appreciation for life in all its majesty.  I was alive, Phish was alive and things had, literally, never been better for me in my entire life.

“2001” 4.4.98



4.5.98

1998-04-05gnIt felt so strange to be entering the fourth show already; the first three blurred together like a dream.  Following up their “Tube,” “Mike’s” and “Tweezer” openers from the first three nights, the band raised the proverbial curtain with another huge bomb- “Oh Kee Pah > YEM.”  With everyone in the venue expecting a transition to “Suzy” or “Bag,” Phish surprised all with the opening to “You Enjoy Myself.”  Not only did the band open with “YEM,” they opened with one of the most defining “YEMs” of the late ’90s; the show’s highest highlight came right off the bat on this night!

With the dive into the jam, the Civic Center exploded.  Laying back and listening to his bandmates set up an insane groove, Trey entered the jam with a set of rhythm licks that could not have been conceived any better if composed.  This was some funky Phish music, far beyond a conventional “YEM’s” rhythmic patterns.  Subtly adding layers to the jam, the band set up Trey’s entrance.  Using the space perfectly, he brought some infectious rhythm playing to the onset of the jam, before his licks gave way to a sublime guitar narration.  Sounding as if telling a story to a group of children, Trey delicately accented his phrasings, lending emotional meaning to his notes.  If I were to pick one “YEM” to listen to for the rest of my life, this would be the one.  Yup, it’s that good.  It is so coherent and smoothness is surreal without being in your face.  There are so many distinct parts of the jam that we used to have own ideas on which part was the sickest, and the choices were manifold.  This was a huge highlight of the run.

862779724_8182271e4fA serene “Theme,” “McGrupp” combo brought the aqua blue lights out and chilled the arena with soothing songs before the next significant improvisational segment of “Bathtub Gin > Cities” took over.  While not incredibly extended, the “Gin” featured tight playing and a feel-good vibe that infused the audience.  The band’s methodical playing stood out during this jam which remained harnessed to the song’s melodic theme.  Yet, instead of returning to the original melody at end the song, Phish spent the last couple minutes of the jam improvising away from “Gin’s” structure, creating a funked out texture that seemed to be heading elsewhere.  Pretty quickly, Trey started slowly playing the chords of “Cities” over this canvas, and the band gradually all caught on, creating a less-than-perfect transition into the Talking Heads cover.  But once the opening groove hit, any small stumble was meaningless.  The composed section of the song featured many subtle improvised variations that always stood out so vividly in Phish songs.  Mike hits up a melodic bass line at the end of the jam that sounds like it belongs in a Wu-Tang verse; it’s quite nasty.  This wonderfully satiating dose of dance grooves absolutely hit the spot, as everyone wanted to hear “Cities” any time possible over ’97 and ’98.

“Sparkle” was the calm before the set-ending storm of “Split Open and Melt.”  A menacing jam saw the band play with the same effortlessness that had defined this entire run.  As if the instruments were playing them, there was no separation between thought and musical expression.  Basking in IT for four straight days, the band could do no wrong, regardless of what song they chose to play, and that is an absolutely literal statement.  There are simply no low-lights from the run, and this “Split” fit right into character. A ridiculously coherent jam, it is almost hard to distinguish any of the member’s playing as their musical offerings morphed into a complete whole; moving, twisting, and growing as one.

1874641252_ea3120c8f4When the lights came on after yet another absurd set, we looked at each other glowing, yet realizing there was only one set to go in this extraordinary place called “The Island Run.”  Yet savoring the moment, we tried to fathom what musical feats the band could possibly still pull out.  The last set grew in theme, favoring melody and triumph over rhythms and psychedelic dance music.  The set-opening “Disease” felt like a community celebration of all that had happened over these four nights.  Completely ripping joyful Phish rock carried the beginning of the set.  Yet, the jam grew dirtier for the second half, with the entire band crushing far more improvisational patterns.  This “Disease” moved from a gleeful stomp through the meadows to a brisk walk through the urban nighttime, growing in intrigue as it progressed.  Winding up in completely improvisational land, Phish finally left all traces of the song behind, creating an eerie canvas.  Just as we thought we might be heading way out into the stratosphere of psychedelia, the jam came to a natural end in silence.

Out of the silence came a change of vibe with the opening guitar chords of “Yamar.”  While this seemed like rather odd placement for the island cover, it kept the set moving along its upbeat theme.  Once the band entered the improv, this “Yamar” became magic.  Trey absolutely slaughtered this, playing lines as if they were coming off a record.  It was a joke; he was spewing gorgeous melodies as easily taking a pee.  Completely going off, Trey mesmerized the crowd, and his own band with his work.  Mike, Fish and Page quickly stepped out of the jam’s prominence, and then into silence, allowing Trey’s quiet solo melodies to take this version to the bank.  The whole arena was silent, listening to Trey play exactly what was in his heart at that moment of glory, his emotions to pour directly out though his guitar. The band emerged from the darkness with a stunning musical bliss, sounding like we were gradually headed for “Slave.”  The following portion of music is some of the most soulful of the weekend, as the band complemented each other subtly, flawlessly and beautifully.

2963669909_8b7183aff1This segment ended in some more solo playing by Trey that instead of leading into “Slave,” brought us into a classic second set “Prince Caspian.”  Love it, or hate it, late second set of a great show is when “Caspian” appears.  Bringing us childhood memories of Narnia, the band unleashed an awe-striking jam.  With stellar piano work by Page, classic Gordeaux bass lines, crashing cymbal work, and Trey wailing in a distorted tone, this wasn’t your every day “Caspian,” it was Island “Caspian;” there is a huge difference.

The rest of the set unfolded quite unexpectedly.  “Maze” thumped into play, seeming to not fit with the set’s or weekend’s feel, but Phish had a different plan; wanting to return to the funk, but in the Phishiest of ways.  Using “Maze” and “Possum,” two of the least funky songs in their repertoire, the band segued creatively into two last doses of dance music.  As “Maze” raged along as expected, the band used one of the “white-light crescendos” to smash into a bass-led song that was unrecognizable at first.  But as the band began to sing, it was apparent that they had re-arranged “Oblivious Fool” more than a little bit, transforming it into the bizarre and funky song we were seeing.  Even in the last minutes of their run, Phish was bubbling with tricks and energy.

Smack in the middle of what seemed to be a shredding set-ending “Possum,” the band pulled a similar stunt, transitioning on a dime into one of the most memorable jams of the weekend.  All off a sudden, Trey was tickling the crowd with his rhythm licks and the band cannon-balled into the jam with some the thickest funk of the weekend.  Trey summed up everyone’s feeling in his classic speech:

So it’s getting near the end of this little four day run. It’s been really fun, and its kind of weird having to stop after four days…And i started this little funk groove because we can’t end this whole thing without a little bit more funk, since that’s kinda been the theme.  So for those of you want to take off, take off, but for those of you who want to just dance to the funk, we’re gonna stay around and keep grooving.

4.3.98 (Joel Price)

4.3.98 (Joel Price)

Igniting the crowd to its highest possible point of energy, this banter will live eternally in Phish history.  The band proceeded to play the deepest funk of the weekend, cleverly building into “Cavern.”  Moving into the classic set-closer, the crowd was blindsided one last time, and roared in response.  Ending the run with possibly the Phishiest moment of the four nights, the bittersweet reality had come to light, the run was indeed over.

The Island Run remains a pinnacle of Phish’s career; a moment defined by such communal energy and enthusiasm, from the audience and band, alike.  The supreme magic of those nights remains a lingering mystery.  Never to be approached by another run for the rest of their career, these four nights were of another dimension.  The music created over those four nights is timeless, needing only a reference by song combos for everyone to understand what you are talking about. “Roses > Piper,” “Birds >2001 > Brother” “Oh Kee Pah > Yem,” “Wolfman’s > Sally,” Mike’s > My Old home Place,” “Gin > Cities,” “Disease > Yamar,” “Maze >Shafty”- you get the drift.  This was not everyday Phish; these were the best four consecutive shows ever played.  This was The Island Run.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

4.25.92 Evergreen College Rec Center, Olympia, WA SBD < LINK

phish-picture-of-nectar-tour-92Here we dip into the standout month of April ’92 when Phish visited Evergreen before their legendary Fall ’94 gig.  The setlist reads like a cannon of old-school Phish, and the second set is anchored by the “Bathtub Gin,” “YEM” combination.  A great SBD nugget for your Friday afternoon.  Enjoy!

I: Suzy Greenberg, My Friend My Friend, Paul and Silas, Reba, Brother, Tela, Chalk Dust Torture, Bouncing Around the Room, Rift, Magilla, Run Like an Antelope

II: Maze, Bathtub Gin, You Enjoy Myself, Silent in the Morning, All Things Reconsidered, Dinner and a Movie, Harry Hood, Weigh

E: Cold as Ice > Terrapin > Cold as Ice, Poor Heart

The Island Run: Nassau

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 5, 2009 by Mr.Miner

It all started with a surprise announcement in the beginning of March.  Phish was so juiced and inspired by the music of their epic Fall and New Years ’97 runs that they just couldn’t sit around and wait for their July European tour.  They were “bored,” as Trey would explain.   I remember exactly where I was in my buddy’s house in Philly when I heard the news- Phish would play a four-show run at the beginning of April in Nassau and Providence!  There was no mail order for these spontaneously announced shows; there simply wasn’t enough turn-around time.  Tickets would be sold via Ticketmaster, and that was it.  The excitement that prompted the band to announce these shows was fully ingrained in the Phish community after the end of 1997.  It seemed that nobody could wait for the next show– and now, we wouldn’t have to.

4.3.98 Nassau (phish.com)

4.3.98 Nassau (livephish.com)

Two at Long Island’s legendary Nassau Coliseum and two at Providence’s Civic Center- The Island Run- as it was dubbed, would immediately vault into the upper-echelon of all-time Phish performances.  Never has there been such a dynamic four-show run– ever.  You can put up any four consecutive shows against them, and they would get beaten down like Peter McNeeley against Mike Tyson.  There is simply no contest.

My friends and I used to posit theories as to why these shows stood out so brightly amongst all others.  Maybe Phish had time-traveled back from the future to play these gigs, showing us what we had to look forward to?  Perhaps that was the reason for the quick, out-of-nowhere, announcement? Although we sought explanations to this one continuous four-night super-highlight, we never came to a definitive conclusion (theories are still welcomed!)  Needless to say, these were four of the most powerful, magical, and transportive nights of the band’s two-decade career.

4.2.98

508742593_d894737740No one knew quite what to expect as we entered Nassau’s Thursday night show, but everyone was overflowing with adrenaline.  As soon as the lights went off, there was a mad rush of fans climbing onto the soon-crowded GA floor.  Yet, before anyone even had their bearings straight, Phish bust into the run with an opening “Tube.”  OK!  “This is gonna be a fun four days,” I thought to myself.  But I didn’t even know the half of it.  As the “Tube” provided a kick-start to the weekend, the crowd was lifted back to that emotional place we had all been jonesing for since the end of ’97.  This jam hinted at a groove plate that would be the launching point for the other-worldly “Roses Are Free” the following night.  Whipping the crowd into an immediate frenzy, the whole building nearly burst with energy upon this asteroid’s crash.

While much of this initial set was comprised of mild-rarities like, “My Mind’s Got a Mind of Its Own,”  “The Sloth,” and “Horn,” the undeniable highlight of the set, and arguably the show, came in the form of a twenty-minute, supremely psychedelic “Stash.”  The improv started immediately as the band drifted into the jam with Trey taking the lead with some staccato melodies over the menacing pattern.  The band seemed to be communicating without thinking, fully tapped in and feeling the flow, only songs into their first set.  This adventure continued to build in intensity, creating an undeniable musical tension, spiraling upward.  Easily one of the top “Stash’s” ever played, this version contained mind-numbing playing and went directly for the jugular.  But just as the music couldn’t have grown any more intense, with Trey wailing subconsciously, the entire band connected as one, and with the peak of the jam imminent, the band allowed the tense textures to settle, and Phish entered one of the most beautiful musical passages of the weekend.

This “Stash,” all of a sudden, became a delicate palate for spiritual work.  Trey shifted his tone and began to play improvised melodies that you could have sworn you’d heard before.  He was channeling the powers of the universe directly through his guitar and into our minds; an incredibly powerful moment.  The dark and twisted took a turn for the sublime and inspired, creating one of the highest points of the four nights right off the bat.

1998-04-02gn1The Coliseum buzzed with excitement during setbreak, mostly regarding the insane “Stash” that had just gone down, but more generally about the undeniable collective vibe in the room.  Everyone seemed to be on the same revelatory and exploratory page; all in it for the same reason, band included.  And that was only the first set!

As the band came out for their second frame, the high-energy combo of “Punch,” “Simple” got the arena rocking, while setting up the debut of “Birds of a Feather.”  A song that had grown out of a jam from 12.12.97 in Albany, the song’s rhythms reached out and grabbed the audience, urging them to move to the high-paced and boisterous rock textures.  While this was a noble debut of the song, two nights later in Providence, the song would explode, immediately discovering its improvisational potential.

3177217568_24476d84e0But the true fireworks of this set came after the first three songs.  As the band sank into a warm and groovy “Wolfman’s Brother,” the audience basked in the thick grooves that they had grown so accustomed to the previous fall.  As the smooth patterns washed over the audience, prompting all sort of funkified movement, the band methodically churned away, creating a series of infectious rhythms.  Intentionally, yet subtly, the band set up a seamless transition into “Sneaking Sally Through the Alley,” a song that brought our collective consciousness back to that crazy night of 12.30.97.  Combining these two funk springboards, the band created an incredibly infectious dance session with their precise and collaborative playing.  This was some addictive music.

Interestingly, following the rhythmic pop-off, the band transitioned into another debut, “Frankie Sez” (though no one really knew the name at the time).  An enchanting and mystical tune about the earth’s natural movements and its relationship to humanity, its first performance was a gripping juxtaposition amidst this phenomenal set.

3251307446_d82a7cd91cThe highest point of this set, however, was about to drop– “Twist.”  Taking this song further out than ever before, the band created an astounding psychedelic journey of melodic space-groove.  This is pure Phish crack, the stuff that just reaches out and grabs a hold of your heart without letting go. This was IT.  About halfway through the jam Kuroda hopped on board, creating perhaps his best lighting performance ever (see below.)  This jam is an essential piece of Phish history, illustrating the improvisational chops of the band and Kuroda, all at once.  A blissful amalgamation of melody, harmony, and rhythm, this set the bar for the following three nights- a bar that would readily be demolished with the following show.

4.2.98 “Twist” Jam (Kuroda’s Finest Moment)

4.3.98

Simply put, this is my favorite Phish show ever played.  With two sets of pure fire, and a second set that represents the ultimate in Phish improvisation, the numbers 4.3.98 will always hold a special and unique place in my heart.

4.3.98 Nassau

4.3.98 Nassau

On the second night of our island adventure, the band chose to begin with a full-on “Mike’s Groove.”  (They opened the four shows with “Tube,” “Mike’s,” “Tweezer,” and “Oh Kee Pah > YEM”…’nuff said!)  Building on every bit of energy from the previous night, the band busted out of the gate like Secretariat with a booming “Mike’s Song.”  Like most Fall ’97 versions, this one included a distinct funk jam before it dove into its more seething psychedelia.  Mike was straight thumping as Trey joined in with perfectly complementary wah-grooves.  Page fit in playing short organ patterns without dominating the texture.  The band entered in a dance groove that seemed like we were deep in the second set.  Before long, Trey began playing leads over the bulbous and layered grooves, sounding as if his playing was composed.  Trey was flowing like lava from his first note on this special evening, and he never stopped.

As this “Mike’s” grew more engaging with each passing moment, it was quite evident that the band had something special going on this evening.  With one screaming lick, Trey initiated the darker half of the jam, leaving the sparse funk behind and heading for dirty psychedelia.  Oddly enough, this “Mike’s” segued into “My Old Home Place” rather abruptly.  But following the down-home ditty, the band tore into a multi-faceted twenty-minute “Weekapaug” that would normally stand out as the highlight of any show; but not on 4.3.98.

4.3.98 Nassau

4.3.98 Nassau (Joel Price)

The band didn’t take long to improvise away from “Weekapaug’s” typical path, heading for much more percussive territory.  With each member using their instrument as a rhythmic tool, a polyrhythmic groove emerged.  At this point, the band dove into some extremely Talking-Heads-esque playing; some of the most interesting bass-led music of the evening.  The band entrenched themselves deeper in their percussive experiment, creating some phenomenally tight patterns.  Soon, the band found themselves chanting the “Crosseyed and Painless” melody over the insane grooves.  What the hell was going on!?  The band was this deep twenty minutes into the show?!  Yes; that they were.  Trey took the “Crosseyed” melody to his guitar, artistically peaking the section of the jam and landing perfectly back in “Weekapaug.”  These were some amazing musical acrobatics, pulled off right at the onset of the show.  After the 35 minute “Mike’s Groove” ended with an unconventional double-time musical sprint without a lyrical reprise, the crowd was floored.  Was the band serious?!  This is when I started to ponder what was really going on at these shows- the band might as well have been a four-headed monster rather than four individual humans.  This was different than the previous fall.

The remaining highlight of the set, as if it needed any, was a sublime trip through an extended “Reba.”  Phish pulled out many heavy hitters, and the quality of the playing was extraordinary; perfect in a way I had never heard before.  So many of the jams from this night are so together and tight they sound rehearsed.  With transcendent melodies effortlessly rolling off the stage, the band was in a place of supreme musical comfort, and we were blessed to be a part of it.  It’s no wonder they were bored up in Vermont with this type of energy bubbling inside them.

1998-04-03gn2However, for every bit as good as the first set was, this night’s second frame would go down in history as one of the best ever played.  I am hesitant to even attempt to write about this set of music, knowing whatever words I devise can not come close to describing its majesty.  The 40+ minutes that made up “Roses Are Free > Piper” passed through so many Phishy realms- grooves, bliss, ambient space, and evil darkness- all wrapped into one jam, it was literally a dream come true.  Exploratory, yet cohesive; out there, yet directed, this segment of music contained unbridled power.  Initiating the improv with an extended set of to-die-for Phish grooves, Trey and Mike absolutely crushed it, wrapping their minds and musical ideas tightly around each other.  Page and Fish framed their grooves, contributing as two complementary cogs in the machine.  After this period of sublime rhythmic focus, Trey transcended the patterns with ridiculously flowing improvised leads that sounded completely pre-written.  How could everything be so perfect?!

Soon the jam traveled into an abstract Phishy-ambient space.  With Fishman bringing the music deeper with shimmering beats, Page, Mike and Trey transformed into an amorphous ball of harmony and melody.  When the jam finally seemed as if it could be heading for a calm landing point in “Piper,” the whole band jumped on a new idea and took the abstract jam to a much darker place.  Before long, the music built into one of those delicate and sacred places where the band just oozes IT.  Trey ascended to his “spiritual” tone with divine phrases and licks, bringing everyone along for the ride.  Things then became subconscious- for them, for me, for everyone- the unifying spirit; a completely unique experience.  Led by improvisation that was not heard every day, and was most definitely worth writing home about, this jam possessed at least some of the answers to the universal questions.  Phish then somehow crept the music, unsuspectingly, back from the depths, right back to where it was headed in the first place, landing in “Piper.”

4.3.98 Nasau

4.3.98 Nasau (Joel Price)

Seamlessly transitioning into the song, they band absolutely nailed it, and just as the adventure was winding down, there sparked a new beginning!  For the first, and only time in the band’s career,  they improvised out of the melodic denouement of “Piper.”  From the first time I heard this song in Virginia Beach, I always knew it could reach another level if they used the ending as a springboard, and they finally did!  This was my perfect world.  The progressed  from this beauty back into even darker and heavier abstract places- stuff you’d never really imagined.  Spirits of the universe groaned awake after a slumber of a million years.  They band channeled extra-terrestrial energy, providing a psychedelic trampoline to face your inner-self amidst this celestial sludge; confronting your fears and realizing your dreams.  Building to a frightening peak in this alternate universe, the music finally trickled back down to earth.  This was the ultimate.

As my my brain slowly slid back to Nassau, NY, Page began a celebratory “Loving Cup” that seemed so perfectly placed after the unrelenting and gorgeous psychedelia that preceded it.  Yet what happened during this “Loving Cup” turned out to be more significant than the song itself.

3176382207_0d3c0e8ddaToward the end of the song, a fan jumped on stage, and narrowly avoided being caught by drum tech and stage security guy, Pete Carini.  The crowd roared as the the fan hurled himself back into the crowd untouched, and as the song ended with the crowd deafening, the band started up an “Antelope.”  This intro had the now famous, “Carini’s gonna get you!” joke, started by Fishman and carried out by the rest of the band.  You could feel the overwhelming energy of the audience bubbling up with each repetition of the line.  The place was about to explode, and it did with a ridiculously fierce set-closing “Antelope.”  Phish had the the venue literally going berserk when this set ended.

Although the band had just played a career-defining concert, this massive surge of energy certainly came from this late set stage jumping episode.  Had it not been for his antics, the encore most likely would have taken another route.  But with the building vibrating with enthusiasm, the band came out and dropped the second ever domestic “Carini,” only three shows after dropping the first (12.30.97).  The show could have ended here, but instead, surfing the emotional wave, Phish dropped into “Halley’s Comet” to the delight of all!  As the time came for the jam, the band cut right into “Tweezer Reprise”- but there was never any “Tweezer!”  Breaking out their ultimate tool of adrenaline when it was most appropriate, they would follow up the improvised “Reprise” with a set-opening “Tweezer” in Providence the next night.  This “Reprise” found Trey aggressively marching in circles on stage, knowing they were putting the stamp on one of the best nights of their career.

“Tweezer Reprise” 4.3.98

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WEST COAST SUMMER ’09 RUMOR MILL:

3250483699_bf81d04535Expect an announcement soon!  Maybe today!  The dates I’ve heard are:

7.30 – 8.2: Red Rocks, Morrison, CO
8.5: Coors Amp. Chula Vista, CA
8.7 – 8.8: Hollywood Bowl, LA, CA
8.11 – 8.12: Shoreline, Mountain View, CA
8.14 – 8.15: The Gorge, George, WA

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PHISH THOUGHTS TICKET EXCHANGE:

3251306826_09e533a8acThe board is up and running with well over 200 users having posted requests or tickets.  I am putting a permalink in the upper right hand corner of the home page, so you can always access the board from there.  Remember, you need an invite in order to post on the board.  To get one, send an email to ticketexchange@phishthoughts.com with your email address as the subject line and a funny joke in the text.  Thanks!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

6.13.97 SFX Centre, Dublin IR < LINK

phish-1The initial show of Summer ’97 featured the debut of seven originals and two covers, comprising almost half the show.  Along with their new host of songs, Phish squeezed in great versions of “Stash,” “Maze,” and “Slave.”  The highlight of the show, however, came when “Chalk Dust” morphed into an atypical funk jam which led into the first-ever “Ghost.”

I: Theme from the Bottom, Dogs Stole Things*, Beauty of My Dreams, Billy Breathes, Limb By Limb*, Wolfman’s Brother > Wading in the Velvet Sea*, Taste

II: Stash, Maze, Water in the Sky*, Vultures*, Slave to the Traffic Light, Chalk Dust Torture > Ghost*, Oblivious Fool*, Character Zero

E: Stand!#, Izabella##

*First time played. #First time played (Sly and the Family Stone cover) ##First time played (Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)

Weekend Nuggets: The Palace Theatre ’93

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 24, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

img_0645This weekend we have two soundboard copies of a classic two-night stand in Albany during May of 1993.  Both are beautiful relics of a bygone are; standout shows from the “speedjazz” era of 1993.  Enjoy!

5.5.93 The Palace Theatre, Albany, NY SBD < LINK

I: Rift, Guelah Papyrus, Foam, Sparkle, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, It’s Ice, Glide, Maze, Golgi Apparatus

II: Runaway Jim, My Friend My Friend > Manteca > My Friend My Friend, Poor Heart, Weigh, Big Ball Jam, Ya Mar, You Enjoy Myself*

E: Amazing Grace, Cavern > Take the A-Train > Cavern

*Jam with Aquarium Rescue Unit and the Dude of Life.

5.6.93 The Palace Theatre, ALbany, NY SBD < LINK

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Mound, Split Open and Melt, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, All Things Reconsidered, Llama, Fluffhead, Possum, Lawn Boy*, Why You Been Gone so Long**, Tennessee Waltz**, Fast Train**

II: Suzy Greenberg, Tweezer, Tela, Uncle Pen, Big Ball Jam, The Squirming Coil, Mike’s Song > Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da jam* > Rocky Top*, HYHU > Cracklin’ Rosie > HYHU, That’s Alright Mama**

E: Sweet Adeline, Contact, Tweezer Reprise

*With Dick Solberg on fiddle. **With Dick Solberg on fiddle and Jeff Walton on acoustic guitar.

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“Mike’s Song > H2” 3.31.92 Columbia, MO

“Weekapaug” 3.31.92