Phish’s summer tour begins tonight and it kicks off with two shows at Worcester’s DCU Center, a room that will see its 13th and 14th Phish shows. There have been many notable moments dating back to the venue’s first Phish show in 1993 and for this week’s B List we’ll take a listen and/or a look at an individual highlight from every show at the room we’ll always know as The Centrum.
After these shows wrap up, this Massachusetts arena will have housed more known Phish shows than all other venues except seven: The Front (53), Nectar’s (43), Madison Square Garden (23), Deer Creek (20), Hunt’s (16), Alpine Valley (15) and Hampton Coliseum (15).
12/31/1993 – Auld Lang Syne > Down with Disease Jam
Though Down With Disease wouldn’t see its proper debut until April 4, 1994, the band brought out the sick jam introducing the world to Trey’s blistering guitar solo as the year turned from 1993 to 1994. The premature jam came about because Mike Gordon taped the footage of the jam for future use in the DWD video. When my friend put the XLII in for our first listen I was told to prepare for the best guitar work ever, and it’s still one of my favorite moments in the band’s history. – Andy Kahn
12/28/1995 – Wilson > Buried Alive > Tweezer
This choice audio segment comes courtesy of the most recent Live Bait release aka Christmas-time for Phish fans.
12/29/1995 – Bathtub Gin -> The Real Me -> Bathtub Gin
Great segue or greatest segue of all-time? You decide as Phish slides seamlessly into their second-ever performance of The Real Me by The Who.
11/28/1997 – Ghost
Occasional Hidden Track contributor Jon McLennand recently described this Ghost as “My favorite thing Phish has ever played.” Well, there you go. Here in all its leaked SBD glory.
11/29/1997 – Runaway Jim
I remember the first time someone told me I needed to hear this Jim, my friend Dan had attended this show with his father when he was 15 years old and a few years later as I started to dig in to the archives of Phish, he burned me this one-track CD.
The audio is embedded below as well as a playlist combining the six-part YouTube fan footage. The best YouTube comment is from Part six, it reads “This would have gone on for an hour plus if Chris did not make them stop.”
11/30/1997 – Wolfman’s Brother This jam has it all. A gorgeous segment starting around the 9-minute mark, I don’t know who starts clapping at 9:40, but I feel you! Things start to pickup at 14:30 and you know the rest – heavy metal jamming, Sanity & Esther lyrics, 30+ minute version and Trey asking for the lights to be turned off. Aggressive stuff for the third song of the night.
11/27/1998 – Wipeout > Chalk Dust Torture -> Mirror in the Bathroom -> Chalk Dust Torture
Ahhh yes Live Phish 6, another fond memory of my high school driving-around-listening-to-Phish days. There is a whole lot going on in this show but for me it doesn’t get any better than Mike dropping the bassline to The Beat’s Mirror In The Bathroom and the ensuing verses that get sung.
11/28/1998 – Wolfman’s Brother > Timber (Jerry)
Yeah we’re including two different versions of Wolfman’s Brother, because we don’t care about song-variety! A spacey Wolfman’s jam gives way to Timber – which has had a good run in Worcester as there’s another standout version from the ’97 Thanksgiving run.
11/29/1998 – Layla
We’ll kick this one over to the phish.net song history…
“Layla” is the only Eric Clapton-penned song that Phish has performed in its entirety (though Trey did play “Bell Bottom Blues” on his May, 1999, solo tour). Though it had been teased before (see, for example, the “Suzy Greenberg” from 5/13/94), it took a guest appearance by blues guitarist Seth Yacovone on 11/29/98 to make the whole song come to life for Phish. Given the textured dual-guitar sound of the original, it’s not surprising that “Layla” was a one-time concert treat.
2/26/2003 – The Moma Dance
In a show that featured songs from all four members’ solo efforts, and a 35+ minute Stash/Ghost > Low Rider segment, it’s the jam at the end of The Moma Dance that gets me going back for repeated listens most frequently.
12/27/2010 – Seven Below > What’s The Use?
The theme to What’s The Use? is played during the Seven Below jam before it is played in full. This is the good stuff.
12/28/2010 – She Caught the Katie and Left Me a Mule to Ride
While the experimental Harry Hood from the last show in Worcester gets the most attention, there also was a pretty serious bustout played in the first set when Phish dusted off this Taj Mahal cover for the first time in over 12 years and 323 shows.