philly two ’99


phil 2 ghost tour

the first time i heard this show, my friend told me i could play it in reverse and it would sound like a normal setlist (ie open with possum, dwd etc and finish w mike’s groove and a hood encore). he was right. this is yet another example of the fun the band was having in shaking up the setlists and general song placements from night to night.

this is the show most people already know about and clamor for an official release when 1999 is brought up, and for good measure. it’s not my personal favorite, but it’s the second or third most complete show from start to finish when you factor in things like great jams, song placement, energy etc.

the ghost > 2001 is the big deal here, but the first set is incredible in its own right. i don’t care how well they peak a hood when it’s the opener, because the bar’s already been blown off that show’s potential when they start with this song. this one moves along nicely until the 15:45 mark when trey starts ripping off some beautiful licks that he keeps going for a solid minute and a half before the peak and chorus come along. what an incredible way to kick things off.

and then to top that they segue nicely into a groovy, laid back mike’s song that will damn well take its time getting going if and when it wants to! i love these slower mike’s versions a lot, and they definitely fit the energy level after that monster hood opener. simple is nice and gets too a lovely place but nothing too blissful like the fall ’96 versions. i am hydrogen is always welcome, and a roaring weekapaug closes out an excellent 45+ minutes of music to start round two in flipadelphia.

from 2009 but still relevant to this post; courtesy of jambase

from 2009 but still relevant to this post; courtesy of jambase

circus is one of my favorite cover ballads so i enjoy it, and some people cream themselves over this mule but i’ve just never been that big a fan. cavern is cavern, fun closer.

boogie on and sneakin’ sally are a nice one-two punch to get the energy back up after setbreak, but the ghost that follows is phenomenal. starting with an intro that has definite spooky (the song not the mood, but yeah the mood too) overtones from trey and page that return throughout the majority of the jam. they lock into a nice groove pretty quickly and trey starts sprinkling in melodic notes and licks that take off for the next 12+ minutes before ending with an odd outro that i don’t believe i’ve heard before or since to close out the jam.

they move smoothly into an extra grooving 2001 that doesn’t really take off but stays in the corner pocket for an extended period of time and makes for a really good version. a roaring disease closes things things out with several ripping jams and thunderous applause, with an equally energetic possum in the encore.

you should’ve already heard this show but if you haven’t, give the whole thing a listen with some bud and headphones, preferably by a fire (or outside on the porch if you live in a warm weather state like me) with a hot toddy and someone -anyone, your lady, your dog, the mailmain- by your side to share your permasmile once that hood peak hits.


download: ghost > 2001

ticket image courtesy of golgi project; setlist courtesy of phish dot net.

ph phil 2 tic

Saturday, 12/11/1999

First Union Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA

Set 1: Harry Hood > Mike’s Song > Simple > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove,When the Circus Comes, Scent of a Mule, Cavern

Set 2: Boogie On Reggae Woman, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley[1] -> Ghost -> Also Sprach Zarathustra > Down with Disease

Encore: Possum[2]

[1] No vocal jam.
[2] All Fall Down signal.

· AC/DC Bag tease in Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley

Notes: Sneakin’ Sally began with an AC/DC Bag tease and did not contain a vocal jam. Possum included an All Fall Down signal.