, attached to 1996-10-26

Review by subtlegusto

subtlegusto Ah... ten twenty six ninety six. I've said those words a bunch because this was my first show. Today is its twentieth anniversary. And twenty years later, I still love this show so much. It's probably the show I've listened to the most - and maybe I have beer goggles because it was my first time but I still think the song selection and performance are fantastic.

My friends wanted me to go to 11/19/95 but I wasn't into the band at that point. It took another year, but I remember hearing MFMF for the first time and being so happy. Anyway, I went to this show with those same friends, and we had a blast. Even in the balcony, I could see that Mike was wearing bright green pants rolled up halfway. What a guy!

Lots of people don't love Julius. But I do! This is a strong version, with an uptempo driving rhythm that gets the crowd worked up right off the bat. I remember playing this version for my dad years later because I thought he would appreciate the swing beat. He didn't get it.

Other first set highlights include Reba, Train Song, and Theme. Reba has been my favorite tune for a long time. While this version doesn't have the bottom-of-the-gut antics of the studio version, it's well played and energetic. Train Song is so tender! It's fun to hear the band move from the wailing Reba climax to whistling to a quiet ballad without losing the crowd. The Theme is by no means an 11/23/97 version, but it's played well and turned the Coliseum into a fishbowl. Good times.

The second set opening DWD > YEM duo is probably the single biggest reason why I've returned to this show so often. I'm not a musician, but it sounds to me like the DWD was played in a slightly higher key than normal - especially Mike's opening line. Back in the tape days, I would rewind Trey's last solo over and over to try and figure out why it feels so right. I remember trying to explain it to a buddy "you hear that? It's like he's turning it around or something. It goes down and then up at first- but then it goes up and [i]then[/i] down!" Yeah. I'm not a musician. But I also remember taking this tape with me when I visited a girl in France around 2001. I had met my (now) wife a few weeks earlier but had already booked this trip. On the bus ride out of town, I had the biggest grin hearing "this has all been wonderful but now I'm on my way!" Also, this is how I like YEM to be played, with standout solos from Page, Mike, and Trey.

As another reviewer mentioned, this is an unusually strong version of Sparkle. Yes, it's Sparkle. But the crowd reaction is BIG.

The Simple from this show gained some attention after being released on Live Bait 8. I don't remember it that much, and that's possibly because I didn't know about Type II until much later. I do remember loving the McGrupp, and I'm still delighted that it was part of my first show. The Antelope closer is an absolute rage-fest. As evidenced by the Fire encore, Trey was pretty excited about Hendrix here. Thanks, Jason Roberts!

It holds a special place in my heart, but I also think that this show's energy and musicality make it worth the time.

Here's to the next twenty years :)
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by mbk4380

mbk4380 The setlist reminds me a lot of the "chill" 1/1/16 show at MSG. If it was your first show of the run, you were bummed. If you were there the night before, it fit perfectly. Sometimes you just need a "quiet" night with a few thousand friends, especially before you get to Vegas. [url]https://phish.net/setlists/phish-january-01-2016-madison-square-garden-new-york-ny-usa.html[/url]
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by dublindeuce

dublindeuce I listened to this live from home.

I actually quite enjoyed the first set. Quality choices with Moma, Chalk Dust, Foam, Divided Sky, and Walk Away!!

Not the best Moma I've ever heard, but I never complain with this early first set choice. Nice groove, leading into a solid Chalk Dust.

Cities was exciting and quite good, as was Foam!

I got truly excited when I heard the beginning of Divided Sky. The live stream on Mixlr was breaking up a bit at this point in the show, but did I hear Trey stop the song for several minutes and ask some girls in the front row to kindly shut the fuck up? Then he delved right back into Sky and started shredding?

My audio was skipping quite a bit but I'm pretty sure that's what I heard, and if so, that's absolutely hilarious.

Walk Away was awesome, probably my favorite tune of the night. Tight, classic rock and roll!

The second set was a total disappointment to me. The energy just wasn't there, and I was actually pretty bored. I enjoyed Meatstick and The Line was surprisingly pretty good.

But yeah, after a pretty decent first set, what the hell happened with the second set? Totally surprised by this one.

I'm catching them at MSG 12/28 and 12/29, I'm so excited!
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by Texas_TUBE

Texas_TUBE "First set is about as much as anyone could hope to ask for. 2nd set is an utterly baffling collection of songs. So baffling that the encore raises the real spectre of a joke."

Couldn't have said it any better, Nichobert. I was at this show and to say that everyone's expectations after that first set were at an all-time high would be an understatement. Especially coming off the 2nd set from the previous night. The 2nd set last night was so bad that one must assume the band was doing it on purpose. I don't know if they were upset that the venue didn't sell out or they were trying to make some kind of statement, but I just don't know what Texas did to deserve that. For a state that rarely gets to host this band (except for last year), I would think they could at least pretend to care about what their fans would want to hear. What is most frustrating is that I know they are going to blow the roof off in Vegas. It's almost as if you have to "pay the price", i.e. travel and spend the money, to witness Phish in their phinest form. I don't get how phans in Texas, or anywhere else they don't travel to often, should be held to a different standard. The shows the past two days were objectively bad, especially for someone doesn't travel to the northeast, Vegas or MSG to see their favorite band every year. The "Show Of Life" encore to boot... I just couldn't believe it.
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by imdano

imdano "Yet without reading other reviews i know there will be a stampede to "redeem" this show......"

I agree KingDisco. Its hilarious, the way certain people reflexively defend a bad show. I personally think its directly related to how much more expensive tickets are than they used to be. Between increased face value and the explosion of the secondary ticket market, going to a show can often be a huge expense now. People (not just Phish fans but everyone) have a really hard time admitting to a lost or "sunken cost." Devoting a lot of money (and a lot of time) to an event increases your expectations enormously and it's really difficult to admit to oneself that you didn't get your money's worth.

I try to listen to every show of a tour, though I always read the setlists and reviews first to see if it's worthwhile. Just looking at this setlist I think one can tell the show was a dud. Definitely happens often these days
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by nichobert

nichobert Weird show. I'm worried Taste is going to develop Stockholm syndrome in that 2nd set.

First set is about as much as anyone could hope to ask for. 2nd set is an utterly baffling collection of songs. So baffling that the encore raises the real spectre of a joke.

"It doesn't have to be all about the 20 minute jams" is such an easy copout. If you liked the song selection and flow of the music wonderful! Nobody is trying to take that away from you and I'm legitimately ecstatic that it landed for some people. As for me, it's a 2nd set/encore with 12 songs, 2 of which I've ever walked into a venue actively wanting to hear, 5 of which I've walked into a venue actively hoping to avoid. Can't be anything but honest about it.
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by KingDisco

KingDisco Something about being a phish phan I've never understood is the complete inability to understand why people can't admit that a) there have been elite shows since 2.0 and b) phish off nights are not "still better than any other bands best night!"

Neither are true and tonight was a perfect example. Phish is at its best when they go deep into improv, create a sense anything can happen and whip a crowd into a frenzy. They don't have particularly good voices and their ballads are on par with bands at a way lower tier than phish.

Yet without reading other reviews i know there will be a stampede to "redeem" this show. We tend to do that. Just look at how frequently someone tries to redeem 1996.

Fine moments for sure but this show wasn't good. That's ok guys. There will be an elite show here before you know it.
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by ilostmypebblesandmarbles

ilostmypebblesandmarbles This show was their way of saying suck it to all the complaining fans. The slow songs exist because they want to play them. The Line is not my thing but I've always liked Friday. # Line is good. I'm happy with a Foam bust out. A Lifeboy bust out. Waves. Taste. Tight 1st set. I think they just played what they wanted and I love them for doing so.
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by Toast16

Toast16 Listened to this show live.

Second set has to be a joke or some "troll" mindset by deliberately dropping a horrible show on us with the Halloween show or the 3000/6000 crowd in mind. Which is quite interesting given how good they have been playing lately.

Basically they played all of their "slow", unenergetic, "annoying", "unjammable", and Line-themed songs all in one set. With a Meatstick (which is a crime for that good of a song to be in this set). Then they put on 2 show closers.

This has to be a "Time-themed" set with a clue to the Halloween album or just a practical joke "comparison" show.

Listen to the soundcheck if it comes out. Stay away from the second set.
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by hdorne

hdorne 1.677/5? Worst show since 2004? Really?

Why does everything need to be Type II? Why does every show need to have 20+ minute jams? It should be abundantly clear by now that it's no longer 1997. The band plays exactly the kinds of shows they mean to play, and there are many different types of shows. These Dallas shows weren't about the huge jams. They were about intimacy. They were playing to the kind of fan who comes out on a Monday or Tuesday night to a half-full theater. As much fun as I had in Alpharetta, I would have loved to be at these shows. Lifeboy, Dirt, and Friday in an intimate theater sounds amazing to me.

When you look at the band's history, shows anchored by jam odysseys are only a portion of that history. They had something else in mind for these shows. At this point, expecting HEADY TYPE II BRAH all the time is only going to disappoint yourself.
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by BeAFractal

BeAFractal WHATSTHEJUICE is being a little harsh, in my opinion. The energy where I was at was great, loving life. I though BDTNL was nice; all my friends, indeed! The band was loose and having fun, More as a set closer rocked out.

Okay, no type II jamming, but more (rest?) of new songs got a chance to breathe. Moma Dance not up to par, Cities did not lift off, STFTFP a bust. I was up close and seeing all the new songs (and "I Didn't Know") in an intimate setting was a treat.

An extra star (again) for good energy, new friends, and good times.
, attached to 2016-10-24

Review by BeAFractal

BeAFractal This venue is fantastic. 4000 happy Phreaks. The pit was reminiscent of Santa Barbara for me, friendly and uncrowded. I had forgotten Texas has an open-carry law: there were metal detectors going in. N20 legal in Texas, so lots of that around. I used to get 20lb tanks for $40 and give it away; at 3 for $20, that's at $3k a tank. I digress.

I had a good time, but the music was 3-star. However, I give four because the guys played most (all) of the new album's tunes over the two nights here, and they played well and are having fun taking them for a spin. NMINML was a great start, Breath and Burning nice. Ocelot had a bit of a jam, but nothing mind-melting. The band is playing so well it's hard to fault them.

Petrichor was good (I liked More from night 2 better), and Piper had a nice jam ('My Woman From Tokyo' quote in there).

Band was enjoying themselves and so was everyone in attendence. Vegas is gonna be wild.
, attached to 2016-10-25

Review by WhatsTheJuice

WhatsTheJuice This was the worst show since 2004. That second set was beyond abysmal. It was embarrassing. It was Hampton 04 Set 2 Part 2.

Lol at Number Line, The Line, Tide Turns and Friday in the same set, not to mention surrounded by Stealing Time, Julius and then a Show of Life encore.

Ouch town population Texas, bro.
, attached to 1996-10-25

Review by Drewn2o

Drewn2o So here we go…this is my first and only review of a Phish show and its been 20 years to the day — as Hampton 96’ was my formal "musical beginning" with Phish and likewise for soo many of my friends . So in the wake of Jerry’s passing and the one real Grateful Dead (who I had worshiped consistently for 4 years during high school) show I had been exposed to, with limited listening of Phish in high school (only Joist, Lawn Boy, and Rift) I was really still a green horn on the overall music scene. Having entered into NCSU in Raleigh, NC that fall class of 96 I had not made any firm plans to attend a Phish show. After a relatively new found friend named Danny (a prior school of the arts classical guitarist) encouraged me to attend this show, there was no turning back. Little did I know Danny had scored tickets for Hampton, Charlotte, and Atlanta for the Omni 96 Halloween shows and this was the beginning….a beginning of a fairly long and wonderful career as a fan of this band.

After smoking cheap hand rolled joints, drinking some canned beers, and stopping to piss in the beautiful fall cotton fields of VA, my friends and I made our way to the lot. The lot was rowdy to say the least….our having arrived in a 98 SUV Isuzu Rodeo driving up from Raleigh we were stoned and laughing as we stumbled about watching the drummers near the fountain and attractive scantily clad yoga beauties stealing camera posses in the center of the drums. Having chowed a nominal amount of organic mind altering portobellos, we entered the venue where some cat was getting worked up prior to show time. He was hooting and hollering and definitely a hard wookie from the looks of it. I had my back turned having entered the ground floor at Hampton in the pretty show light before the purple hue had been ensconced the crowd started to hoop and yell. Suddenly I head people yelling as clothes were raining down on my friends and I. A couple of peers had taken to hide near or under the bleachers as their dinner was starting to strongly take hold. The naked work guy was sadly escorted out by security but his rowdy had made its impression on the venue. We were in for a really rowdy show and this guy had served to up the anti. We made our way to the right mezzanine and Phish opened with Ha, Ha, Ha. I remember thinking to myself these guys are really loud, overall this is a wacky and weird choice to open with, but this shit rocks!! I remember various tunes in particular like the Makisupa > Maze, the Papyrus, the Stash with everyone signing along the bridge in unison and clapping, and Pages particularly tear jerkingly beautiful solo at the end of the Squirming Coil.

At the point of set break I remember walking around and thinking to myself this was in fact a “scene” and a “happening” and while different from the Dead’s, the crowd energy and efforts of the Dead had not dissipated but rather morphed and given birth to something totally new in their wake. Of course at that time there were numerous Dead and Panic haters and Phish haters amongst all three scenes, but regardless I was able to block out this noise, and now Hampton had just unknowingly become my new sacred ground. Little did I know that Hampton was going to be my new “Halloween”, my new holiday, my new spiritual and religious pilgrimage for the next 4-5 years all culminating in 11/22/97 rendering itself one of the greatest if not the greatest musical moments of my meager existence. This show however on 10/26/16 for many new coming NC, VA, and newbie Phish phans was the planting of the seeds, the germination of the scene for so many NC heads and VA heads, and now everyone including myself would grow with this band for many years. Its always been particularly poetic and beautiful to me that at my first show I got to hear The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday. What a gnarly setlist in retrospect, and what a perfect first show this was!! This was Phish being in the perfect time and the perfect place to teach and totally indulge my young adult mind. I felt like a relatively late comer to Phish but today feel like an olde Phish head which is ridiculous. At this show Phish as a newbie were intriguing, intimidating at my young age of 18, and upon listening review totally bitching and rad. The cal-funk era was around the corner, and this show was my first “taste” and a wonderful pre-cursor of the miraculous music to come over the next few years. After this show we hastily pilled into my friend Wes’s black 1998 Isuzu rodeo, rode to J. Morgans parents crib, and woke up the next morning for pancakes at the VFW where his family paid for our breakfast. My next few shows of this run left me a hardened phiend and phanatic for the next foreseeable period of my life and I am so proud and lucky to be able to reflect and review it today.
, attached to 2016-10-24

Review by chrismcguire634

chrismcguire634 Finally, I get see a show by the greatest band on the planet on my home turf, and notably 10 miles east of mine and Trey's birthplace in Fort Worth, Texas I might add.


[u]Set I:[/u]

[b]NMINML[/b]: Patient, communication, funky
[b]Poor Heart, Water in the Sky:[/b] All nods to us Texans, thank you!
[b]Wolfman's:[/b] Continued funk and open communication
[b]Ocelot[/b]: PLEASE give this a listen, this is the overlooked jam of the night in my opinion! The slow, thoughtful, cohesive, beautiful communication between the band is on magnificent display.
[b]FY Face[/b]: Played to acknowledge Trey's excellent performance in Ocelot

[u]Set II:[/u]

[b]Dog Faced Boy[/b]: I loved this as the opener, but again, I'm a Texan country fan that loves when Phish dabbles in the southern gospel laden vocal harmonies that remind me of sitting on Grandma's lap in Sundown, Texas while she hums familiar hymns.
[b]Seven Below: [/b]Sealed the deal on the style of jamming for the night, reflective and patient.
[b]Petrichor:[/b] I love this composition, Trey we love it and you, keep it up!
[b]Maze[/b]: Every show must have a face melter, and this was it. Fierce, rage, dark, brutal intensity, and glorious peaks abound!
[b]Buffalo Bill and R n' R: [/b]Great way to cap off a great night! Nothing too different from R n' R, but hey, my dancing shoes really came in handy.

[u]Final Thoughts:[/u]

I had an excellent time and so did the band. Great playing and improvisation overall, and the song selection diversity was an added bonus. Please check out the highlights from above, you'll be so happy you did.

Also, on the attendance for the show. Mid to late October is typically the height of concert season in North Texas. Its HOT in the summer and COLD in the winter (which only lasts 2 months) so all outdoor and indoor concert promoters compete my this hollowed time. Now, this is not the only reason for the shows not selling-out, but a likely contributor. The other (main) reasons were most certainly the smaller fan-base around the North Texas area combined with the ambitious 2-Night run. Don't get me wrong, my friends and I freaked out when these dates were announced, but some speculation as to tickets sales was definitely discussed. That being said, I hope, hope, hope, hope, hope Texas tour stops remain in the rotation. As a Fort Worth native/resident, I love Grand Prairie (Dallas-Fort Worth) as the choice location but hey, Austin, Houston and San Antonio could fit the bill as well.

Anyway, thanks to all you amazing fans for traveling down here, it was great getting to visit with y'all, we don't get to see you enough! Much love and respect from all of us in the Lone Star State. Safe travels and see you next time.

, attached to 2016-10-24

Review by Texas_TUBE

Texas_TUBE Tonight was the first Phish show I have seen outside of my home town Dallas, TX. The weather was probably high 70's and the lot scene was surprisingly active for a Monday. The venue's capacity is around 6.3K I believe but tonight there could not have been more than 4K people in attendance. Besides the first couple of rows in the 400s section, it was almost entirely empty. You always want to see a Phish show sell out, especially in such a small venue, but it made the show even more intimate in a way (see ROOT, DFB and Dirt for examples). Now, for the good stuff only. Here is a short, concise review of the set.
I -
[u]NMINML[/u] - Good, not great version. Nice way to start a set.
[u]BAB[/u] - Move along
[u]Poor Heart[/u] - Nice bluegrass tune for the Texans. Standard.
[b][u]Wolfman's[/u] - Good, not great version that had a little extra "mustard". I know that term gets thrown around a lot, but this version really did have a nice section towards the end. [/b]
[u]WITS[/u] - Very slow, nice breather. Awkward start though. 1st time played this tour.
[u]My Soul[/u] - Standard My Soul. Always wanted to hear this one live. Check.
[u]NICU[/u] - first of tour and it was played well. Standard NICU that kept the energy going.
[u]It's Ice[/u] - Another bustout. This one was tough for Trey at times as I assume due to the limited rotation he has not practiced this much, but it was still great to hear. Really like the small funk jam in the middle.
[u]Ocelot[/u] - slow and very standard version. Yet another bustout.
[u]FYF, AH, SIA - These were, to me, the highlights of the first set. Just pure fun and comical Phish. [/u]Saw It Again sounded great. Definitely a combo to revisit.
[u]ROOT[/u] - Nice, quiet, intimate moment for Trey.
[u]David Bowie[/u] - Yet another bustout. This was a really fun Bowie. Nothing great that really stands out but was a very strong way to end a great first set of Phish.
II -
[u]DFB[/u] - No one expected this tune would start the first set. I really liked the placement here actually and fed right into a tune I have been chasing forever.
[u]7 Below[/u] - I was thrilled when Trey started out playing the opening riff of this song. I have loved 7 Below ever since I heard the albany '09 version. This version doesn't quite get there but provides a great 2nd set jam for everyone in attendance. Really enjoyed this.
[u]Petrichor[/u] - Let me say this... I really like this song and was pleasantly surprised with the album version. That being said, this was not a good set placement. It totally drained the energy out of the second set and felt a bit awkward throughout. It was really well executed I will say. The heavy rotation has really developed this tune for the band and I would argue this was the strongest version yet.
[b][u]Maze[/u] - Easily the strongest song of the night. Maze brought the energy right back into the room and really gave this version their all. The peaks and interplay b/w Page and Trey were off the charts. Must listen. [/b]
[u]Dirt[/u] - And there goes the energy again...
[u]IAWITW[/u] - I have heard a lot of people say that they enjoyed i) the placement and ii) this version of the song in general. I disagree. I don't necessarily dislike the song, it's just that it doesn't really give Mike, Trey or Fish much to work with... Also, Trey has GOT TO STOP going back to the marimba.
[b][u]Piper[/u] - Everyone in the room thought they were seguing into 2001... not so fast. Trey started the Piper riff and we knew we were in for a treat. This version did not disappoint and was the second highlight of the evening. Very good jam and worth another listen, or two. [/b]
[u]Bug[/u] - Again, strange placement. Good version. Kind of let the energy out of the room again. People assumed there would be another song to end set II but as fate would have it... onto the encore.

*Overall, I give this show a 3.8/5. Great tour bustouts and fun moments, but generally lacking in the improvisational prowess which truly define a great Phish show. See you all tonight.
, attached to 2016-10-24

Review by CrateDigger

CrateDigger Odd setlist, but surprisingly the show had a really good flow. The band was dialed in, and the playing was great. No major flubs, although Water in the Sky and Dirt were a tad sloppy, and Piper was slightly disjointed at the start. The energy in the crowd dipped a little during Petrichor; awesome song, but I think it works better in the first set. Not a lot of type II jamming, but there were a ton of peaks. Replay value may be minimal, but a really fun show.

First set highlights were Wolfman's, which absolutely ripped, and Bowie, which had some nice tension, a strong finish, and marked the first Junta song of the tour. Maze was pure fire; one of the best I've ever seen and the song of the night IMO. The fourth quarter may not look strong on paper, but everything was well played. Seek this show out for the Wolfman's and Maze.
, attached to 2016-10-24

Review by Billiam

Billiam Oh, fall tour. After the ups and downs of summer 2016, I think we can all agree that we needed a reset button. The release of Big Boat and the unique structure of this tour have done just that. The multiple nights per venue was a wise decision, allowing the Boys to settle in and feel out each locale as they wade through their newly expanded repertoire.

The lot was mellow as the sun crept down over the north Texas praire. The sky was clear, the grass bristling. The smiling hairy ones crept in to Verizon Theatre Monday night with a calm, excited energy. This was my first show at Grand Prairie, and I was impressed with the intimacy of the venue. As the lights went went down, a palpable energy of expectation shimmered through us all. How much of the night will we be riding the Big Boat? What breakouts are in store for us tonight? Given the first-set surprises so far this fall, I think we all were happily clueless. Wooks, vets and noobs alike, all on the same dang page.

No Men in No Man's Land sprung us into action. The driving, shimmering funk got the booty-shaking off to a great start, and the Boys opened it up enough to satisfy any expectations off the bat. Breath and Burning brought us down a notch, and CK5 doused us with an ocean of cool blue. After a crisp rendition, we moseyed into a thigh-slapping Poor Heart. Everyone's funky Brother showed up to play tonight, and with a straightforward, funky dance party, our first set was meeting my high expectations to be on par with the best of the fall tour so far.

A soothingly slow Water in the Sky followed, reminiscent of the [url=http://phish.net/setlists/phish-july-23-2016-sleep-train-amphitheatre-chula-vista-ca-usa.html]Chula Vista[/url] show this summer. I really like the toned down WITSs--they're like a happy molasses--but to each his own. A fun and straightforward My Soul follows with a train of NICU and It's Ice staying within the bounds of solid, good Phish. Ocelot slowly sprung out and took a bit to warm up, but eventually made its way to a nice flowing Type I jam.

Gordeaux treated us to a fun Fuck Your Face, which had me laughing and the whole room rockin'. Fish responded with his now-classic Ass Handed. He's getting tighter and tighter with his handling of the Asses, and I am inclined to agree with Trey's remark that it's the best song in their book. Fish disagreed, however, and introduced the following Saw it Again as their best. In SIA, we see the first taste of creeping, haunting grime that will resurface later in the night. Running Out of Time lifted us back up and was a truly beautiful moment in the wake of the Fuck-Ass-Saw. Fishman teased all of us with the grand question--Bowie or Maze?!--and Bowie brought the party back before set break. I wish we'd have gone further with this one, but alas.

Dog Faced Boy was a wonderful, welcome surprise after a 50 show gap. A lot of people were still making their way back after the break, but I think many of us locked in for this one. A delightful Seven Below followed, opening up just enough to explore itself before toning back down. Petrichor was a nice decision after Seven, offering a similar peaceful, pensive mood to what we all would turn out to be a fun Monday night rather than a jamfest. I agree with Gootch350 that a shortened Petrichor would work well--a lot of people cheer during their pauses, thinking it's the end of the song. Or maybe they're cheering the pause? It feels like they're cheering the end.

Maze brought the power back. Paige took over and raged us into a nightmarish jam that Trey locked into, with Fish and Gordeaux offering a striking, grotesque understory. Unfortunately, when Trey took the reigns back he pumped the breaks and wanted to deliver us all back in to his blissful dreamland, which killed the jam and settled us all down slowly. I was still panting and bleary-eyed when the song eased into Dirt, which I was elated to hear but regretted the placement in the setlist. After a 37 show gap, this thoughtful piece was well done and seemed to seal the score for anyone hoping to launch off into the utter Beyond. But Paige, oh Paige, had other ideas.

I Always Wanted It This Way took us down a wormhole, with Paige driving the ship and the rest of us in Tow. Give this one a listen... it will take you places. For anyone weary of the Big Boat infusion to the 3.0 era, let this one bring you into the fold.

Again, Trey brought us back from Paige's jamland and ushered us into Piperland, which was a fun change of sound and energy, but maybe not warranted. I guess we can't always be back in December of 1995, but jams like the IAWITW made me hope for it. We now have a happy, older Trey with ideas of his own. Bug was a fun closing for the set. The encore was straightforward and delightful. That's all I gotta say about that.

I enjoyed the continuous themes of nature in the song selection--open country, rain, fire, dogs and ocelots, dirt and bugs. Overall it was a solid, meaningful show for those willing to be there early in the week. Let's see what's in store for tonight!
, attached to 1999-09-16

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw This is the stereotypical very average show with some giant peaks along the way.

The first set is very straight forward with some exceptions of On Your Way Down and some of the Stash intensity. The general attitude is short and sweet throughout the set.

Set 2 is also fairly straight forward with a GIANT exception. The Weekapaug groove is pure Trey shreddery and I hope the temperature was cool this night because I'm sure faces were melted, without a doubt a classic Weekapaug. Mountains in the Mist does it's thing as a cool down song.

Of Course the encore also destroys Trey has fantastic interplay with Warren and it's a pretty heavy version of Misty Mountain Hop, a great way to cap the show.

Overall nothing to write home about except a few choice versions of songs.
, attached to 2016-10-22

Review by hdorne

hdorne With this show, I feel that Phish have come up with a new type of "Saturday Night Special" show. Typically this much-maligned sort of performance involves standard renditions of standard songs, played in standard order. On this night, it seemed the band wanted to offer a crowd-pleaser for a rowdy Georgia Saturday night that nevertheless delivered in terms of setlist structure, satisfying improv, and even some surprising segues. It turned out to be easily one of the best top-to-bottom shows of the year thus far, and one of my favorites I've personally attended.

Opening with Mike's Groove will always make me happy, and this Ass Handed Groove was no exception. Weekapaug featured some scintillating leads from Trey and a satisfying peak. Bathtub Gin was very slow, funky and hypnotic. This version of Stash is really special. The entire band is so in sync throughout the jam, listening intently to each other as they construct a dark, introspective space. Trey begins to ramp up the intensity with some truly haunting bends before taking us to a cathartic, almost angst-ridden peak. At this point my best friend turned to me with a knowing smile and just nodded his head. We attended our first show together in 2003, and while I've gone on to become the true Phish dork between us, he knew a special moment when he heard it. Funky Bitch benefited greatly from a slower tempo, allowing the pocket to be fully explored to make this one extra funky and mean. I'm not a fan of the Haunted House material, but Your Pet Cat was fun enough. Character Zero is a great first set closer.

Antelope was an unexpected and very welcome second set opener. I'm not sure the peak was any more insane than any other version, as that's kind of this song's raison d'etre, but it did the trick. Fuego had a really nice ambient jam at the end, through which the entire crowd talked. More on that later. Jim is always nice. It doesn't have to be a standout version, that jam always brightens my mood. My friend and I lost it when No Quarter started up. Certain Phish covers can feel as though they're lacking the gravity of the source material, but the band fully embrace the darkness and intensity of this Zeppelin classic. The Simple that followed was transcendent. They found a theme and set the controls for the heart of the sun. Absolutely must-hear. When Trey started up 46 Days, I thought the band would knock out a few standard songs to finish the set. Wrong. The segue into Sally came out of nowhere and drove the crowd wild. The jam after the first verse of Sally was so funky, so deep and extended, that I completely forgot about the second verse. Fortunately the band remembered and eventually wound back down into 46 Days, leading to a peak in which Fishman tested the limits of his right foot and kick drum pedal. A fun Makisupa Policeman and triumphant First Tube, complete with a Jedi Trey finale, capped off this unbelievably fun show.

OK, soapbox time. Why do people feel the need to talk throughout a concert? Many folks around me in the pavilion seats just couldn't help themselves. It was more noticeable during quiet sections, but even during loud peaks they would scream over the music to maintain whatever passes for conversation in their Bud Light-addled minds. Not only is it massively disrespectful to the band, but it kind of kills the mood for those of us who, you know, actually listen to music. It must be nice to have disposable income to spend on screaming over a PA for three hours. Looking at you, Chad. Looking at you, Jenna. No offense to people named Chad or Jenna who aren't obnoxious. As great as this show was, it felt like half the crowd couldn't have cared less. If you just want to chat and party, go to a party or stay in the lot. Otherwise, stop filling every second of your life with words and just be a part of something bigger than yourself for a moment.

OK, Rant over. This show rocked hard and you should listen to it.
, attached to 2016-10-24

Review by gootch350

gootch350 I invited several of my former co-workers to join me for this show, and two of them actually managed to show up. This was their first show and had stars in their eyes walking the lot. I smiled to myself thinking about the lot at Dicks and my first shakedown at Deer Creek in ’03. A quick 3 hour drive put me into Grand Prairie and I was excited to see the boys after what had happened through the last four shows.

The lights go out and I am thrilled to hear the opening notes of No Men in No Man’s land. At the same time my expectations are very high after the last two time is had seen this song live: Dicks night one ’16 and NYE with the hourglass. This was a solid version and got everybody moving right off the bat, but did not live up to the standout versions I had been treated to. Next came Breath and Burning which kind of took things back to square one. Poor heart was a good injection of energy, and was obviously welcome in north Texas. Yee haw.

Wolfman’s was awesome and funky and very welcome at this point in the show. The jam, while energetic, never really broke out of Type I. Water in the Sky was painfully slow and My Soul was My Soul. NICU got my friends to notice Page, maybe for the first time.

This was my MJ show, number 23, and I had never seen It’s Ice. Lately is seems like the band has struggled to make the most of this classic, so I was elated and nervous at the same time when they started. There were some hiccups through the first main composed section, but things tightened up. By the time the jam started the boys were locked in and this was my highlight of the show up to this point. Ocelot was also pretty slow, but developed nicely.

Fuck Your Face was dubbed, “The second greatest Phish song of all time” by Trey. After a pause, he added that they were about to play the best song, which obviously was Ass Handed. Then Fish commented that Ass Handed was the greatest according to Trey, but the next song was the greatest according to him. Saw It Again! I have to side with Fishman on this one because I love this tune and it did not disappoint.

When Running Out of Time started, I was nervous that people would start talking. This did not happen. Everyone in the crowd went silent except for the occasional cheer or woot of appreciation. From this point on I felt a shift in the room. It was like everyone realized that this was an almost intimate show of only around 3,000 people who all really wanted to be there on a Monday night. David Bowie closed out the first set.

The second set started with Dog Faced Boy, but I missed it due to what felt like a very short set break. I came in during the opening notes of Seven Below, assumed this was the set opener, and was very pleased with the choice I thought the band had made to start this set. I love this song, and this version was tons of fun

Petrichor was in my opinion played as well or better than the versions we’ve heard in every city so far during fall terr. I like this song, but I wonder to myself if it could be shortened in sort a “Curtain With” situation where in they would sometimes play the full version and sometimes just skip the first few minutes. Especially at this point in the set, it just feels out of place.

For centuries, the Maze vs Bowie debate has raged on. Well tonight every one wins because they played them both. Except the thing is that Maze always wins, and tonight was an excellent example of how much harder Maze rages face than Bowie. Maze was my favorite song tonight and reached amazing peaks in just over nine minutes.

Dirt brought another wave of quiet appreciation to make for a beautiful moment between the band and the audience. I can’t express enough how impressed I was by this crowd’s respect for the music of our favorite band. By this time most people knew that this was not going to be a jam fest of a night, but we still have Tuesday, and this is special.

I Always Wanted It This was sounds like a Vida Blue song. I felt sorry for Fishman during this one because he has a very repetitive part and it didn’t seem like he, Trey, or Mike were really too invested in the writing of the song. Things got spacey and started really taking off, so naturally Trey ran over to the Marimba Lumina to play some nonsense. I’m not a fan. He did it all three nights at Dick’s, and it felt as awkward tonight, as it did all three of those times. Fishman doesn’t need help playing the cowbell. Page and Gordon find a groove and i’m dying for Trey to run back up and grab his guitar and destroy, but it doesn’t happen. He even threw the beat off so bad Fish had to join the wreckage long enough to make it seem intentional before masterfully resetting thing right back where they were. When Trey finally does go back to the guitar I thought they were segueing into Also Sprach Zarathustra but it never happened.

Piper was solid and ended up sounding like a Birds of a Feather jam. Bug brought us more high energy Type I playing from the whole band but surprised me to be the set closer. This set felt very short, clocking in around 78 minutes, and the fact that it ended at 11:25 led me to believe we would be treated to a lengthy encore ( see UIC 8-15-2011 ). By 11:35 we had arrived at the jam for Rock and Roll and I was ready for blast off, but in just a few more minutes it was all over.

Best day of my life.

Speaking of UIC, I don’t think its any coincidence that the first year Phish played at Wrigley Field the Cubs are in the World Series. I do however hope that by bringing this up I can somehow jinx them into losing to whoever it is that they are playing. I don’t really care….Phish is playing tomorrow night again in a venue that they seem to enjoy. See you wooks on the floor.
, attached to 1994-05-25

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito Things start out very promising with The Curtain to open. I'll take this tune to open any show. Sample to follow is just another step forward in high energy and the two pack a nice one-two opening punch.

The Stash is very-well played, tight and energetic. Forbin's > Mockingbird is an always-welcome visit to Gamehenge for me and this is a well-executed version with fun narration from Trey. As with the acoustic tunes the next night, they are nearly inaudible here, which is a shame. The Chalk Dust to close out the first set in more high energy stuff.

We get an exemplary rendition of the title song of Rift to open set II, which they were playing quite often during this era. It seems like these days this song is more of an afterthought but back then they were really working it, playing this almost as an exercise in group thinking and practice.

The Tweezer that follows is phenomenal and I'm a bit surprised it doesn't at least receive noteworthy recognition. It's not a very lengthy version but long enough to allow the band to take its time building to one of those impressive crescendos that existed during this period in their jamming. If you're familiar with '94 Phish you know what I'm talking about. I miss this era mainly for this reason. As much as I love later Phish for their exploratory type II jams, these build-and-release type jams were top notch and something that made them very special back then. After the peak, they slow it down into an easy transition into Lifeboy, a song I used to think of a throw-away when it was played but it here is a well-deserved breather and I can appreciate it much more now that it's pretty much absent from setlists.

A friend once said to me, "I've never met a Maze I haven't liked" and this version certainly meets that criteria. It's one of my favorite versions that I've heard recently. Things finish very nicely with a fine Squirming Coil, and a Sleeping Monkey Tweezeprise double encore. Overall a very good Spring '94 show with a couple of excellent renditions.
, attached to 1990-03-30

Review by kipmat

kipmat Not a show review, and I'm not particularly a Smashing Pumpkins fan, but I happened to be reading the Wikipedia entry for the Smashing Pumpkins album "Gish". The entry references a Billy Corgan appearance on the radio show Rockline dated 7/13/1998, where he joked that the title of the album was going to be "Fish", but the title "was changed to avoid comparisons to jam band Phish". Personally, the only commonality that I find between Phish and the Pumpkins is each band's predilection for ingesting hallucinogens. But the Smashing Pumpkins were just getting going locally in the Spring of 1990 (they played Lounge Ax at least twice that year), so it's possible that they were in the audience on this night, watching Trey and Mike jump on trampolines and a very hairy Fishman play the trombone while wearing a muumuu. Or, they were too cool (or too poor) to attend, and they only heard about this show through friends that attended.
, attached to 2016-10-22

Review by TweezingSpaceRanger

TweezingSpaceRanger Wow. Just Wow. They brought the heat and meant business this night. The Ass groove was a great way to begin the show. Weekapaug, Gin, Stash, and Funky Bitch all had incredible peaking sections. The Stash in particular had an incredibly patient jam that lulled me into a trance before a blistering peak. Set 2 was non stop fun. Antelope continued the trend of great band interplay and peaking sections. Fuego was briefly busted wide open for a few minutes of bliss before Jim and No Quarter kept the energy sky high. Simple blew the roof off the place and the jam was just butter. At first I was slightly disappointed that 46 days was being played but the Sneaking Sally that came out of nowhere was a huge dance party for everybody there and the return to 46 days was red hot. Classic Phish!!! Don't skip the encore either. More Phire!
, attached to 2016-10-22

Review by renaissance

renaissance It seems crazy to me that with the quality and specialness that surrounded Weir'd in Nashville, I would be talking about it only 5 days later as a mere stepping stone for this tour. Then I would have told you after the second night in Nashville that I had seen the best set of the year, only to find myself believing after N1 in Alpharetta that it wasn't the case, and that THAT set was the best set of the year. By the time I woke up yesterday morning I was convinced of two things: 1) Phish is in a very, very good place right now, and 2) I had seen the mountain top, and there was
nowhere to go but staying put or heading down.

Which brings me now to last nights show.

I have seen 41 shows now which makes me no expert; I can only compare with what I've got. Something happened to me last night that I thought I surely must have experienced before, but in the moment I could think of nothing... no other show that this happened. The experience was sort of a mind-left body type trip. And I was sober, mind you...I'm always sober at shows these days. But I had a very strong connection from the back of the lawns to the band where I could almost see and hear everything slowed down, like Neo in The Matrix, and I knew intuitively where the music was going even before it happened. It was a true transcendental experience. At some point during Simple I half-expected Trey to start floating up into the air of the stage. It would not have shocked me if he did. That's how well they played last night. They used every tool in the shed and chose a vintner's selection of some of the finest songs to launch into the netherworld. A Groove that shook earth (seriously, that 'Paug), a Gin that was streamlining like a Japanese bullet train, a deep, dark, dirty Stash to remind us Halloween is only a week away, and you're gonna need something big to carry your treats. And then as if they needed to remind us at this point, they brought out another epic set 2 to the table. But this one was different than all the rest this year, and this is where I finally make my point. The setlist is even better than it looks on paper, and it looks like a classic. For me, it transcended (again that word) all forms of music and art (I loved the LED's last night), and for a mere 68 minutes that felt like a marathon, it became the benchmark for all 3.0 shows I have seen past and future.
, attached to 2016-10-22

Review by mikec

mikec Fish playing I saw It Again for the last minute or so of Simple. Trey said nah, we're playing 46 Days instead. What a great great show. Band communication at a really high level. So good. Stash went deep, down there. You know where. Funky Bitch came strong. Go ahead and start that 2nd set with Antelope. That's just the shit we want. Straight up head bangin during No Quarter. IT IT IT.
, attached to 2016-10-22

Review by brains481

brains481 Set I:

A Mike's Groove opener (with Ass Handed in the middle, so... Mike's Ass?) , a fiery Stash, a great peaky Gin, and Character Zero to close things out.

Set II:

A nice and chaotic Antelope kicks things off, complete with a light show that will give you more seizures than any Kanye West video ever will. Then, Fuego, which as I've said, has failed to impress me with it's jams this summer, but finally, Fuego has made good.... for about a minute. The jam is fairly noodly for a while, but the effect laden outro is truly beautiful, and Trey's soloing is chaotic, noisy, yet restrained, making for a totally brilliant soundscape, before Runaway Jim kicks in. After the composed section,Trey starts soloing right off the bat, but ultimately, he realizes it's going nowhere and just shreds on the Jim theme, sings the refrain and busts outta there. Then, No Quarter; always a pleasure, but I couldn't help but think... is this going to be one of [b]those [/b] shows? Y'know, the ones this Summer was famed for: one or two attempted jams followed by a bunch of Phish's greatest hits (or lack thereof) played in quick succession to pad the rest of the set's duration.

But then, one of 2016's heavyweights, Simple, is next. Simple's had multiple great Type 1 versions this summer as well, as one monster version at Dick's, and this one is right up there. Right after the composed section, Trey and Page were on it. At first it seems very Type-I , but they just keep on keepin' on, eventually finding a groove, with Fish then moving to the ride cymbal to make it loose, Page slamming some chords to back Trey's powerful soloing, which gradually gets more hectic. Fishman brings up the tempo, and Page happens upon a fantastic progression on the grand. Page then moves over to the organ, and the jam gets hard rocking. Page then does double duty on the grand, still hammerin chords!, and organ, before Trey peaks the living fuck out of it (albeit briefly), before getting slowing down the tempo and getting funky. Mike does some fantastic work with Fish backing him up. Then, Trey >'s into 46 Days.

46 Days lasts about 2 minutes (yes, just counting the composed section; no time for a jam) before... Sneaking Sally! Out of nowhere! Anyway, this is Sally's first appearance since the face-melting BGCA version, and after the composed sectio- 46 Days! Taste the fear!?! Taste the sandwich! This second 46 Days brings an end to this very good second set.

The encore was Makisupa Policeman (was on the couch this morning, listening to some funk. and beside me ... SKUNK!) and an energetic as hell First Tube, with some brilliantly energetic playing from all four. The best show of the fall tour yet.

RATING: 3.5 - 4/5

OVERALL: A very good show, and entertaining as hell throughout. There's some great jams, in here, and it's also entertaining as hell to listen to start to finish; definitely the best show of the Fall Tour so far.

BEST JAMS: Gin, Simple, First Tube (just for sheer energy)

, attached to 2015-08-14

Review by tiggerphish

tiggerphish This my first ever birthday show, and from the opening slowness of the now famous "Raleigh Llama" , some of my faves Moma Dance, Tube, Bouncing, Maze , Lawn Boy, Wolfman's, and the set-ending Suzy, the first set was excellent, imo. The 2nd set opened with another great one from Rift The Wedge and we were off again. My first ever Golden Age>Reba(my absolute favorite song by these guys), was then followed by some sweetness. Mikes Song , love it but have seen it more than any other song ever, and then my personal highlight along with that Llama, No Quarter !! My Son was with me and had run for a brew during Mikes, and when Page started the opening chords to No Quarter, I was freakin both for me and seeing this epic, but also wanting my Son(a Zeppelin lover) not to miss it, and just then he ran up high fivin it. The First Tube closer was killer. And F & F encore was adequate for me to close a memorable evening on my 53rd birthday spent with my Son and our great phriend Miles Hollifield, who also I must say paid for this for my Birthday and I am forever grateful.
, attached to 2016-10-22

Review by PrimuSucks

PrimuSucks I'm gonna keep this short. That show... is why we do that damn thing. A+ start to finish.

OK apparently you need to say more to have this posted. OK, w/e... highlights include: everything. Opening a set with antelope... what? 46 days>Sneaking Sally >46 Days... what? The whole show was juggernaut. Energy was perfect. They came to Atlanta and meant business.
, attached to 1995-10-15

Review by theghost

theghost At this Sunday show, it felt like there was a tacit understanding between band and audience that we're all beat, but let's do this. I know I was wiped out and the band was well known to have been blowing it out on sixth street til the wee hours, as were most of the crowd. And predictably, the show was a meh... particularly given all the high energy shows on the tour. Oh well...a Phish show is always a wonderful thing.

A note on the Hood. There'd been a big hubbub on RMP that they weren't finishing their Hoods this tour. People were seriously grumpy about it. So at the end of this one, they gave a meek little finish while Trey threw a grin and an eye roll that said "Alright, alright....we're finishing it... you happy now?". A funny little moment I thought.

I haven't found that negative reviews are received too well around here, but I figured I'd give my bits of backstory and experience at the gig anyway. There's a whole lot of great stuff to be found elsewhere on this tour...I'd recommend working your way to this one last.
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