, attached to 1995-12-14

Review by humalupa

humalupa I did not attend this show, but Set II is likely my favorite set of all time, and I feel compelled to write. My favorite era of Phish is 93-95, and this one exemplifies everything outstanding about that era.

Set I is rock solid for song placement and flow. I love this version of Foam, and the prog sections of the songs in general are played well here. The only Type II action comes from SOAM, which excluding its ending silent jam, is fairly typical for the period.

Set II, however, has the best flow of any set in my mind, and is nearly seamless from Curtain to Slave. Even the pause between Keyboard and Halley's is less than a second. I don't know whether the setlist was planned, but either way, the flow works perfectly. Each "->" is earned.

And those jams. No less than 5 separate Type II excursions, many with multiple distinct sections. Timber, Halley's and NICU all have Hose in spades, with the band creating chord changes and variations on themes. Halley's first jam (you know the lick I'm referencing) is one of my all-time favorites. The reprise (and subsequent variation) of Halley's second jam in NICU is downright sublime. Surprisingly, no jam lasts very long, and the inspiration is seemingly right at their fingertips without requiring any percolation periods. While not Type II, this version of Slave is amazing, with Trey laser-honed in building his solo. Axis caps things off wonderfully, and I'm sure sent everyone home happy.

I typically read reviews to see if a show is worth my time. To you, I say plop down your money and get the soundboard of this. To the rest of us, I'm just preaching to the choir. You can run down a long list of superlatives when describing the second set. No collection can be considered serious without it.


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