Phish Jams On Pink Floyd’s ‘Breathe’ On Fall Tour 1995
This year marks 25 years since Phish’s historic Fall Tour 1995. In recognition of that noteworthy tour and to make up for the lack of shows this fall, JamBase presents a daily retrospective highlighting a noteworthy moment from a Phish fall tour concert that took place on that date over the past 25 years (read a note on Fall 1997 here). The 25 Years Of Phish Fall Tour series runs each day between the start of Phish Fall Tour 1995 on September 27 through that tour’s finale on December 17.
Phish’s Fall Tour 1995 brought the band to St. Paul, Minnesota for a concert at the St. Paul Civic Center on this date 25 years ago. Since then, the band performed several additional times on October 25 but never again at the St. Paul Civic Center, which was razed in 1998. Phish did return to the site of the St. Paul Civic Center when they opened their Summer Tour 2016 at the Xcel Energy Center.
More 25 Years Of Phish Fall Tour on JamBase
Back on Fall Tour 1995, Phish was in the midst of a run of Midwest shows leading up to Halloween at the Rosemont Horizon near Chicago that would feature The Who’s Quadrophenia as the musical costume. Their first set in St. Paul opened with “Ya Mar” and featured the acoustic setup of guitarist Trey Anastasio on acoustic, bassist Mike Gordon on banjo, keyboardist Page McConnell on upright bass and drummer Jon Fishman on mandolin for “My Long Journey Home” and “I’m Blue I’m Lonesome.”
Phish began the second set with “Reba,” followed by their third performance of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars?,” which they debuted earlier in the tour. McConnell’s instrumental “Cars, Trucks, Buses” pulled into the third slot as the set began to pick up momentum. Gordon’s “Mike’s Song” came next, unfolding a memorable rendering of the Phish classic. Worthy enough to enter the Phish.net “Mike’s Song” jam chart, the site describes the “Mike’s” in St. Paul as:
A quick tempo, energetic first jam gets fired up, then takes a few more laps before breaking to the second at 9:30. Dropping into a rhythmic groove, Mike and Page front while Trey goes mini kit.
At 14:15, space takes over and gains a pulse and ominous sentiment, before -> to “Breathe Jam.” The jam on this Pink Floyd classic provides fitting closure for another big ’95 “Mike’s Song.”
The “mini-kit” was the small drum kit Trey added to his rig for Fall Tour 1995. The percussive jam took a defined turn at drummer Jon-Fishman’s snare, leading the way into the “Breathe Jam.”
The “Breathe” tease joined other, less prominent teases the band began introducing during the ‘95 Fall Tour leading to speculation about what the musical costume would be on Halloween. On October 21, Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” was hinted at and “Beat It” popped on October 27 and again on October 29.
Phish teased Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon before the start of their musical costume set on October 31, 1994, which ended up being The Beatles’ self-titled White Album. Less than a year later, following the “Mike’s” jam in St. Paul, Phish did more than just tease “Breathe” as they spent several minutes coming ever-so-close to fully engaging the song’s atmospheric layers.
And for the record, here’s how Phish.com described the “Breathe Jam” sequence:
This show featured the 1st “Breathe” (by Pink Floyd) played – performed instrumentally as a jam between “Mike’s Song” and “Sparkle.”
Other than Trey mimicking the whispered voices heard on the album version, the “Breathe” lyrics were left unsung. Phish would later properly perform a complete rendition of “Breathe” as part of their surprise covering of all of Dark Side Of The Moon in Utah on November 2, 1998.
Listen to audio of “Mike’s Song” -> “Breathe Jam” from Phish’s Fall Tour 1995 concert in St. Paul on October 25 below: