Monday, December 31, 2007

Phish: It's an Udder Ball: 12/31/97

Phish: It's an Udder Ball. Sure everyone's seen the footage from Bittersweet Motel of the MASSIVE balloons dropping after midnight on 12/31/97 at The World's Most Famous Arena: Madison Square Garden. But what they don't show you is even better... the scoreboard above the center of the arena was covered in a dome shaped cloth screen the whole night and images were projected onto it. These were the same images Trey was talking about the night before during Harpua- eggs, olives, etc. The images danced and gyrated to the music. Finally just before midnight all the images came together to form a giant olive loaf, which morphed into a pig into the Statue of Liberty and eventually into Baby New Years. Then the screens ripped open at midnight and the big balloons fell out. Here's some good footage (1st minute is bad though) of the NYE madness:

And of course, a Happy New Years to all the Phish Phans out there!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

MSG 2002: The Return- A Montage

Can you believe it's been 5 years since Phish's grand return from hiatus? This video is a montage of clips and images from that show on 12/31/02 at Madison Square Garden. It really captures the feel of the show; from the impossible tickets outside, to the deafening roar of the crowd as Phish came back onstage for the first time in over two years, to the Hood glowstick war, to the Seven Below dancers, to the madness as New Years approached. While it certainly wasn't the best show Phish played, it was a huge relief to all the fans that Phish was back. Hopefully we will feel that way again...anyone got any good Phish reunion rumors??!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Drinking Gin from a Hose at the Great Went

Here's a doozy for ya! The greatest Bathtub Gin of all time? Maybe. This video is from 8/17/97 at the Great Went, Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME. In case you're wondering where that is exactly, it's way up there in Maine. Waaaay up there:

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The first few minutes of this video is the "Art Jam" where each member of Phish painted on some wood which was later passed through the crowd and nailed onto the large 50 foot tall art tower which consisted of pieces that fans had painted throughout the festival. You can see Fishman painting at 2:00 in. The tower was burned down in a giant bonfire at the end of the show (and on a personal note, "sure let's meet by the big sculpture after the show" sounded good before the show but it turned out to be a poor choice of meeting places since the entire crowd seemed to head towards the fire...) Part I:

Part II is where the jam really gets around 2:30 they really start hitting that smooth hose jam that is just free and gorgeous... that little repeating riff Trey starts playing at around 3:15 is the essence of Phish, just finding a little groove and expanding it into something bigger than the sum of it's parts culminating in the big peak at 7:10 before heading into the next song (no closing Gin chords). Epic. Confirmed.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Shoreline 92 Maze Rages

This is a pro-shot video from 8/29/92 at the Shoreline Amphitheater out in Mountain View near San Francisco. Phish opened for Santana this show with a quick one set performance. BUT, like most 1992 Mazes, they just raged the Maze. Nothing long and drawn out but just quick and raging. There's some great closeups on this one- check it out:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Destiny Unbound 10/27/1991

We gotta get on the road! Here it is- the rarely played Phish classic Destiny Unbound from the Elk Ballroom in Telluride , CO on 10/27/91. Check out Trey with the short hair! He had shaved it all off (beard too) only 2 days prior and was the butt of jokes during the show prior to this (which does not exist on tape). After this show, Destiny would be played only 2 more times in the following few weeks before being retired for almost 800 shows and resurfacing one last time at the 2/28/03 Nassau Coliseum show.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

He is Legend: Gettin Jiggy Wit It 11/20/98

There is nothing like a full grown man in a tattered purple circle print dress and viking horns covering a Will Smith song complete with vacuum solo. Hampton (Coliseum aka the Mothership) really came alive this night, alive with laughter at the ridiculousness of this Jon Fishman spectacle. Fun times. I think we're beyond words really with this one... let's roll the videotape:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Feeling the Vibe of Life and Catapulting Onward in Omaha 11-16-96

The 11-16-96 show in Omaha went down as one of the weirdest ones Phish played. There is a bizarro Hood jam where Trey holds a single note for minutes at a time as well as changing the lyrics to Lee Fordham. There's also a wacked out Axilla, a LaGrange opener and a We're An American Band encore. And then there's your sort of standard Phish weirdness; The Vibration of Life>Kung>Catapult which is featured in the video below. Trey explains the rarely played VOL; seven and half beats per second, "you'll feel it in your ass". He also unknowingly starts a firestorm of discussion at the time on the Phish newsgroup ( by saying it was "written by God". Catapult features Trey on his drumkit thing and Mike dancing with scarves!!?!? WTF? Seriously Cactus, WFT?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Boise Bag of Goodness 9/14/99

Here it is, the famous Boise AC/DC Bag. Mr. Palmer is concerned with the $1000 question, "How awesome is this Bag?". Well Mr. P, this is one crazy little kid. Arguably the best AC/DC Bag of all time, Phish explores one smooth groove after another. They say those shows out in the middle of nowhere were always you snooze, you lose, and it holds true for this Idaho show. The whole second set including this song is just one mind melt of Michael Cactus Gordon liquid bass goodness.

If you've got the time (27 minutes!!) and the inclination, enjoy:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Miami Piper Intense Jam 12/29/03

Here's a short but sweet clip that supposedly is from the infamous "Miami Piper" of 12/29/03. I'm not 100% on that but regardless it is pure Phish intensity from about the 5th row center. Lights flashing, Trey machine gun raging- this is what it was all about:

Sunday, December 9, 2007

12/9/95 YEM goes Silent in Albany

Well today is December 9th and that means it's been 12 years since Phish hosed down Albany with some peak epicness on a VERY snowy evening (I actually was not able to make the show due to road closures 8( oh well). This You Enjoy Myself is the epitome of the smooth machine-like hose of those great December '95 shows. The whole month is redonkulous. This is a 4 parter! And we're going biggie size on it. Part I starts with the near perfect composed portion of the song:

Part II is from the trampolines onward. The jamming is just smooth and relaxed, sounding almost like a pre-composed song (ie perfect) from about 3 minutes on. They just find a nice repeating theme and build off it:

Part III continues with Phish melodiously building up to the peak jam with Trey hitting up the mini-drumkit about 2 minutes in for a bass & drums type jam before bringing it back around to the previous theme at around 4:30. Then comes the ultra groovy Page breakdown section, the Shaft teases (with Trey reciting the lyrics), and then the silent jam at around 7 minutes complete with Trey windmilling and "playing" his guitar behind his neck.

Part IV picks up from the end of the silent jam where they take it right back into the groove as if nothing happened. Just sick sick sick. The vocal jam ends the epic YEM:

Saturday, December 8, 2007

While My Guitar Gently Weeps 10/31/94 RIP John Lennon

Today is the anniversary of John Lennon's death in 1980. In tribute here is Phish's cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps from the 10/31/94 Glens Falls show in which they covered the Beatles White Album. This was the first time they played WMGGW and it turned out to be the only song from the show that would remain in constant rotation in future live shows (note that Why Don't We Do It in the Road, I'm So Tired, Everybody's Got Something To Hide, & Cry Baby Cry were each played once or twice after this show). While My Guitar would frequently make a decent encore song '98-00.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Detroit 12/6/97 Izabella Gets Funky

Yesterday was this show at Detroit's Palace at Auburn Hills' 10th anniversary (wow has it been that long?!). Great stuff. Phish takes a Hendrix rocker and somehow turns it into a stop/start funkfest in typical Fall 97 style.
Just for bonus kicks, here's Jimi doing Izabella live from Woodstock:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Phish & Neil Young: Down By the River 10-3-98

This 19 minute clip is from Farm Aid 1998 at the World Music Theater in Tinley Park, IL outside of Chicago. The show was broadcast live on CMT. Halfway through Phish's set, they were joined by the one and only Neil Young for a few songs including Neil's Down by the River. You'll notice that Neil is playing a guitar similar to Trey's; in fact it's Trey's backup Languedoc guitar. You may also notice the epic ripping duel between the two. Young was sufficiently impressed with Phish that they would later go on to play at his Bridge School Benefit and decline his offer to be his backup band for his 1999 tour.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Golgi Giant Country Horns Style 7-20-91

This brief clip is the end of Golgi Apparatus from 7-20-91 at the Arrowhead Ranch in Parksville, NY. This tour featured the Giant Country Horns, sharply dressed in matching suits. A little grainy and short, but good stuff nonetheless.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Carini and That Naked Dude: Prince Caspian 11-6-98

It was a cold day in Madison, WI when Phish played the Kohl Center. Of course inside the arena, it wasn't that cold, in fact it may have even been hot. Hot enough for someone to jump up onstage naked and dance around during Prince Caspian before being escorted off by Pete Carini. How he got past the overzealous "University Rent-A-Cops" (later quoted during the Makisupa), is unclear, but check out 2:42 into this video for the man who would be the inspiration for the lyric change of Carini to "I saw you with Carini and that naked dude; I couldn't eat my food". And stay tuned in after the naked man because Trey absolutely shreds up this Caspian.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Twist Jam 4-2-98 "Aliens Landing"

Let's start this off with the first Twist ever. Part of the 4 show Island Tour, this first Phish show ever at Nassau Coliseum was an easy ticket. In fact, extra tickets were so difficult to get rid of that people actually bubblegummed extras up to the tree in front of the gate, rather than walk in with an extra. The lights for this Twist have been described as "aliens landing" and are easily some of Chris Kuroda's finest work on the lightboard. Here's the jam- the beginning of the song is below it for those completists out there but the jam is where the visuals really get going.
The Jam (part II of the song):

Part I of the song: