Performed over a different arrangement than usual.
Trey teased Fire (The Ohio Players) in Julius. I'm Blue I'm Lonesome was performed acoustic. This fantastic Stash included 25 or 6 to 4, Esther, and Ya Mar teases. Dog Faced Boy was performed over a different arrangement than usual. YEM included Low Rider teases. This show is available as an archival release on LivePhish.com.
This show is, or rather contains, one of the great Phish performances. Maze and YEM are fine as ever, but the important thing is the Stash/Manteca/Dog Faced Boy/Stash run, an early-90's Phish medley infused with the nervewracking psychedelia that characterized summer and fall '95. That 40-minute sequence ranges from a rousing Stash jam to a delicate, haunting a capella Boy, before emerging from a wall of scorching full-band industrial rock noise into a triumphant - and unexpectedly comforting! - closing Stash jam.
In their post-'93 touring years Phish has alternated odd-year leaps forward with even-year gathering and recollection. 1993 brought a new improvisatory synthesis, with the band settling down and starting to apply their boundless creativity to emotional rather than technical/theatrical problems; 1994 saw several giant-sized jams, but there was still a bit of a 'too many ideas' problem even if the year's best moments showcased Phish's best collective improv yet. During the 1995 watershed, muscular, oceanic free jamming allowed the group to fill big rooms and outdoor spaces in new ways - and the climactic MSG show represented a Big Cypress-scale peak. After a relatively undistinguished 1996, summer/fall '97 (and Mike's new bass!) ushered in the era of minimalist funk, 'space jams,' and no-setlist experimentation - and fall '97 is considered the Best Phish Tour Ever by many fans more than a decade on. In 1998 the 'space jams' of fall integrated back into the band's funk tracks (cf. the MSG Wolfman's Brother!), but Phish's nerdtronic groove/texture mix truly flowered in 1999, integrating five years of darkening textural work, four-way grooves, and above all an unmatched improvisatory patience.
The richly detailed long-form groove-based playing of winter/summer 2003 represents a big advance of its own, but even the energetic playing of June 2004 petered out quickly (only SPAC got a wall-to-wall Great Show in that year). And of course in 2009 the band moved into a new era, more song-driven than in the late Nineties/early Noughties and with an energy not seen in well over a decade. You might say everything before 12/31/95 was rehearsal for that date; then the band rehearsed for five years for Big Cypress; and in 2009 maybe they were preparing for the triumphant Festival 8.
This show is a perfect example of an old form and a new tone combining to inspire the band to previously undreamt-of improvisatory places. This kind of music was just beyond the band's reach in 1994; they could go wide and long back then, no problem (12/29/94, ahem), but no pre-1995 Phish went as *deep* as the Orlando Stash. (Stuff got even deeper, later on.) This is canonical Phish, whatever that means. If you're thinking of turning a skeptical friend on to the band, this might not be a bad place to go - maybe not right away, but in time. There's time. That is, after all, one of the great lessons of long-form improv: committing ourselves to every instant of musical time doesn't mean pretending we're gonna run out of it.
this show is one of the hottest of a very hot tour. the fox run was pretty damn good, but they found a way to step it up the next week.
being a university show, the chalk dust opener is quasi expected. they execute foam really well before slowing down with a solid billy breathes. the divided sky provides the boys their first opportunity to really take off. trey comes out of the silent part blazing. esther slows things down again before cranking up free. i love these nice 95 versions. they have a slightly harder edge. julius is played with a lot of energy. then continueing this odd combination of songs, they throw out a nice little i'm blue, i'm lonesome, cavern closer.
they come out of the gates hot in the second set. page really buries this maze, so they give him another chance to shine in gumbo. this ends with the fun rag time solo. i like this, but i'm glad they started taking this one out there. stash is more of a first set tune, but when you see it in the second set, you better watch out. this one seems to have a slightly darker tinge right off the bat, but once trey starts playing the stash riff in harmonics, it is lights out. it gives such a cool tinge to this song. trey really burns through this stash jam as trey tinkers with the harmonics. eventually, him and fishman drive the jam into manteca. after exploring the jazz/funk of manteca they drive back into the stash theme. they begin to space out a bit, leading to dog faced boy. now, after this dog faced boy, they just come screaming back. trey comes lurking out of the shadows, just shredding this stash. strange design gives the boys a much needed and well-earned breather, but they aren't done yet. the execute the composed portion of yem very well. technically sound with some serious energy/passion. then as they enter the "jam section" trey starts to shred some zeppelin'esque riffs. fishman picks up, and then they are in a full on immigrant song jam. if this were a part of any other show, it would more than likely be the highlight, but considering the stash from earlier in the set, this is merely the exclamation point of a killer set. on top of everything else, they pop off a very rare for the time wedge. it sounds really nice; they had worked out some of the kinks. rocky top sends everyone home nice and rowdy. pretty ballsy to be playing the tennesse vols fight song in florida.
If this show isnt fire that you'd be hard pressed to find me something more defining of that term.
There are shows I play more often and recognize as "greater," but if you want a snapshot of one of the tightest and hottest bands in the 1990s look no further than this gem.
Even without the famed Stashteca, type this show into YouTube and look at Trey the multiple times he shreds YEM.
As I said before, you know where to look for a more classic show, a more complete show or a greater alltime jam. But for your money this is where to turn to see the band going full throttle and shaking you until you admit that they are a fantastic musical force.
This show is fantastic and all the green text backs that up. I really came here to focus on the billy breathes, it is a must listen DO NOT overlook it! Not sure if there are any notable versions, but maybe this BB will make the green text one day
This show is even better than I remembered! Just unrelentingly tight recital and jamming. And I don't know if I've ever seen another Wedge encore, but the crowd is into it (false start by Fishman notwithstanding!) The Julius in the first set is a total smokeshow, but the big story and most notorious jam of this show is the huge Stash (-> Manteca -> Stash -> Dog Faced Boy -> Stash!) Trey jumps in with a staccato, palm-muted riff alongside the last refrain, and from there I can't even tell you, you just have to experience it. The YEM with Immigrant Song Jam is also amazing. The energy is off the charts here. This show is what a 5/5 is all about, as far as two-set shows go, IMO. (I'd rate it 6/5 if I could, if only there was a big honkin' Split Open and Melt or Runaway Jam in the first set. But for 1995, and even Fall 1995, well... just listen to it!)
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