, attached to 1996-11-24

Review by Doctor_Smarty

Doctor_Smarty This was my first West Coast Phish show. The atmosphere is so much different out here as compared to the rabid Northeast to which I was accustomed. Is it the water? Is it the air? More likely, the inherent mellowness is due to the seemingly unnatural abundance of the diggety-dankest of specimens of the Jah herb in this part of the world. I mean, after all this is (as proclaimed proudly by the second runner-up entry in the recent contest to suggest a new Oregon state motto) Oregon - œ A Place To Grow.

This relaxed vibe permeated both the room and the song selection throughout the first set. Exceptions to this rule, and high points of the first half of the show, were a rather high-velocity "Reba" and a way out of control "Antelope" that closed the set with maximum overdrive. The "Antelope" hinted at things to come, and I almost felt sorry for my new roommate in anticipation of what was about to befall her in the second set.

During setbreak we hooked up on the smoking porch overlooking the Willamette River with a couple of the Highlanders that were in attendance. Two bombs later we moved back inside to set up shop for the second set. Over the course of the next hour I watched as my roommate's brains were turned to mush. Sure, she had seen Phish in Indiana in 1994. But I don't think she had paid much attention.

The "2001" was pure space theta-wave induction resulting in deep hypnosis; the "Sparkle" was a sonic jackhammer that probed the cerebral cortex; "David Bowie" was devastatingly dense with hairpin twists and turns yanking the mind hither and yon. My roommate was momentarily lulled back into a false sense of security by the familiar "A Day in the Life," slightly amused by the trampoline bouncing in "You Enjoy Myself", but then completely terrified by the vocal jam that followed. She exclaimed "I feel like I am being abducted by aliens, you people are all fucking crazy, get me the fuck out of here!".

I complied, helping her down the stairs to a telephone so she could phone a friend for advice, then returned to my seat for a soulful "Loving Cup" and a ripping "Suzy Greenberg." The opening notes of "Ginseng Sullivan" sent me on my way back down to find out what had become of my roommate. She had recovered but definitely needed to leave. "Cavern" was the perfect capper to a hilarious evening. Whatever you do"...take care of your shoes.


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