From: Charlie Dirksen
12/9/95 The Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, NY
Flawlessly perfect opening. The "pre-Nirvana" section begins around
1:15 with Fishman rapidly swiiishing the hi-hat. Trey, Page and Mike
ominously sustain some eerie notes, presumably trying modestly to create a
Vibration of Life effect (very modestly... no effect occurs).
Watery-effects around 3:15 from someone (presumably Trey). Sounds
like machinery operating under water. Floyd-like in its majesty.
Page begins building up to the Nirvana segment (and Trey joins him, as
"Nirvana" at 4:15. This segment is typically gorgeous. Page's soloing
is as delightful, free and as Kind as it ever gets. Mike's solo
section begins at almost 5 minutes, and Mike is surprisingly chipper,
playing an unusually high number of notes and in a rather upbeat,
HAPPY TO SEE YOU AGAIN fashion. The pre-charge section begins
immediately thereafter, and it sounds like the trampolines are brought
out on stage by Brad Sands at this time (as usual; crowd goes nuts).
First shot at The Note at 6:11 -- Trey nails it and immediately begins
masterfully soloing about it. Second shot at the Note occurs at 6:54,
and it is perfectly sustained.
"Boy" at 7:27, after a great scream (crowd is realllly into this).
More watery-machine-like effects from Trey in the WUDMTF segment (Page
funks out on the 'moog a little bit). Very funky, tightly played
section. Page noodles on the organ. At roughly 9:38 the trampolines
section begins with Page taking charge. I hear signaling from Mike
for the trampolines moves... Page's soloing is steady, patient for
the first ten to twenty seconds, but he tears it up around 10:30 or
so, and starts progressively getting more funky. Sounds like Trey is
chording a bit while on the tramps with Mike (and not screwing
anything up). Page is primarily sustaining around 11 minutes, and
then Trey begins soloing around
11:05 to *really* open the jam segment. Trey, almost from the start,
seems to have an Idea for this groove. The entire jam segment of this
version of YEM seems to tell a story (what is that story telling
you!?) right from the start. Trey begins melodiously soloing right
from 11:10 on. By around 12 minutes or so, he launches into a
preciously enchanting, mesmerizing double-stop groove -- it sounds
like he's playing several notes *at once* in here! Like he's got
several hands hammering the frets!
The accompaniment from the others is so perfect and so strong. This
is one of a handful of YEM jam segments in Phish history where they
are truly making MUSIC, in my opinion, and aren't merely jamming away
in a masturbatory fashion. They jam in this version like their
livelihood really depended on it. Page builds on the theme initiated
and danced around by Trey, and at
13:58 Mike casually steps forward to a more prominent section of the
mix. Trey gets low on his 'doc in melodious accompaniment, and Page
slides into the organ's lower octaves, too. At 14:35 Trey begins
repeating That Damn Note on his 'doc that makes me teary-eyed whenever
I hear it now (some people consider the repetition of this note
effectively a tease of "Shaft"). Mike and Page groooooooooovily... I
mean ULTRA-GROOOVILY funk beneath Trey's repetitive "soloing." This
ultra-funky -- yet melodiously enchanting -- grooves continues
steadily.. DANCE AWAY!!!!
At 17:04 Trey begins one of the most awe-inspiring, teary-eyed solos
that I've ever heard him perform. There might as well be two fucking
guitarists playing in here in perfect accompaniment (see Dicky and
Warren of the old ABB). EVERYTHING CLICKS so IMPECCABLY around 18
minutes that I get shivers and teary-eyed in spell-bound wonder
whenever I hear this, or even THINK ABOUT IT. This is one of those
jams so glorious and so magnificent (especially around 18:36) that
whenever I hear it I lift my arms up to the sky and Praise JAH!!!
Whomever said that Phish has no soul has obviously not heard this jam
segment... a jam segment that is EVIDENCE, in my opinion, that Phish
can enchant and bewilder and inspire to the same degree AND EXTENT as
the Grateful Dead could and did and still do on tape (at least, in my
It should go without saying that everyone's accompaniment of Trey's
passionate soloing in this segment is *PERFECT*. Add this to the jams
that Phish has performed that sound like melodious, composed music.
If there was ever something fit for a *live* CD, it is this version of
You Enjoy Myself in its entirety (it puts the "A Live One" version to
This amazingly charming groove ends around 20:19, when Mike again
becomes much more pronounced. He steps out soloing masterfully around
20:44, funking away with Fish (and light, occasionaly chording from
Page). [Editor's Note: My Wellesley-educated composition majoring
girlfriend just noted that I would have FAILED out of Wellesley had I
dared employ the word "funking" in any critico-musical context.] Trey
is on the percussion kit now, grooving away (and not merely playing
along with Fish either.. Trey actually FILLS in here for a change,
instead of playing on all the downbeats matching Fish). Mike finishes
up around 23 minutes, and instead of launching into the closing vocal
jam segment, they basically begin yet another jam segment.
At 23:20 Trey starts teasing THAT DAMN NOTE again ("Shaft" tease I
suppose) Page GETS DOWN on the moooooog a bit in here, funking away
mightily. Fish keeps the beat steady, and Mike adds some dankly
phaaaat licks to Page's mooglicious soloing. Trey is still playing
that NOTE over and over again, when at 25:07, he queries "Who's the
black private dick who's the sex machine to all the chicks"
(SHAAAAAFT). The groove gets progressively quieter until, around 26
minutes, it is only Fish lightly whisking the hi-hat. Fish drops out
completely at 26:06, and the
SILENT JAM BEGINS. If you haven't heard of the SILENT JAM, it has
occurred a couple times now (e.g., see Funky Bitch from 12/30/96).
Basically, the band jams on their instruments without making a sound,
and the non-jaded part of the crowd goes crazy with excitement and
glee (the jaded folks laugh, sit down, laugh a little more, and then
say "Good one.. enough already" before leaving to get another beer).
At basically 27:30 Trey slowly and steadily begins chording again, and
the others also return to their instruments, creating a soaring
crescendo that climbs and EXPLODES around 27:52 back into a
spectacular closing You Enjoy Myself jam!!!!!!! This is the closing
of YEM jam segments that all should be measured against. It is
thrilling, triumphant, masterfully played and just Generally Kicks
Ass. At 29 minutes, however, it also just DIES OUT... basically
flops. Still, a good close, but this would have truly been **THE**
perfect close to the jam if it had only continued passionately right
up until the closing WUDTMF segment, in my opinion.
At 29:32 the closing WUDMTF segment begins without any accompaniment
(well, the crowd is clapping obnoxiously... but stops within twenty
seconds). I'm honestly sick to death of vocal jams, but around 30:58
Trey appears to say some things (before adding "Asswipe" from that
Beavis and Butthead device in there a few times). Mike's chanting at
first sounded like a possible segue into Yerushalim el Zahav, fwiw.
Definitely a good vocal jam, but I can't "review" these for shit
(obviously). Trey is rapidly vocalizing mouthy-sounds, while the
others chant. Sorta. ;) Everyone crescendo's and begins practically
screaming around 33:10. . . then they all quiet down again.. then
crescendo and SCREEEEEAM yet again. Blah. Total time 34:09.
Strong vocal jam, but certainly not one of the MOST interesting, in my
opinion. But the jam segment of this YEM -- not to mention the
masterfully played opening, BMGS/WUDMTF, tramps and bass&drums
segments -- make this version a HEAR AT ALL COSTS You Enjoy Myself.
"N/R" rating easily... but it is also easily an "A" as well.
Inarguably one of the greatest versions of YEM, all things considered,
in all of Phishstory.
A Amazing. Get it. Not only is the jamming
spectacular, but there MAY be some
interesting teases of other tunes, and
especially creative & glorious segments of
the jam, that make this a must-have version,
and should impress your friends and neighbors.
N/R Not rated. This basically means the version is
insane, and it wouldn't be fair to rate it.
I would recommend, strongly, that you hear it
for yourself. I may have liked, or disliked,
In my opinion, you haven't heard "You Enjoy Myself," until you have
heard the 12/9/95 Albany version.