Quadrophonic Toppling

Originally Performed ByPhish
Appears On
Phish Debut1999-12-31
Last Played1999-12-31
Current Gap654
HistorianMartin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty)
Last Update2016-03-08


The names of “Fish Bass” and “Quadrophonic Toppling” on The Siket Disc are clearly inverted. Despite the latter containing a vocoder sample of both Mike repeating the title phrase and a portion of “I Want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” from the 12/6/96 Vegas gig, this late night studio track is composed of nothing more than Fishman repeating the same bass riff for a little under two minutes; in other words, Fish on the bass. The former contains nothing of the sort, and is instead a quadrophonic digital delay loop of sound effects, which though they may have been generated by a bass, actually sound like digitized lightning bolts toppling from the sky. Either somebody mislabeled the tape, or the band is totally messing with us on this one.

The 12/31/99 “debut” of “Quadrophonic Toppling” was an almost 14-minute combination of the two, which sounded like neither. Essentially, about a third of the way through their midnight-to-sunrise set, Phish played a legendary version of the song “Sand.” Toward the end of that performance the band needed to attend to some personal affairs, and Trey was tasked with carrying the load with a “Digital Delay Loop Jam.” About four minutes into that jam, Mike returned to the stage and played his vocoder sample from the studio track of “Quadrophonic Toppling” into his microphone with his phone. Trey’s “DDLJ” is terminated as the rest of the band joins for an extended down-tempo introduction to “Slave to the Traffic Light.” Fish wasn’t playing the bass. Therefore, the song has never actually been played live. 

“Quadrophonic Toppling” – 12/31/99, Big Cypress, FL

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