Do The Evolution: 200 Essential Phish Shows

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Furthermore, the list is not complete by any means. I have no doubt missed a show that had an incredible influence on your musical consciousness, or one that the band would consider to be “IT.”

I’ll read your mind and answer a logical question – 95% of the list has recordings in circulation on the Phish Spreadsheet. Recollections from listening were supplemented by the set list database, and the incredible efforts of the Mockingbird Foundation to produce and publish the Phish Companion. Special thanks also go to one kind phan who will remain nameless, who several years ago gave me a copy of the magical Phish hard drive – a 500 GB beast with every Phish show known to be in circulation at the time.

So let the debate begin. If there’s something missing, add it to the comments section. I’m always looking for new companions on this ride.

  1. 12/2/83 – University of Vermont (the 1st show)
  2. 12/1/84 – Nectar’s, Burlington, VT (well-circulated show documenting infant PH)
  3. 5/3/85 – University of Vermont (Page’s debut)
  4. 10/30/85 – Hunt’s, Burlington, VT (the beginning of PH Halloween festivities)
  5. 11/23/85 – Goddard College, Plainfield, VT (Mike’s epiphany)
  6. 10/15/86 – Hunt’s, Burlington, VT (Paul Languedoc’s 1st show as sound man)
  7. 12/6/86 – The Ranch, Shelburne, VT (awesome early-era PH)
  8. 4/29/87 – Nectar’s, Burlington, VT (they crush all 3 sets)
  9. 8/9/87 – Nectar’s Burlington, VT (1st Curtain With, Fee, Harpua, Divided Sky, La Grange)
  10. 8/21/87 – Ian McLean’s Party, Hebron, NY (probably the most-circulated show of the early era)
  11. 10/31/87 – Goddard College, Plainfield, VT (1st Halloween performance)
  12. 3/12/88 – Nectar’s Burlington, VT (1st known live performance of Gamehenge w/narrations)
  13. 7/23/88 – Pete’s Phabulous Phish Phest, Underhill, VT (the name speaks for itself)
  14. 7/28/888/5/88 – The Roma & Fly Me To the Moon Saloon, Telluride, CO (later released as Colorado ’88)
  15. 9/24/88 – Full Moon @ The Zoo, Amherst College, Amherst, MA (very well-known early era gig)
  16. 1/26/89 – The Paradise, Boston, MA (1st “major” gig in Boston)
  17. 5/28/89 – Ian McLean’s Party / Connie Condon’s Farm, Hebron, NY (three very fun sets)
  18. 8/26/89 – Townshend Family Park, Townshend, VT (later released as Live Phish Vol. 9)
  19. 10/20-22/89 – The Front, Burlington, VT (stellar multi-night run @ The Front)
  20. 10/26/89 – Wetlands Preserve, NYC (two long sets)
  21. 10/31/89 – Goddard College, Plainfield, VT (Halloween)
  22. 12/31/89 – World Trade Center Hall, Boston, MA (1st PH performance on NYE)
  23. 2/23/90 – Haverford College, Haverford, PA (well-known gig from early 1990)
  24. 3/28/90 – Denison University, Granville, OH (1st Tweezer, Runaway Jim and Cavern)
  25. 5/4/90 – Colonial Theater, Keene, NH (smoking show, very tight playing from start to finish)
  26. 6/1/90 – Cotton Club, Atlanta, GA (lots of banter/crowd interaction/on-stage hi-jinks)
  27. 9/13/90 – Wetlands Preserve, NY (well-circulated show with many 1st time played tunes, incl. Tube)
  28. 10/31/90 – Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO (Halloween)
  29. 11/4/90 – Fort Ram Nightclub, Fort Collins, CO (Mike’s>Hydrogen>Weekapaug)
  30. 12/31/90 – World Trade Center Hall, Boston, MA (NYE)
  31. 2/1/91 – Brown University, Providence, RI (1st Tweeprise, Guelah & Chalk Dust Torture)
  32. 2/15/91 – Colonial Theatre, Keene, NH (widely-circulated ’91 show)
  33. 2/19/91 – The Bayou, Washington, DC (Fish’s birthday; lots of banter & high points throughout)
  34. 3/16/91 – Ten Mile Room, Breckenridge, CO (solid set list from start to finish)
  35. 4/6/91 – Evergreen College, Olympia, WA (best show of the band’s 1st west coast run)
  36. 4/27/91 – Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY (just one of many classic PH nights @ this venue)
  37. 5/3/91 – Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA (Cam Neely narration during Harpua)
  38. 7/12/91 – Colonial Theatre, Keene, NH (later released as Live Phish vol. 19)
  39. 7/14/91 – Townshend Family Park, Townshend, VT (Giant Country Horns)
  40. 7/2021/91 – Arrowhead Ranch, Parksville, NY (exceptional playing, outstanding venue/scene)
  41. 8/3/91 – Amy’s Farm, Auburn, ME (free show; famous night in Phistory)
  42. 10/6/91 – Macalester College, St. Paul, MN (hysterical stage banter; Fishman hates HYHU)
  43. 10/13/91 – North Shore Surf Club, Olympia, WA (Gamehendge)
  44. 10/31/91 – Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO (Halloween)
  45. 11/15/91 – Trax, Charlottesville, VA (the “Mrs. Pizza Shit” show)
  46. 12/31/91 – Worcester Memorial Auditorium, Worcester, MA (3 sets of NYE greatness)
  47. 3/67/92 – The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH (many debuts from what would later become the Rift album)
  48. 4/16/92 – Anaconda Theater, Isla Vista, CA (perfect example of 1992 Phish)
  49. 4/18/92 – Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA (“squirt-gun break!”)
  50. 5/14/92 – Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY (last 25 minutes of set 1 make this show a keeper)
  51. July/August 1992 – HORDE tour and opening act for Carlos Santana (7/25/92 – famous Carlos sit-in)
  52. 11/19/92 – St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT (later released by for Haiti relief)
  53. 12/56/92 – Vic Theater, Chicago, IL (nice 2-night run in Chicago)
  54. 12/31/92 – Matthews Arena, Boston, MA (broadcast live on WBCN; radio audience freak-out instructions)
  55. 2/3/93 – Portland Expo, Portland ME (debut of Page’s baby grand…and, as a result, Loving Cup)
  56. 2/1921/93 – Roxy Theater, Atlanta, GA (3-night run later released in its entirety)
  57. 3/2/93 – Tipitina’s, New Orleans, LA (Mardi Gras Phish)
  58. 3/14/93 – Western State College, Gunnison, CO (2nd set is why we listen to Phish)
  59. 3/22/93 – Crest Theater, Sacramento, CA (Gamehendge)
  60. 3/28/93 – Humboldt State College, Arcata, CA (Arcata + PH + awesome Antelope & YEM = must-hear show)
  61. 4/14/93 – American Theater, St. Louis, MO (YEM>Spooky>YEM, Harpua, Runaway Jim to close the show)
  62. 5/56/93 – Palace Theater, Albany, NY (outstanding 2-night run in a great venue in Albany)
  63. 7/16/93 – Mann Music Center, Philadelphia, PA (debut of 2001, Yerushalayim Shel Zahav and Purple Rain)
  64. 7/25/93 – Waterloo Village, Stanhope, NJ (fun 2nd set)
  65. 8/2/93 – Ritz Theater, Tampa, FL (several bust-outs, including Brother, Dog Log, La Grange & Sparks)
  66. 8/7/93 – Darien Lake PAC, Darien Center, NY (classic ’90s era 2nd set)
  67. 8/13/93 – Murat Theater, Indianapolis, IN (GIN!)
  68. 8/14/93 – World Music Theater, Tinley Park, IL (later released as Live Phish vol. 7)
  69. 8/20/93 – Red Rocks, Morrison, CO (first Red Rocks show)
  70. 12/28/93 – American University, Washington, DC (start of the holiday run; 1st Peaches since 1989)
  71. 12/30/93 – CCCC, Portland, ME (outstanding show, high energy start to finish)
  72. 12/31/93 – Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA (NYE, amazing YEM & Tweezer, debut of DWD jam)
  73. 4/4/94 – Flynn Theater, Burlington, VT (many debuts, including the complete DWD)
  74. 4/1315/94 – Beacon Theater, NYC (amazing 3-show run)
  75. 4/24/94 – Grady Cole Center, Charlotte, NC (Bathtub Gin > Jump Monk > Bathtub Gin)
  76. 5/4/94 – State Palace Theater, New Orleans, LA (Cosmic Country Horns for most of 2nd set)
  77. 5/7/94 – Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX (Tweezer-fest. Live Phish vol. 18)
  78. 6/17/94 – Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI (The OJ Show)
  79. 6/22/94 – Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Columbus, OH (wow, what a 2nd set. Live Phish vol. 10)
  80. 6/26/94 – Municipal Auditorium, Charleston, WV (GameHoist)
  81. 6/30/94 – Classic Amphitheater, Richmond, VA (stellar 2nd set includes Harpua)
  82. 7/8/94 – Great Woods, Mansfield, MA (Gamehendge in set 1)
  83. 7/16/94 – Summerstage @ Sugarbush, North Fayston, VT (“comet crashed into Jupiter,” LP vol. 2)
  84. 10/31/94 – Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY (The White Album)
  85. 12/30/94 – Madison Square Garden, NYC (1st show @ MSG)
  86. 12/31/94 – Boston Garden, Boston, MA (Tropical Hot Dog Night)
  87. 5/16/95 – Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, MA (Voters Choice benefit; many debuts)
  88. 6/22/95 – Finger Lakes PAC, Canandaigua, NY (40-minute “Fleezer”)
  89. 6/23/95 – Waterloo Village, Stanhope, PA (John Popper for Harpua during 2nd set)
  90. 6/28/95 – Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY (Tweezer > Dave’s Energy Guide > Tweezer)
  91. 9/30/95 – Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA (start of 1st band vs. audience chess match)
  92. 10/31/95 – Rosemont Horizon, Chicago, IL (Quadrophenia)
  93. 11/911/95 – Fox Theater, Atlanta, GA (great 3-night run; classic 1995 playing)
  94. 11/25/95 – Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA (1st show @ Hampton Coliseum)
  95. 12/9/95 – Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, NY (Best YEM ever?)
  96. 12/14/95 – Broome County Arena, Binghamton, NY (later released as Live Phish vol. 1)
  97. 12/29/95 – Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA (Bathtub Gin > The Real Me > Bathtub Gin)
  98. 12/31/95 – Madison Square Garden, NYC (arguably the best PH show ever played)
  99. 6/6/96 – Joyous Lake, Woodstock, NY (The Third Ball)
  100. July 1996 – European Tour, opening for Santana
  101. 8/6/96 – Red Rocks, Morrison, CO (great show; near-riot in the town of Morrison gets PH banned)
  102. 8/13/96 – Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN (later released as Live Phish vol. 12)
  103. 8/1617/96 – Plattsburgh Air Force Base, Plattsburgh, NY (The Clifford Ball)
  104. 10/31/96 – The Omni, Atlanta, GA (Remain in Light)
  105. 11/2/96 – Coral Sky Amphitheater, West Palm Beach, FL (Crosseyed & Painless, Antelope)
  106. 11/15/96 – Kiel Center, St. Louis, MO (“brought to you by the letter M and the number 420”)
  107. 12/6/96 – Aladdin Theater, Las Vegas, NV (later released as “Vegas 96”)
  108. 12/29/96 – The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA (incredible 2nd set w/Bowie, Gin, Lizards, YEM and Harpua)
  109. 12/31/96 – Fleet Center, Boston MA (Bohemian Rhapsody w/Boston Community Choir)
  110. 2/21/97 – Tenax, Florence, Italy (YEM in Firenze)
  111. 2/26/97 – Longhorn, Stuttgart, Germany (outstanding show from the very 1st note)
  112. 3/1/97 – Markethalle, Hamburg, Germany (portions later released as Slip, Stitch & Pass)
  113. 3/18/97 – Flynn Theater, Burlington, VT (show to celebrate release of Phish Food ice cream)
  114. 6/6/97 – Brand Sands & Pete Carini’s house, Charlotte, VT (The Fourth Ball)
  115. 7/12/97 – Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands (classic 1997 2-night run, in Amsterdam taboot!)
  116. 7/6/97 – Spiaggia di Rivoltella, Desenzano, Italy (Soundcheck Limbo Karaoke Contest)
  117. 7/21/97 – Virginia Beach Amphitheater, Virginia Beach, VA (crazy 2nd set)
  118. 7/22/97 – Walnut Creek Amphitheater, Walnut Creek, NC (later released on DVD)
  119. 7/31/97 – Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA (Trey pays tribute to Jerry Garcia)
  120. 8/1011/97 – Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN (Summer 97, 2-nighter @ DC. Perfect.)
  121. 8/14/97 – Darien Lake PAC, Darien Center, NY (Merry Pranksters)
  122. 8/1617/97 – Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME (The Great Went)
  123. 11/17/97 – McNichols Arena, Denver, CO (later released as Live Phish vol. 11)
  124. 11/21-22/97 – Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA (famous 2-night funky run in Hampton)
  125. 11/29/97 – Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA (Longest Runaway Jim ever)
  126. 12/6/97 – Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI (incredible 2nd set)
  127. 12/7/97 – Ervin J. Nutter Center, Dayton, OH (1997 perfection)
  128. 12/11/97 – Rochester War Memorial, Rochester, NY (DWD, Roses; featured in Bittersweet Motel)
  129. 12/13/97 – Pepsi Arena, Albany, NY (“Bring in the Dude!”)
  130. 12/2931/97 – Madison Square Garden, NYC (maybe the funkiest 3-night stand in Phistory)
  131. 4/23/98 – Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY (part 1 of the Island Tour)
  132. 4/45/98 – Providence Civic Center, Providence, RI (part 2 of the Island Tour)
  133. 7/56/98 – Lucerna Theater, Prague, Czech Republic (great 2-night stand. Ghost from night 2)
  134. 7/15/98 – Portland Meadows, Portland, OR (Excellent Tweezer. Live Phish vol. 17)
  135. 7/20/98 – Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura, CA (outstanding Gin to open the show)
  136. 7/21/98 – Desert Sky Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ (2nd set is a keeper)
  137. 7/28/98 – Sandstone Amphitheater, Bonner Springs, KS (very fun set-list; solid playing throughout)
  138. 7/29/98 – Riverport Amphitheater, Maryland Heights, MO (best Gin of all-time, imo)
  139. 8/1/98 – Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI (debut of Ramble On & Been Caught Stealing)
  140. 8/7/98 – Walnut Creek Amphitheater, Walnut Creek, NC (“lunar eclipse” Forbin’s narration)
  141. 8/8/98 – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD (more fun on the summer 98 jukebox tour)
  142. 8/9/98 – Virginia Beach Amphitheater, Virginia Beach, VA (Terrapin Station encore)
  143. 8/11/98 – Star Lake Amphitheater, Burgettstown, PA (bust outs – Trenchtown Rock, Time Loves a Hero)
  144. 8/1415/98 – Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME (Lemonwheel)
  145. 10/3/98 – New World Music Theater, Tinley Park, IL (Farm-Aid; “Down by the River” w/Neil Young)
  146. 10/31/98 – Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV (Loaded)
  147. 11/2/98 – E Center, West Valley City, UT (Dark Side of the Moon)
  148. 11/2021/98 – Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA (later released as “Hampton Comes Alive”)
  149. 11/27/98 – Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA (Wipe Out 2nd set; Live Phish vol. 6)
  150. 12/29/98 – Madison Square Garden, NYC (best night of the holiday run; outstanding 2nd set)
  151. 7/1718/99 – Oswego County Airport, Volney, NY (Camp Oswego festival)
  152. 7/2526/99 – Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN (lots of highlights over the 2-night stand)
  153. 9/1011/99 – Gorge Amphitheater, George, WA (several late era debuts)
  154. 9/14/99 – Boise State University Pavilion, Boise, ID (classic “you snooze you lose” show)
  155. 9/17/99 – Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA (Phil Lesh, Warren Haynes)
  156. 12/11/99 – Spectrum, Philadephia, PA (funk-filled 2nd set)
  157. 12/18/99 – Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA (Strong last show before Cypress)
  158. 12/3031/99 – Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, Big Cypress, FL (no explanation needed)
  159. 5/22/00 – Radio City Music Hall, NYC (Ghost)
  160. 6/14/00 – Drum Logos, Fukuoka, Japan (Fukuoka Jam; later released as Live Phish vol. 4)
  161. 6/29/00 – PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ (best show in 2000, start to finish, IMO)
  162. 7/1112/00 – Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN (Moby Dick 2nd set; Curtain With mega-bust-out)
  163. 9/89/00 – Pepsi Arena, Albany, NY (great kick-off run to the last tour before hiatus)
  164. 9/14/00 – Darien Lake PAC, Darien Center, NY (Suzy Reprise Jam; Live Phish vol. 3)
  165. 9/2930/00 – Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV (quality of Kid Rock appearance hotly debated)
  166. 10/7/00 – Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA (last show before the hiatus)
  167. 12/31/02 – Madison Square Garden, NYC (not the best playing, but the reaction as lights went down!)
  168. 2/26/03 – Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA (1st “great” show post-hiatus)
  169. 2/28/03 – Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY (the return of Destiny Unbound & Soul Shakedown Party)
  170. 7/13/03 – Gorge Amphitheater, George, WA (insane Seven Below in 2nd set)
  171. 7/15/03 – USANA Amphitheater, West Valley City, UT (another “you snooze, you lose” show in Utah)
  172. 7/29/03 – Star Lake Amphitheater, Burgettstown, PA (great set list punctuated by Harpua)
  173. 8/23/03 – Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME (IT)
  174. 12/2/03 – Fleet Center, Boston, MA (the 20th Anniversary show)
  175. 12/2831/03 – AAA Arena, Miami, FL (fun 4-night stand to close out 2003, P-funk on 12/30)
  176. 6/1718/04 – KeySpan Park, Brooklyn, NY (Jay-Z; movie theater simulcast, Live in Brooklyn DVD)
  177. 6/21/04 – Ed Sullivan Theater, NYC (PH performed a mini-set on the façade outside the Letterman show)
  178. 8/1415/04 – Newport State Airport, Coventry, VT (a train-wreck by all accounts, but historic)
  179. 3/68/09 – Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA (the return! We felt the feeling we forgot)
  180. 6/12 & 14/09 – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN (late-night PH; Springsteen on 6/14)
  181. 7/31/09 – Red Rocks, Morrison, CO (best show of the 4-night run; 2nd set is stellar)
  182. 8/8/09 – Gorge Amphitheater, George, CO (Rock & Roll > Makisupa Policeman)
  183. 8/14/09 – Comcast Theater, Hartford, CT (Icculus, iPhones and a “pong” jam)
  184. 10/30, 10/31, 11/1/09 – Empire Polo Club, Indio, CA (Festival 8; Exile on Main Street; acoustic set)
  185. 11/28/09 – Times Union Center, Albany, NY (Seven Below > Ghost)
  186. 12/3031/09 – AAA, Miami, FL (best 2 nights of the 4-night NYE run in south Florida)
  187. 6/20/10 – Saratoga PAC, Saratoga, NY (fun Father’s Day show; Brother, Makisupa, Piper>2001>YEM)
  188. 6/25/10 – Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ (Michael Jackson 2001, Alumni Blues)
  189. 6/27/10 – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD (Saw It Again 2nd set)
  190. 7/1/10 – Time Warner Pavilion, Raleigh, NC (very clean performance; several major bust-outs)
  191. 7/2/10 – Verizon Amphitheater, Charlotte, NC (best-played YEM in the modern era, IMO)
  192. 7/4/10 – Verizon Amphitheater, Alpharetta, GA (Harpua>Killing in the Name>Harpua)
  193. 8/6/10 – Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA (Cities > Jam)
  194. 8/1415/10 – Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI (later released on DVD)
  195. 10/20/10 – Utica Memorial Auditorium, Utica, NY (Guyutica)
  196. 10/26/10 – Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH (After Midnight, Alumni Blues, Night Nurse)
  197. 10/30/10 – Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ (Tweezer Zeppelin craziness)
  198. 10/31/10 – Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ (Waiting for Columbus)
  199. 12/31/10 – Madison Square Garden, NYC (global Meatstick dance party)
  200. 1/1/11 – Madison Square Garden, NYC (first show ever played on 1/1)

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35 thoughts on “Do The Evolution: 200 Essential Phish Shows

  1. Kyle Reply

    wow great list I was at a ton of those shows. thanks for sharing

  2. Steve Reply

    Awesome job Andy!!!
    Should we just start calling that HD “The BEAST”?

  3. jsf3000 Reply

    Great work new guy Andy!

  4. Guy Forget Reply

    It’s awesome that you put this together, and I’ll be revisiting some of the older shows that I’ve parted ways with over the years. But I think you came up short in your attempts to make this objective. I mean, you have zero shows from fall ’94 (other than Halloween) despite its being arguably the most groundbreaking tour in the band’s history, between the marathon jams and the bluegrass. On the other hand, you have eleven entries from the summer ’98 US tour–fully half the tour–and even six from the mediocre first leg of last summer.

    There are some great selections on here, but I think an ideal list of the most essential 200 shows would have to fix at least these issues.

  5. jsf3000 Reply

    One show that is lacking for me is 3-13-92 Campus Club, Providene, RI with Antelope->BBFCFM. Pure Phishy insaneness!

  6. RobAins Reply

    Great list! But no Gorge (either show) 98?

  7. Al Reply

    Thanks for taking the time to do this…. I’m sure it took a while. I gotta agree with Guy Forget, though… 11 shows from summer ’98? It’s funny because with all those summer ’98 shows, my favorite of that tour– Vernon Downs– was left off.

    And some of those 2010 shows should definitely be replaced by 92-97 shows. 2010 is hardly “essential” Phish, imo.

  8. ben Reply

    good list. i think for the 3.0 era, the second and third night of MSG 09, and both nights of mullins center are very important.
    The DWD of MSG 09, about nine minutes in is incredible. trey starts wailing and the audience goes nuts. also the crowd’s response to first tube of MSG 09 is just incredible.
    Also the Maze of Mullins Center october 2010.
    And last but NOT least, the POSSUM jam from 8/17/10 is some of the highest energy phish ive heard in a lonnng time

  9. Randy Ray Reply

    I first saw Phish in 1992, as well, when they opened up for Santana at the Shoreline, and, like any fan, I have my own faves, which tend to lean towards ’93-’98, but I think Andy has done a rather fine job of creating a fairly comprehensive list, especially since a few longtime fans may not be as kind about the ’09-’10 era.

    I think the word “essential” is…well, uh, essential here, as some of these shows are critical to hear just so one can hear how different the band could be from night to night, tour to tour, and from year to year. Great job!

  10. Icculus Reply

    Also started in’92, have seen about 1/4 of the shows on this list but have seen a few which arent on this list that are better, more important than all 50 I’ve seen that made it. 7/13/94? Tent at the bottom of a hill, by mid-1st set the phans had taken away all the seats & piled them in the back making it a dance party tent. Band responded by playing some crazy versions, ex DWD and some 2nd set insanity with Cavern w Wilson lyrics, country BBFCFM, etc.
    11/19/92 makes it but the superior 11/27&28 from same tour don’t?
    Could go on all day & realize it’s all a mix of personal taste & which shows have the best SB’s widely available but some no brainers omitted, some meh’s included.

  11. stealy_fan Reply

    Great stuff thanks for putting together…no 12/1/03 love though! Loved that second set (Wolfman’s, Tweezer, 2001)…I know the next night is there for Anniversary reasons, but the show itself wasn’t so great.

  12. Andy Silver Reply

    Hey folks. Great comments by all. As I said in the piece, I definitely figured I’d be missing some of your favorites.

    For example, I thought long and hard about just listing “Spring 1992,” b/c a stellar show was played literally every night. LOL.

    As for fall 1994, that’s clearly a miss on my part, especially when talking about “evolution” of the band. Forgiveness, please.

    Regarding summer 1998, I love the jukebox tour, and I get excited about new covers. But again, YMMV, and I respect that 100%.

    Concerning 2009-2010, there has certainly been a lot of debate among the phans as to the perceived “quality” of these shows. I put several on the list, b/c with the emergence of the Ocedoc, we’re hearing a new style. It’s evolution for sure. Whether you like the evolution, well, that’s your call 🙂

    Thanks for reading & reacting, folks! And big thanks to Scotty B for posting.


  13. Andy Silver Reply

    P.S.- As I was driving to work today, I flipped to Sirius/XM, and JamOn was playing the Terrapin Station encore from Merriweather 1998. Perfect.

  14. EP Reply

    No 2004 SPAC? These shows hold weight in any era.

  15. Tigg Reply

    Overall, great list! I was amazed at how many of those I was lucky enough to see!

  16. Gary Reply

    The dismissal of 06/18/94 and 12/29/94 for this list are its most egregious sins. Frankly, it shows a lack of effort and basic knowledge of Phish.

  17. aburtch Reply

    This means I’m going to have to dig out the old cassettes! Thanks for the great list. It will be great to re-live some of them (even if it is DAUD 4).

  18. _goff. Reply

    God Bless ya Andy for this comprehensive list w/ notes. Thank you. I sooo enjoyed going through this list.

    It was like going through a High-school yearbook of memories. I loved the pre-95 stuff that I recalled having in my tape collection. (you’re right Andy, everyone I knew loved their widely circulated Ian McLeans Party tape)

    – surprised to see no “Amy’s Farm” shows.
    – also, it’s Binghamton (No “P”) some Long Island phan must’ve taped this show because I have always seen this misspelled on everyone’s tape boots)

    Lastly, it also made me proud to have attended every show @ the much beloved “The Knick” in Albany. (it’ll always be known as ‘The Knick’ to me)

  19. Kernel Forbin Reply

    AWESOME list!

    All the hot shows I’ve been to over past couple of years (Hartford, Albany, Miami 30th, Raleigh, Atlantic City) made the list so now I got to go back in time to hear some of these other beauties!

    Thanks Andy keep on rocking

  20. Mike Reply

    Interesting choices. I would’ve included 8/7/09 along with 8/8 (Sally, Light, Gin). It would be interesting to see a “200 Essential Phish Jams” list.

  21. Todd Levy Reply

    Gotta put in the good word for 6/18/94. All around amazing show incl MLB during Bowie. And, Trey referenced the Divided Sky during the (infamous) Charlie Rose interview.

    Saturday, 06/18/1994
    UIC Pavilion, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

    Set 1: Wilson, Rift, AC/DC Bag > Maze, The Mango Song > Down with Disease, It’s Ice, Dog Faced Boy, The Divided Sky, Sample in a Jar

    Set 2: Peaches en Regalia > David Bowie -> Mind Left Body Jam -> David Bowie[1], Horn > McGrupp > Tweezer > Lifeboy, YEM, Chalk Dust Torture

    Encore: Bouncin’, Tweezer Reprise


    And I`ve got to point one other night. We were at the USC Pavilion in Chicago. And we were playing “Divided Sky,” and we got down to this quiet part where it gets silent. And we were getting quieter and quieter, and then became silence. And I had my eyes closed, and I could feel the crowd, and I started to — because improvising is, you`re trying to translate the — what`s out there already, greater pattern of things. And sometimes it feels like it`s coming through the hole, and you couldn`t play a wrong note if you tried; you`re just floating.

    And at that moment, you are in the middle of it, and I started to see those colors, like I`m not kidding, floating around there, and I realized that I could almost — it was silent, but I could see what we were translating. And as soon as I could see them, I started improvising, but I didn`t play anything. I did everything in the sense of improvisation, except for the actual notes, and as soon as I did it, the whole place erupted. It was like, whoa, and just tears started rolling down my face, and it was at that moment that I knew that it was truly bigger than me. It. You know what I mean? There were probably a lot of moments like that, but those two just come to mind. It was amazing.

  22. Gary Reply

    Yep, like I said, if you dismiss or forget about 6/18/94 on a list like this, you have to turn in your bona fides as a Phish fan. I feel the same way about 12/29/94, which is conspicuously absent despite its release as Live Phish vol. 20–arguably my favorite of the whole series.

  23. jamie Reply

    why is 3/20/92 not on this list? what a sin

  24. bfraim Reply

    People can bicker about shows being left out, but I think that, overall, this is a very good list.

    I, too, was lucky enough to catch many of these shows.

  25. bonni Reply

    Glad someone finally gave credit to 7/25/93! What an underrated show! One of the best kept secrets out there and the best birthday I ever had. Props to you, Andy!

  26. Jonez Reply

    I agree completely that if you leave 6/18/94 and 12/29/94 off this list and include 13 shows from 2010 you should re-listen to those shows and reapply for your credentials.

  27. peek326 Reply

    Very solid for the most part. A great look back to be sure.

    Fully agree on the oversite of 12.29.94!!!

    I can’t believe I’m highlighting post hiatus shows but 6.19.04 & 6.20.04 SPAC were mental.

    A bit too much 2010 for me.

  28. Greg Reply

    All in all, a great list. One show that I think is horribly overlooked is the 2/14/97 Amsterdam gig. Soul Shakedown debut opener. Set II highlight is 17 minute DwD with super smooth segue into the Carini debut, which lasts 20 minutes before gliding seamlessly into Taste which explodes back into Disease. And no one ever talks about it.

  29. Spastic Reply

    99 & 09 Gorge runs included. 97 & 98 runs excluded? Think u got that backwards dude.

  30. Kahnja Reply

    Well done, sliv!

    Look forward to listening to those shows I don’t know on The Drive.

    It’s a tough task to pull a list together like this, thanks for the effort. As always, ignore the jaded vets. After all, if you were a commentor I could see you leaving similar messages! Guess we’re all jaded vets at heart:-)

  31. Brian Reply

    Did someone just put together a list of 200 essential Phish shows and not include 6/11/94, 6/8/94 and 12/29/94, even though those are heavyweight contenders for a list of “20 essential Phish shows” or perhaps even “2 essential Phish shows?” Wow.

    And, Terrapin was the encore at Virginia Beach, not Merriweather.

  32. Greg Reply

    Brian: Phish did not play a show on 6/8/94. June 94 is well represented on this list already and I don’t see how 6/11/94 warrants a fifth slot. I’ll give you 12/29/94 (over 12/30 for my money), but seriously, if you’re going to hate, make a stronger case.

  33. Tom Reply

    Ridiculous 12/29/94 is not on the list. Same with 8/7/10, one of the best 3.0 shows.

  34. john Reply

    The 12/29/94 Providence omission with one of the best jams ever in ”David Bowie” is pretty glaring.
    You also can sub out Keyspan Park/Brooklyn for SPAC, especially 6/19/04, from the next 2 nights.

  35. Alex Grosby Reply

    I would have put 12/1/03 on the list since it’s Holdsworth’s reappearance. Sure, his songs weren’t the best musically but set 2 was bonkers even before that but then they blew the place up with that move.

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