, attached to 1995-12-01

Review by pmc2kd

pmc2kd December '95 is one of the best runs of Phish's career. In light of the inspiring playing going on these days I am inspired to go revisit and listen to some older shows in anticipation of everything going on now.

This show, to me, is an excellent one - although perhaps not the pinnacle of the incredible tour. An awesome setlist, and plenty of great jamming make for a fun and fiery concert.

Buried Alive opens the show up in fine form. This one is fast and well executed. Trey was certainly playing with unrivaled ferocity!

The DWD that emerges is straight ahead, type I fire. It's a short, yet sublime version, with explosive playing.

Theme from the Bottom is a nice song and well-played, but not a real standout.

Poor Heart ratchets the energy level back up with a good showing.

Wolfman's Brother was still finding it's legs and a lyrical flub provides some evidence of that. Good song nonetheless.

CDT is off the rails, nearly careening into chaos, but they manage to scotch tape the song structure together for a thrilling version.

Forbin's>Mockingbird is excellent and has a fun narration about Chocolate!

Stash follows that up and this is another straight ahead, but undeniably excellent version. Trey and Fishman are monsters. I consider this the set highlight for sure. There are better and more experimental versions, but this one is a clinic.

Cavern is a perfectly acceptable closer to a rocking and high energy set.

Set II is a very strong set and opens with a nice crisp Halley's Comet.

The big Mike's song gets most of the attention and is deserving of (more than) a few listens. It's an excellent jam, with some stellar Trey soloing, a great percussive jam where Trey moves to the kit and Page shines, and some additional mellifluous playing which culminates in a wild -> Weekapaug in the wrong key. It's an excellent version.

The Weekapaug presents some vocal issues, but aside from that is an excellent version, with some more grand soloing from Trey and an amazing conclusion where the band shifts perfectly into the proper key for the final vocal refrain. What a pairing!

Mango>Wilson is well done and provides a good continuation to the set.

Suspicious Minds >HYHU is a fun romp.

The close out with some more excellent improvisation in the form of David Bowie, which opens with Catapult sung over the hi-hat intro. The Bowie itself is an excellent version with plenty of fiery and creative jamming. It's a perfect improvisation piece to close out the set.

Suzy is a fun encore here and caps of an energetic show in energetic style.

Overall: I highly recommend this show - at the very least for the stunning and creative Mike's -> Weekapaug, but do not sleep on the Stash & Bowie either. Full disclosure, the whole show represents a treat of tight playing with great jamming throughout.

4.2/5


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