While many concertgoers this weekend will don visual costumes, Phish will put on a “musical costume” during their second set on Halloween night. Since 10/31/1994 at Glen Falls Civic Center in Upstate NY, the quartet has used the second of three sets during the evening to become a different band…covering an entire album from start to finish. Selections through the years of 8 total Halloween shows in this format include Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street, The Beatles – The White Album, The Who – Quadrophenia, and Talking Heads – Remain In Light.
Phish’s Halloween shows have become perhaps the most highly sought after event that the group has played habitually. Both New Year’s Eve and Halloween shows feature extended time with the band, with three sets becoming the norm. But, unlike New Year’s Eve shows which are played annually (excluding hiatuses), the treat of a Halloween show is more sparse. This weekend’s gathering marks only the third time Phish is playing on the 31st since 2010’s Atlantic City show which saw the extraordinary rendition of Waiting for Colombus, a live album from the 70’s group Little Feat.
Phish took last Halloween off, after a wrench was thrown into the formula in 2014. Instead of covering an album in typical style, 2014’s show at the MGM in Las Vegas shook up the formula. The band wore full costumes along with dancers and an elaborate set to accompany Disney’s 1964 release Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House. The album was instead the foundation for a set of brand new instrumental songs which helped ranked the show at #10 by the Phans according to phish.net and is the only post-Coventry show in the top ten.
Given the rampant speculation that encompasses the Halloween shows of Phish and the slight protocol change of 2014, fans will have even less of an idea of the mysterious treat that will be unveiled on Monday night in Las Vegas. The band will be returning to the site of the most recent Halloween show, the MGM Grand Garden Arena and for those of us (including myself) not fortunate enough to be in attendance, LivePhish.com has got us covered with HD live streams of each show this weekend plus Monday night for a total of four shows!