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Published: 2013/04/30

Phish to Release 6/20/95

Phish on the cover of Relix in 1995

Phish have officially released their June 20, 1995 performance at Cuyahoga Falls, OH’s Blossom Music Center via LivePhish.com. The download will also include filler from the Vermont quartet’s June 22, 1995 show.

A note from Phish archivist Kevin Shapiro reads:

It was hot and humid on Tuesday June 20, 1995 – the night after the Summer Solstice – when Phish played their first headline show at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The venue was a wooden, natural parabolic amphitheater designed by Peter van Dijk and set inside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Cleveland. Phish had played Blossom once before in 1992 opening for Santana but this time they sold more than half of the 18,000 tickets to the eleventh show of a 22-show summer tour.

The band’s first live record, A Live One, was to be released the following Tuesday and Trey had recorded his experimental jazz project, Surrender To The Air, during the spring. Phish and their management had begun the move from Boston to Vermont. Adding to the atmosphere of change, the Minkin backdrops that had been used onstage since 12/31/91 were replaced with a new set of Minkin-designed fabric scrims better suited to amphitheaters. The band was playing new material too, including a cluster of songs debuted a month before at a one-off show in Lowell, Massachusetts like Spock’s Brain, Theme From The Bottom, Strange Design and more. The ten summer shows between Lowell and Blossom saw the first live performances of Taste, and Prince Caspian as well as new covers like A Day In The Life and Johnny B. Goode. Most of these originals were eventually recorded for Billy Breathes, which hit the streets more than a year later in fall 1996.

Blossom ’95 was a barn burner, kicking off with a Llama opener followed by a killer Spock’s Brain – the 4th of of 5 played in summer 1995 before the song was shelved until 2000. Set I also featured Bathtub Gin with a pogo-stick tension jam that the band rode right over the cliff. Taste and I Didn’t Know followed and Trey introduced Fish during I Didn’t Know as “the only living layer that’s fueling this living layer.” A deep and crazy Split Open And Melt closed set I as Fish deconstructed the beat, breaking up the jam in a demented tick-tock vibe that led to a taste of Dave’s Energy Guide and some huge drums and bass. Set II opened with Halley’s Comet > Chalk Dust Torture, with some incendiary full-band jamming (and another taste of DEG) during Chalk. The major highlight of the show was centered on the jaw-dropping, first-ever combination of Mike’s Song > Contact > Weekapaug Groove. This Mike’s is must-hear, primal Phish that culminated in a spooky pulsating drone accentuated by sirens and Fish’s maniacal giggling. The pure insanity of the Mike’s ending formed the transition into Contact. Weekapaug Groove finished the suite, with Trey focusing on rhythm leaving Page free to shape the jam and foreshadowing the addition of Trey’s percussion rig in fall. Weekapaug ended in a deep, tribal section that melted into Hold Your Head Up as Trey took over the drums and Fish sang Cracklin’ Rosie. A possessed Highway To Hell capped the set. The encore was Slave To The Traffic Light, with some nice improvisation that bumped between huge arena-rock and a minimalistic, almost ambient work from Page’s Rhodes to Fish’s cymbal rolls. Amazing Grace closed another Ohio show for the ages.

The icing on the cake of the 6/20/95 Blossom release is the filler from the next show – the entire second set from 6/22/95 at Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua, New York. This outrageous 3-song set picked up where the band left off at Blossom and rocketed through the stratosphere so fast and far that it even left some veteran fans confused about the band’s new direction, which was clearly OUT. Set II from FLPAC was based around a giant 41-minute Tweezer that was instantly known by all present as “The Fleezer”. Theme From The Bottom opened set II and led into perhaps one of the weirdest Tweezers in Phish history. This Tweezer spun its way into a bluegrass detour through My Generation (in the style it was played at Blossom’s soundcheck and eventually on 10/31/95 when the band covered Quadrophenia), some bent jazz complete with screaming, vacuum accompaniment and even a quick Rift tease. The Fleezer departed its free-form psychedelic roots just in time to segue into Tweezer Reprise by way of a piano interlude. Trey acknowledged the magnitude of what just transpired with his refrain of “Step into the Fleezer” as the band laid waste to the first Tweezer > Tweezer Reprise combination in more than four years. To call this segment Filler is to do it an injustice – Blossom and FLPAC are forever connected.

The archival recording was created from soundman Paul Languedoc’s stereo soundboard/audience mix, mastered by Fred Kevorkian and contains three and a half hours of music totaling just 25 songs. The three-CD-length set is currently available as a FLAC and MP3 download at livephish.com. It will also be released by JEMP Records on April 30, 2013.

Here’s a look at the show’s setlist via Phish.net

Tuesday, June 20, 1995, Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Set I: Llama, Spock’s Brain, Ginseng Sullivan > Foam, Bathtub Gin, If I Could, Taste, I Didn’t Know, Split Open and Melt

Set II: Halley’s Comet > Chalk Dust Torture, Prince Caspian, Uncle Pen, Mike’s Song -> Contact > Weekapaug Groove > Hold Your Head Up > Cracklin’ Rosie > Hold Your Head Up, Highway to Hell

E: Slave to the Traffic Light, Amazing Grace

Comments

There are 10 comments associated with this post

Jonathan S. April 30, 2013, 10:05:19

Thank you JEMP, Paul, Kevin and Fred for this wonderful gift! Can’t wait to hear the remixed FLAC Fleezer from FLPAC!

danno April 30, 2013, 12:50:10

sure would be cool to go to a phish show sometime..

uncle ding dong April 30, 2013, 13:01:40

all the phish we wish.

Matty April 30, 2013, 13:08:49

I had this show on tape, that’s right, tape! What an amazing transitional period for the band!

Phil M April 30, 2013, 13:37:04

I did this summer tour. memphis, Blossom, and fingerlakes stand out as the best shows (until Sugarbush that is!). Riverport in St. louis was great too, and I promise you that Trey broke a string during Golgi.. everyone denies this, but I was 6th row and saw it. that’s why he said “Hope you enjoyed the jazz chords” – he had to compensate for the missing string the whole song!

schwa dog April 30, 2013, 19:50:22

This was my first on many phish adventures!! and wow was it a great start!! And during the highway to hell a guy climbed up the side rail and was dancin on the roof of the amp. Man that guy had a good time!! :} now they need to release the boise 99 fall show thats a real jammin show as well!! and the sleeper show off tour ruout!!! WHOO hoo cohorts!!!

Patquin2 April 30, 2013, 21:48:09

I couldn’t agree more with schwa dog....Great selection, but I NEED to hear remastered 99 Boise!

Rob B May 1, 2013, 05:12:56

I wish you had released the Deercreek, In 6/95 show! What a show and to close with A Day In the Life! I hope that that show is slated to me released! Long live Phish!

Rob B May 1, 2013, 05:13:23

I wish you had released the Deercreek, In 6/95 show! What a show and to close with A Day In the Life! I hope that that show is slated to me released! Long live Phish!

schwadog May 1, 2013, 22:21:05

Yea yea 99 boise remasterd fur shure I have it on tape and almost all my shows I hit on tape and listen too them alot still but the crispyness of the show would realy make it pop!! and the tortea war was fantastic!

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