Friday, June 28, 2013's Live Bait 9 features two GREAT 1999 Jams


The cat is out of the bag. 1999, a year long ignored by, is getting it's moment in the sun on this new Live Bait 9 release. Long time phans have been clamoring for professionally remastered soundboard releases of these '99 shows for over a decade.

"Why? Don't the tapes suffice?"

The short answer:  "No."

The 1999 shows featured such a rich abundance of sounds, textures, depth, delicacy, rage, delicate rage, and sonic scapes not yet tested on stage by Phish. As the Summer 2000 tour came around, the band and sound techs had mastered the setup and monitors and PA levels for a better mix and thus tapers got better recordings. However, that meant that a full year of Phish was semi-sort-of missing in action. Some of the '99 recordings were fine, but many were washed out by the mid-level sounds and noises. Even the live shows were very hit or miss from a phan sitting in the pavs or lawn. It sounded like loud "droning" on specific notes. These were huge jams - 20+ minutes!

It was just raw. It was pure. It was uncut. It was amazing.

Some of the soundboard patches revealed hidden gems and textures not captured by tapers. The full extent of what Phish was doing on stage has been slowly leaking as archivist Kevin Shapiro features these songs and shows in his releases, and Live Bait 9 is a startling realization of what we have been missing.

Still not getting it?  Check out these Live Bait 9 cuts:
Split Open and Melt > Kung > Jam – 7/15/1999 @ PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel NJ
Mike’s Song > Twist > Weekapaug – 7/9/1999 @ Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia MD

Download Live Bait 9 for FREE right here:,788/Free-MP3-Download-Live-Bait-Vol-9.html

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Show #10: 7/13/99 Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA

Highlights: The Curtain > Halley's Comet -> Roses Are Free -> NO2, Wolfman's Brother
Listen Here: Phan Reviews:


Hard to top the opener energy from the previous evening (Foreplay/Longtime), so the band opted to go in a different direction: jams... glorious, amazing jams. There is nothing better than Phish outdoing itself through pure creativity. Who needs a straight out of left field cover song, when you can play your own music in such an artistic and captivating manner? Set two is anchored with a mind erasing 21 minute Wolfman's Brother. It is the ambient take on the 97 versions of the jam. Stop what you are listening to and throw on this Wolfman's Brother. I am 99% sure it's better than whatever is currently embracing your ear drums. Hell, it gets so deep that Mike needs the FIGHT BELL to call the match. 
Prepare thyself, the aliens are coming.

SET 1: NICU opener is funky, calypso-groove fun for the masses, but it is but merely a placeholder in this set. The monster segue of THE CURTAIN > HALLEY'S COMET > ROSES ARE FREE > N02 is the "raison d'etre." THE CURTAIN brings with it a feeling of past greatness and has many of the parts of Phish that we all love - singalong choruses, intricate composed sections, slashing guitar riffs and the feeling of being transported to another world during those opening notes. Where were we going? Wherever it was, HALLEY'S COMET was
taking us. We go through Cadillac rainbows, get tangled in spaghetti, get served our thick strawberry goo, all along the way to the central part of town. Trey wastes no time peeling off squealing riffs and fast-fretted runs, instead he goes straight for the ambient groove. The central part of this town is ambient funk-ville. This groove is the anti-Halley's Comet solo and jam of the past and veers towards the core of Phish as one. The 2012 Summer Tour "all are one" jams should thank this grandfather of greatness. This Halley's Comet jam is a lesson in sum is greater than parts. The monumental jam leaks into what seems like Ghost.... but then a last second right turn takes us to ROSES ARE FREE. Roses was so under-played at this point in Phish's career it was a huge treat to get this tune. The song gets the crowd going and pours into a very loopy, soupy ambient jam that seems to be spiraling out of control (because it is) as it drops into N02. This N02 is unique because it contains the actual "composed" section atop the swirling loops and sirens. A first time play. Ever. A very beautiful and almost Crosby, Stills and Nash style composed jam of delicate chord changes and patient loving playing by the band. All that over some weird ambient siren loops. Quite a sonic buffet. An excellent Reba > Carini adds another set highlight.

SET 2: WOLFMAN'S BROTHER goes ambient early and often in this stellar dark and dirty version of the classic Hoist cut. Just so deep and layered and funky before it gets sucked into the galaxy. Mike's finds a very unique riff early and steers Trey towards the dark side. Soon enough the drone loops and feedback starts. Mike drops into slap groove mode. The crowd erupts for the glow-stick war. The funk gets deeper. You can feel the energy on playback. It's what you want... hell, it's what everyone wants. Darker, funkier, deeper into the groove. Page is so in the pocket he's invisible on the low clavs - like Bernie Worrell under water. It sounds like the entire amphitheater is slowly sinking into the ground and everyone loves it. Mike incorporates the Fight Bell just to let everyone know that this thing ain't over yet. The band melts into a subsonic spacey wormhole and the jam gets sucked into the vacuum. The rest of this set is nothing compared to that Wolfman's Brother, so I will pretend like it doesn't exist.

Tuesday, 07/13/1999
Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA

Set 1: NICU, The Curtain > Halley's Comet -> Roses Are Free -> NO2[1], Lawn Boy, Reba[2] > Carini > Funky Bitch
Set 2: Wolfman's Brother > Piper, Bug > Mountains in the Mist, Run Like an Antelope[3] > Possum[4]
Encore: Tuesday's Gone[5]
[1] For the first known time, NO2 included the instrumental ending originally included on The White Tape.
[2] No whistling.
[3] Meatstick teases.
[4] Scott Murawski on guitar.
[5] Phish debut; Scott Murawski on guitar.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Show #9: 7/12/99 Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA

Highlights: Foreplay/Longtime
Listen Here: Phan Reviews:


 This show will forever be known for its "electric" Foreplay/Longtime bustout, but features some nice ambient moments. Please note that their really is no "big" ambient jam in this show. Many of the ambient moments and jams are conducted with creativity and pensive precision, as Phish is clearly "locked in," only the delicate building ambient tinged jam in DAVID BOWIE is noteworthy.

 SET 1: Starting with a BANG! the band loads up and fires off a FOREPLAY/LONGTIME bustout for the Boston faithful and has the crowd amped early and often. Obviously they didn't take the jam of F/L to crazy ambient dissonance, but neither did they with the follow up 18 minute DOWN WITH DISEASE. Instead, Trey and the boys opted for a "meat and potatoes" guitar lead DWD with a pretty mild "ambient style" lower-tempered jam for the last 4 minutes before bringing back the central guitar riff and closing out the uneventful tune. A standard BACK ON THE TRAIN came and went with little fanfare. A bit of a pause before... WHAT'S THE USE slides into a great first set slot. Bringing a beautiful texture, the ambient tune dipped and swayed it's way through a very lowfi but awesome jam section that chose Radiohead sparsity over swirling "wall of sound" effects laden landscapes. Great minimalism ambient style. The gorgeous underwhelming continued with a rhythmic lowfi ambient tech jam in SPLIT OPEN AND MELT. A very understated but sonically strong version for Phish, probably overlooked by most. Trey channels his inner Hendrix on a scathing Character Zero set closer.
SET 2: TWIST opener is always a good idea. The band decided to go minimalist again, but opted for a bluesier take and really only hinted at the ambient jam that could have been. Playing it safe. I get it. It's a two night run and maybe they are saving the "weird" for the next night. MAKISUPA features some spacey weirdness started by Page and Mike, and finished off by Trey throwing down some reverse loops. Real reggae fans may shudder to think of Bob Marley approaching a reggae jam with alien sounds and reverse guitar loops, but this is Phish and this is what we want to hear! The rest of this set and encore are standard summer fare, aside from the DAVID BOWIE. The BOWIE has a really gorgeous and intricate building jam that starts off with almost complete silence and slowly builds through some clouds of ambient fluff and mini whale calls from Trey. Gordon plays some of his most thoughtful bass runs during this jam as clearly the band is seeking more from this BOWIE than any other song not called FOREPLAY/LONGTIME. 

Link Monday, 07/12/1999
Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA

Soundcheck: My Best Friend's Girlfriend, Centerfold, Dream On, Rift
Set 1: Foreplay/Long Time[1] > Down with Disease, Back on the Train, What's the Use?, Split Open and Melt, Water in the Sky > Character Zero
Set 2: Twist > The Moma Dance > Makisupa Policeman > David Bowie, The Lizards, Guyute
Encore: Rock and Roll
[1] First Phish electric version.
Notes: Foreplay/Long Time was played for the first time since December 9, 1994 (310 shows) and was the first time Phish had ever performed it electric. Guyute was followed by band introductions, including Mike Gordon as “Michael ‘Soft G’ Jordan.”