Phish Starts Hiatus After ‘You Enjoy Myself’ Encore On Fall Tour 2000

By Andy Kahn Oct 7, 2020 6:18 am PDT

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 ended their Fall Tour 2000 on this date 20 years ago, encoring with “You Enjoy Myself” at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. The final show of the tour was also the final show the band would perform for 815 days as it ushered in a hiatus that lasted until New Year’s Eve 2002.

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In late September 2000, posted a concise update that confirmed the rumors that permeated the lots and setbreak discussions at shows throughout the previous year. The message read:

Phish has completed their touring for this year. There will be no additional shows in November or December, or immediately thereafter. Additional information will be posted when the band refines their plans for the future.

Some additional information came from guitarist Trey Anastasio during “Col. Forbin’s Ascent” narration at the band’s show in Las Vegas on September 30, 2000. Trey began the narration by first addressing the audience, both at Thomas & Mack Arena and those watching a livestream, stating in part:

We’ve got about six gigs left on this tour and the four of us were talking backstage and I want to take this sort of speaking opportunity to thank a couple of people before we go on what’s going to be kind of our first extended hiatus in about 17 years … It’s kind of a cool thing right now actually, you might have seen some cameras floating around, they’re doing an internet feed from the show, so it’s an opportunity for us to use this feed into the internet to speak to you and all the other people that have supported us over the last 17 years — via cyberspace and all that.

Let me just say, that what we’re planning on doing, so that you get the message clearly from us right here, is taking some time and writing some music and getting home life back together, before we recharge so that we can hopefully get another 17 great years.

Following a roar from the Vegas crowd at the assurance from Trey that the break was only temporary, he further thanked the band’s crew which he described as “without exaggerating the greatest crew ever assembled in the history of music” and mentioned the hiatus was a chance for them to take a breather too. Five shows later, plus an appearance on The Tonight Show, Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon and Page McConnell were on stage at Shoreline playing the tour’s finale.

In a 2001 interview with Rolling Stone, Anastasio revealed he and the other members of Phish rarely slept between Vegas and Shoreline. “It was a real emotional time, but in a positive way,” Anastasio said. “I mean, the last week of Phish I honestly don’t think any of us slept at all. We just stayed up all night for, like, a week, as evidenced by our raspy version of “Twist” on [The Tonight Show With Jay<] Leno. But it was amazing, because no one was sleeping [because] we didn’t want it to end.”

Before the sleep-deprived quartet took the stage on October 7, the house music played The Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time” over the P.A. Phish opened with “First Tube” and closed the first set with a cover of “My Soul.” Between them, they played a series of classics, “Mike’s Song” into “I Am Hydrogen” into “Weekapaug Groove,” followed by “Fee,” “Bathtub Gin” and “Glide.” The second set began with a terrific “Twist” into “2001” into “Tweezer” trifecta, before McConnell’s tender “Wading In A Velvet Sea” marked a poignant moment in the set. They lightened things up with “Meatstick” and dug into their classic repertoire for “David Bowie,” ending the final “1.0” set with “Tweezer Reprise.”

The encore was unsurprisingly “You Enjoy Myself,” another classic composition that, to date, remains the most played Phish original (or cover). In the same ‘01 Rolling Stone interview, Anastasio recalled the “YEM” encore at Shoreline, stating:

[W]e ended this last show in San Francisco, and we were doing “You Enjoy Myself,” which was always, we felt, the song. It ends with a vocal improvisation, and it was just so emotional. I felt such a huge wave just to think that for seventeen years we were focused on this thing. It was overwhelming. And we just went backstage and sat there for hours.

According to a Rolling Stone article from 2003, the four members of Phish prevented anyone — family, crew members, etc. — from entering the locked room they entered immediately after walking off stage at Shoreline.

“It’s incredible how deep that got,” Anastasio told Rolling Stone. “There was a sea of people outside: ‘I know they’re not letting anybody in, but that doesn’t mean me.’ Years later, people complain to me about it. But it had to be the four of us. We had to go out that door with the understanding that we might not be a band anymore.”

“We sat there and smoked some pot, drank champagne and cried,” Fishman added. “It really felt like the end.”

While Phish was backstage, fans at Shoreline remained in their seats long after the house lights were turned on, loudly applauding the “greatest crew ever assembled” for several minutes. The crew’s ovation was soundtracked by The Beatles’ “Let It Be” playing over the P.A.

After ending the hiatus on New Year’s Eve 2002 with a show at Madison Square Garden, Phish remained active through August 2004 when they ostensibly broke up. A much longer break than the previous hiatus, the second period of time off lasted until their return at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia in March 2009.

Check out the entire October 7, 2000 Phish concert below (click the video to start with “You Enjoy Myself”):

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