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Link Thursday, 12/07/1995
Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY

Soundcheck: Poor Heart (slow version), Funky Bitch, Run Like an Antelope Jam (x3)

Set 1: Old Home PlaceThe Old Home Place > CurtainThe Curtain > BagAC/DC Bag, Demand > Rift, SlaveSlave to the Traffic Light, Guyute, Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, Possum, Hello My Baby

Set 2: SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt, Strange Design > Taste That Surrounds, Reba[1], Julius, Sleeping Monkey > Sparkle > Mike'sMike's Song -> WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove[2] -> Digital Delay Loop Jam, Amazing Grace

Encore: Uncle Pen

[1] No whistling.
[2] Unfinished.

Teases:
· In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida tease in Split Open and Melt
· Pop Goes the Weasel tease in Reba
· Maze tease in Digital Delay Loop Jam

Noteworthy Jams: Slave to the Traffic Light (highly recommended), Possum, Split Open and Melt (highly recommended), Reba, Mike's Song (highly recommended), Weekapaug Groove (highly recommended), Digital Delay Loop Jam (highly recommended)

Average Song Gap: 9.5

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

Notes: The Melt jam included a tease of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Reba included a Pop Goes the Weasel tease and did not contain the whistling ending. Weekapaug was unfinished. Mike and Fish teased Maze in the Digital Delay Loop Jam. This show was officially released as as Niagara Falls.

Song Distribution:
3 Lawn Boy
2 Stash
2 Hoist
2 Rift
2 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday
2 The White Tape
1 The Story of the Ghost

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1995 Fall Tour."

, attached to 1995-12-07 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

The NFCC felt more like an airport hanger. It was a huge open space with cement floors and ceiling like a gymnasium. The stage was set up on one end and there was a set of bleachers on the other end. It felt really empty because it was so large. A group of about fifteen of us from Rochester, NY, hung out only a few feet from the left side of the stage. It was a pleasure to have so much room to dance so close to the stage, a rarity at the time.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the show at the time, I enjoy it even more with repeated listenings to my audience tape. The show opens with a misplaced "My Old Home Place" getting things off to a mellow beginning. I love the lyrics of this song. A rare "Curtain", typically itself an opener, follows and segues directly into "AC/DC Bag"! The first jam of the night had us all grooving. This one is a classic with a well-developed jam. An unusual pairing of "Demand" and "Rift" felt odd, but was soon topped by a mid-set "Slave to the Traffic Light". This was a huge surprise and a great treat. It felt like the perfect song for the atmosphere inside the venue.
The second set opens with a raging "Split Open and Melt", possibly to complete the continuity of "Demand". It's full of energy as they push the jam beyond its limits, and then end it in a rather mellow fashion. "Julius" features Page's colorful piano set against Trey's sharp rhythms.
The "Mike's Song" is a little unusual because it is unfinished. The band opts against the trampolines, and Trey immediately begins a solo. About halfway through the jam, Trey begins playing his small drum kit, something he was doing frequently in '95. Mike then switches the bass line to a somewhat funky sound, reminiscent of a Phil Lesh solo in the '73 - 74 era. The band ends up never playing the composed reprise section of "Mike's Song" that is usually followed by the sandwich song such as "Simple" or "I Am Hydrogen".
When Trey settles back on guitar, he begins to tease Van Morrisons' "Gloria". A very clear "Gloria" jam develops, a song that had been played six months earlier on 5/16/95. As the jam continues, it suddenly becomes very familiar. In a moment of haze I realized it was "Weekapaug Groove". The band locked up and dropped the musical scale into the opening riff of the song. This is a very nice "Weekapaug" with a great solo from Trey. As the song enters the reprise section, something unusual happened: no one sang anything.
It soon sounded like the band was going to play "Maze". We were excited! Instead, something weird happened. The look on the band members' faces told me something was wrong. Eventually Trey stopped playing guitar, but Fishman and Page were still playing. He then waved his hand across his throat, giving the universal cut sign, put down his guitar, and walked to the front of the stage. It was an odd moment, and a real buzz kill. Mike soon joined Trey up front, but you could feel and see the tension as Fishman and Page remained at their instruments. I'll never forget watching their facial expressions during this apparent argument. Eventually they gave in and sang "Amazing Grace".
The band came back and encored with a short "Uncle Pen". Although I love this tune, it seemed really strange since it's a song with no jam and has no real musical conversation. This was a little disappointing at the time after being teased with a potential monster show-closing "Maze". This bump in the road does not detract from the rest of the enjoyment. Get a copy and take a listen!
Score: 3
waxbanks , attached to 1995-12-07 Permalink
waxbanks Deep cuts, especially the gnarly Mike's > Weekapaug. A n00b-unfriendly show, as it were, but that second set is an underrated home run, flubs notwithstanding. (Side note: the only show to close both sets a capella, as I recall.)
Score: 2
Frankster , attached to 1995-12-07 Permalink
Frankster 1st show and what a show it was. An above average show from an above average tour. The boys jump right into hose mode with a slick curtain and a smoking Acdc bag. A sparkling mid set slave remains my personal favorite of all time. The 2nd set opens with another favorite split that really gets creepy. Great stuff! The rest of set is rather ho-hum until a monster mikes appears. Nearly 20 minutes in length this one rips and segues directly into weekapaug. Interesting to say the least. Give this one a listen to phish at their finest.
Score: 1
possum652 , attached to 1995-12-07 Permalink
Great show! still had that small venue feel even though Phish was starting to play big venues.. I do remember hanging in the back before the second set and right about in the middle of Melt, the guards must have broke up a fight with tear gas... the back of the venue started getting foggy and people started choking.. Pretty weird! only show i've ever been to that that happened! It cleared after 5 or 10 mins but was a shocker! Luckily the building was long enough that most people didnt get bothered by it.. Made it very memorable though!
Score: 0
Penn42 , attached to 1995-12-07 Permalink
Penn42 Solid show! This is my favorite of the three Mike's -> Weekapaug's. Just real dirty, the noise jam in the last half of Weekapaug is super awesome. Reba is ridiculously fast, yet still fairly clean considering, and has a great build. It's a bummer that they didn't all catch the cue to end it, though. It just kind of sputters out. This isn't my favorite Split of '95, but it is hard to dislike this level of balls-out energy, even though it kind of wanders a bit.

The Possum and Slave, especially the Slave, in the first set are great too. Hmmm, this review is turning out kind of backwards, oh well. Also, the planned segue between The Curtain and AC/DC Bag works really well, I love that stretch.

Typical Fall '95 goodies to all around!
Score: 0

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