20 years ago today


For me personally it was the rebirth of the music. 20 years later there's been a LOT of good and a lot of not so good, but that night was special. It opened a door I thought had been closed for good, and after all this time that night and the two that followed remain special for me.

I don't know if anyone there knew exactly how it would go. There were lots of Phish heads there, including me, and I was thinking that the shows would be more a celebration that Phil had survived his illness & recent liver transplant, and the music would likely be messy but fun in a what-the-hell type of way.

But when Phil came out in front of the curtain with his then young sons & Kimock and sang an intimate & emotional Hello Old Friends a feeling set in, and then a few moments later the curtains rise and the band plays a 30+ minute ripping, roaring, floating, soaring Viola Lee Blues to open the show, well, I'm certain that I wasn't the only one there who thought for the first time in over three years... "It's NOT dead!" 'IT' LIVES!!!"

It was an emotional night, and it was the start of something that lasted well over 15 years, and in different ways continues to this day.

Long live Phil Lesh.



Fantastic run of shows. These were the ones that really set it all off. Thanks for the reminder. 

Great show and run. Perhaps slightly over-fluffed but I agree on the emotional aspect. Heavy.

Over-fluffed only in retrospect, but at the time we hadn't heard anything like that in probably 20 years previous. The Grateful Dead didn't jam the way Phil & the band did that night at the Warfield for at least their last 15 years.

Were there better P&F shows later? Musically almost certainly, but in the moment those shows were something so different, something rising from the ashes at a time when NOTHING was expected anymore. And then to open with a 30+ minute wide open improvisational Viola Lee Blues?

At the time and from a historical perspective there is no way to "over-fluff" those shows.

My 1st P + F's mind meld - Warren + Derek

Phil Lesh and Friends Live at New Haven Coliseum on 1999-11-10 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive



I support this thread 100%, this was the rebirth.



re-inspiration seems stupid.


Reminder, maybe.

still my LONG tme go to  shows..wow ! 20years !

maybe not 20 years ago 'today' but close enough


KVHW 5-17-99 Arcata video...


"it was the rebirth of the music."

Hearing my first Phil notes in three years at the Nissan Pavillion in '98 did this for me.  "Oh, right, THAT'S what I've been missing.  By the time they hit Dark Star I was all in.

"wow ! 20years !"

Think 1969 to 1989 to get an idea of just how long that really is.

Agreed.  Deer Creek 98 show I went to was good enough for me to decide to go to the next one at Tinley Park. They were a different level compared to the Furthur Festivals from 96 & 97 imo, and that was the return of Phil that made the difference. PLesh singing Mountains of the moon and China Doll were the best part of both shows to me. 


We've only had passing interactions over the years on here but just wanted to say I've always enjoyed your input and passion.  


We've only had passing interactions over the years on here but just wanted to say I've always enjoyed your input and passion.  

A few great Warfield runs in '99. Caught'm all. 

PS. I do miss Phil's baggy dad jeans.

My first P & F show also had Derek & Warren. It was The Q only w Derek instead of Herring. Very nice set although a little short as they were opening for Dylan.I always felt The Other Ones in 1998 were my "rise from the ashes" experience . 



When parts of the run turned up on radio (GDHour, AMDEW), my initial reaction was that it was sloppy, but fun; and definitely welcome.

That never really changed after multiple listens.

Very much over-fluffed; but no more than that Dew Baby show with Treywink


But seerieiousliey, if I'm pullin' out an older Phil show, it's probably The Q.  They raised Phil's game like no other lineup.

That said, I'll probably give this run a spin this week, in the "older stuff" portion of my shift (I make it a point to listen something very recent early in the night, then go back in time).

Always seems like playing with Phil made Kimock get to the point sooner.


New Haven Coliseum 11 / 10 / 99 was also my first P & F shoe.  Post GD I saw The Other Ones who were sound, but this New Haven gig with P & F felt like the passing of a flame started by the GD.  The musical conversation was wonderful. Though the jams sometimes drifted a bit, Rob was always able 2 get them back to deadlands.  Plus Phil sang Pride of Cucamonga.  Three nights later, P & F played at the Meadowlands, also a killer jammin’ shoe.  So fun.




That commercial live release "Love Will See You Through" is in regular rotation on my stereo.  Sort of a "best of" the early PL&F.   The "Good Shepherd" is especially fine.

Jammin j




of phil


(back then)


 White cloud is a nice guy FYI