Marine Midland Arena, Buffalo, NY
Soundcheck: Billy Breathes
Set 2: BagAC/DC Bag, Sparkle > SlaveSlave to the Traffic Light, Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt, Fluffhead, Swept Away > Steep > AntelopeRun Like an Antelope, Hello My Baby
 Trey sang verses through megaphone.
· Wish You Were Here tease
Average Song Gap: 4.9
Notes: The second set started with a Wish You Were Here tease. Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone.
Songs by Debut Year:
This show was part of the "1996 Fall Tour."
Set I – the lights went down and the strains of My Friend floated up to us and we were off. Solid and well played and then right into Rift. A raucous version – again straight ahead and it kept everyone moving. Up next was Free. I dig this tune – dark subject matter – around 4:45 or so it starts to go out there a bit. No crazy Type II but a nice jammed out version. A quick break in the action and then that circus intro could only mean one thing – Esther was up! A flawless version in my humble opinion – Esther never goes way out there in the jam department, but it’s still one of those songs that makes up the nucleus of Phish… Out of Esther and into Llama. Llama was well played and fun for all. This is when I notice my friends – they looked scared as shit and were standing stock still… Something was up with their trip and I was damn glad that I was not on it. Beside’s Gumbo was up and it was (and still is) one of my favs. Again – a solid version – nothing crazy out there. Out of the Gumbo and into Disease – this rocked out pretty good – not Fall 97 good, it stayed within the confines of Type I, but full of heady jamming. There was a good Page part at 8:22. The end did seem a bit rushed though… Out of Disease and into Caspian, which worked – other than Esther, it was the only slow down for the first set. A rocking Frankenstein – the place went nuts (except my friends) and that ended set one.
Set break my friends seemed to relax a bit, but they were still on a different wave length than most of the other folks in the building… Not exactly 15 minutes, but before long the boys took the stage and so started the second set.
Set II – it’s not on the recording that I pulled off of the spreadsheet, but I’m fairly certain there was an audience chess move in there. A Floyd tease and then into Bag – good stuff here and it got the second set off to a great start. Everyone was getting down – then Sparkle kept us all moving. Sparkle into Slave – a very solid version indeed – well worth the price of admission alone and another song that only Phish could do. Next was Bouncing – a nice quick, tight version. Split Open was very good – weirdness ensues at around the 10:12 mark and then is reeled back in pretty quick… Fluff was in the next slot – Fluff came to New York – the only Fluff I’ve ever seen – again, another well executed song in Set II. Swept Away and its companion Steep brought us down for a few minutes of rest and then some screaming at the end woke us all up and the melodic note of Antelope came gently out of said screaming. At the 5:20 mark they go out there a bit – and I thought for sure that would be the end of the set, but they came back out for some acapella magic – HMB and then they made their way off stage… ….for a few minutes and then for the first encore – Fee with megaphone!! Despite a lyric flub it was fun to hear/witness. After Fee into a quick, ripping Rocky Top and it was over… A solid show all around – not much in the way for you lovers of Type II, but nonetheless a good show.
Back into the cold night we made our back down Main Street. Somehow we ended up at a TGIF’s (or some sort of chain place like it) – not a good place for the freaked out, but after a few beers everyone seemed to come down a bit and eventually we trekked back out into the cold, found a cab, stuffed all five of us in and then made our way back to the apartment…
Set II kicked off with a couple high energy crowd pleasers that I imagine had me feeling a bit jaded, but they were warm-ups for a beautiful rendition of Slave that had us on our knees. Again, they quickly moved to another sing-a-long, but dosed the kidz with a heavy Split that reminded us why we tour. Darkness enveloped the previously joyous crowd, and all was right with the world. Keeping the mindset of deranged fools spinning around the cement floor, they dropped a euphoric Fluff joined by the still fresh, and weird, Swept Away>Steep, the moving into a raging, full-throttled Antelope. This show is a keeper, and a perfect mix between the weirdness, and the crowd pleasing, as evidenced by the Fee, Rocky Top encore. Don't skip it in your research back into Phishtory.
when the boys lead off with it and lay into it like this it is downright scary. the crowd recognized this lol
awesome opener followed by a blistering rift
Free and esther is a nice pair. High energy surprisingly
Gumbo!! always awesome to hear.
This is a classic Down With Disease. Straight PHISH rock glory funk!! When Trey is at his best is when he shows that he can destroy a theme anywhichway riding the beat and allowing his friends to influence the theme he bounces off our ears. Mike deserves a lot of credit here for laying t=down the groundwork for a breathtaking jam that never hints of searching./ They were pumped!! a great glimpse into a great two week start of the fall tour.
Nice flog tease before A crowd fav AC/DC kicked off an anticipated second set
Solid AC/DC into sparkle. Very nice sign.in light of the sort of lethargic europe toru in the summer these earl fall shows leading unto the Garden the chicago on halloween are a blast to listen to. this fun pairing in Slave!
nothing earth shattering except the early placement of it.
Bouncin is just continuing the old hits theme.
Very yummy SOAM goes TYPE II and interesting ending ta boot! then continuing with the great pairings they bust out FLUFFHEAD!! buff said.
always awesome. They range in the jamming at the end of course but consistently delivers. Trey flubs a lick but its in rhythm so it doesn't matter. The check it out part is always fun. by the time we hear life is just a bunds of joy you are ready to take off....some jams make you just want them to play the song all night. This is one of them. nothing particularly crazy but the chords are so beautifully major you gotta love it. I compare all fluff jams to clifford ball. this was pretty close in terms of Trey's focus.
Swept away steep are perfectly placed in between the Antelope that makes this another clifford ball referenced set. The second set 8/17/96 is probably Phish's most realized vision of a Phish set. The slave in the early part of this set made this a humdinger . This Antelope has to be otherworldly to approach 8/17/96. actually trey starts this jam off with the same theme as the clifford ball version but in a lower octave. the band lon=ves it so we can enjoy it lol! this time there are no dancers spinning above Trey's head so they focus. wow Trey takes us type II with a '92 like ferocity. Fish just lays it down with the double bass and then when they bring it back to the antelope theme is just ' lite werk'. this is what they were born to do. easy. Phenomenal. Only reason this isn't better than the clifford ball version is because that was clifford ball and there was a dancer hanging above the stage and the crowd was going bonkers and so was trey.
The crowd deservedly goes crazy on this night though.