, attached to 1995-12-12

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito I chose to review this show after noting one lone review while many of the surrounding shows have so many accolades. This seemed odd so I decided to see why, especially since the show offers an intriguing setlist with what looks to be a monster DWD. I had caught 12.9.95 and its monstrous YEM so this DWD held promise.

Ya Mar is such a great opener. It's a feel-good, positive, party tune. It sets the mood and now I'm wishing they'd open with it more frequently. This version doesn't disappoint. Sample is fine, and Divided Sky is its typical, awesome self. We're off to a fantastic start!

Lifeboy - I used to groan at this one but now I like it. I enjoyed this version and wish they'd bring it back more often. A nice breather before the high energetics of PYITE, a song I like in the opening slot but I welcome anywhere, anytime. I love this tune and here we get a well-executed version.

After Horse > Silent, we get a fiery 'Lope that I just love. I'm sure many in the crowd thought this was the set closer. How could they not after a ridiculous version like this, which just builds and builds like the best of them? And how many times have I fallen for this trick by this band? So this moves the tune into a fairly rare mid-set position, which is a nice treat. They close out the set with lovely versions of I'm Blue, I'm Lonesome and Coil.

And this brings us to Free to open set II. I love these early versions. Just a bit exploratory while staying within the confines of the tune. I also love the contrast here between the quietness during the vocals and how they crank it up between the lyrics and during the jam. I wish they would take this one further these days. Even at 12.30.15 everyone seemed to take note when the band took the tune out for a slightly longer than usual spin.

Sparkle was a breather before the clear centerpiece of the show. This DWD is ridiculous and is such a prototypical example of how Phish was connecting as a band that Fall and how in tune they were with each other. Despite the length it didn't seem like there were any moments where they lost their way. The tune builds to a pretty intense peak, containing elements that are Llama-esque, before dissolving into a really nice ambient jam near the end. Overall this is a pretty awesome version.

Lizards, Simple, Jim to close out the set. Phew. All three are fine but pale in comparison to DWD. The Jim in the closing spot is a nice treat and, while well-played, isn't anything extraordinary. Fire closes it out in energetic fashion.

With Lope, DWD and Jim all in atypical slots, I like that the band mixed up the setlist here. It worked and this show resulted in some major highlights.


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