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Link Saturday, 12/28/1996
CoreStates Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA

Set 1: Runaway Jim, NICU, Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother, It's Ice, Billy Breathes, GinsengGinseng Sullivan, SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt, MangoThe Mango Song, Frankenstein

Set 2: MakisupaMakisupa Policeman[1] -> Maze, Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, Digital Delay Loop Jam -> TMWSIYThe Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > Mike'sMike's Song -> Strange Design > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove[2], Star Spangled BannerThe Star Spangled Banner

Encore: JBGJohnny B. Goode

[1] Key words: “Stink, Stank, Stunk"
[2] Ended with long Page solo.

Noteworthy Jams: Mike's Song

Average Song Gap: 10.55

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

Notes: Makisupa Policeman included the cryptic lyrics “Stink, Stank, Stunk,” which may have been a reference to the theme song in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Weekapaug Groove ended with a long Page solo. The Star Spangled Banner was dedicated to Kate Smith, who used to sing God Bless America at Flyers’ home hockey games.

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

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1996 NYE Run."

jthomeskillet , attached to 1996-12-28 Permalink
Got my first bunk tix at these philly shows. Learned a lesson though: F@#K SCALPERS!
Score: 1
, attached to 1996-12-28 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

This was quite an historic night for me: the first night of the New Year's Run, my second show, and my eighteenth birthday. I still had not yet gotten into the tape-trading scene, so I was not overly familiar with the unpublished music, which gives a whole new approach to the show. My first show was on 10/21/96 (MSG, New York City), but this was the one that truly sold me on Phish. You appreciate things in the moment, rather then as a comparison to the two dozen other times you've heard the same song. For example, I thought Frankenstein was amazing, it totally floored me. Now, after fifteen shows and some 320-plus hours of tape, this song has a “been there, done that” feel. With experience, you really begin to appreciate the nuances of the jam songs and the genius of the improvisations, but at the same time, you tend to lose the excitement of the composed numbers.
The first set is good. The second set smokes because of one man…Page McConnell. If you love Page, you should seek out this show. 1996 is a great year for Page, he really improved. His "mule duel" segments become amazing. This is one of the few shows I've heard that allows Page to shine through, especially compared to later tours. He gets to tear things up on “Maze”, then gets a solo from “Mike's Song” > “Strange Design” and then again at the end of “Weekapaug”. The man was in rare form. The stuff is beautiful, poetic, pure magic. Like I said, I was sold.
Score: 1
Kipdog , attached to 1996-12-28 Permalink
Thought it was due time I post a remembrance of my first show. The memories are still thick in the brain. I remember waiting in the second level of the dusky Spectrum aura. I remember the gentleman that approached us with some really nifty wooden carvings of the Phish logo with a convenient hole on the back and pin size hole in the tale and some green stuffed in advance to help out our cause. With my full arm case, adopted from a snowboarding accident at Jack Frost mountain a couple weeks beforehand, and a head full of wacky tobacco, I was prime and ready for my first Phish show experience.

From the opening licks of Runaway Jim to the rollicking version of Johnny B. Goode, there was no turning this long time Phish fan away. I agree 100% with the previous reviewer that this was a Page show. The weekapaug may be one of the best I've heard since seeing Phish. Yeah, I could be bias since this was my first show but nothing quite like the experience of the first show and everything played was played with exuberance and fever that isn't always on tap each night the band plays (although the mid-90s had few misses).

Finally, as bad as this may sound coming from a Phish head, I have not found a quality recording of this show. I have the tape but lord, I can barely stomach the quality of my old tapes these days. I've tried the recording from the epic spreadsheet but that one is also low quality. If anyone knows where I might be able to find it, send me a messag on Twitter (@kipdog).

Here's to more "first timers".

Kip O.
Score: 1
ImissJohnnyBgoode , attached to 1996-12-28 Permalink
This was a GREAT show. I remember sneaking down near the stage for the first set, and what a set it was. Old school, jammy, melty Phish. I still love seeing these guys, but the 90's were an AMAZING time to see them. This was the last time I saw them do Johnny, and I wish they'd bring it back! This show stands out 2nd for me from 96 (Clifford #1) and overall, this is a great show to add to you're collection!
Score: 0
ImissJohnnyBgoode , attached to 1996-12-28 Permalink
If anyone has a decent sounding copy of this show, please share and message me!
Score: 0
ReeYees , attached to 1996-12-28 Permalink
ReeYees I’d say a slightly above average show for 96. Definitely a Page show if there is such a thing. A pre-funk Wolfman’s Bro was not quite as interesting as it would be a year later but even at this stage it was a fun song. The highlight of the 1st set for me was Frankenstein. Page even stood up for a few seconds during the big dive bomb note in his solo.

Always a good sign to start out a set with Makisupa > Maze. Bouncing would not have been my next choice but the crowd really got into it so what do I know? After that came the meat of the set: Digital Delay Loop Jam -> TMWSIY > Avenu Malkenu > Mike's Song -> Strange Design > Weekapaug Groove . This should be listened to as it is one of the highlights of the 96 Holiday Run. Again, Page should be listened to closely here. Thankfully a very good audience recording has surfaced within the last few months. Until now there has not been a circulated recording to do this show justice.

Johnny B. Goode was not what I hoped for in the encore but at least it was smokin’. No doubt Trey has listened to the Jimi Hendrix version from Berkeley 70 included on the “In The West” album many times.
Score: 0
jahroy , attached to 1996-12-28 Permalink
jahroy The number one thing I look for when I go to Phish shows is that incredible feeling when the music sends a chill down your spine.

The Maze from this show is my all time highlight in terms of spine chilling, climactic Phish jams. Maze has never been one of my favorite songs, but this one had me zinging!

A lot of people think '96 was forgetable, but I love the way Fish was drumming that whole summer and New Years run.
Score: 0

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