Phish.net: a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation


Jump to: / / Setlist Options

 

Link Friday, 12/01/1995
Hersheypark Arena, Hershey, PA

Soundcheck: Buried Alive > Down with Disease, Dog Log, Funky Bitch (half-speed)

Set 1: Buried Alive > DwDDown with Disease > ThemeTheme From the Bottom, Poor Heart, Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother[1] > CDTChalk Dust Torture, Forbin'sColonel Forbin's Ascent > MockingbirdFly Famous Mockingbird[2], Stash, Cavern

Set 2: Halley'sHalley's Comet > Mike'sMike's Song -> WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove, MangoThe Mango Song > Wilson > Suspicious Minds > HYHUHold Your Head Up, BowieDavid Bowie -> Catapult[3] -> BowieDavid Bowie[4]

Encore: SuzySuzy Greenberg

[1] Trey flubbed lyrics and remarked that, since he likes them so much, he would sing them again.
[2] Narration referenced chocolate and the rhombus.
[3] Started over David Bowie hi-hat intro.
[4] Homer Simpson quotes ("mmmm... chocolate") and Simpsons signal.

Noteworthy Jams: Mike's Song

Average Song Gap: 12.33

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: Trey flubbed the lyrics to Wolfman’s Brother and remarked that, since he likes them so much, he would sing them again. The narration during Mockingbird referenced chocolate and the rhombus. Weekapaug was played in a different key. Catapult started over the Bowie hi-hat intro, which also featured quotes of Homer Simpson (“mmmm... chocolate”) and a Simpsons signal.  This was the first time ever that Mike’s and Weekapaug were played without anything in between them. This show is available as an archival release on LivePhish.com.

Links:
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download

Song Distribution:
6 A Picture of Nectar
3 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday
2 Stash
2 Hoist
1 Billy Breathes
1 Junta

Songs by Debut Year:

, attached to 1995-12-01 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

This was only my second Phish show, but since I picked up the tape in 1996 it has continued to redeem itself as one of my favorite shows ever. I was only a freshman at Penn State University and had planned on using my new-found freedom to continue my trips to Dead shows. That was obviously derailed by the passing of Mr. Garcia. So I jumped on the Phish bandwagon only to be steamrolled by the Phish train for the next eight years of my life.
I picked up tickets for face from a guy I met on the old AOL Phishbowl that was part of the Grateful Dead page on that archaic on-line service. He had some extras and lived up the street. I picked up two for a buddy that was going to meet me there from Princeton. I talked two friends into driving down from State College with me although they had no tickets.
We arrived in darkness and split up so they could find tickets and I could find my friend. Plenty of familiar PSU faces in the crowd were having trouble getting tickets, but I had mine. Show time came and went without my friend showing and I was so tempted to drop the ticket off at will call so I could get in for the opener. This was before the days of cellphones and instant connectivity so I didn't know if he would know what to do to get a ticket. He finally showed just as I was about to enter the tiny hockey pavilion.
We shuffled in and could hear the ending of "Buried Alive"¯ through a muffled corridor. To this day, sixty some-odd shows later, I have still not heard a live "Buried Alive"¯.
We shuffled into some seats in the rear Fish side of the arena. They were toward the back but this venue was so small that they would be great seats for any of today's shows. "Disease"¯ cranked up next and really hit a great stride. "Disease"¯ jams in those days were straight-up rock jams that focused on rapid-fire Trey and intense Fish accompaniment. "Theme"¯ and "Poor Heart"¯ followed, keeping with a strong mood. "Theme"¯ was still new in those days and was readily enjoyed by the audience.
"Wolfman's"¯ sunk in after and was a real treat. This was the first time I had experienced the song, and Trey was enjoying the little kick-step dance that has so often accompanied his stage-presence during this song. He was into it despite the awkward verse that he announced needed to be done again. The "Chalk Dust"¯ raged and continues to be a favorite version for me. Those old "Torture"¯s had so much fire and tightness that they could blow the roof off any joint in any town.
The "Forbin"¯ -> "Mockingbird"¯ was so joyfully entertaining that I couldn't wipe the grin from my mug. What an appropriate narration for the Land of Chocolate, and Rhombus clues had the long-time followers on a wild-goose chase the next day I'm sure. This version was so perfectly executed that you could almost feel yourself rising into the clouds atop the Famous Mockingbird's wings.
"Stash"¯ followed and is still a favorite version. The old versions of "Stash"¯ are so ripe with guitar experimentation that it makes me sad I was not around to appreciate the `94 versions of this underrated gem. A rockin' "Cavern"¯ closed us out in what would be the first set of the greatest month in Phishtory (IMHO!)
The small corridors of the building were packed with sweaty fans trying to find the ideal spot for what would amount to one of the greatest second sets to be performed by this band. Back in those days we could expect a more general admission atmosphere even though we were all assigned seats. Ours suited us well for Set I so we opted to stay in our spot (after recruiting some more friends to the adjacent rows)
"Halley's"¯ opened with a great spirit. Fishman's drums had such a different sound back in those days. A more tin-like snare was used almost obsessively to maintain a raging sound and tempo. I love that sound. "Halley's"¯ wound down into my all-time favorite version of "Mike's"¯ -> "Groove"¯. What is so great about it? Tough question if you haven't heard it. It is total 12/95 raging hose. Thematically superior to most jams post 1997. Glorious tension and release that gets the hairs on the back of your neck to stand tall. An unprecedented (I believe) straight segue into "Groove"¯ without Gordon bass solo. For more detailed information I would suggest a read of Mr. Dirksen's wonderful review. We differ on our love of the version in some sense but you can get a better handle on what went down if you haven't heard it before by reading his thoughts. (http://www.phish.net/reviews/mikes/12-01-95.html)
Following this glorious and uplifting musical moment, we were treated to the one song I was dying to hear all night, "The Mango Song"¯. I had plotted the frequency of this song in the show rotation over previous tour setlists and had determined that the Hershey show fit into a small window in which the Mango would perfectly fit. It did and I was the happiest guy in town. At the time it was my favorite Phish tune and everyone knows how it feels to hear your favorite tune live for the first time. Awesome.
Does this set lose energy? Hell no. "Wilson"¯ comes in and tears down the house. The "Hold Your Head Up"¯ leads into a spirited rendition of the Elvis Presley standard "Suspicious Minds"¯. Fishman was in Elvis garb and sparkling Christmas lights (or something like that). Full-on stage theatrics to the crowd's delight.
A raucous "Bowie"¯ comes to close the set and Fishman continues to entertain. Through the opening cymbal work that marks a "Bowie"¯ intro you can hear a "Chocolate"¯ utterance in Homer-esque voice. "Mmmmmm"..."...Chocolate"..."....."¯ Hilarious. Throw a "Catapult"¯ into the "Bowie"¯ and a fiery ending and you have a perfect close to a phenomenal set of Phish. The "Bowie"¯ was a bit short but the intensity was not lacking.
"Suzy"¯ comes out for the encore and it was not soon after that this song was put on the rarely played list. Had we known at the time that the lovely Ms. Greenberg was going into semi-retirement I think we all would have enjoyed her presence a bit more.
This was the beginning of a historical month for the band and they couldn't have kicked it off in a better fashion. The theatrics, humor, setlists, and ferociousness of the hose during that cold December is something to cherish.
After the show I piled into my car with my two PSU buddies and my friend that met us from Princeton. We made the trek back to Princeton in the wee hours of the morning. Hours were spent discussing the show. We took a late-night stroll of the campus and before ever dropping off to sleep two of us had to climb back into the car for the trip to New Brunswick. Why New Brunswick? We had wristbands at Ticketmaster to buy tickets for the MSG shows (12/30, 31). There were about ten of us waiting in line. We were let in the store as tickets went on sale. Everyone easily grabbed floor seats for both nights (including second row seats for the 30th). How I miss those days and how little I knew what to expect with those tickets I had just purchased.
Score: 10
waxbanks , attached to 1995-12-01 Permalink
waxbanks Typically intense, complicated late-1995 Phish climaxing early in the second set, when the lucky swine in the audience (and 15 years later *we* lucky swine with CD/tape/mp3 players) are treated to a canonical 30-minute Mike's Groove. This version of Weekapaug is uniquely pleasant - played in an odd key all the way through (as I recall), which causes vocal problems but also opens up the improvisation, helping all four players fend off the temptation to fall back on Weekapaug cliché. After a quiet passage the boys come back in what sounds like two or three different keys; that's mainly Trey's fault, I suspect, but it makes for a gloriously awkward mishmash at the end of a thrilling jam. By late '95 the band had learned to stick with their ideas and see them through, and there's a fluid consistency to this Mike's Groove (and Phish's other playing of the time) that really sets it apart from the music of a year prior.

On the other hand, you *absolutely* need to hear (e.g.) the 11/14/95 Stash and 12/2/95 Tweezer and all of 12/14/95 II and NYE '95 if you're a Phish fan - all available in tasty SBD format, huzzah! - and you couldn't be faulted for tracking those recordings down first. But it might not be a bad idea to do 12/95 chronologically - in which case this Mike's Groove, and the overall energy of this show, will nicely set up that month's listening. It really is a spectacular run of Phish, wholly distinct from the band's other All-Time Great runs (8/93, 11/94, fall '97, the Island Tour, arguably summer '03 and 12/99...?).
Score: 2
ledzepmaster , attached to 1995-12-01 Permalink
ledzepmaster December 1st, 1995 and the band is on fire at the Hershey Park Arena “Land of Chocolate” in Pennsylvania and now in the final stretch of the fall ’95 tour. Set one starts off with a proper Buried Alive opener and Mike takes it right into Disease following the same shape jazz chord Trey uses in both of those songs. Chalk Dust Torture rips its way through the set and is well played minus a slight hiccup of Trey falling out of time with the band and nearly botching the ending lick of the Chalk Dust solo; however the band lands together and finishes the song. The band then drops Forbin’s and includes some narration about philosophy, science, religion, and of course chocolate. Following Fly Famous Mockingbird is a favorite Stash of mine. Brief compared to the monster in Orlando a couple weeks before, but still gets dark and reaches climax. Cavern closes the set.

Set two kicks off with a short Halley’s (after the audience chess move of course) with a tight segue into Mike’s Song. One thing that’s gets me every time with this Mike’s (before we even reach the jam) is Trey raking the strings as the verse starts. By 2:40 we are in the key of F# minor and the band is ready to drive this baby. At 4:27 Trey is bouncing around a few notes lends to a nice little peak. From minutes 5 to 6 is when we know this Mike’s will be special. Relentless tastiness from sir Trey and the peak at 6:33 reassures of the mind meltage.

Seven minutes and eight seconds transports us to this time, F minor. Trey kicks on the Black Cat Vibe immediately providing the jam with the warble that keeps Fishman fastened into the groove. Bang that head (or just nod) you know you want to. By 9:03 Trey is ready to play some rhythm but not time for the percussion kit just yet and we can notice Page start to get ready. Still under ten minutes, @ 9:42 Trey takes advantage of the uni-vibe and spaces out for a bit with Page’s first wah-wah chords on the clavinet of the jam. At 10:10 Trey plays another descending lick that gives the feeling that we are diving under water. Uni-vibe: off. Jonny B gets back into the groove from earlier on and keeps that kick drum pounding us in the chest. The tastiness ensues and at 12:43 Trey teases what I perceived ever since the first time I heard this jam as Disease tease in the form of minor. By 14:30, Page is hammering away on the grand and Trey brings it back to the rhythm chords from a few minutes ago while Fishman returns to the hi-hat. At 14:55 Page is ready to take charge of this jam and lead the way… Trey is on the percussion kit by 15:10. Page rages on the ivory and tickles all the notes. When we reach 16:22 Page stops in his tracks and moves his hand to the clavinet again; this time for some lead work. And away he goes!! You like them trills at 17:10? You better!

Fishman then moves the quarter notes over the wood block. Mike is laying it down in the background providing the low lows with that 5th string. 17:53 Page brings the synthesizer into play. Now I don’t think he was using the Moog Source yet, but whatever synth he was using for this period I wish he never took out of the rig. He would play this particular synth as if Page himself was Edgar Winter. Between the work shown with this synth in this jam and the Albany YEM a few days later, I don’t know why he would change it out. Perhaps he only liked one sound patch?

Anyways... Page starts bouncing back and forth between the clav and the synth while Fishman keeps the woodblock going. Gordon gets a little slappy and by 18:50 Page settles back on the piano. Nineteen minutes thirty seconds we can start to hear this jam morph into Weekapaug Groove with Trey lending the rhythm.

Twenty seconds into the track labeled Weekapaug Groove Trey gets his last licks of F minor out before droning until the first peak (0:43) of this Weekapaug Groove prior to the song even really beginning.

With that bending peak brings us to F major and this is when the chords to Weekapaug are played. At 1:40 the lyrics to Paug are sang and the boys realize they are not used to singing this song up three semitones. Trey says something but I can’t quite make it out. I personally like the song in F over D and this is one of the main reasons why I prefer this groove over the Niagara Falls Convention Center version (and the fact that they abruptly change keys to D for Paug).

I really have no words for this Weekapaug… Trey simply hits all the right notes and uses his effects properly. However, I will continue. Delicious playing by all especially Trey and by 4:11 we arrive at the theme that I must always play whenever I play Weekapaug Groove. Because it is so awesome and joyous! Fishman picks up on the accents but Trey keeps going because this riff is that good. This is another reason why I have learned so much about guitar playing from Trey Anastasio… Around five minutes, Trey builds off of the theme and subtly changes his landing note making his playing that much tastier. By 5:34 he returns and by 6:15, we dive under again. 6:28 Trey engages the wah pedal and Mike follows with some bass galloping which fills in nicely. The audience participates even by clapping in time. 7:06 the build up begins. 7:33 Trey starts abusing the wah pedal (in a good way). By the eight minute mark this buildup sequence is straight up bleeding positive energy. Trey is still abusing the wah and engaged the uni-vibe as well giving this phasey wah-wah mayhem.

8:11. THE BEND… and we are soaring with Trey. Tempo noticeably increased we return to the main melody of Weekapaug with closing lyrics and coda ending nailed tight as can be. Crowd roars with satisfaction.
Score: 1
HarryHerring , attached to 1995-12-01 Permalink
HarryHerring Got a great DVD of this show, perfect quality. Killer night.
Score: 0
EducateFright , attached to 1995-12-01 Permalink
EducateFright This show starts out well with a happy Disease and a well-played Theme. Chalk Dust is a somewhat rare example of the band nearly derailing due to pushing too hard: Fishman strays far off-course, which leaves everyone scrambling to meet on common ground again. The show recovers nicely with the ensuing Forbin's > Mockingbird. This is a truly GREAT Stash – both Trey and Fishman are on fire. Trey unforgivingly pummels the audience with a series of tense and manic licks, to which Fishman tastefully lays down the rolls on his toms.
Set 2: This short Halley's more or less functions as a fake-out, as Mike's surprisingly comes out of nowhere. Trey focuses on percussion for part of the Mike's jam, opening up plenty of space for Page to shine. Fishman is really tuned in and on! For the first time ever, Mike's bleeds directly into Weekapaug. This was quite likely not planned: there is no key change, and Weekapaug ends up a few steps high (at first the band struggles to find their footing vocally). Quite interestingly, just when it seems Trey may have painted the jam into a tight corner, everyone speeds up on his cue, and the jam changes key before the vocals come around again! Suspicious Minds is suitably absurd, and Bowie does not disappoint.
The Suzie encore is very high-energy, with an aggressive, knock-you-out solo from Page.
Stash, Mike's, and Weekapaug are the predictable highlights of this show. It's a good one!
Score: 0

Login Register