Underrated Phish Shows

This section is devoted to those shows that are sometimes overlooked, yet were particularly outstanding nights in Phish history.

If you'd like to submit an underrated show here, first think about why you think it's underrated, then send an e-mail to: andy@gadiel.com and include the setlists, a small review, and why you think it is underrated.


Very underrated show. I'm not going to give song reviews or even a setlist but check the second set of this show out. It was one of my first tapes ever back in 1994 and its still to this day my favorite. Trey broke his ankle before the show which im sure has some to do with the great performences of an especially SHORT second set. All the songs played in the set are average to great including My friend and YAMar. BUT, this show has some serious loveliness in ANtelope and especially in the HArry hood closer. The antelope is my favorite version and I have not heard anything close to the Harry they play. Probably my favorite live Phish song ever. im pretty sure kevin's "chronic" ftp has it up right now on mp3 which you can get to from sugarmegs mirrors.
8-13-96 Deer Creek The first show where I truly understood that something special was happening. I can't do justice to this show. I've seen some good shows (12-30-95, Holiday Tours '96 and '97, The Went, 11-22-97, Lemonwheel) but this one was the best of all. Take a listen and you'll understand. Not a single missed note or a single bad song. Heaven!!! Dave Beckwith
Red Rocks Amphitheatre has been the site of some pretty fabulous Phish shows. The most famous (i.e. highly-distributed tape-wise) being 8-20-93 and 6-11-94 (it was on the radio). And while these shows were pretty great, they really don't represent what I feel is the best of the Red Rocks years. I saw seven out of the nine Red Rocks shows, and in my opinion, 6-10-95 was better than both of these. So I too would like to mention this date to the Phish Phamily. Perhaps only the earth-shattering 8-6-96 show prevents this from being the best Red Rocks show ever. 6-10-95 Red Rocks Amphitheatre; Morrison, CO Set I: Makisupa> Llama, Caspian, It's Ice, Free, Rift, YEM, Lonesome Cowboy Bill, Suzie Set II: Maze, Fee, Uncle Penn, Mike's> Hydro> Groove, Amazing Grace, Sample Encore: A Day in the Life In my 18-show Phish experience, a Makisupa opener is like a FedEx sticker on your front door, a definite sign of good things to come. And this one was a great wake-up call. It was cold on the rocks this day. It sort of drizzled rain all night. Trey donned his stocking hat for the entire show. It was a bit unexpected in Colorado in June. This brings me to another one of my fully-baked theories: Phish plays monster shows in shitty weather. Not that I haven't seen great shows in sunshine, but the times that I have to sit through rainstorms and lightning storms and drive through blizzards to see the boys have always resulted in killer shows. Go figure. I'm not going to go into every bit of this show. Suffice to say the Makisupa opener was fabulous ("woke up at 4:20, dank!") and morphed into a chaotic Llama. The first set really has no lapses. It's solid all the way through. The boys were tight but also unusually etheral and ghostly this night. It was pretty deep. Heady stuff. But the true magic of this moment was the second set. The fourth song of the set began a Mike's groove that I have to consider to be the best I have ever witnessed, live or taped. About 20 minutes into Mike's, I kept having to look around at the surrounding people and environment to make sure I wasn't dreaming. I had never heard anything like that before. I wondered if everyone was freaking out like I was. They were. Then strobe lights in the rain for 5 minutes. I couldn't see. I couldn't feel. Just the music. I forgot what song they were playing. Complete chaos. Hellish bliss. So the Mike's Groove went about 35-40 minutes. A quick acapella and Sample and the boys left the stage. 9500 bedazzled people screaming. Then a shocker: Day in the Life encore. 1st time ever. Sure, it's pretty common nowadays, but nobody had any idea that they would bust it out this night. it took everyone by surprise. It was so powerful and final that I knew they had to leave the stage after the final note. They did. Period. Perfect. It was the first time that I walked out of a show knowing that I had definitely witnessed something special. So this show is definitely underrated. I don't see it mentioned much in circles. But the people who were there know. I met people 5 days later at the Atlanta show that were still talking about it. It seems to me that the shows that are the most popular end up that way because of hype and/or highly traded tapes. I guarrantee you that New Years, Halloween, and End-of-summer NE bash are not the best shows of EVERY year. Phish busts out fantastic shows unannounced. You never know when you're about to see the greatest show ever. Although it was at a very famous venue, 6-10-95 is an example of that. Never on the radio, never realeased on soundboard, and not an east-coast show(where much of Phish-biasedness is born), this show remains relatively obscure. But a night that nobody who was there will forget in the near future. A special moment for all of us. -John Crook
10-29-94 Spartanburg, South Carolina Adam has already sum'd up this show - So I wont go into to much detail - This show has about the smoothest transitions i've heard - first and second set are definitley ment to be together - this is one tape that grabs you from the beggin' and dosen't let go - sets as follows: I: My Friend2, Sparkle, Simple > Jim, Foam, Lawnboy, Melt > Buffalo Bill > Makisupa > Rift II: DWD > TMWSIY > Avenu > TMWSIY > Sparks, Uncle Penn, YEM, HYHU > Bike > HYHU, Antelope > Sleepin' Monkey > Antelope (E) Hood It's a must have! - email me @ csi@csidirect.com - if you'd like to get hooked up with this show - you will not be let down - peace and keep sharin' in the groove - Karmen
12/7/97 Dayton Ohio Ervin J. Nutter Center I: AC/DC Bag > Psycho Killer > Jesus Just Left Chicago, My Mind's Got a Mind of it's Own, It's Ice > Swept Away > Steep > It's Ice, Theme From the Bottom, Tube > Jam* > Tube**, Jam Reprise > Slave to the Traffic Light II: Timber Ho! > Wolfman's Brother > Boogie on Reggae Woman*** > Reba#, Guyute##, Possum E: A Day in the Life * Post Isabella Jam from the day before. Slowed down, stopped, started again - abut 5 or 6 times, then back into Tube ** After Tube return, house lights off and they stopped playing, then Jam* reprised *** Stevie Wonder cover. Last time played 3/21/88 [821 shows!] First of all I heard this for the first time the other day and it blew my mind. Every song is a timeless treat. Every song played is amazing (minus Theme). I would've loved to have been there Jeff
12/29/97 MSG 1. NICU,Golgi,Crossroads,Cars Trucks&Buses,Train song,Theme from the Bottom,Fluffhead,Dirt,Run Like an Antelope 2. Down w/Disease>David Bowie>Possum,Tube,You Enjoy Myself E:GoodxBadx I don't know how over rated this show is but when ever I try discusssing it with people were there all they want to talk about is now legendary 30th the following night. But anyhow the show kicked off with a classic NICU which I felt was quite apropriate MSG opener, being NYC again. Golgi came next and as usual didn't impress me but I still enjoyed at the time thinking about how it had been since I heard this and how long it might be before I would see it again. Then out of no where they ripped into Crossroads which blew my mind away. Then came the always funky Cars Trucks&Buses followed by a mellow Train Song. I started to get really excited when Phish started to play Theme, which evolved into a very powerful version. THis is where the set really started to take off as they magicaly enter into Fluffheaed which had predicted before the show. This lead to Dirt which I think is beautiful song that fit perfectly between Fluff and my all-time favorite song Run like an Antelope and what a verson it was! The jam was trully amazing and evertime I thought it was about to end Trey just kept pouring it on. When it finnaly reached the pre-Marco stage Mike was given a sick bass solo along with Trey's funked out Black-Eyed Katyish solo's. I don't know how much there is to discribe about the second set other than to say it ripped. DWD, Bowie, and Possum are amoungest my favorite songs and each had awesome jams with many teases from James Bond in Bowie and the Blues Brother Theme in POssum. Tube is always the unexpected treat that brings overwealming joy when it arrives. The second set closed out with a melodic Y.E.M. which was a great closer to another wonderful show. The show the night before may be even more underated. I've heard may people critisive it or simply forget they played there, but they played geat versions of many of my favorite songs like Cities, Curtain,Runaway Jim,Funky Bitch,Split Open and Melt,Simple,Ghost,Drowned, Slave,HALLEY'S COMET!,and an Axis encore. Can't wait till the summer shows I'll see you all there. Axel
Phish shows are different things to different people - they're obviously quite subjective. Whether or not the show I present is or is not underrated, I offer it as a show that may be overlooked - one that any Phish fan would enjoy listening to. 10-25-94 Atlanta Civic Center, Atlanta, GA 1: Fee, Llama, Horn, Julius, The Horse-> Silent in the Morning, Split Open and Melt, Lizards, Sample in a Jar 2: Mike's Song-> Simple-> The Mango Song-> Weekapaug Groove-> Y-Rushalayim Schel Zahav-> Glide, Axilla [Part II]-> Jesus Just Left Chicago-> Big Ball Jam, If I Only Had a Brain, Possum E: Foreplay*-> Long Time*, Golgi Apparatus *Acoustic. The first set is pretty standard stuff. Always like a nice Fee opener. Julius was still pretty new at that point - and this one kicks. SOAM was thunderous. Second set rocks. Mike's is always a treat - this is a standard yet great version. Simple is played very straightforward. The Elusive Mango Song continues the jam - and it ends with a wacked-out Weekapaug. The jam climaxes about 3 times - and there's a weird ending - right into Y-Rushalayim. Jesus is VERY blusey and soulful - a great version. Possum rocks and has a sweet Kasmir tease in it. Standard encore for the time - but I'd like to see the boys do more acoustic bluegrass now and again. It's a fun, fun, fun show to listen to - and one of my more memorable of the 35 or so I've seen. matt.granger@turner.com
Champaign,Illinois from 11-19-97-I just got the tape and it rips-good jammin'
11/13/97 is an underated show. The energy was very high for this Fall tour opener and the band opened up with the perfect opener for a high energy crowd, Chalkdust. Although this 'Dust is nothing remarkable on tape it was incredible at the show because of the fact that this was the first song the band had played before an audience in 3 months. Then came the breakout of Black Eyed Katy, it was the first one ever and although you could tell the band was trying to stay together this is one of my fav versions of BEK. The rest of the set was great with a strong Theme, a nice SOAMelt, and a incredibly funky YEM. The second set started out with Stash which was very unexpected but well- played. They get very exploratory in this Stash, like many of the Fall '97 Stashs'. After Stash was PYITE which got the entire place going nuts which was sadly followed by Caspian. This was the only letdown of the show. Mikes>Hydrogen>Weekapaug was incredible!! The weekapaug is one of the best I have seen live. Anyone who has read this far, if you would like to get a DAUD/2 of this show just send me a polite request and I will do a B&P thanks bo
Ok, here we go. The most underrated show, in my opinion, of the last two years is Winston-Salem '97. Why? Well, basically because of Hampton the two nights before. While I would have to agree that the setlists for those two shows LOOKED better--especially the second Hampton--the playing is just as, if not better, in Winston. Before I get any further here's the setlist almost all of you already know. 11-23-97 Winston-Salem,NC My Soul Theme from the Bottom Black-Eyed Katy Sparkle Twist Around Stash> NICU Fluffhead Character Zero ---------------------------------- Bathtub Gin> Down with Disease> Low Rider> Down with Disease Axis:Bold as Love e)Julius SET ONE: MY SOUL: A very good opener. Starts out slow and builds to a nice blues funk. OK with me. THEME FROM THE BOTTOM: Probably one of my five favorite songs to come out in the past four years. This version didn't dissapoint as it jammed as good as nearly any other from the Fall Tour(at least the 80% of the versions I've heard) Also, Chris always does a spectacular job with the lights on this one. He's definetely nailed this song down. BLACK-EYED KATY: Completely wasn't expecting this as it was a very new song at this point(I guess it still is) Anyway, it was fabulous, and after hearing the tapes, was better than the Hampton version. Nice first set jam to sink into. SPARKLE: Well, not my favorite but energy nonetheless. Got many of the youngins that were there wildly into the show. Ready for the next song. TWIST AROUND: I love this song. It definetely needs to be played more IMO. Pretty long version too(at least nine or ten minutes) The lights were ab fab for this. Probably the highlight for the show in terms of Chris' work on the boards. STASH>NICU: Well, this is probably why I'm so partial to this show. Besides being one of my truly favorite songs(or THE favororite), this version completely drained me emotionally. Wonderful in every respect--especially it's uniqueness. I don't think I've ever heard a Stash as dark as this. I figured after about fifteen minutes in that the set would end with this beauty. How wrong!!! The segue into NICU just proved Phish's eclectic style. After such a brooding dark version of Stash, they did a 180 and turned the mood into playful joy.(If I'm not mistaken the next time Stash was played it came OUT of NICU) Nice pairing of songs. FLUFFHEAD: I'm not a huge fluff fan myself, but still fifteen more minutes of set one was OK by me. Sounded kind of off but that could have been my mental state at the time. CHARACTER ZERO: Great way to end the first set--probably why they do it so much-- Slightly different than most Zeros, but I can't exactly remember why. SET TWO: BATHTUB GIN: Ok, I've heard many of the favorite Gins over the years. The Worcester '95 aka."The Real Gin", Murat Shrine Gin, etc. This version definetely is in the same boat. While it's completely different than the others it still is worthy of infinite praise. Not only is it the longest Gin ever(I think that's right) at about 35 minutes, but it probably is the most "rocked out". About ten to fifteen minutes in the song COMPLETELY EXPLODES. Never have I personally witnessed such intense madness. Complete intensity is all I can describe this monster as. I have a good sounding tape of it and it still tweaks it out because of the raw energy. The tape just couldn't hold it. It really is like a fucking H-bomb went off in there for ten minutes straight after the initial "explosion". A history book maker, indeed. DOWN WITH DISEASE: Nice version, but the only thing wrong is that it followed the beast that is Winston Gin. It really says something when DwD can't even touch the previous song in so far as intensity is concerned. It took me a couple of times hearing it on tape before really appreciating it. Good, tight version for sure. I think the band realized it wasn't matching the Gin in intensity and picked it up in the end ala Sparkle. It got very fast and once again peaked the crowd to enormous levels. Oh, forgot to mention the LOW RIDER in the middle of DwD. Humor part of show as Trey almost had to force Fish into singing it. Listen to the tapes and all Fish really says is"get a little LOWER-----Get a little HIGHER-----LOWER------HIGHER" Funny shit. Especially when they hadn't played it in like a thousand shows. AXIS: BOLD AS LOVE: I like Hendrix alot so I was happy(even though I would take almost any original over a cover any day) Good clean version. Pretty lights. Nice way to end. encore:JULIUS: Not a huge fan of Julius but, as was the theme for the night, it was extra special and stretched out. Pretty damn jammed out. Probably around ten to twelve minutes. The best Julius I've probably heard. Though I don't usually pay that much attention to it. There you have it. Ninety minute first set with good setlist and phenomenal Stash. Epic in every sense of the word Gin in second set. Some good humor thrown in. I'll take that every show. Peace you freaks. E-mail if you like to trade Phish, MMW, ARU, Marley, or Jazz. cbee@mindspring.com
Also Sprach>rift, run like an antelope, horse>silent, sparkle, it's ice>big ball jam, purple rain, yem>oye como va jam... if the setlist of this 8/28/93 second set doesn't seem all that unique, just listen up to the end of antelope. this tape is pretty rare, and so i understand the lack of attention it gets, but someone should put this on realaudio, because this just IS the best antelope ever played, period. because it lurks in the shadows of the much more available, and thus much more popular antelope from red rocks eight days before, this antelope has lacked attention until now.
11/13/97 is an underated show. The energy was very high for this Fall tour opener and the band opened up with the perfect opener for a high energy crowd, Chalkdust. Although this 'Dust is nothing remarkable on tape it was incredible at the show because of the fact that this was the first song the band had played before an audience in 3 months. Then came the breakout of Black Eyed Katy, it was the first one ever and although you could tell the band was trying to stay together this is one of my fav versions of BEK. The rest of the set was great with a strong Theme, a nice SOAMelt, and a incredibly funky YEM. The second set started out with Stash which was very unexpected but well- played. They get very exploratory in this Stash, like many of the Fall '97 Stashs'. After Stash was PYITE which got the entire place going nuts which was sadly followed by Caspian. This was the only letdown of the show. Mikes>Hydrogen>Weekapaug was incredible!! The weekapaug is one of the best I have seen live. Anyone who has read this far, if you would like to get a DAUD/2 of this show just send me a polite request and I will do a B&P thanks bo
6/30/94 is definitely an underrated and seemingly under circulated show.  The weather this day alternated between sunny and stormy.  The first set was as hot and sticky as the Richmond air. The DWD was a seering opener still in short form as typical of 94.  Gumbo was up next and was well played.  Trey's comping during Page's piano work at the end made this tune above average.  Rift was also decent as was the Guelah(always a favorite) after it.  The SOAM was the best version I've heard in 30 shows.  Treys goes into a BBFCFM type arrangement and throws in some vocal "NANANANANA;" totally over the top.  Glide was way sinister.  This is were the show gets really weird.  Scent featured the extended Russian folk jam that was still new in 94.  Bouncin' was run of the mill(solid).  Frankenstien took it back into the sinister zone.     During the break, a howling thunder storm rolled in.  Minutes before the Wilson>Maze, my friend remarked "its a good night for a murder."  I don't know what the hell he dreams of crab like this, but the irony of it would soon become apparent. Then the YEM kicks in.  This one has Mike's Jewish thing thrown in.  The vocal jam is where it got down right evil.  Maybe it was the foul weather or Phish caught the murder groove from my buddy.  The vocals started with Halloween sounds.  Eventually, they were screaming "redrum,redrum."  Full blown evil-my friend's havn't dosed sense.  After the satanic interlude, they whipped out Sparkle. Complete shift in emotion.  They were fuckin with some heads.  They threw some redrums into Sparkle too.  Axilla went back to the sinister side.  As if the show wasn't good enough yet,  "UmpapaUmpapa"-Harpua complete with a Kung and the sun peaks out.  We find Jimmy in a karoke bar with Poster.  Trey grabs a BIG guy out of the crowd and he does a "karoke" Honky Tonk Woman.  He actually sang really good. Near the end of this tune, a rainbow forms behind the stage(look, the storms gone!).  Man, they could have quit right then, but they exploded into a bouncy Antelope.  Fish does the Love you/vac thing and then they end it with a chalkdust.  The encore is Monkey and Poor Heart.  Whew, what a fuckin show!    Missing Link
I would have to say that one of the most under-rated show is 11/11/96 VanAndel Arena, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It opens with Chalkdust Torture, followed by an amazing Guelah papyrus. The rest of set one is incredible with Cars, Trucks, Buses, then AC/DC Bag, Sparkle, Brother, Theme, Axilla (pt.1) and closes with Runaway Jim. This show is probably underated becuase of the venue. The VanAdel Arena was officially open when Phish played there and now is completed and ready for a return. The second set starts with Timber Ho!, then Divided Sky, with a great Gumbo to follow. Then comes The Curtain, Sample, then a marvelous Tweezer. Next, Swept Away--> Steep, Maze, Contact and closes out with Slave to the Traffic Light. The show ends with an encore of Waste then Cavern. A pretty damn good show for me. It was very enjoyable with the classic sngs of Phish. If you are interested I have a excellent copy of this show I will trade. SgtGr8ful@aol.com. Contact me if interested Thanx
Well one of the most under-circulated, under appreciated Phish shows just has to be 11-25-94 UIC Pavillion, Chicago,IL!! It was my first full show!! Thanksgiving Day 94,' my first was 12-5-92 but it was so snowy I missed nearly the whole show! Caught only the last two songs and the encore! So I consider this my first show.   Set1                                  Set2 Llama                              2001--> Guelah                            Mike's--> Reba                               Simple--> Bouncin'                           Harpua--> Split Open & Melt             Weekapaug Esther                              Mango Song Julius                              Purple Rain-->  Golgi                                  HyHu                                         Antelope                                            Encore:                                       Good Times, Bad Times     Well one look at the set list and you'll say well first set is decent, second set looks pretty good! But this show is one of the Phinest shows all the way through!! Set1  The Llama is always fast paced and so nice to get the vibe goin' right away. The guelah (my fav tune!) was very well executed and was just as rare then as it is now, although they seem to never play it anymore:( It was really nice with an extra long wait in between verses! The Reba is by far the Phinest Reba ever!! No shit, it is the most energetic, exciting, well played Reba ever! After the initial lyric segments and all the playing was right on, the jam was this exotic, beautiful jam!! please get this show!!! The Bouncin' is well, Bouncin'! Split Open is very sick, for a 94' it easily could hold it's own today! Esther, what a treat, really nice PAGE!! Julius is good for a 94.'  So, golgi is well placed to end the set on a high energy note! So set 1 REBA !!!!! no questions asked, THE SHIT! Split Open really insane, Esther what a treat! But this set is very overshadowed by set2!   Set2 2001, very nice, well played and always a treat! Mike's, so sweet very exploratory and incredibly jammed out! Simple shorter but none the less nice! There really should be a jam labled in between Simple-->Harpua, because there is some of the most insane jamming I've heard till this day! Then harpua, very well played some page clavinet work in the segueing jam! Harpua had a thanksgiving story that had the old man being outcast by the townspeople and moving to the mountains to a cave where he becomes so angry he unleashes a angry red hate beam(or so says trey) and it smashes jimmy's door open creates a fissure in the earth, poster is gone forever! But not before poster let's go with a Phriendly green love beam! When he says this, the band plays a musical cue and two guys on either side of the stage start throwing boxes of glow sticks to the crowd! Where the FIRST EVER GLOW STICK WAR HAPPENED!!! Yes, this is the original glow stick war!! the band was actually trying to throw them back at the crowd! Not when the crowd disturbs a beautiful hood or 2001 like now happens!! <-- really shitty! The went was spontaneous, the new ones seem planned!!! Any way, Weekapaug, Simply smoked!! Phatty clavinet work by Page,nice tempo and jam.It segues right into mango song, really nice to hear and beautiful page solo on the baby grand! then my favorite purple rain ever! Fish seems to be actually trying to sing and, he succeeds! Then the usual HyHu nothing abnormal here. But ANTELOPE!! Infuckingcredible!!! That's all you can say! This was taken so far, very far! Most second set closing antelopes are lacking energy it so desperately craves. But this one is so full of energy I thought I was going to explode!! During the marco Esquondolas part Mike is like Les Claypool!, he's slapping the hell out of his bass! The encore! Well this was and still is the most energetic Good times, Bad times I've ever heard!!   VERDICT:  A must get show!! So wellplayed, so jammed out, unbelievable! a 9.5 out of 10 Just soo hot set list wise and the playing is nearly perfect, but it's not reserved it's exploratory!!! For those wanting to hear this I have a decent copy e-mail me! At underfullsai@email.msn.com 
5/4/94, New Orleans, LA I: Jim, Foam, Sample, Ice, Axilla II, Tweezer > Lifeboy, Rift, Tweezer (reprise) II: Antelope. Bouncin', YEM*, Buried Alive*, Landlady*, Wolfman's*, Magilla*, Suzy* E: Caravan* (Note to Andy - please check this setlist to make sure it's correct - I don't have the tapes in front of me to know for sure) Typical Runaway Foam opener, but a wonderful Foam at that. Like 10/29/94, this Foam rocks the house. The Ice is excellent - the jam is really interesting (unlike the unmitigated spaciness of '95 Ices). The Tweezer is quite good, but I think the one three days later overshadows this one, just a bit! The Antelope, my lord! Trey announces after the jam that his friend is right now giving birth, and that that jam was dedicated to the child - "May you live your life like that jam," he said. And objectively, it is an incredible jam, one of the best Antelopes I've heard. The horns come on to help out after Bouncin'. The YEM is the shortest I have ever heard, but quite playful and fun. The Buried Alive is, well, I guess you either like the song or you don't, and I love it. Landlady with horns is always fun (in fact, this song should never be performed without horns, because they do a good enough job with it without the horns in PYITE). Magilla - one of my favs. And a Caravan encore? Fans of Sir Duke revel. - Adam Gutterman
Among the shows I've seen that I would rattle of as underrated, a few come quickly to mind: Cornell 11-22-92 (if anyone has tapes of this PLEASE e-mail me: derekkipp@msn.com), which was just all around excellent, downright elegant playing at times, and included an 'Eleanor Rigby' jam that went down like honey. Last summer's Shoreline show was also a showcase of jam-craftsmanship, especially in the elongated Runaway Jam. Oh yes, they tore it up BIG TIME at UNH on May 8, 1993. I don't know how 'under'rated that show is, but it shouldn't be! But for musical seekers out there, I have to recommend a show that I didn't see, but the tapes of which have long been among my absolute favorites: Colby College, Maine, 5-10-91 I: Bowie, Caverns, Ya Mar, Dinner & A Movie, Sloth, Land Lady, Bathtub Gin, Buried Alive>Lizards, Possum II: Golgi, HARRY HOOD, Wilson, Poor Heart, Foam, McGrupp, Chalkdust, Honey Lova Ya, Mike's Groove e: A-Train, Highway to Hell The set list says a lot to begin with, and every rendition is a shiner. I mean here we really hear the boys working it, crafting and innovating and exploring, especially in the big 'set pieces' -- Bowie, Lizards, Harry, McGrupp and of course the Mike's Groove. This show has to be heard -- and there are boards to be found -- to be appreciated. It is truly a genius performance by a band on the rise, out to prove and transform, and here it comes magically together. I sincerely envy (and congratulate) anyone who attended this show.
12/29/96

Not to repeat what's already been said, but this show was definitely
amazing. Like Justin said, the Taste was the first really good version
of this song they did. The jam culminated with Trey arpeggiating the
chords with such speed and precision that my jaw dropped and a new
favorite song of mine was born. 

The Bowie was phenomenal. Not that they ever do a bad job of this song
anymore, but they were REALLY in harmony, REALLY listening to each other
well during this jam. Unfortunately, the band missed Trey's signal to
land on C, so Trey had to do an artificial build up until the rest of
the band caught on. Regardless - a phat Bowie indeed.

The Gin wasn't very exploratory or remarkable, but the Lizards was
great. Rarely does Page ever use anything but his piano to solo in
between the verses. But that night he used a steel drum type sound the
first time he took a solo. Also, his long piano solo (the one right
before the final melody) was amazing. He rarely gets into it like that.

The YEM rotation jam was fun, and I must say that Mike can really play
the guitar, but somebody PLEASE get Fish off the keys...

- Adam

8-9-97 Alpine valley. This show gets praised a fair amount, but I consider it one of, if not THE best show of the summer tour. First set kicked off with Theme which was one of the most prominent tunes in the summer setlists. But, this version was georgeous! Superb climaxing by Trey and Page.Then we heard the funky intro and one, two, one,two,three,four! PYITE! The crowd knew they were in for a good ride. Electric version complete with, of course, the landlady shuffle. Next came Ghost which some people were tiring of. Not me! This one stretched out to oblivion for twenty plus minutes. Mesmerizing the crowd. Eventually it melded beautifully into Taste. Great version. Stellar keywork throughout.Then, Dog Stole Things. Eh. Not bad. Definitely room for more jamming though. I felt the Reba before I heard it. Only one of North American tour. Great as usual. A hilarious Lawnboy follwed with Page even shaking the hand of a girl in the first row. A smokin crossroads(the first since 95) to end the set. I said Goddamn! A second set opener Wilson picked up the energy where crossroads left off. It segued into an awesome Foam. The end of Foam provided the only real stopping point till the end of the set. Next came Mike's which got the crowd groovin hard. The jam was intense for about ten minutes, but after a while things mellowed out for a while as it segued into Funny as it seems. Pretty little tune which went into Simple,complete with a harmonious jam which segued into Swept away-Steep. Good. The screaming at the end segued into Scent. Now this was no ordinary Scent. During Page's incredible solo Trey started walking around the stage stiff-limbed like a robot. Weird. Then an intense circus-like jam which ended in a repeated series of notes. Each time Trey and Mike lying on their backs doing bicycle kicks. Then came Slave. Beautiful as always. I thought it would be the closer, but nooo, they had to through in a mind-bending Weekapaug too.How do they do it. The second half of the set I was hosed totally! Amazing. When the circus comes an then a standard Rocky top to leave everyone with a smile on their face. Unfuckingbelievable!!!!!
12-29-96 Spectrum I. poor heart, caravan, cavern, taste, guelah, trainsong, rift, free coil, la grange II. D.Bowie, ADITL, B. Gin - Lizards, YEM - 16 Candles - YEM, Harpua - Champagne Supernova - Harpua E. Rocky top I have never read anything praising this show. I've even heard people bashing it as a "typical" '96 show. Well, in addition to thinking '96 was a great year, I think this show was incredible. Set I started o.k. w/poor heart. Then Caravan which was great. The first in a few years. It had some great funk and was a lot of fun. Cavern was a good pick to follow Caravan. Then what I believe was the breakthrough Taste. All the previous tastes to this point had been basically the same. In fact, I had heard it 9 times already and usually hoped I would miss it. But this one really caught my attention about mid-way through. It had a spanish-jam type feel and converted the song into what it is today. Guelah, Rift, and Free were all well played. Then, at the end of Coil everyone left stage except Page who was soloing as ususal. He kept playing so long that the rest of the band paid tribute by returing to the stage and whipping out a La grange. The second set was unreal. A short but intense bowie into a really nicely placed ADITL. Gin was really good and went beautifully into Lizards. The YEM was incredible. A Full rotation jam, and a real rotation jam where everyone jammed out on each others intruments. BY the time they got to 16 candles, MIke was singing and on Keys, Page was on bass, Phish on guitar, and Trey on drums. and the jam was intense! A Harpua after all this craziness was an unbelievable icing. Great story about gamehendge getting sucked down into hell. this was a great show. If you don't believe me, check it out. Justin
12-08-95 CSU CONVOCATION CENTER I Sample, Poor Heart, Simple > Jim > Fluffhead, Ice, Acoustic Army, Caspian, GTBT* II 2001 > Tweezer > Kung > Tweezer > Love You > HYHU, Coil, Tweezer Rep, Antelope** E Come Together***^, ADIT*** I've seen a ton of people rag on this show.. But.. It IMO was one of the BEST 2nd sets that I've seen...Now the fist set I do admit wasn't that strong.. There was a nice midset Jim > Fluff and the GTBT to end the set was good.. I can see how people would down the show for the 1st set only..But on to the 2nd.. thats where it was gonna be for the evening.. mind you Im a sucker for Tweezer, and this was the set for it.... 2001 was standard, but I've always liked this to open a set >> into >> TWEEZER, nice slow, and trippy >> KUNG >> they call upon you PULSE... STAND UP.. STAND UP.. During the KUNG, Trey had the megaphone out and was doing a windmill (ala Pete Townsend) action infront of his mic.. this made a really windy blowing siren kinda effect.. >> back into TWEEZER.. >> FISHMAN VACUUM PLEASE >> LOVE YOU >> HUHY..Coil was solid.. The endind piano solo was really all PAGE.. nice and slow.. Now a local free newspaper in Cleveland explained to the masses in their review of the show, that it sounded like a music box winding down, which they thought was bad.. Now on the flip side.. Phish had just fed us a great tweezer sandwich, it was nice to wind down from that.. and OOPS.. I sopke too soon..Back for REP.. I thought for sure that the set was over, but OH NO,, there was the clippity clop of an ANTELOPE grazing in a field of tranquility.. whats that I hear... The BRADY BUNCH theme.. and boom.. the Antelope took off running outa control.. Encore time.. It was a HISTORIC MOMENT.. COME TOGETHER.. 1st (and only to this data )time ever played im remembrance of JOHN LENNON's death 12-8-80.. and ADITL.. At that point even Rocky Top woulda been good.. But a double BEATLES encore.. Now.. I only have 25 shows under my belt.. and for the past few years I had always been upset that people didn't like this show.. But for me.. It ranks in the TOP 5 that I've been to..PLEASE GIVE IT ANOTHER CHANCE.. vin
11/23/97 Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC Set I My Soul Theme Piper Sparkle Twist Around Stash> NICU Fluffhead Character Zero Set II Bathtub> Jam> DWD> Low Rider> Jam> DWD Axis, Bold as Love E: Julius A lot of people have described this show as anti-climatic as compared to the weekend's shows @ Hampton the two previous nights. I disagree. Although this show started off a little bit slow with My Soul, it quickly picked right back up with Theme. The Piper wasn't quite what the previous night's was, but who can complain? After a fairly standard sparkle and Twist Around, the crowd really got excited during Stash>NICU. This segue was phenomenal and I danced my butt off. Everyone says the Fluffhead which followed was weak, but I thought it was the highlight of the first set. It was full of energy and they jammed it something awesome. They ended the set with a standard Character Zero. Everyone talks about how weak this first set was, but I wasn't disappointed at all. But the real meat of the show was set II. The Bathtub Gin which opened the set went on for at least 30 minutes, long, spacey, fun, jam into Down with Disease. Who can complain about this? The song gradually segued into --can you believe it? Low Rider. You could see the amusement on the crowd's face as the band played this. People complain about this song choice because it was obviously underpracticed, but the point of playing Low Rider was to crack up the crowd, not to go into a YEM type jam! People who criticize this part of the show are being over critical. After amusing the crowd with this song choice, they jam it out for a while and then go back into--can you believe it?--Down With Disease! The energy in the coliseum at that moment was something phenomenal. This moment was one of Phish's phinest by afar. The Axis and Julius encore were pretty standard, but I just want to say that this show definately had a lot of high points. Get the tape and see for yourself. Anyone who left this show disappointed I certainly don't understand at all. Melissa P.S. This was my first show review ever, so thanks for bearing with me.
I don't know if you went to it but first night Deere Creek 8/10/97. Every song they played Trey was jammin everything. It reminded me of surrender to air, his playing ended up being real spacy and timeless. It was my first show and it topped everything I had seen previously. The critics from the newspaper cut them down. The title of the review was Phish Brings Disappiontment instead of greatness. The whole article they just cut up on phish. Well, I was just brousing your page and I thought of that show. Did you by chance catch Champain Ill. 97? That was my best show yet. If you hear about thier summer tour please write back. jschafer@shaker.vinu.edu
Band Aggression?!#%@ 12/7/95 Niagara COnvention Center, Niagara Falls, NY Set I: My Old Home Place, Curtain, AC/DC Bag > Demand, Rift, Slave to the Traffic Light, Guyute...Possum Set II: Split Open and Melt!!!!!!!!!, Strange Design, Tasty Fog, Reba, Julius, Sleeping Monkey, Sparkle, Mikes>Groove C'mon, you have got to be crazy about this!!! I have spoke with many a paeople who are unsure of the positive enrgy that this show gave off? A plethora of them seem to believe there was tension within the band during this show, particulary diring Mike's Groove. I don't know? A few of us Localized Tripsters sped down the NYS Thruway only to be halted by a blown tire going over a big bridge--tough occurrence! At any rate, we got there during the beginning of Demand. I couldn't think of a better tune to walk in on. "Well you may as well keep your belly full..." My first and only of that tune! Great Slave!!! Great Guyute!!! Lets talk about the second set!!! AMAZING, but this is where the underrating comes in. I don't think people are aware of the intensity of that show. "Oh ya, Niagara, it was pretty good." PRETTY GOOD! It was outstanding. The Split kicks a funky beat like you wouldn't believe. Slow it down and catch a grrove to Strange Design, always a good lyrical guide!! NICE TASTY FOG! Fast ass Reba-the fastest ever. Julius was slammin'!! I thougfht the show was over after Julius, but they continued on with Sleeping Monkey. That tune is undeniable!! Sparkle!?#@ I don't know what was going through the bands head in that one? And I thought the Reba was fast!! Now lets get to the chase...Mike's Groove!!!!! Trapped in time... Was Mike upset that Trey busted into that so late in the set? I think the intensity of the Mike's that night may imply that there was abit of tension, but nonetheless it was incredible. How about the DAVE'S GUIDE in the end? Sharin in the Groove!!!!!!!!!!!
11-28-97 Worcester Centrum I II Curtain Timber Ho! Y.E.M.> Limb By Limb I Didn't Know Slave Maze Ghost> Farmhouse Johnny B. Goode Black-Eyed Katy Theme Enc: My Soul Rockytop I feel that this show is highly underated. Anyone who was at this show knows that it was a great show. It opens with the first CURTAIN of the year. Then you get a surprising second song Y.E.M.. This was funked out with lots of cross-eyed teases. This headed right into a vocal jam which turned out to be I DIDN'T KNOW. When was the last time we saw this one live ( w / Fish on vacuum ) Next up was a rockin Maze, which destroys the new years one. Then we got a Farmhouse ( 2nd one of the tour) i really like this new tune.It was nice to hear. The things got FUNKY with the new Black-Eyed Katy. This was the 1st time I ever heard this tune. This was a killer version of this tune. I feel this is soon to be a phan favorite. Up next was a solid Theme. I love this song so I really enjoyed it. Then the set was closed with a Great Rockytop. We danced our way into the set break. I felt as though it was a killer first set. Then came set II. One of the most underated sets to date. This set kicked ass, from my perspective. It opened with a great Timber Ho!. Then came my favorite new Phish tune, LIMB-BY-LIMB. I think by the end of 98' This will be a phan favorite. I'm talking up there with the bombs. Many like it now, but give it time for more to listen to on tape. LIMB, has so much potential. It's one of my favorite songs right now. But anyway, this version was outstanding. This was the first time I've seen it indoors, it was outstanding. Just listen to the tape. Another great one to hear is at the Great Went. That set is also highly underated. Anyway, next was Slave in a surprising slot. This was the best Slave I have heard to date. But I do say that everytime I see this beautiful tune. Then came what changed my whole view of this song, GHOST. This was an awesome version of this funked out new tune. This was also the 1st indoor Ghost for me. I love this song ever since this show. This went right into Johnny B. Goode which rocked the house down. This was one of the funnest set s I've ever seen. The boys came back out for the only problem of the night Encore: My Soul. Don't get me wrong I really enjoy this tune, but I just saw it in Hartford. O well what can you do. Great night, Great Show. ----Matt Tiscornia----
Not sure if other people think it's underrated, but I do- 12-7-97 Dayton,Ohio 1. AC-DC Bag>Psycho Killer>Jesus Left Chicago, My mind's, It's Ice, Swept Away/Steep>It's Ice, Theme From the Bottom>Tube>Jam>Tube>Jam>Slave to the Traffic Light 2. Timber Ho!>Wolfman's Brother>Boogie on Reggae Woman>Reba, Guyute,Possum Enc: A Day in the Life What can I say? One of my new favorite shows that I don' t think gets much recognition. Superb 1st set including a fantastic AC-DC Bag>Psycho Killer>Jesus Left Chicago. 2nd set is even better, including the great Stevie Wonder cover, Boogie on Reggae Woman and awesome versions of Reba and Possum. A night of perfect songs and even better jamming!
10/11/95 II Possum, Gin, Mound, Mike's > McGrupp > Weekapaug > Llama, Suzy > Crossroads, Hello My Baby E: Chalkdust I have a really nice 1st gen DAUD of this set and I am glad that I do. It opens up with one of the best Possums I have ever heard. Trey really takes his time with this one, but he builds the jam really well until it just explodes and Trey holds a high E for about 16 measures (for those who can count a rhythm, listen to the preceding measures before Trey's long sustain - the band syncopates for a while as they often do before a jam explodes, but if you listen closely you'll hear quite distinctly if you can count a 4/4 that the ENTIRE band loses count and adds an extra quarter note before the high E). Moving along... the Gin. Oh my! I do love this song and the jams that ensue after it, but that's just me. This Gin is excellent. It starts out strangely as the band struggles to find something to go with, but they find it fast (mainly becuase Fishman follows Trey SO well sometimes). The end of this jam is also excellent with the band returning to the basic C --> Bb progression and Page jamming on his clav (or whatever that sound is that sits above the piano and he runs through a wah). Mound - love the song, but it never changes so I can't comment on it. The Mike's, well, let's just say that I really don't like the Mike's jams from '95 that much, especially this one - it's really spacey and the band really doesn't seem to know where they want to go (which probably explains the extremely forced transition into McGrupp). But no matter, because it's McGrupp. And what a McGrupp it is! Trey does screw up royally (after the "fleethound called McGrupp" line). But Page makes up for it with an AMAZING jam. His right hand melodies were excellent as always but his left hand harmonizing made this jam particularly distinctive. The Weekapaug starts out with zero energy, but an interesting transition into Llama makes the jam. The rest of the set is pretty standard, except for a phenomenal transition into Crossroads (this one's all Trey - the rest of the band understandably lagged behind for a few seconds). Anyway, definitely recommended for those who like jammed out sets. - Adam
7/25/97 Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX set 1 Beauty Of My Dreams, Wolfman's Brother>Maze, Water In the Sky, Bathtub Gin>Makisupa Policeman>AC/DC BAg set 2 Chalkdust Torture>Taste>Ya Mar>Drums>Ghost>Character Zero Encore Theme From the Bottom set2 + encore with Bob Gullotti on drums I never hear anybody talking about this show, which surprises me because the first set is UNBELIEVABLE. The second set is pretty undeniable itself, but you'll be hard pressed to find a first set that has as many PHAT jams as this one does. I think the reason this show is commonly overlooked because it was the fourth show of the U.S. Summer tour and they repeated 8 songs from the 3 previous shows, however they gave them new life on this night. They opened with a solid Beauty that got everyone dancing. Nice opener- short + sweet. Wolfman's Brother was beyond stellar. There was a 20 minute jam of it that blew me away. It has ALOT of funk, but Trey's jamming is very Thematic and he catches on to some really sweet grooves. The jam eventually segued into one of the most mind-bending Maze's I have heard. both Pages part and Treys part aren't exceptionally long, but the way they play the song sets it on FIRE. About a minute After the switch from Page to Trey, Trey catches onto this one groove and rocks it out. You really have to hear the tapes. Maze finishes and up comes Water in the Sky. A nice song to take a breather to, good melodies, but nothing real fancy. First note of BATHTUB GIN hit and I knew we were in for another ride. This jam gin>makisupa>bag was my favorite jam of the night. It lasted 45 minutes and closed the first set. Gin was Stellar, Treys jamming is poetic. Then the whole band relaxes the jamming and shifts into makisupa policeman. I love Treys line- "Woke up in the morning... Couple lemon drops and some Nugs!" the makisupa jam was great, but there was a 5-7 minute jam out of Makisupa that is just dank. This jam seems to shift with ease into AC/DC Bag. Standard AC/DC Bag. Great Jamming. KILLER First set. Set 2 featured Bob Gullotti On Drums. They opened with a 25 minute Chalkdust Torture that was awesome! here the jamming was also extremely thematic- Great Dance grooves. IT segues right into Taste which is pretty standard. TAste is jammed right into Ya Mar in which Trey throws the jam over to "leo and the drummers" and after a minute page drops out leaving the Drums- A VERY NICE TREAT AT A PHISH show. Ghost is not at all funky but very space-oriented type jamming. And Character Zero is Stellar. The encore was good although not Great. All in all this show is VERY PHAT although few have it. I recomend getting the first set at least to appease your craving for PHAT PHISH jams. Peace All.
7/13/94 Big Birch Pavillion-Patterson ,M.Y. Set 2- Possum, Cavern>Wilson>Cavern, Nicu>Tweezer>Julius>Tweezer>Jam>BBFCFM>Tweezer>Mound>Slave>Suzie G. E: MSO>TWEEPRISE Only one word descibes this classic set:INSANITY. That is how it's labeled in my collection. Not alot of people hear about this one, there's no review of on the net. I'm hear to say this is one of the most innovative sets of music Phish has ever played. I don't know what kind of funk the boys were in, but they were feeling the groove. They were incredibly tight, and you'll agree, after you hear the specifics of the show. The set opened with a rip-roaring bluesy Possum. always a great set when it opens with this one. The end is extended with Mike belting out the words in a style mimicking the song "shout"( you know the one from Animal House). Next the begins Cavern, but whben Trey sings the words, they're the words to Wilson! The band seamlessly melds the two song together, after each chorus coming in with the cavern music, then singing the wilson lyrics.AMAZING. After the "can you still have Fun" lines the band goes into the farewell chorus to cavern, and rocks it out, and leaves the mind blown. Next a standard version of NICU, keeps the fans groovin'. This goes directly into a hard&funky Tweezer, thet jam on this which launches them into a energetic Julius, which drives back into Tweezer before going off and turning into a little Jazzed didde'. This gets harder&harder until were into BBFCFM. When Mike begins the words to this song his sings it in a fashion of a country or bluegrass tune, and the band changes accordingly within seconds using a rhythm similar to Scent, and before you know it, it's bbfcfm:the words, with Scent music. At the pause before the chorus, the bands yells and yalps, and then goes full bour into the chorus with the original hardcore style...fat. After the chorus when the loudness usually begins thet instead go back into the scent jam. AWESOME. Out of this offering thet drift back into Tweezer, and slow down the jam until fish starts the fimiliar drumbeat, which gets the crowd clapping to the beat of...Mound. I miss this tune, and this a good, sound version. This drifts into Slave. Always good, nuff said. The Slave then yields one of the best Suzie's these ears have heard. Real funky&nasty. B
8-13-97 starlake amphithetre Burgettstown,pa Set I. Amarina,Poor Heart,Stash,Water in the sky,Gumbo,Water in the sky,Horse>Silent, Beauty of my dreams,Crosseyed & Painless,Wilson>Little Drummer boy, Adeline Set II. Runaway Jim,Ghost>Isabella,Sleeping Monkey,Mcgrupp,Sample in a jar,2001,Golgi, Frankenstien E. Theme from the bottom I thought this was an incredible show, being my first in almost a year. Arriving from maine, the boys didn't let me down. My set I. highlights Gumbo, horse>silent, the most intense Crosseyed & Painless I have ever heard besides 11-2-96. And a excellent Wilson with little drummer boy. I remember watching Trey's hands the had to be going a million miles an hour it was sick. Gumbo had an excellent jam with Page tearing this song apart!! I just can't get away from the Crosseyed & Painless. Fishman has got to be god's gift to music!! I love it when the "Greasy Fizeek" sings, he is just an animal!!!! Set II brought more treats to us! The whole set!! Runaway Jim was great. Jim is one of my favorites! It makes me crazy when people bitch about Trey's flub up!! With the style of music they play that's bound to happen. I thought it was a riot anyway. Ghost>Isabella was good my first time for both I enjoyed it alot. Sleeping Monkey!! Here comes the man of the hour again!!! I need to say no more. I was dying to here Mcgrupp on this 4 show run I was on. I got it This just about made the show for me. I went nuts!!!!! I like Sample contrary to what most people think of this song. Trey didn't let me down! 2001 You gotta love it baby! This was a great funked out version of this not nearly as long as the Went, but this was a crisp version. Golgi was nice to here. But when Jonathan B. Fishman started Frankenstien Starlake went absolutely nuts. This definitly made the show for me. Theme from the bottom is a great song to encore with. And this was the most solid Theme I have ever heard, and capped of a great night and sent us on our way to Darien and the Went!! I think this goes down as one of the more underated shows of the summer!
10/29/94, Somewhere in South Carolina Okay. So this show took place right before two really famous shows - the White album Halloween show and the 11/2/94 Tweezer show that made it onto A Live One. Well, this show is probably the best of the three. In fact, it may be the best show before 1995. I judge shows not on the standard basis (i.e. setlist), but on the way Phish played that night. Since I am a musician, I can deconstruct each jam and tell you if it was quite original or just another standard offering. For example, the "Foam" in this show - best ever. Page's melodies were perfect. The transition from the piano solo to the guitar solo was unique and chilling. Fishman followed the jam in his normal fashion (i.e. with remarkable precision). And Trey's solo? The theme that night was syncopation, and Trey didn't miss a beat. He even teased the ending, jammed it out some more, and then ended it. So when I talk about how good this show is, I mean that the jams were incredibly dynamic and original, so much so that I can sing to myself most of the melodies contained in the jams of this show. So here's the setlist: MFMF, Sparkle, Simple > Jim, Foam, Lawnboy, SOAM > Buffalo Bill > Makisupa > Rift Disease > TMWSIY > Avenu > TMWSIY > Sparks, Uncle Penn, YEM, BIKE Antelope > Monkey > Antelope E: Hood The MFMF - best ever. Listen to the ending. It's scary, demented, and absolutely unique. They just don't ever do THAT with MFMF. Sparkle doesn't change... Good Simple. Short, but smooth jam into Jim. But with 10/26/96, we may never find a better Simple. The Jim? Excellent. Quite exploratory for its time. Trey really gets into this one. Foam, as I've said, best ever. Lawnboy is always fun. Now, since the Melt degenerates quickly (because they lost the 33/8 beat, I believe), I can't really say I enjoy the Melt>Buffalo>Makisupa part of this show. Buffalo Bill and Makisupa are essentially the same song, neither of which are that impressive. However (big however), listen to the jam from Makisupa into Rift. INCREDIBLE! One of my favorite transitions. And of course, the Rift is excellent as always. The Disease is very good for a '94 DWD. But we all know what they do with this song now, so I'll move on. Up until the YEM, the second set is pretty standard, except for some spacey jamming in between songs (that leads into Sparks, a most notable surprise). The YEM is excellent as a whole, but most notable because most of Page's jam takes place not on his organ as he normally does, but on his clav (or whatever you want to call that sound that sits above the paino and he runs through a wah). Anyway, he stays really low pitched and doesn't use the wah pedal much at all for the jam, but it is interesting because he used to never play anything but the organ for that solo. Bike... anyway. The Antelope is amazing - incredible opening (the song explodes on the five consecutive D chords), a wonderful jam into Monkey, and a really smooth ending that makes muscial sense in the whole grand scheme of that particular jam. The Hood is actually really, really good, much better than the one on A Live One or the many that I've heard live. Makes me wonder why this Hood didn't make it onto A Live One and the other one, which is good but definitely not great, did. So those are my two cents. This is definitely one of my favorite shows. The playing is orgasmic and the set list is good for everyone. I highly recommend giving this one a critical listen or two. - Adam
I am not sure how underrated this show really is, but I keep hearing how great everyone thinks Dayton was, and, having listened to both tapes numerous times, I think its time the Palace gets some respect (by the way, how can this place be rated one of the worst venues?). Anyways, here is the list: Set I: Golgi, Antelope, Train Song, Gin-->Foam, Sample, Fee, Maze, Cavern Set II: Tweezer-->Isabella-->Jam-->Twist Around-->Piper-->Sleeping Monkey-->Tweezer Reprise E: Rocky Top First off, its been a long time since I have experienced as much energy at a show for a long while, especially right from the get go. The Golgi opener was probably the best opener I have seen in my twenty or so shows, at least as far as getting the entire crowd dancing and having a good time. The Antelope was unlike any I had heard to date--lots of funk and delay loops--but it eventually came back to the darkness and finished real strong. The Gin is average for a Gin, but average Gins keep me coming back. Nice work by Page in his opening cacophany, and Trey spirals the jam around to a nice peak. Fish leads a tight transition into Foam, which, in comparison to the other Foam I saw this tour (Worcester) was fantastic. Beautiful work by Page, and Trey brought the crowd to its fourth peak of the set. The reason this show gets any sort of bad rap at all is probably due to three of the next four songs. While I don't mind Sample, Fee and Cavern are certainly songs I try and avoid as much as possible. Not to mention it seems as though I see Maze at every fucking show I go to. Regardless of the cheesy sing along that became the second half of this set, I still give this one a 7, based on the first five songs alone. The real strength of this show is undoubtedly the second set, and, more particularly the Tweezer, which is one of the best I have ever heard. Trey starts playing the opening chords, but then stops and there is this weird sort of jam for a minute where Trey plays the mute(?) strings for a little bit, and Mike sounds in sporadically. Fish starts pounding the snare (for quite a while) and they drop into beginning with hardcore momentum. This whole song, and pretty much the whole set, is funk laden. The jam right out of the Ebenezer part is possibly the best funk I have yet to hear out of the band yet (but 8-10-97 Cities is hard to beat). Total fucking hose. Trey is wahing it (and doing his sweet dance), Mike's laying it down, and Page is working the Moog. But to be honest, I think it is Fish that really makes this jam what it is. He switches from sixteenth notes on a closed high hat to eighth notes on an open high hat to start one of the coolest 20 seconds of Phish I have ever heard (sorry I don't have any times). Trey then tries for a second to start a darker jam, but with Fish working the funk the way he is, Trey had to settle back in. They work the funk a little more, and then Trey gets really spacy for a while. Throughout the rest of the set, there was more of the funk (after Isabella, Twist Around) and it was great. The band, and Trey in particular, seemed to be having a great time. The Piper was intense and developed into an awesome jam. And never have I seen a crowd as insane as during the Tweezer Reprise. Lame encore, but what to do. This is one of those shows that while you can appreciate it on tape, being there was incredible. I thought the crowd was great given the size of the venue, and the lights were ridiculous (Antelope, Tweezer Reprise). The Tweezer makes the second set an 8, and a must have for those who love the funk. Peace, Nate Bayko
You wanna hear about a grossly underrated show? Ok! Here's a vote for 6/29/96 from Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY, a glorious venue that they'll probably never play ever again due to it's somewhat small capacity. I've seen Phish 14 times, and this was my second show. After nearly 3 years, it still holds up as a fantastic show, possibly in my top 5. I: Runaway Jim, Taste, Horse/SITM, Divided Sky, Cavern > Rift > Simple, SOAMelt, Carolina II:Free, Bowie, Strange Design, Y.E.M., Acoustic Army, Day in the Life E:Theme from the Bottom First of all, I think that summer '95 in general was a fantastic tour, full of great experiments (Walnut Creek Jim, SPAC Disease,) and classic runs at venues that we'll probably never get to hear the glorious sounds o 'Phish ever again like Red Rocks, Great Woods and Sugarbush North. Jones Beach is an outdoor shed which is nice because there are NO lawn seats whatsoever, the backdrop is Long Island sound, and the entire venue just has a great, laid back feel that the best summer shows are made of. Nothing like a relaxing day on the beach followed by a great Phish show at night. The show begins with a cheery Runaway Jim with some very distinct Cannonball teases in the mid section. Allusions to the previous night's excruciating Tweezer jam no doubt. The Jim is standard and relatively brief, and is followed by an early version of Taste. Even in it's initial stages, it showed signs of being a potential monster, and look where it is now. Horse/SITM is always pleasant, and somewhat surprising to hear this early in the set. The Divided Sky, simply stated, was superb. Still holds up as one of the best I've heard, in concert, or on tape. In addition, the fog over the sound was just beginning to break as well, and the sun was just making it's prescence known, a hell of a nice touch. I LOVED Cavern back then, and while I don't have the zeal or it now that I did back then,it's still a cool song. There was no break between Cavern and Rift, one went into the another without pause. Standard Rift. Rift went directly into Simple, again with no pause. The standard, 4 or 5 minute '95 Simple which is ok with me. The momentum which was gained by segueing each of these short tunes into one another created a 3 song structure which was MUCH more than the apparent sum of it's parts. Split Open an Melt appeared from the hazy feedback which closed Simple, and was predictably hot. A pleasant Carolina filled out a good first set. II: Set two simply smokes, and remains to me one of the most underrated sets of Phish in summer '95, and maybe of all time. The set opens with Free, which I had never heard before. This tune works wonders as a set opener, and I wonder why it's been used so infrequently in this spot. Even in early form, the sparkling riff has power, and I remember a friend turning to me saying something like, "This is the coolest song they've ever written". Perhaps not, but the effect was obvious. Up next came a dark, bass heavy space jam that sounds like it was lifted from the recent 11/29/97 Runaway JAM. Fishman kicks the high hat, and we get a 25 minute, experimental Bowie that is unquestionably my favorite to date. This Bowie is hard proof that spacy, experimental Phish doesn't have to be boring. The mid section jam got waaaaaay out thereand it even sounds like Mike is teasing Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie" (Is that what it's called?) on his bass. The hammer-on ending is as powerful as ever, and the Bowie simply needs to be heard. Next was my first taste of Strange Design, and the set placement was right on. A mellow Page tune is IMO always placed best after a mind bending jam, and this was right on (same goes for the Strange Design after the 58 minute Jim from 11/29/97). No rest for the weary though, as YEM starts up. Summer '95 was a great time for YEMs, and this is no exception to the rule. Bass and drums is the highlight, and Mike goes abso-fucking-lutely crazy at the end of this jam. The vocal jam is typical of '95, loud siren screaming, but don't take my word for it, even Dirksen gave this one an A. Acoustic Army is cute, and Day in the Life was really cool before it got over played. Overall, with the Free opener, incredible Bowie and good YEM, the second set is a force to be reckoned with. Theme from the Bottom is a fine encore choice, and shows signs of potential even in it's early form. Good 1st set, AWESOME second set. This isn't just nostalgia talking here, the show was that good, and criminally underrated. -dave "Copernicus drank from a vessel that stank, from the free basins crank to the overflow TANK." -from 6/26/95 NICU (which is on right now...another great show)
11/19/92 St. Mike's Colchester, VT I. Maze, Fee>Foam, Glide, Split Open and Melt, Mound, Divided Sky, Esther, Axilla, The Horse>Silent in the Morning, Antelope II. Mike's Song>Hydrogen>Weekapaug>Bouncin'>It's Ice>I Walk The Line> Tweezer>Big Ball Jam, Poor Heart, Fast Enough For You, Llama, Lengthwise, Cavern E: Bold as Love There is one reason that I love this show so much. Mike's Groove!! This version of Mike's Song>Hydrogen>Weekapaug is absolutely the best I have ever heard. Every time I hear it I get chills. I love it because it is unlike any other Mike's jam. Not only does Trey groove, but he takes the band and the listener on a musical journey. Tempo changes, vocal jams, the works!! Hydrogen is pretty standard, but the Weekapaug to come is amazing. Along with these songs, there are other crowd pleasers...Maze, SOAM, Divided Sky. This is also the show where there were many debuts. Axilla, BBJ, Fast Enough for You (w/ Gordon Stone) and Lengthwise, with is a trip by itself. Complete with vaccum solo. Amazing show, and one that, IMHO show go in the history books!!
11/14/95 UCF Arena, Orlando, FL Heres a show that never gets mentioned but was pretty killer! Setlist I: Chalkdust, Foam, Billy, Divided, Esther, Free, Julius, Blue & Lonesome, Cavern II: Maze, Gumbo, Stash > Manteca > Stash > Dog Faced Boy > Stash, Strange Design YEM A really cool show in a smaller Arena( The soundboard was against the back wall.) Chalkdust kicks things off with my buddy and I still in the floor section line. Made in in halfway through that and it still rocked. A good foam next. Then slowing down with Billy Breathes. After taht things get rolling . Diivied sky, Esther, a Free, Then Julius. A Blue and Lonesome then A Cavern that was sorta called when my buddy who at his 2nd show told me to take care of my shoes that were next to the Sound Booth. right after he said that...Cavern. 2nd set Oh yeah this was it. A killer maze. Then they get funny with Gumbo. After that one of the best if not the best Stash I've heard. Stash just goes into outer space. Not Hyper space, but a dreamy space. Trey runs up and down the his guitars frets Playing the melody. Loude down to quiet. The song is almost quiet at times then explodes at others. The jam leads gets crunchy before getting spacey and heading into Manteca and eventually easing into Dog Faced Boy acapella just a slight bit of noise from Trey's loop effect or someting then a tap of Fishmans cymbol bringing it back into the closing bits of Stash! A Strange Design Breaks up the Jaming between the Stash Fest and YEM. Yem being almost standard a little shorter than most but a cool jam complete with an Immigrant Song tease... A seldom palyed but Wonderful version of Wedge goes into Rocky Top to close out the night. Alot of Florida shows dont get any attention...i think they play really well down here(West Palm., 96!...Ritz, Tampa 93!) If you are a stash fan.definatley check out 11/14/95 ... troy c feemilli@castlegate.net
7/02/94 g.s.a.c. holmdel, n.j. 1. golgi, divided sky, guelah papyrus, fast enough, scent of mule, tweezer>lifeboy, sparkle, tweezer rep. 2. also sprach>mikes song>simple>mikes song>y-rushalayem schel zahav>hydrogen>weekapaug jam>weekapog groove>jam>antelope jam>zarathustra groove jam>weekapaug reprise, mcgrupp, maze, sample>slave, highway to hell. E: rift ill keep this short and sweet. this show gets lost in the many amazing summer and fall 94 shows. (peak of the band IMHO) the second set was amazing and left you confused, it was great. i recomend getting this tape, if you can find it.
5/16/94 Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, CA Set1: Buried Alive > Poor Heart > Sample > Divided, Axilla II, Rift, DwD > Bouncing, Stash, Adeline Set2: 2001>Antelope> BBFCFM tease> Antelope, Sparkle > It's Ice > Julius > YEM, BBFCFM > Amazing Grace > BBFCFM not sure why this show doesn't get much recognition. 3 particular segments are as good as it gets. -opening 4 songs- bam,bam,bam,BAM! probably my fav sample, trey just wails and the divided was a perfect call. -opening trio of set 2: the antelope gets absolutely crazy. completely improv jam without any antelope context just rages into a BBFCFM tease complete with screaming vocals " hen i get home from work, what do i doooo, i trrryyy tooo killllll yooouuuu" frightnening! back into antelope with fish as marcos. "marcos esquandolas, ladies and gentlemen, marcos esquandolas..." whew! end of set 2: yem>bbfcfm>a.grace>bbfcfm. great yem into the usual vocal jam which melts into the real bbfcfm, which after the usual craziness, drops into the complete opposite emotion of amazing grace and then back into bbfcfm to end the set. incredible energy throughout! but this show doesn't even compare to the magic and energy of 5/14/94 - san diego which will be reported later...
12/2/95 Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, CT Set I: Prince Caspian, Runaway Jim, Mound, Guelah Papyrus, Reba, My Sweet One, Free, The Fog That Surrounds, Bouncing, Possum Set II: 2001->Maze, Simple, Faht, Tweezer, A Day In The Life, Golgi, The Squirming Coil, Tweezer Reprise E: Bold As Love I've seen 31 shows and this show is one of the top five I have ever seen. Why? Because it was one of those shows where you just get that feeling of pure transcendentalism. This was also the first chance I had to see the band in almost 6 months and it couldn't have been more of a hassle to get to the show. I was coming form Boston where everyone and thier brother had boat- loads of work to do because it was the end of the semsester. I couldn't find anyone to go with. I finally hooked-up with a friend from home (RI) and took him to his first show. Ironicly, I have only seen him a couple of times since then, but one the last time was at Worcester this past Novemember, I guess I turned him on to a good thing. Anyway, the show opens with Caspian, which for some reason I really enjoyed. At this time CAspian did not have the long intro or outro that it does now, and personally I liked it better that way. The JIm that followed was one of the better Jims I have ever seen. Looking at the list, this show contains a lot of Phish "staples," but what makes this show stand-out is that alomost everyone of them are stellar versions. Mound and Guelah were nice treats and the Reba that followed was amazing. MSO was the first they had played since the summer. Free followed, and the thing to also remember at this time is Free was considered by many to be the next "epic." This also wathe first chance I had at seeing Trey on his drum-kit. The Possum that closed the set smoked and was complete with the "all fall down signal." Great set, nothing that stands-out, but excellant versions of all songs. Another perk to this show is it came two days after my 21st birthday and this was the first chance I had to actually legally buy beer at a show. Better yet, there was a bar in the venue. The first set was exhusting and I did not stop moving once. My friend was completely blown-away and could not believe there was still another set to follow. Before the start of the second, the band walks out on stage and somebody tosses a glowstick up to the stage which Trey catches. Who knew the prominence these things would have two years later. Anyway, the set starts with 2001 which winds its way into a great Maze which was rocking but fairly short by Maze standards. Simple followed complete with a great jam. It was obvious the band pick-up the energy level the ended the 1st set with---through the roof. However, this was qualmed almost instantly with Fishman's Faht. While yes it is a rarity, the guiter was barely audible and the background noises to go along were drwoning. This might have been the only low-point of the show. What followed was what I feel is the BEST Tweezer they have ever played. This thing scortched, I mean just blew the roof off the building. If you're into rocking Tweezer's as oppossed to Sapcey one's, this is the epitome of them. If there is one reason to get this show, this is it. The Day in the Life that followed, while beging quite over played that fall, was the first time I heard it and being a huge Beatles fan, I loved it. Golgi was New England. The Coil had a great solo by Page complete with a "Carol of the Bells" tease to get everyone in a holiday frame of mind. Always love the Reprise. Bold as Love was a great encore. All in all, this show stands-out not so much for anything wacky, but for being really fun, have great versions all the songs, and the best Tweezer I have ever heard. It was the beginning of what was to be one of the best months of Phish ever. Steve
12/12/97 Pepsi Arena, Albany. NY Set I: Funky Bitch -> 2001, Camel Walk, Taste, Bouncin', Tweezer -> Trainsong, Character Zero Set II: I Saw It Again -> Piper -> Swept Away -> Steep, Prince Caspian > Jam -> Isabella, Tweezer Repirse E: Guyute, Antelope I think 12/12/97 may well be the most unjustly criticized show of Fall Tour. A lot of people criticize the set list, which, aside from the encore, really doesn't look that great. There were a lot of new songs played, and the second set didn't feature any songs which typically have great jams. The fan who was waiting for the YEM or Mike's to pop up was to be sorely disappointed. If you look past the songs played, and look to the level of playing, the merits of this shows should become obvious. The first set, first of all, was very definitely above average. The Funky Bitch -> 2001 opener was fantastic, and, although neither really neared the heights it hit elsewhere on the tour, both were quite satisfying. Camel Walk was a nice rarity. Taste was above average, Bouncin' was well placed, and the Tweezer was very nice. The jam never really soared, but the opening section was as good as i've heard, and the early moments featured some very pleasing, very deep funk. Trainsong segued in nicely, and Character Zero proved a fine closer. All in all, a very good - not great - first set. The second set, however, was absolutely monstrous! Yes, I groaned when I heard them break into I Saw It Again, but the jam coming out of this is just great. Some quiet, sensitive improv leads wonderfully into Piper. Piper was well-played, and - like ISIA - feautured a glorious jam on the end of it. The band locks into a very intense groove, building the jam up and taking it own more times than I could count. It's filled with Llama teases, and takes on an almost Bowie like feel. The jam mellows out, gets very pretty, and goes smoothly into Swept Away -> Steep. These aren't particularly exciting sngs, but they were well-played. Now, I admit that Caspian was poorly placed here. The jam that follows it, however - a reprise of the jam out of Piper, only more louder and more guitar driven than that one - was simply glorious. A smooth segue into a rocking Isabella and Tweezer Reprise close out the set. The encore certainly is not underrated, so I won't speak for that. Suffice it to say, despite a bland set list, this was a very, very good show, whose only real weak point was the poorly placed Prince Caspian. Definintely check out the tapes.
06/18/94 UIC Pavillion, University of Illinois, Chicago, Il 1: Wilson > Rift, AC/DC Bag, Maze, Mango Song > DwD, Dog Faced Boy, It's Ice, Divided, Sample 2: Peaches, Bowie, Horn, McGrupp, Tweezer > Lifeboy, YEM, Chalkdust E: Bouncing > Tweezer Reprise One of my favorites which I would definite include in my top 10. Definitely far from one of the greatest shows of all time, but one which is often overlooked, and one which I never see on anyone's priority list. Solid start with the first 3 (same as 12/30/94), followed by a great Maze and Mango. It's great listened to the old DWD's before they turned it into the powerhouse that it is today. A solid version and the rest of the set was nothing extrordinary. The second set could be one of the best one tape. I mentioned the powerhouse type songs. Back in the day of this show, I'd say that the 3 main one's (and still are today) were YEM, Bowie, and Tweezer. This set has them all. Kicked off with a tight and sweet Peaches which trails into Bowie with a 5 minute JAM that is a carbon of the Dead's "Mind Left Body/Heaven Help The Fool" JAM. Then A great 10+ minute Bowie capped off with Trey kicking in some Jimi teases during the peak. Horn was Horn, a nice mellow change of pace. The energy is high and you can tell all four are having a great time. McGrupp (which is one of my show fav's) is solid which goes into Tweezer (I'm not a Tweezer fan by any stretch of the word, but for some reason it fits here). Another mellow reality check in Lifeboy came next (still a relatively new tune at the time). YEM to follow. Talk about a power set. But still not done. A rockin' Chalkdust ends what could be the most underrated set I've ever heard. My theory is that you can tell how great or how lame a show is judging by the encore selection. If the encore's lame, the show was pretty solid, or if the encore's amazing, then the show was lame. Not always the case, but here's a couple of examples. GOOD SHOWS/BAD ENCORES: This one 06/18/94 - BATR-> Tweeprise 12/29/96 08/14/97 12/11/97 (only the 2nd set was good here) 12/31/97 On the other end of the spectrum, the 12/12/97 Albany show was the worst shows I've seen. The only Phish show I could actually say I've never liked. Until they encored with Guyute-> Antelope. Talk about your show savers. That alone was worth the trip. Anyway, get your hands on 6/18/94 if you don't have it. SBD's available for this show. Ari Petroff (dogman@istar.ca)
I don't want to talk about a specific show, but a leg of a tour. To be more specific, the fall of 94. Interesting that two of the shows on the list already are from this time. I caught eight shows around the southeast during this tour, and it is still my favorite string of shows. There are several reasons for this being one of the most memorable tours in history. 1. The band was still playing smallish theatres though their sound system was ready to handle serious arenas. 2. They were experimenting with Bluegrass in a very serious way. Almost every show saw acoustic bluegrass numbers, many without mics even. There was a run with Rev. Jeff Mosier on the bus and on stage with the boys. They learned a lot from the man. 3. GUYUTE!!!!!!!!!! 4. The first experiments in stretching the limits of improvisation happened toward the end of the tour. The first 45 minute Bowies and Tweezers are from 94. 5. The WHITE ALBUM!!!! I think you get the picture. Let's just say, it was the end of 94 that had me participating in the first mail-order to the Nth degree. I did summer tour in 95. Still, the fall of 94 is my favorite tour of all time, and I think it is always very underrated. Just my brain running through my fingers! -dave
11/17/94 Hara Arena, Dayton, OH I: Helter Skelter, Scent, Maze, Bouncing, Wilson, Divided, Dog Faced Boy, Forbin's>Mockingbird, DWD II: 2001>Bowie, Sleeping Monkey, Sparkle, YEM>HYHU>Love You>HYHU, Slave, Golgi E: Blue and Lonsome, Nellie Cane, Two Dollar Bill, Fixin' to Die This was my first show, and when I listen to the tape and reflect on what really took place, I can't believe that more people don't appreciate what happened at Hara that night. First of all, let's talk Helter Skelter as an opener. Try to imagine that in today's context. I don't know that I've ever personally witnessed a more exciting set opener (based on sheer song selection), with the possible exception of the 10/31/96 Sanity opener or the 10/23/96 Brother to open the second set at Hartford. From there, the boys seemed to grab us by the collar and pull us through a high-energy first set before bringing it down with Dog Faced Boy, the show's only poor choice in my opinion. They didn't leave us down, however, as they picked things up with a Forbin's>Mockingbird that featured a Vibration of Life narration that I will never forget. As Trey urged us to prepare our surf boards to catch a wave on the Vibration, I was completely captivated. For the second set, the band treated us to a 2001>Bowie opener, before Sleeping Monkey, the song that my friend pHiL likes to say is the band's way of thanking the crowd for coming out. A very solid YEM vocal jam morphed into HYHU, which treated us to Love You. The set ended with a Slave and energetic Golgi. Jeff Mosier joined for the encore, as Phish brought it down and did four numbers with a homespun flavor. I know that most people have overlooked 11/17/94, in some part because of the wildly popular Ann Arbor show from the night before, but believe me when I say that it's worth a listen. Todd Justus
12/17/95 Olympic Center, Lake Placid NY I: My Friend My Friend, Poor Heart, A Day in the Life, Run Like an Antelope, The Mango Song, Tube, Stash, Lizards, Chalk Dust Torture* II: Bouncing Around the Room, Maze, Free, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Harry Hood, Sparkle, Tweezer** > Tweezer Reprise E: Hello My Baby, Runaway Jim * - Trey thanks band and audience for the tour ** - Page solo between Tweezer and Tweezer Reprise, this was done in Binghamton as well. I know someone else has already mentioned the first night as underrated. Although I would agree to some extent, that show wasn't nearly as bad as most people would tell you, it was certainly nothing even close to special either. As for the following evening, the 17th, this was truly a night to remember, which unfortunately not enough people seem to be too impressed with. First set is pretty standard up until the Antelope. This rocked the house and changed the direction of the show for the better. Check out the buildup to the rocking second section. Wow. If I remember correctly, Trey's climax was very similar to the climax in the 12.29.97 Antelope (could be wrong though). Either way, certainly one of my favourite Antelope's. Mango Song is rare and always very nice. Tube? The seond one of the tour, and definately the better one. In Portland it sounded rusty, but here, it sounded fantastic. Page's organ solo is excellent. Stash is quite good, as is the Chalkdust. Second set features a super Maze, and a nice Tweezer->Reprise, but needs to be heard for the Free->2001->Hood combo. The Hood to this day remains a favourite of mine. Lsten to Trey right at the beginning of the jam as he plays the theme of a children's song (I can't remember the name but it's the one that goes "There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there's a hole in my bucket"). Wow. Jim encore? Can you say cool? Excellent show, which is often forgotten in the midst of all the rest of the Dec 95 shows (BTW, Portland is overrated. IMHO, Albany was the best night of Dec 95. Second set speaks for itself with the YEM and basically everything else. The first set is however highly underrated. Maze opener and a great setlist including Sloth, Theme, Nicu, Chalkdust, and where even the Bouncing Rift combo can't spoil it.) Mathias
10/16/94 Memorial Auditorium, Chattanooga TN I: Rift, Horn, Foam, Fee, SOA Melt, TMWSIY->Alvenu Malkenu->TMWSIY, Axilla Pt. I, Possum II: Landlady, Poor Heart, Julius, Fluffhead, BBJ, Antelope, Dog Faced Boy, Sweet Adeline, Sample E1: Highway to Hell E2: Harpua This was the first of the 12 shows I've been to, and got me started on my way to a collection of over 200 hrs. of live tapes. It is still probably one of the best I've seen or heard. In the first set, the Rift started off fun and quite intense. This is a beautiful song and seeing it live was outstanding. At the grand pause toward the end of the song, Trey stopped and pointed to the two security guards standing on either side of the stage saying, "I'd like to introduce the two newest members of the band: Stan and Dan, everybody. Stan and Dan!" Then the crowd went apeshit booing the guys. Foam and Melt are both pretty sweet, then TMWSIY->Alvenu->TMWSIY was beautiful. I remember hearing the first part of it thinking how it was one of the most soothing tunes I had ever heard in a live setting, and I still really love hearing this one. Axilla Pt. 1 was a welcome surprise with the alternate lyrics, and it really rocked, then Possum tore the roof off. A very intense, high-energy first set. To open the second set, Landlady smoked as per usual and Fluffhead was mind blowing. Hearing it now, it doesn't stand out as an incredible Fluffhead, but even the most mediocre one is pretty amazing. BBJ was fun to see, not fun to hear. Antelope rocked. Then Dog Faced Boy was done without mics as was Sweet Adeline. After some joking about how they were going to rip our heart's right out of our rib cages, they explained how Fish was going to do the world's 1st ballon solo. He basically stood there holding a little red balloon and twisted it at the very end to make a squeaking noise. Pretty funny. Sample was ok. The encore. Highway to Hell was surprising to me, and still one of my favorite Phish moments. During the verse, Mike would just stand around with his legs spread wide and shift from side to side. When they were finished I was quite satisfied. Second Encore. Wow. Harpua. Obviously I had never heard it, and had I realized the magnitude of the situation--the fact that they were playing it at a really trivial show--I would have shit myself. They did a Bootsy Collins tease in the middle and Trey's narration and pantomiming were hilarious. This is quite an underrated show. I never see it on people's tapelists. I think this show was so good because it was played in a small town in a small theatre at the point in Phish's career where they knew they were about to move on to arenas and amphitheatres. They knew they'd never be back to Chattanooga and decided to just have a great time, which the boys obviously did, and it shows in the setlist and the playing. All the songs are energetic and pretty fast paced. They just let themselves go here, and it is well worth hearing. Thanks for reading. Steve Trumpeter
This might top the list even though I never read a great reveiw from anyone: 10-22-95 Champaigne, Il Set 1: ACDC Bag, My Mind, Sloth, Runaway Jim, Weigh, FEFY, NICU, Ice, Poor Heart, Sample, Blue and Lonesome, Stash Set 2: Golgi, Possum>Catapult>Curtain>Tweezer>*Makisupa>BBFCFM, Life on Mars, Uncle Penn, Slave, Cavern E: Sweet Adeline, Coil * w / many extra lyrics You may have had to been there but the Possum, Stash, Tweezer were the RIP!!!!! The whole show seemed last all night. My favorite show of all time.
11-22-94, Jesse Auditorium, Columbia, MO I don't even know what they played in the first set, but the second set is a classic....and surprisingly underrated. Funky Bitch > Lawn Train (?) > Y-Rushalayim Schel Zahav > Cry Baby Cry The Curtain Blackbird Runaway Jim > BBFCFM > Blue and Lonesome Butter Them Biscuits Long Journey Home Harry Hood * Highway to Hell * by request Funky Bitch starts us out a little bit slower and sleazier than say, the 7-25-92 FB, for example. Real raw, a bit like we're all in some dive that just IS the blues. But then, a segue into what I have labeled as Lawn Train. I've seen it labeled as "What the..." Maybe that is more appropriate. It starts out with kind of a weird funky theme but then progresses on to just sheer, balls out improvisation. We're talking up there with the 12-29-94 Bowie. Nobody knows where it's going, real risk-taking stuff- not just a long funk deal. I consider it the finest piece of extended Phish improvisation I have in my 100 hour collection. So, we're now in a spacy area and then Y-Rushalayim starts up. The transition is chilling. Cry Baby Cry is one of the favorite covers Phish has ever done. It's simply a great song. Curtain is always welcome, and a decent version of Blackbird with Page on vocals follows. Runaway Jim is a great version, with the jam portion evolving slowly into another blues experiment. Slowly, Trey moves us into BBFCFM. Standard hilarious version. But, what's this? No ending, just silence. Wait, is that a banjo tuning up? They finish the song bluegrass style. =^] Phish has never before or since made me laugh as hard as when I heard the bluegrass BBFCFM. The rest of the bluegrass is standard stuff (read: great), with BTB an instrumental with Trey on fiddle that he learned to play a week before. Long Journey Home is what most people refer to as $2 Bill. The Hood that follows is by request, which is something that they "don't do very often," in the words of Trey. Great version. Then Highway to Hell. This show is underrated because there is simply pure Hose happening during the post-Funky Bitch jam. It should be talked about as much as almost any other Phish jam. Pete
Here's an underrated show for y'all -- my first show: 12/16/95 Olympic Center, Lake Placid, NY I: Buried Alive, AC/DC Bag, Fog That Surrounds, Ya Mar, Sloth, Divided Sky, Dog Faced Boy, Julius, Suzy II: Sample, Reba, Scent, Cavern, Mike's > Simple > Weekapaug, Squirming Coil E: Fire It's no wonder why this show is overlooked as it is buried beneath the admittedly superior shows of the month of 12/95. Yet, I feel that this show is still worthy of recognition as it is undoubtedly underrated. The atmosphere throughout Lake Placid that weekend was magical. I had arrived early, and it was interesting to see how this normally peaceful, homely town suddenly became immersed in tie-dye and wool sweaters by Saturday afternoon. It's beautiful in Lake Placid in the wintertime especially. Everyone there is so accomadating because they hadn't seen anything this big since the Dead did a run there years before. I met Mike before the show outside his hotel room (we had copped a shower at the local Hilton...). A definite omen, yes? The venue is great, in that it's like a half-sized arena seating only 6000 I believe. Anyway, Buried Alive opened the show very appropriately and was played tightly. An above-average AC/DC Bag followed, with an extreme buildup in tension and the most energizing peak I've heard from this tune. This was my first show, and AC/DC Bag was my first taste of the sensation Phish creates with their music -- goose bumps, spinal chill, inebbriation....Taste, what was then Fog, followed. This is my favourite version of Taste/Fog, partially because it doesn't completely follow the basic build in tension that is customary with this tune. It had a more melody based jam to it. Upon relistening to it, I have noticed infinite connection between the boys, hose if you will, especially between Mike and Page. This extreme communication and connection continues through my all-time favourite Ya Mar (next to Albany 12/13). A standard Sloth and an angelic Divided Sky (possibly my favourite version) follow. DFB, Julius and Suzy are nice but nothing outstanding. My first time enduring a "15 minute" setbreak was painful because I was unfamiliar with this custom, per say. I've learned to enjoy the 40-someodd minutes allotted to the setbreak... A flubbed Sample opened set II. A beautiful Reba emerged from Sample. The jam was the typical beautiful, ecstatic one that you'd expect! No whistling...An enjoyable Scent came next with an entertaining duel. A standard Cavern included the customary lyrical flubs by Trey. The melodic, hosed-down, type I, jamming that seemed to be the them of the show halted here as Mike's Song explored lots of unfamiliar musical territory. Definitely not the most listenable, groovable jam but it went places. They toyed with tempos, moods, textures...a longer Mike's than usual. The segue into Simple was smooth and culminated in a nice jam. A long, ajmmed out Weekapaug closed Mike's groove. Trey spent most of his time on the since retired drum pads, hence, this was a very percussive Weekapaug ending this 30 minute Groove. Coil was appropriately placed in the closing spot, with it's delicate Pag solo to end the set. The Fire encore was rocking as per usual. This show does have a lot of sentimental value to me, yet I still think it's worthy of recognition by the general Phish community. Compared to the other 12/95 shows, this one pales in comparison setlist-wise but there is some influential jamming within. They simply played a little differently than during other shows around it. The Fog, Ya Mar and Sky are highly respectable jams and the Mike's Groove is something to be remembered. Without wasting the bandwidth of another post I'd like to state that 12/5/97 Cleveland is an underrated show (listen to the Julius->Slave->Lizards)....12/6/97 Detroit doesn't receive quite enough recognition either and is wholly deserving. Jon Shedletzky jon_shedletzky@bialik.on.ca
03/21/92 Chestnut Cabaret, Philadelphia, PA..............................................(SAT) 1: Landlady, Runaway Jim, Foam, Sparkle, SOAM, SITM, Dinner and a Movie, Squirming Coil,MSO, Stash, Golgi 2: Buried Alive, Oh Kee Pa > Suzy, A-Train, My Friend, Poor Heart, Reconsidered, Bowie,Weigh, Cracklin' Rosie, YEM E: Bouncing, Rocky Top I saw this section on your page and decided to pay homage to one of the best shows I have seen in the 8 years I have been seeing this band, and one I dont hear much about. This show, while some may consider standard for that time, was pretty amazing. It was one of the first ever(I think the second to be exact) that Silent in the Morning was played by God they made sure it was tight. The one thing I think that people might not understand about this show was the venue. The Chestnut Cabaret is a small venue on the outskirts of UPENN's campus. Fits maybe 300-400 people with no room to spare, and there was no room this night. The beginnings of the first set was standard at that point in Phish's repertoire, but you could tell they were happy to be back around Philadelphia as Trey mentions during the show. This show occurred just as Phish was about to explode and you could feel that this was one of the last time you would be able to see them in a small venue, at least a small one in the U.S. This show was also amidst the release of "Nectar" as seen with its heavy influence in the setlist. You can also see some tunes that were released on "Rift" that were raw during this performance. The highlight of the show was the beginnings of the second set. I was up front getting pushed into the stage and ito Trey's mike stand when they ripped into Buried Alive which was appropriate as the place must have been oversold by 200 people at least. Segued into O Kee Pa which at that time was a clear indication of what is next and what I consider to be one of the top 5 songs this band plays, SUZY! And to this day I have heard this song umpteen times, and this version still rings in my ears as the best I have heard, truly a gem. After this they came with a tune that not too many recognized at the time and most called "knife" which eventually was 'My Friend', and this was another great version as you could see them having a ball playing newer songs. After a standard Bowie and decent Weigh, Fish comes out for a Rosie w/ cymbals that brought the house down and when you thought they were about to wind things up, they give the fans Justice beyond all with a beautiful YEM that left the crowd jeering. Double encore was nice, especially Bouncing which I had made a bet they would play and was getting nervous( If you have the tape, you will hear someone scream real loud about five seconds into the song and rest assured, it is me cause I was right next to the mikes!) Rocky top, was Rocky top, the crowd was dazed, and fitered out in amazement and sadness for it would surely never be quite the same, at least until the next show.... 3/21/92 If you dont have the tapes, get them, I guarantee you will not be disappointed. -John
7/21/97 Virginia Beach Ampitheatre, Virginia Beach, VA I: Ghost, Dogs Stole Things, Piper, Dirt, Ginseng Sullivan, Bathtub Gin*, Character Zero II: The Wolfman's Brother -> Magilla, David Bowie, Wading in a Velvet Sea, Theme from the Bottom** -> Multi Instrument Jam**#, Funky Bitch**, Slave to the Traffic Light E: Loving Cup * included long jam at the end. At the end, Trey introduced the new songs to the crowd ** w/ Leroi Moore of Dave Matthews Band on Sax # Leroi with 2 sax's, Trey with 3 guitars around his neck, Mike with 2 basses. Trey was running around and smashing Fish's cymbals, while Page was laying on his keyboards and whacking 'em like a madman, Fishman played with 3 drumsticks. IMO, the single most amazing tour opener ever - though I haven't heard Dublin yet. The opener itself is epic. This Ghost will blow your mind -- I swear. An incredible Type II opener set the theme for this great tour. A nice Piper follows, then standard Dirt and Dogs Stole Things. Finally a recognized tune, Ginseng, followed by a Bathtub Gin which I like almost as much as the Went version. It contains a great WUDMTF-esque jam in it, with some of the first start-stop stuff ever (and a bit of banter taboot). The brief set ends in standard fashion with Character Zero, leaving fans to ponder this show (which could not be more different from the last US shows). The second set has its merits too. Wolfmans->Magilla absolutely kicks your ass. More fantastic funk jamming (eventually, I'll review this). The Theme->Multi-Instrument Jam isn't as cool as it looks on tape, but interests none the less. Bitch pleases, as well as the Slave to close. And what caps a show better than Loving Cup. Maybe Lucy->BEK->Sally->Frankenstein, but what the hell. Overall, a fantastic show with several merits. It is widely overshadowed by the following two shows, both of which are great, but I like this one just as much as Raleigh and Hot 'Lanta. Sorry this is so brief, but I don't have the tapes on me. Charlie
Whats up This show was one of my favorites out of many I've seen, possibly the Best Mikes Song played in my existence. It could be due to the fog and lighting going down during the epic jam between Mikes and Hydrogen and it was Red Rocks one of the more enjoyable venues to ever see a show (ie. excellent bass, great vistas, and the best vibes going down). Just wanted to add this to the list. Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison CO 6/10/95 I: Makisupa Policeman > Llama, Prince Caspian, It's Ice, Free, Rift, You Enjoy Myself > HYHU > Lonesome Cowboy Bill*, Suzie Greenberg II: Maze, Fee, Uncle Pen, Mike's Song** > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Amazing Grace, Sample in a Jar E: A Day in the Life*** * with vacuum ** long, with space jam *** first time played JP aka Ted Nugent
11/23/97 Lawrence Joel Veterans' Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC I: My Soul, Theme From the Bottom, Black Eyed Katy, Sparkle, Twist Around, Stash->NICU, Fluffhead, Character Zero II: Bathtub Gin->Jam->Down With Disease->Low Rider->Down With Disease, Bold As Love E: Julius This is a classic case of underrated. This show followed hot on the heels of the two night run at Hampton which undoubtedly had some great moments and jams (Emotional Rescue opener which would resurface at New Years, 2nd night Mike's Song Opener) and is also the reason why this show is so overlooked....It's a first rate solid show from start to finish. A fine "My Soul" to start cooking, followed by a very strong "Theme". I must say that when at this show, when they started busting out Theme, I was glad they were getting it out of the way then because I have seen Theme at every show I've been to (a whopping four), but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be a very solid version. "Black Eyed Katy" to follow....the only thing I can say about this tune is that it is funky as hell and this version in particular was very strong....they were on this night....."Sparkle" to follow and what else to say besides that it kept the crowd in it. Twist Around is a fun tune but the "Sparkle, Twist Around" segment of this set was the only slow part of the show. The "Stash" that followed is just plain nuts. This "Stash" is the darkest, meanest, nastiest, most brooding piece of music I've ever heard Phish muster. From what I can remember ( I passed out temporarily from dehydration....didn't have my fluids with me :-0) the dark and nasty "Stash" got further and further out until "NICU" teases emerged and....voila!...a full-on "NICU" complete with a shout of "PLAY IT LEO!!!!!!!!!" before Page's organ solo. A fine "Fluffhead" which was a bit flubbed followed adding to the vibe.....a somewhat predictable "Zero" to close out the set but this "Zero" was not just the "big balls" rock it usually is...they got kind of a funky groove going in it. The first set was about 85 minutes....so for some reason I didn't have too much hope for the second set. All that came to an end when the lights were hit and "Bathtub Gin" chords were strummed out.....This set was what Phish is all about. An interesting "Bathtub"......moments of the jam were dark and intense with Page pounding on the piano somewhat akin to the 2/17/97 jam that evolves out of "Lucy" that in turn evolved out of "Disease".....now if you ask me, these are the jams that kick my ass....the raw, intense, craziness jams. The "Bathtub" jam eventually slid off into the nether regions achieving a nice atmospheric quality before getting an eerie spacey quality (at this point I thought this was segueing into "Maze") , and the "Disease" is pounded out. "Low Rider" with Fish on vocals was hilarious. More funk after the Low Rider before segueing back into the "Disease" ending which in turn is sped up by Trey giving it a certain "Sparkle" quality. A "Bold As Love" closer to this second set did not disappoint. The "Julius" encore did. Closing a show like this one with a Julius encore just seemed a bit to predictable.....still a very good Julius. The crowd at this show was nuts....especially the segue back into "Disease"....everyone went nuts...a good crowd I believe is important to the overall performance. Just a theory...I could be wrong. Once again, I feel this how just does not get the recognition it deserves. I mean it was the first "Low Rider" in 826 shows for chrissakes. The "Stash" and "Bathtub" are ones for the phishstory books. Just my opinion.... All good things, Evan M. Bickerstaffe Trane816@aol.com
10.18.94 set 2, Vanderbilt Gym, Nashville, TN David Bowie, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Reba, Scent of a Mule*, Lifeboy*, Old Home Place*, Beaumont Rag*, Nellie Kane*, Llama* * w/ Bela Fleck on banjo I never see anyone mention this set, never see it on tape lists, and that is a tragedy. It starts out with a great Bowie. In a Schvice from Summer 1995, Mike responds to a letter (that I wrote) asking about A Live One, and mentions this Bowie as a fond memory from the tour. It has a sweet sweet groove to it, and a tremendous build. Trey turns a botched Horse into a little joke, then comes a truly monumental Reba. Very similar to the revered 10.31.94 Reba, which was obviously patterned after this one. It clocks in at more than 16 minutes, and I won't even attempt to describe it other to say it's on my short list for all time best Reba, and must be heard at all costs. The second half of the set features Bela Fleck on banjo, reprising his guest spots on Mule and Lifeboy from Hoist, then on a few acoustic bluegrass tunes. But the true gem comes during Llama. Starting out acoustic, with a fantastic (!truly!) banjo solo from Bela, each band member switches gradually to their electric instruments, on which they solo again. This Llama is probably the greatest Phish with guest moment I've ever heard, and that's saying a lot! I can't speak for set 1, but set 2 is a monumentally great set. ivan
8/2/96 Wolf Mountain, Park City, UT I: Somewhere Over the Rainbow*, Ya Mar, Down With Disease, Guelah Papyrus, Poor Heart, Foam, Theme from The Bottom, Golgi Apparatus, Tweezer, Ragtime Gal, Possum II: Runaway Jim, Simple, Taste, Free, Fluffhead, Prince Caspian**, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Run Like An Antelope E: Punch You In the Eye * Page, solo on Theremin ** New arrangement
The Wolf Mountain show, which started the famous summer tour of '96 is sometimes overlooked as even existing in Phishtory. Mainly I think because it came directly before the historic 4 night stand at Red Rocks which in my opinion, reached a new level of Phish existance all together. This night, however, is very special for many reasons. We hadn't seen Phish play in the U.S. for eight months and this was thier first show back after having a what looked like a stellar run in Europe. We were all waiting to hear this new sound that Phish was going to explode.

The camping scene was quite exciting to say the least. We arrived a few days early to get our bearings straight and fully get into the Phish mood. Heber Valley is a great place to camp if Phish ever returns to Wolf Mountain. We met some kind folx from all over the U.S. From Maine to California, there was a quality group geared for Phish's return. On to the show!

I remember there being some rain that day, because how else could there be a double rainbow on the side of the mountain for all to gaze upon. The rain may have slowed down some lots, but there were tons of people out today for Phish's '96 U.S. Debut. We made the long walk up the hill to the venue, got inside, found our seats inside the rather small uncovered pavillion and we were off.

The Ampitheatre is as the base of Wolf Mountain. I couldn't even see all the way up on the lawn from where I was, but I was assured that thousands were gazing on the spectacle which would soon be Phish. As they took the stage Page made his way to a new device on the front of the stage, the first Theremin usage of the tour. Somewhere Over The Rainbow welcomed us to what would soon be a magical show. Ya Mar got us kicking with quality, and as Down with Disease started up, we knew we were in for a treat. Phish was rocking it out for us. Some old favorites gave us a nice groove for a bit. The new favorite Theme was quite wonderful, a simple Golgi, and average Tweezer, Ragtime and Possum closed out a nice welcoming set.

We decided to get fully into the experience for the second set, and it proved to be a quality decision. The opened the second set with a stellar Runaway Jim which I'd put against most favorites (besides the current epic Worcester Jim which I've yet to hear) but this Jim was such a welcome treat! A ripping Simple + Jam, a Fantastic Taste, and the ever popular Free. At this point in Phishtory (pre Breathes) Free was becoming an epic favorite. This version was no letdown. Hit the high-notes perfectly and as they let it down, Trey led us through a perfect transition into Fluffhead. It was at that moment between Free and Fluffhead that I knew I was standing amidst a night for the ages. Fluffhead, always a new peak...reached us to a level beyond description. Caspian was a nice break after the flufftrip. Horse/Silent was a welcome suprise and Antelope (with a Darth Vadar Jam!) closed out the second set with authority.

What do you encore with? Punch You In The Eye. Wow. Definately solidified my feelings at how special that tune really is. Such an awesome groove, got my Phishing vibe of 96 off to a perfect start. We were thrilled, to say the least, and I think it was a necessary step before the bohemeth of Red Rocks took us over....

Definately an underrated show. Check it out!

Peace,
Andrew Gadiel


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