this was the first night of the first multi night run at deer creek. they laid a firm foundation for themselves the year before, and all of us fans were hoping they would build on that this time around. there was a big difference between 95 and 96 though. Jerry was still alive the first time phish hit deer creek. if the 95 show didn't sell out, it was pretty damn close. Both nights here in 96, in the lot and in the venue, were a complete zoo. the dead head spill over was in full effect. dead heads or not, this crowd was pretty amped for some phish, and the boys did not disappoint. while this night is greatly overshadowed by the next night, it still quite good in its own right.
yamar: as i've mentioned in other reviews, this is one of my favorite sunny/nice summer day openers. it was well played and got the crowd going in the right direction.
soa melt: this one got the crowd moving. the lawn was in a frenzy by the end of this early set jam. this one certainly climaxed appropriately. good early show melt.
esther: this infrequently played tune was played straight forward but good none the less
chalk dust torture: trey owned this one. once again, this was fairly straight forward, but they rocked this one.
it's ice: very nice ice. they took this one pretty deep before bringing it back home. always a pleaser.
dog faced boy: nice odd tune to catch your breathe too
taste: this one was still slightly a work in progress, but it was well played and well received in its current arrangement. page and trey bounced off of each other quite well. this one did not quite heavy the depth that it would gain later, but it was still a good early quality performance.
oh kee pah>suzy: good set closer. i think i appreciate the oh kee pah portion more now than i did then, as it was much more frequent then. suzy closed the set well.
timber ho!: here we go! great opener, great song! trey and fish were both really strong on this one. great choice
sparkle: i didn't really care for this one in this slot, but hey, it's only 3 minutes long
simple: this was one of the first of the pretty interesting '96 simples. they really came full swing in th fall, but this one is an early indicator of what's to come. they took this for a bit of a longer ride than the previous years deer creek take.
prince caspian: i didn't like this song then, and i didn't like it now. i took this opportunity to buy myself a snazzy summer 96 t shirt. i was hoping they would be playing something better when i was done...
mcgrupp and the watchful hosemaster: here we go... back on track! page owned this one, as always. good solo in the middle section....
run like an antelope: this worked great out of mcgrupp. good strong version. this mcgrupp-lope pairing is probably the highlight of the show.
hello my baby: good acceppalla
golgi: i thought this was going to shut it down, and i thought it was a little anti climatic but then...
possum: very good possum with some good secret language fun. trey seemed to be having a lot of fun on this one.
sample: straight forward.
this show was good enough that a bunch of fans with some pretty lofty hopes were not disappointed but not so good that many didn't believe it would be topped the next night.
set 1: soa melt, it's ice, weigh, chalk dust
This was my first show and it was so much phun! All the songs seemed to seamlessly flow into each other and the Possum was just fantastic!
I distinctly remember feeling the fantastic vibe of the crowd during Suzy and seeing the sea of phans getting down like nobody's business from the back of the pavilion...Needless to say that I was 'hooked' from night one of Deer Creek in '96...I will say that the second night (8/13/96) was pretty sweet as well. Check it out in the livephish archives! Wish I could get a copy of this show in the same quality!
SOAM! after The lethargic Eurpe run of july , the boys return to bounary pushing form, at hte same time jerry passed and phish shows were more than concerts , officially. They were noe entering the cultural event phase, a place few bands see.... This melt is nasty. Considering they take it 15 min longer at Clfford Ball a few days from now, this is just candy.
The real gem here is Chalkdust. The epitome of what a musce-rock-jam-band can do .This first theme they lock into is type II masterpiece of arena rock. when they come back to the Cjalkdust theme , the thousands in attendance give a well deserved scream in recognitio of what they just heard.... Awesome
This was my second show. It's pretty solid from start to finish, but I feel like the first-set highlights are the strongest in retrospect. You've got a nicely jammed "Melt" (check it out as the filler on the Live Phish 12 8/13/96 release) and a bunch of now-rare tunes in "Esther," "Weigh," "It's Ice," and "Dog Faced Boy" that were all well executed.
The only other real standout moments as I look back 16 years later were the "McGrupp" and the Secret Language action in "Possum" for a taste of old-school Phish. The main event at Deer Creek that summer was the following night, which is a well-documented rager (and my personal favorite show), but this show provided a nice warmup of sorts.
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