Phish Groove The Night Away
December 4, 1996, 8:41 AM EST
Phish (Pauley Pavilion, UCLA; 12,771 seats; $25)
By Troy J. Augusto
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Much to the chagrin of Phish-heads everywhere --
but to the surprise of no one who has followed the rising fortunes of
this Vermont quartet -- Phish, the little free-form band that could, has
reached arena-level status, even here on the West Coast.
At the nearly-full Pauley Pavilion, a mix of faithful and newbies
noodle-danced for nearly three hours as Phish did what it does best,
playing effortless-looking and -sounding improvisational jams that began
in the form of a song, but which soon flew off into magical experiences
even the band members seemed unable -- make that unwilling -- to control.
As usual, the show, which was split into two sets, was a one-night-only
blend of songs from the band's six studio albums, as well as a few
non-album tracks and cover songs.
The evening began with a rusty version of Frank Zappa's '60s
instrumental gem Peaches en Regalia, and included such live staples as
Down With Disease, offered here as an extended prog-hippie jam, the
reggae-flavored Reba and the bluesy, endless crowd fave Tweezer.
The other covers played were a show-stopping version of the Beatles' A
Day In the Life, Johnny B. Goode and encore Highway To Hell by AC-DC.
(Who else but band leader Trey Anastasio would tackle John Lennon and the
late AC/DC singer Bon Scott in the same set?)
Phish still hasn't crossed into the mainstream, as MTV and commercial
radio have yet to find a song to latch onto. But inspiring, sustaining
shows such as this one will only, inevitably, lead the group -- perhaps
kicking and screaming -- into a mainstream that neither deserves nor
Presented by Bill Graham Presents. Band: Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon,
Page McConnell, Jon Fishman. Reviewed Dec. 1, 1996.
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Additional sources of information
Tell Me More - From Infoseek
Andy's Phish Page