Karl Perazzo on percussion.
 Karl Perazzo on percussion. Trey sang verses through megaphone.
 Karl Perazzo on percussion, Butch Trucks on drums, Fish on Trey's percussion rack.
Karl Perazzo sat in on percussion for the entire show. Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone. Mike repeatedly teased the bass line of Dave's Energy Guide in the C&P jam and then Trey very briefly teased it as well. The lyric “Norton Charlton Heston” replaced “Marco Esquandolas” in Antelope. Butch Trucks joined the band on drums for the encore while Fish played Trey’s percussion rack. Portions of this performance were released to the syndicated radio program The Album Network. This show was released as the Coral Sky DVD in 2010 and is available as a download from LivePhish.
Holy Shit !!
Listen to this classic again. I'm watching it for the first time since the show and so much is coming back to me.
The Crosseyed and Painless so full of techno/groove layered beauty. Trey whacking away at this little drum kit in front of Page.
Those days may be gone, but what they're doing now is so creative and different.
I'm so fortunate to be living during a time in history where I can still experience this band live.
Just four regular guys from Vermont...I love this band so much.
Ah, the only outdoor show of Fall `96! We spent the day swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, which was a fantastic way to prepare for the show. Still reeling from the "Hotlanta" mayhem of two nights before, my travelling group seriously needed the rejuvenation that was provided by the ocean. The name of the venue served to portend good things for that evening, as certainly the Coral Sky Amphitheater must have something good to offer! The stunning palm trees around its perimeter offset the fact that it was a standard, cookie-cutter outdoor amphitheater.
We staked out our territory on the lawn, and the place seemed empty. I heard that there were only ten thousand people in attendance, which was approximately half of Coral Sky's capacity. That evening was warm and crisp, and having driven from Chicago, our winter blahs were slowly disappearing. Fortunately for us, Karl Perazzo sat in for both sets and helped add to the Talking Heads feel that pervaded the Omni in "Hotlanta." The show opened with an intriguing "Ya Mar", which was the perfect opener, given the warm weather. The "Julius" was quite good, but it's not the first set that people are still talking about.
The second set opened with the best forty minutes of Fall `96 (other than the Remain in Light set). "Crosseyed and Painless" was shocking, and it certainly could only have come from another dimension. During this jam, the band sounded as much like One as I have ever heard them - not four mortals, but one Entity. This jam transported us back to the Omni, where nothing was real. The "Antelope" that arose from the closing space of "C&P" contained some interesting work from Trey early on. When it dropped off the sonic cliff, I fell down with it. Really. It was so intense that I fell down onto the lawn, along with one of my travelling companions. The rest of the set was forgettable, although the "Funky Bitch" encore with Butch Trucks was fun.
In March `97, portions of the show were broadcast on the radio. There are sparkling pre-FMs of this tape circulating. Get it!
This is one of the best-known shows of 1996, partly because high-quality FMSBD copies circulated not long after it went down. The Crosseyed > Antelope sequence is the important part, but in the wake of the band's ambient/trance/funk/space experiments of of 1997-99 it probably isn't an essential recording anymore. That said, it's still a party, Perazzo's still ridiculous, and its' exciting to hear the boys so fired up over the possibilities of their new Talking Heads material post-Halloween. So if you're digging into Phish '96 be sure to hear this one.
A delightful show, to say the least, if not a pantheon show or anything; that being said, the DVD of the show really ought to be a cornerstone of your Phish collection, as this is the kind of show you'd want preserved in video form. The C&P jam is magical, overflowing with energy and excitement (how many times has a song been played in consecutive shows since the early days?), and a fan favorite, but I've always loved the Antelope more - it's what I think of as a prototypical mid-90s Antelope, full of fire and fury and a massive release from the tension of the C&P jam. I'm not sure what else I'd immediately recommend (the opening Ya Mar's fun, and the Hood's quite strong), but the whole show is worth listening to, mainly due to the remarkable Fishman/Perazzo chemistry (Perazzo has a pretty solid case as best guest musician ever, IMO). It's one of my favorite shows from a year that isn't exactly my favorite year.
Plus, watching the front row kids dancing is just priceless.
this was such an amazingly fun experience...i'd seen each of the previous south florida shows and was blown away each time, but this one upped the ante. getting in was a minor hassle and I missed the opener, but with 10th row center seats, I wasn't complaining. in addition, I was able to sneak my shiny new kodak dc40 digital camera in (which was an incredible feat, since the thing is not like the cameras today, it's huge...like the size of a small notebook.)
The rest of the second set was not "forgettable" as another reviewer had written.
The entire second set of this show was worth all efforts it took to be present.
A stand out Harry Hood followed by some great jams to end the show capped off what was an incredible evening under the sun and moon on a beautiful November Florida night.
all you need to know about this show is crosseyed and painless>antelope. hot off the heels of halloween, with karl p still on board, they nail this one. little did fans know, they would not be seeing this one frequently from here on out. anyway, the duel drummers really light this one up. for a good 15-20 minutes, all 5 musicians are just in fantastic sync, blazing through this jam. finally it gives way to some nimble trey playing before they jack this antelope up into high gear. if you have not heard this pairing, you are seriously missing out. needless to say, the boys earned their cool down in waste after that monster opening pairing.
This is my original review (typos and all) from rec.music.phish titled "West Palm Beach Crosseyed and Painless" posted November 6, 1996 at 3 am:
I have recently returned from a rather hellacious roadtrip in
which I enjoyed every second (you know the kind). Almost 3,000 miles
roundtrip from Chicago->Atlanta->Fort Meyers->West Palm Beach->Chicago.
But oh was it worth it...
I have a lot to say about Haloween but so does everyone else. I
have only seen commentary by Saul and Alan on the West Palm Beach show so
I thought I would add my own.
First of all, south Florida is just an amazing place. If you read
Saul's review, we traveled together and had a splendid time. Before the
show on Saturday we went to Sanibel and Captiva islands and went swimming
and it was truly cleansing of the soul. Staring at my computer screen on
this shitty day in the Midwest is a far cry from my weekend.
Getting on to the Phish, the Crosseyed and Painless jam was just
phenomenal. It is a very hard jam to describe since I don't have any
tapes. The jam itself lasted 25 minutes and was just bliss. Carl on
percussion adds so much to the Phish sound that it makes it so much more
dense. He is quite a treat to listen to. This jam was not like many
other long, incredible jams I've seen in the last year (12/9, 6/26, 6/14,
12/29, etc). I don't remember it having a really huge climax. It was
just raw permagroove. I felt like I was at a dance party (even though
I've never been to one with the most amazing music conceivable
surrounding me. I had no choice but to dance. And the Antelope was just
spectacular. I have seen some of the greats (10/24, 12/12, 8/12) recently
and this one measured up in every sense.
And to close, two very funny moments that occured during this
1. In the middle of Waste, some drunk guy in front of my didn't yell the
usual "Trey" or "Fishman". He just yelled "PHISH" at the top of his
lungs. This was even during the beginning with just Trey singing and
and 2. During Sweet Adeline, THE CROWD STARTED CLAPPING. Try and invision
this inside of your head. I don't think I could if I hadn't witnessed it
myself. I remember people complaining about clapping during the MSG Hood.
How about Sweet Adeline???
Coral Sky was a cool release, particularly because '96 isn't exactly held up in the highest esteem (although really it's more a victim of being sandwiched between 95 & 97).
They open with Ya Mar. This version is awesome and breezy and Karl Perazzo adds a nice rhythmic dimension. He was a great compliment to this show in general. Trey had an issue with his rig (as evidenced by a bit of frustration on the DVD), but they manage to play a very compelling version here. This is a strong version and definitely noteworthy.
Julius is jazzy in the two hole. I felt all of set one was chosen with Perazzo in mind, good tunes for him to add to. This was a tight fiery version.
Fee was similarly awesome with the additional drummer. Really pretty harmonics outro jam as well ->Taste.
Taste contains some strong playing, but isn't exceptional.
Cavern is a rock out. Great choice.
Stash is also aided by the additional drummer. This is a good tight version. It's not overly exploratory, but it certainly showcases the tightness with which the band was executing at the time. As a side-note, this really does show how a straight ahead type I version of a song like Stash compares so favorably to the modern versions that sometimes just don't have that edge or tightness. (not a gripe, more a compliment to the speed/tightness factor of 96).
The Lizards is always a treat and this a strong version. Love it.
Free is actually quite good. It features Trey on the kit for a time in the jam, while he makes use of some toys to loop some droning sounds up and down in pitch. It's awesome and definitely worth a listen. It's pretty cool to watch.
Johnny B. Goode was a cool choice to close and boy does that tightness rear it's head. This baby steamrolls.
Overall - a great set. Lots of fun, good choices, and the extra percussion factor really worked with a lot of the song choices. Don't sleep on the Ya Mar, the Free, or the Stash.
Set II kicks in with C & P fresh off of Halloween. Well everyone rightly goes nuts for this. This jam is not for everyone, nor for the faint of heart as it's crazy! It's perfection to my ears though as they traverse all sorts of zany spaces with an amazing rhythmic section. It's full of energy and purpose. I'll never forget when I first threw the DVD on and saw Perazzo during this jam (and the subsequent Antelope) with the demonic red lights and his devilish mustache standing in ironic contrast to his sleeveless tweety bird tee. It's a fine moment.
Trey makes use of the kit as well, so three percussion (I use that term loosely for some of Trey's contributions) players going, giving Mike and Page good chances to shine. They end with a melancholy reprise of the still waiting lyrics and they ultimately signal a -> Antelope.
Antelope is a perfect version. This is one of the most furious I have heard. Like the Stash it's linear, but boy is it tight and the peaks are incredible. You will need to sit down and drink a glass of water after that opening combo.
Well Waste gives us that chance. It's a nice call and well played.
Harry Hood gives us one more excellent jam for the night. This version is similarly aided by Perazzo, but also some incredibly tasteful playing from Trey, who finds some incredible shapes to play on the next of the guitar in a beautiful descending pattern. The peak is very satisfying as well. Beautiful stuff.
ADITL is a good send-off and Sweet Adeline is a nice choice as well.
Encore with Butch Trucks banging away on Funky Bitch.
Overall: I'd put this show as a 4.5/5 as it's definitely incredible, but not a true 5. Generally though it remains a great piece of Phish history, and it is certainly worthy of the fantastic DVD release. Great sit in with Perazzo as well.
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