On a cold snowy evening in the high peaks area of the Adirondack Mountain chain Phish was playing the second of a two night stand in the little village built for the 1980 winter Olympic Games. The band's music had really been pushing the envelope that phall. The ability to tap into divine energy and release it with such intricate expression had grown to new levels. Fifteen years after the miracle on ice the Olypic centre saw a miracle of music. All there was inside the venue this night was an ocean of consciousness. Each of us contained a wave that moved the body around with our unique expressions. There was a letting go that allowed for the miracle to manifest. The source had reclaimed its individual pieces as its whole self again. Our body/minds became only vehicles for the animating light of exsistence to have a dance in the world of form. Can still remember that Tweezer reaching into the back of the soul's dark freezer, holding the shaking fear against its body until it became still. It said now let it out, let it all out into the light. Bursting forward was the reprise of humanity; The sliver was gone, oh God was it gone...
The first set pretty much peaks with your typical (that is to say, played with fire-breathing intensity from opening section to JAM OF DOOM to Rye Rye Rocco) '95 Antelope and a fine Stash; the second set is the usual tremendous December '95 hammer-and-tongs stuff for the first half, until a really beautiful, mellifluous Hood brings one highlight and a *massive* Tweezer brings the other, with a jam right out of the gates that you practically need to take shelter from (Fish, in particular, is hammering his drums so hard it's like he's trying to elicit information from them). You don't need me to tell you that December '95 was a great, if not THE great, time for Tweezer (*every* 12/95 Tweezer is bolded on its jam chart - how crazy is that???), and this Tweezer is every bit as powerful as New Haven and Binghamton and the rest; plus, the ending here is pretty neat, as the jam melts away and leaves Page alone to display his chops before segueing neatly into Tweezer Reprise. You can throw a dart and hit a good show in December '95, and while this isn't a top of the mountain show, the Tweezer and Hood alone are worth the download.
Simply put this show is one of the most underrated shows of all-time. 12/17/95 doesn't get the props it deserves because of all the other jewels contained in that month & year (Hershey 12/1 - MSG 12/31). This should be part of a top ten list of all-time underrated Phish shows. Heck just do a December '95 show rankings list.
The first set is fine and chock full of perfectly placed 1st set nuggets, but the flow of this entire show is what stands out to my ears. This was the last show before the break, wherein to think of how many shows they played in '95, you could very well say they might have been as practiced, crisp and sharp as they have ever been. Dare I say that that for the entire month of December, they may have been playing at a creative peak of sorts. The transitions that tie the seven songs between Maze & Reprise together are undoubtedly some of the most creative and thoughtful which I have ever heard. The 2nd set was highlighted by Hood, which was pure magic.
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