In preparation for Phish’s three-night blowout party at Watkins Glen race track this weekend, I thought we should take a look at some clips of great moments from festivals past. Although some of these clips may not be new to you, they need to be remembered to show just what Phish can do when there are no time constraints or social norms to be restricted to.
Clifford Ball obviously needs no introduction. It was the first major Phish festival that laid the path for all that followed in years after. With many standout versions of songs during, arguably, the pinnacle of their career, this It’s Ice reminds us of just what the song is capable of. Trey looks so happy in this clip.
The next clip is in here pretty much just for our writer Zim. He kept asking me if I’d recently watched the end of Fluffhead from Clifford Ball, saying how he’d forgotten how glorious the ending was. I’ll admit that 3.0 has had some fabulous endings to the song, but this ending is just fucking nuts! Trey totally made up for the totally botched ending of the song–haha.
Time to move to the following year, 1997. While there are a lot of stand-out jams during the weekend of The Great Went, one jam is burned into all of our minds: The Went Gin. Thankfully, the soundboard of it was just released again via Live Bait 5. Trey brings the hose–that’s what I’m hoping for this weekend.
The following year, Phish returned to Limestone, Maine for 1998’s Lemonwheel.
Oswego came in the summer of 1999; although not an official festival, it was largely thought as a festival. Also, by naming 2009’s hootnanny, Festival 8, it seems that they considered it a festival too. I wanted the clip of Icculus from Oswego, but I couldn’t find it. So we’re moving straight to Big Cypress. Another song released on Shapiro’s Live Bait 5, Mike’s Song from 12/30/99 , is one of my favorite jams of the weekend (I know I’m not alone). The sinister jam is paired well with Kuroda’s insane fog.
After BC, there were no more celebrations until three years later. Phish returned back to the site of The Great Went and Lemonwheel for their festival titled simply “IT”. Late on Saturday night, Phish took over the control tower on the runway for a psychedelic and ambient midnight snack.
Booked as their “final show”, Phish threw a career-ending festival in their home state dubbed Coventry. The festival is now known as the lowest moment in Phish’s career. I’m showing a clip of one of the worst moments from the weekend–not all memories from Phish’s festivals are pleasant(but more are).
After the five-year breakup, Phish returned to a year packed with touring, complete with a festival. While other festivals had been two nights in the past, the Halloween-weekend throwdown in Indio, CA was three nights–something that Super Ball IX will have in common. Festival 8 was one of the most beautiful and well-organized concerts the band has ever put on. The following video is the “Borealis” launched during the extended Harry Hood from the weekend. I’d like the thank the cool concert-goers that did the squiggly green dots all over it–it really makes it look a lot more cool. Thanks guys!