A Show For Your Weekend: The Veterans Tweezer

Veteran's Memorial

On the second night of December 1995 in New Haven, CT Phish raised the bar for every show they and other improvisational rock and roll bands would play in the future. The venue was the Veterans Memorial Coliseum–which was demolished via controlled implosion in 2007 after being closed down for five years. The demolition of the building was said to have taken place to make way for a new theater and community college campus; we all know the real reason is that it was forced to be torn down after the building’s support structure was deemed no longer stable or safe due to the 15 minute Tweezer that took place in the middle of Phish’s 1995 winter tour. The land still lay vacant.

On 12/02/1995 Phish took the stage and opened with a far from exciting Prince Caspian. In fact, pretty much the whole show was far from exciting. In this broken and relatively uninspiring show one gem shines bright through the rest of the music played that night–Tweezer. After a Simple->Faht combo, Tweezer emerged from the between-song audience banter. When the song starts it’s obvious that Phish isn’t in the driver’s seat anymore–Phish simply turned into mediums to harness the evil Gods of Raging. It is slightly sped up and certainly more driven than normal from the get-go.

Set 1: Prince Caspian, Runaway Jim, Mound, Guelah Papyrus, Reba, My Sweet One,Free, Taste That Surrounds, Bouncing Around the Room, Possum

Set 2: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Maze, Simple -> Faht, Tweezer > A Day in the Life,Golgi Apparatus, The Squirming Coil, Tweezer Reprise

Encore: Bold As Love

The Tweezers from 1994 and 1995 have a large spectrum of sounds–some of them close to an hour of intense and/or ambient improvisation–some more to the point and rocking. Phish treated the crowd to the most to the point, most intense and most rocking version of Tweezer or any other song they have ever played (both before and after this night).

Fairly soon after the Uncle Ebeneezer part and Phish start to jam, Trey throws down the lick that the entire epic jam would build off of. Fishman plays his drums with the most drive and intent to rock I might have ever heard. Page accompanies throughout perfectly. Eventually Trey starts flat out takes on a roller coaster of blistering trilling. The jam slows down–into a type of a lull–the drums pick back up out of the murky sound and when the crowd realizes that they are all going to dive right back into the jam with a full head of steam, the crowd explodes with a thunderous roar before Trey gets the chance to start trilling again.

SPOILER ALERT: This is a clip of the end of the jam, don’t listen before hearing the whole song.

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This Tweezer is shockingly awesome, and and absolute must have for any Phish fan. I like to compare this jam to a train that is barreling down a mountainside without any breaks–eventually it finds a shallow pond at the bottom and eventually slows down. After a short amount of musical silence Phish then plays a beautiful version of the Beatles’ A Day in the Life.

If anyone has a crisper/clearer copy please email me at Admin@onlinephishtour.com (or if you have a video)