Jam Chart for Slave to the Traffic Light (55 entries)

Date City Timing Notes
1984-12-01 Burlington, VT 6:00 First known performance. It's all guitar in the jam section, as this was the pre-Page era.
1988-07-12 Burlington, VT 8:39 Unusually long version for this time period. Page is great on the electric piano and organ. Trey shreds impressively in the big, full power finish.
1988-07-23 Underhill, VT 9:20 Great quiet interplay at first between Trey, Mike, and Page. Then at 5:15, Pete Danforth kicks in on saxophone, and the result is a super and unexpected combination, with an impressive and fiery peak.
1989-05-06 Hanover, NH 7:21 A unique rendering in which Trey adopts a very space-oriented style and tone. This outer space "Slave" has more similarity to the 5/13/89 "Whipping Post" than most conventional "Slave" versions. The jam eventually fades into the Ether rather than peaking.
1989-05-28 Hebron, NY 7:01 Although this version begins with spacey elements similar to 5/6/89, it also peaks in a more customary and shredding manner, reestablishing a more conventional approach to the jam.
1991-10-24 Prescott, AZ 7:27 In its final appearance for 2 years and 241 shows, "Slave" hints at its innate and powerful potential. Beginning with Page leading on the keyboard, Fish and Mike bring the power up, while Trey's initially soaring play turns to powerful trilling, a perfect template from which the band would expand.
1993-08-06 Cincinnati, OH 8:14 First time played in 241 shows. Serious tension/anticipation building early on in the jam, making the release glorious.
1993-08-20 Morrison, CO 9:33 Almost an eerie quiet early in the jam with mostly Page, Mike and Fish gently musing. Gradually Trey brings in the melody, and there is a near linear sequence of intensity building as the chord progression repeats itself.
1993-12-30 Portland, ME 9:35 Page stays on piano throughout, which adds grandeur to this version, while Trey really just adds color to the chord progression for most of the jam, enhancing its majesty. But it's over the top when Trey takes the lead.
1994-04-09 Binghamton, NY 9:05 Great Fender-Rhodes action from Page early, with the others gradually joining the mix. By 6:00, the power has cycled up on all fronts in a very crisp and cleanly played version. This one goes to 11.
1994-04-24 Charlotte, NC 9:17 Here, there's a noticeable, bouncy groove to the jam section, like you want to tap your foot along, which seems unusual for "Slave." And Trey really brings it on heading into the finish.
1994-05-03 Antioch, TN 9:46 Excellent quiet '94-style space early in the jam, with a very gradual uptick in the intensity. Sick trilling by Trey.
1994-05-13 Tempe, AZ 9:22 Typical full power '94-style "Slave." Great quieter teaming by Mike and Trey early in the jam. At 5:43 Fish kicks into gear and it's throttle-up time.
1994-06-13 Kansas City, KS 9:15 Thrilling, intense, and very spirited conclusion to this "Slave."
1994-07-13 Patterson, NY 10:27 Unusually long quiet section for this period with strong Mike. Some great trilling by Trey before the final, solid peak.
1994-11-17 Dayton, OH 10:49 Mike and Fish lead this one early on, with Mike playing way up the fret bar and Fish maintaining the pulse. Trey adds power chords and little flourishes. Then Trey has takes the lead, with Fish and Page hammering away.
1994-11-26 Minneapolis, MN 10:08 Version featured on A Live One. Like many of the stellar '94s, this "Slave" has a huge dynamic shift from the subtle, quiet, early part of the jam, to the soaring, high intensity peak.
1994-12-31 Boston, MA 11:21 Trey and Page add a big exclamation point to end the final frame of a fantastic year for the band.
1995-06-15 Atlanta, GA 12:39 Some great playing by Trey throughout, and Fish seems to quicken the tempo as the jam progresses to add dynamism.
1995-10-02 Seattle, WA 11:35 Near silence at the beginning of the jam, then listen carefully at 4:45 as Fish delicately and musically adds his Electrolux to the mix. The jam then kicks up several notches, and like 6/15/95, Fish seems to up the tempo slightly to add energy and power to this very fine version.
1995-10-22 Champaign, IL 10:23 Mike is noticeably strong throughout. Only with this rock solid foundation can Trey and Page layer on their magic dust.
1995-11-12 Gainesville, FL 11:28 Just solid all around. Trey leads brilliantly, Page jumps to the 88s earlier than usual, and the rhythm guys punctuate the dynamic with an exclamation point. Great sounding Aud, or Aud/SBD matrix on the spreadsheet.
1995-11-18 North Charleston, SC 10:51 This one starts peaking just before 8:00 and continues building, with one or more false peaks before the final ending.
1995-11-29 Nashville, TN 11:22 Bela Fleck on banjo. This is a fantastic version, with Bela and Trey pairing together incredibly well.
1995-12-07 Niagara Falls, NY 12:33 Unusual mid first set placement. Trey hits on a great riff that he molds as the jam develops. The band really stretches this one out, with unbelievable intensity even before mounting the final peak. One for the ages.
1995-12-14 Binghamton, NY 10:43 -> in from a jammed out "NICU." Extremely powerful version. Fish and Trey lay it all out to end Set II of an epic show.
1995-12-28 Worcester, MA 10:48 Very improvisational version. Both Trey and Page repeatedly voice dissonant chords in the build section, creating an eerie tension. Trey's melody lines are also unusual at times. And Fish's drumming is thunderous.
1996-08-13 Noblesville, IN 12:19 Page stays on the piano throughout which gives this version a majesty similar to 12/30/93. Trey's restraint early on puts the spotlight nicely on Mike, Page, and Fish. Of course Trey makes a strong showing near the ending.
1996-08-17 Plattsburgh, NY 12:20 Page deploys the Fender-Rhodes early on. This one has great balance, with everyone contributing in equal measure. Trey's skillful use of the Leslie effect as the jam builds to a peak puts this one in the elite category.
1996-11-22 Spokane, WA 10:32 After some solid but typical early play, Trey shifts to strumming chords in the middle section, nicely giving space to Mike. Page shines while jumping from piano to the B-3 as the power cranks up, and all four are in sync as they push the jam to a full power peak.
1997-07-21 Virginia Beach, VA 12:27 Trey's playing includes some subtle and effective melodic variation. Meanwhile Page and Fish add really nice color and texture, transforming this lazy summertime version into one with a powerful sense of grandeur, reaching lofty heights in its strong conclusion.
1997-08-09 East Troy, WI 13:24 Such a graceful version. In 1997, the band was in no hurry to rush things. Here the patient building makes the eventual, huge peak that much sweeter. > to "Weekapaug."
1997-11-14 West Valley City, UT 14:54 Epic, long version that works very well. Impeccably well-played. Here, the journey, rather than the ending, is what really counts (although the ending is pretty spectacular, too).
1997-11-21 Hampton, VA 12:30 -> in from a monster "Bag." '94 and '97: Great years for Phish and for "Slave." But the styles (for both) are very different. This "Slave," like many '97s, has a feeling of gradual building, rather than skyrocketing from valley to peak.
1997-11-28 Worcester, MA 12:32 Somewhat unusual mid second set placement, before a serious "Ghost." This one and 8/9/97 have a bit more of the traditional "Slave" dynamic, with a serious peak, rather than a gradual swelling like other '97s.
1997-12-05 Cleveland, OH 16:42 The "Type II" version. The band breaks into a dissonant, spacey jam following the standard one that eventually > to "The Lizards." "Slave" purists may not care for this one, but cannot deny its improvisational aspect.
1997-12-07 Dayton, OH 12:24 -> in from an awesome "Tube." Fan favorite version. Trey is really out in front on this one, soloing beautifully.
1998-08-12 Vernon, NY 11:39 -> in from "Ramble On." "Those Were The Days" and "Ramble On" teases. Page is great on the Fender-Rhodes before shifting back to piano with Trey leading a spirited finale that has a bit more gusto than most '97s.
1998-11-18 Greenville, SC 11:52 Beginning with classic '98 ambience, there is ample delicate space early on. Yet Fish drives this jam to soaring, powerful heights, with Mike, Page and trilling Trey each masterfully responding to the rhythmic foundation. The final, well-coordinated push to the summit is epic.
1999-07-04 Atlanta, GA 11:14 -> in from a big "Ghost." Played at a slower tempo than usual, one is lulled into thinking the slowed pace will make for a weak ending. Wrong; this is an awesome version, and includes "What's The Use" and "Dark Star" teases.
1999-10-09 Albany, NY 11:50 According to an unconfirmed story, Phish played this emotional encore to honor a fan tragically killed in a car accident on the way to the show. There are powerful moments prior to the jam and a somber sentiment at the beginning, which miraculously transforms to an uplifting, joyful celebration by the end. A truly gracious and heartfelt version whether or not the story is true.
1999-12-31 Big Cypress, FL 15:11 The longest "Type I" version. If you like a slow, really stretched out "Slave," this one is for you. But the peak is nothing remarkable, in fact it sort of collapses under its own weight.
2000-07-04 Camden, NJ 12:11 Very cool version with a series of peaks. You keep thinking, that's gotta be it. But then it keeps going. Excellent.
2003-02-25 Philadelphia, PA 13:10 Not sure how Page adroitly plays both the Fender-Rhodes and piano simultaneously, but he does here. Another good one where Trey hangs back for much of the jam, allowing Mike and Page to lead until he steps forward.
2010-08-07 Berkeley, CA 11:34 Ends Set II of a great show, following a jammed-out "Suzy." Beautifully played with a long, gradual build. Like 11/14/97, it's the ride, not the destination that matters most here.
2011-09-02 Commerce City, CO 9:58 Trey sustains a single note for 1:08. Debatable whether or not this effort "works," but it's certainly unusual and worth checking out. Decide for yourself!
2011-09-14 Essex Junction, VT 9:56 > in from "DwD." Although shorter, this one starts with delicate, heartfelt playing by Trey, but quickly amps up to pack a full punch from all by the conclusion.
2012-12-30 New York, NY 10:33 Great Mike/Trey interplay early in the jam, a serene middle, and soaring finale to end a very strong 2nd set.
2013-08-03 San Francisco, CA 10:35 Really nice Mike/Page early, then Trey joins, and begins using combinations of short duration notes as the jam builds up.
2014-08-30 Commerce City, CO 9:01 Some great Trey/Mike counterpoint early, then Trey plucks away quite nicely. As the energy builds, Trey adeptly strums chords before launching the final peaking section.
2015-09-06 Commerce City, CO 10:21 Again, a touching Mike/Trey duet of sorts at first. Page and Fish jump in to add color and accent. Approaching the peak, Trey plays several sustained notes that work quite well. And the final peak is fittingly powerful.
2016-01-17 Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico 10:29 A great version in which the Page and Mike stick mostly to the primary beat, while Trey adds off-beat color. As the intensity builds, Trey jumps mostly to the primary beat, providing power and grace.
2016-06-28 Philadelphia, PA 9:36 Fish and Mike are out front on this one, giving the jam an early sense of drive and power. Soaring play by Trey and a solidly peaking conclusion all add up to a strong "Slave."
2021-10-16 San Francisco, CA 9:40 A mostly smooth -> in from "46 Days". The first Set 1 version of "STTTL" in over five years is a gem. This jam peaks and peaks again, and just when you think it's peaked for the final time, it peaks once more.
2022-08-14 East Troy, WI 10:24 "Slave" is often relegated to rote status, these days... A means to cap a terrific show... A "call" your 'bro' made a mile away. This is not one of those. Patient. Melodic. Forceful. Special. Here, the four, as if time (or curfews) were not invented, artfully work a version worthy of multiple re-listens, music worthy of myriad, fist-pumping adjectives. Awesome.
Jam chart versions are selected because of improvisational and other characteristics that distinguish these from typical versions of the song.
The jam chart team has highlighted some versions with a yellow background; these are the versions the team believes to be especially improvisational, or otherwise notable.
A purple date indicates that you were in attendance.


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