, attached to 1996-11-02

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

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!


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