this is one of the great, fun unsong heroes of the fall/winter '95 tour. i feel like every year, the show before or after halloween just smokes, see bangor, me and its 30 min tweezer in '94, the massive cep>lope in florida in '96, and a little show at the e center in '98... i believe they played a little album called dark side of the moon. anyway, back to this show. it does not feature a monster jam like west palm peach and bangor or a pink floyd album, but it is just a damn good phish show filled with some very focused but fun playing and a killer set list taboot.
buried alive might be my favorite show opener. this one is nice and hot, and they pair it, in classic fashion, with a good high octane poor heart. julius keeps the energy up before a very fun '95 punch. this song was in a transitory phase here. trey had gotten off the piano, but they werent really stretching it out like they would in 2-3 years. good version. cars trucks and buses is still has that new song smell. good energetic take here. the horse>silent is a good breather. then there is this killer melt. this might be my favorite version of the year. this one has a very nice dark feel, and they really let this jam wonder before screaming back into the melt theme. instead of slowing down, they get funky. nicu and gumbo are a very nice pairing, and then slave is beautifully executed before the accepella closer.
makisupa policeman serves as a great opener. classic '95 stuff here, with a nice little transition into david bowie; which could be a contender for song of the year. while no '95 version topped what they did on the ny run in '94, they routinely played unique and experimental takes of this classic phish tune. like most from this year, trey really led the charge here while fish, gordo, and page set the pace and mood for him. great group interplay. the mango song is a nice mellow out before a pretty intense ice. they really dug deep, getting all the way through kung before finishing ice. i like this version better than the 12/30 msg version. especially with a very fun shaggy dog coming out of the back end. it had been a while, and it would be a while longer... then comes, in my opinion, the musical highlight of the second set. this possum is a barn burner. as if absolutely smashing this song was not enough, trey responds to one of many rumors of what might be the halloween album by tossing some hilarious "beat it" teases. of course, many were convinced that thriller was forthcoming, but many more, knew that trey was not going to give it away that easily. this rocking possum eventually dips down into a nice spooky life boy. after the darkness of lifeboy, they show the crowd the light with a lovely amazing grace. I love how they ended this show. i really try to avoid dead comparisions, but this is the equivilant of the band calling it a night after stella blue or morning dew and not letting bobby bone the ending with good lovin' or some bs. ballsy ending and i applaud it. for those that like the rowdy endings, look no further than the encore. a nice smoking funky bitch gets everyone's minds back on louisville and off the forthcoming halloween show.... which was not too bad either.
I highly recommend this show. the melt and possum are stellar, but the over all flow of this show is amazing. both sets are both just great for popping in and letting ride. you will not think about your fast forward botton once.
After several years of listening to Phish, my friends finally convinced me to drive the long distance (80 miles) from my hometown to see the band for the first time. I thought this was too far to drive for a rock concert. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The night changed my life forever, as did many of our first shows.
The venue was basically a concrete box that could hold 5000 people. A large high school gym essentially with terrible sound, but that didn't matter. After listening to many live tapes of the band, they surprised me with many songs I had never heard: Buried Alive, NICU, Makisupa, KUNG!, and of course, Shaggy Dog. It opened up a completely different world to me. How could a band have this many songs that they didn't bother to put on their albums?
The Possum and Bowie still enter my regular listening rotation because they raged so hard. The band was powerful and humorous the entire night, making an experience that totally blew me away. The "shakedown" was only a few people selling shirts and beer, but I could already see the potential. A year later, they would sell three times as many tickets at Rupp Arena. On this night, they were still a well kept secret.
I was playing a game recently in which this question was asked: "Which year stands out as your favorite and why?". Without hesitation, I said 1995, specifically the week of 10/28 to about 11/4. It was the weekend of my 21st birthday, an amazing road trip, and two great Phish shows. I turned 21 on October 28th, and my good friend Will and I left a great birthday party about 2:00 a.m. to start the drive from Blacksburg Va. to Louisville Ky. We did not make it too far that night, and spent a few hours asleep somewhere in West Virginia. We arrived in Louisville about 4:00 p.m. and spent the afternoon wandering around the parking lots and the city. It was my first time (not my last though) seeing Phish play in a city, and it added a new twist to the lot scene.
Just as on October 29 1994, this Louisville show features a band on the verge of something great. They were tight, focused, and having a lot of fun. I heard a lot of "firsts for me" that night: "Punch", "Cars Trucks Buses", "NICU", "Gumbo", "Makisupa", "The Mango Song", "Kung", and "Shaggy Dog". It was really cool to see and hear songs I had previously only heard on tapes. It was also great to catch a general admission show and to be on the floor but have enough room to dance.
I had been following the chess game online, and I entered my name at the Greenpeace table to make the audience move, but it went to someone else. The "It's Ice" > "Kung" > "It's Ice" combo really stands, out because I had no clue what was going on when Trey and Fish started yelling "Stand Up! Stand Up!". Just another of those cases where the band you love and think you know does something you never even thought about, and leaves you wanting more. We left Louisville after a great "Funky Bitch" and continued the drive north to Chicago.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $1,000,000 to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.