The notoriously nerdy and stat-loving fans of Phish commonly divide the band’s thirty-plus years of existence into three separate “eras.” Referred to as 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, the “phases” of Phish are separated by the band’s only two extended breaks from playing together since forming as a college band in Vermont in the early ’80s. Nineteen years ago today, on October 7th, 2000, Phish played their final show before their first hiatus at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, bringing Phish 1.0 to a close.
Unlike the end of 2.0 (the emotionally fraught, sopping wet trainwreck that was Coventry), the first chapter of Phish’s history ended on a more celebratory note. While the band undoubtedly reached the proverbial “mountaintop” with their all-night, Millennium-welcoming New Year’s set at Big Cypress, the band was still playing at a high level when they made the decision to take a sabbatical. After seventeen years of extensive touring, the band just wanted a break—to write, relax, work on other things—so that they could come back to Phish better than ever.
As the New York Times, in its article “Phish Phinishes an Act, Bidding Phans Pharewell” (yes, that was actually in the Times), reported days after Shoreline, “Phish has not broken up for good, the band’s management says. But it is breaking up for a while, leaving a gaping hole in the lives of the thousands of fans who follow the band from city to city. No concerts are booked, no albums are scheduled, and band members plan to go their separate ways. ‘The plan,’ said the group’s spokeswoman, ‘is that there is no plan.'”
While fans were obviously emotional about saying “goodbye for now” to the band, they knew Phish wasn’t going away forever, making the tour finale at Shoreline more of a celebration of the end of an era than a somber farewell. The pre-show PA music appropriately closed with The Rolling Stones “The Last Time”, and The Beatles‘ “Let It Be” played as the lights came up after the performance. The crowd gave the crew a standing ovation as they broke down equipment, taking pictures and waving to the grateful fans. In between the cleverly chosen pre- and post- song choices, Phish delivered a memorable sendoff, with Set one featuring a big “First Tube” > “Mikes Groove” opening sequence and fan favorites like “Fee”, “Bathtub Gin”, and “Glide”. Set two included a relentlessly grooving “2001” and the final 1.0 “Tweezer”/”Tweezer Reprise” pairing, before going out with a bang on a “You Enjoy Myself” encore.
Check out videos from Phish’s last show of its 1.0 era below.
Setlist: Phish | Shoreline Amphitheatre | Mountain View, CA | 10/7/2000
Set Two: Twist > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Tweezer, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Meatstick > David Bowie, Tweezer Reprise
Encore: You Enjoy Myself
“2001” (“Also Sprach Zarathustra”)
[Originally published 10/7/18]