Monday Video Pick-Me-Up: Really Fucking Awesome

If you’ve tuned in here on previous Monday mornings, you know that I usually tie all the videos together with a single theme. Sometimes I choose the videos based on a pre-selected theme, like my recent Florida and California posts. Other times, the themes reveal themselves only after I’ve settled on the videos. This week, I chose clips from two different shows, but for the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything that connected them. They came from different years and different continents; one was captured by a fan’s camera, another by a Japanese TV crew.

I thought and thought until my brain was ready to quit, when finally it dawned on me what my theme was: every week, the videos I choose are great. But this week, they’re Really Fucking Awesome.

Let’s start with the Fuji Rock Festival. The performances, which took place July 30th and 31st and August 1st of 1999 in Niigata, on the east coast of Japan, were Phish’s first in the country. You’re probably aware that the band just released the 7/31 performance to benefit Peace Winds America; if you haven’t already, go buy it. Once you’ve done that, check out this video, which includes Chalk Dust from 7/30, and Back on the Train, Limb by Limb, and an incredible Caspian from 7/31:

I don’t think you could put a better face on America than Jon Fishman wearing a muumuu and a cowboy hat and playing a vacuum cleaner. Throw in Nawang Khechog on universal horn for a jam that leads into what is easily the most gorgeous Brian and Robert ever played, and you’ve got a genuine cross-cultural happening:

We continue with some videos, just uploaded by silverchair97, from 6/25/94. Overshadowed by some of the giants surrounding it–the OJ show on 6/17, the monumental UIC show from 6/18 and Columbus from 6/22, and of course Gamehoist on 6/26–this show from Cleveland has some great moments. They include a raging Chalk Dust to close the first set, and an awesome Suzy (with Heartbreaker teases), Maze, and Gin to open the second. Watch them:

And there you have it. Have a really fucking awesome week.