The jam into Timber included a Slipknot! tease. Bold As Love was played for a fan up front with a sign requesting it. A humorous scene ensued when another fan got excited, as if Trey was referring to his Brother sign. Trey remarked that when fans bring signs, it has to be for a song the band wants to play. This show was officially released as Live Phish 01.
There's a reason this show is designated 'Live Phish 01.' The second set is some of the best Phish of a great year, particularly the ferocious Tweezer/Timber combo. Everything in December '95 sounds outsized now - like a key musical muscle was getting overworked, then sprained, and the band stepped off delicately in early 1997 looking for a new logic. Shows like 12/14/95 show the band pushing past some energetic limit, playing harrowing arena rock music for hours on end and filling every cubic inch of every venue with sheer power. Even the quiet of Keyboard Army sounds like a powerful musical engine momentarily idling. Impatient. If you came into Phish fandom via 'A Live One' then this will feel like the next logical step, before the 1996/97 turnabout and reconception. While you're at it, grab the 11/14 Orlando Stash > etc. > Stash, one of the all-time great Phish jams and a slightly more refined cousin to this second set.
College-aged n00b100 made this his first Live Phish purchase, as I had vague memories of my Dead-loving aunts playing me A Live One and I wanted to give the band a proper shot. Back then, I was most into Suzy Greenberg and the cover of Bold As Love (still one of my favorite Hendrix songs); now, of course, I'm more into the Set II jams, like the amazing Halley's Comet and the pure fire of Tweezer/Timber (how the heck is this version not mentioned on the Timber song page???). It's pretty amazing listening to shows like these, where Phish's complex stagecraft has been imbued with the on-stage energy of, say, The Ramones or something. December '95 is my favorite pre-97 run, and this is my favorite show of that run - yes, even over 12/31/95.
This was my first show... I was 14... I was "allowed" to go because of an older brother who was going "with" me! He let me stand in line while he and his friends did the lot scene! I did not understand any of what was happening...
All I knew is that I was super excited and that I had wished some of my friends were allowed to go!
I remember strange ppl trying to sell me clothes, food and god knows what!! I stayed in that spot for 2hrs!
When my brother returned all all bright-eyed it was time to go in!!
I was really excited they opened with Suzy...it was one of the few songs I actually knew!
The show it'self was amazingly fun!! I was a dead sober 14 year old rocking out to one of the greatest phish performances ever and I didn't even know it!!
I sometimes wish I could go back in time to this show now that I'm a lil more experienced for this stuff and truely appreciate what kind of show it was... but then I think to myself that I loved it when it was happening already so why ruin a good thing!!
I can honestly say that it was one of my favorite shows, eventhough I didn't know how special the Keyboard Army was, how rare a Suzy opener is (havent seen one since), how rare Taste that surrounds is!!, and how sick the show really was!!
Tweezer into Timber back into Tweezer!! amazing!!
Bold as Love encore!! yes please!!
Just a beautiful memory for an amazing show!! Great 1st show!!
I did not attend this show, but Set II is likely my favorite set of all time, and I feel compelled to write. My favorite era of Phish is 93-95, and this one exemplifies everything outstanding about that era.
Set I is rock solid for song placement and flow. I love this version of Foam, and the prog sections of the songs in general are played well here. The only Type II action comes from SOAM, which excluding its ending silent jam, is fairly typical for the period.
Set II, however, has the best flow of any set in my mind, and is nearly seamless from Curtain to Slave. Even the pause between Keyboard and Halley's is less than a second. I don't know whether the setlist was planned, but either way, the flow works perfectly. Each "->" is earned.
And those jams. No less than 5 separate Type II excursions, many with multiple distinct sections. Timber, Halley's and NICU all have Hose in spades, with the band creating chord changes and variations on themes. Halley's first jam (you know the lick I'm referencing) is one of my all-time favorites. The reprise (and subsequent variation) of Halley's second jam in NICU is downright sublime. Surprisingly, no jam lasts very long, and the inspiration is seemingly right at their fingertips without requiring any percolation periods. While not Type II, this version of Slave is amazing, with Trey laser-honed in building his solo. Axis caps things off wonderfully, and I'm sure sent everyone home happy.
I typically read reviews to see if a show is worth my time. To you, I say plop down your money and get the soundboard of this. To the rest of us, I'm just preaching to the choir. You can run down a long list of superlatives when describing the second set. No collection can be considered serious without it.
As I drove into the show to meet up with friends, snow was falling and driving was poor. A Binghamton radio station that was full of static was doing an interview with Trey. Alone in a car (in no shape to drive) and I listened to one of the most amazing interviews I have ever heard.
Trey talked about the Carlos Santana wisdom that they are the hose and the music is the water that flows out to the audience, the flowers. The interview seemed like it lasted an hour but must have been about 10 minutes. I was captivated.
With that, I caught my first show that night!
What else can be said about this close to perfect 1995 gem? Every song seems powered by an unrelenting arena rock. A classic show that deserves all five stars.
A classic month for Phish only a few weeks away from the epic 12/31/95 show, this one proves that even in a shorter time span, Phish can master just about anything. There is no YEM, no Mike's Groove. Just everything they are touching is rocked out, played tightly and seemingly able to go anywhere. Amazing, amazing stuff.
I remember when this show was released as Live Phish Volume 01. I was in college at the time, and only gave it an attentive listen on a weekend visit home. The sound quality of the Live Phish release is a bit dodgy, the levels not as smooth as some other releases; or perhaps it was just typical of a December '95 show that the energy is all over the place. Fine first set, to be sure, and one that would definitely please in the common era (bustout of Taste That Surrounds notwithstanding), but the beloved second set is all it's cracked up to be and more. If I remember correctly, neither Timber (Jerry) nor Halley's Comet had been jammed out in such a way preceding this show. Oh, how I love a good "->", and this show has a virtually nonstop series of them in Set II. Knowledgeable, longtime phan Charlie Dirksen (@Icculus) is on record that December '95 is pretty much all must-hear Phish, and I concur. On display in this show is a fervor both on part of the band and the audience that is rarely matched these days.
Attended my first show in Niagara falls a few days before. That shit was so nasty I had to go again asap. Mike and I score tickets by way of trading edibles. As we head into the arena we gobble an1/8 of mushrooms and blaze some widow. Whithin an hour all hell breaks loose. As split starts up I am loosing touch with reality. I could hear sounds none seemed familiar. I then went unconscious until the set break. After a good Ralph i felt fine. Still high of course. The 4 opening salvos of the 2nd set destroyed my belief system! After listening sober it was a great show in a great tour!
Phish was definitely on fire during the Fall of '95; the most notable being 10.21.95 and the Niagara Falls concert. This one from 12.14.95 is most certainly a special one, and shows the band at the peak of their powers prior to the 12.31.95 concert. I was trying to think the other day of best Phish gigs, and anything from this period (particularly this one) can make the cut. Although this wouldn't be the first Phish album I recommend to anyone (please check out their studio stuff...they are a good studio band!), it'd be one of the first if people were to get into the live material. I'd probably recommend the archival releases before "A Live One" (although that's tasty in its own right).
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